Bird breeder's thoughts on whatever…

08-29-16: Bird Update — August 29, 2016

08-29-16: Bird Update

I think it’s time for an update on what’s been going on with the birds.  A few things of note happened this weekend, concerning the budgies and the African greys.

Sprite is a pretty little green pied budgie that was given to me a while ago.  Although the color of his cere is not exactly crystal clear in terms of what sex he is, we are going under the assumption that he is a male.  Since I’m keeping one of my female kids for him, that will no doubt prove to be wrong!  But for now, we’re calling Sprite a male.  So he’s been in the dining room in a cage hanging in front of the window.  It’s taken him longer than I expected to become comfortable with us.  You can see it in his stance – he’s not been totally relaxed with us.  So  this past week I had my son help me clip his wings. We found that once clipped, he would step up pretty nicely and never once tried to bite.  However, you could still see in his posture that he would probably rather be doing something else!

Yesterday I brought Sprite into the living room where the baby budgies share a cage.  I have a ladder attached to the outside front of their cage, with a perching structure suspended from the end of the ladder.  The bottom of it is still about nine inches from the floor, allowing it to swing about and the birds seem to really enjoy this.  So I let Sprite step up onto the perching area.  I opened the cage door and the kids hopped to the door to take a peek at this new green guy.  Picture all the little heads angled down and their little eyes fixed on Sprite.  It was cute. They soon came out, and eventually someone got brave enough to share that perch area and check him out up close.  Sprite took it all very well.  Stood his ground and didn’t seem too concerned.  The kids were also pretty calm about it all.  082816BlueBudgieKidandSpriteThis is the perch unit suspended from the end of the ladder.  You can still see from his stance that Sprite is not totally at ease.  When the tail is down like that you can tell he’s not as comfortable as he could be.

So we let everyone hang out for a while and then later I took the cinnamon female kid and brought her out to Sprite’s cage, and let her check it out.  Shortly after I brought Sprite in and put him back in the cage with her.  They are not exactly thrilled, but there is no animosity that I can see either, so to me it was a win-win.082916CinnamonHenAndSprite.jpgThis is mostly how they have stayed so far.  Cinnamon girl is either on the high perch or on the swing, and Sprite sits on his favorite spot.  I think soon I will find them getting to know each other and becoming friends.

As for the greys, some of you know I had bought an older female in the hopes that my boy, Griff, would win her heart and they’d go to nest at some point.  Unfortunately nobody went over this plan with Winnie, and she was having none of it.  Griff has always been a gentleman, but her…!  Not a nice girl to my boy!  Not at all.  So they’ve been together and separated twice now.  Since the last time, she’s been in a cage right next to his cage, and I do mean RIGHT NEXT TO IT.  They have done some beaking (not in a mean way) through the bars, which was encouraging.  It’s been quite a while, and most of the time they hang out near each other, with the two cage walls between them.  I’ve been leery of biting the bullet and trying them together one more time because I kept thinking that if it still didn’t work I was really going to have to face the fact that they probably would never get along.  But it was time.

I had my son help me get the swing out of Griff’s cage because that has been a problem when they were together before.  It’s a big swing and a bird on the swing can be reached by a bird on the perch at the rear of the cage.  Not good.  So Alex had Griff step up on him, he handed him off to me, then while I held Griff, Alex worked on getting the swing out.  Once that was done, I handed Griff back and Alex put him inside.  Now it was time for the beast.  She will step up from the floor, but in the cage she is not cooperative.  So I got a perch and had her step up onto that – eventually, LOL.  Actually it went pretty well, and probably took less than five minutes.  Then I put the perch, with her on it, into the cage and let her step off onto a perch.  Shut the door, crossed my fingers, and went back into the living room where I called up the camera that is trained on their cage and watched to see what would happen.

It’s been a day now, and there has been no fighting yet.  A bit of posturing, on both parts, but nothing that has made me know I need to call a halt to the cohabitation.  I just hope it continues.  Life would be much better for both of them if they had a birdy friend.

The other greys were given access to their nest boxes at the end of last month.  Ruby, the congo, has 3 eggs so far, but I’m not excited.  I’d put money on them not being fertile.  Ziggy and Paco, the timnehs, have not started a clutch yet.  I’m really hoping they have a successful nesting this time with a couple of chicks.

