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Flight Suits


Thanks for the updates on the babies, and for the info on the sleep cage. 
I did have another question, about the parrot mash.  Since we will have one bird (CB) what is the approximate quantity size that would be offered?  And do you offer it everyday? 
 I like the idea of apple cider vinegar, have you been adding it to the babies' water; approximately 1/2 tsp. to 4 oz?
For one baby, we give approximately 1/4 cup of mash, including sprouts, a day, and yes, we offer it everyday. We offer about 3 kinds of fruits each day, too. Sometimes, they will stop eating the mash and act like they don't like it anymore, but if you keep offering it, they start liking it again...they just go through phases. I make it in big amounts and freeze ziploc bags. You could do this on a smaller scale and freeze it in sandwich sized bags.
We keep our Apple Cider Vinegar in a squirt bottle by the sink, and when we change the water, we put one squirt in the dish. I know this is not real scientific, but it has worked for us. It is also how we put the ACV in the dishes of our breeder pairs. In each aviary is a squirt bottle of ACV.
Hi Beth,
Before I decide to buy an econopack of flightsuits I would like to know how soon my baby would out grow them?  Or, should I buy just one now if my baby will outgrow it very soon?  What do you suggest? 
Hi all,
When a baby first weans, they are fairly thin. You will be able to feel the keel bone fairly easily on a young bird. But, the bone frame is there and the same size suit that fits them as a young bird will fit them as an adult. As they mature, the padding around the keel fills in and they gain some muscle, but they don't change in length. When I am hand feeding a green cheek for instance, their weight goes up to 85 grams when they are about 5 weeks old. Then they discover flying and they wean. Their weight drops to about 60-65g. Then, throughout the following year, they gain the weight back.
Your baby will still be resisting the suit when he/she first comes home. It takes consistency on the part of the bird owner to get a bird accustomed to a suit. I always warn that it takes about 6 months of consistent training. We put them on about 4-5 times per week and give them a good start wearing them.
Hi Beth, 
I hate to bother you again as always, but could you send me a recipe for you mash, or what does this entail.  I would like to be prepared when I receive my conures, and continue with your program.  By the way, I love you website and the way you handle your birds.
Questions are good! Here are links to help you. Ironically enough, I started our website just so I could answer the many questions that people had. I have discovered that information just generates more questions. But, that is how learning occurs and is good.
If you go to the articles page there is are asterisks by some of the articles. These are the articles that I recommend you reading before you get your baby.
The mash link is here and is not specific because I am not a recipe cooker even for my family's food. I tend to increase the corn/peas when we have babies. The key is variety and not to stop offering. The live food articles are also valuable.
I did add a video on the front page of our site, top left, of a young green cheek that a man in CA bought last year. He is a jewelry artist and his bird is his workshop buddy. His training really shows just how smart these little bird brains are . The more time you put into your bird, the smarter your bird will be and the better your relationship. Try to be sure you introduce your baby to something new each day....especially those with Greys.
My daughter's 7 year old Grey had something new this morning. She wore a flight suit for the first time in her life.
When we come to pick up the bird do we bring a cage or just cuddle with them on the way home?  Also when we are vacuuming in our apartment or running the blender will that freak out the bird too much?
When you come to pick up your baby, you can either cuddle them or bring a cage. Usually, if there are two people in the car, the passenger cuddles the baby. However, if it is only one person and that person is driving, it is probably a better idea to bring a carrier. Little cat/dog carriers from WalMart work well.
We vacuum around our babies a lot, and none of them care. If you have more than one cage for the bird, that helps get them used to many different situations, and a blender or vacuum doesn't matter. For instance, we have a cage for each of our pet birds in the family room, one on the porch, and one in our bedroom where our bird sleeps. Moving the birds from cage to cage accustoms them to new places, new toys, etc. None of our birds care when we are vacumming, or running the blender, or making other loud noises.

Hello Beth

Thanks for the reply and the money order went out yesterday, also I am now back in Washington.  We are really looking forward to the new addition!

1.    Linda was asking about the potential "one person bird".  But we have heard that the green cheeks (and read from your website I think) that CB's aren't particularly prone to that.  Our friend with the Ecclectus has said they don't scratch their birds head and neck since that may be interpreted as a mating behavior thus making the bird potentially more "one person".  But another person with green cheeks said that they generally do not really react that way.  What do you think?

2.   We live in a small town with limited cage options, however we can get a cage 20" x 25" x 30" high.  Is that OK?  Anything larger would require ordering.

3.   Any suggestions for food and water dishes that better for the bird/easier to clean/safer than a basic open dish?

4.   While I like the idea of being able to take the bird out and have it travel with us, my concern is that if it becomes too familiar with the outdoors, it may not have any problem with wanting to fly outside given an opportunity.  Our sparrow was fully flighted and could (and did) fly outside but didn't like it so he didn't try to go out.  So it looks like our choices are:        A.   Keep the wings clipped all he time (missing the fun of having the bird exploring but of course also not having the bird chewing on things while it's out)        B.   Use the Flight Suit with the potential that it may decide flying outside is a good thing        C.   Have the bird fully flighted and not take it outside ever, thus assume (hope) the bird does not feel comfortable flying outside and won't try.

What are your thoughts?

5.   Does the band give enough information to where if the bird did escape and someone found it, they could get in touch with us?   Dan

I will try to answer all the questions from the email below.
1. In the last email I wrote, I tried to answer this question to some degree. I attached the paragraph I wrote down below on this email. When you re-read it, the main idea is that usually, it isn't the bird that is the "one person bird." There are some birds that only like one person, but usually it is the reactions of the people who make a bird a "multi person" or a "one person bird." In other words, usually it's not the's the person. There are exceptions, though! But, usually not in Green Cheeks.
2. A 20" x 25" x 30" cage would be fine for a Green Cheek, especially if they are getting lots of attention and are out with you a lot.
3. The only thing that we have found that helps with keeping their seed clean is a covered crock. Some birds have an annoying habit of sitting above the food dish and pooping. Covered dishes really help with that.
4. We take our birds outside in flight suits a lot, and have never had one especially want to fly away. However, whenever we have any birds out, we make sure to keep all the house doors shut and locked. An idea for helping remind you to keep the door locked is go to a hardware store and buy a chain what you would put up high on a door to keep little kids from going out. When the birds are out of their cages, we put the chain on, and we ONLY put it on when the birds are out. That way, if you forget and try to go outside, the chain lock reminds you that birds are loose.
5. Bands do have some information, but not enough to easily find the owner. Our bands say PPA 09 AZ ###. PPA means PamperedPeeps Aviary, 09 is the year, AZ is Arizona, and then there is the certain number that that baby gets. If an individual found a loose bird, they could look at the band and see PPA. Then, if you go to L&M Bands, there is a list of breeders and their bands. If they found PamperedPeeps Aviary, they could contact us with the number of the baby, and then we could look in our records and find who owns that number, and then contact other words, it is a very long process, but it is a way that they potentially could find you.

Your bird may end up liking one of you better than the other. Many birds do this in their homes. Some of it is due to them having flock mentality. How extreme it becomes depends on the reactions of the humans in the bird's life. All birds pick one of you to be a "mate." That will be your bird's favorite person. The rest of the humans in the home can become part of the bird's flock, but there is a hierarchy established in the bird's mind. This is established like it is between bird and bird. The bird will threaten individuals in the home who are not his "mate" to see if he can be the controller. I don't know if this is making sense to you. If the threatened individuals show fear to the bird, he will continue to be aggressive to dominate. None of this really happens until sexual maturity hits in the bird. You will see hints of it at a young age, but it comes and goes.

My daughter's Grey is a good example. All of us can reach in her cage and pull her out. But, she loves Lisa the most. She basically tolerates the rest of us, but allows us all to interact with her, pick her up, etc. This is because when she threatened, we did not withdraw.

