Monday, February 28, 2011

Spy budgie

We cover half of Brian's cage at night, so he can choose whether he'd prefer being covered or not.Lately, before we uncover him, he's been spying on us!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Futile resistance

I didn't really want to pick her up, but she is so adorable and persistent!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Evening preening

Last night, Rocky was hanging out on Thomas's lap for an evening preening session:Me, I just had a little budgie on my shoulder:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Magic tricks

Would you rather pull a rabbit or a macaw out of a hat? (If that macaw is Rocky, I know which one I'm choosing...)

Rocky got himself tangled up in his favorite hat, so Thomas grabbed him -- this a a little piece of Rocky heaven:He shortly emerged from his temporary home, as happy as ever.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cheek to cheek

Last night, Stella flew to Thomas's shoulder. He started singing Frank Sinatra's "Dancing Cheek to Cheek":

As if on cue, she rubbed her head on his cheek. It was great!A little more dancing and singing (from both of them) ensued.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brian sneaks a bit of food

Parrots really shouldn't eat much dairy. We try to be extra strict with Brian's diet since 1) he is so small and 2) he has a tumor and we want him around as long as possible.

I probably should have removed him as soon as I noticed this instead of taking a picture, but he is so adorable!He'd climbed on Thomas's cottage cheese bowl while Thomas's attention was directed elsewhere (i.e. reading the paper) and started helping himself! We don't think he ingested much.

Dinner for breakfast

I have been making meals in the slow cooker several times a week. I tend to have more free time in the mornings, and it's great to come home and not have to cook! Earlier this week, I had beans in a bowl that had been soaking overnight. I left the room for a minute and returned to find this:Nothing is safe when the greys are out -- nothing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It's kind of hard (but not impossible) to take a picture of the budgie on your shoulder!He was talking a lot again last night. I'm pretty sure I heard him working on "Gimme a kiss" followed by kiss sounds (he hears the greys saying that frequently) as well as "Hello Brian!"

Then he preened my face a lot and made me happier than ever we adopted him not quite two months ago.

A bit of nesting

The picture's a bit dark, but Rocky was doing strange nesting behavior with Thomas's shoes last night:Of course, as soon as he perceived I was watching him, he perked up and needed attention RIGHT NOW!!!
He ran over and started jumping up and down in front of us (this would have been more effectively illustrated with a video instead of still pictures!)
Finally, Thomas put his leg on the floor, which allowed Rocky to use it as a ramp to get to his favorite person:Thomas frequently carries Rocky around like this:Personally, I'm a big fan as then I know there won't be any surprise attacks. He's the only one of our parrots who likes being carried like this! He's perfectly palm-sized.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Brian mugs for the camera

It is incredibly hard to get pictures of Brian in action. As soon as he sees the camera, he runs over and approaches it! For instance, he had been perching on the fold of the newspaper while I was reading it. I grabbed the camera, and got this:And this:
This does not seem to apply where breakfast toast is involved. The progressions went from him having one foot on the table and one on the plate:
To completely perching on the toast:
He's got a toast-beak:

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Beeps was helping Rocky play yesterday. Beeps does not like to leave cage tray paper alone; he likes to throw it on the ground. Rocky likes to cover himself in newspaper and walk around the house. Like a ghost. I still know when he's coming, if his intention is to hide from me!Closer look at the ghost:Beeps was so proud of his de-papering of the tray that he played in a goofy manner:Spinning around the vertical bars:
Hanging from the grate, playing with a toy:Having pulled the toy down further, he was able to lie on his back on the tray and play with the toy:Undoing himself from that position:
When Beeps is in a playful mood, there is little that is more entertaining. I must have watched him do this for over 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cabbage attack

Earlier today, Thomas was making kimchi. He'd left the cabbage on the counter, so it was no surprise when Max flew over.She was satisfied with a piece of it on her stand:
To our surprise, she actually ate some:

First night back

Last night, Max and Stella would not let us out of their sight. Here they were, supervising Thomas's unpacking:Things quickly got back to normal when we made ourselves dinner. Max ran over to help herself:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gulf coast recap

We just returned from a week-long trip to the gulf coast. The main purpose of the trip was to run a marathon in our 50 state quest, though we got a fair amount of birding in! The only parrot part of our trip was seeing quakers fly over us.

As for the marathon part, Thomas and I both set PRs! Mine was a 10 minute PR (to a sub-3:30 race!), and his was over 30 minutes! We have several marathons and at least one ultra-marathon (50 miler) planned for later this spring.

I think this is one of the best pictures I have ever taken -- a pelican, roseate spoonbill, and ibis all taking off at the same time. The only thing that would have made this better is if you could have seen the spoonbill's head, but her coloring is so distinctive, I love this picture anyway. This was taken from the car. (The day before the marathon -- didn't want to be on our feet much!)That same day, we came across a dolphin. At first, we thought she was dying, as she was thrashing around in the shallow part of the coast, but we think she was just scaring up some food. We watched her for quite some time; she was quite agile. Every other time we've seen dolphins, they've been in a group, so hopefully this solitary one was OK.
We mostly birded and hiked post-marathon. It was so fun to see armadillos!
And this raccoon was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. He kept going up to the plants to see what might be hidden there.
Quintessential gulf cost picture. If I lived there, I'm not sure I'd ever get to work -- I'd just go birding all of the time.
We would have walked right past this nesting great-horned owl; luckily a volunteer at the national forest had us follow her and let us use her spotting scope:
In the botanical gardens, we were able to see this Buff-bellied Hummingbird. We'd spoken to one of the naturalists earlier who told us to look at the cherry blossoms to find him. We'd just about given up and were going to leave the garden when he appeared. What a treat!
This is a picture of one of our most exciting moments. We were driving along the highway when we had a feeling to get out and look. We had to traverse some pretty heavy brush, but it was worth it to see a flock of Black-crowned Night-Herons. During the day!
I love rails -- partly because they are so elusive and difficult to see. During our trip, we saw two Black Rails (different days), a Virginia Rail, and a King Rail. The king is the only one we were close enough to get some good pictures of:Isn't she gorgeous? We watched her for probably 5-10 minutes until she slunk off. She didn't seem to mind our presence and we tried to be as unobtrusive as possible.

We had such a fantastic trip and are hoping to take a mostly-birding trip at least once a year. It was wonderful to spend a week outdoors, in nature.

As for our parrots, they survived our absence just fine. I haven't spoken to our birdsitter yet; I just got her written message. All of the birds behaved for her, with the exception of Max. I just don't get it. Max is our best-behaved bird when it comes to parrot-human relationships. But she does not get along with our birdsitter (who is an amazing person and wonderful with birds in general -- she's the main volunteer at the rescue.)

She left me a cryptic note -- "Max is neither winning friends nor influencing people." I will find out tomorrow what that means. This is just mind-boggling to me and I have to think of ways that she can win Max's affection before our next trip!

Close-up: Rocky

I saved Rocky for last (Calypso really was uninterested in this [as Thomas was taking these pictures], so we left him alone.)

Rocky kept trying to attack Thomas when he was taking pictures of him, resulting in quite a few pictures where Thomas was moving to avoid the bite. They have a certain artistic quality about them:Look at that body language -- eye pinned, beak opened, head feathers raised, wings raised. I don't think he could give off any more warning signs if he tried!
This was another attempted camera attack:
A mostly still picture:
And one final attack picture:
We think his reaction actually had less to do with the camera and more to do with the fact that Thomas was wearing clothes other than his Rocky-approved uniform of scrub pants, dirty white T-shirt, and housecoat.