Christmas came and went with copious quantities of food and drink for us, and extra rations of goodies for the birds: sugarcane, green beans, precious yellow corn on the cob, papaya... And were they grateful? Not a bit of it.
Chili has enjoyed the attention of visitors: so many extra fingers around to bite. Chili is our current resident cling-on. Every so often we get a bird that fixates on one of us and refuses to be separated. Rather like a encouraging a child to say its first words, then spending the next 18 years telling it to be quiet, we will encourage a clingy bird to fly by standing just out of reach until it makes that first flight to our shoulder. We then spend then next couple of months tiptoeing past the cage or tree, or running into the house for five minutes peace before he spots us. Chili is now at the stage where he will fly the 500 yards to the river to get to me, so there is very little escape time in the day. Typing this post he 'helps' by dismantling my pen collection and decorating my shirt with chewed corn, and worse... He insists on cuddles all evening and flies onto the bed the minute the bedroom door is opened in the morning. This may seem contradictory to the aims of our programme, but in fact this behavior doesn't seem to effect their release - to the contrary in fact. Mr P was our last cling-on, and Basil before him. Both are now wild and free. It's almost like the affectionate child - loves mum & dad but still ends up leaving home as a well-adjusted little creature.