Monday, March 30, 2009

Shade turns 3 today!

Shade turns 3 today.

I first laid my eyes on her on April 30th, 2006. Brought her home in August of that year.

She's my little girl, no doubts about it :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Learning to talk

I think the number one question I get when I tell people I have parrots is

"Do they talk?".

Trying to explain that not all parrots talk and that there is indeed many type of parrots (if it's not a Macaw or an Amazon, it appears it's not a parrot in most people's minds) isn't always the easiest thing. In fact, when I say that not all my parrots talk, they seem to loose interest.

Frankly, I couldn't care less if a parrot talks or not. If it does learn to, then it's an added bonus (until they start repeating those words over and over and over...).
Petey came to me with a large vocabulary but has not said most of the words she knows in the last few months. No big deal.
Joey came to me not really speaking any clear words, but mumbling a lot (and Red-bellies have the best talking reputation amongst small Poicephalus). He has learned to say "Hey Joey" when we come in the appartment, since I always great my birds when I come in. He has also started imitating the few words Shade knows.
Shade has a very limited repertoire but she does use the words when appropriate. Since I spoke to her mostly in French, she mostly says French words.
Piper doesn't talk. But gosh she knows how to make herself understood.
We are left with Zuri. Zuri did not talk when I got her in January. Still hasn't spoken in front of me. However, when I got up this morning I could hear her practicing to talk in her still covered cage. Something that sounded like "Hi Zuri" was being repeated several times. Can't wait to see if she'll say that when she knows I'm around.

Here is a video of Shade talking. Repeating the few words she knows.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My little piggie likes the most expensive granule better

When it comes to my parrots diet, I believe in variety.
They get plenty of veggies and fruit. They get some nuts. They get some "healthy" table food. They do get some granules (seemingly pellet is not the proper term for this kind of food..), but they also get a little seed. They eat some of everything and the vet has declared them to be in very good health and having beautiful plumage. So I'm guessing I'm doing something right, even if they get some seed.

When it came time to choosing granules..they get some Hagen Tropican in their seed mix, but they don't seem too keen on it (I did use to buy bags of only Tropican but they didn't really eat it). Over a year ago, I started giving them some Zupreem Avian Entrées, alternating between the "Hot and Spicy" and the "Garden Goodness", since both had less artificial colouring than the "Harvest" Entrée and the Fruit blend. These proved to be more successful than the Hagen kind, they would readily eat it.
However, wanting to introduce more variety into the granule portion of their diet, I've recently bought a 1lb bag of Harrison's High Potency. Wanting to slowly introduce it, I've been mixing it up with some Zupreem. Well, I just saw Shade picking out the Harrison from the Zupreem and eating them first. Shade will eat anything, it makes me laugh that she is showing such a preference for one granule diet over the other. I could imagine any of the other birds doing this, not her. As a matter of fact, she's never shown any preference for "colour" such as Piper who will NOT eat any green granule. However, since the cost of Harrison bird food is what it is, I'll keep on getting it, but it will be mixed with other food.

I might try introducing some Roudybush next and see what happens...

The Parrot Club

I'm lucky enough to have a Parrot Club in this city.
I've been a member since 2006.
I do bring my birds to the meetings; I do take the risk of another bird possibly being sick, but I do want to trust that people won't bring a sick bird to the meeting.
I do find those meetings to be an incredible socializing experience for my parrots; I've been bringing Shade since I first got her and I do think she's a well rounded bird - she doesn't mind car rides (car rides don't equal going to the vet in her head), she doesn't mind when other birds are around and she is not scared of strangers - and I think that bringing her in the club's environment might have helped. It's the only place she's been around lots of "strangers", the club also provides a lot of one on one time with me and I think is a good experience and there is always a chance that a car rid will end with that.

I also use the Parrot Club meetings as opportunities to handle Petey a bit more; in that entirely different setting, she is better behaved with me and will allow me to have her on my hand without trying to bite.

At the last meeting, I had brought Zuri (I have to alternate which bird I bring because beyond having 2, it's a little hectic). She did fairly well, albeit a little nervous in the beginning since we got a smaller room than the usual and everyone was pretty packed together. But overall I do think she liked her experience.

Here's a video of her when she started relaxing a bit.
(The person you hear talking in the back is Mark Hagen, one of two guest speakers that night.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh my, another bird turns 4!

Joey's hatch day was last Saturday, March 14th.
Little bugger turned 4.
Somehow bittersweet having him age like this, not having owned him as a baby.
Oh well, I wouldn't trade Joey for anything in the world :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Turning 4 today...

My little blue monster is already 4 years time goes by fast.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The ducky walk

I love the way Zuri walks, or at least how she walks on the back of our couch. That "walk" has earned her the nickname "little ducky". She also does the cutest jumps.

Here's a video of her walking.

Monday, March 2, 2009

One year

Yesterday marked the one year "anniversary" (for lack of a better word) that I first got Joey.
He's done a lot of progress since then..he used to be a lot more neurotic (i.e. those Red-bellied frights I've read about after getting him), now he doesn't have those anymore. He showed a preference for men at the beginning, now he'll come see me on his own as much as he'll go see my SO and he is really good with strangers of both genders (which wasn't the case before). He's less nippy than he was (although still occasionally nips if spooked or when hormones are out of control). He's getting better with being pet all over too.

I'm really proud of him and his progress :)

Oh and he'll be four very very soon.