One day I was sitting in my relaxation chair with my dog on my lap. I was reading an engrossing story and barely notices when the sound of wings fluttering came into the room. I expected that the sound came from one of the birds in the living room cages. A few minutes later, I got up to get back to work. On my love seat, sitting calmly and looking around with interest, a Parson finch relaxed. Oh, so that’s the source of the sound.
I hurried into the room where the boarding birds were, where I had failed to notice a smaller door inside the big door on the Parsons’ cage had caught on something and stayed open. This allowed my little visitor to come to the living room and kick back. Of course, I grabbed a net and ended the poor thing’s break. I stuffed it back into the cage and started checking that door before I leave off.
This may not seem like a great event, but I had so much enjoyment and such a glow of affection for the bird that I almost hoped that he would get out again and I could recreate it. I have never bred Parsons, so this is an event I only could enjoy because I boarded these birds. That’s the main reason I do board. I can experience many more species of birds this way.
I have been blessed with a young, weaning Congo African Gray Parrot, a few eclectus parrots, a few conures, an Amazon, a lorikeet, and many more. I am not a professional boarder, I don’t run a business of that type, and I am not bonded. I do this service for friends and friends of friends only. I also lose a bird now and then, and I cry too much over my own birds as it is.
The fact remains that I love to have birds temporarily in my home that I otherwise could not keep. Like the turacos I have hand-fed. And Chessie, the blue-front conure. And Bella the lorikeet who started it all. The memories and joy they have brought with them lingers on years later. I know when the current boarders leave to their new home, the house will be horribly quiet. Venezuelan tropiels are top songbirds. The Brazilian cardinals are equally skilled. The wide variety of finches sing and call and entertain us daily.
And of course, I am hoping to store up enough good karma with the universe so that if I get a chance to travel, someone will step forward and watch my birds for a small fee. I have 25 birds inside right now. I have 17 birds that are not finches outside. The finches number, in my best guess, about 40. A total of 80 birds to care for is mind-boggling for most people.
In July of 2020 I hope to go to a writing conference in San Francisco. By then, I will have sold off many of the finches, lost some birds to age, and been firm in my conviction that I do not need any more birds. I’ll have either gotten Orianna and Charlie to have some babies or have given up and rehomed her. Charlie can then come back inside to be a pet once more. The cape doves and ringneck doves can breed up a storm and I can sell the offspring. Ditto on the button quail. I might be down to 30 birds outside and 15 inside. And I can walk on the moon the week after that.
Who am I trying to kid? I will have many birds for the rest of my life. I will be taking in rescues whenever needed and always happy to work with a special needs parrot. I get extra karma for that, right? Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.