Monday, April 30, 2012

If I can't see them...

..they can't see me!

121:365 - Excited!


So excited to see me - she was crazy enthusiastic!

Happy welcome home!

I am back from four days away to the States. I went to St-Charles Illinois with Crystal (of Crystal's bird toys) for TASC on Saturday. We got to meet a few other bird people from the Avian Avenue forum. We visited Chicago on Sunday morning and now are back home.

The birds heard me go through the door and immediately started to make noise. Shade was decidedly the most happy to see me, giving me happy pinny eyes and mouthing like she does when excited. Piper was screeching for me to look at him and Léa was going crazy in her cage trying to grab my attention as well. That was one side of the room. Petey actually said "Hi Petey" to me, Pixel was looking at me with happy eyes and Joey was making all kinds of happy noises.

The break was fun but it's nice to be back home!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

120:365 - Pixel Looking Pretty

The boy here. Pixel has certainly taken advantage of Natacha not being here. She has been a little more rambunctious then usual. I was still able to get a few good shots though.

119:365 - Pick A Boo

The boy here. Pixel may be the one who says "peek a boo" I Just felt it was a fitting title for this picture.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

118:365 - Léa on the Atom

The boy here. Léa has been particularly active the past couple of days. Although as I write this she is sitting calmly next to my laptop getting her head scratched.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 11 of Zuri and his Collar

The boy here. Zuri was in high spirits today. While I had him out all he wanted to do was go run and play. His weight is remaining constant too (within a gram or two) :)

I think he is looking forward to having the collar off just as much, probable more, then we are. 

117:365 - Shade

Granted my last two blog posts' titles have lacked originality, but I'm not feeling very creative right now as I have much else to think about.

And like it was back in February for a week or so, the Boy will be taking the pictures and blogging for the next few days.

116:365 - Piper

From yesterday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 10 of Zuri and his collar

Guess what happened this morning?

The Boy noticed that Zuri was still able to bring his leg forward. And what more, this time he had a way to keep it up with minimum effort. The extension the Boy made didn't go high enough and cut squarely, so Zuri figured out he could use it as a ledge to prop up his leg on. So this morning I made yet another small adjustment, bringing the extra bit higher and making it finish more closely to the actual collar. So far, he's not been able to reach his foot. And the collar is now so big at the bottom that he can just barely turn around in his temporary cage, which means there is little place to do any type of acrobatic movement to reach his leg.

Maybe this will be good for the plastic collar?

But of course it doesn't end there.

Probably frustrated by this new attempt to foil his plan to reach his bandaged foot, he's now started to chew at the turtleneck collar. Which I much prefer to his attempts to chew the bandages off his injured foot.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A quick glimpse..

..into the birds' future room!

The (phone) pictures don't really do it justice - the green is nicer in person and it's larger than it appears. In fact, it's larger than the room they are now which is nice, so I'll probably be able to add a few more standing play stands in there.

There is carpet, which isn't ideal, but down the road I will be replacing it. For the time being, I'll continue to use the plastic mats under the cages.

And I find it quite fortunate that it's green, as I was leaning towards a green birdroom, so I won't have to paint!

The move won't happen until mid-May but I'm getting pretty excited!

115:365 - The Millennium Falcon (or Day 9 of Zuri and his collar)

The title was the Boy's idea, when he stated what Zuri's *new and hopefully improved* collar looked like to him.

It looks splotchy - and that is because it is.

When I wrote my daily update about Zuri yesterday, I had mentioned how he had managed to get to his foot, regardless of the vet's effort to prevent this, resulting in the Boy and I making a larger plastic collar for him.

Guess turned out it wasn't big enough. He is definitively very stubborn and yet again figured out a way to get to his foot. When I saw him have a successful attempt at this earlier this morning, I really felt like throwing the towel and having him have his way, at least the thought of it crossed my mind for a second. But obviously I couldn't let that happen, so we added some layers of bandages to his foot and decided to add a small piece of plastic to the end of the collar, towards where his foot is located. I then secured the collar (to avoid him turning it) in three different places close to his neck, using the turtleneck collar to stick the piece of tape connecting the collar to him.