All Green Cheeks and Crimsons go through a nippy stage. I say the same about puppies. They need to learn what is acceptable.  I tell people do not give up, keep handling them and working through it and you will have a nice bird in time. They do outgrow it, but you don't want your bird to revert back to a wild bird due to it not being handled. I would also say that most GCs are nipper than CBs overall. The birds go through stages where they are high strung at times and mellow at other times. Even as adults, they go through seasons. They are higher strung during breeding season.


Hi Future Grey Owners!
Dana, I am sorry I did not get back to you. Bar spacing for an African Grey should be 3/4" to 1" in size.
And, Connie, I love our Waynes parrot play gym. It is beautifully made and functional. I don't agree completely with his cage free theory. Both of our Greys will wander in and out of their cages on their own when we have them out and don't seem depressed to go back in them. I have had birds that would bite me when I put them in their cages. I don't think his idea is harmful though other than security concerns. Those same concerns are there when you leave your bird flighted.
Hello Beth,
 I have read through all the articles on your web site. They have given me so much information. They have been a great help in preparing me for my new baby grey, and life as a parrot mommy. I have some question that I didn't find the answer to on your web site. 
I have read all about sleep cages. I think it is a wonderful idea. However My question is.....
how large should a sleep cage be??? The day time cage I ordered is 40"x30"x54"     ( cage only measurements) Should the sleep cage be about the same size???
The sleep cages can be small. My grey sleeps in a cage that is only about 20 x 20 x 36. There is also only water in it. I don't want the mess of seed back in my bedroom.  
In one of your articles you talk about how you move around your pet bird cages, as a way to help prevent territorial behaviors. Questions is How often do you move them???
I do not follow set routines with our birds. Many places you read advise putting your bird on a schedule. I have never done so with any of our pets. Most sites also recommend a long sleep schedule. Again, I don't follow a pattern. If I started to see some biting or behavioral problems in my bird, then I would look into all of these recommendations, but our birds are wonderful pets. Our pets do typically come back to our bedrooms about 8 or 9 PM and typically go back out to the kitchen around 9 AM. About every other day, they get put outside for a half a day or so.  
This question is about lighting for my bird. I have read that birds should have plenty of natural sunlight but not directly. However I have also read that in the best interest of my bird I should by an actual lamp with special light bulbs, and it be place near my birds cage. What do you do for your birds??? If you use lights what kind is best??? 
Because of allowing our birds to be in their outside cages, I have never worried about artificial lighting. Placing your cage near a lighted window is a good solution. Even if your cage gets direct sunlight your bird will be fine as long as there are always areas in the cage where they can also get out of the light.
Last question. In one of your other articles you talked about snuggling your bird after it came out of a shower. My question is after a shower or mist should I dry my bird??? I have read of some people blow drying their birds. Should I let my baby dry naturally??? Or do I need to worry about him/her getting cold. We do have some really cold weather up here.
We love wrapping the birds up in a towel. I don’t blow dry them. Emma loves sitting on her shower perch after the shower breathing in the humidity and warmth. She gets very talkative in the shower. Keeping your bird accustomed to the towel is important so when it is necessary, they don't have a panic attack over it. It sometimes is necessary for veterinary care or grooming.
Beth thank you for all the time you put into raising these beautiful birds. And all you do for us parrot parents.
It is truly a privilege to be able to do this!  
Blessings to you and all your family,


Beth, I will get a postal money order tomorrow and send it out.  Can u ship her on a FRIDAY on Delta @ 9:35?  The earlier flight is not good, there will be too much traffic to deal with.  Do I need to leave her in her cage for 1 day before I play with her?  I read that they will be scared and because she wont know us, jsut let her chill in her cage?  I was just wondering. Thanks so much.
Love, Molly
Our babies should not really be that scared. They meet all of Lisa's piano students, they have been in at least 7 different cages already in their short time here. I rotate the babies through all of our cages so that they get accustomed to seeing new toys and new views. That way, they should be more accepting of change. They meet all of Lisa's piano students and families who visit us, we have a mom-daughter bible study here and they meet all of those girls. They do our home schooling with us, so they should not be very timid over meeting their new family. Please email me and tell me if I am wrong, but I suspect she will want to be with you on Saturday, and not left in her cage. Babies do eat frequently so make sure she is put in her cage long enough to keep up her nutrition.
Remember to have a food down low in the cage for her and a millet on the floor of her cage. Once you see that she has found the higher food dishes, then you can stop putting them on the bottom of the cage. I put down a piece of paper and put the dishes on top of that.

The very first of our green cheek babies are leaving us. This causes mixed emotions in us. I know you all are excited.
Speaking of excitement, the Crimson Bellied babies are starting to fly. Their face and eyes show their excitement and pride. It is very special to get to see this; kind of like watching your child walk for the first time.
I want to remind you that on our articles page are links that are 'starred' or have an asterisk * next to them. Please read these articles. I know there are a ton of links and that is why I narrowed down which ones are important with the asterisk.
Also, your baby is used to having food and water and the mash dish on the bottom of the cage. Oh, and millet too. Please keep this location at home until you are sure your baby has found the dishes located up high in the dish holders.
Here are links about diet:
Here are some critical links about behavior:
Here are some links about safety:
Some have asked about water bottles. I do keep them on some of our pet cages, but most birds love to bathe and it is good for them to bathe. So, even if I have a water bottle on a cage, I also have a bowl. There are many horror stories about bottles getting clogged and the owner not realizing. And, bottles are actually harder to clean and can thus harbor more bacteria.
Hello Beth and family, :-)
#211 (Green Cheek conure) is now named Jasper!  He is doing well: destroying toys, being messy with food, arguing at bedtime, and otherwise being a very good bird! ;-)  He has his flight suit on right now and is doing well with that.  So far he has been very gentle with his beak and when he does decide to go off and fly on his own, he pretty much comes back when called.
He has been eating well, even taking mash.  I discovered that he REALLY likes tangerine.  I've noticed that he tends to eat more of the seed than pellets... is this something that should be dealt with?  Should I give a set amount of seed and pellets everyday? 
One other thing, on the front page of your website, you have a neat slideshow of Jasper... is there some way I could get those pictures?  The way they are on the website I can't just save them to my computer.  Thank you for everything!
Yes, I will send out the pictures of your babies if you would like them...just remind me. Some people have gotten them as time goes along. I am glad you and Jasper are getting along well. And, that he comes back to you.
(Band 211 went home to CA earlier this week.)
This is the part that I wanted to share with everyone. The below paragraph comes off of the "mash" link, but what I am trying to say is you will notice your bird liking one thing for a while and then switching preferences. What is important is to always offer a variety. It is the season for citrus and we are feeding tangelos, lemons and oranges. I also have been adding the sliced citrus to the mash for I have read that it will help it last longer in the cages. Bacteria does not grow as quickly in an acidic environment.

"Help! My bird is not eating the mash!" What do I tell new owners?? We put a dish daily into every cage faithfully whether the birds eat it or not. I often get emails and calls back from new bird owners saying, "my bird is not eating the fresh foods." When a bird first comes home, they may not eat the fresh goodies due to it being in a new location or in a new dish. The young parrots usually get over this and start eating right away. The other main thing to remember is that all parrots tend to eat seasonally and I cannot predict their seasons. In other words, they will chow down on the romaine one week and leave the mangos....but over the next few weeks, they ignore the romaine, pick at the mango, but really concentrate on the yams. I have no idea if  I am right or wrong, but I am guessing that in their wild environments, they are forced to eat seasonally due to what is available...or they know instinctively what their bodies need and eat accordingly. I do believe it is important for we bird owners to keep offering a huge variety of foods daily. 

Hello Beth,

I've heard some people say that they feed their birds chicken bones.. is that safe? Do you feed your birds chicken bones?

Yes, we do feed chicken bones. Some of them like them and some do not. Birds do not have many taste buds and seem to like it hot. Thus, whenever we have hot wings, I always save the leftovers for them. I don't feed them with a bunch of meat. I eat that off first.

As I was making parrot mash this weekend a question came up. Do you thaw the serving before you put it in the cage or do you leave it frozen. If you thaw do you let it just sit out or do you Microwave Defrost?  I am having trouble finding Pigeon Mix is there an alternative?

