Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ms. Chatterbox

When I first got Petey, she did talk quite a bit and had a varied repertoire. As she got used to seeing us/living with us, she limited what she said to "Hi" and "Hi Petey". Fine with me, although I do love to hear her talk if only to hear the cute voice.

Since we've moved to the new apartment and the birds cages being in a different room, she's started talking more again. Most of it are her usual "Hi"s and "Hi Petey"s. But she's started saying other stuff as well, something sounding oddly like "Hi bird" or "Piper" (could be both though). We've been around more because of the Holidays, but have been busy putting stuff away so the birds have been going in their room even if we were around (they have come out at least 3-4 hours a day). However, since we are here, we get to hear her talk. She's just soooo cute, I really love her voice. When I came back from work today and went in their room, I was greeted with one of the most enthusiastic "Hi" I've ever heard. Brought a huge smile to my face.

I really need to figure out a way to have a camera in there to record her talking.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Days 18 & 19

It has just dawned on me that Nemo and Itsy will be leaving soon. More than halfway done with this period of birdsitting. My parents should be back next week, although this doesn't mean that both birds will immediately go back.

It will be funny not having them around and I'll miss them, although I have to say I won't be terribly upset to not have to be extra careful about who goes where as much. My birds are able to share me reasonably well together, but both Itsy and Nemo were rather exclusive and would really rather spend their time on me and around me and didn't tolerate having the others too close...which can be a rather complicated situation at times (they would find their way back to me if I put them further away so I could spend time with Joey, Piper, Shade and Zuri).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Walnut Shells

Lately I have been buying a lot of walnuts. I occasionally halve them and share them with the birds (even Piper likes them as they are relatively soft, unlike almonds), but I've been eating my fair share (I really like them). So I used to throw out my shells..that is until I realized the birds, specially Joey, love playing with the empty shells. Getting everything out (aka any small remnants of nuts and the little dividers within the shell) and destroying them. I've been keeping my bowl of empty shells and giving them to them to be destroyed.

Then my boyfriend had the idea of putting the bowl of empty shells withing a bigger empty bowl (try to control the mess, he occasionally has good ideas ) and they are going at it, sharing reasonably well. I've also started hiding goodies within the bowl and they are foraging between the shells...(this was derived by the fact that they do select which shell they go to destroy; the first one on top isn't always the good one ).

So simple and so cheap, since the nuts have been bought for another purpose..

Monday, December 28, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Day 17

I have been focusing a lot on the Senegals and Meyer's these last few days. I have also stated that the birds seem to have handled the move relatively well.

This is true to some extent. The last two days or so, Joey has been getting really antsy. Is it the change of scenery or the weird weather we've been getting (ice or snow storms) or possibly the full night of uninterrupted sleep, I'm not sure. But he's acting a bit restless, reminiscent of how he was when I first got him. Although he still shows the confidence he has gained in the last year and a half, he has episodes which remind me of his panics attack, but not as bad. He just starts flying around for no reason, not so much in "freak out" mode, but it's a little disconcerting as he hasn't been doing anything like this in a while.

He's currently sitting quietly and grooming. The weather did seem to have settled as well. I will definitively have to keep an eye on him and see if this behavior continues.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Days 14, 15 & 16

Not much that happened lately worth talking about, but I did promise myself that I would continue this until my parents' birds head back home.

Shade has definitively stopped wanting to go at Nemo, or at least hasn't shown any aggression towards him in the last week or so. However, Nemo seems to now want to get at Shade if I let him. Apparently, I can't have both Senegals on their best behavior. I am tempted to say it's because they are siblings (because of typical sibling rivalry) but it most likely has nothing to do with this (will not "humanize" this type of behavior).

Nemo has also started to be particularly clingy with me. In the beginning, he could handle being on my boyfriend as well, but lately, it's me or nothing. And when it's "nothing", he tries to find his way to me. And like I mentioned earlier, he is not too keen to share me with Shade or Itsy.

I also made some greens today, aka the mix of fresh food. I didn't have any for a little less than a week, I just gave them fresh foods that I prepared on the go as well as some sprouts. I also started a new batch of sprouts yesterday and finished the old one (aka 3 days old) today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Day 13

Today, my usual pretty independent Zuri decided she wanted some one on one time. I normally don't force her to spend time with me if she doesn't want to and she's normally quite happy playing with toys. I don't know if the fact that basically every other bird (but for Petey) has had one on one time with me of late, she wanted her share too. This was mostly during the morning; she preened my wet hair, starting on top of my head and then eventually went down to my shoulder. She then snuggled a bit and I started scratching her head which she seems to have enjoyed. She also happily just sat there for a while, the longest she's ever done since I first got her.

Hopefully, she continues looking for attention. I'm always willing to provide it, but I rather it be on her terms. I really don't want to force her into anything.

Sly Zuri

Moving sideways :)

Some pictures of my mom's birds

Nemo, with a slightly obsessive look on his face. I guess someone loves Nutriberries.

