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Melissa Kauffman, Editorial Director for BIRD TALK magazine 
Life in the Bird House
About the author:

Melissa Kauffman is the Editoral Director for BIRD TALK magazine and She shares her Southern California home with her husband, her two dogs, her two cockatiels, Carlisle and Natty Bird and her blue-headed Pionus parrot, Deacon. Share in the adventures with her flock and her experiences in bird ownership in Life in the Bird House.

Thursday, March 4, 2010
Bird People Love Bird Colors

WildBird magazine editor Amy Hooper recently changed her hair color. I told her how much I loved it. She told me she got her inspiration from a bird. View Blog>>

Thursday, February 18, 2010
Parrots In Vegas

My husband and I went to Vegas this past weekend to visit some of his friends. I did a little bird-watching while I was there. View Blog>>

Thursday, February 4, 2010
Blue-Headed Pionus Parrot Determined Not To Be Video Star

My Pionus parrot is not ready for his close-up. I just bought a Flip Camcorder and have used it on the two pet dogs and my blue-headed Pionus parrot, Deacon. The two pet cockatiels are next to be video victims. View Blog>>

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Pet Bird-Themed Gifts For Christmas

Once your family and friends find out that you like birds and parrots, it is nothing but pet bird-themed gifts from then on out. Here is a sample of some of the gifts I got for Christmas — all with birds. View Blog>>

Thursday, January 7, 2010
Don’t Touch the Birds, They Bite

There were four kids at my house over the holidays, all under the age of 10. I do not have a kid-friendly household. It is pet friendly, though. I am much more comfortable with the thought of a pack of dogs or birds running/flying through the house safely than kids. View Blog>>

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Bird & Parrot Christmas Ornaments

My husband likes fake trees and I get bored easily. This is how we ended up with a fake, white Christmas tree this year. And ... I love it. It really emphasizes the ornaments. View Blog>>

Monday, December 7, 2009
I Love Antique Parrot Brooches

OK, for you antique people and brooch people out there. Here’s a photo for you. Went to another antique store and took a look at the broaches or pins. I have about seven of them myself and use them to jazz up an otherwise boring outfit. Whether parrots are real or fake and encrusted with fake jewels, everyone loves to look at them. View Blog>>

Monday, November 23, 2009
Sing Your Pet Bird to Sleep

One of my ferret friends from my days on Ferrets magazine e-mailed me the other day with a fascinating problem that one of pet bird-owning friends was having with her parrot. I sent the e-mail to editor Laura Doering to cover in a future issue of Bird Talk magazine. However, one thing that struck me in the e-mail was how the pet bird owner sung a lullaby to her parrot every night — and her parrot seemed to really enjoy it. It was part of their daily routine. View Blog>>

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Unusual Bird Cages

I always have been fascinated with how pet bird cages have changed through the years. I also love to collect old avian-themed antiques. View Blog>>

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Adopted: Another Pet Bird for Me

Several years ago, I visited Pet Bird Behavior Consultant and writer Sally Blanchard’s Bird Museum in Colorado. Sally has many talents, and one of them is sculpting. While I was there I bought a small sculpture of a blue-headed Pionus parrot that she had created. The blue head sculpture has since sat on my desk as a reminder that, one day, I would adopt another pet bird – my wish-for bird – a Pionus parrot. View Blog>>

Friday, April 14, 2009
Bird-Themed Plant Containers

I have spent a lot of time at gardening and supply stores since buying a home two years ago. One thing I’ve noticed over and over is this “fairy garden” craze. You can buy fairy houses and miniature accessories and create cute miniature-themed worlds among your plants. View Blog>>

Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Down and Dirty of Bird Bathing

Bathing your pet bird - now there is a topic guaranteed to make you snore. It is one of those basic pet bird articles that every finch, canary or parrot owner must read but doesn’t want to. So I will keep this fun, short and easy for those of you who need to know about bird bathing but want the information quick and painless. View Blog>>

Thursday, December 4, 2008
5 Real Tips for Cost Cutting

I normally don’t care for cost-cutting articles. Usually the tips include suggestions that just don’t work for me. For example, doing all your errands at one time to save gas? I’m a working gal. I only have Saturday and Sunday free to do errands anyway, so I do them all at once. Seriously, who has the time to do an errand a day? View Blog>>

Friday, October 17, 2008

I took my two dogs for a walk this morning and no sooner had I reached the end of the block then a flock of Amazons flew over. Noisy and rambunctious, they flew into the trees lining the street I walked on. Now this is a common sight in my neighborhood, but I thought taking some pictures of my playful green neighbors for my blog would be a good idea. View Blog>>

Friday, October 3, 2008
Movies Have Gone To The Dogs ... Again

Ahhh, another weekend, another opening film. This time the movie is guaranteed to raise the awareness of the Chihuahua breed. The movie will make them even more open to impulse adopting. Plus, they’ll also get more educational books, more breed-specific food and toys and more money behind health research. And that is how the double-edged sword of fame goes. View Blog>>

Friday, August 29, 2008
It’s Date Night!

More and more couples that have been together for a significant amount of time are bringing Date Night into their lives. This is one night during the week where they set aside time for the two of them to do something together, to re-connect away from their hectic schedules. Now, if you are like me, you are busy night and day. Trying to get some quality time with your feathered family member(s) just gets tougher and tougher. View Blog>>

Friday, August 8, 2008
Getting Back To New Orleans

There is nothing like attending a vet conference, especially when it is held in New Orleans. One of my favorite cities in the United States, New Orleans is filled with history, art and food, food, food. New Orleans and pet birds are synonymous to me. View Blog>>

Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Books In The Bookshelf In The Bird Room

I got a new bookshelf over the weekend. It wasn’t a really expensive bookshelf, but I’ve been meaning to buy it for about six months and waited until I had the money to get it and the time to go pick it up. View Blog>>

Thursday, July 10, 2008
WWWD? (What Would Woody Do?)

