Sunday, July 31, 2011

La la la...

...laaaaaaaa ♪♫♪

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Léa's cage

Before I even knew of Léa's existence in egg form, I had started setting up a cage for a Cape. The cage set-up has changed a few times over the course of the last few months. With Léa's arrival getting closer and closer, last week I decided to rearrange things again, but with the idea of doing something that might work, which meant uncluttering the cage a bit from a few toys.

While chatting with a friend who will also shortly be bringing a baby Cape home (from a different breeder), the cage set up topic came into discussion. She wanted to see what I had done so I took a few pictures to send to her.

Those pictures are also shared below - the set-up is by no means final and tweaks might still happen. In fact, I already took out a pinata toy that was in one of the corners, not feeling entirely comfortable with it in the cage. I'm considering possibly adding another small perch where it was located, high up in the cage to provide Léa with an alternate perch to roost on at night.

View from the front.

Open front door, grapevine perch, which I might substitute for another type of perch.

Left hand side - the pinata in the back is no longer there. The natural wood perch is a mulberry perch from Things for Wings. Grey Feather Toys Super Megaphone attached to the cage and the hanging wooden toy is from Les Jouets Rosie. The orange swing is from Oliver's Garden.

Middle of the cage - the white cotton rope perch is from Grey Feathers Toys. The platform perch is from Oliver's Garden. The stainless steel bucket I've had for years and don't remember where I got it from. There are already a few foot toys in there from Things for Wings and Oliver's Garden.

Right hand side - the cotton perch was bought at a local pet store. The skewer toy is a combination of an Expandable Habitat skewer (this one I bought used locally) and the wood on the skewer is a combination of wood from Mother Pluckin' Bird toys and Things for Wings. The other toy with more strands was made by me, the toy parts came from Things for Wings and Les Jouets Rosie.

Left hand side again - wanted a better picture of the Super Megaphone and the mulberry perch.

I find this seems to provide Léa with things to entertain herself while still allowing her to have free space to move around. While I think I might just tweak the setting a little before she comes, seeing how she is able to move around and how she actually seems to like the cage might dictate bigger changes to come. I also did share these pictures with the breeder and she seemed to like the set-up very much.

On another note, I did ask the breeder when she thought Léa would be ready to come home, if things continue as they are now for the next few weeks and she said probably in 3 weeks. Again, this is nothing set in stone and it might take a little longer, but it's still nice to know!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Why eat when you can play?

I received a Léa update from the breeder a few minutes ago.

It appears that Léa has started to lose some weight (she's down to 320g). The breeder said it was normal and not to worry and since I did read on a few occasions that babies do loose a bit of weight as they wean, I am not worried. She also said that it should stabilize soon. In fact, the breeder described Léa as quite the playful bird and she's been flying more and more, getting quite good at it and managing to land most of the time where she initially meant to go to. All that new exercise is bound to make a difference. She's also eating less of the formula yet isn't eating enough of the regular food so the breeder is still insisting on feeding her three times a day although the intake doesn't seem as much as it once was.

She loves to play with her toys (I did ask if she seemed to have a preferred toy) and she also loves to play with the Greys, which involves her jumping on them. They, in return, don't quite seem to understand what she's up to and they often just look at her as if to say "What ARE you DOING?"

She did turn 10 weeks old yesterday! Two weeks shy of being a full 3 months of age.

There weren't any pictures this time, but I did get a promise for more to come, the breeder just needs to retrieve her camera from her son first.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wingdow Seat x 2

Since I was very pleased with the medium sized Wingdow seat and that the birds would queue up to use it, I decided a few weeks ago to ask Aleta if she had any "irregular" large Wingdow seats left. Seeing how she did, I decided to purchase one. I went the size up figuring every bird from Piper to Léa could use it, whereas I think Léa might be a bit cramped on the medium one.

The seat arrived last Friday and it's been a success, just like the medium sized one. I once again upgraded the perch from dowel to dragonwood and I also purchased another toy hook.

Aleta said that the imperfection on this one was a small wave in the plastic in one of the corners or side I believe but I can't really see anything.

This time around, the first bird to test it out was Joey (who was the last one to try the medium sized one). He seemed quite at home on it and explored every accessible inch of it.

