Monday, July 27, 2009

The chicks have fledged!

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 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

Chicks In The Nest

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

Egg Watch

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

Gatto the Senegal Parrot

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.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Some Good Advice

My parrots love peppers of all kinds. This summer I planted several varieties in my garden so I would always have some on hand. The skinny red cayennes are a big favorite with my flock. Good advice? DO NOT kiss a parrot who has just eaten a fresh raw cayenne pepper. My lips are on fire!