Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We've been trying out some new ants on the scene for bit parts in a remake of Monty Python's Meaning of Life. Specifically, they will have roles in The Meaning of Life PART IV: Death.

The little critters have been a problem this year but they only managed to bother one bird for less than 1/2 hour. Still, that's too much for me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Having fun

When you have a damaged neck how do you play and bounce around? This is Peaches solution.


Originally purchased to help Peaches drink water, it is now one of her greatest sources of joy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I have friends that chew wood

A Hundred dollars of wood goes about two months. It has to be cut, drilled, and assembled with chain.

Friday, October 19, 2012

In Memorial
Beloved by an Angel

Galen was born on July 5, 1968 in San Diego.  He lived here most of his life but spent the past few years in Arizona.  He always loved animals but never thought of having a bird until one day in 2007.  He went into a bird store to look around and visit the birds.

A worker asked him if he wanted to take one out, and he said, "That one looks like she wants out really bad."  This yellow-collar macaw had been squawking, banging on her cage, and making eye contact with Galen. The worker said, "Ok, but she doesn't like anybody, and she bites."  She sat on his shoulder and it really seemed like they had an instant bond.  That was the beginning of their love story.

Galen didn't have the money to purchase her right then and didn't want to make a rash decision, so he visited her frequently, eventually put her on layaway, purchased a home for himself and Wolfie, and took her home several months later.  They were two peas in a pod. Even when Galen was too sick to care for himself, he tenderly and attentively cared for all of her physical and emotional needs.  Anyway, I have never seen anything like that in my life.

She seemed to know his thoughts and he hers.  He learned how to care for her in every way, not only by listening to others, reading, and going to seminars, but by listening to HER.  The last thing asked me to do was visit her from time to time.  And he went into detail about the kind of toy she likes.

Wolfie is in a good home and has bonded with her new caregiver.  She spends her days looking out the window, chewing on her favorite toys, and eating her favorite foods, much like she did with Galen.  In her new home, there is a photo of Galen and Wolfie taped to her window, and I am told she often sits quietly just looking at the photo.

Galen and Wolfie
Parrots mate for life


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Community dining is working out much better than I anticipated. There is only one holdout. Strangely, the bird that seems to be most upset by the situation is Babalu, notably the most "aggressive" cockatoo. When you see Babalu turn and fly from the community dining "table" and target your shoulder you know one thing: all his bravado has nothing to do with aggression.

Bab's so-called aggression is simply to protect the one who saved him from a sad life where he waited for 11 years to find someone who could love him; that's who he flies to for comfort.

So, for the moment, Bab only eats a nibble or two with the other birds and then finishes his meal in his cage. We know that he is a lover not a fighter and in time he will join in. We just need to give the big guy time.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

If you have ever seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption then you have an idea of one of the problems we face. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that Cecil has a rock hammer hidden somewhere.

We don't have enough big cages and Cecil's cage has 1/4" wire instead of 3/8". He is constantly busting the welds on the wire and I am forced to repair the cage with metal plumber's tape and bolts. If there was ever a bird who stated more clearly "I want a larger cage!" I can't imagine it.

He's full of life, bold, and fearless. He also can be as sweet as honey. He's our jail breaker, too.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

And Don lived to see the results!
Okay. Some experiments in socialization could possibly result in loss of life or limb. This was one of those kinds of experiments. The idea was to create an environment where the birds would eat socially.

When your time is limited you need to think creatively. I assumed I had enough bandages for my own hands and, even though I'm getting up in years, I thought that I could move fast enough to save anyone from any threat of aggression.

I took the cart that we use to prepare food and drilled holes into the arms to it attaching perches. I bought two, 2 ft long troughs and made a platform to raise them. Then the fun began. With 11 birds here at the sanctuary I have managed to get nine to eat at the troughs. And that in only a short period time, three days. They eat in rotation, either three or four at a time.

I have a video that I will be putting up in this blog from the first day of this new dining experience. The first day was hell on wheels and I have yet to edit it!

Left front, Peaches (salmon-crested cockatoo).
Left back, Simone (umbrella cockatoo)
Middle, Murri (Congo African grey)
Right, Coco (umbrella cockatoo)

It's an experience I wish all of you could enjoy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Which end is up?

Peaches, our Salmon Crested Cockatoo, has 6 fused vertebrae in her neck from a past injury. She can't raise her head to drink water or to strut her stuff (technically called "displaying").

She's a creative girl, though. We provided a fountain and she gets enough water by drinking from it but she also does a beautiful display there.

That's not her favorite place to display. That is the two cages on her kitchen table where she hangs from the side, thereby being vertical as she should be, and has at it. She loves to hang out on the table while I am busy with cleanup or making meals. She sits at the top and looks outside to the trees.

She lives with her handicap better than many humans do and she rarely cries about it. She keeps me on a short leash and that's fine, she's a dear one. Anyone who meets her and doesn't connect with her needs a heart transplant!

Babalu in the Chloe Sanctuary office

Babalu has been a little under the weather the last two days. He's in the office with me this afternoon and sharing in my webmaster duties, office chores and more. For a bird that was rehomed 8 times in the first 11 years of his life he's doing better than expected.

Two birds in the flock send him into karate cockatoo mode: Simone and Cozma. He doesn't like either bird within 6 feet of me so I've been working out plans to keep these 3 apart but still give them the time they need out. In time, I will get them back together again. By the way, "Doesn't like" translates into a full out frontal attack.

Bab is a good  boy and a good companion. He's hyper; he's pushy; he's demanding; he's a cockatoo genius, too. Bab is a complex being that needs patience and understanding and when he gets it he is truly a pleasure to be with. So I'm enjoying him today. His upset at being put back early into his cage this morning he expressed by yanking my glasses off. That was it. He has been a model citizen since.

How fortunate I am to be in his small circle of trusted friends.