Wednesday, March 31, 2010
What an amazing transformation this volunteer and her family made on this bird! It wasn't easy, and it did take time, but just look at the results!
Scooter was up at the Center last week to be groomed. I was going around, taking pictures and videos of the birds and asked who this playful, happy umbrella cockatoo was. Imagine my shock when I was told it was Scooter.
It's hard to believe this is the same creature. Years ago, he would tremble in the corner and try to avoid human contact. Last week, he was dancing and showing off for me, and literally jumped on my arm when I asked him to step up.
Once again, a success story and testament to the amazing resiliency of parrots.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The reason that Chipper found a home was a sad one, but turned out to be good luck for him. A family had a happy flock of four finches. One died after spending several days at the vet, and they wanted to even up the numbers again in order to have harmony. That was Chip's lucky break.
Here are all four of the finches. Their owner had rearranged all of the cage furnishings in hopes of lessening any territoriality and aiding finch friendships to form.
If you look closely, you can see parts of all four finches in this picture:
Here's Chipper, the CARE alum and new bird on the block:
And here is Chipper with his new flockmate, Holmes:
Chipper's owner discovered that he loves cucumbers, so he now gets them regularly. What a lucky bird he was to have found his way to such a wonderful home!
Monday, March 29, 2010
She was originally purchased as a pet for a young teenage girl. When this girl left home to go to college, no one in the family was interested in Ditto. Sound familiar? This actually happens pretty regularly, and is one of the reasons we don't recommend these long-lived creatures as pets for children if no one else in the house is interested in a relationship with the bird.
She spent over a year placed on consignment at a local pet store. When that store went out of business, her owners that were trying to sell her surrendered her to us.
We wrote about Ditto several years ago. In that entry, we made the comment that she wouldn't say "peek-a-boo" on camera. This time, she said it, but without the corresponding wing movements. So you have to combine the images from these two videos in your head to get the full effect!
We take Ditto with us on educational visits. She loves being the center of attention! We don't understand why that perfect home hasn't presented itself yet for her -- during the time she's been with us, dozens of other macaws have found their home -- but Ditto knows it will be worth the wait to finally have the love and security of a family that has eluded her thus far.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
If given proper care, doves can live around 20 years. If you're interested in adding a dove to your house, we can teach you how to properly care for your new pet.
Doves love to swing! (As an aside, look at the nosy severe macaw in the background!)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Just like with humans, veggies are an important part of a healthy parrot's diet. At the Center, we try to feed the parrots a variety of vegetables so that they get plenty of essential nutrients.
One way to get picky parrots to eat their vegetables is by food processing them into a mash.
And the completed product:Large batches can be made in advance and frozen. At the Center, we have so many parrots to feed that we usually don't have any left to freeze! But in homes with fewer parrots, this is a great option. Ice cube trays work particularly well for this -- just pop out a square and let it thaw.
One way to introduce mash is by placing it on the food that the parrot already eats. In order to get to his pellets or seed, he'll inadvertently eat some mash -- and discover how delicious it is!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
We currently have several budgies up for adoption.
Monday, March 22, 2010
She went to the vet last week, and diagnostics confirmed our suspicion of gout. For the rest of her life, she will need a small daily dose of cosequin (joint supplement) and metacam (pain medication).
She just loves to snuggle!
We've also provided her with a heated perch and made a few adjustments to her cage in order to make her feel more safe and comfortable.
Look at how she's using her foot to hold the hand of the volunteer who's holding her:Her status with us remains the same as the last time we posted. If we can find the right retirement home for her, she may be adopted out after she's stabilized a few more weeks. However, we will be more than happy to let her life out her days at the Center if the right home doesn't come along.
We just can't get over how she's maintained her wonderful demeanor despite everything she's been through. We're lucky to have her.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Here is her background, from yesterday.
One of the most exciting things about working with older parrots, parrots who have been around the block a few times, is that they often do or say funny things. Even years down the road, they may throw out a phrase or learned behavior they'd kept in the vault.
Someone had given Raja a giant cracker (I know...could we get any more cliche -- a parrot with a cracker?) She's holding it in her right foot, but then takes a bite and uses her left foot to eat, all while continuing to hold the rest of the cracker in her right foot! And, being a happy macaw, she took a few moments to dance when she saw she had an audience!
What a character this girl is. It's hard to believe that she was discarded in such a way. Whoever adopts her will be in for a real treat.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Frustrated, the man stood outside this humane society and offered her, free, to any takers. Luckily, CARE was notified, and her previous owner surrendered her to us.
