Sunday, June 28, 2009

And Oscar has gone home!

Surprisingly, my "shameless endorsement" of Oscar worked, and he has found a lovely new home, with Karla and her family, who are just waiting to spoil him! He was taken there just a few days ago, and I know he will be very happy there. You can also check out her recently started blog, and see how all of her flock is doing.

Now, just mentioning it again, if anyone is interested in an amazingly tame and incredibly loving Indian Ringneck girl, don't hesitate to contact me!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And we have arrived!

The travel day was, in general, rather uneventful. Everyone got here fine, and was very happy to be set up in their cages. Although they were all a bit stressed for a few days, and unanimously decided becoming very picky eaters was only thing worth doing, they soon got over that. Not surprisingly, separating birds like Yo-yo and Miss Patty from their food is extremely difficult!

Speaking of Yo-yo and Miss Patty, they have decided to be quite contrary to all commonly accepted rules of breeding, and in just the few days since arriving, and even fewer since settling in, have come to the decision that this is the perfect place to start a family. Again. A completely new place, and no "obvious" nesting sites available, and yet this is the time they chose. So far, they have tried the top of a picture frame, behind their cage (which is on a table, not set against the wall and beside a window) under a chair, under the dresser, and under the bed. So far, the dresser seems to be winning. Yo-yo spent over half an hour under there yesterday, whistling, talking, and calling to Miss Patty to come. She declined stubbornly, and stayed on top of the cage. As she did not seem interested in the dresser then, I was happy to let Yo-yo entertain himself under there - at least it meant I did not have to stand in front of the picture frame (the previous favorite spot) the entire time they were out of the cage! However, today he managed to convince Miss Patty to join him, so I now have another place from which to keep them. It is not easy, though. As soon as I let them out of their cage in the morning, they start flying from one "nest spot" to another, and it is all I can do to protect the furniture from being chewed or them killing themselves, let alone stop their building a nest at all! If you add that to the fact Yo-yo has morphed, seemingly overnight, into to something not unlike a ferocious 9 inch dragon...... well, you see my point.

On a different note, I just came back from taking Ava on a walk, which both of us greatly enjoyed. It is odd, though, ever since I got her, she has been extremely sensitive to heat and/or the sun. She starts panting and holding her wings out almost immediately, and if you don't get her to a cooler place or spray her with some cool water, she quickly looks like she is about to pass out. It has always bothered me, none of my other birds do this. Because of this, though, when I take her out, I cover the top of the carrier, and take a spray bottle with me. I also try to take her out on cooler days, or when there is a breeze, of course, as there was today. As I said, despite her heat issues, she did really enjoy the walk and the fresh air, studying all there was to see outside. When she came in, I gave her a spray bath, which she also loved. After all that excursion, along with the effect of a couple of her favorite treat, sunflower seeds, she is now taking a nice long nap.

Claudia is gaining surprising new knowledge already from this trip - she has been practicing all day the frog calls she hears outside. It is quite funny, actually, watching her while she works so hard to perfect it. Although it is an adorable sound, I don't think she quite has it yet - her voice is too high!

Frank and Lola are simply loving the fact that they have an entire new backyard to yell at out. I take them out on the porch, and they stay happy all day, chattering with each other, playing, and telling the local squirrels and birds exactly what is up and what is not!

And, for those MCS readers, the air is so much better here off the Potomac in the woods, I am really enjoying being able to go outside! Combine that with the fact that the air in the house is so much better, too, and it is a win-win situation. Being able to take deep breaths is simply wonderful!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Awww, Quakers are so cute

After a shower, Frank and Lola were having some later afternoon playtime on my bed. However much trouble those two are (ahem, Frank!) they certainly are sweet and so lovable. Along with being incredibly photogenic, of course.

Wet fluffiness.

A rare picture of Frank mid-preen.

A more usual picture of Frank preening,
as he is preening while posing perfectly for the camera.
Lola is in the back, doing a bit of a fluff and ruffle.

Finishing with a nice afternoon nap in the warm sun.

Lola playing on my stomach. She can be such a sweet bird;
she loves playing and sleeping on her back on my stomach,
or simply on the bed beside me.

Monday, June 8, 2009


This summer and fall are going to involve a lot of changes for my parrots and myself in my quest to find safe housing for myself (I know those with MCS understand this, the rest, just bear with me.) Where I am living now is definitely not good for me. This summer, while organizing my permanent safe housing I am going to be living with a relative in another part of Virginia that will hopefully be much healthier for me. Fortunately, most of my family also loves parrots, including these relatives, so I will be able to take them with me. However, I have to decide which ones I should take, and which would be happier staying with my parents, as they already know them pretty well. The parrots I take with me will have to be in smaller travel cages, as taking their flight cages is not really an option, obviously. That, along with the trip and new environment I think will be rather stressful on some of them.

