Striker

Striker

Striker is our parakeet with the “wild type” coloring–green with some yellow and some black stripes around the head and wings. Of course, every bird will look different but Striker looks more or less like a wild budgerigar in Australia, making him unique in that way among our birds.
We’ve thought he was a male, for some reason, all along. As he’s grown his cere (i.e. nose) has turned a purplish blue that seems to indicate that he is, in fact, a boy.
A friend to all three of his flockmates, Striker seems to be the social connector in the group. He has always been comrades with Belle (they had lived at the same pet store together and have always had an endearing, affectionate friendship), and they groom each other often. He was also the most welcoming to Ava when she came in to our house. Ever since Ava has loved to follow Striker around and perch quietly next to him–hoping that Striker might feel like some food sharing or mutual grooming, which he often does. As for Sparty, Striker has been important in helping bring out the affectionate, intelligent bird that Sparty has become. The two of them like to share food, and sometimes they get into a behavior that I call “dinosaur wrestling” for lack of a better term.
Actually Striker’s dinosaur ancestry seems to be on full display whenever I see him leading the flock around the room on the floor–they run in a group, all changing directions or modifying speed instantly as soon as Striker does. He’s also most likely to be the leader of a flying expedition–in the air, Belle is usually a reliable wingman.
But you can’t mention Striker without also mentioning how human-friendly he is. While I’ve gotten much better at coaxing the birds out of their cage for a treat or some playtime (and Jessica has gotten better than me at it), it can still be a challenge to get them out, especially if Belle is being clingy, Ava is being flighty, or Sparty is being squawky. But Striker–well, he just jumps up on your finger when you say “step up” and comes right out, ready to fly or hunt millet treats, or whatever. That’s how he is–always ready for an adventure, bold, and even talented: Jessica has even gotten him to imitate her and say several words. Striker has impressed visitors with his responsiveness to commands and outgoing nature, and we’ve always been impressed ourselves with how friendly and intelligent such a small bird can be.

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