The Wrath of Moonbeam
I had four budgies in a cage. Two females (Moonbeam and Daisy), a male (Arnold), and an unsexed chick. Arnold and Moonbeam fell in love and started raising a family. Moonbeam laid several eggs and started to sit. During this time, Arnold started showing considerable interest toward Daisy. Males budgies are extreamly faithful except when their wives are out of sight. One day D aisy started laying in the nestbox with Moonbeam. I gave her her own nestbox to avoid territory conflicts. By now Moonbeam had caught on that her husband was cheating. She became very nervous and stopped sitting on her eggs properly. They chilled and died. Daisy already had four healthy, fat babies to feed. All seemed calm until the chicks started feathering out, when I came home to discover three bloody bodies and the eldest chick barely alive. It died within the hour. Both Moonbeam and Daisy had blood on them. I put Daisy and the unsexed chick in a seperate cage, which was knocked over and opened by some neighbor's cat. I found feathers, no bodies. Arnold and Moonbeam went on to raise several more clutches, this time successfully. But Moonbeam had pychological problems. She plucked all her chicks and occationally maimed or killed them. She ripped the skin off half of one chick's face. Eventually she got a brain tumor that pinched the optic nerve, causing her to go blind. She had to be put down when her condition got really bad. Arnold died at five from a tumor in his abdomen while I was on vacation.
Cinnabird isn't that great looking. His colors are dull (he's carrying some cinnamon in him), his facial spots are specks, and he isn't very big. He's carrying the genes for pied which makes him more valuable to me than some of the other birds. So why do hens seem to flock (no pun intended) to him? He's won't let up. Not ever. When I brought him into my aviary there was only one available hen, Sweetpea. She had been married to a fatso that had died a while back and since then seemed to have a vow of chastidy. She enjoyed attention but refused to breed with anyone. Cinnabird worked on her for an entire year. Last spring she hatched two beautiful chicks for him. When she died, he was once the odd male out. The other two pairs were Chipper & Maggie and Joe & Woodstock. Joe was new to the flock and not as attentive as most males. Woodstock was a widow who still missed her last husband, who was really attentive. I wasn't the least bit surprised to find a split for pied chick in her nest. Since Cinnabird was the only one carrying pied, he had to be the dad. What I did never expected was to also see a chick like this under Maggie. She and Chipper had a great marriage. He was very attentive, followed her everywhere, fed her, sweet talked her, and was the most studly bird in the cage. Maggie also hated all the other budgies with a passion. She was very territorial and hated having her "personal space" invaded. She wouldn't even let anyone besides Chipper stand next to her. How Cinnabird got to her I'll never know. All I can think of is the fact that he never lets up.
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