FTP – Episode 2 – With Patricia Sund

Ah, episode 2 happened!  Jason began the episode by talking about the American Federation of Aviculture’s convention and all of the participants, and events that happened.  I personally cannot wait to be able to attend next year.  The convention is in Connecticut and should be an amazing time, had by all.

 

I got my photo of Patricia Sund at here.

I got my photo of Patricia Sund at here.

We were very excited to get Parrot Nation’s, Bird Channel’s and birds.about.com’s own Patricia Sund for Episode 2 of From The Perch – Aviculture Today.  Jason has known Patricia for about 20 years and I have had her as a colleague in this crazy world of aviculture for about five years, so needless to say, we had a lot to talk about.  Firstly I can tell you, we had a ton of fun doing the interview and if we would have had more time, I am sure it would have gone on for hours.  We can genuinely suck up the oxygen in a room.

Editing for the episode was fairly quick, I wanted to make sure the commercials were ready and it all go edited pretty quickly.  To be honest, because I was so damn excited about having Patricia on and the chemistry of the three of us.  It was exactly the show I wanted, nothing stuffy, just three friends sitting around talking about the things they love.  I really thing it translated as that.

I have to say there is a certain freedom in recording a podcast.  The level of communication increases for me, and I am allowed to introduce my tones and true personality into topics we are discussing.  Where as with writing, it can get lost in translation at times.  I do try to write very conversationally and pretty close to how I speak, but again you can’t insert inflection and tone into words on a page.

FTP.logoI am so happy and excited about From The Perch, we have taken an idea and come to a new and exciting medium for the newest generations of companion bird lovers and also brought our devoted and experienced owners along for the ride.  From The Perch is not a show just about one person’s ideas and agendas, it’s about a collaborative effort of two people who have many opposing views, coming together as an example of how differences of opinion shouldn’t matter in the end, because it’s the birds that matter the most.

Click here for a listen to Epidode 2 with Patricia Sund.

Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – FTF – Episode 2 – With Patricia Sund

 

 

Planning for the Future.

FutureI just read a post online and it gave me the writing jolt.  For those of you that may not know, writing comes when it comes, and you have to strike while the iron is hot, as they say.  This post had resonance and is rattling around in my brain, “I’m planning on a trust for my birds, because I want to make sure they are taken care of”. Pretty powerful words, right?  I mean, we all love birds, and we want the best for them, right? We’ve looked into planning for our retirement, yet, how many of us have taken the proactive initiative to plan for their future? 

While typing this, I realized that we actually don’t have current and up to date wills. To be honest, there was a time in my life where I lived pretty “freely” and wasn’t much of a planner and just thought I would “figure it out”.  Of course I think that’s before you get to the certain mind-set, where you realize your mortality.  One of my favorite quotes for aging is “you spend the first 40 years trying to kill yourself, and the last 40 trying not to”.  Aging isn’t for the faint of heart and it isn’t something that is for the faint of heart.  Taking a step back and making sure that your birds have protection and there is a clear and concise plan of where you, as their owner, want them to go is so important.  You are the one that makes them breakfast every morning and cleans cages and knows all of their little habits and quirks, of course you should have a say in their final home.  

While helping a few birds here and there find their way, we have run into the story of “my mother/father died and I need to find a home for her birds”, and the first question I always ask, “was there a will,were there any final wishes or arrangements made?” and nine times out of ten the answer is, “no”.  

Personally I want to have a hand in where ALL of our animals go, and make sure they get the same quality of care they would receive in our home.  I think that would be the biggest peace of mind if you were ill and could no longer care for your pets.  Knowing they will be taken care of down to the smallest detail, would definitely give me peace of mind.  trusts

There are ways to start planning:

1trust 

noun \ˈtrəst\

: an arrangement in which someone’s property or money is legally held or managed by someone else or by an organization (such as a bank) for usually a set period of time

Trusts are set up to hold money and a trustee will make payments to the sanctuary or home of your choice.will  

1Will

noun

A will is the legal instrument that permits a person, the testator, to make decisions on how his estate will be managed and distributed after his death.

