I’ll Have the Drought with a Side of Heat Wave.

Welcome to Southern California in the Summer. We have drought conditions in the entire state, causing there to be an actual business that will paint your dead lawn green. We have high enough temperatures so that libraries and shopping malls are cool zones for the elderly and disabled.

This week I went with family to the San Diego Safari Park which you may remember as The Wild Animal Park. The heat almost took on a personality, laughing at the misters and fans that were going throughout the park. Most of the animals were lethargic, and by mid afternoon I joined them.

As soon as I got home, I checked all the waters for my birds, and thought about putting on the misters for the outside aviaries. The problem is that the misters are not adjustable, so they put out too much wet. The birds like it, especially the cockatiels, but the ground can’t absorb what doesn’t evaporate. So the ground seed turns moldy in a short time. You would think with the heat, that wouldn’t be a concern. But we apparently have adapted a heat-loving mold here.

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All of my birds, by and large, have open water dishes where they can bathe if they get too hot. The canaries are fastidious bathers, followed closely by the finches. Third place goes to the conures, all kinds. I have to keep their water cleaner than clean, or they smell like whatever fell into the water after bathing in it.

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Maynard is lucky to get a shower almost daily with me. He gives me hints that it would be nice to take a bath now by sitting where I can see him with his wings held out to the sides. He doesn’t quite go as far as to pant, but I can just imagine that.

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The CAGs often bathe in their open water dishes, but when the temperatures climb, I get out my personal mister give them a good soaking. When they hear me pumping up the pressure in the bottle, they spread their feathers and put their heads down.

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These photos are of Jordan, a female Timneh African Grey I had the pleasure of fostering for a while.  She bathed daily in her water dish.  These pictures, if pu t into a flip book, would show the sequence of her bath.

My injured boy, Fin, is the only bird that really hates baths if he didn’t initiate it. He joins me for breakfast most mornings, and once tried to bathe in my cereal milk. Neither of us were amused by that process. The first time I ever stuck Fin into a shallow sink-full of cool water, he complained at the top of his little lovebird voice. Then he sat in his bird tent and shivered the rest of the day. Yeah, because it was only 89 degrees F in the house. Brrr!

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

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