Thanks all You all seem to read her gaze quite well. She is an extraordinarily sweet bird, but definitely a sneaky one. She also definitely clearly has a desire to be a good girl, or perhaps, that's what she wants us to think. I really don't know But she has been more adventurous lately, more opportunistic, more willing to push the rules, more willing to communicate dissent through harder nips, although I think we've gotten the nipping under control for now at least. She's also been much more consistently friendly with my daughter. Never a dull moment!
They definitely can have what seem like totally random moods. I can't claim to understand what is behind most of Cupcake's moodiness.. generally it does not seem like hormones, but who knows... maybe they can present in more subtle ways. Cupcake definitely seems to be moodier these days, but she also seems to be actively trying to work with us.. We generally get bitten when she either really wants something we have (food, generally), or finds some object that we have chosen to pick up to be extremely offensive for some reason or another... One of my two beard trimming devices cannot be used in her presence, period. We recently got all new dishes and glasses in the kitchen, and sometimes she gets very angry at the new ones and we get bitten as a result. While they do hurt, 95% of the time these are not bites that break the skin, but I'm pretty sure if I decided to use that beard trimmer with her around there would be blood
Those pin feathers must be really annoying for them... luckily my wife is extremely diligent at getting all of Cupcake's pin feathers as soon as they are ready... I don't have the patience and as a result Cupcake barely lets me try, she knows it's better to just have Mom do it I think this strengthens their relationship a lot too.
I was proud last night though -- we had a friend over for dinner and Cupcake was very friendly and social (once bribed with some tofu, which she loves)... She was quite a charmer! I think she was very fond of our guest.