I know that I am taking Miss Ava, and that Peter and Luna are staying with my parents. This choice was obvious, because I have to keep them separate. It was also easy to decide which budgies would be going, and which staying, since Ava loves travel and people, and Peter hates any stress.

I also know that Claudia and Chester will be going. Claudia loves people, as well as change and new situations, so I know she would enjoy it. Chester is extremely fearful of new situations and people, but he is so very bonded to me, there is no way I could leave him anywhere.

Yo-yo and Miss Patty will also be going. I am a little worried about how Miss Patty will handle it, but she does not seem to be bothered by anything (I always joke about her been there, done that attitude.) Yo-yo I know will love it, more people to impress with his concertos!

The quakers I am still very 50/50 on. On the one hand, I would be able to move their aviary to my parents, so they could stay in their large cage and nest boxes, all of which is very important to them . On the other, I am the only person that can handle Frank, which is a very convincing argument for taking them! Lola is pretty good with changes, as long as I am there to reasure her it is fine, but Frank is another story. He does not like new people, new places, or anything else he is unsure of. In fact, the only new things he accepts readily are toys, and it took years to get him to that point with just one category of items. Still, he would be able to get out much more often, get more attention, and go outside in his carrier if I took him. I would also be able to continue his training, which he loves. So, after writing this, I have convinced myself I have to take them. I know Lola would love it, and while Frank would be very suspicious of it, I think he would prefer it to staying with my parents!

I am unsure as of now whether Linus will be going, but I think that is a no. I don't think he could handle another move now. Fortunately, I already have him quarantined at my parents, so he would not have to move at all. Still, I would certainly really miss him, and not being able to check on him myself. I know my parents are very good with birds, and love them, so he will still be taken very good care of.

Yaz I think might stay. He does not like changes, at all, and is rather adamant about that. He also loves my parents. Combine that with the fact that he and Chester have an on-going battle to kill each other....... and you decide that perhaps Yaz would prefer to stay here. I will really miss his jazz dancing and cheerful attitude, though.

Of the two foster birds, I am pretty sure Milly Molly Mandy will be going. I do not have anyone interested in her, and this way she will be able to meet more people. Plus, there might be someone in that part of Virginia that would be interested in adopting her. Oscar seems to have a home now (my shameless endorsement actually worked!) so he of course will not be going.

So, overall, it is a very difficult decision to make. While the relatives I am staying with love birds and are very good with them, it will still be very different than here. For one, I will have some space restraints. The parrots I take will have to stay in smaller travel cages. The ekkies will be moved down to a 36" by 24" cage, the tiels an 18" by 18" cage, etc. They will still have plenty of time outside their cages and outside the house, though. They will also have attention from new people, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on which parrot you are talking about.

My parents also love birds, are good with them, and have no problem taking care of them. I will certainly be able to get to hear how those that stay are doing all the time, and get pics. In fact, I could probably even talk to them on the phone, which Yaz would very much enjoy. He loves talking on the phone to people!

LLP Class

I finally get to take Dr. Susan Friedman's LLP class this summer, starting on Friday. The several year wait really builds anticipation! I have been on the Behavior list, PBAS, for a while, and you really do learn so much on that. Every thing I learn about behavior for parrots, or any other animal, really, makes me want to learn more; it is such a fascinating subject, and I get results so quickly after applying it to my parrots!

Update on milly Molly Mandy

She really has done an amazing turn around! I told you before how surprised I was at how well she had done, and that I was going to go ahead and list her right away (which I did.) She has continued to progress greatly, though! She now steps up readily, even without a treat to bribe her. Along with that, she has come to love and beg for scritches and head rubs. Really quite a little lovebug! I thought at first this could be something she would only allow me to do, but after several visits and treat sharing with my Mom, she will now (quite blissfully) take scritches from her.

I am careful to make sure that I do not rub her back, under her wings, etc., anything that would stimulate her hormones. I am also careful to continue playing and other activities with her as another way to keep her from getting hormonal and dependent on scritches. Having a foster parrot that appreciates hands-on attention this much is great, it really helps get them as tame as possible, which means finding a home is much easier. I certainly don't want to do anything to aggravate the situation!

Enjoy the super cute photos!

Head rub bliss, eyes closed.

What happened? Why did you stop?
Waking up to reality is so hard.

You stopped giving me head rubs to take pictures.
Is that it?

What is the world coming to?
No more head rubs because she wants a photo.

Yay, scritches again!
(also titled, "I am taking your head!")

I love neck stretches.
(Also titled, "Replacing parrot's head")

Ohhh, relaxation!

And a final pic from a different day,
getting head rubs on top of the cage.
Isn't she cute?