Thaw the parrot mash before feeding by leaving it out. I am leery of what the microwave does to nutrients.
You can sprout any seed that you would like. Mung beans, alfalfa, broccoli seed, etc... Do remember that the tails on the sprouts should just barely be present when you feed.
When you are going to paint a room or clean your oven how long do you need to wait before it is safe to bring your bird back into the house?
I wait until the smell of paint is gone until I house a bird in a newly painted room. I don't use oven cleaners anymore since parrots are in my life Smile emoticon I actually think it is healthier for my family if we avoid also the things that kill birds. But, I ain't giving up my guacamole. Winking smile emoticon  I did give up pest control, burning candles and cooking in plastics.
When we pick up the baby and take him to the vet how much is it usually?
Vets can differ tremendously in price. Here in the Phoenix area, we use Dr. Burke. Not only is he a wonderful vet, but he is also one of the more reasonably priced vets around. On this subject, newly weaned green cheeks are on the thin side. They will beef up over their first year as they mature. They look smaller when they first wean also not only because of weight, but also due to tail length.
Hey Beth,

This is probably a question that you have already answered somewhere but I was wondering if you clips the babies wings before they go home or do you leave it up to the new parents?

Yes, I do clip their wings right before they go home. I think it is important at first for the initial bonding process and then you can decide to allow them to regrow if you would like. The babies are not clipped until right before they go home.
This is an update on band 213 (Green Cheek conure) who is now with her new family.

She is much better.  I am learning to read her cues.  I got her flight suit on this am without any help. Yesterday, my husband helped me.  It is only the 2nd day wearing one, she resisted when I put it on.  Then she gets over it almost immediately.  I kind of think she might already be used to it.  She doesn't even bother with  it.

I thought of some things that might help others if they are having a hard time.
1. Start when your Bird is in a "good mood" Don't try to do it if she is eating or playing. Make sure their are no distractions.
2. Take control.  She tried to bite and fly away most  of the time.  Do not let them get their way.
3. Be very calm and positive.
4. Play with the suit before you put it on the bird, Have a plan.  Just visualize how it goes on. I simply hold her, take one wing and slip the suit on.  Then I do not let her go.  I talk to her, let her know it will all be worth it. Then I go around the front and I slip the other loop over the wing.
5. Once the suit is on, make everything as wonderful as you can for her.  Let her have lots of fun and loving.  I think eventually they will associate the suit with good.
Thank you so much, she is really coming around and is much joy. She brings a calmness to the home.  We love her!
Thank you ,
We put the flight suits on almost every day while they are here, so they should settle down quickly. You are so considerate to send your list of tips on. Thank you!! I will email them to our "baby bird list." I also appreciate all of the feedback. Green cheeks do have very strong personalities Smile emoticon which grow on you.
Hello! This is an email that came from one of our families whose bird has already gone home....
Things are going well over here with Jasper!  His appetite couldn't be better... who knew a tiny bird would eat so much! :-D   
I have a few questions now that Jasper has been home for awhile and we're starting to get some things figured out.  First, I noticed that when I first brought Jasper home, his poop was mostly dark green, and now, it ranges from olive green to brownish yellow.  Sometimes we still get the dark green.  Is this normal?  I read that supposedly this happens because of the color of Zupreem pellets and the colors in other foods.  I just wanted to check with you and make sure that everything is okay. Yes, their poop will often reflect what they are eating. I had one Grey owner recently write and say there was blood in her bird's poop. It was just the fruit on its way out, but the colors can change quite dramatically.  
Another question has to do with bedtime.  Jasper always argues (normal, I know) and then quiets down for bed.  However, with him in my bedroom, when I come in to go to bed later, he gets upset and doesn't quiet down as quickly as the first time.  In this past week, I've been sick, so Jasper has been sleeping upstairs in our family room, and we'd just go and fetch him in the morning.  Is it ok for him to sleep there?  Yes, but always watch for DRAFTS!! All birds do need to be protected from a chill to some degree. And, yes, they can catch some bacteria from us, so when you are sick, it is best to not have a lot of contact with your bird.  Green Cheeks do argue at bedtime. If they are on a routine, they learn to settle in quicker.
Lastly, Jasper surprised me the other day by bobbing his head like he was trying to regurgitate.  Is he old enough to be trying to court me??? :-O  I wasn't expecting it so soon!  I haven't noticed him doing it at any other time then when I'm holding him, and he hasn't been sneezing or showing any signs of ill health that I can tell. They do this when they love you. This is a good sign, Amy! The little Pineapple that is here, Band 216, was trying to feed the brand new babies this morning. It was so sweet to see. 
Thank you!  Hope all is going well at your house! 
It is good to hear from you and Jasper!
I have a new cage that i got a few weeks ago for the bird and also a sleep cage, but i think they have some dust on them now. Do i clean them with vinegar? If so what kind and how much? Or should i just wipe the cage down with water or something to prepare for the birdie to come. And you said that you use newspapers to put in the bottom for their droppings and everything. right? Just some questions i had to prepare and make sure i am ready. hehe  Thanks again for being so helpful with everything!  :)
I recommend that you disinfect everything that will be in contact with your bird be it toys or the cages. The very best is a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water spray and then rinse very, very well. I use the power sprayer on the hose outside and let them sit out to dry in the sun. The sun is a great disinfector, in fact it dehydrates most viruses. Many of the bird viruses thrive in the freezer though. Strange, eh? Just don't think freezing will kill things.
Yes, I put newspaper down below. I put their mash tray on a piece of paper on the bottom of their cage on the grate. This way when they pick something up to eat, it does not get wasted and fall to the tray below, but it also will not be eaten off of the dirty grate.

Wanted to give you an update on 212(Green Cheek conure) , I didn't realize it before but when we came up with the name "Fuji" it was because her coloring resembled the apples we (and the birds) eat. I now know why the name came to me after viewing your website again.

Fuji is a bundle of joy. She is learning so much in such a short amount of time. She flies to me on command, has already learned a few of Daddys whistles, figured out how to imitate the screech of our Brotogeris, and enjoys the daily shower from the kitchen sink.

One thing I cant get her to accept is the flight suit. She constantly tries to bite it and when she isnt, she is biting me, hard. Im not sure if she will ever get comfortable wearing it or if I have the heart to keep trying given the way she acts. Im afraid she will get too freaked out and something happen to her. Should I keep trying?

Thanks again for raising such a sweet bird, she will provide us with lots of fun and happiness for years to come.

