Friday, December 17, 2010
If Rusty and Iris are going to breed, they will have to start hooting with each other sooner or later. Iris has hooted before, but it was more out of frustration than as a mating thing. I hadn't heard Rusty do anything more than annoyed chitters when Iris landed on a perch too close to him.
Rusty finally found his hooter! A couple of nights ago Alice gave a single hoot from inside the house. Within one second Iris hooted back and Rusty was just a split second behind her. Alice didn't hoot again, but Iris did some excited staccato hoots (hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo), some empahtic hoots with an extra HOO! on the end, and severa regular hoots.
It took Rusty a bit to get warmed up. His hoots were a little croaky at first. He did some gutteral hoo, hoo, hoos that sounded more like a frog croaking before he got into the hoots. But he must have liked it because he kept on hooting for over five minutes.
I think Rusty and Iris are finally claiming the cage as their territory. They've hooted a couple of times since, and Iris usually hoots when she's looking to the west. I think she can see Alice sitting in the window from there and they watch each other....