Sunday, July 22, 2012

Foraging Bite

Today's work! The dry mix foraging bundles for the week. Brown thick paper for the big birds, brown tissue paper for the tiels, and white paper for the quakers. They are all filled withe appropriate amount and mix of my dry stuff- grain mix, big birds dry mix, seeds, nuts, etc. Just put one somewhere in the cage, and it is not only an "instant" meal but great foraging.

As you can see, I start with a rectangular piece of paper, (although this one was a bit too fat and not quite long enough to be optimum).....

then fold in the two long sides, before twisting the ends tightly around......

and wrapping them to one side and loosely knotting.


Foraging with fresh food is a bit harder, but it does not need to be. For example, why not get several of these mugs from My Safe Bird Store.

(Go HERE for the mugs)

or for large parrots/those not safe with plastic, these mini stainless steel pails from The Bird Safe Store.
(Go HERE for pails)

Distribute your fresh food, be it mash or whatever, among the mungs, and hang them, just alone by themselves with a hook on the handle, around the cage. Easy! Fill 3, 4, 5, however many, and just hang wherever, from the middle of the top bars, on the side bars, from a toy, top to bottom, all over. Start slow, and keep moving them to harder places to reach. Trust me, your parrots will figure it out, they do not need everything handed to them! It may take encouragement in the beginning, but it will be wonderful when they get the hang of it, just like we feel better after we take control of our own life and start doing things more for ourselves, moving around, exploring. And climbing all over for each little bit, hanging upside down, going to the cage bottom, that is all foraging, not to mention a bit of exercise. Plus, it is really not any harder than dishing the food all in to one or two dishes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Every now and then something out of the ordinary happens here. Actually, out of the ordinary happens all the time as I am not sure exactly what "ordinary" should be, so I have no idea why I said that. Still, one thing I certainly was not expecting yesterday was to find a tiny baby skink in Claudia's cage. No pictures, as those little guys scurry fast and he would have been long gone by the time I got the camera. This little fellow was only about an inch long, very adorable, and apparently no bother to Claudia. Should there be any budding ant issue on the horizon, I have a feeling he will not only be the first to notice it, but he may also make sure he is the last to notice- by eating them all before the rest of us see them. I briefly considered what negative side affects there could be from having a skink running around the floor of the bird room, and not coming up with anything immediate, combined with the fact he was very small and who knows where just a few seconds after I saw him, I decided not to worry about it.

I borrowed this picture from online here. Gorgeous fellows there are, five-lined skink. Just picture this guy, but all tiny!

Friday, July 6, 2012


Oh, to be back! Been a while. I lost internet about 2 weeks ago after a severe sudden thunderstorm (ever been caught covered in soap mid-shower during a thunderstorm? Awkward. Definitely.) And then on Friday I lost power after those severe storms. Thankfully most of the food I eat is not overly perishable (fresh vegetables and fruits) and the neighbors, while a good hike away, have a generator so I could get water. The parrot room is on the first floor/basement (split level house) so that stayed cooler, and I covered the large front windows with quilts. Needless to say, they were not too happy about the seemingly endless solar eclipse. The strong winds did blow down tons of pine cones along with trees, though, so they did get to have, and are still having, a real pine cone fiesta! Little bits of pine cone everywhere, they do make great toys. These had little pine nuts in them, too, for an extra treat.

So for several days the parrots had nothing but their dry mix and some cut up apple and squash. Thankfully, my freezer was so full of the parrot food I recently made, plus some frozen bottles of water I leave to help it work less, that that food was still ok even after several days, unlike that in the fridge. Again needless to say, they were really very bored with dry mix by today, so I made up their fresh mash, slightly leaner on the veggie side after spoilage, granted, but still good, as well as some delicious spice/fruit pone.

Appetizing, right? Better than it looks, I think. My mash base, with shredded summer squash, shredded yellow beet, and mashed sweet potato, plus powdered greens, flax meal, and a bit of powdered hibiscus for some added flavor, and a tablespoon or so of applesauce to help it stick together.

Basic bird bread, made like corn pone. I started with the water from cooking the sweet potato- I steam/boil them with just 1" water in the bottom of the pot, some bottom layer boiled, the rest steamed. Then I mixed that with some blueberry juice, a bit of red palm oil to prevent sticking, clove and ginger, and blackberry and apple powder. I mixed that with some oatmeal and sorghum flour, and was good to go!

I have not been totally lazy in my absence from the blog even before the internet went out, though. I finally got my business up and running online, yay! A new website as well as Etsy store. I also got my first custom order, and it was one I was not expecting at all, certainly not this early on, but one which I was thrilled to receive- female Black Capped Vireo on a pink baby blanket. After all, I love a good challenge, and making a female Black Capped Vireo certainly qualifies as such. I am thrilled with the way it turned out, true to size, with some shin oak leaves I added on as that is what Black Capped Vireos most often nest in.

And as further excitement, the millions of wild blackberries really started ripening, so both the parrots and myself have been enjoying them no end! My parrots are pretty good eaters, but I find that even with parrots I could normally never entice to eat a frozen or fresh store bought blackberry will go crazy for fresh picked. The same seems to be true for so many foods. Parrots, I think, are natural born foodies. Granted, some will be stubborn even if you let them pick the food themselves, but for one that will eat something besides seeds or pellets, often having something really fresh, maybe even still dripping after you wash it, can really change their minds. Another plug for growing it yourself! And for parrots, you could grow a single plant in a pot in the windowsill, since they really do not eat that much, obviously.

So now, I am off to the internet to get caught up on all the happenings!