Happy New Year!
It’s not that I don’t like the holiday season, because I do. It’s just that I love December 21st more than the 25th, which is when the daylight, ever so slightly, begins to lengthen! Spring is coming! By my daughter’s birthday in January, the birds sense it and I am seeing micro-mini bits of chewed paper carefully soaking in water dishes. Tiny, downy feathers are floating in the aviary air as my girls start practising nest-preparation skills. My two young Quaker hens are actively feeding each other. Beak to beak, they sound like two little old ladies arguing about the price of items at the dollar store. One of my Quaker boys has learned a few words and I am always surprised he starts a conversation with me when I am doing my twice-daily rounds of the group.
I am especially thrilled with the progress of my Meyers pair. They came to me as adults and totally untame. Monty, while he still hates fingers (mine!) has softened to the point we can have little chats and he listens and replies quietly while behind bars. (He is in jail for finger biting, of course.) Meredith, who pulled out ALL her feathers when the Quakers climbed onboard, has blossomed back into her full-glowing beauty. She shines and no longer shies away from me. The way these creatures respond to gentleness continues to amaze and overwhelm me. Meredith (I call her Merry) used to one-eye me from the back wall of the cage. I felt badly for her when she decided to strip naked, so I cooed to her every day; now she sidles to the front of the cage, and looks at me with both eyes. (Just a moment, while I blot the drips from my melting heart!).
I have four pet parrots, and could write an entire website about the journey of owning an African Grey. As a breeder and as a pet owner, my best advice to every bird owner is to enjoy each moment, every day you have these precious jewels. Do not feel you have to compete with anyone else… just love your birds. They will love you right back!