Friday, August 31, 2012

More Petey and the Kitchen Sink

244:365 - Zuri

Another month has come and gone.
At the very beginning of August Zuri finally got rid of his collar. Things have since gone much better than I have hoped for. He's integrated rather well at coming out with the others, thing he hasn't done since we moved.

While he's still not quite flying as much as he did back in the apartment, he is doing it more and more. Guess not using your wings for a few months will do that to a bird.

With September at our doors, opportunities for the birds to go out and get some sun rays will get fewer and far between with the imminent arrival of colder weather but I'm hoping to get a few more outings in the next few weeks!

Going downstairs

Although she had a large tree with hanging toys as well as plenty of foot toys to go around, she chose the back of a chair as her hanging out spot.

Well, at least she left the plant alone.

Flash - Take 2 (an alternate to day 243)

Overall, I did prefer this picture. However, as I explained the picture-taking conditions in yesterday's post, this one turned out much softer and, thinking of what I intend to do with the pictures once the project is over, I felt the other picture might work better.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

243:365 - Flash!

He is often caught on camera with his wings in the air!
I was struggling to get a picture with what was left of natural light outside. So this is shot with a relatively shutter speed and aperture was set at 1.4 or 1.7..So any movement on Joey's part is rather unforgiving in those conditions.

The death of an Oliver's Garden toy

Poor, poor Rainbow Trout Jr.

Although Shade and Zuri finished it off, it was well loved by Joey and Pixel too.
I definitively will have to get more!

Oh and they seem to be loving the crawler more every day as well! Which isn't making holding off buying a larger model until I know where to put it any easier...

Thanking the toy gods

For all these wonderful toys!

Now, play!

242:365 - Piper

Yesterday I had to file his beak a little (see past posts about an injury he got from Petey some years ago that has made it's way up and is affecting his beak growth at the moment) and on those days where I have to do that (generally once a month), he's not very cooperative with his picture.

I had taken a few shortly after I was done filing and he wasn't happy. This was at least half an hour later and he had started to fluff up again.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

241:365 - Wink...or yawn?

I guess it's both!

Bead Head

Just for a giggle - I can't believe she just let me put pieces of beads on her head and didn't do anything about it! Looks like she's wearing a tiny hat!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Considerate Piper

I have never been one to want to train my birds to poop on command - I can see too many things go wrong if I'm not there to issue the command (and I know of bird who will keep from relieving themselves until either out of their cage or until the command is said).

I have a few shirts at home that I wear around the birds so if they make a mess of them, it's fine.

These last few days, I have noticed a change in Piper. Almost every time he wants to poop and he's on me, he'll fly away to one of the stands, do his business there, and come back. This is not something that I have in anyway trained - and at first, I was too curious about it to even think of positively rewarding him. He just kept doing this on his own!

This is not a behaviour I'll object to!

240:365 - Well that's a first

Generally, a photoshoot with Petey results in him either moving too much to get a few decent pictures OR standing still but giving me one of those looks saying I better hurry up or he'll jump...

Last night, I wanted him on the Kitchen Sink and he went with no objections. On top of that, he seemed quite pleased up there, looked happy and was actually posing. No scary look on his face either. I think, camera or no camera, he was just happy about being up there and I don't think it's generally a place he goes to perch.

A few weeks down the road I'll try him on the Kitchen Sink again - and see if it was a fluke!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Long overdue Avian Organics order

The title says it all really.

The last order I put in was some time before the move as I didn't want to have to bring over too much stuff if I could avoid it and I had a pretty large inventory of Avian Organics goodies left at the time.

However, that inventory lessened as the weeks went by and soon enough I needed some more of the dry treats.

2 bags of Rustic Ribbons & Twisted Treasures

Sweet Potato Sticks, Blueberry Mini Sticks & Cajun Berry Minis

2 bags of Cauli Crisps & Pear'ngs

As always, Doris was VERY generous. She included an extra bag of Cauli Crisps (which are delicious by the way!) and Twisted Treasures. The latter was a big surprise as I had wanted to order them but on the website it said that they were out of stock.

Thank you so much Doris!

One year ago

One year ago today we picked up Léa from the breeder's place. It was about a two hours drive away, which, as it's always the case when you are excited, seemed longer than it really was I'm sure.

August 27, 2011 - Just got home!

To say I was smitten with her already back then is an understatement. Although she reluctantly went into the travel cage (after all, we strangers were plucking her from out of cage play time), she did really well in the car and came out all on her own when we got home.

