Re-Energize

Written By: B.D. Butler - Nov• 05•17

Hi out there.  I woke up this morning with a definitive urge to write.  Not that I haven’t had this urge before, it just so happens to be a time when I had the opportunity to do so.

When I was a kid, I never truly understood the need and want for there to be “more hours in the day”.  Trust me, that outlook has since changed and I really wish there was another ten hours in the day.  Writing about parrots is hard.  Not that it’s difficult to write per se, there is only so much you can write specifically about birds.  They eat, talk, poop, make us laugh and repeat.  I decided to take the angle and sway it a little to the left, and change the filter.  Parrot Earth came along when I began my crazy journey into the world of birds, and since that time, a lot of things have changed.  Social Media has provided us with things such as blogs, video blogs and websites, which are a wonderful resource.  Social Media has also helped us get in contact with professionals and be apart of a greater learning system, clubs, groups and the lives of other bird lovers.  Granted, Social Media has not helped with online temperament, not has it helped with online manners.  There are still those keyboard commandos out there, we are just a little more equipped to handle them.  Maybe we’ve just become a little more tough skinned or we just don’t pay attention, either way we have come into a place of social media comfortability.  I’ve noticed it’s easier to Unfriend, Unfollow, or Unlike a person or group, than throw venom into the void.  Fighting with people who have to have the last word are sometimes just not worth it.

During my journey, I have also learned more about myself.  My mother swears its age and I’m coming into my own, which I will say is probably the case.  I think the older you get your “give-a-sh#tter” (as my mother refers to it) turns off.  You stop worrying about the little things and you also realize who’s important and more importantly what you will put up with. You have the freedom to let your own Ouiser Boudreaux, from Steel Magnolias, fly and embrace those funny hats and bib overalls.  It’s also much easier to release those negative people back into the wild where you found them.  It’s also easier to let those “last word” people have just that, the last word.  In the bird world, there are some different personalities and in essence it comes down to who you want to associate yourself with.  I will admit, I almost packed up and left the avian community.  I got tired of the vitriol spewed to the masses.  However I chose to take a break and do some self-care.  I got into this community for a reason, and I intend on staying and making a difference.  Even if it’s to a handful of people, it’s worth it.

In the last year we began a non-profit, called The Gilded Feather Foundation.  Our foundation does fundraising for many animal groups and some two-legged too.  We have some extremely vital people on our board, and three of them work for other non-profit organizations.  You always need to surround yourself with the best people, and we truly have.

The Gilded Feather Foundation brought forth the Northwest Bird Expo.  There are many avian events annually, and we wanted to bring some of our friends in the avian education business to the area.  It went smashingly, especially for a first year event.  We had Dr. Karen Becker (#1 followed holistic vet in the world) Lara Joseph (owner of The Animal Behavior Center and international trainer) Patricia Sund (fellow blogger and writer of Parrot Nation) Dr. Jason Crean (advocate for raw food diets and avian activist) Jamie Whittaker (from the Indonesian Parrot Project), local vets from The Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, Dr. Anneliese Strunk and Dr. Alicia Mclaughlin.  Boy…. you want to talk about the educational energy in one space.  You could have easily powered an entire city with the brain power in these lectures.  The vendors who came and sold were also amazing!  We had toy manufacturers, stores who closed down to set up in the vendor hall, artists who came from out-of-state to exhibit their artwork, a tarot reader and intuitive animal healer and representatives from some of the best sanctuaries in the state….just to name a few.

With any good event, it’s hard to think about making the same impact we did during the second year.  We also want to make something unique and different from anything happening in the country.  So as Coco Chanel said “less is more”.  We are slimming things down to a one day OUTDOOR event and expanding into all animal and nature lovers.  This event will now be the Northwest Animal and Nature Festival. We are so excited to be partnering with The Olympic Bird Fanciers and Discover Burien to make a truly unique event for all.

Our company Greywood Manor Tea & Provisions has been a blockbuster of a success and some amazing things are coming with that.  (that’s all I am at liberty to discuss about that, and if you haven’t checked out our products for birds, you need to).

After some reflection on blogging, the avian community, non-profit organizations, events and bird people…. it’s time for a reemergence .  It’s time to write again and bring some of my experiences into the collective.  Sometimes we learn more from our mistakes than we do our successes, and it’s all a matter of perspective and allowing yourself the chance to “re-energize”.  Thanks for reading.