Many people underestimate the space requirements of a large macaw. An appropriately-sized cage can take up a huge portion of the living room. In addition, they are messy, loud, and destructive. Perfect attributes for wild animals living in the jungle! But qualities that can cause problems once these wild animals are brought into living rooms.
During the several weeks Raja has been with us, we've been lucky enough to see her wonderful personality. We know that the right family will welcome her into their lives and provide her with the stability that has eluded her during the first part of her life. If that might be you, stop by and meet Raja.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Parrots are creatures of habit, and after almost half a century with the same family, it's been a bit of a shock for him to adapt to life at the Center. However, parrots are also very resilient. While he was very quiet and reserved at the beginning of his stay with us, with time, he has started letting us get to know him.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Parrots need several perch choices available to them. If they are offered only one, smooth perch, they can develop problems when the foot is not allowed to rest in different positions. That's part of the reason why dowel perches are not recommended for parrots. Natural branches, which mimic what parrots would see in the wild, are much better.
Tammy probably has gout. She went to the vet upon arrival, but she was in such a poor state that we opted to not take blood from her, as she needed to put on weight first. She is scheduled for a vet visit this week, and we will try to remember to post her results on the blog.
For the first few days she was with us, we barely saw her face as she was making up for lost time with her beak in her food dish! Even now, in this picture, that's where she was.
Despite everything she's been through, Tammy has a wonderful personality. As she regains strength, that may change, but we doubt it. She has been very sweet and we are determined to give her the last years of her life that she deserves.
Tammy is not yet available for adoption. We need to get her healthy first. Because of her age, and depending on what her blood tests reveal, she may become a resident unless we can find an appropriate retirement home.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Bobber was surrendered to a local humane society. CARE maintains close relations with several local humane societies as they are often not equipped to handle the special needs birds require. His owners said they were surrendering him because he would attack them.
However, he was kept in an 18" X 18" cage -- much too small for a cockatiel. We've noticed that parrots in small cages tend to be more cage-aggressive than parrots in appropriately-sized cages.
At the Center, Bobber has not tried to attack anyone. He steps up beautifully and is a delight to be around. As I was whistling to him yesterday, he whistled back. I wouldn't be surprised if he has several whistled songs stored inside his head. And, if not, he seems eager to learn some! He will make a wonderful companion for some lucky person.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
As you can see from her picture, Pepper had plucked out the majority of her feathers, including her entire tail. As she's been with us, in good air quality and now with a good diet, her feathering is starting to improve, and we are hopeful that her exposure to incense did not cause any long-term health issues.
Pepper has an amazing personality. Currently, she is a bit cage aggressive, but that's certainly understandable. If you'd been taken away from everything you'd ever known, you'd probably protect the one thing you perceived to be yours as well! With patience and time, we feel that she will nicely step up out of her cage for her new owners -- we've seen it happen hundreds of times.
Away from her cage, she is very tame and handleable. She is outgoing and would desperately love to find a new flock.
In this video, you can see her dancing, and if you listen closely, you can hear her singing a bit "woah-woah-woah-woah-woah."
She makes a lot of fun grey noises, and does talk a bit. However, there's no guarantee that she will talk in her new home.
We're looking for a very special home for Pepper. Someone who can look past her battered exterior to see the wonderful, empathetic, intelligent, and curious being inside.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
They can really pack a punch of personality and energy in their little bodies. Plus, their smaller size means that generally they are less messy and noisy than their larger counterparts. Often overlooked, they rarely have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
If you've been thinking about adding a pocket-sized friend to your house, stop by and we'll see if we can find the right match for you!
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
In the wild, parrots must be constantly on alert so that they can escape from dangerous situations. However, in the wild, parrots are able to rely on their flock for some of this vigilance. Each individual can relax occasionally, knowing that other flock members will alert them to danger. In our homes, especially with single birds, or birds who do not consider themselves to be a flock, this vigilance falls entirely on one parrot.
One successful strategy we've employed at the Center is to give each parrot a safe place in their cage -- a place where they can go and hide and feel safe.
Most frequently, we accomplish this by hanging a large toy near a high perch. This fleece ring is particularly effective:If this parrot feels scared, she can go on her favorite perch, be hidden from view, and also snuggle against something warm.
For birds exhibiting more extreme fearful behavior, we'll often cover up a portion of the cage, so that the bird has a larger area in which to feel safe.Luckily, it is rare when we have to employ this strategy, as most parrots quickly get into the routine at the Center and don't need this extra level of security.
