Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why scratch alone?..

..when you can scratch together?

Recent birthday bird with upcoming birthday bird (in May).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Shade's hatchday!

Today is Shade's hatchday.
She is 5 years old.

I first saw her on April 30th, 2006. She was exactly a month old, a ball of fluff and no real feathers yet. Her legs were in a bad condition (and so were her brother's) but I couldn't just leave her there (Piper's breeder finished weaning her). She was a graduation/birthday gift from my parents.

Hard to believe I'll have had her for 5 years soon. Time does go by fast.

In any case, happy 5th hatchday featherbutt!'s my hatchday?! That means pictures?!

I better stretch...

..and show you my good side!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another T4W order!

My recent order from Things for Wings.

There was a surprise sale a while ago. A certain percentage would be taken off your order at check-out but you wouldn't know what it was until you got there (it was the same amount for every customer).

I got a few more "Poi Garden" toys. This time, Petey got one as well. I did ask for a small change though, since the birds did not chew on the original slats of pine (I'm assuming they were too thick for them), I asked that those pieces be replaced with the softer balsa. Will see what the birds think later once I do give them the toys.

I also got a few more items. A few paper cups to do easy foraging toys, some leather lace to string beads, some paper cord also to string beads, some rolling pin toy bases and two baskets that were already on sale. I got a bag of free goodies (the one on top with a bunch of different things) as well as some free thinner pieces of pine.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The little things that make a difference

First off, it doesn't really matter to me whether or not my birds speak with human words.

However, when they have, in the past, used some of those words repeatedly and then stopped for the longest amount of time, you can't help wonder why..

When we lived in our old apartment, Joey would compete with the other guys, namely Petey, to be the first one to greet us. He would do so with a nice loud and clear "Hey Joey!". Now whether him or Petey with his equally loud and possibly slightly clearer "Hi Petey" would be first always changed.

Then we moved. And instead of having their cages in the living room and clearly hearing the door open and my immediate greeting, their cages got moved to the birdroom, behind another door (I keep the door closed during the day so the cat can roam the apartment). Joey subsequently stopped his cheerful greeting. He would mumble, but long ago were the days where he would utter "Hey Joey".

That is, until today.

I entered the birdroom giving them my usual post-work greeting and was very surprised when I got treated to "Hey Joey". I have to say that made my day. Absolutely estatic, I proceeded to sing him his two songs (our ritual) to which he mumbles along. I'm not sure if he realized how happy he made me though.

Here's hoping he continues. It doesn't need to be said everyday, but it's nice to hear every few weeks!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Last week I made some sprouts to go with the batch of greens I made.

I used the Avian Vitality Sprouts mix from Avian Organics.

I did have the Boy take pictures of all steps of the process (since these were done with little light available and he has a more fancy flash and other lights than myself..).

Here is the mix, before I washed them and then placed them in water with a few drops of GSE to soak for a few hours. I started them on March 20th in the evening (a Sunday).

I didn't get to them until later in the afternoon of the 21st, having not thought of them before I headed to work. I drained the water, gave them a good rinse and put them in a larger container so they would fit in one layer. I closed the container and put a cloth on it to keep it in the dark.

On the 22nd, my sprouts looked like this.

Not everything had properly sprouted yet so I decided to give them a few more hours. Do note that I continued to rinse the sprouts every morning and evening.

On the 23rd, the sprouts looked like this.

And a close up, because the boy wanted to try his macro lens and it does look kinda cool.

I was happy with the result, gave them a final rinse, drained them well and in the fridge they went. The fridge slows down the sprouting ability quite a bit so there wasn't much difference between their state on the picture above and what they were like when I ran out. The fridge also helps to keep the sprouts slightly longer. I don't bother making a batch that will last more than four days or so though, in case they would spoil.

