Saturday, December 31, 2011


Another year has gone by.

While a lot of key things happened for me in 2010, 2011 was a bit calmer. The biggest change was the addition of Léa to the flock.

I finally decided to take the plunge and add that last dream parrot, one I’ve been thinking about for years.

With any parrot addition there is a shift in dynamics. Every time I think of adding, the biggest “con” argument I get is “well things are going well now, why change it”. But I do..and I’ve been lucky that things always seem to settle out nicely after an adjustment period of a few months.

The addition of Léa did bring a different dynamic than any of the others – with the little guys, we always tried to maintain taking everyone out together and although my initial intention was to try and eventually bring Léa out with the others as well, I might have changed my position on that.

What made me change my mind? Well, there was a number of factors.

Shortly after I brought Léa home, the smaller guys entered their bi-annual hormonal phase (Fall and Spring). They were a tad more unpredictable and edgy so beginning introductions then was not something I wanted to do. And while the smaller guys have calmed down since then, Léa has proven to be quite an exuberant baby, definitively has more energy than any of the others, is very curious and….well mixing that with my set flock didn’t seem like a good idea either, especially if considering the third issue I have – her size. I knew Capes where bigger. Actually, when I first brought Léa home I thought she should be bigger for some reason. However, after reading many tragic stories of parrot loss to other parrots..the size difference is a big part of my reconsidering mixing everyone together, specially the size difference between my small yet very bold Piper and Léa.

I won’t lie – the adjustment period of bringing Léa over took longer than any of the other additions. There are days where I wondered why I took the plunge. The first few weeks when I first got her were the worst – the fluctuating weight worried me a lot (was she weaned? Did she regress?), the week or so where she would constantly call for us did play with my nerves (and thankfully ignoring her and going to see her when she was quiet fixed the problem)…after having added 4 rehomed/rescued birds that had been beyond the baby days, I did think I was crazy to go back with a baby.

It has been 4 months since we brought her home and I have to say, although it was a difficult beginning at times, it’s been all worth it. She’s very comfortable with us, she loves to play, she loves to fly, she is starting to really make plenty of cute noises, she’s a joy to be around.
As far as the rest of the flock, things have been going nicely as well. Although very few of them are looking to others for friendship, I do believe that they enjoy each other’s company and the flock environment.

Finally, I’d like to discuss about the blog a bit.

My goal this year was to have one post per day, so that each month would have a number of posts which was the same of it’s number of days for a grand total of 365.

With this last post for 2011, I’ll have achieved that goal.

It wasn’t easy. Some months I struggled to come up with something, some months I struggled to hold back and post more. Often I had to tell myself, especially once we were over the half-point mark, that I did so well until then, to just keep going.

And something that I wasn’t planning on happened – while I always intended the blog to be somewhat of a journal of my life with my flock, using it almost daily (as some days I didn’t post but would post more on another) made it more enjoyable. The fact that it became a routine made me look at things differently, capturing things to talk about that I might have overlooked in the past. I definitively want to keep this up.

While I won’t set myself the same challenge, I have been contemplating, over the last few months, of something else to keep me going. And what I came up with is this – to do a 365 picture project of my birds, one picture a day. It’s something I did a few years ago with self portraits – and I have a feeling using the birds instead of myself will be much easier. Ironically, since I have 7 birds it just seems perfectly fitted that each of them would be featured once a week. This would be on top of my regular posts and other pictures. I’m quite looking forward to starting it and see how long I can keep it up!

Happy 2012 to everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011


...and the image for "GO!" would probably look something like this -

Will need to practice capturing those flight shots in a less blurry manner.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

They don't forget

A while back I had done basic trick training with the birds for a treat - a one-trick per bird deal and Zuri was the fastest learner out of them all, and the one who seems to genuinely like the training.

I have to admit that over the past few weeks, I haven't been as generous with giving out treats (Avian Organics Truffles or almonds for example) in exchange for the trick; I would give it in their cage or hide it around for foraging.

Earlier this week I figured I'd give everyone an AO Truffle while they were out of the cage. Not soon enough that Zuri saw me with the bag, he started turning and turning and turning..I found it hilarious. Now, he only gets the treat when I request it from him, but obviously I wasn't going fast enough at the time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's showing!!

I was playing with Léa when I first spotted it.

Do you see it?

What about now?

Or now?

One last picture..

That is her first official coral wing feather! I knew it was growing for a few days now, but it just started showing earlier today!
On that wing (the right one), I also noticed another much longer coral pin still working it's way to show and I also found one on the left wing.

She's 7 1/2 months old right now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Who, me?

The look of faint innocence masking some type of guilt.. he was caught right before he was going to do something bad.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday Flock Pictures

More Nemo Pictures!

I decided to take a few more pictures of Nemo today, hoping he would be a little bit more cooperative than last time, and he was...but just a little bit.

