Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I usually don't show too many pictures of the lizards, as they are not too exciting. In fact, I haven't seen Andreas in over a week since he comes out when I'm at work and is in his hide box when I'm home. Elsa is out and moving around much more frequently. Here she is, tunneling under a wood formation we have in her tank:
Don't we just have the most helpful birds ever? Here Beeps is giving Thomas a hand with the crossword puzzle. It looks like he needs help!
I wrote the other day about Max enjoying the milk out of Thomas's cereal bowl -- here's a picture of Rocky doing the same thing. I may try to capture this on video. Thomas always leaves the spoon in there, and Rocky climbs on the bowl, throws the spoon off in disgust, and then starts drinking the milk.
I'm leaving you with what might be considered parrot porn. I have spoken with some of my parrot-owning friends, and many of them have birds that love their feet. Rocky falls into this category! Apparently there is something exciting about Thomas's feet. I certainly don't see it! But when Thomas is not wearing shoes, Rocky runs over, preens his feet, and often starts regurgitating to them. On more than one occasion, he has ended up with warm, partially-digested food on his foot (but better that than in his mouth -- that's happened as well!)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Here's a picture of Max, caught in mid nose pick (or would that be nares pick?) It's from a few months ago, but I never found the right occasion to put up such a classy picture before.
I have started reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, partly in preparation for our Prague trip (much of the story takes place in Central Europe, from what I understand). So far, so good, but a little scary to read when I'm home alone at night!
I should have my camera back for tomorrow, so I'll leave this one short and hope to post some new pictures soon!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Beeps came into our house about one year ago -- the end of September, 2006. As I've mentioned before, he is supposed to have bit his previous owner so badly she had to go to the ER (I must say, I have a hard time believing that as he has bitten us a few times and it wasn't that bad). All we've seen out of him is a loving, inquisitive, intelligent caique. He is so expressive and wonderful, and I can't imagine our lives without him!
Here he is on his stand:
Doesn't he just look like he's posing; the way he has his left leg lifted? I had removed the tray portion of this stand so that I could wash it. Of course, he had to go down and investigate why it looked so strange!
We now have more stands than parrots. We used to have one stand in the kitchen, and Max and Calypso had to share. This wasn't working, so we purchased another, identical stand. Less than a month later, we took Rocky in, so we purchased the small stand that Beeps is on in this picture. Less than a month after that, we ended up taking Beeps home. We decided that since our house was full, we'd better not buy any more stands! And it seems to have worked since it's been a year since we've added anyone to our flock.
Speaking of stands, here is Max on Daphne's stand. This is was too small for an african grey, but she must like the swinging sensation, and not mind that the whole stand tips over under her weight! You can see she's even perched resting on one foot!
I don't mention my budgie, Daphne, often enough on this blog. Probably because she is so well-mannered and doesn't cause me problems! She is a huge toy player, and her cage is packed with toys. Here is a little video of Daphne playing with toys inside her cage.
Monday, September 24, 2007
And then to actually capture the red winged blackbird in flight! In an earlier entry, I think I mentioned that Max had a red winged blackbird "friend" at our old house -- they would call back and forth to each other through the window.
Thomas is quite observant, and he noticed this frog (toad?) along the trail. He was quite well camouflaged!
We also do wildlife rescue for our local wildlife rehabilitation center. Earlier this Spring, we were called out because some baby ducklings had fallen into a sewer. This often happens in the Spring. The mother duck's feet are large enough so that she can walk over the sewer grates; however, when she leads her babies over the grate, they fall in. Unfortunately, we weren't called until about 10 hours after observers noticed the babies fall in and the mother duck frantically calling for her babies. Witnesses reported at least 4 baby ducklings. Thomas was only able to rescue one -- the others had wandered off into the sewer system by the time we arrived. The mother watched what we were doing, and we were able to reunite her with one of her babies. We watched her walk her baby to a nearby pond. Unfortunately, the only picture I took of this reunion was quite blurry. This was before I was blogging, so it didn't seem important at the time!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Beeps absolutely hates it when anyone tries to clean the house. He particularly hates sweeping, but is not fond of any cleaning activities. I like to use this excuse when my house isn't up to par :)
And look at him -- he is saying, "I am so adorable, you can't possibly be talking about me!" Oh yes, I am!
