Tuesday, July 31, 2012

213:365 - Shake it off!

This makes him look all the more fluffy!

Monday, July 30, 2012

212:365 - Going up!

She definitively enjoys the boing/atom combination!

I feel a sigh of relief coming on..

Zuri's time in his collar is coming to an end!

He went to see the vet today. She seemed a bit puzzled that the scab was still there and she managed to take it off. This is something I didn't dare do, by fear that the toe wouldn't be healed and that I would have taken two steps back by trying to go forward. I figured she could deal with it if it there was a problem. Luckily, underneath the scab was a perfectly healed and very pink toe! We were told to keep the collar on for a few more days, I guess so that he gets used to this newly exposed skin, and after that, we are to watch him very closely when we do take the collar off, which means it makes sense to wait for this week-end.

I'm hoping that the preening job awaiting him on his feathers will keep him busy enough to detract from his toe - while I have tried to help with the new growths, I'm sure there is much upkeep that he'll want to do. And hopefully his new found freedom, to be able to fly and move where he wants to when he wants to, will keep his thoughts away from the toe.

The vet wasn't too concerned - she did mention that he might have some ghosts pains, but she didn't stress it. Ever since the bandage came off, Zuri hasn't really flipped himself over trying to get his foot so I hope that's a good sign!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

211:365 - Working the camera

She's back to standing still and posing for the camera. Hopefully this will be an indication on how the others will behave when it's their turn, although I doubt they'll all be as cooperative..

Not even 2 hours later..

I finally gave Léa her Lullaby Swing from Crystal's Bird Toys.

It went from looking like this -

- to this in less than 2 hours.

All beads but one were destroyed. Most of the small sticks with ridges sport some type of sign of destruction (if not already totally annihilated). Signs of a well loved toy. The moment I put it in her cage she went straight for it.

I guess the first thing I'll be asking Crystal when she re-opens after her summer break is to refill the swing once again!

Oh and on a similar note, I gave the other birds the toys I got for them from that same order and I think most of them took a few chunks out of the pieces of wood - even Zuri!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

210:365 - Looking dignified

It's what he does best!

Léa's vocabulary expansion

These past few weeks, she's been practicing saying one word - at first I couldn't quite make out what it was, but it was consistently the same and definitively said in her "speaking" voice. Then, as it got slightly clearer, it sounded like a mesh of "yes" and a not-so-nice word in French that I couldn't recall saying around her (or saying much at all really) so that left me puzzled.

Then, the other day, it came out loud and clear. What she was practicing was "KISS!". She had finally mastered the "K" part of the word.
What is funny is the context in which she uses it - if she's particularly bad in the afternoon when she's out alone with me in the orange room, I put her on the atom and turn my back to her. That is when she says "KISS!" in a rather sweet manner (yet quite authoritative) to get attention. Of course, I can't really resist it so she gets attention and cuddles and ends up rather happy. I guess it's her way to say "forgive me".

Another thing she's been practicing that we weren't exactly sure what he was saying was "Piper!" - in a very exuberant voice. Actually, the more I hear it, the more it seems that she's trying to imitate me when I go in the birds room and say all their names with much drama. Last night when I did so, every time I said Piper (making sure I marked both syllables), she would do the same, using the same voice and the same intonations as I did.

That now makes two bird names that she says - Piper and her own (her "Léa" is getting progressively better!). Wonder if she'll pick up any of the others. I think the logical next one should be Petey, as he says his name on his own quite a bit when he's expecting us to let him out of his cage..

Monkey Bird

She loves to hang around upside down!

Friday, July 27, 2012

209:365 - Footloose

The Boy came up with the title.

208:365 - Want to move!

He walked back and forth on the swing - but it's obvious he wants to move more.
The scab is getting smaller, but we're going back to the vet on Monday to see if anything can be done to speed up the healing process.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

207:365 - On the move

She was on her way down the boing - it's surprising I actually managed to get a clear shot of her!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fluff up!

Working up a full body feather ruffle!

206:365 - I can be cute!

This was one of the few pictures where his face was visible that evening - taken just before he hid it in the toy hanging in the back.

205:365 - Pre take-off

She was aiming for the net hanging above.

Again, another night of taking a picture of a bird who hardly stood still.
Even now, she's hopping all over the place, it really looks like she got into some caffeine (she didn't), she's so hyper. I can hardly keep up.

204:365 - Yes?

I was apparently disrupting her from destroying wood...