Look at those big baby eyes!

She didn't wait very long before taking her first bath at home!

I have, time and time again, gone over the progress she's made during her first year of life when I celebrated every monthly milestone. I could gush some more I guess, but I think I'll keep it simple and just say she brings me a lot of joy and, although I had hesitated at first to take the plunge when I heard of those eggs (was it the right time?), I do not regret for one moment the decision I made that has led me to add her to the family.

Time has definitively flown by quickly, and it's hard to believe that she's lived with us for a year now. I'm loving her more every day and it's hard to think about how things would be without her.

I do hope that this is the first of many years that we'll spend together!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

239:365 - All mine!

I think I'll need Crystal to make me some more of these as Léa had no intention of sharing it!

It was a big success - and I know it's a toy that would please nearly all of the small Pois as well!

Thoughts of birdroom expansion

I had promised myself before I moved that once we got the house, I would try to contain the bird stuff to a room, the "official" birdroom (aka the green room). The one exception at that time was that I knew I was going to put the full size Java tree in another room so that there would be something somewhere to accommodate a bird or two if I needed to bring them somewhere else. I had chosen the Java tree since a) I figured it would be a tight fit with the cages in the birdroom (which it turns out it would have been) and b) since it's a nice enough piece that even in the formal living room (where it did end up), it doesn't look out of place and didn't necessarily made the room feel invaded in bird things.

Once we moved, it became apparent.that my initial plans were going to require some tweaking. Initially, the orange room was supposed to act as a guest room/office. Well, since I like having the birds out with me when I'm on the computer (and they like being around me), that changed...the orange/yellow frame came in and that made impossible to add the furniture required for the guest part of the room. Which, really, wasn't all that bad since we scarcely have anyone visit and the room is much more utilized as it is now. And while that structure was put in there so I could have an atom without putting any holes in the ceiling, I am starting to contemplate doing just that and adding a few more things above for the birds to play on. The Boy isn't opposed to the idea and I'm sure they would like to see the cube hanging once more.

Now before I do take the plunge and put the last nail in the coffin of the orange room officially becoming a second birdroom, I'm really trying to figure out the layout I'll want to give it - as I won't want anything hanging above the computer desk area and ideally, I'd like to have a crawler hanging up there..we are in no hurry, but generally, when I start thinking about things like this, I'll want it done fairly quickly when I've made final decisions.

The things I do for these parrots.

238:365 - Stop!

Petey kept trying to run to a darker area so I kept turning the atom so he would be back in the more lit area.

He wasn't too pleased with this.

What 'ya doing?

I have been asked repetitively this morning what I'm doing by Léa - over and over.
Guess she's got a new phrase down and must use it!

She has actually been quite chatty the whole time she's been out - either using words I could identify or just mumbling incomprehensible jabber.

She's also being very hands on, and it's a good thing the Boy is here to take over sometimes! She's being stubborn and trying to either get to the window or to something that is on the computer (I haven't identified what exactly she wants, as I haven't let her get close enough since nothing on it is really for her).

While I doubt she would have picked up "what 'ya doing" this morning, she's definitively heard it a few times!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Reading about Pois made me interested in them.
Living with Shade is what got me hooked, she's the reason I got sold on them.

I love her soooo much!

Understanding your bird

I believe I have mentioned in the past how Shade transforms from the perfect little bird to a somewhat on edge being when new flight feathers (that are still known as blood feathers since the shafts are full of blood) grow in; they are very sensitive and she seems to feel it much more than any of my other guys. During that time, she might be prone to give a quick nip (still not a terrible bite by a long shot by comparison to the rest of the flock) and is much more moody (cuddles less, tends to want to do her own thing more). In fact, when I see the shift in behaviour, my first instinct now is to check her wings and bingo, those big blood feathers are always there. Another thing that I have noticed with her at that time is that her weight tends to dip a few grams. Not sure why, but it's been something I've observed for some time now.

Although I haven't had Léa for quite as long (it'll only have been for a year in a few short days!), I've started to notice patterns with her as well. Being still just a baby, she's hasn't yet shown me her full personality I'm sure. However, she does have her "cranky" moments and I've noticed these tend to happen with either a) like Shade, feathers grow in on her wings and make her uncomfortable, and b) when her beak is flaking and a particularly large chunk is about to fall off but is still *just* holding on.