There are now a lot of options for a will if you cannot afford an attorney to draw one up for you.  However I have seen some do their own wills and I would recommend you get a professional to help, if you can.  

pet_collagePreparation is important, because in the end, our animals won’t have the voices that we want them to.  They won’t be able to speak up and say where they want to go.  So, do them a favor and do some prep work.  Think about if you weren’t around, where you would want them to go or who you would want them to be with.  Many think parrots are going to be a burden and they look for the nearest sanctuary.  However that is not always the case, you may have struck a chord with a relative that would love to take your flock in, or maybe a neighbor that helps house sit or a friend from work that comes over for happy hour?  There are so many options, get creative and ask around.  

Because you never know what can happen when you’re Planning for the Future and trust me, they will thank you for it.

copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Planning for the Future

 

From The Perch

FTP.logoFor years I have been trying to get things together to expand Parrot Earth, yet again.  It began as a simple blog and then grew into a website with links to merchandise, product/movie reviews and links to national and international parrot events.  

In this day and age it is important to keep up with the times and as much as I necessarily don’t like it, technology is the wave of communication and getting knowledge out there. As a kid I loved magazines and radio broadcasts, so I thought, “why not merge the two?”. Then the idea for From The Perch – Aviculture Today (click here for the about page) came from.  I had done some work with Jason here on Parrot Earth blog and I immediately thought he would be a perfect choice.  We have some things in common, but we are totally opposite personalities and to be honest, that’s what makes shows work.  The listener needs to be able to related to someone involved in the broadcast.  

I am not the person who keeps secrets well, and it’s been a struggle not to let the cat out of the bag.  However, I managed.  Especially after a couple of cocktails at our favorite watering hole, I wanted to let so many people in on it.  But, I knew it would need to be a splash entrance.  

Jason nor myself CLAIM TO BE EXPERTS.  From The Perch is about friends and colleagues in the avian community, sitting around, sharing ideas and discussion topics. In no way does it substitute for good old-fashioned research, but hopefully our listeners can learn something along with being entertained by everyone involved.  Every episode will have people interviewed and we hope that will bring the newest ideas, topics and education in a new and exciting media medium.  Click here and “like” the FB page.  (The sound may be a little off here and there, but we are still mastering the equipment and format).  

 

lara.too.shoulderFor episode one we had special guest, Lara Joseph in studio.  She is an internationally renowned trainer and an overall wonderful person.  Anyone who can train pigs, goldfish, parrots etc, is okay in my book.  For more information about Lara, click here!!

We look forward to many more shows and many more guests!  Thanks for your support …

and now I can say thanks for reading and thanks for listening.

copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – From The Perch 

Birdie’s Day Out

jail_break_1127455A week ago, I was perusing our local neighborhood blog, I saw someone had listed a “found” parakeet.  I read the post and looked at the picture, they had the poor little guy in a kids laundry hamper with a bowl of water.  There was also a description of the situation and the little guy wouldn’t even eat a “cracker”.  This made me a little nervous.  I was not sure how long he had been out, how long it had been since he ate and if he was ill.  The Pacific Northwest is going through a dry and hot spell.  Temperatures are soaring into the 90’s and for up here, that is a lot.  The Seattle area is usually a lovely and comfortable 78-82 degrees for most of the summer, however we have been dealing with 90+ reading for weeks.  

I immediately emailed the person who had the parakeet and let them know who I was and what I do.  Come to find out, the person was an old friend of mine and someone I use to see quite often.  He said they had no idea what to feed him, or what to do, his wife was terrified of the little bird and would not handle him. Within five minutes we were putting on clothes (this was at 11:30pm) and grabbing our lovebird’s travel cage.  

keetWe arrived at the house, which was just three minutes away and had the little guy in the cage and on our way home.  It wasn’t until we got home I realized something wasn’t right.  His beak was covered in what appeared to be scales. For anyone that is familiar with Scaly Mites or Knemidokoptes pilae, and you have other birds in the house, it makes your cringe.  Thankfully we always take precautions when bringing in a “new” or unfamiliar bird into the house and put them in quarantine in the basement office. Because of everything I assumed this little guy had been through, surviving a number of days in the wild, in high temperatures with limited food and water, I figured he probably just wanted to sleep.  I made sure I threw in some millet in the little food dish in case he wanted some comfort food (and I also figured if he was going to eat anything, it would be millet), so I covered the little cage and hoped for the best.  

