Free as a bird

Last August, we bought a lovebird. We weren’t sure if it was male of female, and it’s pretty difficult to sex a peach-faced lovebird, short of having a DNA test done. Since the bird was only going to be a pet, and not for breeding, it didn’t matter to us, so we didn’t want to pay for a DNA test. Based on the behaviors various sites said that males typically display versus females, we’ve always called the bird a “he”. His name is Dublin, which is pretty non-specific, genderwise.

Dublin has not wanted to bond with us properly, prefering instead to bite. A few months ago, we bought him a “Birdy Buddy” to keep him company, hoping that would ease the bonding issues. Dublin seemed to get a little more aggressive, but then one day we caught him trying to mate with the Birdy Buddy and figured that was the cause for the increase in aggression – and it also sealed the fact in our minds that, indeed, little Dublin was one very “happy” little boy.

Today I was in the den, trying to hand-feed him and not get bitten. I dropped a pumpkin seed, so I was trying to get him to move to the opposite side of the cage so I could get the seed without being attacked. That was when I made the most shocking discovery. Our little Dublin was most decidedly female, because in the corner of the cage was a nice little egg that she laid today. Here we thought she was trying to knock up her “Buddy”, instead she was trying her damnedest to get it to fertilize her eggs! I was incredibly surprised, and am still trying to get used to calling Dublin her/she/etc now. By the looks of things, she is trying to lay another egg. Now it’s time to be vigilant and make sure she doesn’t get egg-bound. We’ll also have to take away her Birdy Buddy, since that is the trigger making her think she needs to reproduce. Silly little bird.

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