I was unable to get any pictures of this, but last night the parrots were on their stands in the kitchen and I was making dinner. Thomas grabbed the broom and started to sweep the kitchen. I told him he'd better hide the broom and put Beeps in his cage, or wait until the parrots were back in the living room. Even though this has happened before, he laughed me off!
As he made a pass by Beeps's stand, Beeps jumped off and landed on the small of Thomas's back (he was shirtless at the time). All of a sudden, he starts dancing around the room and screaming, "Get him off! He's trying to paralyze me!" Beeps was biting him at the spot of his spinal cord. Luckily, he did not go very deep and Thomas was ultimately ok. He refused to let me take a picture of the beak marks on his back.
I am so careful around Beeps with cleaning and technology -- hopefully Thomas will start taking this more seriously as well!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Here is a picture of Rocky's naughtiness. You can see that the cockatiels' travel cage is right next to the couch. Rocky sees this as an invitation to go on the couch whenever he wants to. At least he is not destructive! We think he does this because he is very needy and knows he gets attention when he goes places he's not supposed to be.
Thomas has a bowl of cereal for dessert almost every night (yes, I think that's kind of strange, too). Max gets so excited because she knows that she gets to lick out the milk that's at the bottom of the bowl. Rocky has also discovered that he likes to lick the bottom of the bowl, so there can be some competition for his leftovers. The milk is actually nut milk that we make by blending water and nuts.
Here is Max helping Thomas make his lunches for the rest of the week. Does she ever love peanut butter! He left his bread unattended for a few seconds as he went to the fridge to get jelly, and she pounced on her chance to eat up. I'm not sure if you can tell from this picture, but her eyes are pinning away.
And here she is with a huge piece of cheese. Can you believe her? We had cut up some cheese to eat cheese and crackers as an appetizer. As soon as one of us was a suitable distance away from the cheese, she flew over there and started helping herself! I apologize for the poor picture quality, but she was perched on my hand and I was unzipping my camera from its camera bag and trying to take the picture, all while thwarting her from eating this cheese. I did win, by the way, although she took a few small bites. I still cannot get over how much cheese she wanted to eat! When I use cheese for treats, she gets maybe 1/20 of what she's currently holding.
All of these pictures were taken last night! Thomas and I were joking that if you went by Max's actions last night, and her desperate forage for food around our house, you'd think we starved her.
I think I've mentioned before that Max will sometimes hang out in the kitchen by herself at night while all of the rest of the house's inhabitants are in the living room. We listen to make sure she stays on her stand and check on her every 15 minutes or so. Earlier this week, I went to check on her and found that she had just started eating a stick of butter that had been left out. Luckily she hadn't eaten much before I stopped her. I didn't get a picture of this as I was more concerned about her not eating the butter. Apparently she didn't get the memo about how parrots shouldn't eat a lot of dairy!
Monday, September 17, 2007
And here is their quaker, Alfie. He is a funny little bird, and recovering from some mutilation. My parents spent over $1,000 at the vet, and no reason could be found for the mutilation. They ended up adopting Jack and Jill, hoping to provide Alfie with some additional company, and ever since they joined the flock, he no longer mutilates.
I thought this was a funny picture. Thomas has not played video games for several months, but pulled them out again on Friday. I joked he was like the Pied Piper because as soon as he sat down on the floor, the birds went over to find him (except the cockatiels and Calypso!) Rocky runs over to Thomas any time he is on the floor, hoping to wedge himself in his clothes somewhere. He sits near Max's cage, so she goes over to that side of her cage. First she empties out her foraging bucket by throwing as many things at Thomas as she can; once it's empty, she hangs out on the side of her cage, near him. Beeps almost never leaves his cage, but he did Friday night, to go to Thomas, and then Alfie climbed down to find him as well! We rarely allow parrots on our shoulders because of the potential damage, but Thomas wanted to play video games and they wouldn't leave him alone, so I was able to take this picture!
