Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coco Eating Palm Nuts and Pandanus!

Coco received a super treat today... a delivery of fan palm nuts and pandanus fruit from The Cozy Nestbox in Miami, Florida. I was so anxious to see her reaction to these tropical delights!

First things first.... wash and rinse as I would any other produce:

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What exactly is that new thing you want me to try???


Well, maybe just a little taste.....
Hey, not bad... not bad at all! Thanks!!!
I'll take a little more of that, please!

Quite unique! I love the orange fleshy part!


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This is Coco enjoying the pandanus fruit, a true tropical treat! It is a fibrous fruit, and the birds take great efforts to peel and remove the outer husk to reach the prized inner nut:
Pandanus fruit, and palm nuts of all varieties, provide loads of enrichment. The pandanus fruit, in particular, may take a day or two of work before a bird reaches the inner nutty reward.




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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on my personal postings and images.
They cannot be copied, re-worded, edited and posted elsewhere without my permission.
Thank you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coco Trying a New Food Item

This video, filmed just prior to the video of the budgie boys, shows Coco getting in on some healthy eating action of her own!

She has always been a fairly good eater, usually willing to try new foods with some encouragement. When introducing new foods, consider the following:

1. Offer a new food along with existing recognizable favorites.

2. Offer a new food several days in a row. Do not give up if it is initially snubbed.

3. Variety and presentation is critical when it comes to acceptance. Offer the new food minced, diced, chopped, chunked, grated, raw, cooked and cooled, pureed, etc.

4. If possible, allow the bird to watch the food preparation process while you "talk it up".

5. Consider adding a new food to a favorite mash base such as sweet potato or mashed beans.

6. Many parrots love birdie bread. This can be a method for introducing a new item, increasing nutrition and even using up pellet crumbs. (Just collect them each day, and refrigerate them until it is time to add them to the batter.)

The mix in this video contained brown rice, organic hydroponically grown bibb lettuce, a small amount of thinly sliced apple, and one new item (rottini pasta made from carrot). Enjoy!




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They cannot be copied, re-worded, edited and posted elsewhere without my permission.
Thank you.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Budgie-Boys Expanding Their Cuisine!

The budgie-boys are better than most when it comes to eating. In addition to a high quality, organic seed blend that I mix myself, they will eat grains and beans. They have not, however, been terribly keen on vegetables and fruit with the exception of a little carrot and an occasional bite of apple.

So last night I made them a bowl of brown rice, thinly sliced apple and shredded, organic, hydroponically grown bibb lettuce! I tell you the bibb lettuce is really delicious, and I had hoped to get them interested in the world of greens by starting with the bibb lettuce.

After 10 minutes of being curious, but hesitant... finally.... all 3 were willing to eat. And eat big they did! And they also finished a bowl of the same mixture tonight. The video below shows the fruit of my labor (pardon the pun), with all of them really enjoying the entire mixture. A little seed was sprinkled on top to pique their interest.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as they enjoyed their new cuisine!



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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on my personal postings and images.
They cannot be copied, re-worded, edited and posted elsewhere without my permission.
Thank you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bear Pictures - FINALLY!

After all these years, and even face-to-face bear encounters, we have yet to get one picture. That is, until tonight... JACKPOT!


Steve left the house to take Barney for his walk, and just as they were headed down the driveway, a mother bear with THREE new baby cubs suddenly appeared from behind some trees. At that point, Barney and Steve were about 30 feet from the 4-some.

(Sorry that the pictures are not that great, but the last thing you want to do is chase down the mother and ask for her autograph!
)


When Barney saw them, you can imagine what transpired. I was in the bird room when I heard barking. I immediately knew something was wrong, because Barney rarely barks, and only for a very good reason. So my first thought was bears, but it is a little early in the year to see them. And, before tonight we had not yet seen any.

As soon as Steve saw the bears, he grabbed Barney, and with him in his arms literally ran back up the drive way and the stone steps into the house. While our experience with bears in the past 11 years is that they shy away from people and are not aggressive, we also do not feed them or give them a reason to approach. Yet, a mother with three newborn cubs is a whole different animal - and Steve knew it would be critical to get inside as soon as possible so as not to concern or upset the mother bear.

