We're happy to keep the other birds we already have in there - canaries & Bourke's parrots (basically non-aggressive species) - without adding any more birds, apart fom Lucky. The other smaller aviary has a pair of Princess parrots, which we are happy to leave as is, too.
Yes, it's a shame about the Plum-Heads, but they will have a great home in Bonnie Doon (country Victoria) in a spacious aviary on about 15 acres of land.
Lucky is back in one of the outside aviaries, sharing with the two Bourke's parrots - plenty of room for all 3 of them and he seems to be having a ball in there, happily climbing around (he can't fly at all) and doing his wolf whistles at us. I think he's enjoying the increased bird socialisation again.
The cockatiel - we now call him "Scruffy" - most probably has Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease or else Polyoma Virus. I took him to the Vet today to find out why his feathers have degraded so much more than they had been (we always assumed the other aviary birds were picking on him, but now we've moved from Melbourne to Darwin he's only sharing with one other bird, a female Bourke's parrot). The vet said testing to find out which disease he has is not really necessary, as there's no treatment for either condition.
So there's nothing we can actually do to help him, except to just keep an eye on him. The Vet said that, being a "runner" cockatiel (which he has been since hatching, so I understand from the bird shop we got him from) his lifespan will be shortened. She also said he would benefit from left in the outside bird aviary, as their body temperatures run at around 40 degrees Celsius and our Darwin weather is usually around 34C. As long as the aviary is under shade (it is) and he has a place to retreat to out of direct sunshine (he does), then that's all we can do.
On the plus side, he seems very happy, is GREAT at climbing - we have ropes all over the place to help him climb from the floor up to the seed containers, etc. - and is eating well. He loves to do wolf whistles at me when I go to say hello.
I'm sorry for Lucky! I hope he feels well and happy for a long time to come.
What is a runner bird?
A runner is a bird who cannot fly. There are runner budgies and parrots, but it's not common to find a cockatiel with this disease as a chronic condition (so the Vet said). We think our cockatiel was born with this virus (many of the babies in the nest have it passed on from the parents and most die from it).
Lucky/Scruffy seems happy enough, but I feel awful when I look at his bald chest and legs. His wings are virtually non-existent, poor boy. But he gets around remarkably well and has a great spirit, always responsive and energetic.