Itchy Nemo

Alert Nemo -

Coy 1 -

Coy 2 -

Coy 3 -

Stretch to the right (his right) -

Stretch to the left -

Proud Nemo -

Secret sharing Nemo -

Thinking Nemo -

Finally, just because I find it funny -

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas present

One of my gifts this year was very bird oriented - I got a custom painting of Petey.

The painting -

The picture it was based on -

This is added to my collection of parrot paintings I've been getting over the last few years. The goal is to get one of each of my birds. So far, I do have one of Piper, Shade and Joey as well (having the paintings made in the order I got my parrots).




Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Understanding time

Most of the time, my birds come out in one hour spurts - one hour in the morning, one hour after we get back from work and one hour after dinner. Sometimes, it can be up to one hour and a half, but specially since we had to split time between the littles and Léa, it's how it goes during the week.

Petey seems to have understood this concept of one hour and generally, when he feels like going for an attack (on me) he chooses to do so during the last 15 minutes of time out - it's unmistakable. It's like he knows that such an offence normally gets him a time out for 10 to 15 minutes, he might as well make his move then.

Léa seems to slowly have a grasp on time as well and the whole hour-out notion. Lately, she's been quite active and generally when she breaks rules too often, she can end up in her cage a little prematurely. She seems to have figured out a way around that - make mischief all she wants in the first half hour, start to calm down in the following 15 minutes and to be completely quiet and still, engrossed in beads or the like in the last 15 minutes, often making us forget that she's been out and possibly overlooking the time and therefore managing to get an extra 10 minute or so, until one of us realizes that it's her time to go back in her cage.

Smart birds.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The wings are next!

Léa first got some coral on her ankles.

Recently, I also found two very coral pin feathers on her head.

Her wings still look very much green...however that might change shortly.

I was handling Léa, playing with her but also getting her used to being handled all over (thing I find practical latter on if there is any injury, much easier to look at with a bird who doesn't mind being handled that way). I was raising her wings, one at the time and felt pin feathers on the right one, through some fluff. I took a closer look and there were two coral pin feathers! I'm guessing they might start showing before the end of the month. I tried looking on the left one but she was not being as cooperative so I didn't push it (I want her to be comfortable, pushing it won't help). But a quick overview did not show any on that side yet.

Funny thing with Léa, she seems to be growing her coral on her right side before the left - it was that way with her ankles (her right ankle is displaying much more coral than the left at this point), the coral feather on her head showed up on the right before it did on the left and now the wings.

In any case, she's growing!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Most birds would want the nut...

...but Léa seems to prefer to play with the shells instead!

It's a little unsettling really, to watch her go for a in-shell nut, open it, let the nut fall and destroy the shell to smithereens. She'll eventually go for the nut as well, but she REALLY enjoys pulverizing the shell!

And we are talking somewhat hard shells - hazelnuts and walnuts - she doesn't seem to really care about destroying the shell of an almond.

Strong beak indeed!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last of the SWS orders - Oliver's Garden

My last Sidewalk Sale Order came today,and I'm quite pleased with everything I got.

I got a few more additional medium Skywalks - while the first one is quite similar to the one I got last time (I requested it so), the second one is quite different in looks.

The Boy said that he thinks the second one would be good for Joey as he loves to pace back and forth on the perches in his cage and this one is longer and a shape that is more appropriate for his pacing. This perch is also thicker, which means it might last longer (if not forever) to the assaults of Joey's beak.

I also got a few Christmas themed toys -

Ruby's Sock

Holly Bell

I couldn't pass the opportunity to stock up on a few of the ultimate favorite here - the medium Chunky Monkey!

Chunky Monkey

As well, I finally took the plunge and got a Highway - which is a length of cotton rope which includes eye rings to attach toys or another Highway to it. It's typically sold as a 6' rope, I had it custom sized a little longer (9') to fit across my birdroom.


I kept it in it's bag for the picture as I wasn't going to hang it right away and this way I won't have to fight with it while trying to put it back in the bag.

Susan also included a few freebies - always appreciated!

There was also a bag in which there were a few toys wrapped in paper. Turns out a dear friend, Kacy (owner of Léa's virtual Cape sister Mali) sent a few toys along for the flock!

Star Burst

Maple Candy

Citrus Pull - took two pictures to show different angles of this toy which I had been contemplating buying for a while!

Thanks Susan! Thanks Kacy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More wide angle fun!

I got an early Christmas present in the form of a wide angle lens for my iPhone. Well I got three lenses but the wide angle one is my favorite, given the bobble head effect it provides.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Working for an almond in shell almond!

Ok to be honest, it wasn't supposed to be the main focus of these pictures. What I really wanted was to take pictures of her first *official* coral feather showing on her forehead (a little to the left). And the only way I was able to get her to stand still long enough to take pictures was to keep her beak busy with something!