The bird (Flash), laid an egg!!
We've known Flash, the cockatiel for oh, these 15 odd years now, and within the last 5 or so, wound up with full-time guardianship of said bird. We've gotten to know this bird pretty well - all of the likes, dislikes, personality quirks - and lived through those difficult seasons of molting and learning to fly. Every so often, maybe once a year, the hormones would start raging. Flash would start tossing around the newspaper at the bottom of the cage, making rolls and caves to burrow in. Mood swings were pretty common, usually involving a lot more hissing and flapping than usual.
But for 15 years we operated on the principle that the bird was not a female because no eggs ever appeared during these times. And, by logical deduction of no proof to the contrary, we referred to him as a "he."
Well, last week started out with a slow climb into the hormonal curve again. The bird wasn't happy with anybody or anything. Burrowing commenced. I even threw extra newspapers into the bottom of the cage to make him happy.
Then, one morning mid-week I came around the corner only to have the bird his and flap so violently I thought he might hurt himself. It happens repeatedly as I went about my chores. I opened the cage to let him fly where he would, be he showed no interest in freedom. Finally I gave up and threw a blanket over the cage to chill him out and let me get some things done.
This continued for several days - longer than in the past. Finally I decded enough was enough and started ransacking the cage.
And found this:
Well, now having proof otherwise, "he" is officially redubbed a "she."
It's not very big, and as there aren't any (real) male birds in the vicinity, it isn't going to become anything, but it's interesting to watch her "mother" it. She's very protective - and nasty - any time anybody comes near her cage.
As you can see in the video (once I manage to get it uploaded, that is), she hasn't quite got the hang of it, so it's probably a good thing we weren't shooting for getting chicks out of the deal!