This morning started well enough - I had a very very cuddly Cape on my hands. Eventually though, she started getting playful so I sent her on the atom in the room. All was good for some time - she even changed play stand - until she started flying back and forth between the play stand with the atom and the one on the opposite side of the room, screaming. Nothing had changed in the room that, to me, would have triggered her reaction. I looked outside and nothing there seemed different. It was nearly time to go in the cage anyway so I went to pick her up and she just kept flying back and fort, avoiding me, while screaming. I did manage to get a hold on her at one point and put her in her cage.

I gave her a few minutes to calm down but she was still angry and took it out on me with a few bites on my right index finger. Stronger bites than what she normally does when she plays (which are really more like nibbles) but still not full force (I bled a little, I'm sure she could have done MUCH more damage had she wanted to).

I was trying to figure out what would have made the switch in her head flip from playing calmly to going crazy; and what I think might have happened, she was chewing a large piece of wood (one of the branches of a Java stand) just before flipping out and I do wonder if a piece of it snagged on the piece of her beak that was chipping. In the past, touching a part of chipping beak did make her go nuts so I think it's the safest bet as to what might have occurred.

Unfortunately, as I had put myself in the middle of her flipping out session, I think somehow I got associated with the pain. I think, just like they tell you to let Red-bellied parrots have their freak out session when a panic attack takes over them and only pick them up when they have become calm so they don't associate you with whatever induced the period, I should have let her calm down before trying to intervene (to be honest, I did so because she was getting loud and it was early and I was concerned it would be heard by neighbours).

We had to go out for a few hours so I figured this would give her time to calm down. When we got home, I armed myself with a handful foot toys made of strung wooden beads and proceeded to go and see her. She was still a little standoffish so I presented the toys to her and her face immediately lit up and she stepped up quite readily, no longer with any intentions to chomp down. I brought her over to the orange room and let her play with her toys and she even wanted to cuddle after some time, so I *think* I managed to get back into her good graces - in fact, while she acted all sulky after being put back in her cage until I got her out with the foot toys, she's now (I did return her to the cage since) whistling her happy songs!

I think there's a few things I'll take out of this episode, but at least I've confirmed that I know how to bribe a difficult Léa!

237:365 - Thinking..

To make sure I had enough unfiltered natural light for this picture I drew up the blinds.
This made Léa want to go on the windowsill and have no interest to stay put on the atom for a few pictures. Since I had a windowsill picture for last week, I wanted something different today, so I kept putting her back on the atom every time she flew to the window.

Eventually, she caught on that the "direct" path was no good and that I could interrupt her mid-transit.

So here she is, trying to figure a way around me.

All of this of course meant that instead of taking 2-3 minutes, the whole photoshoot took closer to 10...and ended because I was annoyed at trying to get her to sit still long enough to *try* and get 5 pictures.

Friday, August 24, 2012

236:365 - Puff up!

She kept moving around the atom, making it hard to take a decent picture.
But I'm kinda happy with this!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Léa loves her Nutty Cupcakes!

Well the toy that goes by that name from Crystal's bird toys at least. I gave her one yesterday and she wouldn't let it go. It was really funny to see her try and get around the cupcake liner.

Look, no feet!

I would call the toy a success - but, to be honest, anything with almonds is bound to be successful with her. In fact, before handing her the Nutty Cupcake, I had given her a Nutty Bagel, which, to me, seemed easier to destroy once I spotted the Nutty Cupcake, as it doesn't have cupcake liners that "get in the way". I had tried giving the Nutty Cupcake at that time to one of the smaller Pois but they were all a bit concerned (or looked liked they were) by the cupcake liners and it did seem like it was a bit big for them and probably awkward for them to hold it, so I came back, took the Nutty Bagel away from Léa (yes, I know, I'm a terrible person - she actually looked surprised at first and then made what sounded like very sad noises) and offered that one to the smaller Pois, and they seemed a bit more receptive to it. So I went back and gave the Nutty Cupcake to Léa - which made her happy once again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

235:365 - Stripes

The blinds I have in front of my windows are oh so practical when it comes time to prevent the birds from ever flying in the windows while allowing light to come in, but become rather impractical, at least aesthetically, when I try taking pictures as the sun goes down, trying to take advantage of the last bits of available natural light.

But I do think it kinda made for a neat picture, at least this one time.

As well, Zuri's face is a little on the soft side, although it barely shows on the blog given the size of the picture. He wasn't really being all that cooperative when it came time to have his picture taken tonight so it'll have to do. And as I said, I do genuinely like the picture, but do wish I could have done a better job at focusing on his face.

234:365 - Hmm..