I have 3 parrotlets that will be going home this week, starting tomorrow.  I took a final group shot of them a little while ago.082916Plets101.102.103_01WSzThese are lovely kids.  On the left is the oldest, a male turquoise; next is a blue hen – she is the one leaving tomorrow; and on the right is a male dilute turquoise.  Beautiful kids and a very nice clutch.  I’m still bummed that I lost the youngest one, a female dilute turquoise I was going to keep.  Looking back there is nothing I’d have done differently; sometimes bad things just happen.  😦

I’m now feeding 3 kids which are the second clutch (this year) from the blue parrotlets.  They were born the 1st, 2nd, and 4th of this month, so the oldest is just four weeks old today.  I already have deposits on the two oldest, and will be keeping the youngest – a hen – unless the parents of the 3 in the pic above have another female in the clutch they are currently hatching.  I think they hatched a third baby yesterday.  Mom is extremely protective so it’s hard to tell.  I’ll be pulling those babies in another week and a half or so, so once again will be handfeeding two clutches of different ages.  That is probably it for parrotlets this year, unless the other pair I have decide to go to nest.  They have not been interested, and since it’s been so long since I’ve had a break from handfeeding I’m not too upset with that, either.

The chickens were integrated into the big coop a couple weeks ago, just after dusk.  We took each of the four kids (about 16 weeks old at the time) and I banded them while Scott held them, then he put them onto a perch in the dark coop.  The theory is that in the dark they won’t fight and will just ignore each other and sleep, and then in the morning will not really notice the newcomers.  Amazingly, this works surprisingly well.  So the four have been added to the eight with very little squabbling at all.  The lone roo is crowing pretty well now, too.

I’m starting to see some trees changing color already, which happens every August, and I’m looking forward to fall and gorgeous foliage.  I’ve had enough of the heat.  Nothing makes me happier than breaking out the sweatshirts!


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08-25-16: Talk to the TV — August 25, 2016

08-25-16: Talk to the TV

Am I the only one that talks to the TV?  I hope not.  I also hope it’s less because I’m sixty and more because I’m just plain intolerant.

This morning on GMA – that’s Good Morning America for those of you not fortunate enough to get their first real news as well as fluff news of the day so late in the morning – some woman said, “I had to LITERALLY pick my mouth up off the floor!”   To which I said – to the TV – “no, you didn’t, you @$$^*#%!”   and immediately wrote it down to share later with my son, who also finds the misuse of literally to be worth a shake of the head and a chuckle, though not to the point of warranting an emphatic correction of the TV.

Another one that causes me to talk to the TV is the pillow commercial where the woman says “I was more align.”    Again, me and the TV: “AlignED!!!   With an “ED”, you idiot.”  This is one of those things that drives me nuts.  I used to be a spelling Nazi, but spelling is no longer at the top of my list of pet peeves.  It’s this weird dropping of the “ED” which seems to be really prevalent.   I don’t get it.  It does not even sound right.   I see it in print and I hear it frequently.  “I am bias.”    Uh, no, you are not.  You may be “biased” but you are clearly not “bias” in any way, shape or form.

I keep telling myself I will start a list and write it down whenever someone drops the “ED” in such a way as to make me cringe.  I suspect I would need a lot of paper, especially if I also added the “literally” faux pas to that list.

So is it the age thing, or am I just really intolerant?  I would not ever correct anyone directly for this mistake, because though I may be intolerant and rude INSIDE, I am not that way outwardly – or at least I hope not.  I don’t see any way to correct someone for this transgression without appearing to be a self-righteous snob, so I will continue to make a mental note and move on.  Precisely the opposite of what most people seem to do online, I might add!  God forbid any mistake or error online should be left untouched and without comment!

So while I do wish I was more tolerant, at least I have the decency to limit my judgement to mental notes and barking at the TV.  Not literally, mind you.  Or perhaps I should rephrase that.  “I was literally barking at the TV!”    One for my list!


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08-12-16: RANT — August 12, 2016

08-12-16: RANT

Yes, that is RANT with all caps.  Today started out fine, but it’s only mid-afternoon and I find myself irritated beyond measure.  Let’s start at the beginning.

