Well, do I ever feel dumb when I learn some new and VERY IMPORTANT and sometimes rather obvious thing about what my Green cheek conure needs, in this case about the proper UV light after she had done without for three years! First time around, I got a lamp with a shade that directed the light onto the floor of her cage where she got some of the benefit of the proper bulb but wouldn't likely be looking into the light and there was no issue with that for her. Then I found the correct, tall. flexible arm lamp on sale to put next to and above her cage, got a new bulb plus a spare and now that it's all legal and correct and perfect, she is terrified of it! Now, it isn't unusual for this 5 year old to be scared of a new thing hanging in her cage to play with, well actually somewhere between scared and wary is more like it, but it takes only a few days for adjustment to the new toy.

The lamp is in another category of terrifying objects entirely and she is seriously frightened by it. After several weeks of leaving it on for very short times, when I was in the room and not in the room, leaving it positioned where it should be, next to and over her cage and OFF much of the time and leaving it on for extended times when I was gone for some hours, there has been no change in her fear level. Finally, I called the avian vet who said she thought putting seed and/or treats in the part of the cage in question next to the pole of the standing lamp and under it might entice her to get used to it with those food bribes. There was no change after about a week with the treats/bribes BUT as I was taking her out in the middle of the night, the light was off but in position next to and over her cage as usual, and as I had her in hand and stepped closer to the light accidentally in our close quarters, she squawked and I looked down to see every single one of her beautiful red tail feathers on the ground! I was so freaked out, at first thinking I had been holding her improperly somehow without knowing, but I rather quickly determined that wasn't the case upon checking my grip, etc. right away. I think we were BOTH in shock! It took some reading on the internet to discover that it is a survival response and most probably in most cases, not really harmful. So after holding her for the rest of the night to assure myself she wouldn't perish from shock while I was sleeping, in the morning she seemed nonplussed to have no tail. As her wings are clipped, she isn't affected in the way a flighted bird would be zooming around the house, I suppose. Such a long, drawn out tale for a simple problem, I know, and so little of it relevant to the issue, I'm afraid.

So, friends, any experiences, thoughts, suggestions? The only thing I've tried is tying a TShirt over the majority of the lamp's pole but not on the head/fixture/bulb housing part which is really just light gray plastic. I've just now considered when I friend said she thought maybe it looks like a snake? perhaps trying plastic foliage or even a feather boa wound around it, the shiny silver flexibly pole or 'arm', as a disguise (out of her range for chewing naturally) I sure could use some help and advice on this.

Thank you for your patience with reading such a long missive.

Melissa and Gracie