..and he was even comfortable enough to preen whilst on it!

The Red bellies also had a starting contest with the outdoors. It's just funny to see them both concentrated together. I was also quite surprised by how whatever they were looking at outside managed to keep Joey's attention for so long..

Shade and Zuri were even sharing the big one at one point, but it didn't last too long once I came around with my camera and Shade just left. But I did manage to get two shots that I liked.

At first, I was disappointed that the flash didn't fire when I took this one, but honestly, I like it more each time I look at it as is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

He commanded attention

Joey was let out of his cage in the birdroom by the Boy and flew to join me in the living room. He landed on the foraging perch which is located on the computer desk, the closest possible perch to me at the time. He let out one of his cute trademark sounds, one that he seems to use as a substitute to "Hello" at times, and then very confidently walked off the perch and towards me, looked me straight in the eye and tilted his head, demanding a head scratch.

I obliged - I don't think he would have had it any other way!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Grey Feather Toys order

Yes another order, although this one wasn't very big being comprised of only three items!

However, the main item was a custom made item. I kept reading about these great tight woven cotton perches over at Coco's blog and I figured why not get one for Léa. I wanted this perch be the "main" perch, to go from one side to the other of the cage so it had to be pretty long. As well, I wanted something solid and given these perches were made using a core stainless steel wire. It was shipped in a long box, the perch not bent on itself. I did try to bend it a bit for the purpose of picture taking, but it was a rather hard feat to accomplish. Nonetheless, I've very happy with how it came out!

I also got Léa a Super Megaphone. I had intended to do so in an earlier order but ended up ordering the regular size, which was perfect as I also debated getting one for Joey and that way Joey got his. The Super is definitively larger than the regular size and I also got the two o rings welded shut (for a little extra cost). It's quite shiny and I'm curious how Miss Léa will like this one.

Finally, I got Piper a little something as well. Although he's not too big with playing with toys, he does like the shred straw-like material and he does enjoy beating a toy up and if there are beads/rings to move about then it's just fun! This one toy seemed to have it all - I believed it's called the Stir Crazy.

With the addition of the rope perch, Léa's cage is pretty much "complete". I do have to rearrange things in it though, as I've crowded it with too many toys at this point and I will want to take some out and move the others around to be sure that there will be plenty of room to move around. As well, given she might still be a bit clumsy when she'll arrive, I'll want to have a few more perches in there to help her move around, more than I probably would typically have in there, so the next step will be to find a configuration of toys/perches that will make me happy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Léa and her great outdoors adventure

This morning I had two emails from Léa's two breeders in my inbox. The lady who is raising her wrote first, saying that the breeder with Léa's parents will be sending pictures my way shortly and that I'll see that Léa spent quite the interesting day yesterday. She also mentioned that Léa flew for the first time yesterday! The breeder with Léa's parents said that they had gone to the park, both breeders, Léa and her African Grey friends. The pictures I received were taken at the park. Léa got to visit the great outdoors and, from the look of the pictures, spent the time in her Aviator harness. Given how both of these breeders are health freaks and wouldn't do anything to harm the babies or their flock at home, I do trust that they did this knowing the babies would be safe.

I was told that Léa had tried to fly on her way to the park, but had been unsuccessful. However, while at the park, she finally managed to take off and landed on this bicycle seat all on her own! This was her first successful flight! I'm so proud of her!

Finally, some pictures of her with her Grey friends, one of which seems to find that the Aviator strap makes for an interesting chew toy.

My Knight in shining armour

Or at least that is what he seems to want to be..

Lately, each time that the big bad Petey has tried to dive-bomb me, Zuri has tried to "protect" me by trying to get to Petey. Of course, I try to keep both of them apart in this occasion, but the effort is cute. And when the Boy takes Petey away to the birdroom after these attacks, Zuri is always huffed and puffed up while Petey is still in view.

The fact that I'm blogging about it now is because it has happened once again right now. In view to trying to calm Zuri, I picked him up and had him on my shoulder where he proceeded to preen my hair.

He might not want one-on-one attention too frequently, but I still think he cares about us!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Let the exploration and learning begin!