Why feed sprouts? They are healthy. Contrary to seeds that are dry and "dead", the sprouting brings the seeds/beans back to life. That sprout could become a new plant would you allow it and therefore is jammed pack with nutrients. Unfortunately, don't try sprouting seeds from a regular seed mix - those are generally irradiated to prevent sprouting from happening.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Atoms and odd balls!

Someone on one of the parrot forums I go on was trying to decide between an atom from MPBT and the Odd ball from Oliver's Garden.

I have both, although in different sizes, and figured I'd show comparative pictures on the forum to help her decide.

So here they are!

First, atom on the left, odd ball on the right.

I then figured it would be nice to use a bird as a model. So out Pixel came..

..and she would only stick to the atom. The odd ball was less stable (probably due to weight difference) on the couch so each time I would put her on the odd ball, this happened..

So out Joey came. He was quite happy on the odd ball!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Red bellies are clowns...

...even when they don't try to be!

Can't help laughing, even if it's only a little bit, each time I look at this picture.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New air purifier

I've recently purchased a new air purifier for the birdroom and it arrived yesterday.

Before, I had a Rabbit Air which I love and is in the living room (it's soooo quiet) and I had another kind (not sure of the brand) in the birdroom. This particular air purifier we got off some type of points system. While it did a good job, recently I've started to trust it less since it's been acting up. Cleaning / changing the filters didn't work so it will be retired, or at least moved to the bedroom where it won't have as much to do.

I've said that I loved my Rabbit Air purifier. However, it is not what I got this time. After reading (a lot) of reviews and talking to other parrot owners on some forums, it appeared like the Austin Air might be something to consider. I've been meaning to get one for some time now, but didn't have the justification for purchasing it. But when the Boy volunteered to jointly get something for the birds, that is what I wanted. And it just so happened that one of the recommended sites for purchasing it in Canada was having a sale.

So here it is, my new Austin Air Allergy machine. Why the Allergy? We decided it was probably the best bang for our dollar without going overboard. Yes, it doesn't look as good as the Rabbit Air, but it's one mega power horse! It is recommended to start it on high for an hour when first plugging it in and...well you could feel the air being sucked in and pushed back out (the outburst of air was actually moving some things in the birdroom!)

What did the birds think of it? far they don't seem to be big fans of it, even Joey who normally relished to be in the way of air being blown out of something.

And while it's not as quiet as the Rabbit Air, it is fairly quiet on low, provides some type of white noise on medium and sounds downright powerful on high, it's not as loud as I thought it would be. Specially on low.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A little Meyer's space out all the Red-bellied / Senegal action that has been happening lately on the blog.

So here's a cute picture of Zuri.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A streak of aggression

I've previously posted about issues between Pixel and Shade.

While Shade is mostly passive with all birds, Pixel seems to have it in for Shade. And we generally have moments where she is ultra aggressive and will try to really hurt Shade and then there are moments where she's very neutral (won't say "nice") and tolerates Shade quite closely without anything happening.

Over the last three days we've entered into a aggression streak - regardless of Shade being on me, close to me or somewhere further away, it appears that Pixel's main goal is to get to Shade. While in the beginning it really seemed like she got this way when Shade was close to me, it seems to have escalated to an overall behaviour.

I tend to want to keep Shade close during those times - it makes it easier to intervene and just shoo Pixel before she gets too close. But I sometime, when she is being too persistent, have to either put her in her cage for a few minutes (after a close call) or put her in the birdroom separately so that the tension breaks down a bit.

I'm really hoping that with time she'll learn to just tolerate Shade just like Petey has done with the other birds. But the difference between Petey and Pixel - Petey would attack if a bird came close (and the distance between him and the other bird where he would attack has diminished greatly since he first arrived) and Pixel actually is looking for trouble. Petey would also not discriminate against who he became aggressive whereas Pixel really only has it in for Shade, which makes me wonder if it's about Shade being the only other female bird here.