Monday, July 23, 2012

203:365 - Piper

Another night where cooperation was at a minimum. However, not really being in the posting mood, I didn't push things beyond getting a few shots in the hope that one would turn out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I have, for quite some time now, been playing "peek-a-boo" with Léa. I generally make all the sounds hoping she'll catch on.

Today, she wanted me to actively play with her so started to gently cover her head with my hand and quickly take it away. I wasn't saying anything. After maybe 4-5 times, she was the one to say "peek-a-boo" once I removed my hand. This is the first time it happened and both the Boy and I heard it loud and clear. She also said it on another occasion a few minutes later.

Guess she did finally catch on!

202:365 - What?

Cooperation was at a minimum that night..

201:365 - Oh my!

Just love the look of surprise on his face.

I obviously got a little backlog going of pictures for the 365 project - week-end was a bit more busy than usual and I've recently got a Kindle and have immersed myself in reading, something I've stopped doing for far too long.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

200:365 - Day 200!

Only 165 more to go!

I did take this yesterday morning but since it was a pretty busy day, I didn't get around to posting until now. Petey looks so hopeful because he was hearing the Boy in the adjacent room and was just waiting for him to come in the birdroom!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

199:365 - Preening time!

She pulled a Joey and just started to preen when I took the camera out.
Still like how this came out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Welds and other news

Behold, the power of Léa's beak at play.

This was not part of a toy. Léa's cage is locked by a spring loaded lock. I trust this lock with all my other birds but her..pretty early on she tried playing with it so I figured it would be best to also have another locking mechanism in place - which, until yesterday, was this small chain closed with a quick link.

I placed it underneath her platform perch so it would be hard of access and for nearly 11 months it did the job.

Until last Sunday. I caught her playing with the quick link and this made me realize that we had lowered her platform perch when we had put it back in after a wash. So I raised her perch once again.

But it was too late. The "damage" was done, Léa knew of it's existence and all she had on her mind was that. There is no denying that her ability to focus on something outweighs Joey's, who goes from one thing to another on the flip of a dime.

When I let her out on Monday afternoon after work, I didn't notice the chain so I figured the Boy forgot to put it on (he does the last check on the birds in the morning). I brought Léa to the orange room and didn't think much about it until the Boy came in with the chain..and showed me what Léa had done. Probably frustrated by being unable to open the quick link, she did the next logical thing, she opened a link of the chain and that was it.

There is no point of putting it back - she knows what to do and it'll take her a fraction of the time it probably took her on Monday to figure it out. She's smart. The only thing that would work is to get a completely welded chain and that might last us a little while longer, until she figures out the quick link.

It has become apparent that I need to be very very careful with her. I've been weary of using chains on toys in the bird cages for a number of reason but this is a new one to add - as I didn't really have any concerns with the smaller guys opening such things. If using anything that can be opened by Léa's powerful beak, it's seems like it will be necessary to have it welded shut first. I can't say how happy I am that when I ordered what has always been one of her favorite toys, the Super MegaFone from Grey Feather Toys, that I had asked the owner to please weld all pieces shut - otherwise I'd probably be considering removing it to avoid any possible injuries.

This all has prompted me to very much look forward to a recent purchase I've made - a new stainless steel cage for Léa.

I have always thought that I would upgrade the cage she's in now so that she could have something bigger and was always strongly considering going with stainless steel. This was made definitive back in June when I saw her chew on the bars of her cage - knowing the damage she can do, I'd rather the bars be made from a material that is as safe as can be.

The cage will be custom made by Expandable Habitats - I have heard a lot of good things said by people who own them and when comparing the prices of those cages to some that I could get locally, they still seemed more affordable and would be made to my specs. While I wasn't thinking of ordering right away, Léa's new obsession with her cage bars combined with the fact that Expandable Habitats was having a sale in June consisting of 10% cages, I took the plunge. The cage should be shipped to me sometime mid-September and I can't wait!

Scratch post

Apparently, atoms are well suited for self head scratching!

198:365 - Sleepy girl

She was more than ready at that time to just go to bed. Well it was apparent she was ready. But should I have made an attempt to bring her into the birdroom to put her in her cage, she would have "woken up"...before undoubtedly going back to this state in a matter of minutes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I love surprises!

Who doesn't? Well at least good surprises..

Ever since we've moved, the Boy has been getting our mail, as he is normally the first one home. However, on days where I am to receive packages of stuff I've ordered, I would much prefer to be the one to go to the mailbox as it's just part of the experience and I've told him that.

