**Guest post from Keith G.**
Most people have known a bully. Bullies steal your lunch money, tell you what to do, and pick on people smaller or less fortunate than them. But what about when that bully is only four inches tall and feathered? Kiwi, our male maroon-bellied conure, is a bully. While he lacks thumbs to steal my lunch money or the language skills to make fun of me, it doesn’t stop him from bullying everyone he meets, regardless of their size.
At four inches tall, there’s only so many ways you can bully others, but Kiwi manages. If you’re sitting on the couch with Kiwi and not paying attention, he’ll run up your chest and try to bite you in the face. If his cage mate/conure girlfriend Chicken tries to eat from the same bowl as him, he’ll lunge at her. If you are a stranger and come too close to the cage, he’ll run across his comfy perch and start smashing his head against the bars. Did I mention he laughs the entire time he does this? He can be quite the little terror.
You know the phrase “Pick on somebody your own size?” Well, Kiwi doesn’t. A few years ago Kiwi figured out how to open the door near his water bowl and squirm his little body out of the bird cage. He managed to find his way over to our much larger Amazon’s cage and proceeded to try and enter her cage, presumably to pick a fight.
Unfortunately for Kiwi, Contessa was prepared. Kiwi managed to escape with his life that day, but lost the front half of his beak in the process. His beak still hasn’t fully grown back, but instead is like a little snaggletooth, sharp enough for him to eat just fine, but it doesn’t line up as well anymore, creating a goofy tongue-showing appearance that makes him look like he’s always smiling – or crazy.
Despite the scare and our continued efforts to improve his behavior, Kiwi still tries to bully Chicken and us to get his way, although without much of a beak, who is really going to listen to him? I’m sure he’d probably pick a fight with Contessa again if given the chance, but we’ve since gotten him a different cage with heavier doors and we actually keep them secured with metal clips now. Despite his sometimes-naughty behavior, we can’t help but love the little bully because more often than not he is a sweetheart, not a face-biter.
Do you know any bird or pet bullies? Let me know by posting in the comments.