I've got some Léa news. I had recently asked the breeder if she was going to introduce Léa to baths or showers or both and if she had started to officially teach the "up" command.

Today's email from her stated that Léa will be allowed more out of the cage this week so she can explore more. It's also during this time that the breeder will really start teaching the "up" command. She also intends to give Léa her first shower in a sink.

This week will be a big week of learning for Miss Léa!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week-end Sprouts

Here are some sprouts I either started Thursday or Friday evening (soaking) - I can't really remember. Also showcasing the two sprouting vessels I like the most right now.

My Bio-Snacky containing broccoli sprouts. These seeds only soak for two hours before starting the rinse/grow cycle.

It's made of glass, is really easy to clean. The holes in the lid are very small, which allows for sprouting very small seeds (such as the broccoli seeds). It's tightly fixed to the glass container so no accidental risk of everything ending up in the sink when rinsing/draining (it has happened to me with another vessel which was closed at the top by a mesh/rubber band). The prop-up leg is also very convenient to allow water to drain properly (I normally place the Bio-Snacky on a plate during that time).

This is the one I had for the longest time, this time I've sprouted Avian Organics Vitality Sprout mix in it. These have soaked over night before starting the rinse/grow cycle.

It's made in Quebec with safe plastic, I can't remember the exact name of the brand. It comes with two containers, one with holes in the bottom to allow drainage, one with no holes that you put the other one in to capture the water being drained out. I also sometimes use this one alone when soaking, as the plastic does have a tendency to stain so I figured there is no point of exposing both containers to the water all the time. It also comes with two lids, one with holes, one without and I tend to only use the one with holes (see no point in changing and when the sprouts are growing, it allows for better air circulation).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday ramblings

It appears in July I've always been ahead in my posts, as I am trying to keep an average of one post per day, and have the same amount of posts as there are days in a month.

This particular post will consolidate a whole bunch of things that probably could very well be posted on their own.

This afternoon, I decided to whip the camera out and take random shots. I decided to stick to natural light and while it was very nice within the apartment, I still needed to shoot with high ISO levels to keep from using the flash and there were still shadows present. Shade and Piper were both sitting on the Java tree reasonably close and I found them very cute as both looked really relaxed. So I tried taking a few shots, this one was the best although it came out a bit soft.

Eventually I had to stop as the peaceful scene had been troubled by another bird; which one I couldn't say as both Red bellies and Zuri were particularly energetic and prone to fly anywhere and chase other birds, just for the fun of it. Well that applied to Zuri and Pixel. Joey, for the most part, just was in crazy mode and you could see it in his eyes - he had a crazy look going. You can see it a tiny bit in these pictures, although these were taken when he was a bit calmer..

He also, at one point, was just climbing all over the Boy, trying to squeeze himself under his leg while the Boy was sitting at the computer..he wouldn't stop.

Piper, on the other hand, was very angelic. He didn't want to spend all his time out on me, which is a rare occurence, but wherever he went he was very calm and did his own thing. He was also posing in a very cute fashion.

Earlier today I had meant to write an update blurb on the Wingdow. All birds now seem to enjoy it! Shade is also doing this funny/annoying thing where when Pixel decided to go on the Wingdow seat, she'll try to go on it at the same time. It would be mostly funny if both got along great but it's not the case. And the moment Pixel goes off, she looses interest for a bit. However, it does happen where she wants to go on it on her own and she seems to enjoy watching the outside world. Piper also started to go on his own and also seems to enjoy being closer to seeing what is going on outside. Finally, Joey has gotten over his fear of it and will even do his purr of approval when he's on it. I figured why not take pictures of these guys on it as well, but reluctantly had to use the flash as the birds would either all be underexposed or the outsides would be even more overexposed than they turned out to be..



As I couldn't decide which one of these of Piper to post, here are two..

Finally, when I took these last pictures of the birds on the Wingdow seat, I ended up with an unexpected "assistant" who thought the external flash (which was mounted on the camera) would look better with less buttons on the back. How was he getting access? Well look for yourselves..

For anyone wondering why Petey isn't really featured in this post, he spent a fair chunk of the afternoon in the birdroom as he tried to dive bomb me a few times in the course of the afternoon.