It is good to hear from you, Derek! I kept wondering if all was well, but knew you would call if there was a problem. We enjoyed meeting you and your bride! All birds do not like the flight suits at first. We put them on the babies at least 4-5 days per week, but it still takes wearing them regularly until they are about 6 - 9 months old before they just accept it. The only time I hold off on putting one on is if you feel our baby is scared of you. We have used flight suits for at least 4 years now with our Blue Crown and 2 years with my Grey. They still hate them going on, but then they are fine with them and don't pick at them like they did in the beginning. We have put suits on mature birds that have never worn them and they really get mad, but even they get over it. 
Speaking of chills and drafts, We had one of 3-4 cold snaps in the spring this past weekend. It got down to 40 at night and the high was 60. Prior to having Rico (band 219) I always kept my thermostat set fairly low (70-73) in the day time and (58-60) at night. I kept it higher this weekend because I was afraid he would get too cold. What do you describe as being a too cold temp? He is doing great! He loves taking a shower. The first time I put him in I really thought he would not like being completely under but he did. He just sat on my finger and let the water go all over him. Then I set him on perch out of the water and let him set and he actually got sleepy. He didn’t fight the towel when I got him out either. We all have fallen in love with him. Whenever we get home in the afternoon he is very fussy until someone opens his cage and lets him out. He is out then until bedtime except for trips back in the cage to eat. He loves to cuddle. He still fusses quite a bit when I put his flight suit on. Yesterday was his first excursion outside. He was very curious about everything including the sun. He kept turning his head and looking at it like he was trying to decide what it was. I have a huge fig tree in my yard and he enjoyed sitting in it and nibbling at the new leave buds coming out. He is eating well, but favors the seed and fruit over the mash, Roudy Pellets and the Zupreem pellets. I know he is eating some of the mash but I can’t really say I have seen him eat the Pellets. As long the pellets are available I shouldn’t worry, right? I think he has bonded to us as well. He wants to be on my shoulder or Baileys whatever we are doing. Yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen and he was on my shoulder. Every few minutes he would fly down to the counter to see what I was doing and then crawl back up my sleeve to my shoulder. He is so sweet.     Debbie
I used to not worry very much about the cold, other than Air Conditioning drafts, but this year we have our first green cheek ever with a cold. He is quickly getting better, but it has made me more cautious. I would say keep it above 65 and provide a happy hut or cover the cage at night. We just always keep mash, seed, pellets and millet available for babies. They do love the mash and the sprouts...and even my spaghetti!
 1.   Are your pellets anything special that we should buy from you to send with the bird?  I have heard that some birds will not eat strange foods so if they aren't use to the new pellets, I didn't want that problem popping up.  We will buy from you if it works for you, whatever you like.
The pellets are cockatiel size fruit maintenance blend Zupreem. Some bird nutritionists feel the dyes in the colored pellets is not healthy, but I have tried and tried the natural and my breeder pairs will not eat them I don't sell pellets, but most bird stores carry Zupreem. That is another reason we use them, for they are easily accessible. If I had just a Grey, I would be feeding the Harrisons for Greys, but it is much harder for people to find.

2.  As for toys and sleep shelter, what size PVC pipe do you use?  I figure I can build a birdie Habitrail in PVC along with a piece in the cage for sleep.
The PVC is the 2" diameter. We are actually hoping to get the bird later than sooner. We have a trip to the ocean planned for Memorial Day at the end of May. We aren't really excited to leave our baby bird just yet.  
What do you recommend people to do when they go out of town?  I'm sure I will have a lot more questions later.
Thanks a bunch, 
This is a tough one for many of us. If you can, take him with you? They do not need a big cage and love being with you who they consider their flock. We can't take all of ours with us, so we have a neighbor who loves birds and is willing to come in and play and feed. I leave on the music and our birds have each other so I feel OK about it. Another option would be packing your bird up and taking him/her to a friend or family. I would discourage you from leaving him with a pet sitter who has many other birds or taking your pet to a bird store for pet sitting. Anywhere there are other birds, there is a potential for diseases.
I think I have read every book I could find on African Greys and parrot care. Any you would suggest?? Well thank you. And all my blessings to you and your family and all at your farm!! 
"For the Love of Greys", by Bobbi Brinker (available at
Hello Beth,

was wondering about the flight suit pads. Do you guys cut them to fit or just fold them?
Also I was curious to know if you've ever had a bird outside on your shoulder with a flight suit on attempt to fly away.?
For the smaller suits (Green Cheek and Crimson Bellied), we just use the round cosmetic pads as diapers. For the bigger suits, we use Carefree pantiliners and put in the whole liner. Yes, the other Saturday, when we took our 3 pets for a walk to the post office, we hitchhiked our way home just because we saw a neighbor coming with his Polaris. Thinking it would add to our fun, we stuck out our thumb. Emma, my Grey, flew when from surprise when the open aired Polaris took off. She was fine and the suit held her just fine. Here is Liberty riding home.
Can you all tell that my emails were backing up on me? By the way, when a bird backs up, he is going to poop Smile emoticon I  loved this next email! This is from band 213, (green cheek)
Hello everyone! 
 Just a little update on #213(Green Cheek conure) , Roxy.  She went to the Vet on Friday.  All was very well.  The Vet and staff said she was VERY well handled as a baby and is adapting very well.  They all LOVED her! 
She is great at home.  She lets me put her flight suit on daily and NEVER gives me problems when it is bed time. 
She has already visited the assisted living facility I volunteer at,  one of my Dr. appointments and even the bank! She has been quite the HIT!  Everyone goes crazy over her and her little flight suit!  ( we are lucky, we live in an animal friendly area of CT)
I am learning to "read" all of her little cues, she can be quite strong headed at times.  Otherwise, she is in control of the 2 Dobies and LOVES her cage.
We bought her a HUGE cage that she just does not want to leave! We leave the door open when we can supervise her, but she just loves it!
She has been much fun for us, and will continue to be.  I  am going to keep bringing her to do therapy work, she seemed to enjoy the attention very much!
We will keep you updated in the future!
Love, Molly and Roxy

Roxy was renamed Pippi as Molly got to know her personality

And this email came from Gidget. (Green cheek). I wanted to share Sharon's idea of a toy necklace. She picked Gidget up and then headed for CA. To entertain him while he rode along on her shoulder, she bought a necklace that had toys and treats on it. Such a great idea for a bird. Like it or not, they will make a toy out of your glasses, beauty marks...earrings, etc.
Hi, Beth and girls,
 Gidget [band 217] and I had a grand time on our way back to California.  We really bonded.  She loves to cuddle on my neck.  When she sees me get close to her cage she gets excited and comes to the front of the cage and climbs up the side wanting me to take her out. 
She has been all over the cage all the way to a swing at the top, which is 37" high!  No trouble finding the food and water crocks on the sides of the cage, although I did put it on the bottom also. 
Yesterday I took her to the Vet.  So far the tests results are good, takes awhile for some results to get back.
She gave my husband and I a scare yesterday. She flew off the table to almost the top of her cage, then right away she flew towards the sliding glass door and right into it and down she went.  My heart almost stopped because I couldn't see her on the floor but my husband could and he said she looks alright.  This was after the Vet trimmed her wings a little more because she was still getting some lift.  This girl seems to be determined to fly no matter what. 
Thank all of you so much for all the work you do to raise these wonderful babies. 
God Bless,
And one more thing. When ever you are a family-in-waiting, I put you on my "baby bird" list. This is an email list that goes out to all of the families as they ask questions. I answer the questions so that everyone can see and everyone can learn from the answers. 

I sent you a couple of pic’s of Bailey and Rico to your cell.  My home computer is down right now. Rico went on his first road trip this past weekend. We have a small cabin on the Tennessee river about 2 hours from home. He traveled very well. I took him outside and he loved it. He is not fighting as much putting on his flight suit anymore. He only fussed a little but sat still while I put it on. I always tell him “lets go outside” while I am putting it on. I think he is trying to say his first words. He keeps repeating something in a tone that sounds like how my parakeets sounded when they first learned to talk. I just can’t make it out yet. Thanks again for Rico’s wonderful start in life.

I don't know if I get pictures on my cell. I know I can't get text messages. Thank you though. I am most thankful that you are such a good bird mom taking Rico on outings!!! I want to see the Tennessee river! Sounds very nice. I remember the first time I took a Patagonian conure hiking. There was a stream running and he got so excited at the sound of water. Here in AZ, we don't hear water running very often outside. But, the bird responded so clearly to that sound. I would love to see Bailey with Rico! Tell Bailey that I have a stallion with the same name.

They do get used to the flight suits. It takes time and an outing each time you put it on. You will also find that you get better at putting it on. I encourage you all to take walks with your birds. They love it.

