Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Boos Day! January 22, 2008-Pecking Orders

Yes, another week has gone by, and once again is is BOOS-day!

To celebrate Boo's day, we'll talk about Boo's status in the pecking order, how it isn't predictable, and how it might be informative regarding budgie politics generally (warning: they are quite complex). I will list pecking orders from top bird to bottom bird and annote when and how Boo filled these various roles.

1st. Boo was top bird when s/he and Lola were alone together in a cage. In fact, Boo was so aggressive towards Lola, that I was afraid that the latter would never get to feed properly nor sleep comfortably.
2nd. Boo is currently second on the totem pole, with Mia in third place. However, when it was only her/him and Mia in the cage, Boo was decidedly "Bottom Bird". He even rolled on his back in a pathetic way when Mia pecked her/him! This led the vet himself to say "what a submissive little bird!" The order is: Mary ann 1st, Boo second, Mia third. Boo and Mia bicker a lot.

3rd. With both Sutcliffe and Mary ann in the mix, along with Boo, as well as Lola, it was: Mary ann 1st, Sutcliffe second, Boo third (although seemed close: and sometimes Boo seemed tied with Sutcliffe for second), and Lola decidedly coming in last (as always).

Where will Magoo fit into this pecking order? And what might be a good way to research the pecking order with more combinations? I am thinking: try the following combinations:

-Boo with Magoo
-Boo, Magoo, and Sutcliffe
-Boo, Magoo, and Mia
-Mia and Magoo only
-Magoo and Mary ann only
-Magoo, Sutcliffe, and Mary ann
Magoo and Mia only
-Boo, Magoo, Sutcliffe, and Mary ann
-all five (this is the long range goal for the new big cage, in any case!)

All you math and engineering wizards can probably think of a very good way to organize and research this! A matrix for this is welcome.


Carl said...

I can't resist a guess. It seems to me that Mary Ann, Sutcliffe, and Boo form a family, with that pecking order. They protect one another against the "outsiders" Lola and Mia.

Family members stick together against outsiders. When only one family member is present, force majeure rules the roost. This seems consistent with the observations to date.

My prediction for a 5-bird cage would thus be:

Mary Ann

If Mia is indeed female, she could start a family with Sutcliffe (if they were placed together). That might really stir things up. Would Mia prefer her own space?

J and K, the Human Flock said...

that is a very interesting observation! Budgie blood is thicker than water. Magoo is much more aggressive it seems than Boo, and less tame. Could this impact pecking order? Mia is quite lovely, and we all know about "Slutcliffe", but Mary ann can be a really assertive spouse as well. Any other predictions? Thanks for the comment!

Carl said...

I am sad thinking of the lovely Mia alone at the bottom of the pecking order, with the "Gang of Four" above her.

Perhaps she would fare better if she could start her own family with the wild Magoo before mixing with the crowd.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple
Sutcliffe and Maryann in early 2007