So after I posted a photo showing, much to my surprise, the video of my goofy bird laughing has gotten of 600,000 views (in five years granted), I was told I just had to tell the story of how I found out if my bird was a boy or a girl.

When I first got Cameron (who was named Dexter at the time), I thought I was getting a boy. With Quaker parrots there really is no easy way to visually tell gender, and I was planning on one bird only, so really it didn’t matter to me either way. But I liked the name Cameron because it means crooked nose in Gaelic and my little monster has only part of a top beak after an altercation with another (much bigger) bird. Don’t worry, she eats just fine and it doesn’t hurt at all. In fact, it is growing back in nicely and in a few years may even look normal!

But I digress. So I brought Cameron home in January 2009. Dad paid the adoption fee as my Christmas present that year and I was so excited to have a pet again! And for about the next 3-4 years nothing ever suggested that Cam was anything other than a normal Quaker boy.   But one spring, I noticed Cam put on some weight. Not bad but something to watch out for. Oh and can we say cranky jerk much? I could barely touch Cam for close to two months without getting attacked. And oh did Cam get territorial of the cage. I couldn’t reach in anymore without a fight and it really made cleaning difficult. There were a lot of pinched fingers and bleeding knuckles for a few months.

So one fine morning, in my sleep induced haze, I go to uncover the cage and find myself thinking, “Gosh what is that in the corner? It is too round to be part of her banana treat from last night. How did Cam get a Cadbury mini egg in there? Wait, I don’t have any Cadbury mini eggs in the house. Oh dear god it is cracked and there is stuff inside. Oh yep that is an egg, a real bird egg. In the bottom of the cage.”

Talk about mind melting revelations by 6am! So Cameron is really a girl, there is definitive proof of that.   She went on to lay not one but FOUR eggs that spring. Two of them cracked when she laid them but two remained intact and she would sit near them at first. After about a day she would lose interest in it so I was able to remove them from her cage safely. But that really did explain her nesting behavior and mood swings! Thankfully she hasn’t had another batch since, I was paranoid she would get egg bound or depressed with they didn’t hatch and spent hours online researching what to do.

Love and gender bending,

Betty

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