Thursday, May 21, 2015

Shower time!

When we brought the birds back inside, I thought it was time for something that was long overdue - a shower. They have been taking baths here and there, but I figured it has been some time since they got properly wet all over.

So one by one, we took them out of their outside cages, brought them to the orange room and gave them a misting bottle shower (and gave my right arm a little work out...).

I wanted to keep it at one picture per bird for this post, but I can assure you, more "wet bird" posts to come, as some are downright funny and I had a very hard time to pick one picture at times. Overall, I was trying to get a certain uniformity going (as much as possible), so funnier shots to come for sure!

In some cases, it looks like they were wondering what just happened, in others, the saying "if looks could kill" applies nicely. Poor Piper kept the "ready to go" stance, should the bottle resurface...

As always, Joey looks like a drowned rat he's so wet, whereas Petey just had water rolling off of him. Shade definitively got more wet than she looks in the picture.

Having been outside, combined with the shower and a nice dinner, it appears we have tired the birds out. The first trio barely made a peep when they came out, and mostly kept it to sleeping/grooming/playing with a toy; the second trio is currently being very low key as well (Pixel on my shoulder chatting away, Petey hanging out with the Boy and Joey playing rather calmly on they computer desk). Time will tell if this had an effect on Léa, or if she'll be full of energy!

What do you do when you have a day off and it is nice out?

You take the birds outside!

To be fair, we had all week off, but this has been the first day where I deemed it warm enough to bring the birds out. And luckily, it didn't get too hot either (there is very little wiggle room here I find, we go from cold to very hot very easily), even in the direct sun.

Most birds have now become accustomed to this, and only Zuri still appears nervous and somewhat uncomfortable. Originally, the plan was to be outside for an hour and a half, but I had to admit defeat early (although I believe a few birds were happy about this decision), as the wind was picking up and pollen was flying around like crazy and I couldn't handle being out anymore (and I will not leave the birds outside without very close supervision, given I don't trust a certain neighbour and her two cats). We were outside for about an hour.

Here are a few pictures, that I tried to have look differently from past pictures taken outdoors, but there is only so much you can do with birds confined to cages.

A step forward

Joey joined the family a little over seven years ago, on March 1, 2008. He was just shy of his third hatchday at the time.

His original owner was a man and Joey showed a clear preference for men over women. Not that he was vicious against women (as Petey can be), but given his past experience with women (his previous owner's wife at the time) weren't positive, we weren't surprised that Joey was more comfortable with the Boy over myself.

Then, as months and years passed on, this preference dissipated, and it was clear that Joey was comfortable with either of us, often choosing to come and spend some time with me even if the Boy was around.

However, marked by our initial interactions, which involved biting at times, while I was always comfortable scratching Joey's head (and got really good at avoiding possible bites by reading body language), I no longer allowed him on my shoulder (my ears are thankful for that) and I would move him around with a perch, rather than getting him to step up on my hands. This works wonderfully for all involved.

I've been toying with the idea of trying to get him to step up on my hand again, given that we are in a really good place now. I'm pretty sure Joey is ready, but I've always been the one to "chicken out" at the last minute and remove my hand and go back to the perch (what can I say, some of those bites really hurt!)

I've recently tried the same with Zuri, with mixed results, and we are back to moving him around with the perch. If he doesn't bite, all is good, but if he decides to chomp down, he really chomps down (although none of my birds have got me as bad as Petey did that one time; Petey and I will most definitively always remain in a "hands off" relationship). So, for the sake of not always having band-aids on my fingers, I'll keep moving Zuri around with a perch (the wisest choice when you consider how he can be when asked to step up to go in his cage and he doesn't want to...)

Back to Joey though, earlier this week I decided to be "brave". Joey looked to be in a particularly good mood, so I thought why not try getting him to step up on my finger. I proceeded to provide my finder and he was just about to step on, looking like this is something he did all the time, and I pulled away - there was no reason to, based on Joey's body language, it was just a mental block I had. Joey didn't seem to think much of it and resumed playing with a piece of wood. I, on the other hand, felt bad and was kicking myself for having done what I did. We can't move forward if I don't take that step, and show trust in Joey like he seems to be showing in me. It's been seven years since I had any reasons to be weary of him biting my fingers.

So I took a deep breath and offered my finger again. And he stepped up nicely. There was still a little "bite fear" in me, but, overall, I would say the sense of happiness of having gone through with it and pride that this little guy trusted me enough overpowered that other feeling. He did get a little beaky with my fingers after a while, but he didn't bite down, just gently moved his beak around, which the Boy said was normal Joey behaviour with his hands as well.

There we have it, we took a step forward; a step I believe Joey was ready to take a long time ago, but one where I just started being comfortable with. It was a really nice feeling!


Her head might be blurry (from shaking it sideways), but I still like it!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Oliver's Garden 2015 SWS order

The first of two of my Sidewalk Sale (SWS) orders arrived last week.

These type of deliveries generally get me pretty excited, but it was such a long week (with long days), that I didn't even open the box on the day we received it! When I did though, I was very happy with what I found inside!

Tommy Cods (for the smaller Pois)

More Tommy Cods!

Rainbow Trouts - a favourite of the smaller guys!

Starfish (likely for Léa)

Medium Chunky Monkeys (Shade and Joey love these)

More medium Chunky Monkeys! (I believe in always having a few on hand)

Finally, a toy that I will have a very hard time hanging up to be destroyed, as it is far too cute and is meant for Léa who has been ravenous with her toys of late - Kingpin.

It is a really large toy! (The width from claw to claw when placed like it is in the picture below is about the same as those three Chunky Monkey's side to side and the body/tail portion is taller than one Chunky Monkey.

I am very happy with this order!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Happy Hatchday Léa!

Léa turns 4 today!

Happy hatchday Léa!

In no hurry to be a full "red" head, maybe never!

It's a lot of hard work being this cute!

Friday, May 8, 2015


Just felt like the blog was missing a little bit of Piper, so why not share a picture?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Early May outing

It was lovely out today, so the birds got to enjoy a little sun. Although, by the time we got out (around 3:30 in the afternoon, to avoid the harsh sun) it got intermittently cloudy. But this made for more even light when it came time to take pictures!

Don't mistake Zuri's possible cheerful expression about him being happy. In fact, he wasn't happy, he was protesting. I believe he thinks going outside is one of the possible worst things that could happen, but that is just too bad for him, everyone got and will continue to get a nice dose of vitamin D when the weather will allow for it. He was the most nervous one; Petey and Pixel, who were also rather nervous the first time out this year, seemed more comfortable, Pixel even took to copy her brother and play with a toy while outside.