Copyright Parrot Earth 2017 – Re-Energize – All Rights Reserved

Busy B

Written By: B.D. Butler - Nov• 18•16

busy-beeI know some of you who have been reading and following Parrot Earth have probably thought, “what gives?”.  Hey, I don’t blame you.  I have wondered the same thing a time or two, at least the past few months anyways.  I have been trying to find the time to write, really I have.  Writing is something that helps me feel grounded and helps me sort out the many many many thoughts in my head. Did I mention I think a lot?  It’s true.  So this past few months have been so hectic, I haven’t necessarily been able to get to it with my schedule being the way that it has.

greywood-banner3Greywood Manor Tea & Provisions has been extremely successful this past year and we are busier than ever. Especially with the glowing reviews and results we are getting from our devoted customers! I am constantly researching new products that would be beneficial and safe for animals in your home.  I am so proud and thankful every time I get to hand blend an order for our customers.  It’s like a feeling of sending a handmade present to a friend.  We definitely pride ourselves in our branding and want every opening of a package from Greywood to be an experience.  Not just some delivery from another pet supply distributor.

2b-copyAfter several requests from friends and colleagues in the avian community, we have constructed a planning team and we are putting together the Northwest Bird Expo.  We pulled out all the stops in the speaker list and am extremely excited to what each individual speaker brings to the table.  Our speakers include the amazing international trainer, Lara Joseph.  She is one of my favorite people and if you haven’t found her beloved Animal Behavior Center online or Facebook you are truly missing out.  Next up we have my buddy Jason Crean, whoops  I mean Dr. Jason Crean.  He went out and got a EdD this year, but don’t worry he isn’t too high and mighty, yet. I kid, I kid. Then we have spunky “Chop” guru and my buddy, Patricia Sund. We are working on getting her the veggies and choppers so she can show our attendees the fun of doing chop, not just sitting in a chair and learning about it. I don’t know about you, but I personally learn hands on. Last but certainly not least we have one of the most followed veterinarians followed on social media (in the world), Dr. Karen Becker DVM. We interviewed her for From the Perch, A Podcast and I tell ya, she has more information about birds in her pinky, than I have in my whole body.  She can talk about anything, and it’s a joy to listen to. I personally talked with many members of the avian community and wanted it to be the best experience for anyone from a novice parrot owner to a seasoned parrot owner, could take away the feeling of, “I learned something and I can apply it to my daily life”.  Our team consists of people with amazing organizational skills and experience working with non-profit events and event planning. Not to mention the positivity and team work atmosphere! gilded-feather-logo As any leader should say, “I am no one without the people I work with and lean on”. We have an amazing accountant for the non-profit organization we started, The Gilded Feather Foundation.  TGFF is the backbone of the operation, the concrete foundation to build our goals. We are also very excited about what we will be doing with other non-profit organizations in the future.  To be honest, it’s an exciting learning experience and I have learned so much about myself and others during the process. Our event is in a Seattle suburb (just five minutes away from the Sea-Tac international airport) Burien, WA.  Our venue is the beautiful Burien Community Center, which to me screams Seattle culture.  It’s quirky, intimate and surrounded by natural lighting and foliage.  I could not have wished for a better venue for the first year.

So in the back of my mind, if you are reading this, you have been losing sleep over why I have not had the time to sit down and write anything.  (that was total #sarcasm in case you don’t have the same dry and sarcastic sense of humor I do).  Now you know, all the good things which have been keeping my away from my keyboard.  I am working on getting my schedule a bit more regimented so I can make the time to write and not neglect Parrot Earth, which is so very important.  So, until then.  Be good to yourselves and your birds!

copyright – Parrot Earth – 2016 – Busy B

 

 

A Summer Letter From Sheldon

Written By: B.D. Butler - Jul• 26•16

Dear Birds,

cleoThe summer has begun, very slowly it seems.  Time has gone by since the last time we really had any issues, especially having moved into a much larger house. Let’s just be honest, shall we?  Having you in your bird room has been total heaven, of course except when those instances I walk by you when you are on your parrot stands and you insist on flinging food at my head. I find it rude, not only because it frightens me but because it makes a mess!

Our owners work very hard at keeping the Manor clean and you’re not helping.  I’m not trying to damper your artistic vision but trying to become the next Picasso by tossing your food at my head or the wall isn’t going to work. I’ve heard humans refer to parrots as a “blender with the top off” but this is getting ridiculous.

sheldon.dogsIn previous letters I have addressed your calling my name and scolding me, but with the two Miniature Schnauzers who also live here, it’s getting confusing.  They don’t know you’re kidding.  Yelling, “No!” and “Come here” or “Wanna go outside” would be confusing for the average dog.  Maybe you’re playing your mind games again, and possibly on purpose. Either way, not cool.

So in closing this letter to you Dexter, Cooper, Cleo and little Hugo I would appreciate keeping your vocalizations to something directed at the masters of the Manor and also please stop using my head as target practice.  I don’t appreciate fresh vegetables and fruits getting intermingled with my fur.

Until next time,

Sheldon

Digital Enrichment

Written By: B.D. Butler - May• 04•16
I got YouTube here.

I got YouTube here.