Hi all,
Here are a few more questions that came in.
 I took your advice and I had her on me all day.  She seemed very content and was actually a lot more mellow. She was just sleeping in my hair.  I just put her to bed and she barely disagreed!
The last question I have is I have read many times that you should NOT let a bird above your waist, no shoulders or head due to dominance issues they might have.  I am a little confused by those statements. What is your theory about that?  I actually felt like she was happier being on my shoulder all day.  When she tried to get on the back of the couch, I just simply pulled the lanyard closer.  I think it helps to not give her too many options.  She realized where she had to be and dealt with it to the point of enjoying it.( I think)
Thank you so much for always being there for all of us new parronts!!!
I am so glad I found you! 
Thank You,
Molly & Roxy 
You will hear all sorts of rules about where to touch and how to behave with your bird. One I hear often is about the height and dominance issues, and about not putting your parrot on your shoulder. I don't follow all the rules that I read on the internet about handling birds. I would start looking into them if I had a bird with a behavioral problem. But, with the many pets we have owned, we have not worried about these guidelines.
We ordered Zupreme conure pellets but there are 2 types, one with fruit and the other without, any thoughts?  Or is it whatever of the two they want to eat?
We feed Zupreem fruit maintenance blend. For both our big birds and for our small birds, we feed cockatiel size. The natural pellets are healthier, but I can't get my birds to eat them.
I am sure that I have brought this up before, Beth.  I have sprouted everything under the sun, and my birds will NOT eat anything spouted.  I have even stood there eating them in front of them, making yummy noises so they may want some, but nooooooooo.  Any ideas how how to get them eating spouts???  I don't mind doing the sprouting at all----as a matter of fact it is sort of fun :)
I just would keep offering the sprouts. Try offering them first thing after the birds have not had food all night. Put them in their typical seed dish. Hey, I wanna see a video of you eating sprouts in front of your birds with all of your noise making too! The sprouts are just about the first thing our babies go for. They love them. My advise would be to keep trying.  Parrot owners will also talk to me about their birds not eating certain veggies. I also say just keep offering. They do seem to cycle on what they want to eat and what they don't like to eat.

Hi Beth! So I picked him up! He is adorable and so full of energy! He was a little timid at first but came out of his shell extremely quickly :) He has met my dog (and they like each other!) and he has explored his cage and has cuddled and eaten a little. He is presently sitting on my shoulder very content with himself and making the funny beak grinding noise : ) When he went in his cage he very quickly showed me that he knew how to get on all of his perches and get to the floor, go upside down on the bars, and get food and water...almost like he wanted to show off his skill to me hahaha very funny. Well all is well and he seems to be in completely good health, maybe a little tired from travelling though. Oh! and he is now named Hurley : ) Thanks so much! God bless!
In Him,
You are so cute in your description and observations of him! Hurley! That is a new name for us. I need to add a page of all the names our babies are given. Those beak grinding noises are a good sign!
With these youngsters, make sure you are offering millet, seed, pellets and mash/fruits and sprouts daily. The babies are lean when they wean, but will gain weight for that first year of life. They need a wide variety of food at this point.
I was wondering about some foods. I read in your website somewhere about  them eating cilantro. So i was trying to feed him a little sprig of cilantro, and i tried basil today. I like to grow them so i had them pretty fresh. And he runs away from it like its too strong for him. But he didnt even taste it yet. Is that normal? shouldi still trying feeding him those. I thought those were good for him also. Thanks.  Oh and also i wanted to thank you about the number for Genia. She did come and pick up James' sisters bird, and we think Jeremy will be happy there. Thanks so much for her info and suggestion. :)

Sometimes new foods and even toys will frighten a bird. Sometimes even a new color feed dish will make a bird decide to not eat. It is neat that you are trying new foods. You can try weaving them in and out of the bars of the cage. Just keep trying. I do think it is important to keep presenting new things to your pet bird everyday. Make it a point. In the beginning it is easy for they are an empty slate; but after a few years, it can be a challenge to keep thinking up new things.
It is important when you bring your new baby home to put the food and water down low on the grate of the cage until you are sure he has found the dishes up high.
But i kind of think that they just see me as a source of food because they have each other and i have been working with them and they are getting better. But ever since I got my newest cockatiel about 6 months ago the other one does not seem as happy she seems rather annoyed or scared with the baby and she is not as friendly like she was before when she was by her self any suggestions also the newer cockatiel is very bossy and pecks at the other one when she does not want her to eat and the other one just runs and does not eat, and i have more than one food dish any suggestions?

thanks a bunch!,
Monique =)
Whenever you have more than one bird and the two of them are spending time together, you have to really observe them. I stress this to those of you who are buying pairs (Laura and Robin) and would like them to be pets too. The birds become a flock and can bond tightly to the point of pushing you out. If you want them to be tame, you are going to have to establish a relationship with each bird separately before you allow them to know each other. Monique, you may want to separate your tiels for a while and see if that helps your relationship with them. You can even put them side by side and see if that helps. They sound like they are establishing a hierarchy; the pecking order.
I wanted to ask you about some good places to shop. My husband and I will be taking a trip to the Phoenix area soon and while I was there I would like to stop at a few stores. So I can buy some of the things that are not available here in our little town. I am looking for perches, another play stand, and more toys. Can I buy any food or is it to early?? Have you gotten back the DNA test results for our baby greys?? Thank you for always being here to help and answer the many, many questions.  
They will be weaned about the end of May, so food bought now will be fine until then. I would probably recommend Tropic Zone over the other stores. Bird World closed recently and that was a good store. Buying online is so easy to do.
We had a big surprise when it came to the sexes. All 3 are boys!!  So here are 3 girls for 3 boys!
Two of these girls are from the video last week and Maddie (in the middle) is here a lot and loves the birds. She says she is saving up to buy a Grey someday  She really loves them. We have a mother daughter gathering in our home 2 times per month and last night was the night. The birds get lots of hugging during it all.
About millet, should this be limited in their diet?  We read for our sparrow (well, for finches of which a sparrow is) that too much millet can lead to fatty liver disease and will kill them prematurely.  Peepers loved his millet but we did not give it too him all the time.
With our adult birds, I do not give them millet. But, with the babies, I keep one available at all times. They are very lean when they first wean and the millet helps them gain weight. When your baby comes home, you will be able to feel its keel bone. Over the first 6 months, they will gain weight.
1. Produce--- I'm paranoid about things like e. coli and such. I used to feed Pippin tons of fresh veggies, and then it seemed like everything ended up on the news with some kind of food poisoning warning. Because birds are so small, I worry about what those bacteria could do to such a little body. So...I fed Pippin more cooked vegetables.  It seems like the GCCs really need fresh fruit & veggies too, though. I noticed that you grow a lot of your own veggies. That's not really an option for me in an apartment, but Tucson does have several Farmers' Markets. Do you think that produce tends to be safer? (Because I have a systemic autoimmune disease that affects my intestines, I can't eat many raw veggies so I will primarily be shopping for that for the bird.)
Frozen is good too. Different fruits and veggies are more risky than others. Here is a link that tells more Honestly, I use everything from Sprouts or Sunflower, and I don't worry about it. Yes, we do grow our own of some things, but I buy a lot at the grocery too. I wash really, really well.

2. Pellets-- My little Pippin LOVED Harrison's Adult Lifetime Mash and shocked the vet staff by consistently choosing it over the seed mix they offered her. I think the ingredients seem very good, and I have 4 unopened bags of Mash (that I had purchased for Pippin, as the bags are shelf-stable for quite a while if unopened) so my new GCC will be trying Harrison's. I'd rather get away from Zupreem fruity pellets and the artificial colors, if possible. However, I don't want the bird to starve if he doesn't like Harrison's.  If I put out Harrison's, a seed mix plus veggies & a variation of the Pampered Peeps mash, do you think that will be sufficient? Or should I buy a bag of the Zupreem just in case? I've heard that switching foods is easier when the bird is in an unfamiliar environment (which will be my home, at first), but like I said, I don't want him to go hungry.
If you are offering mash, seed, millet and Harrison's, I think you all will be fine. My birds did not like the uncolored Zupreem, and I have not tried the Harrisons. Our birds really like their fresh foods, sprouts and fruits. For the first few months, please include millet. Sprouts are also being wolfed down by these babies by the time they leave.

3.  I noticed that Choppers (which was Pippin's favorite toy store-- she's a featured bird under "Budgies") sells some of Miller's Feed items, including a mixture that sounds like a good base for the parrot mash. I'm sure that-- in large quantities-- your method is more economical and efficient, but for one bird, it looks like it would be a lot easier. You said that Miller's Feed is generally good/clean?