And of course, a few pictures of Max. Here she is, eating a pellet. I wrap all of her pellets, and I think it is absolutely adorable how she uses the wrapping like a little shell to make sure that she can eat every crumb. What was even funnier about this picture is that she had a dish of seed and vegetables on top of her cage, but she apparently wanted a pellet as she climbed in her cage and found one.
Can you see the marble in her foot? I don't even remember how we figured this out, but she loves marbles! We call them her little treasures. We're not exactly sure what she does with them, but they keep her occupied for 10-15 minutes at a time. She sits there like this, holding it in her foot. Sometimes she rubs the marbles on her head.
Sometimes she holds them in her beak, like this. We hide a few in her foraging bucket and foraging drawers and when she finds one, it's so much fun to watch her ADD-self calm down and treasure her prize.
I am still knitting! Thomas and I are taking a trip to Prague in November, so I am making each of us a Prague scarf. I made mine first, out of this gray boucle yarn. I cast on 20 stitches, but somewhere in my novice knitting world, I ended up adding another stitch, so it was 21 for most of the way! I had hoped to do some sort of pattern, but boucle yarn is not the best yarn for novices to use, so I just did knitting. I didn't measure the scarf, but it is longer than I am tall (5'6"). On Friday, Thomas and I stopped at a yarn store and purchased the yarn for his scarf. My scarf in enveloping the yarn that will become his scarf.
Everyone has told me that once I start using natural fibers, I may become a yarn snob and no longer able to use acrylic. I fear they may be right! This is the progress I made on Thomas's scarf yesterday. I cast on 21 stitches and am doing a K1P1 pattern. However, I ran into a snag because after I had knit about 8 inches or so, the yarn had come apart and was knotted together! I wasn't sure what to do, so I just knit it in. You can kind of see in this picture that it then came apart! I was worried I would have to pull everything out and start again, but I managed to just pull out about 4 rows and get everything back to how it should be. However, my knitting for the night was paused as I do not know how to start knitting in a detached piece of yarn. My job today is to research that so I can continue knitting tonight (why don't I have the Internet at home!!!!)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I couldn't find Beeps the other day, and here he was, hiding in Thomas's shirt. He stuck his head out when he heard me calling his name; until then he was just a little bump on Thomas's chest.
And since Beeps has never been one to not pose for a picture, as soon as he saw that I had the camera out, he had to poke his head out even further!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
- ballerina (turns around)
- philosopher (scratches the base of her head as a "think" motion)
- greeter (waves, which is fast up and down movement of extended foot)
- security guard (lifts up her wings)
- crossing guard (holds her foot up with toes extended)
- boxer (punches out her foot into a ball)
- bait shop owner (turns her head to listen for worms) This is what she's doing in the above picture
We have so much fun with this little game, and it provides us with almost endless tricks that she can learn. Right now she is working on perfecting taking a bow and then I'll ask her if she wants to be an actress. I never know what she's going to learn next as it depends on what she decides to do during training and what I reinforce.
Here is Beeps, ripping up the real estate section that was lining the bottom of his stand. He was doing this amazingly cute dance that I was trying to catch on video. However, as soon as he sees me with the camera lately, he runs to whatever newspaper is handy and starts ripping it up. I thought this was a funny picture since the real estate market isn't exactly what it used to be, and he seems to be sending that message :)
As an aside, we've been working with Beeps on his flying. He is really good at navigating around corners, etc., but very bad at landing. In the past, his landing method was to crash into a wall and then tumble down to the ground. We were actually thinking that we were going to have to give him a light clip so that we could work on landing, but in the last week or so, he really seems to have gotten it. We're still working on this, and also on him flying with volition instead of just staying where he is and beeping until someone brings him where he wants to go.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I didn't take many pictures over the weekend, but I had to get a picture of this. The cockatiels were hanging on top of their cage. Rocky must have noticed a little cookie that they had in their seed dish, so he went inside of their cage to eat it! You can see the size of the door in this picture -- he can barely fit in there!
This temporary cockatiel cage is actually bigger than the cage he spent the first 19 years of his life, so maybe he felt at home? After he finished the cookie, he came out and started wandering around to forage for more food that the other parrots had dropped.