Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back to Normal

M said I missed a good photo op yesterday.  She had finished giving them their afternoon snack, and was sitting at the computer with the gliders in their bonding pouch hanging from around her neck. They were all settled in, and M was enjoying a cup of yogurt herself at the time. At one point she got caught up with what she was looking at on the computer and paused eating the yogurt with the spoon suspended above the pouch. A few seconds late she felt something and looked down. There was Virga with her head out of the pouch licking the spoon! 

After our little period of weirdness last week everything seems back to normal. The four gliders have been pretty active during their "office time", and they seem to have their appetites back.  All of them showed a small weight gain on Sunday's weighing which is encouraging.  Cirrus is now consistently holding her weight above 70 grams and has been a high as 76 grams.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Strange Days

We're not sure if it's the changeable weather, the full moon, or what, but there have been some unusual behaviors with the gliders the last couple of days. On Sunday night I had the gliders in the tent instead of the office for a change of pace. It has been some time since they were in the tent  instead of the office. Depending on their mood, I don't get the same interaction with them in the office as I do in the tent where there aren't many places to hide and they have to be near me. So, the first tent time in a while was a little new to them, but they seemed to figure things out in short order. They certainly remembered what the tent zipper sound meant, and they were on my arm in a flash when they heard it! (It means I am getting the pouch to take them to their cage, for dinner).

On Monday when M came out for their morning time together, she found two of them in one pouch, another in a second pouch, and another in a third pouch. We have had two and two, and three and one, but never "two and one and one" sleeping arrangements.

Tuesday morning when M came out, she found three in one pouch, and Cirrus actually sleeping in the wheel. M had forgotten to hang one of the pouches in the cage, but there was still a second small pouch. So, it was still a little strange that Cirrus was sleeping in the wheel. When M tried to offer her the pouch so that she could take them in for their morning yogurt treat, Cirrus refused to go inside. She climbed up M's arm and rode into my office on her shoulder. Once in the office, Cirrus ate her fill, but the others refused to come out until she was finished. Then they each came out, one at a time, ate a little and quickly jumped up M's sleeve, sticking their heads out two at a time to finish up. Cirrus did not go into the sleeve until the others had finished settling down. On Wednesday, while M was carrying them around in their bonding pouch, Cirrus actually was making what sounded like soft little crying sounds. They were all asleep when she checked, but they were definitely little crying noises.  Although they were sleeping together, Cirrus seemed to be on the outs with the other three gliders to some extent. When I went to gather them up at the end of playtime, she approached the pouch, saw that the other three were already in it, and then run off to play some more. I thought it first just might be that she wanted more time to play, but after the third time this happened it seemed more apparent that she was avoiding the others. So, I took the other three to their cage and came back and got her.
Another unusual occurrence is the fact that they do not seem to be eating all their food the last few days. There is much of their blended mix leftover in the morning and at least two of the four kitchens have fruit and/or vegetables left in them, barely  touched.Other than the eating, things seemed to be back to normal the last two mornings, so we are at a loss to explain it. M believes it's because I had them in the tent on Sunday, but I don't think so as they seemed to get back into the swing of things after just a few minutes in the tent..

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Big Snack Attack

M has a great story about afternoon snack time the other day.  I'll let her tell it.

Snack time (when they get some kefir and mealworms) was done for the day.  I went to put the rest of the meal worms we had bought the day before in the larger container we keep them in with some oatmeal for food. The gang had settled in their pouch and I was wearing it inside my shirt.  Suddenly, a little pink nose on a very black face sticks up out of the pouch. Virga waited patiently for me to give her a taste, but I just ignored her, sort of. Finally, she climbed to the top of the pouch, so I gave her one and she went inside the pouch.

A minute later, she popped back up.  I started to laugh and kept saying "Nooo, go back to bed." Well, she hung out on top of the pouch watching me, then crawled back into my shirt, behind the pouch, which I didn't want her to do The next thing I know, a little pink nose and very black face is coming out of my shirt, onto the table where I am sorting meal worms! Now, tell me they aren't smart! She knew just where to come out to be level wih the counter at the same place the meal worms were!  Yes, she got another one. I was laughing so hard and trying to get her back in my shirt. Only problem is, my finger tasted like meal worm so she kept trying to bite it! Too bad I couldn't get pictures of Virga coming out of my shirt to sneak another worm.

Earlier during snack time, Cirrus went for a walk around the office, which she does from time to time.  When it was meal worm time, she was over on the computer desk, so, I shook the scoop to let her know it was meal worm time and she jumped to the chair at the computer desk.  I held a meal worm out for her to come get, and she took a flying leap from the chair to my finger (about 3-4 feet), knocking off the meal worm in the process.  But, she must have figured my finger was still the meal worm because she latched onto it and would not let go until I got her to Berg's desk and could get her another meal worm!

Meal worms after this morning's weigh-in. Cirrus, CB, Virga, and Foehn (in the corner)

"Can I have another meal worm, please?"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Little Bundle of Energy

Cirrus is the smallest of our four gliders, and Virga's sister. She was only 59 grams when she came to us. However, it was Cirrus who rushed in to make sure all was well when Virga would crab, and, Cirrus is the first to explore new spaces and things. She really surprised M when she taught Virga how to climb up the pedestal sink when we first started taking them out for play time. She is completely fearless. Cirrus was the first to climb up to the shower rod during introductions last July and glide off and to the floor (although I always caught her before she hit). Cirrus is pretty easygoing, and she was the one that came around the fastest.  Until they "agreed" to live with Foehn and CB, Cirrus was the one who did all the socializing. Generally, Cirrus is the first one to stick her head up or out and see what is going on when we take the pouch out. She needs to see where she is going or who is talking to her. It is also obvious when she is sizing up her next attempted jump or glide.  Even though she seems to be constantly on the move when she is awake, occasionally Cirrus likes to curl up in the crook of my leg when I'm sitting on the floor. Once she is done grooming and settled she will let me pick her up and hold her in my hand, where she will usually sleep for awhile.

One of Cirrus' first feats was to climb up this porcelain pedestal

Her favorite activity is running in the wheel. She is usually the first to jump in the wheel at play time, and the last to leave the wheel in the morning. I didn't realize how much fun she had in the wheel until the other night. She was in the wheel by herself, and was running at full speed. When the wheel was going as fast as she could get it spinning, she stopped and rode the wheel around and around until it slowed down. She then started running to get the wheel spinning, then stopped and rode it. Cirrus did this several times, only stopping when one of the other gliders hopped into the wheel. It was a hoot to watch!

Cirrus is not as dark as Virga, and in fact may even have a little tinge of cinnamon color in her coat. Her dorsal stripe is not as defined as that of Foehn and CB, so she is relatively easy to pick her out in the crowd.  It used to be easy to tell her apart because of her size, but that has become a little harder. Her weight has increased a little over 20 percent in the past year, and she is consistently weighing in at or above 70 grams.She eats well as far as we can tell, and loves her yogurt and mealworms. As active as she is, she just probably burns off most of the calories she takes in.

Cirrus (r) is getting her licks of yogurt from M's finger.
Virga (l) is getting her licks in as well.