I hope this streak will end soon - peace is so much more enjoyable!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The rare green footed Red-bellied parrot

Albeit not as cooperative as the green footed Senegal ;)

Today's batch of greens

Greens in this case refers the fresh food I give the birds, even though it isn't only made with green stuff.

Haven't posted one of these in a while, but since I made a batch this afternoon and thought of taking pictures (or having the Boy take the pictures while I prepped and/or cleaned the kitchen), why not have a post?

The "before" shot.

In case some things are hard to identify for some, the items are, from left to right:
-Two carrots - my guys love carrots so I do use quite a bit as a base and it's good for them.
-Some lovely organic purple kale. Found some yesterday and the bunch was just too nice to leave.
-Some green kale, which I ended up not using, having enough of the purple kale (and giving the certified organic stuff to the birds and keeping the rest for us - might make kale chips)
-Red bell pepper. Why red? Cause they are my favorite and it's generally what I have on hand.
-An orange. They love oranges and the orange juice will help preserve the food slightly longer.
-Snow peas. Haven't purchased any in a while because they looked ratty but these looked good so I figured I'd splurge a bit for the birds (much to the Boy's dismay as I didn't get too many because of the price so we won't get any).
-Broccoli. As with the carrots, I always use broccoli in the greens mix. Not as loved as the carrots though.
-Cauliflower. Had some on hand and figured it would provide some diversity.

This week I did use kale, but the leafy green normally varies between kale, dandelion greens, swiss chard and collard greens. These are what are more available here and I either use one or a mix, depending on what I purchase.

The "after" shot - once everything was chopped up by hand. I sometime use the food processor but the birds seem to prefer the food in slightly bigger chunks.

A contortionist's tale..

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Latest Avian Organics Order

It arrived a little earlier this past week but I didn't get around to posting anything.

The roaring success of the last batch of Bird bannock prompted me to get more. The Cupid cookies are also a favorite and happened to be on sale when I put in my order so I couldn't pass...I was about to run out of Pineapple pudding so of course I had to order more since they like it quite a bit and the Veggie bars are something new, always worth a try!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The rare green footed Senegal

It could also be blue footed, it's hard to say..

I guess someone mixed dyed toys and water.

It's an itchy season

Molting is still on.
Right now, it seems every bird wants help, whether it be by human hand or a fellow bird's beak, to get to those itchy pin feathers in the neck area. Piper could spend his day head down requesting head scratches if you let him, Zuri is more insistent for me to help him...

And there are plenty of feathers falling out for the new ones to come in.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Itchy Poi...

..while I was taking pictures.

Not exactly what I was going for when I started taking pictures of her, but happy I got such a picture where her head is so clear (foot is blurry because it was moving so fast).

Lucky shot I guess!

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Joey's hatchday!

And just like Piper a week ago, Joey turns 6 today!
He didn't really cooperate for his birthday photoshoot. The one picture above was the nicest "posed" one.

He much preferred preening, as seen below.

Notice those little orange feathers on the top of his head? He only had one or two when I first got him and he's been getting them more and more as he's been aging. I love those feathers.

And if he wasn't preening, he was hard at play, showing me that 6 years old for a Poi is still quite young!

I just love this one - such beautiful colours he has!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Was watching a video of Marnie the IRN

A video of his 5th birthday party to be exact. I was watching it with Pixel.
And while he didn't say "peek-a-boo" in this particular video (didn't catch it anyways), the moment it was going Pixel was "peek-a-boo(ing)" profusely all throughout the video!

Link to that video

Marnie's Birthday

Link to a video where Marnie does say "peek-a-boo"

Parrot loves new bunny

(I'm linking to the videos instead of embedding them since they aren't mine.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Being prepared in case of fire

It is something we all wish will never happen - having our apartment / house attacked by flames.

Given how sensible our birds respiratory systems are, it is important to be well prepared to evacuate them as quickly as possible in case of a fire.

