Dreamland Revisited

Asking again for help in keeping a roof over the flock: http://www.fundme.com/en/projects/5063-This-would-make-a-great-novel And now on to the pros and cons of the birds I think I would like to add to the flock.

I love toucans, but I know a person who has had one and as she grew older and busier, the bird became more than she had time for. In their native land, toucans are seen as conduits between mortals and the spirit world. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/toucan/ They are popular birds at zoos around the world, and nearly universally loved. I am fortunate to live near Toucan’s Emerald Forest, a breeding and viewing garden for many parrots and toucans. Here’s the care sheet they put out for Toucans: http://www.emeraldforestbirds.com/CareSheet.htm The pros are a loving, cuddly, playful, and intelligent bird that is quiet, not destructive, and rarely aggressive. The cons are special diet, lots of fruit so liquid poops, and special pellets with very low iron content. The birds are prone to iron toxicity, a fatal condition. And they have rather short lifespans for parrots, only 20 years.

Toucanets, and aracaris are close relatives to the toucan. The curl-crested aracari appeals to me visualy, and the one that I have ever interacted with had a very endearing personality. Since the care, pros, and cons are similar to toucans, here’s a video of a curl-crested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qafjzPI7ouM and here’s one that won’t make you motion sick. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB2HX3HWuvQ

Oh, did I mention price tag as a con for the toucan family? Yeah, Emerald Forest doesn’t even list their prices any longer, you have to call to get a quote. And add $200 if you want hand-raised, pet quality birds. http://www.emeraldforestbirds.com/Prices.htm

For many of the birds on my dream list, price is the leading negative, closely followed by housing costs and special diets. But how could you say no to a hyacinth macaw if someone gave you one? Why yes, I do know someone who has a hyacinth, the gentle giant of the parrot world. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-species/profiles/hyacinth-macaw-2.aspx My friends named their hyacinth Molly, and I got to know about her through early emails. Molly had a rough start in life, fighting a hidden infection for the first year. When the vet finally pinpointed the problem, and Molly got better, she became a very different bird. The change was so obvious, even to friends who didn’t know the parrot every well. Molly loves tickle time and playing hide and seek with her mom. She got out and flew away once, but her dad followed her, and spent a night in the car watching her. Finally she landed on top of a business and he managed to climb up to get her. She went home and has stayed safe since then. Here are some videos of these beauties: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OT47T1IAVU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8qVZITdqgY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0kRKuU0Zzo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdo2g70zQZo

I would love to have a macaw, but I know my limitations with the big birds. See notes on price, cages, and food. However, the mini macaws could be my solution. http://animal-world.com/encyclo/birds/macaws/MiniMacaws.php Like little dogs, they come with all the big bird behaviors. And they are usually under a thousand dollars. A Hahn’s macaw runs about $800 at the time of this post. Here are a few videos to show you just how cute these little guys can be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgSY1U0G-F0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YuvDYydbWo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X9KoQXeB5E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csY6yXG9uAE

I do have budgerigars, or parakeets, but I only had one English type budgie, and he lived only long enough to give me a few half and half babies. And he wasn’t the most Englishy English budgie I had ever seen. A local budgie club had a bird show, and let me tell you, those show birds were beautiful and impressive. Here’s general information about budgies: http://www.parrotparrot.com/species-guides/english-budgies-parakeets/ and more info: http://www.englishbudgie.com/ and show birds: http://www.budgerigarassociation.org/apps/photos/photo?photoid=170633320 and a breeder: http://www.chopmisthill.com/english_budgies The prices here are all under $100, which is a steal!

And finally, I would be thrilled to have a mynah bird. I grew up in the local Rectory, where my mother was housekeeper and cook for the priests. And one of the priests had a mynah. I could sit and watch the bird for hours. There was a plastic cover on the wall behind the bird cage to keep his food from sticking to it. This bird could talk, but only when no one was in the room with him. Mynahs are fairly easy to care for and interact with. http://www.birds.com/blog/mynahs-as-pet-birds/ They eat fruit and a low-iron pellet diet, and apparently are in the same price range as aracaris. http://www.softbillsforsale.com/sale/hill-mynah.asp Here are a few videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYNCAT6NJ8c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4Wm3Ocki4I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMEccNLXcQc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9EVxnOYFRE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4NsNfPun7A

Seems like the only bird on my list that might come home with me would be an English budgie. You think Benedict Cumberbatch would be a good name for a budgerigar? Think about it, and I will be back Wednesday.

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