Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I last talked about my robin's nest here.  Over the weekend, we noticed a little beak sticking out of the nest!
We grabbed our binoculars and could see three baby birds.  You can easily see two of them, but the third just has her beak visible, off to the right.
I'm hopeful they will all survive and I'll be able to get pictures of the fledglings hopping around my lawn.  So adorable!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Safe keeping

Thomas and I were making a decision last week between two brands of something we needed to purchase.  Each of us were worried that if we said our preference first, we would unduly influence the other.  I suggested that we write down our preference and then compare and discuss if we didn't agree.  We did this, but then he gave his choice to Max for safe keeping:
Luckily she relinquished it to me easily, and had only destroyed the edges, so Thomas's choice remained clear.  Even luckier, we agreed on what to buy, so no discussion was necessary.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rocky walks

Thomas was sitting at the kitchen table, reading a magazine.  Rocky came by and started playing around his feet.  I love it when he walks around with his beak on the floor.  Another thing I love about Rocky is that when you call his name, he stops what he's doing and looks at you, as in the end of this video.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More CSA photos

As promised last week, more weekly photos of the greys investigating the weekly CSA take.  They are so nosy -- and destructive!  Max investigates the greens:
And then starts ripping the lettuce into tiny pieces.  These lettuce pieces were given to the parrots with their dinner, so as not to go to waste:
This week we got oregano, which joins the mint on our counter.  Fresh herbs are grey magnets, but we're hoping we can use them up before they are completely destroyed:
Since they are so predictable, I can feel comfortable inviting you back next week to see this again!

Radish fight

Our CSA delivery arrived, which meant lots of washing, chopping, storing, cooking, and eating to make sure nothing goes to waste.  One lone radish had yet to be eaten when the greys discovered the bowl:
Matching pictures, with each grey eating the radish and the foot of the other grey in the background:
In action:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Outside birds

Earlier this week, I had a meeting after work, so Thomas was alone.  He spent most of this time taking pictures of the birds in our yard.  I am not exaggerating when I say that he took over 90 pictures!  The birds were house finches and chipping sparrows:
In the middle was one picture of Beeps:
And then back to the finches and sparrows:

Hope everyone has a great weekend -- can't believe it's Memorial Day already!  We managed to mostly keep our calendar clear, so we should have lots of time at home with the parrots, which hopefully will make for an interesting blog week next week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Max wants to forage

I have a foraging toy on Max's stand.  It's been months since I've put anything in there for her to find, and she usually ignores this toy.  Something got into her recently, and she tried her best to forage.

This picture turned out fuzzy, but it was so cute I still had to post it:
She was swinging around; this really should have been a video!  Actually, I did make a video but it didn't transfer from the card to my computer.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize the problem until after I deleted the files from the memory card. 

I was making the toy swing around, which she loved.  It was great fun!  I'll see if she wants to do this again when I have my older camera (still not a fan of the new one as it apparently loses my videos -- this isn't the first time this has happened.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Meeting of the minds

I don't even want to know what they were planning.

The greys love the CSA

The greys love it when we go through our CSA box and prepare the different vegetables inside.  They are so curious!  Thomas was washing some greens, and Max flew over to the sink and perched on his hand to supervise.
 He managed to shake her, and she quickly turned her attention to radishes:
 Of course, as soon as Stella saw what Max was doing, she had to fly over and help herself:
 It's a good thing Thomas doesn't mind eating radishes with grey bites missing, so nothing went to waste.

Later, Stella flew to his shoulder, so he offered her some blossoms from the turnip greens, which she investigated.  These were also a huge hit with the lizards.
 He was collecting the washed greens in a bowl so he could cook them; once again, both greys had to fly over, eat a little, and then throw the greens around:
 As we were getting ready to eat, he had two salad bowls on the kitchen island.  This picture was not in any way set up -- they both flew over to a different bowl.  Of course Stella is more interested in the lettuce in Max's bowl, even though it's exactly the same stuff in hers.
 This will probably be a weekly feature throughout the summer as they are so entranced!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Brian's bathing antics

In another installment of "be careful what you wish for" -- three Brian videos!  My friend may regret ever making this request.  Earlier this week, Thomas was sitting at the table eating his post-run breakfast, including some Gatorade.  As part of a nervous tic, he was moving the glass around, which intrigued Brian to no end, as you can see in this video:

Unfortunately, I stopped taping about 5 seconds too soon.  Thomas lowered the glass to show Brian what was inside -- and Brian dove head-first into the Gatorade!  Thomas had to pull him out by his tail and then we had a sticky budgie on our hands.  Thomas was a little sad that his Gatorade was no longer drinkable, but more relieved that Brian was fine after his mini-adventure.

Thomas grabbed a bowl and attempted to get Brian to bathe; which was semi-successful:

Then, he remembered a glass pan we had that would allow for constant budgie-appropriate depth.  Unfortunately, Brian got a little distracted by the camera, but once I put the camera away, he did drench himself.
Of course, the typical ending occurred.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The claw

When birds stand on one foot, it is a relaxed, happy posture, usually.  Max frequently perches so that her entire foot is hidden by her feathers.

And then sometimes she holds her toes out as if she is threatening us with a claw:
I know there is no malice intended in this pose, but it makes us laugh every time, and then Thomas and I pretend to claw each other.

Max/Rocky interaction

These pictures are a little dark, and once again I missed the beginning of the confrontation as I really don't just sit with a camera poised to take pictures of the parrots all day long!

