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Monday, June 7, 2009
Appreciate Your Bird

By Laura Doering
Join in on Laura's fun and experiences of bird ownership, and share in her adventures as the editor of BIRD TALK, the world’s most widely read pet bird magazine, in Wayward Feathers.

Today marks the start of Pet Appreciation Week (June 7 through June 13). That’s a good excuse to go the extra mile for our birds for the next seven days. I know I work better with lists, so here’s the one taped to my fridge:


1. I will appreciate my cockatiel Gracie’s determination to eat around the banana shapes to focus on his favorites: the orange, green and red little balls. I won’t view this as wasteful, but his commitment to certain shapes and colors.


2. I will view that glued-on spec of dried poop on the cage’s corner crease, the one that’s withstood my weekly cage wipe downs three weeks running now, as a fun challenge deftly put forth by Ollie and his amazing aim at the cage’s nooks and crannies. Next cleaning round, I’m breaking out the hard bristle toothbrush and putting in some elbow grease to take care of it once and for all. Game on Ollie!


3. I will accept that my bird doesn’t want the pinfeathers under his chin, which are sticking out like a ceremonial necklace, broken open. I will patiently wait until the new feathers finally break through on their own.


4. I will patiently stand like a dumb waiter, offering Ollie his pellets by hand to make sure he eats them all. Apparently, the appeal is gone once I place them in his food dish. My hand, however, is like dining out on Fine China to him. I will appreciate the fact that he enjoys my close company while eating.


5. I will appreciate Gracie the ’tiel’s ability to fly jut out of reach when it’s time to go back to the cage. Instead of calling him sneaky, I will tell him how impressed I am by his speed and agility.


Above all I will appreciate the way my birds start contact calling me as soon as they hear my feet hit our creaky hardwood floors every morning. It’s reserved solely for me.

What are you going to appreciate about your birds this week? Do share!

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