Just as Steve was walking into the house with Barney, I was coming from the birdroom into the living room. I knew something was up, when the first words out of his mouth were, "is the camera ready with batteries?" The answer was yes, and I stayed inside the house to keep Barney calm and not barking while Steve went out onto the deck to see if he could get some photos. These photos are taken just outside the bird room. Fortunately, the mother and cubs remained in the driveway long enough to get a few photos!

Aren't they the cutest little cubs?!
The good news is that mom looks very healthy and fat. It is unusual to see a mom with even one baby, so to see her with three cubs was a huge treat!

The general cycle of black bears is to breed in June or July, the gestation period is 235 days, and cubs are born in January or February. At birth, they average 10-16 ounces and are 8 inches long. At 5 weeks of age they are mobile, so we know these cubs are at least 5 weeks old. To us, they appeared to weigh 15 to 20 pounds, and are probably about 3 months of age having been born in early January.
We are so excited to see and introduce them to you - perhaps we should have a naming contest!


Enjoy!





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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on my personal postings and images.
They cannot be copied, re-worded, edited and posted elsewhere without my permission.
Thank you.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cleaning with Hot Water and Soap?

It has been awhile since I've done a blog about 'cleaning'... how much can you say about the topic? For those of us with birds, it is simply a part of our daily lives!


A few months ago, I was surprised to read that good old hot water and soap is on the 'outs' as a cleaning method. I even had one person warn me that it was dangerous and to stop using it. (And to think that most of us still use it for our dishes and baby items... goodness!)


I was shocked to read that many simply rinse a bird's food and water dishes with hot water, but never use soap. They do occasionally swish with vinegar. If they do the same for their own dirty dishes, I can promise you I will turn down their dinner invitations!


For gosh sakes, it really makes me wonder sometimes. Has common sense fled the planet?!

It is a sad day when soap and hot water are deemed dangerous.


As you know, I have used the dangerous soap diluted in hot water in my home for many years on both my own dishes and the birds. The type of soap I use for the birds is "Murphy's Oil Soap" partially because it works well on wood, and mostly because it contains 98% natural ingredients. It is well diluted in plenty of that old fashioned, out-of-date hot water! But if I were to run out of it, I would not hesitate to use the clear, scent-free soap that I use on my own dishes!


So I thought I should get up on my soap box (oops, pardon the pun), and show some new cleaning pictures. While lots of soap and water were used in these pictures, no birds were harmed!

(Really, it is just a great excuse to post some new pictures of the budgie-boys... how cute are they?! They are smooch-able cute!)


So, what does the bird room look like on a typical day when I get home from work? Coco's area looks well used:
And the budgie-boys try their best to keep their area just as tidy!


Time for a little cleaning! Within 15 minutes, it will be brand-spanking, sparkling clean!

STEP #1: The Scraper:

This is what Coco's area looks like after it has been scraped:

STEP #2: The Sweep:


This is what the budgie area looks like after scraped and swept (but prior to vacuuming):


This is Coco's area after a scrape and sweep (prior to vacuuming):


Scraping and sweeping by hand is fast... maybe about 5 minutes if I don't get distracted by birdie-helpers!


Add another 5 minutes for a good vacuuming, and I'm ready to spray down their areas with a bottle containing lots of water and a little bit of soap:



What to do... what to do while waiting for the spray to soften so that I can easily wipe their areas clean? What better opportunity for a quick little bath! It is also a time when I swap out the water dishes, replacing them with the ones that were cleaned the previous night (you guessed it...) with hot water and soap!



You will notice that some of the budgie perches have a little 'ick' on them, but that will be taken care of in the next step!



This is a mixture of soap diluted in lots of hot water. A good old fashioned wash cloth (used only for this purpose, and thrown into the washer for sanitizing) is excellent at getting into all the corners. I first wipe the perch surfaces before cleaning the flooring.


Every nook and cranny can easily be cleaned - good as new!



Coco's area gets equally clean, although it never stays that way for very long!

And now, my favorite time of the day: mommy-birdie time!

COPYRIGHT ©2009-2011:
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on my personal postings and images.
They cannot be copied, re-worded, edited and posted elsewhere without my permission.
Thank you.