keet.3The next morning I woke up, asked my husband if he was still kicking and the answer was, “yes”.  “Wonderful”, I replied.  It was time to put out the bat signal online. I asked for advice from some of the most knowledgable people I know, and I got a ton of information, on how to treat the mites to how long.  Because other birds are susceptible to scaly mites, I had some pondering to do.  I made the decision that I didn’t want to risk an outbreak.  I called around and chatted with an acquaintance of mine, who works at a local pet store.  They would be able to treat him in a quarantine area and also put him on antibiotics immediately.  Ah, a breath of fresh air.  

keet.2I made sure all the Lost/Found and local neighborhood blog was aware that he had been taken to the pet store and no one has made any inquiries about the little guy.  I talked to the pet store (they think he is well into his teens) and they are going to make sure he goes to a loving home or find a rescue for small birds, where he can live out the rest of his days.  

This time of year, it’s easy for accidents to happen.  Heat goes up and windows and doors get opened.  Unfortunately, I have spoken to some people who believe that it’s ok to set their birds free during this time of year.  Since exotic birds aren’t acclimated to eating outdoors, nine times out of ten, they starve to death or are killed by predators.  Please, take measures to make sure your bird doesn’t escape.  Also, make sure you have the information from bands (if they have them), photo’s and take recordings of your birds whistling and communicating. This will help if your bird gets out and needs a way to find his way back home.  

Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Birdies Day Out

 

That Cozy Feeling?

angry-parrot-500x406I get a lot of readers who write inquiries to me on a pretty regular basis.  If I don’t know the answer, then I will find someone who will.  I love being stumped by a situation or problem and then learning something new along the way.  I think that’s a humans lot in life, constantly learning and getting better.  The world of aviculture is continually evolving and things that once were “THE BE ALL END ALL” items and ideas, have actually become outdated and antiquated.  It’s okay, that’s life, as long as we get better and not bitter.

“Our new bird is extremely cage aggressive and won’t let us come near their cage, but is fine when they are away from their cage.” is a line I have seen in many a message and email.  My first question is, does your bird have a birdie hut/tent/cozy/snuggie of any kind? Nine times out of ten, the answer is, “yes”.  I fostered a Lovebird years ago who had snuggie tent is her cage, it made her the meanest bird that I think I have ever seen.  She quickly got the nickname “devil bird” from friends that would come over and visit.  At the time I thought her little birdie hut was adorable and didn’t have the faintest idea that could be the root of her “evil” behavior.

willowCleo, our newest grey came with a snuggie tube sort of thing, and she was what?  You guessed it, cage AGGRESSIVE!  You couldn’t stick your hand in to get her if your tried. When her cage came into the house I immediately knew we were going to have trouble. I got rid of that thing as quick as someone would hold open the garbage can lid.  Within a couple of hours, her demeanor and body language began to relax.  Granted, she was still territorial but she would allow you to touch her cage doors and change her water dish or even adjust toys. Within three or four days her aggression was almost gone.

So, why will my bird snuggie tent cause this behavior?  Simple, nesting behavior.  Birds do not have sleeping bags or a tent in the wild.  They are “cavity nesters” and dark enclosed spaced give them that little tinge of hormones that say “let’s have babies”. Giving a bird any sort of nesting material, which would be a warm, dark enclosed space says “let’s get territorial because there will eventually be eggs here and they must be protected”.  As bird owners dealing with mood shifts and other external factors, why give them something that could potentially be mood altering and also extremely dangerous.  

tent.birdieBird snuggie tents are made of fabric, personally I don’t like anything fabric because it is incredibly hard to clean and keep sterile.  Not to mention those little pieces of fabric that after being chewed on can be ingested causing a crop impaction. It could also become a danger by strangling your little companion and even possibly getting a foot caught and breaking it.  A few years ago a reader’s sweet Sun Conure got her foot stuck and pulled out a toe and bled to death while she was at work, what a horrible thing to come home to.   

I know that as parrot owners we want to make the best environment and make it the most comfortable for our little feathered companions, but when it really comes down to brass tacks, why give them something they wouldn’t get in the wild?  Why put your bird in danger for That Cozy Feeling?  

Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – That Cozy Feeling