There is a popular saying, “What would Jesus do?” It’s a great saying: easy to remember, easy to use, easily understood. No matter what the situation, even if you are only vaguely familiar with Jesus and his teachings, you pretty much would know what he would do. What could this possibly have to do with Woody, my new Meyer’s parrot? View Blog>>

Thursday, June 26, 2008
I Cook, Therefore I Am

It is Sunday morning. I wake up, still tired and bleary eyed. For once, my husband has gotten up before me and is watching something sport oriented in the living room. I can hear the murmurings of the TV. I stare up at the ceiling and sigh. I can feel their eyes staring at me, even though the door is shut. View Blog>>

Friday, June 6, 2008
The Tipping Point

How many birds is too many? This is something the bird team has chatted about a lot over the years. I’ve seen people live quite happily with anything from one bird to 10 birds. I’ve seen people be miserable with one bird or 10 birds. View Blog>>

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Get It Together

One of the really fun parts of my job is that I get to test out new products along with my birds. Sometimes they love the product, sometimes they ignore it, and sometimes only one of them loves it. You never know what is going to happen. View Blog>>

Thursday, May 8, 2008
Family Pictures

My husband, Scott, told me the other week that a friend of a friend of his was a photographer and that she was coming to visit the friend, and he wanted her to come over and take pictures of us and our pets. I was lukewarm about this suggestion. I had a hair appointment that day, I didn’t feel like cleaning the house, the floor under the bird cage would have to be kept pristine up until the moment she came over, and etc., etc. View Blog>>

Friday, May 2, 2008
So You Think Your Bird Can Dance?

The answer to that is a resounding "No." I have never thought either of my birds could dance. I've lived with them for more than 15 years, and I've danced around the room plenty of times, and never once have they joined in. View Blog>>

Friday, April 25, 2008
Manmade Is Not Better

My hand hurts because I’ve spent the past half an hour trying to re-create a cockatiel as my bird avatar on the I tried different colors and beaks and body types, even wings. I just can’t get them to look even a little bit as good as my birds.” View Blog>>

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Grand Opening of the Bird Clinic

When I first got Carlisle, I knew absolutely nothing about birds. I can’t even remember why I decided to take him to the vet. I had so little money as an assistant editor that it must have been for some specific reason rather then an annual checkup. There was a vet clinic down the block from my apartment, so I decided to take Carlisle there. It was the best decision of convenience I ever made. View Blog>>

Monday, April 7, 2008
Right On, Target!

Oh, it is that time of year again. The time when I go to Target and buy some more under $10 t-shirts with bird motifs.” View Blog>>

Monday, March 31, 2008
Death In The Family

Sadly, my guinea pig Jack passed away Easter weekend. He had bloat, so it was a painful passing. He chirped in pain and shrieked when he died. He was in the same room as the birds, so they watched and heard this horrible passing of their roommate. (Yes, Jack was being treated by a vet and we did everything we could to save him.) . View Blog>>

Thursday, March 27, 2008
From The Bird Cage to the Dog House

My eyes are burning and my mind is in first gear; I am so tired. No, it’s not because of Daylight Saving Time, although that has certainly contributed. It is the new puppy.View Blog>>

Monday, March 17, 2008
Grey Matters

I just subscribed again to National Geographic and was delighted when I received my first issue, March 2008. On the cover was a Border Collie with the blurb, “Inside Animal Minds.”  Of course, the delight was immediately followed by the thought, “They should have put Alex on the cover.” View Blog>>

Thursday, March 13, 2008
Mirror, Mirror

What does my cockatiel Carlisle see when he stares obsessively in the mirror each day? It has got to be something good. He approaches that mirror with confidence, a sort of cocky walk, crest raised high and whistling.View Blog>>

Monday, March 03, 2008
Who Let the Dog Out?

Late last night I got a knock on the door at home. My company's marketing manager, Lisa MacDonald, was in the area with her son and they found a Husky running around in the street. The poor baby didn't have a collar (wasn't microchipped either we later found out), hadn't eaten in awhile (its ribs were visible), but was obviously quite tame. View Blog>>

Tuesday, February 28, 2008
Looks Like We’ve Made It

I love to shop. I hate spending money but I do love shopping. No surprise then that catalogs bring me such joy. And what recently brought me even greater joy was receiving my Pier 1 Imports “Springy Thingy” catalog that had a cockatiel on its front cover. A cockatiel, you ask? View Blog>>

Monday, January 28, 2008
Bird Dance Party

We have two photo studios here at work. The one upstairs is used for filming, and the room is also shared with two people from our digital/pre-press department: Gina and Pamela. Today, the BirdChannel group filmed its promo for an upcoming video contest. View Blog>>

Friday, January 04, 2008
I Hate Visitors

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. View Blog>>

Thursday, December 27, 2007
Family Squabbles

Although my two cockatiels have lived side by side for more than 15 years, they still squabble over territory. My husband would always call Carlisle “the bully,” but I’ve noticed Natty Bird going after Carlisle plenty of times. I would have to say that they are equal opportunity bulliers. View Blog>>

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Joy of Giving

This time of year always brings the question – should I or should I not get my cockatiels presents for Christmas. Like everyone, I am on a tight budget. Most of my family lives in other states, so I’ve have to buy practically everything online and ship it. View Blog>>

Friday, November 30, 2007
My Life With Pet Birds

I am the editorial director for a company that publishes pet magazines, and I have a dog, two birds and a guinea pig. My friends think my life is strange. I don’t know about that, I believe everyone’s life is a little different. On some days my job is stressful, on other days it is fun. View Blog>>

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