Thomas was reading the paper and Max and Rocky were walking around, probably desiring some attention.  Of course, they'd both rather not have to share him.  I'm not sure who started it, but there was some tail grabbing taking place, by both parrots.  Since Rocky's tail is longer, Max is usually more successful.

I am inclined to mostly blame Rocky, while Thomas is inclined to mostly blame Max.

In any case, Rocky ran to Thomas for protection:

And Max continued after him -- whether to resume the altercation or seek protection of her own, I don't know.  Thomas separated them and Max flew off.
She did get head pets from him a few minutes later as we do try hard not to play favorites:

A few weeks back, D. Richard asked if I thought that Max and Stella would ever get to the point of preening each other.  I hope I am proven wrong, but I can't see that happening.  Stella has been in the house three years this month (!)  I think that Stella would like to preen and be preened by Max, but Max really wants nothing to do with it.  Whenever Stella approaches her, Max walks away and puts her foot up as a sign to stay away.  If Stella persists, Max flies off.  Max never approaches Stella in a friendly manner.

Given their ages (Max is 9 and Stella is presumed to be around the same age), they should have a few more decades to live together, so maybe a preening type of friendship will form somewhere down the line.  I'm just not holding my breath.  I think it's more likely we'll take in another congo grey at some point and Stella can get her physical affection from that bird.  Max, being an only bird for the first few years of her life, seems to identify more with us.

I must add that I would love for them to nicely preen each other, and I do lecture both of them about how they would do a better job preening each other, since their beaks evolved to do that, rather than our relatively clumsy fingers.  They're just not listening to us!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dirty beak

Rocky had eaten a bunch of vegetables and hadn't cleaned his beak.  He then started walking around the house, depositing little pieces of food everywhere.  Unacceptable!  I didn't get a before picture as I didn't know what Thomas was up to until it was too late, but here's a during:

And an after:

Birding update

Over the weekend, we got out to do some birding.  There were so many American Redstarts out!  Here's a decent shot of a female (obviously we did not get a better camera yet):

It was really windy, and these gulls were basically hovering over the shore.  Occasionally someone would drop down and get a fish.  I probably should have made a movie of this -- very fun to watch!
This picture of a chestnut-sided warbler turned out better than expected; he was flitting all around so we didn't know what we got until we cropped the picture on the computer.  Action!

And, in an update from here, the robins have taken to the nest we moved!  They reinforced it with additional sticks, and she's been sitting on the nest.  This picture isn't the greatest as I didn't want to disturb her and have her leave her eggs, but you can see part of her (tail?) sticking up. She's been in there for a few days now.
I wish she was in our backyard instead of our front, due to it being more secure when the fledglings are learning to fly, but I'm hoping she knows what she's doing.  With any luck, I'll have baby robin updates to share in the upcoming weeks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brian, by request

A friend who reads this blog e-mailed me and asked me to write more about Brian, specifically requesting a video.  Of course I was more than happy to oblige!

Wandering around the newspaper:
Of course, whenever the camera is out, he runs over to get a close-up taken:
As a special treat on the weekend, we were eating kringle for breakfast.  This didn't sound like something Brian would enjoy, but we were wrong:
To make things more balanced, he also ate some apple:
And the video.  We think he played with the kringle more than ate it:


Why didn't you take us with you downstairs?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jumping to conclusions

Thomas and I had an all-day event yesterday that necessitated packing an overnight bag.  We did not stay overnight, but we needed a bag full of stuff for the day, that we packed Friday night.

The parrots, specifically Stella, Max, and Rocky, saw us packing a bag and assumed we were leaving on a trip.  They were very! unhappy! that we were leaving them.

Stella started running after us, attacking our feet.  She also always uses her beak to steady herself when she steps up.  Friday night, she applied way more pressure than was necessary (not enough to break the skin or even bruise, but it was uncomfortable) before stepping up -- just to let us know she was unhappy with what was going on.

Rocky started acting toward Thomas the way he acts toward me -- running after him and attacking his feet.

Max was extra needy, not letting us out of her sight, giving us extra kisses, flying to us unbidden, etc.

Though of course I do feel bad when we leave the parrots overnight (which we were not even doing this time!) Max is the only one who made me want to be around her more.  Note to Stella and Rocky: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

We also had to leave the house by 4:30, which we usually only do when we have a plane to catch.  All signs pointed to us being away for a week.  They must have been so happy when we got back home in time for dinner.

I doubt they learned their lesson.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger problems

My posts from yesterday have vanished!  Supposedly they will be back at some point; if not I will try to rewrite them next week.  In the meantime, here are pictures of two of my ladies at the rescue.

I don't understand how the macaw is still up for adoption.  She's been with us about a year and is one of the sweetest birds I have ever met.  As an added bonus, she's not particularly loud!  How has she not found a home?

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the older blue and golds?  I'll probably never have one due to the size difference with my smaller birds, so I'm glad I get the chance to interact with them somewhere.

This amazon has been with us only a few weeks, but begs to come out of her cage when I walk by, so we've become fast friends.  Since she talks, she'll probably be adopted quickly, though her feather destruction may deter some people from wanting to adopt her.
In addition to these ladies, I have bonded with two special needs severe macaws, a yellow-crowned amazon, another older B&G macaw, a younger B&G macaw, and a timneh.  Interestingly enough, all females.  We have so many amazing birds up for adoption right now!  Rumor is a caique will be surrendered in the next few weeks.  Yet more reminding myself that we are full at our house.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Thomas and I have a race, and then lounging around, recovering.  Probably some bird-watching, too.