A portrait of Itsy.

An early Christmas Present

Nope not another bird.
My boyfriend got me a painting of Piper. It's pretty wonderful, now to find hooks to be able to hang it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Days 10, 11 & 12

What a busy week.

It's been back to work and somehow, the days just haven't seemed long enough.
On the bright side, the birds finally seem like they've adjusted to each other being here. Things are going relatively well. Tonight, I had Shade on one shoulder, Nemo on the other and Piper went from the top of my head to down near my chin. No fights broke out.

The flock calling from the birdroom has also decreased a lot.

Now if I could just get around to hanging stuff in that room, I'd be happier. I could let the ones I trust alone with occasional visits since there is not much for them to destroy otherwise in the room.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Day 9

So how did today go?

Not too bad.

They seem to have adjusted fairly well to the move, albeit a bit more vocal at times. I'm assuming this is because they don't see us as often as before. I don't reinforce the "extra chattiness" (it's not full blown out screaming after all) by going to see them and eventually I assume it will subside. They come out of their cages as often as before, they just don't see us hanging around as much, specially on the week-end.
I remember when my mom first got some of her cockatoos and they had to adjust to her schedule, they would scream for her but eventually understood that they would be coming back out and won't utter a peep until then..mind you, if she's late for whatever reason, they know and they start getting vocal.

In any case, they can chat away here as much as they want; the room has no common wall with any neighboring apartments (it's surrounded by our living room, our bedroom and a hallway which has the bathrooms (yes plural) on the other side). When we go in the hallway we don't even hear them (which wasn't always the case with the other apartment).

Oh...and I can now have Shade and Nemo close to one other without Shade flipping out and wanting to attack Nemo. Yeah progress! Unfortunately, I can't say the same with Zuri going after Itsy and Itsy going after the Senegals. However, frequency of dive bombing the others has decreased.

From 5 to 7 - Day 8: The Move

Yesterday was moving day.

All we did was go down a couple of floors in our current building, going from a one bedroom to a two bedroom apartment. What a difference it makes.

We got the service elevator at 1pm. The first thing I wanted to move was the birds, so that they didn't have to witness everything coming out of the old apartment as I'm sure a couple of them would have freaked out at the sight of moving big furniture. So in their carriers they went for the ride down. I then put the carriers in my new bedroom (which was still pretty depleted other than the dresser drawers we had brought down the previous night. We then proceeded to move the cages from the old living room to the new birdroom (aka extra bedroom). Once every cage was in there (couldn't fit them all at once in the elevator unfortunately), the birds went in their cages and I could then just close the door and render them oblivious to the rest of the moving. It went pretty well; they did do some flock calling at one point (and would stop when I would go in to get something or bring something) and once all the big pieces were settled, I brought them out in the living room on one of the many perches (Java wood perches are somewhat fashionable, right?) and they behaved.

It might have been only half a day, but I love the birdroom. They can now have all the uninterrupted sleep they can have at night, since the TV's light and sound won't be much of a bother and we can actually turn a light on if needed (tried to avoid that at all cost when we were sharing a living room). I still have to decorate the birdroom as I did my living room with hanging gyms, but that will wait a little big (aka until I have a stronger drill that will go through concrete or until my dad comes back (since he already owns such a drill). I\ll probably post pictures of the room once I have stuff up and hanging.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Foraging toy play

A quick interruption in the posting of daily updates from 5 to 7 with..some pictures!

Joey was caught playing with a foraging toy I bought the birds a little while ago. It consists of 3 cups on a chain with lids to be lifted. Unfortunately for Joey, he chose to go for the two cups that were empty but I still got some nice pictures.

Friday, December 18, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Days 6 & 7

Oh...starting to double post! I guess I'm feeling less inspired.

Truth be told, things have continued to be going better. They've been behaving more, letting each other be. I'm not complaining, it's rather refreshing after the rather bumpy start.
They have just been put "to bed". I guess it's time to continue with the moving of smaller items.

Moving of the big things tomorrow, including cages. I wonder how they'll react to the new environment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Day 5

Already starting to forget writing something at the end of the day.

Yesterday they were reasonably good once again. The morning time out of cage went pretty much without a glitch, and this without any food bribery. The first hour and a half out of the cage in the evening went fine as well. However, in the second part, after dinner, Shade tried twice to get to Nemo and Zuri kept flying around to get to Itsy without ever really coming close as Itsy was on a tree perch next to me and I was probably too close for her to try anything. Itsy actually tried to have a go at Shade. I know at my parents, she had been bullied a bit by Nemo and had started standing up for herself. Given that Shade didn't ever really do anything to her, I'm assuming Itsy is seeing a bit of her brother in Shade or maybe thinking all Senegals are the same, I don't know..But still, things are going better so maybe by the end of the week, everyone will just let everyone be.

Two days left before the move..

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Day 4

A much better day.

They were really good this morning, albeit there was a bit of bribing involved. They got Nutriberries whilst still being good and while they eat, nothing else matters.

