Monday, February 28, 2011

My new vacuum

Yes I just bought a new vacuum.

I've been pondering this for a while. We, up until this point, had a shop vac as a result of having killed our two previous vacuums. However, I hate the shop vac - it's convenient for cleaning the cages, but for everyday use on my carpet floors...not cutting it. Plus it's awkward to carry around and it's just a pain to take out and put away.

While the birds are messy, I think the biggest issue and what killed our previous (cheap) vacuums was the hair left by our cat. She's been shedding lately as well and I've been finding hair everywhere and got annoyed - which prompted the purchase of the new vacuum. Actually, what really prompted it was the fact that I brushed out 13 grams of hair off the cat yesterday evening...just imagine if that had made it to my floor/furniture..

Anyways, I've been meaning to get a Miele and looking at the website over the last two days. Yesterday, I noticed that there was a offer for an extra five years of warranty on parts/labour ending today. So after work we went to the local Miele store and got our new vacuum!

Knowing we had a cat and carpet, the sales rep suggested two models - the cat & dog model or the S5 Blue Star. We went with the Cat & Dog which was slightly more expensive yet came with all the brushes & gizmos.

I just tried it out and was rather impressed with it. It's much easier to drag around that the emcumbersome shop vac and much prettier :)

It came in a very pretty red.

(the hose is obviously not plugged in - the picture of the "complete" vacuum came out a bit awkward)

And obviously this has a place here since a clean house is a good thing for the parrots as well as myself :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday is shower day!

Sunday is shower day at my house.
I find it's important to give the birds frequent shower/baths, specially in winter with the heating making the air so dry. I do use humidifiers in the living room and in the birdroom, but the shower does help as well.

Piper normally prefers baths, and I do give him the option of a small shallow plate of water some days, but I do like to give him a regular misting so that he gets all wet as he often fails to get his back and top of his wings properly wet in the bath.

Shade normally prefers baths in her cage water bowl, but again, that can only get her wet in specific places so a misting is often in order. Some days she enjoys it, some days she just stoically stands there until I'm done.

And while the Red-bellieds are always the easiest to get wet and stay that way for a while (as they don't seem to be too keen on drying by preening and will either nap or go and play with toys right after a shower)...

..the Meyer's are the hardest to get wet every. single. time! They just stand there and seem to repel water. I often have to use half a bottle of water on them to get them slightly humid. And they don't bath in their water bowls all that much either.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Avian Organics Bird Bannock - Part 2

Here are the pictures - one thing is for sure, the bannock was very well received. They even ate the crumbs they initially let fall!

Piper also got a piece but wanted to wait on the crumbs the others would let go of.

She's such a meticulous eater - she was taking it apart, small piece by small piece unlike the others that were taking chunks out (but later went back to them)

Face on - Joey style!

Caution: Bird Bannock induces sticky beak

One of my favorites - just really like how it came out!

Totally hamming it up..

My favorite picture - it looks Joey is ready to be a spokesbird ;)

Avian Organics Bird Bannock - Part 1

A while back I had purchased some Bird Bannock from Avian Organics. Why it took me so long to finally bake it, I'm not sure. I think part of it was because I had also purchased one of the Fusion Flatbreads at the same time, which I had cooked first, and didn't want to do the Bannock before all frozen portions of the flatbread were done.

I took pictures along the process of making the bread, for fun.

Here is one of the two packages used - it did say to use both packages for one recipe - and my favorite mixing bowl (it cleans really easily!)

At this point I wanted to take a picture of the 1 1/4 cup of water required but one of the two batteries in my camera died and since I wasn't able to switch from whichever one was in use to the one which wasn't (it was really dead) and that I wanted to move along with the recipe, there is no picture of the water. But I'm sure everyone can picture a measuring cup with some water in it...

The boy eventually figured out which one of the batteries worked and I got a functional camera once again. Here is the mix with the beaten egg (not sure it was organic, but it was apparently free range)

The mix set in the glass container, before going in the oven.


It looks even better than the flatbread, which I had thought looked great and the birds were definitively fans, so I doubt this will be any less of a success.

Part 2 will be pictures of the birds enjoying the bannock, once it has cooled down a bit...

Rooms obsession?

I have posted in the past how much Pixel wants to be in the kitchen when I go in there. Every time I step foot in that room when she's out in the living room with us, she'll come and join me. Actually that is only partially true - she will NOT do so if I'm holding the video camera trying to get her flight and following "wooo".

Shade is the same to some degree with the kitchen - she might not follow me every time, but she does like to join me in the kitchen. I assume it's because she thinks she'll get part of whatever I'm getting in there (birds aren't out when I cook but can be when I do prep work).

Zuri, on the other hand, must be in the bathroom if I'm there for whatever reason. If I leave the door just open enough for him to come in while I'm brushing my teeth or drying my hair in the morning, he will find his way in...and the landing spot is always on my head.

Pixel the destructor

Title is the Boy's idea..

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Morning craziness

We take the birds out in the morning before going to work for about an hour.