"The Truffle got immediately green bowled"

-The Boy

This was heard earlier this morning and I think this one deserves some explanation though. Petey has this green bowl in his cage, it is the bowl that holds his pellets. But when we offer him something else he likes, whether it be through the cage bars or in the bowl his "meals" come in (breakfast or dinner), he takes it and puts in his green bowl for later consumption. It's like he knows he better take it and put it somewhere safe to enjoy later if he's not in the mood right away.

This does point to the fact that he, as the other Pois, enjoys those Avian Organics Truffles!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Léa is two months old!

Léa turned two months old yesterday. I really wanted to post about it then, but I was waiting on possibly getting pictures. At some point in the evening I had given up and had started to process some pictures of the trip we took to see her earlier this month when I received an email from the breeder. There weren't any pictures quite then, but I was told some would be taken and sent my way so I waited to post.

In that email, the breeder also mentioned that Léa was maintaining a weight of 350g, that she was eating the sprouts, veggies and fruits that were offered to her more and more and that the breeder intended to start offering some almonds and pellets this week-end. As well, it appears that Léa is letting the acrobat in her out more and more; she likes climbing the bars of the cage she's in now, hang from the top and go back down the other side and apparently, each time she makes it down, she looks quite proud of herself!

When I got up this morning, the pictures were there in my inbox. It seems that harness training has begun too! You can see an Aviator harness draped over Léa. She's also perching on a Rosie swing!

This one is a little out of focus, but I posted it anyways because you can still make out her big Cape smile!

Here are a few more pictures from that visit earlier this month.

She's looking at me here, I just love this one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The latest Avian Organics order

It's been a little while since my last Avian Organics order, due to the fact that I had quite the stock after the last order and my auction winnings to last me for a little while.

However, when the July newsletter came around and that the new parrot Truffles as well as the Country Cookies were on sale, well I just couldn't resist any longer. Those deals combined with my prizes (5th year anniversary Day 3 draw winner and free shipping on next order that came with my auction winnings) just pushed me to put an order in.

I think I did so early last week and the package arrived today - which seems faster than the usual but I'm not going to complain.

You can see packages for the Country Cookies, something I have wanted to try for a long time, Mango Ginger Minis as I was running out, Veggie Bars always a favorite, Avian Vitality Sprouts as I was running out and this mix has never failed me thus far, the Truffles which are brand new and were a big reason why I ordered now, the Avian Organics Quick Serve as I've heard lots of good things about it and figured I'd try it out and finally, some Papaya Veggie Crisps as I finished the last few left the other day.

With the order came a free Stachio Hat - I think I'll leave it out in the common area instead of having to pick who will be the lucky bird to get it. That way, they can all try and play with it.

So the Truffles - I'll be honest, I tried one out. They are quite good! I got these in hopes that they would become a favorite of the birds and could act as a replacement to the beloved Nutriberries which I have stopped feeding to them a few months ago. I offered each bird a Truffle tonight and it's been quite the success. Piper nibbled a bit on his but quickly came back on me to snuggle and Petey didn't really look at his, although it's generally best to introduce him to new foods in his cage so I might do that tomorrow. The other four by all appearances enjoyed them A LOT.

But I can say whatever I want - I think these pictures will speak for themselves for the birds enjoyment of the new Avian Organics Truffles!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New skewers

The last of my delayed-by-the-mail-lock-out packages arrived yesterday.

My new Expandable Habitat skewers, which I got during their by three of a kind, get one free sale last month. I got 16 total in two different sizes - eight 6 1/2" skewers as well as eight 11" skewers. That way , the Pois (including Léa) will get one of the smaller ones, the leftover two will be Piper's and then every Poi (including Léa) will get one of the longer skewers, meaning I'll have two extra to rotate.

I made a batch of "greens" this past Sunday, so I'll want to finish that first, but I can't wait to try skewering some larger chunks of food for the birds and seeing if they'll enjoy food that way. The skewers are also to act as a toy base.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Playful Léa

Some more pictures from that early July visit.

Contemplating the toy - such a cute little face!



Finally, a last picture, if only to showcase that little Grey's tushie!