Yes, I like Miller Feeds!

4. Do you think this would be a good sleep cage?
I thought it might be nice to use this one because it can double as a travel cage.
I think that is a super neat idea!! I love it and want one for my Grey...just a big bigger. When I travel, I have used a crate.

5. Have you heard anything about the Arizona Bird Clinic in Tucson?  I think it's new-ish. A friend of a friend takes his birds there. I see you have recommended Dr. Samuels, and I have heard good things about him too, but I met him once and was not impressed with his "perch side" manner. Maybe it was just a bad day.
I went and looked at their website. They do not say who the vets are. I do  know other bird people in Tucson and can ask them what they know.

6. Can you give me a rough estimate of when the bird might be ready to go home? 
I have your name (Steph) next to a baby that would be ready mid May.

Lastly, would it be too stressful to take the baby to somewhere where there would be a lot of people who would be cheering and clapping (like the end of marathon)? I worry that the baby would be frightened by all the commotion? 
We have taken our bird in flight suits to mounted shooting. That was a bit loud for them and for me Smile emoticon They are used to the vacuum and dust buster right by their cage door. It seems like every day there are friends at our home and the babies are used to loud children or us playing Mexican Train on the table with all the dominoes knocking around. They are very used to the piano, violins and guitars. I really don't think they will mind clapping.
And do you ever worry about a larger bird coming after the little green cheeks when they are out, or is it not a concern since they are with you?
A large bird could swoop down, but they are less likely to do so when they are on your shoulder. Yes, it is a concern, but for my pets, the joy they have from being outside outweighs the risk.  I need to make a video of our walks around the neighborhood with our pets. They also LOVE yard sales!
Always be thinking of diseases and don't expose your bird to areas where there would be potential problems. Potential problems exist anyplace there are birds or have been birds. Many animals travel on airlines and through the cargo departments so don't take your bird out until you are in a safe area.

Our first Sun Conure was loose in the car on our way home and she fluttered up underneath my driving feet. I was on the Interstate, so please be careful :)

Little Joseph (Crimson Bellied Conure) is such a sweet little boy! He ate all the way home. He just snuggled with me for a couple of hours after bringing him home. I put everything in his cage down low and boy he let me know right away he knew how to get to the top real easy! He went right in the snuggle hut we have for him. Did you have those snuggle huts for him already? 

Yes, while our babies are here, they rotate through about 8-9 cages and there are snuggle huts in some, PVC elbows in some, fleece snugglies in others....
We went ahead and introduced Noel to Joseph..normally we quarantine but I wanted him to know he wasn't alone after being used to being with so many babies. Noel was surprised to see a birdie just like her! She was very sweet checking him out and he was thrilled to see another birdie. He ate very good this morning too....I didn't have any Mash prepared but I made a nice batch today for all the birds. I usually just cut up their dishes each morning but now that I have another dish to fix I really like making a larger amount at one time. I'm soaking black eyed peas, red beans and lentils to add to the mix.
You don't add the oranges, lemons with that when you freeze it do you? I cut up one lemon and one orange (I left the peels on) usually I peel them off but I see you left them on the less work for me now.
Here is what I made you think I have too much bell pepper?
I do add cut up citrus intentionally when we mix it all together, for the citric acid can help the mash from growing bacteria on it as it is sitting in the cage.

I cut up one red, 3/4 of a green and one small yellow bell pepper, cut up one medium size yam and steamed it for 20 min. added frozen mixed veggies, additional small baby peas and smaller white corn, then I'll be adding those lentils and beans...topped off with a little lemon, orange, 1 grape cut into 4ths and a couple of blueberries.

I thought about adding some diced collards greens and cilantro...too much???

Your mix sounds great with lots of variety. I only steam the yams and carrots, but all the other veggies are raw or frozen. Send me some of your blueberries!! YUM!! Babies do gain the needed weight from corn and peas so those are good to add too. The babies need calories when they first wean.

Making this ahead of time is really going to save me time each morning feeding our crew here!

I make tons ahead of time and freeze. It makes it so much easier. 

Joseph watched me as I covered up his cage for the night but wasn't afraid. I left one end open and a night light so he would be able to see since he is in a new home and cage. He is such a gentle. He did find my ears this morning but just nibbled! This is going to be such fun having Joseph and Noel play together....I have a huge play gym that Noel already loves so I'm sure he'll be right up there with her!

I haven't had time today to try the flight suit on him yet or Noel...but I'm not working tomorrow so we'll have more time together then.

I was wanting to know if you have Joseph's family tree? I have the tree for Noel and it would be so nice to it for Joseph if you have it!I want to thank you and your family for our wonderful visit with you yesterday. You have given us a little blessing for sure!

I have seen the chart that Cindy has and that is the same that I have on our "Tyler." In fact he is a baby of "Richard" and "Liz" also. So I own a full brother to your Noel. I didn't get any information from Scarlett's breeder, but I have the record on Joseph. If you look on our Crimson Bellied link, near the end of the page, I tried to track the history of the Crimson Bellies in America. All of the breeder pairs really come from only a few initial transports.  Here is that paragraph in red below.
Joseph Rhett TLR TX 05 010 CB 009 TX 080
CB 009 536
Scarlett (from LA) No information found
No information found
The very first import of these Crimson Bellied Conures consisted of 5 pairs from South Africa. These had originally come from Loro Parque in Spain and the assumption is that these birds were probably related. The breeder in S Africa did say that none were siblings, and a DNA panel confirmed that. The first 5 pairs were assigned "A, B, C, D and E" to their progeny. Within 6 months, 39 more Crimson Bellies were imported from Europe, but these birds also had come from Loro Parque in Spain. Some were from Germany and Holland. Thus, only a total of 49 birds were imported to begin all of the breeding stock in the USA. So, when the term "unrelated" is used with these species and many other pairs of birds, one needs to understand that the term is not entirely accurate.
May your birds bless your home for years to come!!!
This is an email sent out to my "baby birds" list. This list is for the families who have bought babies from us or are in the process of it. It is basically my way of educating the new bird owners in a "group." Many times, the same questions arise  
Here is an email from Molly who has band 213 in CT! Remember that presentation of food can be important to a bird, as Molly points out. You can move them around as time goes on, but in the beginning, your baby is used to having the seed/pellet, water and mash mix on the floor of the cage.
Hello everyone!  
All is well in COLD Connecticut!!!  Just waiting for SPRING! 
 A little update on 213.  She was Roxy for a few weeks, It just didn't seem to fit.  We are thinking Pippi.  She is ALWAYS singing her little peep noise on my shoulder and I think it is more appropriate. 
 Anyway, she is doing well. The dogs are getting used to her, I think she is kind of the boss around here.  She is FEARLESS when it comes to the 2 Dobies!  She just ignores them and goes about what she was doing.
I am SOOOO glad you sent the e mail about food dishes.  When she first got home she could not get enough mash.  Then, not even thinking, I changed the bowl, and or 2 weeks I was worried that she wold not eat any mash!!!!!!!!!!  I got your e-mail, changed the mash to a little plate, and the rest is history!  She has been eating well.
She is on my head right now saying HI to all!!  She has been MUCH more easy to handle now that I have been keeping her with the lanyard most of the day.  We have a nice routine.  I give her brakes to go eat or play. She LOVES to sleep on the back of my neck when she is out.  I think I was letting her get her way before, and she was getting fresh when I would go to take her out of her cage.  Not anymore. 
 She has tons of toys that I have been rotating, she mostly likes to climb and perch and look into  her mirror.  She LOVES to talk to herself!  It is almost like when a child has an imaginary friend!!!  She goes on and on........... She is a cheeky one!!!
I have been going on and on!! I will let you go. Have a wonderful day!
Thank you all!
This email is just cute. Dan has a great gift when it comes to writing and descriptions. Hey, Dan, I thought "Tutu" was going to be "Rosie?" Fun name and added to my "name" page on our site. I have started recording all the names that families come up with.
This email brings us to talking about vaccinations. The only vaccination available for birds is the Polyoma vaccine. Adult birds do not normally catch this unless their immune system is lowered by stress, breeding, moving locations, etc.... There are 2 species of adult birds more susceptible to Polyoma than other species and these are Caiques and Eclectus. Baby birds always die of they are exposed to Polyoma when young. The only species that consistently survives the pinning out of feathers as a youngster are Budgies. That is why I tend to avoid Budgies.  Yes, if you vaccinate, there is a booster after 3-4 weeks of the initial shot and a yearly booster. 
Thus, with the species that we raise, they would not have survived fledgling if they were carrying Polyoma. I am very careful about the traffic in my home and I don't go to bird marts. This helps reduce disease in an aviary.
I very hesitantly would recommend a blood panel (read up on Conure Bleeding syndrome), but would not do it until the baby is settled in...Maybe about 1-3 months after arrival. The purpose of this CBC would be to establish a baseline of what is normal for your bird. Most parrots stress out during the handling that goes on during the vet visit. During this stressful time, the WBC (white blood cell count) can elevate dramatically. But, just because you see this stress leukocytosis, it does not necessarily cause hematologic changes. There should be not any toxicity or reactivity as a result of this stress caused leukocytosis. Some vets will then unknowingly put your baby on a antibiotic due to the elevated WBC count. Please be aware of this to discuss it with your vet.
 (Crimson Bellied Conure)
Hi Beth, Being an old hand with this little girl (it's been nearly 22 hours since
we were introduced after all), I am starting to see what a little gem
she is. We were at the vet's (a clean bill of health, no surprise) and I
turned her on her back in the palm of my hand and massaged her head. 
The eyes closed and she started going to sleep.  I stopped stroking her
and she dozed off until the vet came in.  She is snuggled down on my
neck now.  She also took a bath after we got back.  I have a large, flat
ceramic bowl I put some warm water in, she sat on the rim for a bit with
her tail in the water until she "felt the urge" and waded in.  She
mostly sat there but did a little splashing around.