Normally, they are still a bit groggy and the morning time out is pretty uneventful.

Today, however, they've been quite active, flying here and there, often with no purpose other than to just take off again.

I guess they'll really enjoy their breakfast when they go back in their cage!

Monday, February 21, 2011

What is Joey thinking?

a)Nutriberry, Nutriberry, Nutriberry!!!
b)Camera, camera, camera!!!!

Preening session

I was taking a few videos today and at one point focused on Shade who had started preening in the birdroom.

Shortly after, Zuri came along and they were both preening each other.

The birdroom

I moved my large (and empty) cage from my bedroom to the birdroom to see if it fits does!!

So if I do feel ready when a female Cape parrot becomes available, I'm that much closer to being able to get it (mind you, there are other factors that might impede my decision but the fact that I have the space for the cage in the birdroom is a nice beginning).

While I was at it, I also took a video of the birdroom as it stands today. It gets a bit dark at times when I'm shooting against the window but I assure you the room has much more light.

Recall flight with Piper

Working on recall flight with Piper.
The instruction given for him to come to me was said in French (viens-t-en = come).

The opening sequence was the Boy's idea..

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A vet story

I love the vet I have for the birds - I've been going to her for a few years now and am so happy she's around.

We've had less chance with the vet for our cat - not that we've been unhappy with the ones we've had, but it seems that the clinic we go to with Zelly has a high rotation on staff.

Anyways, Zelly was due for her annual appointment earlier this month. The Boy brought her on his own. When he came back, he said that this vet was once again quite good and he was assured that she wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. While I will NOT change avian vets, it turns out this new one also owned birds. So they started talking about parrots. When she heard that we had 6 and were living in an apartment, she was flabbergasted that we didn't get any complaints about noise. Thing is, the flock isn't that loud, specially when they are out in the living room with us. She, on the other hand, had two Quakers and I can understand where noise concerns would come from, if that was your experience with parrots - I've met quite a few Quakers and none of them were quiet!

Sunday morning pictures

The return of Mr. Floofyhead

His return from a little over a year ago....

What is Zuri about to do?

a) about to go play with an interesting toy he just spotted?
b) found a piece of Nutriberry and is about to fly down to it before another bird swipes it?
c) about to distract Joey who is chewing on some wood?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Falling behind

This year, I have a goal of having one post per day - not necessarily to post one a day but when the month ends, to have the same number of posts than there is days.

I've been good with January and I was keeping through at the beginning of February but it seems I've fallen a bit behind. I've already posted more in February of this year than I have in the past but there obviously seems to be something during this month that doesn't get me to write much.

The week-end is coming and that generally allows me more time to write / take pictures and post. I might just be up to playing catch up...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birdroom preening session

Find the parrot

Expandable Habitat skewers

Earlier this week I was looking at the want ads, an activity which I very occasionally do, and instead of stopping on every "bird for sale" ad, one with bird related items caught my eye.

Actually, had there been no picture I would have probably glanced right over it.

But there was. And I thought I had spotted two Expandable Habitat skewers amongst the different things for sale. Turns out I was right.

Why get all excited? A few people I know through parrot forums have been talking highly about Expandable Habitat cages and other items. They apparently use a high quality stainless steel in everything them make.

So I figured why not see if the skewers were still available?

They were. And while the ad did refer to their size, I didn't imagine they would be this big (did I mention I really stink at visualizing lengths of things without having it in front of me?)

I bought them anyways, even if they are obviously too big to give to the birds I currently have - they were too good a deal to pass on.

Here's a picture - the lens cape is 62mm wide (which I was told is 2.44") to give you an idea of the size. For anyone who have seen the medium Mother Plucking atoms, I could hang one there (with an extra quick link) and it would still stick out.

I'm not sure what I'll do with them yet.
Could keep them on hand until I get a Cape parrot, might hang them with some wood pieces from the atoms, could try to make a swing...I'll surely think of something!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ranking the flock - in order of cage messiness

Today I cleaned the bird cages.

I've decided to go and rank them with how messy their cages were, or rather how clean they kept them. So, with rating 5 meaning the most messy and rating 1 meaning rather clean, here they are.

#5: Giving Lories a run for their money in projectile pooping.

Seriously, I think Piper might have been a Lorikeet at one time in his life. He seems to like to projectile poop his cage bars instead of pooping down on the lining paper. And given how often a little bird like him can poop in a wasn't too pretty. However, it was nothing a little soapy water and then a rinse couldn't take care of.

#4: For the love of eating and sharing food.

Shade is definitively my bird who likes food the most. I mean she'll eat practically anything...and apparently when something is particularly delicious, the cage bars around that food bowl get in on the party. But it was pretty easy to just scrap off the clumps and then washing away whatever had remained.

#3: For the love of eating...but less sharing.

Pixel also loves her food. But I have to say, she's definitively neater when it comes to eating (well mostly sharing) her food. While the cage bars weren't as bad as Shade (one or two flecks), her grapevine perch was definitively used for beak wiping..