In today’s world, things are a lot more hectic than they used to be.  Oprah taught us the term multi-tasking and we excel at doing just that.  Sometimes I wonder where the time goes and wish there were more hours in a day to get things done. That includes keeping my parrots happy.  I strive very hard at keeping new toys in their cages, rearranging perches to keep things new and offering enrichment opportunities when I can.  This includes a HD flat screen tv in their bird room. 

I wanted to make sure the birds had a beautiful space to live in, and they really do.  Lots of light, plants, stencils on the walls, their own radio and we added a flat screen tv in the corner.  Because we stream everything and only watch Roku & Apple TV we use Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube to stream movies and videos for the birds.  I personally like to play jungle sounds or rainforest sounds for them.  I figure it’s as close to the wild as they will ever get and it’s amazing how many sounds they have picked up.  If you have cable, we used to leave the cartoon network on when we were gone.  

Here is one of my favorite videos I like to play. 

Our birds go nuts for it!  They call back to the birds in the video and it adds that extra bit of nature to their world.  I will admit the greys do entertain the crap out of us, especially with all of the noises they can pick up.  Zippers, garbage trucks, text notifications, microwaves… the list goes on and on.  But my favorite is the noises they have picked up from cartoons.  Personally I like the old school cartoons from my childhood like Gummy Bears, Smurfs, Scooby-Doo (we hear the occasional Zoink or Jinkees) but I will also put on some of the new CGI movies and Dream Works films for them.  The brilliant colors and sounds really keep them intrigued.  

Here’s an episode of the Gummy Bears:

So when you are going to wake your birds up in the morning I out on some rainforest sounds and let them wake up “in the jungle”.  Or if you want to teach them some cartoon noises, turn it on… it’s enrichment in a new and fantastic way. It’s so easy and entertaining!  Especially when life gets crazy and you can’t devote 100% of the time with your birds.  You’ll be surprised how much they will love it!

Copyright- 2016 – Parrot Earth – Digital Enrichment

Getting a Second Opinion

Written By: B.D. Butler - Mar• 30•16

Ah, social media.  Originally when social media began, we all were probably thinking,” this is the coolest thing since sliced bread”.  The ability to connect and chat with people all over the world in an instant.  How cool!?  Or is it?social media

For some it’s become a hinderance into development and the thinking process.  It’s even helped hinder an entire new generation of human beings.  There appears to be a new generation of people appearing in the social media stratosphere.  I call them the non-thinkers.  These non-thinkers are so preoccupied with getting things correct, they forget to remember that no one person has ALL of the answers.  Before the world of the internet, you had to get a professionals first opinion, possibly a second opinion and sometimes a third if you had a problem.  That meant you doing research into these opinions from experts and weighing out your options.  At that point you came to your own conclusion and made the determination of  what works better for you, not what some stranger on the Facebook tells you.

second_opinionNow don’t get me wrong, there is some amazing advice out there from people who have years and decades of experience with all things bird .  However it’s up to you to question them.  I know for a fact there are tons of new advances some of these experts don’t know about.  There are also things that “new” experts have never heard of because they lack the experience of someone who has been in the aviculture world for decades.  This is when it comes to you, the researcher (see what I did there, I put you in the category of the researcher or the person who is questioning) to get many opinions and weigh them.  Weigh the validity.  Weigh where they are coming from, weigh how long a specific item has been in practice.  Then you make the decision, not others making those decisions for you.  

With the new non-thinker, it’s easy to get an opinion and instructions and then do exactly that.  However when those instructions don’t quite work out perfectly or when those instructions don’t work out at all, the non-thinker now will place blame and take absolutely no responsibility for their lack of research or accountability for their actions.  Without understanding and admitting your own failures you cannot begin to learn from them.  Sometimes you learn more from your failures then you do your successes.  

“But an expert told me to”…. is what I have heard and seen numerous times, and my question is “did you do your research?”.  Of course that may sound a bit callous and that is absolutely not my intention.  My intention is to inspire you to ask questions. Ask your vet, groomer, boarder, toy maker, mail man, whatever. Just ask.  Keep questioning boundaries, that’s what the best scientists and explorers have done for centuries.  That’s how finding out how dangerous an all seed diet is, someone questioned what was told to them and the research began. The same thing is true about processed foods vs fresh food, simply, someone questioned what they were told instead of blindly following.   

researchNow before some of you get into a tizzy, I am not saying that using google or bing makes you a formidable force and you should go up against your avian vet with said information. I’m just saying it’s important to know what is going on and have all of the information possible.  Personally I prefer to be proactive with my animal’s health and not reactive when something unforeseen goes wrong.  I take the time, so I know the options before I weigh them.   

So the next time something comes up about your birds, before you have that knee jerk reaction and do something just because someone has told you to. Open up that computer, phone or tablet and use whichever nondenominational browser you choose and start reading.  Information is power and it’s up to you to use it! 

Copyright – Parrot Earth – 2016 – Getting a Second Opinion


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