I told the vet that you weaned her on pellets and also mentioned the
beans, fruits and sprouts, etc.  She said that was about the perfect
blend, nothing to add there.  She thoroughly enjoyed Tutu and was pretty
well smitten, but Tutu was of course a perfect lady during the whole
exam.  She did continually try and fly to me so she already is warming
up and bonding.  The bird that is, not the vet.

Oh, that leads to a question.  The vet did say that it was up to us if
we wanted to give vaccinations and do a blood panel.  She was not trying
to sell us on the idea, just mentioned it as something to consider. 
Since we don't plan to board her with other birds and she will not be
mingling with birds in the foreseeable future, what do you think?  Are
the vaccinations good for the rest of her life or will she need booster

Obviously we are still getting to know each other but she is just
amazing.  I'm sure she could be cuter, I'm just not sure how.  And we
did decide on the name "Tutu LaRouge" (actually a reference to her band
#_*22*_4).  Seems like a brassy kind of name for a brassy kind of bird.

Thanks so much!  I will keep you up to date with your "grandchild".


Hi Beth! Hurley is doing really well so far! I just had a question about sleep cages. I haven't been putting him in a sleep cage at night and I know I should. I was wondering what you thought about putting him in the crate that he came in as a make-shift sleep cage until I can get a better one? Just a thought. : )

Oh! And can I get a trainer flight suit? I had meant to ask you :) I will send you some money today. Thanksss!!!!

In Him,
Carissa and Hurley

Yes, that crate would work fine for him at night. It is even a good idea for it would keep him out of drafts. Please everyone remember that Air Conditioning "cold" is different than the humid cooling that comes from a swamp cooler. You do want to protect your birds from the air conditioning cold that will be in our homes as summer approaches.
And, yes, Carissa, I have trainer flight suits here. I am glad Hurley is doing well. Remember that he may not like the suit for about 6 months despite wearing them often while they are here. It takes regular wearing. 
I am back on line sooner than I thought. My modem broke. I didn't even know this could happen, but Qwest said it would take a few days to get it to me. Thus, I searched out craigslist, bought a used one and we are up and running once again.
Hi Beth, Thanks for the information, as usual, you are a wellspring of knowledge
on all things avian.  And I didn't know you raised "Winged Einsteins". 
Tutu does not poop on people. Amazingly, she waits most often until she
is on a horizontal surface like a counter or table, squats down, does a
fair Michael Jackson "Moon-walk" backwards, swishes her tail then
"business as usual."  I am working on the command "Bombs away" but with
her natural desire to avoid "sharing" with us, (or on us) it isn't too
I keep thinking we should videotape how birds poop for newbies. Our baby Greys are so funny when they do the backwards dance. They do give you lots of warning. If you always say the same command, "go potty" or whatever words work for you, you will have a potty trained bird very quickly.

Yes, we were thinking "Rosie" for awhile but it didn't "sing" to us, it
was just sort of not heinous.  Then a friend said "Tutu" for the band
number (224) which was cute, but still lacked something and didn't
reference her "Crimson Belly" lineage so "LaRoja, Spanish for "red", was
tossed about but the Tutu sounded French while LaRoja was Spanish.  Thus
I suggested "LaRouge" which of course appealed to my French ancestry. 
Thus "Tutu LaRouge was named.

Right now, she is on my shoulder turning a Kleenex into recycled paper.

OK, now she is under my shirt with her tail hanging out the collar and
she is on top of my shoulder while leaning against my neck.  And she is
going to sleep.

It's a little later now, she ran onto the keyboard and popped the key
for the letter "G" off my computer.  That was one I wasn't figuring on
so I get to go to the computer repair place tomorrow!  Her "new"
favorite trick is to run under my hand when she sees it to snuggle there
and try and go to sleep.
Right now, Lisa has Band 225 (Laura's boy) cuddled up to her neck while she does her daily chemistry next to me. These Crimson Bellies are very people-oriented!

I did have two concerns:

*1.*  When I started this Email this morning, she had not eaten much at
all that I had seen her eat, (this is from when I got her Thursday
night) other than grapes and nibbled a few raisins and a bit of the
millet.  The Zupreme pellets were "mouthed" but not eaten, she tasted
peanut shells but left the nuts, the same with some conure and parrot
seed balls and parrot and conure dried fruit and veggie mix.  I was
getting very concerned that she was not eating well.  Her poops were
mostly clear water and a bit of green, not much white.  But that
suddenly changed about an hour ago.  She started really scarfing up some
diced yams that I had, her poop went to brown with some urates and her
energy went up.  And she started closing her eyes as she ate, almost as
if with pleasure.  Maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there but I
think maybe she is relaxing a bit?  Maybe she, like some other birds,
gets ready for sleep by eating a lot before sundown?

Do you have a seed mix in her cage at all times. She does need that available. The mash is dearly loved and will keep your baby's energy up. Make sure that there are starchy veggies in it right now like corn and peas. Your yams are another critical component. Here at our home, the birds are not consuming the Zupreem as much as the mash and the seed.
Also, here I go raining on some of your parades....Although dearly loved by almost all parrots and people alike, they carry aspergillus spores, which causes aspergillosis and should not be included in any psittascine diet! Aspergillosis is a very serious and sometimes fatal avian disease, why expose your bird to it every time you feed it a not very nutritious treat? Peanuts also carry cancer causing aflatoxins. African greys are especially susceptible to aspergillosis, but it has been reported to occur in all psittascines. Peanuts have the potential to harbor aspergillosis in them. Because of this, I don't recommend feeding them. Here is more about the aflatoxins

*2.*   She seems to get very hyper when I am out of sight.  She bounces
in the cage, climbs the bars squawks and makes a scene if she gets put
in the cage and it's worse if I leave her.  I love the cuddly part but I
also want her independent enough to feel content to be on her own if I
am out of sight.

This is baby behavior that comes from just being weaned. She will calm down in time if you do not always respond to her frantic calls.

Are these just normal, temporary adjustments from your family and other
birds she was raised with to the rather quiet existence we have here
with just us and "El Gato Supremo"?