Since I moved in this building, I've got some practice in getting the birds (and cat) ready to be evacuated - we've had a number of false fire alarms over the years. While they aren't pleasant, it at least gave us the opportunity to work out the kinks to getting everyone ready to go. The carriers are right within reach in the birdroom and I've contrived a way to try to have two birds per carrier (Shade and Zuri are ok together and I put Piper in a smaller carrier into Pixel's carrier divided with a blanket but still have to work out Joey and Petey) so that it's easier to bring everyone downstairs. Given that our building probably wouldn't go up in flames all that quickly because of the massive amount of concrete, I haven't used pillow shams yet but they would be my alternative to getting the birds out more quickly and efficiently still (one bird per pillow cover) if there was a fire on my floor. The extra fabric would help lessen temporary exposure to any close smoke and they are more easy to carry down than the carriers.

It's a good thing to be prepared for.

And while we were ready for this morning's 5:15 false fire alarm, the resulting lack of sleep and cranky birds - no, make that cranky Meyers, was something else we had to deal with later on...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Healthy Bird order

Last week-end Healthy Bird had a sale going on where shipping was of a flat rate of $8.00 if you ordered for $50 and more of stuff and it was under 25lbs. So my mom and I joined in together on the order.

Since I needed some Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), I took a look and found some there. I also ordered a few more things, including two grapevine perches, one cotton perch (made by Mother Pluckin' Bird Toys), a one quart stainless steel bucket and a tub of "Just Tomatoes" fruit munchies (aka freeze dried fruit).

The rope is on the large size for my current birds and it will be going in my extra cage, which I have slowly started to furnish. The one quart bucket will also go to Joey, who currently has a two quart bucket and which appears to be too large for him and the larger bucket will end up in the bigger cage as well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My first official Oliver's Garden order

I received my Oliver's Garden order today. While I did receive items from Oliver's Garden before, it was part of a gift exchange so this is really the first official time I've ordered there.

I'm very happy with what I got.

I initially made the order because I wanted to get a swing for both Piper and Pixel. Piper because I didn't have a proper size rope swing for him yet and Pixel I didn't have a swing for at all. I picked yellow for Piper and orange for Pixel.

Now it seems that the orange and yellow became a theme in other things as well. I ordered a white oddball but the extra bits on top were in shades of yellow and orange too. I wanted an oddball because they remind me of the atoms and Petey quite likes the atom and I wanted something similar in the birdroom but not as heavy. This oddball is perfect - while it is smaller than the two MP atoms I have in my living room, it's still plenty big for the Pois and the diameter of rope is great for their not-so-big feet.

I also got a few freebies and you can see that one of the toys also sports yellow and orange.

Piper has gone on his swing. Pixel has gone on hers as well, although she seemed a bit more weary about it. The oddball has so far been tested by Petey.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A little annoyed...

...with Canada Post right now.

I've been expecting a package with goodies for the birds for a while now. The vendor provided me with a tracking number and I looked up the delivery status.

Expected delivery: March 3rd 2011.

We are now the 8th.

Online, it just states that the package is being processed at the postal office in the city. Hasn't indicated that the parcel was out for delivery at any point...even if it was expected to be delivered on the 3rd.

Armed with the tracking number, the Boy went to the postal office we normally receive our parcels at. They couldn't find it in the system.

So not impressed with them at the moment.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Piper's hatchday!

Piper turns 6 today!
Hard to believe I've had the little feathered butt for close to 6 years now (got him when he was a little over two months old.)

Life has certainly been different with him a good way!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's molting season!

It seems like I've been finding more and more feathers on the lining of the birds' cages or even on the ground these last few days.

No one looks particularly bad, but there's definitively loss of feathers going on.

I guess it's molting time.
I've been collecting the nicer feathers that I have found and already have quite a few of them.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

When she decides to be relentless...

Pixel does not like Shade - but I've posted about that before.

Some days, everything goes well, but some days she's terribly set on getting into a feud with Shade.

Today is one of those days.

