Thankful for My Flock

This is the last blog before Thanksgiving and I want to share with you how thankful I am for the birds with whom I share my days. Over the years as I became more involved in aviculture and my flock grew, I experienced amazing fun things, like a group of a dozen lovebirds flying over my head, some brave enough to land on me, in my living room. These birds also liked to ride on the ceiling fan. We never have it on when any of the birds are out, but these little clowns would land on the blades and flap their wings until it started to move, slowly.

Presently, I have a pair of Indian Ringnecks that delight me by eating the strangest fruits, like guava and persimmons. They had a family of mice living behind their nest box, so I moved it. I’ve been giving them palm fronds to turn into nesting materials. I hope they do breed this year, but even if they don’t, I am thankful for the antics of Wraith and Orion.

wraith-and-orion

Double yellow-headed Amazon Maynard continues to be the center of attention in the house. When we have people over, Maynard has to be allowed on his play stand to contribute to the conversation. If I watch a movie, he must be allowed to laugh, cry, get excited, and otherwise be a member of the audience. When I work outside, he has a cage just for sitting in and enjoying the sunshine. He’s a sweetheart, even if just to me, but so many people who meet him love him that he is certainly a blessing to be thankful for.

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I am thankful for both my special needs Congo African Greys. Blind Io delights me by turning a stack of cardboard boxes into shredded bits and by reacting to my voice while stretching to let me touch his beak. Bo Dangles, the toeless parrot, has let me get closer to her, let me scratch her feathers and reach into her cage. I let her bite me because I know she won’t bite hard now. Every day with her becomes more of a treasure.

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Bo Dangles

I can’t get enough finches. At one time when my flock stopped having babies, I gave up and gave away all my zebras and societies, my cutthroats and my owl finches, and never ever tried Gouldians after the first four passed on. Then that evil bird club had a pair of beautiful zebras on the opportunity table. I won them and started buying more and getting societies and put them outside. They breed really well outside. The mice are an issue, but I have faith that I will solve that problem. Everything else about the birds, their antics in the flight cage, their calls, their bathing habits, delights me and I am so thankful for them.

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View from outside. Babies have black beaks

I have to mention a young male zebra finch whom I deemed too young to be sold in the last batch. Also, a grey singing finch that came down with an attack of baldness. The two have been cage mates and even laid a few eggs in the time they’ve been together. No chance of the eggs hatching, but they do have fun playing house.

Button quail are the delight of my outside cages because they will attack mice. I have seen them dig up a nest of mice and eat the pinkies. I have two pairs and one trio in different cages. I’m hoping for unrelated chicks that I can pair up for sales or giveaways. Interestingly enough, now that the boys are all happy with girls, they don’t do so much calling. But the girls call every now and then. I am thankful for their chicks and their hunting abilities.

041416 button quail

Budgies are my mainstays of hand-feeding, although I took away the nest boxes at the beginning of summer, knowing I would be too busy to raise babies. Now I am looking for ways to set up nest boxes without allowing mice to get into them. Wish me luck! I’m thankful for the chance to improve my process.

adult budgies

My English budgies are in a large cage inside. I missed the opportunity to put them in an outside cage. So I am debating giving them nest boxes in the current cage. I can’t wait much longer to have English chicks. I’m thankful for the decision ahead of me with these wonderful little parrots.

My three inside cockatiels and one special needs rosy Bourke parakeet have a great time calling to the two pair of cockatiels outside. (Okay, maybe the rosy doesn’t so much, but she is a very active hen) They are on my retired list and provide hours of amusement when out of the cage or claiming a corner of it for their own. I’m thankful for the years of companionship these birds give me.

mom pineapple new home

I’m thankful for the canaries making a song in my home. A pair of waterslaggers, a fife, and two elder and retired canaries have no worries in this house. Singing is a great benefit of their presence, but their beautiful selves need no such grace. I’m thankful that I took a chance and got into canaries.

 

My pair of ringneck doves call and coo at different times of the day. They are such a devoted pair and take turns sitting on their eggs. I know there’s no market for doves right now, so I pull the eggs to give to friends who feed them to other pets. I’m thankful for knowing enough not to overproduce these sweet birds.

 

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Ethel the rosy Bourke parakeet

 

I’m down to two pairs of conures, one green cheeks and one orange front. The silly, noisy birds continue to find things that amuse me. One of the orange fronts, Dani, is seriously splay-legged, so we give her things to sleep on at the bottom of the cage. I gave her an empty cardboard box, not too big. She showed how happy she was by chewing on it right away. Then her cage mate, Sunny, decided to move in. No worries, I had another similar box and put it in next to the first one. Next time I looked, both orange fronts were in the same box. I’m thankful that these two might someday become close and bonded.

 

Dani and Mr Sun
Dani facing camera, Mr. Sun thinking about leaving.

 

I started with lovebirds past but I am also thankful for lovebirds present. My violet mutation pair hatched three more chicks and I pulled them to hand feed this week. They already have budding personalities. Having them in the dining room allows them to get used to people quickly and will give me the ability to watch them whenever I am home and on the computer. I’m thankful for the sweet souls that are entrusted to my care.

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