Well, at least I thought I had secured it.

When the Boy came over lunch to check up on him, Zuri had somehow managed to turn the collar and there was chew marks on his extended bandage that he had gotten to it (not to mention the presence of the bandage tape on his beak..). So the Boy added an extra piece of plastic, resulting in the collar nearly touching the ground at the bottom half. And, so far, it's proven to be successful. A very frustrated Zuri, no doubt by being foiled (at least temporarily) has been chewing away on paper like crazy.

I really can't wait for him to have healed and everything to be back to normal.

Day 114 alternates

Two more pictures I could have used yesterday as "Picture of the day"


Sitting pretty

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 8 - Zuri went back to the vet today

It was a scheduled visit to change the bandage on his foot. The vet also wanted to take a look at how the healing was coming along. She said things were looking good, however it didn't look like the piece of bone and the stub of nail were going to come back together (he had chewed his toe pretty badly initially it seems) and being nearly 100% convinced that they would never join again, she recommended that we cut the little piece of each that were showing and allow skin to heal over the whole thing. It would be a quicker healing process to something that most likely inevitably was going to happen.

So she did it.

And Zuri came back with a new bandage and an altered collar. The plastic part was made shorter but the vet also added what looks like a turtleneck as to make it harder for him to bend his head over to reach his foot, seeing how he decided it was a new and fun activity. But there is a tiny problem with this new set up.

Here's a hint -

Look closely, and you see he has a foot in the air and not just any foot - the bandaged foot. Being the resourceful little bugger, he still figured out how to get to his foot with the new set-up, and it didn't take him much time.

So the Boy and I made him a collar from the same material (we got an extra  sheet the first time he went to the vet) and we kept it longer. Hopefully the combination of the slightly bigger plastic collar and the turtleneck one will prevent him from bringing his foot to his beak and that the healing will be able to happen.

He's got spunk that's for sure.

114:365 - Pondering the existence of a parrot belly button..

The above investigation has proven that it does not exist.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wet and playful

113:365 - Happy Petey

 He looked excited. I kept my distance..and he often would look down at my feet!

Someone had some fun with the curtains

This is not something I would normally endorse, but we'll be moving soon so the curtains will be obsolete (they are too big for the new house which comes with window treatment anyways) and the light was very nice so I couldn't resist taking a few pictures..

A good start to the day!

Zuri has, for the first time since the collar went one, put on some weight from one morning to the other.

Now hopefully it continues to go up!

Here's a picture of him from earlier this morning, enjoying a head scratch. He's getting a bit spoiled with those but that is ok!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Big smile


(I might have taken a number of pictures of her today..)

Day 6 - Zuri's bandaged foot

Things started well this morning. Zuri's weight was stable and he even ate some seed in front of me.

He was still a very active bird, trying to climb small ledges (unsuccessfully though).

However, later in the afternoon we ran into a small issue. For the first time since we moved him to the very small cage, he's figured out how to get to his bandaged foot. He didn't need to roll over like he did that first night we brought him back home. No - he managed to figure out a way to bring his foot up to his beak. Fortunately, he only managed to get at the tape.

I think part of the reason why it might have happened today and not previously is that I didn't load his cage up with as much paper towel to chew - I quickly fixed that by adding more paper towel, in a fashion that it would be hard for him to bring his leg up through it.

We also touched up the bandage with some medical tape and I made the bandage bigger, so that the edge would be far away from the toe so that if he were to figure out a way to bring his leg back up, he'd have quite a bit of tape to chew on before getting to anything else, which hopefully will allow us plenty of time to fix things once more.

