The Flaws that Make Them Perfect

When word gets out that you love birds, all birds, and you will take in almost any birds, people start to take advantage of your generous heart and loving nature. This is part of my cunning plan. You see, I get all the special needs birds this way. And each one is special in other ways as well.

I have a beautiful rosy Bourke hen named Ethel. She came with a Fred, but he didn’t survive more than a few years. Ethel was surrendered to me because she has one deformed foot. It’s not a big deal to her. She successfully laid fertile eggs and hatched out some adorable babies. I found a second male for her, named Slick, and sadly he could not keep up with her, either. They never had babies and she does’t seem to miss having a mate.

Featured image Obviously not Ethel, this girl has normal feet.

One thing that just floors me about Ethel: She will put herself back in her cage when out time is over. Currently she is co-habitating with the inside cockatiels, and they normally have out time for a couple hours every day. Sometimes Ethel doesn’t feel like leaving the cage. Sometimes she comes out and takes a few laps around the room then puts herself away. And sometimes she does the laps then sits on top of the cage. When she sees me coming to put the other birds away, she waits until I have exited, leaving one cage door open. In a few more minutes, I go to check on her, and she’s usually put herself away. The alternative is being netted, and she really hates that.

Featured image  Dani looking almost normal.

Our Dani Girl is an orange front conure. She’s got so much personality! She’s also First Alarm when someone comes up to the house. Or a cat walks by. Or a dog runs down the other side of the street. You can’t be too careful. Dani is seriously splay-legged, to the point where her legs are on the sides of her body, not under her. She climbs around her small cage easily, and hangs in a corner most of the time. She really likes that we have Sonny with us now, a beautiful male orange front. I’d be so pleased if they ended up together, but then sun conure Mookie would need a new partner.

Dani’s claim to fame is that she sleeps on her back at the bottom of her cage. She wraps herself up in towels provided for that reason. In fact, I had some cardboard that I laid over the cage grate first, then covered with the towels. She seems to really like that. When I sit in the living room in the afternoons, she will take the opportunity to take a nap. I guess she feels safer when I am nearby.

Luckily the person who rehomed her to us told us about her sleep habits, or we would have thought she was gone the next morning. And luckily, she snores. She lets me take her out of her cage now and then, but she really doesn’t like it. She can’t walk, but she can fly. It’s just the landing part that is difficult.

Featured image  Bo Dangles

Our African grays are both special needs, otherwise other people would have claimed them. They were the rejects because Io, male, is blind, and Bo Dangles, female, has no toes. Io doesn’t speak unless you count “Whoooopoh!” as a word. He does great cat sounds, overweight pug sounds, whistles, water dripping, and much more. Bo, on the other hand, talks so much. Many of her longer speeches are not understandable by humans. But she asks for “water?” and “apple?” and “cornee?” as needed. She tells you she is sorry after she tries to bite you. And she falls off her top shelf sometimes, saying “whoaaaa!” as she falls. She loves to play tug with her bell or her plastic chain. In a former cage, we had a wiffle ball hung from the top on a long plastic chain. Bo liked to stick both her little foot stubs into holes, hang on with her beak, and swing out over the open space. Her current cage is bigger and she doesn’t seem to want to do that.

I took some photos of her cage after a fairly thorough cleaning. The bottom shelf has wooden drawers because that’s all we could create oursleves. Over that I put a towel, and over that I lay down a cardboard box that has been flattened. She also has other boxes as she loves to chew them and hide inside them. Her middle shelf is wood and covered in a towel. She doesn’t seem to chew the towels so much any more. This shelf is where her food and water dishes are. The top shelf is metal and covered in a towel. I am able to pull the extra length of the towel over and feed it back into the cage so she has a very comfy spot to sleep or rest.

Featured image Center shelf where food and water usually are. Bo is at the bottom left, enjoying out time.

Featured image  Bo on her top shelf, and yes, there’s still a lot of cleaning to do on the cage.

Featured image  Bottom of cage with lots of cardboard for chewing on and hiding in.

Because she can’t perch and poop off the shelves, the towels absorb the deposits, and I change them every couple days, depending on how soiled they get. I hose them off in the back yard, let them dry, then wash a bunch at a time. Much like keeping enough clean diapers on hand. And the top shelf is metal because she managed to chew the original wood one we installed completely in half. “Whoaaa!” She has not done that again.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.


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