Scott and I were out sky-watching last night from 10 till almost 2.  It was balmy out and the sky was pretty clear.  Lots of meteors, though not the biggie they said we might experience.  Not unless that happened after 2 AM.  I found myself falling asleep a lot, for short spurts.  So when it was nearly 2 AM that seemed a good point to call it a night.  Of course at 7 AM this morning, I still had to get up to feed the babies and then dole out eggfood in the birdroom to anyone with kids.  I did go back to bed after, and slept till 9 when Scott decided it was time to start his day.  A quick shower and I was ready to get going.  So far so good.

While I was tending the birds, my mind was wandering as it usually does.  Remember, my best blogs are written then – in my mind.  Unfortunately those brilliant blogs rarely make it to the screen.  Anyway, this morning was a cage-cleaning day, and at one point a seed found it’s way into my shoe, and this was what set off my mental blog which was all about the things that annoy us.  The seed in the shoe was the start of my wandering thoughts, because I cannot stand anything in my shoe.  A grain of sand or a tiny seed – either one will drive me insane until I remove it.  Scott says it’s the Princess and the Pea all over again, and I guess it’s true.  So that set my mind off on the tangent of things that annoy.

What else drives me nuts?  Someone bringing a dish or a cup to the sink and leaving it there.  If you’ve already brought it that far, take the extra minute and wash the damn thing and stick it in the strainer.  Perhaps if I had a dishwasher this one wouldn’t irritate.  The fact is, if you’ve already made the effort of bringing something to the sink, though, how tough is it to take that lousy minute to wash it?  Especially when you know it irritates someone else?

I had a friend years ago that once went on a rant about people not pushing the chairs in at her table.  Drove her insane!  You can bet that when I visited I made damn sure to push my chair back in after getting up from the table!  I always thought that was weird, but as I was thinking about that this morning I realized all my chairs were pushed in at the table.  If people started leaving them out maybe I’d be irked, too.

I had to make a quick trip out today, which in itself is an oxymoron.  There is no such thing as a quick trip from here, since it takes a bit to get anywhere.  But anyway, on my trip I again started thinking about things that irritate.  What brought that back up?  The traffic!  So many irritating things there, let’s just pick a couple.

How about the person that drives 40 mph in the 50 mph zone and will not pull over to let me by?  Impossible to pass this time of year, with all the flatlanders up, but you could certainly pull over.  You’re obviously not in a hurry, so PULL OVER.

And this same person often will continue going 40 mph even after the speed limit changes to 35 mph.  “Steady as she goes” must be their watchword in life.

Bicyclists!?!   Oh my word.  Do you WANT to die?  MOVE OVER.  If there is a breakdown lane, why are you in the travel lane?  If there is a breakdown lane, why are you ON THE LINE?  I have no interest in dying soon, so if I was on a bike I’d be over to the right as far as possible.  Even if you are a spandex monkey with a helmet, you will probably not win in a collision with a car.  Move. Over.

OK, so the traffic got me irritated.  No doubt.  The 90-plus degrees didn’t help.  Even with AC blasting and Jim Morrison blaring, it was still an irritating ride.  So it didn’t help when yesterday’s irritations, that I thought were behind me, resurfaced.

One,   Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE Amazon.  Usually.  But when they do screw up, holy moly.  What a disaster it can be.  Those of us of a certain age know the saying “too many cooks spoil the stew” – or maybe it’s broth? – either way, too many customer service reps and none seem to know what the others are doing, even when you explain the situation over and over.  So they had combined two of my orders a month or so ago, and shipped them together.  Except what I got in the package bore no resemblance to either item ordered.  I emailed, explained the situation.  They said one item was from a third party so that one they cancelled and refunded.  I reordered.  The other was from amazon directly so they resent the item.  I asked if they would send me a paid return address label to return the wrong items.  No need.  Keep them, or dispose of them, we don’t want to inconvenience you further.  OK, cool.   The items came and all was well.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I get an email from customer service that I have not sent them back the items and will be charged.  I email back and give them the whole spiel including copy and pastes of all pertinent info.  Today they apologize all over themselves.  I will not be charged, sorry, blah blah blah.  Great.  Until I then receive another email saying they have sent the item I am missing!    ARRGHH.  I am not missing a thing!  I write back, explain yet again that all is good.. or WAS good.  Oh well, item is on the way.  They tell me to keep it, then a paragraph later tell me to just not accept it or mail it back!   Now I’m pissed.  I don’t need more crap to do that shouldn’t be necessary.  One scathing email later and I’m still steaming.