With that going on, I didn't really get him to interact with Shade today and I'm very happy we are home once again tomorrow and that Monday he has his follow-up appointment at the vet, where he will get a new bandage and, possibly, a broader collar (so that he can't bring his foot up to his beak). The Boy thinks that part of the issue is that the collar might have loosened up a bit, allowing Zuri to have more play with his neck and bend his head further down to meet his foot. In any case, I hope the vet will see to this new issue.

112:365 - Swingin'

Curtains are apparently good for that!

About to scratch..

You can see his leg and foot extended backwards, just about ready to come over his wing to scratch an itch I obviously was unaware of..

The Boy takes pictures too!

He took some pictures of Léa yesterday and was smart about it - he waited until she hit her calm down period late in the evening, before it's time for bed. It generally means a more cooperative Léa.

Apparently I'm too impatient to wait that long if I want pictures.

Nicely posing.

Stretching upwards..

..and looking down.

Pretty Shade

Seems like there hasn't been much focus on Shade lately, so here are a few pictures of the nicest Senegal I've ever met, bias or no bias!

Ruffles galore!

A girl has got to preen!

Naughty Léa!

She's not supposed to go on the lamp and she knows it. Every time she's up there she looks at us with the "look" and of course I don't want her chewing on anything so we move her off so incidentally, reward the behaviour..I try to not give her any attention other than the actual act of removing but I'm afraid she sees this as a very fun game. Mind you, with me she is removed fast, the Boy doesn't have the same ability so she definitively seems to like it more when it's him who has to try and remove her..

Oh and the look on her face in this does look of sheer mockery!

111:365 - Scratch me?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 5 - Competitive eating

So Zuri more or less lost another gram today compared to yesterday, which isn't a huge loss I'll concede.

He's still very alert, wants to move, chews up paper like crazy - given he's maintaining a nice activity level, I try not to worry too much.

When we had him out this afternoon, I took Shade out as well for a bit. Both pinned their eyes excitedly at each other. Then I figured why not get a long strand of millet and get them to nibble on their respective ends. Shade rarely turns down food (as in I don't think she's ever done so..) and Zuri generally wants whatever another bird has to eat. And while Zuri showed no interest in the millet at first, the moment Shade started to eat it, he overcame whatever issues he had and plowed through the end closer to him. While Shade was a very neat eater, going for one grain at the time, Zuri was pulling quite a few in his beak at once. Of course, he didn't eat all of them, but he would munch at whatever remained in his beak.

A good sign - with the week-end at our door, I'll be able to do more of that throughout the day.

110:365 - Shoulder ruffles

Yesterday's picture - I was too tired last night to do anything but take the picture.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 4 of the collared Zuri saga

His weight has continued to go down, although the dip from yesterday to today wasn't as big as it was from Tuesday to Wednesday.

We did get him to eat some peas, some carrots, some sunflower seeds and an Avian Organic Truffle.

I also came to a realization which might explain why he's having a harder time with other seeds he normally enjoys. When the vet put the bandage and collar on, she also filed his beak a bit so that if he did get to his foot, chewing would be harder. I am now pretty convinced that his beak feels sensitive and it's harder for him to open/eat anything that is too hard. To those who will say the Truffle is hard, I cut them in smaller pieces and once they are that way, they come apart pretty easily in his beak. I have seen this before when Joey and Piper had to have their beak filed down a bit - it took them a few days before they could eat harder items. Unfortunately, there is only so much softer food that Zuri is willing to touch.

He is, however, still VERY active and alert so that is a good sign. In fact, today while we were trying to convince him to eat a bit more while at the dining room table, he kept trying to get away and perch higher up on one of the Java table stands. He's also chewing a lot on the paper towels I intertwine between the bars of his temporary cage.

