Pet of the Day

September 20, 1998

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Pidge, the Pet of the Day
Name: Pidge
Age: One and a half years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Green Cheek Conure
Home: Cleveland, Tennessee, USA
   Pidge is a great bird. He was a gift to my wife and I from my parents. Green Cheek Conures are one of the most common types of Conures and make great pets because they are smaller and more quiet than most Conures.

    Pidge has a number of claims to fame. He likes everybody and will let anyone hold him. He squawks when he wants attention but will usually be quiet if you tell him to. He gets our attention each morning by tapping on his cage, at first quietly, but eventually with enough speed and volume to make a woodpecker jealous. Sometimes he does somersaults to get attention. He will also lay in your hands on his back. My wife has taught him to "shake hands" with her. He is deathly afraid of the color pink. He'll scream at the top of his lungs for apparently no reason, but it's usually because he's caught site of something bright pink across the room. When my wife has pink curlers in her hair, he refuses to sit on her shoulder.

    Pidge is also potty-trained. When we first got him, we noticed that he hated to go to the bathroom in his cage. He kept a spotless cage, but the moment we took him out, "plop." So, we purchased a small cat food bowl, that's just big enough for him to sit on. We filled it with the corn litter that's on the bottom of bird cages. Each time we took him out of the cage, we placed him on the bowl. Then when he did his business, we yelled "Good Pidge!" and would immediately take him off the bowl and play with him. Whenever he goes potty where he's not supposed to, we scold him and put him on the bowl. So now, as long as he can get to his bowl, he goes there instead of on us (usually). He'll just be sitting on your shoulder grooming your hair, then he'll walk down your arm to his bowl on the table, then do his business. It works pretty well. Now he's actually quite proud of himself and will flap his wings and squawk after he's done.

    Oftentimes we take him for walks. We set him in the lawn about 20 feet away and it takes him about five minutes to get to us (It's a jungle!). Once we took him for a walk on the campus where we go to school and set him down on the brick ledge of a large fountain. Pidge looked at the water, looked at us, then turned and dove in. He had never seen water that was that deep, so he started to flap around and was inadvertently heading towards where the water was falling into the fountain. I lunged for him and managed to grab the tip of his tail and pull him out before he went under. As you can see by the picture above, he loves baths. He'd never had one like that, though!

    Visit Pidge's web site.

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