I've had Shade doing her thing on the computer desk right in front of me. She was at one end, eventually Pixel came around to the other end. She was fixated on Shade. So I took her and shooed her away to one of the Java trees around. She came back, was once again fixated on Shade and I shooed her again.

Did this a few times before she got a chance to leap.

But finally, she tried being quicker than me. Shade, getting used to this more, flew away before Pixel could have landed on her. I also interjected my hand, just in case, and caught Pixel mid-flight and got the blunt of the attack, having her bite down (without drawing blood though) on one of my fingers. She has been separated for the flock for her actions (ie is in the birdroom).

This does not happen all the time but I still need to keep my vigilance for situation like these.

Pixel is now "peek-a-boo-ing" to be let out back with the others.

Enjoying a Fan palm nut

When I received my shipment of fresh palm nuts yesterday I tried giving a Fan palm nut to Shade and Zuri.

While Shade, being her usual pig self, took it with great enthusiasm, Zuri was a bit more cautious as he always is with "new" things. Once he saw how Shade was just tearing into hers he became more intrigued but of course had to have the one Shade was holding, not the one I tried offering over and over again...

I took some pictures in between the takes of Shade flying from one place to the other, trying to get away from Zuri.

Fresh palm nuts

I recently made another "experimental delivery" of palm nuts from The Cozy Nestbox.

This has been our third attempt to trying to figure out ways to getting the palm nuts to travel well to Canada.

This time around, Kelly had vacuumed sealed the palm nuts to see if the process would help keep them fresher. And while some of the "bags" lost some of the seal and expanded a bit (something Kelly will be looking into fine tuning), the palm nuts arrived as nice as they ever did and I didn't throw out any of the shipment!

Kelly has also sent some fan palm nuts this time around and they've been quite the hit with Joey and Shade.

Queen palm nuts (orange) and Fan palm nuts (blue) - The Queen palm nuts had never looked so great arriving here before - leaving me very pleased as well as the birds. First time I received Fan palm nuts and they looked absolutely fantastic, despite being in the casing that had the most air when I opened the box.

Foxtail palm nuts (big reddish ones) and Christmas palm nuts (smaller reddish-green ones) - they were packaged together and obviously were the ones that suffered a bit more beating but were still perfectly fine to give the parrots.

Fan palm nuts on the stalk - so cool and I want to hang both stalks like that but not sure where to do so yet. Pandanus pods can be seen on the right.

To showcase the Pandanus pods - they have never traveled so well and I'm pleased with how good they look! Shade, Joey, Pixel and Zuri have been working on/off on a pod each in their cages.

Total order laid out to dry after having been washed in apple cider vinegar. Click on the picture for a slightly larger view

The shipment also included some Mahogany nuts, will post about them later on!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Noisy Meyer's

Not sure what was with the Meyer's tonight, but they were particularly noisy.

It might have to do with me being alone for a bit and keeping Petey in the birdroom because I didn't want to be on constant watch of aerial attacks (this means he's in the room but out of his cage). And while the Meyers normally don't hang out together and don't seem to care for each other, Petey's possible flock calling was making Zuri screech back.

And honestly, it's not the most pleasant sound they are capable of.

So yes, Pois can be noisy. And while the high pitch call is a bit irritating, it's not particularly loud.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's all about Joey day!

This is really part one of a two part celebration in March since his hatchday will soon follow.

Today marks the third year anniversary that we got Joey. When I first got him three years ago back in 2008, he was a bit difficult with me - definitively nippier and prone to panic attacks that some Red-bellies experience.

Now, with him just shy of his sixth hatchday, I can officially say I've had had him for half his life, as much as his previous owner, possibly even a little longer when you consider those first few months where he was weaning.

Of course, there had to be pictures so Joey got to come out a bit earlier than the others this morning so he could have his own personal photoshoot..


"I get my own photoshoot?!"

"Better look dashing!"

"Oh and I get my head scratched too? I like this!"