Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I found some pellets Zuri will eat!

Zuri is my pickiest eater. He will play with anything, but when it comes to eating, what he'll choose to eat..your guess is as good as mine.

My guys get some Hagen Tropican in their seed mix but Zuri won't touch those (actually, none of my birds seem to enjoy those much).

I also offer Roudybush and some Zupreem Avian Entrées (either the Garden Goodness or Wild and Spicy) and those two go down relatively well with every bird but for Zuri.

I had offered Harrisson's in the past but only Shade really took to them and given how much I had to throw out and how much they were being sold for...well I stopped purchasing it (I wouldn't have a problem doing so if more birds ate it, but it's not the case).

And although I have the impression the fruity Zupreem might go down well, I don't like what it does to their poo (Pixel was fed the fruity kind where she used to live and I can't tell you how happy I was when her poo changed from that red-orange colour back to a normal green..).

So what is left?

Although I am not a fan of Pretty Bird products, for a few years now I've been hearing good things about the Natural Gold pellets, since they have added palm oil. I figured trying them wouldn't be the end of the world so I bought a small bag...and Zuri eats them!!! He ate quite a few last night and ate some more this morning so I'll be mixing it with the other pellets in hopes that he'll eat the other kind as well.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ah white balance..

It's tricky taking pictures of parrots.
And when natural light fails you, when adding a flash to the mixture it's a whole different experience.

I've been learning over the past few months about taking pictures of the birds with the flash while not trying to blind them. They actually don't seem to mind the flash, I guess I was just being paranoid.

I normally bounce the light from the flash off the ceiling; it's big and white and acts as a pretty good light diffuser.

However...sometimes I have to battle with other things, such as the lighting provided by whatever bulbs (fluorescent, CFL, etc).

Take this picture of Pixel. I love it, but it has a bit of a yellow colour to it, given I shot towards another source of light (the lamp is in the back there). When I opened the picture in Photoshop, it was quite blue in tone - I guess I should mention that while I shoot on manual settings for aperture and shutter speed, I normally leave my white balance setting at auto figuring I can always tweak that in post. So I tried warming the picture up a bit but couldn't really get what I wanted. Either it was still rather blue or a bit too yellow. Ultimately, the slightly warmer version won so here is what the final picture looks like.

So, other than playing with the overall picture temperature (and incidentally playing with the tones), I enhanced a vignette that was already present and adjusted the contrast a bit.

Oh and one last thing, I shoot in RAW, not in JPEGs, since I get so much more freedom after the fact but I have to say I'm curious as to how my camera would have processed this one had I been shooting in JPEG format..

A case of the hormonal Meyer's

Petey is on a continuous search for the perfect nest. For this reason, I don't provide anything to him in his cage that could be misunderstood for such a thing. Given the DNA result proving he his indeed a male, I don't need to worry about him wanting to lay eggs (and possibly being afflicted with egg-binding), but he becomes particularly mean/snappy around anything he could consider a nest.

One of the problematic areas is the couch. The presence of blankets and pillows on the couch which can provide many different dark places to hide is an absolute favorite of his. We try to limit the amount of time he spends there, but if he happens to be on Bram and Bram decides to sit on the couch..Petey will be down and in the blankets in the blink of an eye.

He managed to spend some time on the couch today and I decided to take a few pictures.

Now, would any of you decide to mess with this bird?

Peeking out from behind a pillow (which was against the arm rest therefore creating a cave for Petey)

Protecting his "nest" from me. While he tolerates Bram around (he is after all "his person", I can't get too close without Petey potentially wanting to get in attack mode) (oh and yes, I did grab him mid-scratch)

We took away the pillows and given the blankets were laid flat against the back of the couch, he couldn't do much with it and I took the opportunity to take a nice portrait of him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Recent Grey Feather Toys Order

Recently I was made aware that Grey Feather Toys had a temporary deal on one of the parrot forums I participate on that any order made within certain dates would have free shipping within the States. Now being in Canada, I figured I would ask the store's owner if a similar deal (I was not expecting free shipping) could be in place for Canadian members of the forum.

The owner, Rebecca, was very nice to talk to and in the end, the "deal" for Canadians was a flat shipping rate of $9.95, which is pretty awesome.

I went a bit crazy and ordered a few toys to be hung in cages but I mostly purchased foot toys as they were the true success item from my first order with Grey Feather Toys.

Here are all the toys, please note that the package on the bottom right corner, the "chewing sticks", was a freebie. Thanks Rebecca!

And here are a few pictures of the birds enjoying some of the toys.
Joey did most of the "modeling".

Not sure what he's doing here

A close-up of this one can be seen here

Shade had started playing with one of the toys...

..but when she noticed I was taking pictures, she just starting posing..without the toy

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Joey Close-Up

While playing with some pictures of the birds enjoying their new Grey Feather Toys, I accidentally cropped this one shot of Joey up-close..and I love it.

I find it quite humorous..but then, I find any picture of any bird shot straight on humorous. Must be the eyes

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Corn is good!

I think the pictures really truly speak for themselves.

The birds got some fresh corn on the cob Monday night (yes I was too lazy to give them something more substantial but you know what? They enjoy corn served this way so as long as they are happy, I'm happy) and, well...Shade got messy.

What kills me is not only did she get her beak covered in corn, she managed to cover the corn layer with some pellet crumbs!

I actually had to help her take it off. It seems she didn't wipe her beak frequently enough early enough and the stuff was drying on like cement!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's already been two years..

..since we got Petey.

Yup, two years with the women-hating, noodle lovin' little Meyer's known as Petey.

Still, in those two years he's made a lot of progress and I'm pretty sure the hate for the women genre has been replace with the much less violent dislike. Or maybe that is just him with me, although I do hope it's a more general feeling.

There is still a long way to go though, I guess I'll just have to continue to bribe him with those noodles he loves so much!

Also, Petey is the only bird who's hatch date I don't know exactly. His band would lead us to believe he was hatched in 1995 and since there is no specific date, I did choose to celebrate his hatch date simultaneously with the day we got him so happy 15th hatch day Petey!