Finally, shortly after I put him away for the night and took the other littles out, I decided to bring Shade over to him so they could see each other. They were so excited at the sight of each other and were making all types of noises. I do feel like they miss each other and part of me, although I've been told to keep him apart until he heals, is very tempted to put Zuri's temporary cage next to Shade's on a chair so they can see each other and maybe seeing Shade eat could prompt Zuri to eat a bit more. While I'm very tempted to do so tomorrow, I might hold off until Saturday where I will be able to keep an eye on things and should Zuri get a bit too excited, bring him back out.

I've got some pondering to do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

109:365 - Zuri and his collar

Today has been another emotional roller coaster and draining day.

While Zuri seems more comfortable with his collar and cage, there is still the issue of weight.

It's been dropping of course. Totally expected, but if my first few weeks (or months) with Léa, has taught me anything, dropping weight freaks me out.

And while regular Zuri was always really food motivated, injured Zuri doesn't seem to care as much for food. He generally does love his seeds and now doesn't really eat all that much of them. He loves TOPs and again, now mostly lets them be.

I made some softer mash for him and he didn't want anything to do with it.

It's making me feel powerless and worried.

The only things he's really eaten with gusto were carrots (I think the destruction aspect of it also entices him) and Avian Organic Truffles. But at this point if that is what he wants to eat, that is what I'll feed him regularly.

I actually managed to bring him back to the weight he was earlier this morning after he lost three grams during the day. And given that he has lost some weight from Monday to Tuesday, additional loss made me nervous.

However, he's still quite active - he moves quite a bit when we take him out, does everything in his power to prevent us from putting him back in his carrier and earlier this evening, I caught him hanging upside down in the carrier - which was impressive if you consider he has a bandaged foot and a collar but also a bit worrying when it came time for him to come back down. It looked really awkward but he made it.

Hopefully he'll put on an extra gram or two tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

108:365 - Did I hear right?

Day two - Zuri and his collar

This will probably be kept short and I apologize ahead of time if some things don't make much sense - we had quite the windy night last night, which rattled my windows so hard I barely had any sleep. Well that combined with anxiety I had about Zuri.

Today, the Boy stayed behind to keep an eye on Zuri. We had moved him before putting him to bed yesterday from the Kings Cage travel cage to a smaller transport cage - in hopes that he wouldn't be able to flip himself and get to his foot that way.

He got through the night quite well and I gave him his prescribed dose of Metacam for pain and inflammation before I headed to work - and that went rather well, but I think the fact that he was rendered somewhat stationary by the collar helped. I also stuffed his cage with quite a bit of paper towel for him to chew on - and did he ever go to town on it!

Initially we had placed three ramekins in the bottom of that cage, one with water, one with seeds and one with pellets. Having three allowed to take some space that prevented him to be able to flip over, yet allow him to move around a bit. However, the water bowl proved to be an issue as Zuri would either perch on it or knock it over, which would result in his bandage getting wet which is not a good thing. The boy did solve that by finding a small stainless steel bowl with a hanger so he was able to put it higher up so that Zuri couldn't perch on it (nor could he topple it over).

The Boy also sent me a picture to make me happy - and it did.

He handfed Zuri some carrots. He also put some of it in Zuri's cage and at first, Zuri got quite frustrated about not being able to eat it from his foot. However, he did learn quickly that if he put the piece of carrot (with his beak) on top of one of his food bowls, he'd  be able to much away at it. He also ate some seeds and pellets so that's a good sign!

All in all, the smaller cage seems like it'll work for the time being. As sad as it makes me to see him in such a small cage, it is what is best for him until he becomes more agile with the collar and looses all interest in chewing his foot - and on a bright side, while I had him out with me today I didn't see him once go for his foot! And unlike yesterday where he was so tired he just cuddled, today he felt like moving a bit (although he did cuddle plenty).

Finally, when we put him away for the night he made the "Meyer's screech" - which proves that he was in higher spirits!

