December Potpourri

If you live in a house full of pets with wings, you don’t normally look up when you hear the flapping of wings. I happened to be talking to Mike when we both saw something fly into the kitchen. No birds were purposely out, so we went to see who it was. Our darling green cheek, Nacho, was flying around the house and feeling very proud of himself, no doubt.

Nacho suffered the loss of his upper beak when I didn’t get him away from Io quickly enough. Our blind Congo African Grey has nipped a number of beaks and toes, but he’s not really a mean bird. He’s just exploring his world in the only way he can. As a result, Nacho’s lower beak grows continuously. I’ve had to snip it off carefully so that it doesn’t grow into his head. He’s learned to use that extra long beak to his advantage, to open the closures on the cage he shares with Esme.

nacho long beak

When we returned him to his cage, to our amazement, all the doors were still closed and locked. Nacho has learned how to lift the unlocked slide up doors on the cage, and slip out of captivity while holding it up. What a clever boy! We have now clipped closed all those doors.

When we lost our foster sun conure, Mookie, his cage mate, orange front conure Sunny, kept looking for him in the box Mookie loved to rest in. I’ve always wanted our splay-legged orange front conure, Dani, to have a companion, so I put the two of them into a new cage. At first, nothing much went on between them, but there also was no aggression. I gave Dani a plastic pail to sleep in, which she shredded in a week. I gave her brown paper which she also shredded. Then I put a large white paper bag in the cage, and she chewed very slowly.

After a while, I noticed both conures were in the bag at the same time. This went on for days. Only once was there any complaining and squabbling. After that, they seemed happy to share the hiding place. Dani also started climbing higher up in the cage, either because she now knew Sunny as a friend or she wanted to be closer to him.

I am totally thrilled with this situation. All it took was for Dani to get Sunny in the sack. Now they are happy and sassy. You can blame my husband for that pun, but only a little. He only said it, I chose to write it down.

I currently have three baby lovebirds being handfed. They will be weaned and looking for new homes around Christmas. Their clutch had six eggs but only three hatched. I think the parents decided not to waste time on only three because the chicks had empty crops when I pulled them. They are doing fine now and will strip a sprig of millet in a day. They also found their water dish, which is a big step towards being independent. As soon as they take their first flights, we’ll be setting them up in a cage.

There are four more eggs in the nest box already. These babies will be pulled sometime in January. After that, I don’t think I’m going to keep the nest box in the aviary. I want to get the budgies set up and encourage the Indian Ringnecks, plus some possible other birds may breed for me. More on that at the end of the blog.

Ms. Bo Dangles has a new cage! I picked it up used for a good price and it’s in excellent shape. Her old cage is outside waiting for its next used and in need of a super major cleaning. I am thrilled with the easy cleaning of the new cage, its grating, and its actual metal tray. Bobo doesn’t seem too upset about the move, especially since she’s now in the middle of a row, with Blind Io on one side and Crazy Maynard on the other. She still has one shelf to rest on and new dishes since the old ones don’t work with the new cage openings. I’m still working out how the towels for the shelf will stay in place, but until the weather gets colder, we aren’t too worried about it.

bos new cage

Bobo has developed a cute trick of folding the towel over the place where she poops so she isn’t stepping in it as much. But then she poops on top of the fold. Oh, well, we’ll get this worked out soon. It’s all good.

My canaries, a pair of waterslagers and a Fife, get a daily serving of apples and occasionally some broccoli. Maybe because it’s not a guarantee, they seem to prefer the broccoli. Not only will they take all the flower buds off the top, they will clean out the stem. Fortunately, these are song canaries, not color, so they won’t be turning green from the food. I love that they love their veggies, unlike some spoiled DYH Amazon parrots I could name.

rico canary

Finally, I’m sorry this is so late today. I participated in the North County Aviculturists Bird Club holiday party last night. Look for photos on their web page soon. We crazy bird people partied until 9 pm, getting high on candy decorations and awesome birds on the Opportunity Drawing table. The end of the night had me carrying home a pair of Red Rump Parrots, the alluded to new birds whom I hope will breed for me soon. I’ve been reading up on them and they are reputed to be easy to breed. So fingers are crossed and visions of baby RRPs are dancing in my head.

red rumps murray and darling

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

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