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Amorous captive birds in the springtime

You most likely don’t know this about captive birds in the Springtime, but they masturbate. Simon doesn’t yet because he’s just a baby. And Oboe doesn’t because he’s saving himself for true love, which he optimistically believes is just around the corner.

But Kazoo does, several times each day.

As soon as the days started getting noticeably longer, he (or she; we really don’t know) began interpreting any physical affection as a sexual overture. I’ve read that during the Spring you should only stroke their heads because the rest of the body becomes one big erogenous zone. But Kazoo gets turned on by head stroking too. In fact, sometimes just perching on one of us is enough to get him started.

How can you tell when he’s masturbating? He widens his stance, flattens his body against you, and starts cooing. The cooing becomes louder and faster and more intense until he (or she) is done. I haven’t noticed any residual fluid or anything like that.

Once I suspected what was going on, I did my research and stopped letting him do it on me. There’s a good practical reason for this; it’s not just a matter of aesthetics. If you allow a mateless bird to achieve sexual gratification on you, it will think of you as its mate. If it thinks of you as its mate, it will become territorial and jealous about you. It will try to attack or chase away your real mate, as well as your other birds. So GC and I put him back on his cage whenever he gets amorous ideas about either of us. If he’s truly desperate, there’s always his toy chicken.

Oboe, who is a little wee lovebird, has repeatedly offered his services to Kazoo. He flies over to him, perches beside him, draws himself up to the tallest he can be, puffs out his little chest, and chirps out his most enthusiastic mating call. Kazoo just snaps at him like he’s a mosquito.

There’s never a dull moment over here.

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