Summer Potpourri

It’s HOT in Southern California and I do not live with air conditioning. So I’m going to ramble on about a few things that come to my mind. And actually stay long enough for me to write them down.

Maynard Update

I used to write exclusively about my Double Yellow Amazon, Maynard. But he has been so destructive when left to his own devices that I had to curtail his out time. He only gets out in the bedroom or on the play stand or outside on the cage in the shade. He doesn’t seem too upset about it. Tilda the dog is happy to have him restricted.

Farmer Green Maynard

Maynard still doesn’t like it when I wear my hair up in a ponytail. He will attack me. I forgot about his aversion to my hair changes and actually got a pretty wicked bite from him. With the heat so bad, he spends most of his time on the bottom of his cage where it’s somewhat cooler than up on the perch. He got time in the bedroom today while I put laundry away, then I stuck him in the shower for a few seconds. One wet Amazon later, I put him back in his cage and changed his water.

Sure enough, the goof hadn’t gotten enough with the shower. He was soaking his chest and feet in the clean water. So glad I got that changed in time.

Button Quail

Pixel a couple years ago in a small cage. He had a much better set up now.

I started with five new button quail chicks. They hatched on the 4th of July. I left them in with their parents, but did the usual trick of dunking their beaks in the water dish, luckily a shallow one, and then providing finely ground feed nearby. Mom is a great hen and dad is cool. He’d even helped mom cover the babies at night. As luck would have it, three died and one is looking all but passed away. Only one chick still up and running around after the parents. If this one keeps up the good work and turns out to be a girl, Pixel will be in heaven.


Yes, the last chicks are spoken for and will be going to their homes soon. I most likely will find a breeder who wants the two pair so that I can concentrate on my English budgies now. If those two pairs give me a regular clutch now and again, I will be ecstatic. They are all blue and all beauties.

group nap


North County Aviculturists held their first ever auction last weekend. There was a good selection of cages, an incubator, food, beautiful baskets full of succulent plants, and other useful items. But the big draw was the birds. Canaries, fire finches, a hand-fed blue budgie (One of mine, of course) and other fun species. This was the perfect opportunity to rehome some finches. I had a pair of green singing finches who were not at all interested in breeding. Much as I love them, I wanted them to get a chance to reproduce. The couple who entered the winning bid is experienced with many types of finches, so I hope they will have better results than I did.



Some time ago I bought a pair of gray singing finches from the club. Later I won a second male from the opportunity table. So I bought a girl from the bird farm north of me. Each pair had a good size cage. A nice nest cup. Lots of food and a bath dish. Fresh water and steady perches. And no interest in laying eggs. I added Aviagra to their seed but it made no difference. Sadly, one of the finches passed away. I had no idea if it was a male or female, so I didn’t attempt to replace it. I had been told when I got them that they were not safe to have in a mixed aviary. Turns out, that’s not the case. They could have gone out with the zebras and societies. Oh well.

070917 gray_singing

The night of the auction, when I netted the finches and put them in the cages, I noticed one of the grays who had been with another gray was totally bald. It also looked like the eyes were puffy and there were red marks under the eyes. Yikes! So I packed up all three and asked an expert at the meeting. On his advice that the finch could be sick, I switched out Baldy for the single finch, and crossed my fingers that they were still a pair. Turns out the man who advised me to keep back the sick one went home with them. Yay! I might offer him the single if it survives the month.

070917 mosaic canary
A mosaic canary saw a lot of competitive bidding.

African Gray Breakthrough

I love both my special needs CAGs. I had worked with Bo Dangles, the footless parrot, enough to be able to give her head a few scratches a couple times per day. But she still startled me when she would turn and snap, or when she charged at my feet. I just couldn’t get my nerve up to let her just bite me and get it over with.

Bo on towel

Then I did it. I let her chew on my fingers. She’s been gentle, mostly. And I am loving this contact with her. Having her trust me enough to pet her and trusting her enough to let her use her beak and tongue on my fingers is so rewarding. I managed to convince her to let me pick her up by her beak, but she wasn’t thrilled and hasn’t done it again. I have reached into the cage to let her use my hand to step down from her dangles and we are working on that still. She expects me to exchange scratches and nibbles every morning and every night, plus sometimes when she has floor time.

Unhappu Io.mp4_snapshot_00.11_[2016.07.08_20.59.39]
Blind Io
Bobo also still attacks my feet, but she doesn’t bite them hard, either. And I can play with her, gently pushing her back and moving my feet around to entice her to charge again. This is the reason I have parrots. Connecting with them is beyond joyful to me.


As you probably know, I could go on about my flock forever. I have more cockatiel eggs awaiting their fulfillment, I have finches I need to rehome, and I have bonded more than is advisable with the toraco chick, Mort. He’s almost grown up, and will probably be going back where he came from in a month or so. I just hope I get visitation sometimes.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.

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