Conner isn't allowed to get scratches because we don't want him to be as shameless as Audrey is when soliciting for affection. Over the years, Audrey gets more and more like a cranky old man and he'll only accept attention if it comes with scratches. Audrey is very quid pro quo about the world. When I scratch Audrey, he makes a little whining noise, as if to say, "That's not quite right...just a little to the right." Conner, on the other hand, is happy to get any type of attention.
How can you say no to this face?
In the evenings, I'll sometimes read in the same room as the birds right before bed. Conner immediately wants to be on me so he can receive kisses, try to chew the book, explore the bed, etc. Audrey will glare at me from his cage and attack me viciously if I try to pick him up. About ten minutes into reading, Audrey will decide that it's time for scratches and starts to SHRIEK until I pick him up.
You're really not supposed to reward a bird when he's shrieking, because it encourages more shrieking. We make allowances for Audrey, though, because 75% of the time Audrey has a legitimate issue. Because he's an elderly cockatiel, he has trouble navigating his cage, so he sometimes needs to be moved. He also tattles on Conner when Conner flys to the floor and starts exploring. In addition, Audrey has a very strict rule about the position of bottles on his cage, which requires frequent adjustments. The white and blue bottles must be level with him. The orange juice containers must be standing upright when Audrey is on top of the cage, postioned in front of the giraffe during sunset to block glare from the sun, and lying flat with the spout facing down when Audrey is inside the cage.
This picture of Conner was taken right after he was defending his shoulder territory.
This picture of Audrey was taken during an attempt to preen a human, which can be quite painful for the human since it involves pinching skin or pulling out facial hairs.