Spikey LeBec An Accident Waiting to Happenby Sally Blanchard
Caiques are exceptionally curious birds and Spike was no exception. Several years ago, Spikey had a totally unauthorized adventure. I only share this with readers to make an important point — you can never be too careful with a Caique. You know the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat.” Well, caiques only have one life ... not nine so this is a reminder to supervise your caique and be aware of what trouble his curiosity can get the bird into. Back then Spikey lived in a large cage with a door on the side for a nest box. Since Spikey was a confirmed bachelor (or is it a Mama’s Boy?) and there was no need for a nestbox, I always kept this door latched with two tightly screwed quick links. Since Spike had always proven to be quite an escape artist, I kept all of his doors latched with quick links. I guess that over a period of time, Spike had been working away at the quick links on his side door planning his break out.
One afternoon after what was usually the time he took his siesta, I came into the house and heard a clatter from the living room. I rushed in and couldn’t find Spikey in his cage. He has a gazillion toys in large his cage (after all he was a professional toy tester) and sometimes it was hard to spot him in his toy jungle. I noticed that a canister of chocolate powder had fallen off of the microwave, a bag of potato chips had been ripped apart with crunchies everywhere, a multitude of little “abstract” wood carvings that used to be attached to a kitchen cupboard were strewn about and worst of all, the microwave cord had been stripped of about an inch of its covering. He beeped at me and my eyes finally spied Spike behind the corner of the microwave next to his cage. Obviously, the can of chocolate powdered was opened and Spike was a chocolate covered birdie. I was beyond grateful that he was not also “electro-cute.
As far as I could tell, Spike had loosened the quick links over time, escaped through the side door, climbed on to the drapes (normally not possible but his cage had been pushed too close to the window), rappeled across the drapes, and jumped down onto the kitchen counter. He then did what comes totally normal to Caiques; he explored everything in sight with his beak.
I checked him over for injuries, consulted with my avian veterinarian immediately, and watched his droppings closely. I also gave him a thorough bath. He never showed any ill effects from his misadventure. We were very lucky. I made sure that his side door was padlocked. He didn't have another adventure like that or even close to it.