Monday, April 16, 2012

107:365 - Trying to put a smile on my face

Today, based on the randomly generated list we did on Sunday to pick the birds' picture order, was supposed to be picture day for Zuri. But with everything he went through I couldn't bring myself to force him to sit through a photo shoot, even though it would have been a way to document what happened. There will be plenty more opportunities for that.

The ambiance when we let the little ones out earlier this evening was weird. They definitively looked and behaved like birds that knew that something was up (well other than Petey who sneaked in an attack). They were very calm and quiet. Then Joey started to make funny noises, which always manage to make me smile, even if only inside. So, because of that, I decided it was his picture day.

And in all the pictures I took, he looked at me with a smile on his beak and in his eyes.

A long day

The blunt of it - it involved bringing Zuri to the vet and get him into a collar with a bandage on one foot.

But why?

This all started last Wednesday after work when the Boy was in the birdroom with the littles while I had Léa out with me in the living room.

The way he remembers things happening, he had turned his back to Zuri while he had Petey on his shoulder to move Joey off of something. Zuri decided to take that opportunity to try and knock Petey off the Boy's shoulder. They locked together as they fell but apparently separated the moment they got to the ground. As we were putting the birds in for dinner, the Boy asked me to check up on Zuri's foot. It looked mostly fine, although there was what appeared like a scratch on the inside of one of his front toes. While he kept his foot up right that moment, the moment I put his dinner bowl in his cage, he was using the foot fine. There was no bleeding and no swelling. That evening, he acted perfectly normal.

As he did on Thursday and Friday.

Then on Saturday, he started bringing the what would be injured toe to his beak from time to time. We noticed that the skin around the nail, which was further down from the scratch/bite sustained on Wednesday, was red. Not bleeding, but red. It looked like he was removing some dead skin. We kept a close watch on him and when he tried to lift his foot to his beak, would deter him. In fact, he got his fair share of head scritches as he wouldn't do anything if I was scratching his head.

On Sunday things looked about the same. I figured I'd bring him to the vet on Monday to clear my head, just in case. He would act perfectly normal most of the time and even put his full weight on his "injured" foot.

So all was mostly well until this morning.

When the boy took him out of his cage, for the first time, we noticed that for the first time, he had made himself bleed. So we applied cayenne to the wound and I managed to keep his mind off his toe during the morning out time. I was just waiting for the vet office to open to call in and make an emergency appointment.

I had to go to work and the Boy was going to go to the vet with him. To make things easier, we figured we'd put him right away in the Kings Cage travel cage. I was dreading the task as Zuri doesn't particularly like being put in carriers/smaller cages. But he was so good, I had him on a perch, brought the perch to my chest and managed to pick him up that way, thing I had managed to do earlier when we had to apply the cayenne paste to the wound. And he let me do it - he scarcely lets that happen. I told him how proud I was of him.

The appointment I managed to get was at 11:30 in the morning. The Boy said that he had to constantly get Zuri to stop trying to pick at his toe - this is the most he's ever tried to do so since Wednesday. And by the time they got to the vet, he had managed to chew off quite a large portion of his nail (which was intact when I left in the morning).

The vet put him in a collar and put a bandage on his foot. She wanted to keep him for a few hours to observe how he was going to behave with the collar. After I was done with work, the Boy picked me up and to the vet we went. Once there, she told us that she had shorten the collar from what she had originally done since he kept getting his foot stuck in it. She said that he would flip on his back but was always able to flip back up on his own. She did say that the toe will be fine once it heels. She also agreed that this new injury was linked to the old one - while I thought that maybe a nerve had been touched and made his toe feel weird, she said it could be that or there might have been a blockage as a result of the injury, that would have had the same effect (making his toe feel numb or tingly). We paid and left.

Once home, I took him out and cuddled with him, scratching his head while he sat on my hand. I don't think I ever got to cuddle him so closely. Things were looking somewhat up at that point.

And then everything came crashing down.

I put him back in the cage so I could prepare dinner. I wanted to give him a chance to eat as well. At one point I came back out of the kitchen to check on him and found him on his back - stuck. I hurried to help him back up and started to panic internally - what if this happen while I'm at work?