This is something that can be effectively used at home. Try to look at things from your parrot's view. Are there things that are scaring her? Perhaps the family dog (predator!) staring at her or an unobstructed view through a backyard window where she may see hawks (scary!) Allaying her fears may be as simple as a cage rearrangement so she has a place to hide and feel safe.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
Cockatoos are often described as velcro-birds -- all they want to do is sit on their human and snuggle. Lucky does not fir that stereotype at all! He'd much rather show you how smart he is by doing tricks. He likes being around people, but he is perfectly content sitting on a stand in the same room with people.
He's been in nest-building mode for well over a month. At the beginning of the day in which I took this picture and video, his cage had been completely cleaned out. He made this much progress in less than 6 hours!
Lucky is allowed to build nests like this as it keeps him busy and is not the catalyst for aggressive behavior. Additionally, since he is a male, we don't have to worry about potential egg-binding concerns.
We're actually a bit confused as to why it's taking Lucky so long to find his home! During the time he's spent with us, dozens of other cockatoos have had shorter stays with us. We're hoping that 2010 might be his year!
Thursday, March 04, 2010
He's quite the charmer and blushes when he's excited -- his white facial patches almost become scarlet! He prefers blonde women, generally. In this picture, though the lighting is bad, you can see the beginning of a blush around his eyes.
Although Militaries are among the smaller of the large macaw species, they still require a large cage and tons of destructible toys. Additionally, when he wants to, he can let out a scream to wake the neighbors!
Like most parrots, Murphy is very intelligent, and will do well in a home where that is explored. He will thrive in a home where he can learn to do tricks and focus his energy, mental and physical, into positive endeavors.
If Murphy sounds like he might be a good match, stop by to meet him!
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Murphy is looking for a home that will treat him as a wanted member of the family and not trash left behind after a move. Look into those eyes -- how could someone have valued him so little?
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Molly is a Mealy Amazon, which is one of the largest Amazon parrot species. When Molly came to us, he was probably among the largest Amazon individuals, as a poor diet and sedentary life combined to make him a severely obese parrot!
When he was first surrendered to us, several years ago, you couldn't see his feet when he perched -- his belly hung out that far. Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures at that time, as his transformation is truly amazing! He also had fatty lipid deposits covering his body. Poor guy!
Molly was adopted by a couple, but they ran into problems with him. They had several other amazons, and Molly fell in love with one of their other parrots. Doing what parrots do when placed in unnatural settings (our living rooms), he became aggressive against his owners in an attempt to court this other bird.
His owners realized that they could no longer provide a good environment for him, as he was spending more and more time inside his cage, so he returned to CARE.
Molly is most likely in his upper teens/lower 20s. He is a very happy and vocal bird. As you can hear in the video, he loves to sing scales! And look at the way his eye pins at me towards the end when he says hello -- breathtaking!
He has a cataract in one eye, though this does not slow him down. He receives a homeopathic spray in his water every day for this. He may require additional medication in the future should his condition worsen; however, we're hoping that an improved diet will make additional medication unnecessary. He also requires daily exercise in order to keep his weight down.
Molly is quite tame, though he tends to pick people he likes and doesn't like. He is also stick trained. His vocal exploits could keep me entertained for hours.
Although Molly is up for adoption, his special needs are such that he may end up being a resident.
Next time you're at the Center, stop by Molly's cage and sing/whistle a few scales with him. He'll love it!
Monday, March 01, 2010
Effective March 1, 2010, these are the new boarding and grooming rates:
BOARDING (daily charges):
PETITE (finch, canary, budgie, parrotlet -- owner must provide cage): $5 per cage
SMALL (lovebird, cockatiel, green cheek conure -- owner has option to provide cage): $8 (owner's cage)/$9 (CARE's cage)
MEDIUM (other conures, quaker, senegal, pionus): $12
LARGE (amazon, grey, cockatoo, mini macaw): $15
X-LARGE (macaw): $18
We fill up quite quickly, especially around holidays, so it's recommended to call us and reserve your bird's (or birds') space as soon as you know your details.
There are two amounts listed after each size bird -- the first, smaller amount is for wings OR nails; the second, larger amount is for wings AND nails. Please see the boarding information for what category your bird falls into:
On weekdays, we ask that you call the Center to make an appointment before bringing your bird in. That way, we can make sure that we have enough properly trained volunteers available. On Saturdays, no appointment is necessary between the hours of 1-4 pm.
Should you have any questions, please call us at the Center. Thank you!