This is how Merlin looked just before her third birthday. Her tail feathers get longer every year.
Alexandrines are not picky eaters. Merlin was weaned to pellets, and she loves them, but she also eats carrot, apple, yams, green peas, baked potato, every kind of wild berry that grows in Newfoundland, fresh corn, plain fat-free yogurt, chicken, and boiled eggs. She will always try a new food, and always shakes her head, whether she likes it or not.
Here's a picture of Merlin and me
when she was only a few months old.
challenging pets because they are intelligent, active and they can be very
noisy. They need lots of different kinds of activities to keep them
Merlin has become much easier to deal with in the past few years. She
still goes through a few months of agitation from late November,
early December to March or so but it's not nearly as trying as it used
to be. Some books suggest you don't have to cover parrots at night, but
she seems to enjoy the extra security provided by covering and will
refuse to settle in the summer if part of her cage is exposed until
that's fixed. Parrots need more sleep than most people realize, and
Merlin will often sleep from 6 pm to 11 am. A cranky parrot may well be
chronically over-tired. Yelling is not abnormal behaviour in
parrots. A healthy bird in the wild will spend a good part of every day
making noise, but people find this hard to take. White noise is helpful in calming Merlin if she's
yelling. I run an air filter in my office and in the room where
her cage is. I started putting the air filter on high to cover the
she made, but found it calms her down quite a bit. She can go from
all the time to preening and talking if the ambient noise level is
noise seem to have a calming effect on parrots. The dishwasher and vacuum cleaner also
to soothe her, as long as she doesn't feel threatened by being too close to the vacuum.
A parrot like this takes about as much energy as a dog or a toddler would. A parrot won't wake you up in the middle of the night, but will require three or four hours of your time every day, minimum. That time can be spent doing others things as well, though, like watching TV or vacuuming the carpets.
I think this species should be bought as soon as they are weaned, directly
from the breeder. A lot of information about Alexandrines indicates they
don't bond to people, but we haven't found that to be true. Merlin likes
everyone in the family and is always happy to see my husband and daughter
at the end of the day. She also likes some of our friends, always recognizes
them and enjoys being with them. She doesn't like to be petted, but enjoys
sitting on or near us for part of each day. She's also quite good at amusing
herself, provided she's given new toys to play with and chew.