Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Large Parrot Diaries Genesis
By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.
I keep those big beaks away from my computer...usually.
Aside from my blue-crowned conure, CooCoo; my blue-fronted Amazon, Radar; two African greys, Muggsy and Mitch; and the third grey that I just adopted in October, Phinneas; our flock includes Tiki, an umbrella cockatoo; a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, Spike; and a Moluccan cockatoo, Cupid. There are also my blue-and-gold macaws, Morgan, JJ and Boo; my scarlet macaw, Renee; and the green-wing macaw siblings, Molly and McMurphy. That rounds out the flock, which happily lives with my husband, Ray, and I here in the Ohio Valley.
Life with the flock is like running a daycare center. From the time I get up in the morning, I am busy nonstop. But it is also a lot of fun keeping them entertained. I love taking care of them.
It brightens my morning when I open the blinds behind Molly and McMurphy's cage and watch them run to look out the window saying, “Look, look outside!” and “I see a birdie outside.” By the time all the blinds are open and the birds are awake, I hear a chorus of “I'm hungry.” The rush to fill the dishes for my hungry birds begins!
Pellets make up most of their diet. Along with that is a small amount of seed with dried fruits, veggies and nuts mixed in that I keep readily available. Birds also need things like fresh fruits and vegetables. They also eat other healthy human foods like a bean, rice or veggie mash, plus the birdie bread I regularly bake for them. I know they enjoy my labor of love when I hear contented sounds like, “Ummmmmm” or “I like it” emanating from the direction where they eat.
I have read that birds do not have a good sense of taste. Well, you could have fooled me, since my birds get all excited and ask over and over, “Is it good?” when they see my husband and I eating our food. They sure know how to put a guilt trip on me to coax me into giving them they're birdie-sized taste!
On an e-mail list where I share pictures of my birds, members seem surprised that my woodwork and furniture is intact with so many large parrots around. They assume I know some secret that I won't share since their birds have chewed and redecorated much of their woodwork. I have to laugh. I guess I am just lucky. I do have some damage, but it is minimal and doesn't show up that much. My birds stay in their play areas for the most part, and I keep them far enough away from walls, doorways and woodwork. They are not on the furniture unless I am there to watch them, except when I take pictures of them perched on the back of a chair. (By the way, be sure to pick up your new copy of the 2009 BIRDS USA annual to see who won first place in the “It's Good To Be A Bird” category!)
They can be quick to use that big beak to do some redesigning, but it's usually easily touched up! Also, I make it a point to take pictures when the house is cleaned up. But after my birds are out for a short time, believe me it shows! Once they are back in their cages, there is much cleaning to be done yet again. And since I'd much rather have money available for bird food, toys, etc., not to mention any unexpected veterinarian trips; I keep those big beaks away from my computer.
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Large Parrot Diaries Genesis