Thursday, June 16, 2011

When Green Equals Brown !

Coco was in the mood for a bath tonight, and decided to get fully soaked!
She has been molting for a few weeks, as have been the budgies, so as you can imagine, the bird room is 'well feathered'! In fact, it looks like a small feather pillow exploded in the room.With the number of feathers lost during a molt, one might wonder why the bird is not naked. But when put in perspective, we realize a bird has thousands of feathers, and not every one of them is even replaced during a given molt.

Once bath time is over, it's time to drip-dry! Even when soaked to the skin, it only takes an hour or two for Coco to fully dry. It is a time she enjoys, rezipping all the feathers and putting things back into place. But she also likes having a little snack during dry-time.

And then when she is freshly dry after a shower, she shines with the brilliance of the sun!

I think this mohawk 'doo suits me well, don't you!

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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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Peeled Please...

What's up with this - -

I like the grapes and all, but in the future I would appreciate you providing them "pre-peeled" please.... !

Oh, and the same for my almonds, beans and apples while you're at it...!

In fact, why do so many good foods come with peels on them anyway?!

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.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Common Birdie Sense

At a family gathering a number of years ago, I recall a distant relative complaining to my grandmother that her toddler was still not potty trained. She quizzed her as to the right age for a child to be trained.

"Dear, I've raised 6 children to adulthood. All of them potty trained at different ages. But this I can promise you - not a single one of them wore diapers in high school."
If there was one thing she knew, it was that each child was an individual. And she treated them accordingly. If one of the children didn't eat their dinner, she did not become frantic and call the doctor. There certainly was not the money for that sort of thing. She simply didn't allow them desert, and knew that eventually they would get hungry and eat. She sent them outside to play, or assigned chores (work) to increase their appetite. She seemed to have a keen sense as to when a child was actually ill and when they were just simply feeling like being rebellious and refusing to eat their vegetables. She knew her children, and she knew them well.
Likewise, each of our birds is an individual. Not all birds of a certain species eat the same amount of food daily. Not all macaws love the underside of their left interior wing scratched. And, not all cockatiels like to play with the same types of toys.

We humans seem to gravitate toward taking the unique and making it ordinary... turning the complex into a recipe for sameness, and categorizing the splendor of each bird into the clump of "all"or "most".

The joy in living with a companion bird comes in developing a relationship, learning their preferences, likes, dislikes, and tendencies. Then as any good parront, we help them develop to their full potential. We expose them to different foods, people, and situations carefully and lovingly encouraging them to explore the environment and expand their horizons. We are certainly the product of genetics and environment, but we are also shaped by our experiences. By knowing our birds, we can begin to predict how they might respond to a new situation or food, and are also in a position to know what is normal and when things are not at all right.

Common Birdie Sense.... it helps us focus and not freak.

It allows us to quickly call the avian vet if there is an illness, and enables us to take a deep breath and relax when there is not.

In the bird world, it seems sometimes we see parronting skills that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. One person will write: "I plan to take my bird to the vet first thing tomorrow morning - because I have not seen her take a single drink of water in over an hour!!!" While another person will post a question on a bird forum that reads, "My bird is in the bottom of the cage convulsing and unable to perch. Does anyone know what could be wrong, and if there is some herbal tea home remedy I can give her?"
That's where a little Common Birdie Sense can really come in handy. It's just as absurd to freak out that we didn't see our bird take a drink in the past hour (some birds will never be seen drinking), as it is to be looking for home remedies and internet advice for a convulsing bird.

It is really important to take a common sense, educated approach to bird care, and that begins with our responsibility to know each of our birds. To really know them.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is also true when it comes to reinforcers. In the same way that each bird has food and toy preferences, birds also are unique as to what they consider a high value reinforcer. And even those are not only personal, but also situational and changeable.

The last couple of weeks it has been hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Knowing Coco, it didn't surprise me when she slowed down on her food intake. I've seen this in the past during the hot weather. She did not stop eating, but she has been eating less. Using a little Common Birdie Sense, I thought I would change things up a little bit. Normally, she receives fruit as a treat. So I bought some seasonal raspberries and strawberries, and whipped them up with a light tossing of vanilla yogurt. Sugar often sparks appetite, and what better than some juicy berries! Yep - that got her appetite moving again! And being the dedicated parront that I am, I joined her... just to set a good example, you know... !

(Now, if grandma were here right now, I bet she would have a nice slice of homemade pie to go with this!)

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.