Thursday, March 18, 2010
Ceazar, the Indian ringneck parrot, has made a breakthrough! Actually, he has made several in the past months. He no longer turns his back on me when I talk to him or feed him. I can now put my hands in the cage to do housekeeping chores without him clinging to the back of the cage in terror. He will take peanuts from my fingers and will fly to a cage top near me to get the treat. He says Hello frequently. He loves to fly and will return to his cage when I say "Night, night!" I cannot tell you how excited that each of these events has made me. Ceazar is a beautiful bird with smooth sleek feathers and the most gorgeous red beak. Also.....I do believe that he is actually a she! Ceazar is two years old this month and has no ring around his neck. Males usually develop this ring by this time. No matter, though.....I am constantly amazed by my lovely bird.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
There is nothing more cheerful than a flock of brightly colored budgies. The sunroom flock now includes 4 of them. Sadly, we lost our first one, an English Budgie called Hunter who had been hand fed and was as sweet as sugar. Unfortunately, he was so sweet that he thought he could make friends with our Jack Russel/Chihuahua mix and was killed this summer. It happened so fast and I have never felt so much sorrow and guilt as I did at this time. We buried him (with no little ceremony) in the watermelon patch.
Shortly after, I read about an orphan budgie who had been rescued from a dumpster. I applied to adopt him and soon the beautiful yellow Oscar joined our flock. For a several months, from July until November, Oscar lived the single life in a nice large cage with plenty of toys. He was very interested in our cockatiel, Monty, and would fly to the top of Monty's cage to visit whenever possible.
Then, suddenly, one week in December, I agreed to take in three more budgies. Two of them, frisky yellow and green males I named Tiger and Tiko, were pets that had lost their novelty for the owners. They were housed together in a smallish cage and are very bonded with each other. I gave them a nice big cage and set it up near Oscar. He was very curious and spent most of his time singing and chattering to them. A few days later, I took in a small white female with a blue tail. I was not sure of her health and quarentined her for a month before moving her to the sunroom. By this time, Oscar and the new boys had regular meetings on the top of his cage and appeared to enjoy each other's company. When I added Gracie to the room, she immediately flew to join the group and acted as though she had been a part of their flock forever. Tiger and Tiko ignored her, prefering to continue to preen and snuggle each other but Oscar went crazy. He began to bow and dance and then started bringing her shredded carrots! I moved her cage right beside his but before long, they were sharing his bachelor pad. I added an extra food dish in case neither was used to sharing but he feeds her most of the time. They preen one another and chatter together constantly.
None of the budgies really enjoys being held but luckily I have plenty of other birds that love to snuggle. My joy with the budgies comes from simply watching their antics and interactions with each other. They still meet as a group on top of Oscar's cage every time I let them out. I am sure that important business is being discussed at these gatherings.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Many things have happened since my last post.....the most important one is that school started again and I am back to work until summer. Here are updates on all the members of the Sunroom Flock:
Callie the blue headed Pionus is as sweet as ever. She now has a full set of beautiful wings and a gorgeous tail to go with them. Her balance has improved with the addition of the tail and she no longer falls gracelessly to the floor. She has flown twice but is not confident with her new freedom yet. She has learned to say "Hello!" in a very raspy voice.
Caezar the Indian Ringneck has finally come into his own. No, he is not a tame little cuddle bug as I had hoped he would be. However, he loves his life here. I moved his cage into the kitchen and he sings and vocalizes and TALKS all day long. When I open the door to his cage, he comes right out and goes up to the playtop, where he loves to sit and watch us go about our daily activities. He also loves to fly. He has his favorite routes through the downstairs areas and always returns to his cage when he hears me say "Peanut" and the plunk of one dropping into his bowl.
Gatto the Senegal is as bratty as ever. If you have read the previous post about him, you will know that he was supposed to be MY bird. Well, he has fallen in love with Callie and her owner (my oldest son Jordan). He is as tame as a kitten for Jordan and loves nothing more than to ride around on his shoulder all day. For me, he loves to bite! He will graciously allow me to scratch the back of his neck but if I want to remove him from his cage or get him to step up, I have to use a wooden perch or risk a nasty bite. He also loves to bite me when I change his water bowls. He does greet me with a loud "Good morning!", though, each and every day.
Marley the Quaker remains the most wonderful bird. He is an awesome combination of sweet and fiesty. He can mimic the phone's ring and the dogs' barking. He is also a great watch bird......he screams loudly everytime someone pulls in the driveway or knocks at the door.
Hunter the English Budgie did not make it through the summer. Sadly, he was killed by our Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix and lies buried in the watermelon patch.
