Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet the Parrots

As I was making a feeble attempt at straightening up around the house last night (I say feeble because with everything still torn up from the "Great Flood of 2009" it's kinda pointless to do much right now) I came across a little photo album with some of my bird pictures in it. While looking at the pictures, it occurred to me that I've never really introduced the actual birds behind "Silver Parrot."

Sadly, a couple of them have passed on to join the great flock in the sky, but I still thought it would be fun to share the pictures.

I couldn't find any of Lucky the parakeet. All of his pictures unfortunately featured my ex in them and I buried all that stuff in a back corner of the attic. Lucky was only with us for a couple of years. We found him one day in the top of the tree of our front yard. He was skinny and terrified and about this {} close to becomine hawk chow. We never figured out where he came from or how long he'd been out in the wild, but we managed to catch him and get him set up in a nice, safe birdie home with lots to eat and plenty of toys to play with. He didn't talk, but he was hilariously funny with his antics in the cage. He did remain very skittish for about the first 6-9 months until my ex decided to grow a beard and next thing we knew that bird was out of the cage and riding around on his shoulder, preening his beard and basically being his best friend. The only thing we could figure out is that his former owner must have been a guy with a beard. Then, one day I came home and he had passed away. He left our lives as mysteriously as he entered them.

Then there's my sweet Jimmie-girl. She was the original inspiration behind the name Silver Parrot:

She never spoke, but she was utterly and completely tame and sweet. Rode all around the house on my shoulder and spent all of her time when we were home outside of her cage. If I was reading, she'd come and perch on the top of the book. If was watching TV, she was either on my shoulder or on the couch next to me. She was so very loving and just wanted to be with us all the time - she even once laid one of her eggs while sitting on my ex's lap! She got sick and passed away right around the same time as my ex and I split up - since we bought her together just a couple of months after we got married, I've always wondered if our split affected her. I still miss her every day.

Then there's my crazy Zuni-parrot. He's a Meyer's Parrot from the group of Poicephalus parrots. I purchased him from a breeder when he was just a baby. His name comes from the beautiful turquoise feathers on his rump that reminded me of my turquoise and silver jewelry that was made by the Zuni tribe of Native Americans.

Here he is on hatching day. 1996 - can you believe it?

This is the first day that I met him (the breeder allowed me to visit several times before I actually took him home). He was a month old. I still remember that he crawled into the chest pocket of my shirt and fell asleep in there. We had to work really hard to get him back out so I could leave that day LOL!

Here he is with his two brothers. There were 3 babies in the clutch and all were boys.

Here he is with one of his toys and some of his adult feathers have grown in.

The breeder had this dog (which was really more of a pillow with four legs attached - he ate all the stuff that fell out of the bird cages and was the FATTEST dog I've ever seen) and several cats and she let them all run around on the floor with the baby birds so the birds would learn to interact and even defend themselves against family pets. I thought she was nuts until I saw one of Zuni's brothers chase one of the cats across the room. He certainly could stand up for himself and it helped make all of them more able to fit into any household they might be adopted into.

And here he is almost fully-fledged and ready to go home. The only difference now, 13 years later, is that his forehead is bright yellow just like the shoulder patches on his wings. Those yellow head feathers show up at about 1-2 years of age.

He talks, but can be a bit hard to understand. He says "hi kids" and "bye kids", "tickle", "poop", "where's Zuni", and does lots of whistles and noises he's picked up from around the house (like the beep of the malfunctioning smoke detector which is REALLY annoying). He also growls like a dog, hisses like a cat (when he's mad) and does a spot-on imitation of what Jimmie used to sound like. In fact, I used to get mad at her sometimes thinking she was the one making all the noise and then I'd come downstairs and she'd be peacefully sleeping and it was Zuni actually making her call - but since he's bigger, he was doing it at full parrot volume.

Whew! Okay, well, now you can say you've met all the bird-brains behind "Silver Parrot."



dochoamom said...

Hey Kelly... They are so cute as babies... And what a beautiful bird... Thanks for sharing...

Love, Deb

Ruralrose said...

Awesome - i can't tell you how much i enjoyed this post - i have had birds since a youngster, budgies, cockatiels, finches, pigeons, a Patagonian conure - they are all special now I have chickens and turkeys and they are the best of all. Great pictures, wonderful story. Peace for all

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

Thanks so much for sharing your feathered family Kelly! Zuni is a handsome fellow, gorgeous colors! I had a boyfriend in college whose parents kept an aviary filled primarily with Australian birds, I really enjoyed spending time there. I was particularly partial to a pretty green ring neck :)

kelleysbeads said...

LOVE the baby parrot pics of Zuni and the pillow attempting to look like a dog. Birds are such fun creatures and its nice to know there are breeders who help prepare them to stand up to dogs and cats!

Lorelei said...

i think you should make a piece of jewelry reflecting the colors of your current parrot. how cute!