2011-03-10 - 8:57 p.m.
all bird photos this page © 2002-2010 by elaine radford
I am happy and delighted to accept any gifts over $1 through Paypal. Most of the money I raise online comes from selling stuff, rather than gifts, but I always appreciate the gesture. (By the way, if you prefer to support sites by buying rather than donating, don't worry; I'll be adding more information soon about what I've got for sale.) In the past, whenever I got donations that said "gift" or "tip" or "thank you," then they went to the general bird care fund. That money has always been set aside for bird food, toys, vitamins, medicines, vet visits...just whatever any of my birds happens to need at the time. But recently I got to thinking that maybe you'd like to know exactly WHICH bird will benefit from your kindness? So I've decided to tell the story of each of my five birds, and if you'd like to pick out one of those five and specify that this individual gets the benefit of the gift, that's great. I'll be happy to spend your gift on that particular bird.
Cookie is my Yellow-Crowned Amazon. He's over 40 years old, and he has never looked better, although he used to have a much larger English vocabulary. At the moment, he's involved in a torrid romance with a bell. He feeds it carefully chewed-up easy-to-digest regurgitated food and then sneaks a look to see if I'm jealous. He figures whatever goes on between him and his bell is OK, because they're both consenting adults, and why would the bell ring THAT loudly if it wasn't having a good time? Cookie's favorite trick is eating peanut butter with a spoon and then washing the spoon in his water dish. Like many Amazons, when he's in "season," you can detect a faint scent of flowers around his person. You can also detect a not-so-faint scent of hormones, also known as, grouchy and bossy. It's a privilege to be allowed to handle an Amazon, and Cookie durn well knows it. Of all my birds, Cookie is the one who most enjoys playing with parrot toys. He can chew the wooden parts of a large Pink Parrot Toy to matchsticks in 24 to 48 hours, so it takes a lot of such toys to keep him entertained. You can donate to Cookie by clicking right here:
Courtney was hatched sometime in mid-April, 1990. He was a physical "runt," with some messed-up feathers around the eye, and he's had a few health challenges over the years, but he's sort of the guardian protective spirit of the bird house. No cat will enter the yard without a cry of alarm from Courtney. He might be old but he's gold. Oddly, the love of his life is his sibling and hatchmate, the sleek and beautiful Ronnie. And here's where the gothic romance begins, for I didn't wish to encourage siblings to mate, and yet they really only love each other. If Cookie is the comedy of the bird room -- my friend D. calls him "the court jester" -- then Courtney is our tragic hero. The doomed knight, who will protect and defend, even though his one true love is forbidden. You can donate to Courtney by clicking right here -- he likes parrot treats and extra perches that he can chew to matchsticks:
Sleek, lovely Ronnie. One of my two original babies, with Courtney, from Arthur (my original bird) and his mate Gwen. For many years, Ronnie's only wish was to be close to Courtney, her brother. Peach-fronted Conures are not a rare or endangered species, and when I realized that they wanted to be together, I thought it would be OK to allow them to enjoy each other and just to remove the eggs. I wonder now if I did the right thing. Perhaps I should have broken them up while they were still young. A Tropical Storm Bill or a Hurricane Katrina doesn't ruffle her feathers. Each year, she is ready to try again. I just removed two clear eggs a couple of day ago -- even at over 20, she's still willing to give it a try. For awhile now, I've had her placed with Sheldon, an older, unrelated bird, just in case. It seems unlikely that they could produce fertile eggs at their age...but I guess you never know. You can donate to Ronnie by clicking right here -- she likes food treats and sometimes an extra helping of vitamin A:
Old man Sheldon, with his scratchy old man voice. I purchased him on July 30, 1990, and he was already an adult. I'm a tad amazed that he's still around, but he hangs tough, despite his weak voice and (at times) his scruffly feathers. Right now, he's actually looking pretty good. He preens and guards Ronnie. I don't think he actually fertilized (or even tried to fertilize) the eggs she laid this winter, but he still watches over the nestbox. I think sometimes he wonders a little bit how those eggs got there, but when he sees that she wants to lay, he puts her in the box and watches the door, and nobody's going to mess with his Ronnie. Even if he's an old dude, and the eggs are not even remotely fertile. There's a courtliness to this older gentleman. He will take care of his sweetie until the end, even if (in his heart of hearts) he might or might not suspect that her dreams are futile -- and, too often, wrapped around her brother Courtney in the flight across the way. You can donate to Sheldon's special treat fund by clicking right here:
Dale! She was hatched April 7, 1991, so she might not be so much of a "girl" anymore, but she's young in spirit. She might lay an egg once or twice a decade, but her ego is not invested in sex, sexual politics, or the drama between Courtney and Ronnie. Girls just wanna have fun, and Dale's a bit of a puppy who never grew up. I was surprised to find that she'd laid and quickly abandoned a clear egg this year after several years on hiatus. She hasn't ever been serious about breeding but, sometimes, I guess, eggs just happen. You can donate to Dale's treat and toy fund by clicking right here:
All Rights Reserved, Copyright © 2002-2012 by Elaine Radford