Fall in Love with Zebra Finches

Welcome to the first of my monthly bird species-focused blogs. I decided to start with finches and work my way up. I hope you will have a good time reading this and maybe share your own zebra finch stories in the comments. They are considered starter birds for enthusiasts, so I’d imagine a bunch of us have had them. Continue reading “Fall in Love with Zebra Finches”

Afraid of the Beak

Non-bird people and the occasional small bird person have said they would love to have a large, colorful parrot but the size of the beak on those guys is too scary. I guess I am unusual in that I look past that and first look into the eyes of the bird. Big parrots will “pin” their eyes, in other words, make their pupils into little pin holes, when they are interested in something. They also do this when they are afraid or mad and may bite. The eyes are the key to the bird’s behavior. Continue reading “Afraid of the Beak”

Holiday Treats for Birds

Ever eat a pine cone? As Euell Gibbons used to say, many parts are edible. And there are parrots and other birds who consider pine nuts an important part of their winter diet. But others might not get that excited about the treat. I did know a Red-lored Amazon who liked to break a scale off of the cone and use it to scratch himself. It’s late in the season, really, to collect the cones now, but that probably depends on where you live. Here in Southern California, many pine trees are just now dropping their cones. The way to make them ready for your parrots is pretty simple, especially if you get a good return of happy, quiet, play for your investment.

120618 pine-cones

Continue reading “Holiday Treats for Birds”

What Are Words For?

After my recent post about helping rehome (I said adopt) a few birds, someone pointed out to me that the use of some phrases would cast my blog in a bad light. This educated, wonderful person pointed out that the terminology of the groups and ideologies which are working to eliminate our animals from our lives opens the door for them to carry their point and puts us at a disadvantage. Continue reading “What Are Words For?”

Mapping Their World

A step in recovering from the loss of my beloved terrier, Tilda, has been adopting a new dog. She’s a really loving and sweet girl named Astrid. She couldn’t be more different than Tilda, in spite of looking similar. I am particularly concerned about Astrid’s joy in chasing birds. When we walk at the lake, she tries to get all the doves and sparrows and jays that cross her path. Continue reading “Mapping Their World”

How Can I Ignore Him When He’s So Loud?

Those who know parrots and know how to work with them always advise against rewarding a bird with attention for bad behavior. I wonder if these people actually live in the same house with their parrot subjects. Parrots are smarter than many other animals we share our lives with. We often can’t help rewarding them in some way. Continue reading “How Can I Ignore Him When He’s So Loud?”

Quail Tales

Button quail, also known as Chinese painted quail, have the cutest chicks imaginable. Born precocial like chickens, these kids know nothing. They are prone to losing body heat, splayed legs, drowning, and starving. Mom might show them where to find the food and water, and they might be lucky enough to keep warm overnight under her. But Dad is often determined to remove these little pests from his territory. Continue reading “Quail Tales”