#2: The meticulous Meyer's

I know what you must be thinking - this rating system goes up to 5 but I have 6 birds. How could that be?

Well, tied for #2 are Petey and Zuri. Other than the occasional poop here or there, their cages were nearly spotless. While this is somewhat of a little improvement for Zuri, it's a tumble for Petey who normally is the cleanest of them all...

#1: A surprisingly clean cage for a bird who's normally not afraid to make a mess.

Joey seems to be a contradiction in himself. He moves around quite a bit, isn't afraid to make a mess...however, his cage itself is kept rather clean. Other than wiping down a little dust, there was nothing wrong with his cage. He seems very good at containing his mess within the lining paper, which gets taken out every day.

The proof that you can be clean and messy at the same time...

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Well whenever isn't quite true - but more often than usual is definitively accurate!

In the past, Pixel would do her peek-a-boos when no one was immediately around and she wanted some attention and then she started doing it once her cage was covered, in the morning and then as well in the evening.

Now - in her cage with us around, covered or uncovered, anything goes.

And...she'll also say it if the Boy is in the birdroom with her and I'm not around until I show myself and she manages to get on me.

Maybe I'll get her to say other things as well in a more broad context - she has started to be particularly chatty, even outdoing her brother who used to be top chatty bird!

Monday, February 7, 2011

More Things for Wings - A valentine surprise...for the birds?

I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day. Too commercial for my taste.

And let's be honest, getting a gift any other day of the year for no special reason other than wanting to surprise someone is much more meaningful.

But what does this have to do with birds?

Well, while I don't expect any gifts, the fact that the Boy went and bought some toys for Things for Wings was pretty awesome. And what do they have to do with Valentine's Day? Well, most of what will follow was part of a promotion Danita was having especially for Valentine's Day.

Receiving toys for the birds? Beats chocolate any day..

The inside of the box - you can notice a bag of freebies that was included.

The big part of the deal - a HUGE toy. I'll probably hang it somewhere in the living room so that all the birds get to play with it.

A series of foot toys - other part of the "deal".

I found this was pretty neat - not sure if it was meant to be included in the deal or not, but a box with the "remains" from what was used to make the toys above - a foraging box.

And finally, he decided to buy some paulie rope because I had mentioned needing some...

Yes it's not Valentine's Day is not exactly here, but, as I said above, it's much more fun to get gifts on other days. And - well let's be honest - there was no way he was able to hide the box from me today. Plus, these weren't for me - they were for the birds :)

If anyone is interested in the deal, it's already been replaced with one with an Easter theme. Same idea, same price, different toys.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Morning with Zuri

Zuri came and sat next to me (on a table perch on the computer desk) pretty early on this morning. Normally when he does this, he follows it quickly with insistent plights to get his head scratched.

This morning, he just sat there doing his thing, either preening or playing with something, while I was browsing around a few sites. But the moment I suggested I would be willing to scratch his head, down it went.

I must say, I do like this new "no pressure" approach of his ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Enjoying the last T4W order

I meant to post these pictures earlier this week...


This morning the birds were apparently making noises (other than hearing one Peek-a-boo from Pixel, I didn't hear anything - shows you how awake I was..) so the Boy got up and let them out.

Normally, on the occasions where he would be letting them out and I'm not around (either still sleeping, when I'm sick or when I'm just out of the apartment and he's not), Piper will be flying around and screaming while looking for me. While he's good with anyone, it's better if I'm around (apparently).

Lately, he has taken into going to sulk in the kitchen on the cabinets if I'm not "there". Mind you, while he sulks he's quiet (I think).

That is where I found him this morning. On the cabinets. In the dark kitchen.

He seemed quite happy when I showed up.

Remember - this was the bird who "chose" me, not the other way around (although I have to point out I didn't get a chance to decide to choose him when we first met - he flew right to me and wasn't going to budge...)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A frisky Red-bellied Parrot

Joey has been incessant this past week.

He's normally pretty subdued that way, but every day this week, a few times a day, he's been doing the skirt dance with the whole frisky musical score..

Maybe it's just that time of year?

The kiss of death

That is how the Boy refers to Petey's kisses sounds.

Darn cute they are, however, they never really announce something good.

When Petey does the kiss sound, it's normally going to be followed up by some type of attack. If he makes two in a row, make sure to watch yourself.

Mind you, I'd rather have a kissy warning, than a screech warning or even worse - no warnings at all ;)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First order of 2011!

Well at least I think it is.
I haven't ordered much in January and I believe this order was it...I didn't plan on actually making any bird-related purchase but then Danita at Things for Wings had a sale on her wood parts and I just couldn't resist...

She also started making cute little signs and magnets and I couldn't past ordering one sign for the door to my bird room.

Here it is.

It's now proudly hanging off the door. It just seems perfect there.

I also ordered quite a few wood pieces, from balsa to willow and from cottonwood to yucca. The pile was so big, there's actually some stuff that didn't make it on the picture...

I'm sure this is only the first of many orders I'll be making at Things for Wings in 2011!