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Friday, January 04, 2008
I Hate Visitors

By Melissa L. Kauffman, Editorial Director BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Share in the adventures of Melissa Kauffman's experiences in bird ownership in Life in the Bird House

If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is showing my office – aka the bird room – to visitors. First of all, it is never clean enough. Second of all, it is never clean enough. I could slave away the day before, and the bird area is a mess by the time someone comes to my house. Or, I can wait until the last minutes and frantically try to clean it down an hour before someone comes over, and it is still messy by the time they get there. It is too hard to explain to a non-bird person that mess is just part of living with birds. I have wooden floors, so I put a covering down all over that part of the floor. Not only do I have to vacuum up the debris, then clean up the poop, but I then have to wash it all down. Meanwhile, the birds are fascinated, looking down at me, perhaps munching some food as they watch the entertainment and just drop it right down on the floor.

There is also bird-owners blindness. This is when bird people are so used to the mess the birds make that they stop really noticing it. So I know that sometimes mess that I find acceptable might be offensive to any screaming clean visitor. This “blindness” also happens with parents of young children. You go to their house and shudder at the disorganized chaos they spent an hour frantically cleaning up before you came. My birds don’t really love visitors anyway. Visitors are never polite enough to stand back and greet the birds calmly. They always want the bird to perch on their hand, whether the bird is interested or not. I always have to have the same conversation, “Stay away from the birds at first, they need to get used to you.” Nowadays I just try to bypass that room altogether, which hasn’t quite worked – the lure of pretty feathers and all. I have a feeling pretty soon I’ll just be rudely saying, “Don’t go in there, it is off limits.” This way I don’t have to stress out over every tiny sliver of food or poop that rains down every moment, and I can just enjoy my birds and enjoy my visitors.

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Reader Comments
Oh my gosh tell me about it! What I consider a real clean room is to my mother and friends like an absolute mess even though I clean daily. Sometimes even twice a day if the birds have really been enjoying themselves.
My tiels bathe in their seed bowl, and the younger one poos all over the floor and my chairs and on my shirts sometimes (seriously its like she waits for someone to come near just to poo on them). Everyone finds this gross but because I've lived with birds most of my life I've gotton over it. I never thought I was normal but I'm glad there are other people out there that understand birds poo and make mess and throw food just like human babies do. My understanding is if the birds are having fun-who cares?!
Casey, New Zealand
Posted: 11/21/2009 6:29:44 PM
i know. my friends like to hole my bird, and he just talks to them, but all they want is to hold him. now i even have a breeding pair in the house, but they don't get that the 3 yea old birds aren't hand trained. i just show them what the lizards are like if they don't lissen. you can show them the dog .
cymoril, romeo, MI
Posted: 4/17/2008 2:37:22 PM
this brought a smile to my face, as I am so able to relate to "never clean enough". I am owned by a blue and gold Macaw and a Timneh African Grey. They have made what is supposed to be a dining area their place---two cages for nite time or if I am away for the day...and their playgyms. I clean every night [spic and span] as soon as they awake..of course they are on the gym for the "big poop" <----the morning one, and then the seed and fruit and veggie flinging starts if they dislike waht I am offering. Being that I am sort of a fanatic housekeeper I clean....it lasts for 5 minutes, and I try again. The African grey whose vocabulary is excellent and I swear he does not just mumble words...he relates to actions , will ask me " what ya doing, did Sam make a mess again"? Sam is his name . And to hear that little voice makes it all worthwhile. The Macaw on the other hand will gruffly say" Knock it off" . I am slowly learning that I am sharing my house with two mess-makers and learning not to be so anal about it. Also can relate to visitors approaching them in a manner that is too hasty for them and then getting frustrated when the birds either do not respond at all or respond in a "false charge". I prefer my birds to some visitors......and I wish you many more happy years with your companions,
Reenie
Reenie, Odenton, MD
Posted: 3/21/2008 2:29:20 AM
I have gotten to the point that I dislike company coming without lots of notice!!! My Grey and Tiel are so messy, that it does feel like you can't get the room they are in clean. Everytime you turn around it looks like I've never dusted or run the vaccume. Only bird owners could understand how clean my house is...heehee
Stephanie, Front Royal, VA
Posted: 3/9/2008 9:32:32 AM
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