Uncertain that if the change of attitude which happened this morning was only due to food, I was a bit worried about how things would go once I got home from work. To my surprise, things went really well, almost as if Nemo and Itsy weren't there. Everyone was on a different perch (a change since I, up to this point, at least always had one of four birds (Nemo, Itsy, Zuri or Shade) to a) avoid them chasing or b)avoid them being chased) and left each other relatively alone (I think Zuri went once towards Itsy without getting too close and the same with Shade and Nemo). Shade and Zuri went back to hanging out together, thing they haven't really done these last few days each too busy focusing on a new bird.

Crossing my fingers this continues.

Oh and only 3 days left...

Monday, December 14, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Day 3

Zuri has been better today. She hasn't really tried chasing Itsy this morning nor did she try much when I first let her out for an hour or so after coming home from work. However, after dinner she was a bit relentless about it.

Shade has been chasing Nemo a bit more, ending up in her cage a fair bit. I'm afraid I will have to start doing separate time outs, having Zuri and Shade out alternatively with Nemo and Itsy. I might still try to have them out together, specially in the morning where my time is rather limited, but will most likely separate them in the evening for this week. I'd rather avoid having to clip Shade and Zuri, although I must admit the thought has crossed my mind. But I'll definitively will wait until I move and have them out in different rooms (myself in a room with some and Bram in another with the others) and see how that goes before I make any final decision. I'm seriously looking forward to next Saturday, day of the move.

At least Petey, Joey and Piper are doing fine and not really caring for the others.

I still find it interesting that Shade, who is normally nice with any bird, has such an aversion to her own sibling...and they did use to get along well, when I was still at my parents. I'm not entirely surprised by Zuri, since she has a tendency to be a bit of a bully at times. However, the fact that she lets Nemo totally alone and only goes after the other Meyer's...she might not like the same species competition, specially from a Meyer's who came in here after her. She normally leaves Petey alone.

I should start a countdown to Saturday....4 days left...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Daily pictures

Joey posed nicely today.

With a fake pencil.

Being as flat as he can.

From 5 to 7 - Day 2

This morning went well. Birds behaved, each did their own thing.

Then it started to snow.
I don't know if this has truly anything to do with their mood change. However, in the past, they have been known to act a tad more crazy and be a little overly zealous when snow storms or abundant rain would hit us for a day or two or more, so maybe it is the current weather that is affecting them this way...

Shade was trying to go after her brother, which ended with either my boyfriend or myself intervening before anything happened and putting Shade away for a few minutes and Zuri doing the same with Itsy and also ending up in her cage for a few minutes to calm down. They've been put aside a few times today. Itsy also wanted to have a go at Shade and it was her turn to end up in her cage for a few minutes.

Can't entirely blame jealousy, as I've made sure to spend times with my own birds before giving any attention to the two newcomers, so that they know the "pecking order". And why is it that both Zuri and Shade are only going after one of the new birds, and always the same one, baffles me a bit.

Piper's reaction to the snow? Being much more vocal than her usual self.

I'm happy that Joey is happy doing his own thing, so is Nemo when Shade isn't trying to get too close. Petey couldn't care less about the other birds as long as she has my boyfriend to herself most of the time.

Hopefully they'll calm back down before the day is over.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

From 5 to 7 - Day 1

For the next couple of weeks I will have 7 birds. My parents will be gone for the Holidays and I will be looking after their Senegal Nemo(who happens to be Shade's brother) and their Meyer's Itsy.

They dropped them off earlier this evening. I let everyone out together and it went reasonably well. Somewhat of a surprise was how jealous Zuri was given she is the least affectionate (she would much rather play with toys all day) of my birds. I guess she had to try to show she was dominant bird with Itsy. They were supervised so no fights happened but I'm not sure it would have been the case if I wasn't keeping a close watch.

After a while though she went back to "normal" going on gyms and playing with toys. It will be interesting to see how she'll behave in the next few days.

Examples of fresh foods I give my birds

I actually can't figure out why it took me this long to write an entry on the subject.

I usually chop a number of fresh food items and put them in a bowl to last me a few days. This saves me time each evening, and frankly, there are some evenings where I just rather do nothing. I usually put either an orange or a lemon in the mix so that the citrus juice helps keep the food fresher longer.

Here are some examples of what I do:

Batch #1

It contained in no particular order:
-Collard Greens
-Swiss Chard
-Pomegranate seeds
-An orange
-Yellow Bell Pepper
-Corn (freshly cut off the cob)
-(Orange) Cauliflower
-Sweet Potatoes
-Snow Peas

Batch #2

It contained in no particular order

-1 big carrot
-(1) Orange pepper and (half) a red pepper
-Some sweet potato
-Some red cabbage
-A couple leafs of Red chard
-A couple leafs of Kale
-An orange
-Pomegranate seeds from one Pomegranate

I also often add sprouted grains on top of the greens when I feed them to my birds.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Shade preening Zuri

Before the preening started...

I'm very happy they get along so well.