So on random occasions he'll ask whether he can go or if I want to do it. Today was such a day. Not expecting anything, I told him to go ahead.

Well it turns I received a package from Danita. This had me puzzled as I had something in the works with her, but I hadn't officially gone through the order process.

What was in the box?

"Happy New Bird Room from Tango, Jasper and Chris"

A few weeks ago, Danita held a swing auction on her Facebook Things for Wings page. She put up three swings. This one was the one I coveted but, at the last second, Chris (a member of the Avian Avenue forum) snipped in and got it. Fair is fair.

When I saw the piece of paper with the swing, I couldn't help but smile. I guess this is the best possible result of losing an auction (and quite frankly, beats winning!) Thank you so much Chris!

The "something in the works" was also included in the box. I asked Danita if she could make another custom toy for Léa, like one I ordered a few months ago. Léa loved it quite a bit and destroyed it whole. I think that was the first time she chewed pieces of wood that thick!

Léa's custom toy filled with different kinds of wood coins and hardwood beads

A testament to relationships that are built is, to avoid ruining the surprise, Danita sent my completed toy before I paid (which I took care of). This takes a high level of trust that I truly appreciate. Thanks Danita!


Léa was amusing herself on the Oliver's Garden boing this week-end - of course I snapped some pictures!

I think it was one of the first time I really saw the boing react like a spring under any bird's weight - making it obvious why it's called boing - and really, it's not surprising given how little the other guys weigh.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

197:365 - I want to play!

He wanted so bad to go onto the coloured rope you see above. He was stretching as much as he could, trying to reach it.

But the height of it all makes me rather nervous, he has grip, but should something happen, I'm not comfortable letting him play on things too high yet.

The Poi Girls

Taking turns on the white atom.

Petey's obsession

Petey's goal these last few weeks has been to make it to the floor. Well, I should really say Petey's "renewed" goal - he's always liked the floor but lately it's been worse.

I don't particularly like birds being down there, and do try to discourage it, but Petey is a particularly stubborn one.

When we are in the orange room, he will climb down the Boy as fast as he can to make it to the floor. Once there, he tries to find a dark place and if the Boy happens to be sitting on the floor, that dark place might often be under his knee.

When he makes it down, he often does his little victory strut - which is him all puffed up, dancing from side to side and making his victory screech.

Petey's "victory" stance

Once he's down there, it is very hard to get him to step up. He'll normally just put his head down at the sight of a finger (I wouldn't dare do that) or a perch (the more sensible option, even for the Boy in this situation) and scurry away as fast as he can.

Yesterday, he managed once again to make it all the way down to the floor. He hurried to take cover under a table in the room (as seen on the picture above). He eventually turned around and every time the Boy would take his eyes off of him (generally to stop Joey getting into some mischief), Petey took the opportunity to RUN towards my feet..and every time the Boy would get back to him, he would stop as if nothing was happening.

Petey stopping mid-way between where he started and where I was located

Obviously I had taken my feet away when I saw him get close but that didn't stop him from trying to get closer.

The Boy did eventually manage to get him to step up, but this will be, unfortunately, an ongoing battle I'm sure.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

196:365 - Zuri

He was actually pretty pleased with himself perched up on the swing. He actually did a little dancing!

Pixel and the kitchen sink

She's not looking as excited as Joey though.

Finally, my favorite -

Joey and the kitchen sink

His eyes (and entire face) are quite expressive, as always.

Friday, July 13, 2012

195:365 - Plotting

Well, not really. It was just one of those pure accidental shots, unless you consider preparing to fly to my shoulder to be plotting.

He's due back to the vet for some more beak work soon. I've been keeping the superficial trimmed down, but for the more extensive work, I'm not comfortable doing anything else but bringing him to someone who has a better idea of what they are doing. You can really see that the worst of the indentation that was working it's way up, since he actually first got in the injury, is now at the top of his lower mandible. Hopefully once it's cleared (by the continual growth of the beak) everything will be back to normal.

Oh and look at that, 5 days away from day 200!

While we are on the topic of head scratches..

This is all she wants has has wanted for the past few weeks.
Throw in there that Joey, Piper and Pixel also come around asking for their share of head scratches...
Even Zuri has been extra cuddly and DEMANDING (he'll make lots of upset noises if I don't oblige) that I scratch his head.