I got the Boy to check on him more frequently and eventually went back myself. His bandage looked all bloodied - again, panic set in. I got him out and it turns out he had walked in his water bowl and I'm assuming the dried up blood came through because of the new moisture. However, after I put him back in his cage, he flipped on his back and got his beak to touch his bandaged foot. Got him standing upright once again and got the Boy to keep a constant eye on him while I finished dinner. Dinner that, in the end, I could not bring myself to eat. I was (is) too stressed and the food wouldn't go down. So I took him back in my arms to cuddle some more.

As of now, he's in a smaller cage still, a tiny travel cage, for the night. With little space to flip himself on the back, every time we've checked up on him he was standing on one of the bowls, getting ready to sleep.

I only hope he calms down and gets used to things, I know he's frustrated and is just trying to take some anger out. I'll try to give him stuff to chew at his level, so he doesn't need to topple over, and hope that it will help him out. Otherwise, I might become a nervous wreck.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Alternates for today's 365 picture.

106:365 - Millet lovin' Red-bellied parrot

I occasionally give millet as a treat, although it's been a while since I last had it in my home.

Millet was what I used when Pixel first arrived to try and reward her in an effort to win her over.

Small Pois can smile too!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mutual preening in natural light

There was little natural light to go with, but I made it work!
I really do prefer this to using the flash.

105:365 - Playful Zuri

I simply love this picture.
Natural light, sharp where it needs to be, nice DoF..the colour came out very nice.

And of course, Zuri is a gorgeous model!

Léa, you are 11 months old today!

The last celebrated "month-a-versary", after you turn one next month, only your hatchdays are going to be celebrated, just like it is with all your flock members here.

But I don't think now is the time to think back on your first year - that will be for next month's post.

Physically, you have definitively grown more into your adult plumage - your head is nicely silver all over and is starting to get a really nice coverage of coral as well as your wings. 

You have continued to show more interest in new foods, which of course makes me happy. Your weight has been fairly constant, another good sign. In fact, in the preparation for moving, I even felt comfortable enough to throw out what was left of the hand feeding formula the breeder gave me when I first brought you home!

Pears are wonderful!..

So sweet and mushy!

Definitively one of your favorites!

You have continued to shed your very clumsy baby ways, although from time to time it still shines through. You have become a wonderful flyer, you are able to maneuver very well within the apartment. I am sure you will love the extra space the new house will provide..although I am a bit concerned as to how I will keep up with you (and the others).

You are definitively more opinionated. You have, over this past month, tried to push many boundaries. You are systematically going on all things I would rather you leave started with the floor, then the couch, then the standing lamp in one corner of the living room and over these last two days, your new fixation has been the hanging lamp above our dining room table. At least I can take solace that once you move from one item to the other, you tend to stop going on the past item (except the couch..).

My favorite picture from today - look how fluffy you got!..

..and then you became all sleek again, posing.

You are full of life.
And, as always, when you come close to pushing things too far, a lot of the times you switch around, become all cuddly as if to get forgiven - something that of course works (how could it not?)

One of your favorite activities, one thing you've indulged in the past month, has been to look out the windows and watch the neighbourhood pigeons. I'm sorry to say (welln not really) that where we will be moving to next month does not seem to be crowded with pigeons nor will your vantage point be as high. However, I am sure there will be a whole new world for you to observe and that should keep you entertained as well!

After a nice shower, you looked out the window while chewing some wood - all favorite things for you!

One last thing before I end this post, exactly a year ago today, I was told about the first egg of your clutch, an egg that had just been laid - I was quite happy that day, albeit hesitant about whether to go through with getting my little Cape at that time or wait for a future clutch. Today, Léa, I am so very happy I didn't wait - for although you can be "work" at times, you are well worth it.

Happy 11 months Léa!