Lola and Winston's first clutch of two babies (a boy and a girl) molted and got their adult feathers. They went to live with the custodian from my school. I took out the nest basket for 5 months and then replaced it. Last week, the second clutch of babies fledged and this time there were four!!! Imagine my surprise to discover that one of them is all white! Some research on the Internet says that white coloring in zebra finches is caused by a recessive gene. Regardless of the reason, I plan to keep the white baby when the other three go to their new home with a third grade teacher at my school.
We have also added some new birds to the flock...Oscar, a rescued yellow and green budgie, Monty, a white faced male cockatiel and a cute little turquoise parrotlet baby called Roxy. Hopefully, their stories will follow soon. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Yesterday morning when I got up and went around to say good morning to the flock, there was an extra feathered body perched on a twig in the finches' cage. One of the babies was out of the nest! My first reaction was to how large the chick was....it was almost the same size as the parents. Then I noticed the coloring of its feathers and beak. It is completely gray, even the beak. I am assuming that the adult colors will begin to show after the first molt but I was startled by the beak's color. Winston and Lola both have bright orange beaks. I peeked into the nest and I could see at least one more chick in there but it showed no interest in joining its sibling out in the cage. Winston kept plucking at the sides of the chick that was out on the twig and I finally realized he was trying to get it to fly. About an hour later it was hopping and flitting around the cage almost as well as its parents.
This morning there were two chicks out in the cage. The second baby is a bit smaller than the first but has the same coloring, beak and all. Winston was doing the same plucking motions to this baby and Lola was joining in as well. I took advantage of this moment to remove the nest basket and look inside it. Lola had laid at least 4 eggs, maybe 5, but there was no trace of any other eggs or chicks in the nest. I am wondering if the other eggs were eaten? I am so excited about the chicks being out where I can observe them. I tried to take more pictures but Lola and Winston became very aggitated about the flashes so this one picture of the first chick yesterday is the only one I have so far.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The eggs have hatched!! I can hear soft peeping noises from the nest basket and Lola and Winston are once again taking turns sitting in the nest. Today, they were both out at once but all I could see in the basket were movements. I cannot wait until they begin to peek out!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
So far, so good....Winston and Lola have not abandoned thier nest. Lola is the one doing most of the sitting now. She comes out first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening to eat and drink and sometimes bathe. Two days ago I was cleaning up the bird room and for a few minutes both parents were off the nest. When I peeked into the little nest basket, I think I saw only 3 eggs where there had been 4. I also thought I saw movement but it was to hard to see much. I tried to use a flashlight but Lola got upset and flew back into the nest so I left it alone. I have been listening for peeps or noises from the nest but my other birds are so loud it is very unlikely that I will hear anything. For now, I will just have to assume that my little mom and dad are doing everything that they need to do for the eggs and chicks.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
When we purchased our first parrot, the pionus, I saw two beautiful orange and green parrots hanging upside down in a cage. They were so playful and mischievious and totally gorgeous that I couldn't stop staring at them. The breeder told me that they were senegals. We took Callie, our pionus, home that day and were completely enchanted with her but I couldn't stop thinking about the senegals. I went home and looked them up on the internet and read all about them. I called the breeder and asked when he would have babies available but he said the pair had yet to produce eggs for him. I did some searching for breeders of senegals but found none available. In the process I found the Indian Ringneck that I eventually purchased. Over time, we added more birds to our flock but I never stopped thinking about the senegals. One day, I was changing the newspapers in the bottom of the cages and an ad in the classifieds caught my eye (well, actually I always check the classifieds for birds). I couldn't believe this one, though, it was for a senegal and cage. I called immediately and learned that the bird was located about 2 miles from my job. He was the 3 year old single owner pet of a woman whose husband had recently died. She was going to have to rehome him in order to make other living arrangements for herself. And just like that....I had my senegal.
His name was Gatto and since he was already three years old, I decided to keep the name. His cage was an imitation HQ that probably had never been cleaned thoroughly. The woman was a smoker and the cage was coated in a thick layer of yellow nicotene as well. I loaded everything into the car and put Gatto in the travel carrier. On the way home, he called out "Hurry, hurry!" and "Mom?" Gatto had never been around other birds but he adjusted to the flock right away. He epecially loves Callie and preens her endlessly. He loves to talk and applies his vocabulary to appropriate situations. One day he was laying on his back in my hand and I was trimming his nails and he called out "Help!" He has a bit of a nipping problem and will bite an unsuspecting finger and then say "No!" or "Ow!" He loves to play with toys, especially ones he can destroy. He had also never been out on a playtop or perch but he did not need to be taught to stay on one. He loves to come out and sit on his playtop or visit Callie on hers. He is very comical in his actions and constantly entertains us. He likes my son, Jordan, the best and rarely bites him. I have learned, however, that most of his biting is merely bluffing and if I do not pull my finger away, he will just hold it in his beak gently and say "Ow." Biting or not....I love him to pieces.