And the final aggravation comes from the homeowner’s insurance company.  We have done an inspection (oh really?  news to me, who rarely leaves home) and find you are underinsured and should be insured for $325,500!  Really????  Why don’t you write us a check for $300k and you can move right in.  And as further aggravation, they want info on my dog, and have the nerve to say that no matter what, THREE DOGS is unacceptable risk no matter what.  I used to have four poms that would do no more than lick you to death, and they would not have insured us???   So that prompted another email that made the last one seem like a holiday greeting.

I’m done.  Usually I’m pretty happy.  Some things just set me off.  Now it’s time to feed some babies.  Time to take a few deep breaths, because birds feed off our emotions.  They don’t need to deal with Crazy Mama.  So, deep breaths, happy thoughts…


Nita’s Nest

08-10-16: Ambition Gone — August 10, 2016

08-10-16: Ambition Gone

I had lots of ambition this morning as I was doing my birdroom duties.  My brain is often in overdrive while I’m doing the birdroom chores.  The motions are so automatic that they really don’t require thought, which leaves my brain free to wander.  And wander it does.  I often write the most interesting blogs… in my mind… while doing chores.  Most times by the time I am actually able to sit at my computer, I can’t even remember what the subject matter was, let alone details.  Today is such a day.

So what is on my mind now?  “My mind is a complete blank.”  No idea where that quote comes from, but Scott and I heard it together and it’s one of those lines that comes up between us and makes us smile.  He probably no longer remembers where it come from either, but it’s a shared thing.  Much like “I like beans once in a while.”  Now that one I fully recall.  That is a famous line my Dad came out with, completely out of the blue, and is now frequently referenced whenever someone seems to say something off the wall that has nothing to do with anything in the moment.  You have my blessing to use it.  You’ll be amazed at how appropriate it feels.

Alas, my mind truly is a complete blank, at least in so far as anything important goes.  And yet I’ve managed to write two paragraphs basically about nothing.  Pure talent, that.  🙂  OK, on to the basics.

It is a rainy day.  65 degrees and humidity at 96%.  To me, despite the AC, it feels too warm.  I am so looking forward to fall!  Tomorrow is supposed to feel like 100 degrees.  Great.  Glad I picked all the blueberries yesterday as tomorrow I suspect I’ll be hiding inside with the AC and a fan.  I also note that the weather report is now calling for cloudy nights for each of the next three nights, and of course tomorrow night is the peak of the Perseid meteors!  I even had Scott agreeing to go out at 2 or 3 AM to stargaze.  I so hope they are wrong and the clouds do not ruin the show.

I pulled the oldest of the three new parrotlet kids from the nest this morning to see if he was big enough to band.  I probably could have left the band on, but it didn’t offer enough resistance when I pulled, so I pulled it completely off and will try again tomorrow.  Mom was not too impressed with my hand in her nest, and especially with me removing her kid, but she’s an awfully good Mom and merely opened her beak to let me know she wasn’t happy.   Still only three kids there, so maybe the other ones are just not going to hatch.  OK by me; handfeeding only a few kids is much easier and gives me more time with the babies.

The four parrotlets I’ve been handfeeding are all spoken for now.  Three have deposits (one is in the mail, no, really!) and the fourth is one I’m keeping.  They are just about ready to graduate to a cage from the brooder.  I ordered another Vision cage today, because the baby budgies are already in a Vision cage and I’ll be moving them to the living room in a few days.  I don’t normally have this many clutches in a row, but it actually works out great for the babies.  I have more time to devote to each baby.  The drawback is that it seems I’m always handfeeding.  Even with four hours between feedings, you’d be surprised – or maybe not – how quickly that time goes by and then, bam, time to feed again.  Anyway, if I need to temporarily move birds to the living room, a Vision cage is a wonderful thing, as it keeps the seeds and mess inside the cage.  It’s a bit more of a pain to clean, since there is no tray to pull out and instead you undo a couple clips and the entire base comes off.  But that is exactly why it does keep the area clean.

I suspect the greys will be laying soon as well.  I’m just hoping the parrotlets have wound down before the greys hatch anybody out. They are sensitive souls and REALLY require a lot of time and care!

If you are a heat-lover, enjoy the rest of the week.  If not, you can take some comfort in knowing September is just around the corner.


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