And what should healthy bird poop look like? 
Must you ask!?!? Leave it to Dan! This site has great sound effects!!! It will take you to a page called poopology! Your baby will poop more often than when she is an adult. It will also be colored by what she has been eating. I had one lady saying there was blood in her bird's poop. It came from the beets that she had been eating!


Beth, I never did receive the sex certificate in the mail. Just checking to see if you had mailed it yet. No hurry I just didn’t know if it had gotten lost in the mail or not. Rico went on his second trip to the Tennessee River this weekend. He loves it there. The den has Large windows all the way around and overlooks woodland. He loves to sit on the window sill and look out. He hardly even fusses now when I put on his flight suit. I think he knows now that he is going outside when it goes on. He is a typical toddler as well and beginning to show he can have a temper. But the trick you told me about with grabbing him from behind the head below his eyes and saying “be gentle” works. If he beaks too hard I can do that and he settles right down. When he is ready for bed he will either fly to his night cage or get as close as he can on my neck and start making his little night noises. Thanks again for all your help. Debbie

Hi Debbie,
I just emailed Michal and asked him to remail me the certificates for 211, 212 (these first 2 were my error) and 219. When I mail them, I will let you all know so you can let me know if you don't get it. Debbie, please send me your address again in case that is where the problem lies. Because of how slow those certificates were, I am using avian biotech to dna the babies that we are raising right now.
I am glad to hear that flight suit training is going well. I wish I looked out on woodland too!
Well, Jack had his first major outing yesterday.  Major as it was new for both of us.  I suited him up and took him out back with me.  He "helped" me feed and water rabbits and chickens in the afternoon.  And, are you aware that chickens like to eat little birds?  They must.  Jack was quite certain of it anyway.  He tried to hide under my hair (not very successfully, of course, since it's so short).  He finally settled down and realized my 3 girls weren't even paying attention to him much less trying to eat him.  *G*
Green cheeks and Crimsons love snuggling, and they love hair that they can crawl under.  
Yesterday was a busy day for us with Sonrise Service and such at church, but I was able to spend the whole afternoon with Jack.  I let him out of his cage for a while before suiting him up.  He was NOT happy about the suit but once it was on, he settled down.  A photo is attached of him in his suit.  I had him with me for the rest of the day off and on, allowing him time to explore his new surroundings while hubby and I kept an eye on him to make sure he didn't find trouble to get into.
I've attached two pictures of him with Harika, my Anatolian.  He landed on her butt, which really offended her, and then walked toward her head.  I wish the focus was better on him in the one shot, but I thought the look on Harika's face was too funny.  And you know something?  Anyone who thinks a clipped bird can't fly is deluding themselves.  Jack manages quite well here in the living room where there's no breeze or anything.  He can't make long flights, but he certainly has no trouble getting around this room.
I left all of this info in here to help others understand that clipped birds do fly. Jack was even clipped more than my typical "baby clip" because he was here longer with us.  
Oh, and the sun conure is AFRAID of Jack.  I had them both out yesterday.  Phoenix ended up sitting on top of an empty cage inside my front door.  Jack eventually made his way over there as he explored the room.  Phoenix wigged and ran away from him.  Needless to say, it didn't take Jack long to realize he was intimidating Phoenix.  They finally settled in separate "corners" on top of the cage.  Too funny to watch that interaction though.
Incidentally, regarding the sun, I tried that towelling technique you told me about.  Spent time with him yesterday afternoon while Jack was exploring.  I thought he would hyperventilate at first, he got so stressed, but I remained calm, made sure he wasn't wrapped tight enough to get overheated and just quietly worked with him.  I gave him slow and gentle scratches and rubs on his chest and around his head while I held him on his back inside the towel.  He almost fell asleep after a few minutes of that, calmed right down and was breathing normally again.  Then I was able to slowly turn him over and get him to "step up" on my hand while I continued giving him head scratches.  The towel was dispensed with in my lap, and I had him sitting on my hand while I scratched his head and talked to him softly.  He LOVED it!  I got my hubby Ben's attention to show him.  I was almost in tears.  After a few minutes of that, I had Phoenix "step up" to the play stand, kept talking to him and then moved away to give him some time to think about all that had just happened.  I wasn't sure how long I should keep that session going, but that's the first time EVER that I've been able to handle him like that.  And he really seemed to enjoy it.  I still want to cry thinking about it.  I know we're not to the point where he'll simply accept attention yet, but it was such a HUGE step forward for both of us.  Thank you so much for telling me about this technique.  :-)
Jack is a Sun that has not allowed touch as long as he has been with this owner. (Dawn) So, while she was here, I talked to her about toweling. This is very exciting about Jack and how he progressed!!! This technique has worked on many birds that we have brought home who had not been handled much and were scared. If anyone wants to read more, there is some at this link
One bird I had that it worked very well with was Hoppy, a Congo Grey. This is from my Congo page if the video does not come through on here.


Click here to meet Hoppy in a video. There is some talking in the second part of the video. I must also STRESS that my "forced" requesting of him to step up is rewarded with loud praises, treats, and literally hours of cuddling. My belief about negative interactions, even with my human children,  is that there is a need for heavily tipping the scale with positive interactions.
Thanks, that lightened my day.  Somewhere I have a picture from last
summer of me out on the deck with pine siskines all over me.  I went out
to read the paper in the morning and sprinkled some thistle seeds on me
and before too long, I had up to 8 on me.  Sometimes they were on my
head hopping around, some on my shoulders, others on my legs, It was too
funny and made me laugh!

Since the peanuts are roasted but unsalted, shouldn't they be safe? 
Tutu doesn't really eat them but seems to like to tear the shells up for

Roasted and unsalted peanuts would be fine. What still surprises me is that they are not nuts. They are a legume and are grouped with the uncooked beans. These next paragraphs are from our mash page....

Beans are excellent also for providing proteins and carbohydrates, but I always cook them. Certain UNCOOKED beans contain enzymes which inhibit protein assimilation. Thus, they are called "proteolytic enzyme inhibitors."  When a parrot eats these inhibitors, their body loses its ability to use certain substances (trypsin and chymotrypsin) and a nutritional deficiency is the result.  

Lima beans, Kidney beans and Soybeans are all proteolytic enzyme inhibitors. But, when cooked, the enzyme inhibitors is destroyed. Some do have a reaction to the Fava Bean. Because in the midst of making mash, I don’t tend to remember which bean needs to be cooked, I just am sure to cook them all. However, other dried beans do not appear to contain these enzyme inhibitors, or if present, are in low concentrations.

Mash-making does not have to be exact. Just think in the terms of lots of veggies, grains, pastas, beans....and mix them all together. To the right is a pot of split peas, couscous, rice and noodles that I am going to throw into my pots.

Ainslie, I am sorry that your email was buried and I am not answering till now. I missed it when my modem died.

Hi Beth,
Quick question: Approximately how much parrot mash should I put into 
the bowl for Ruby (CB conure) before I add the fresh veggies/fruit 
daily??  And should I give this to her first thing in the morning or 
should I wait and give it to her later?  I have been giving her fresh 
veggies/fruit/sprouts first thing in the morning, but don't know if it 
is too much at one time. As she has her seed/pellets and seems to go 
straight for that.

I made a big pot of parrot mash this morning, and I have to say, it 
smells good!!  I kept some aside to give to her a bit later and will 
"eat with her" when I have her out later on.

I feed about 1/4 cup of mash, sprouts and fruit per bird twice per day. If you want to encourage mash eating, you can wait on the pellets and seed until about 10 AM and let her start with the mash. Remember that birds seem to go through eating phases where they eat more of one type of food and ignore the rest for a time. Then they switch preferences and go on to something else. These next paragraphs are also from the mash page.

"Help! My bird is not eating the mash!" What do I tell new owners?? We put a dish daily into every cage faithfully whether the birds eat it or not. I often get emails and calls back from new bird owners saying, "my bird is not eating the fresh foods." When a bird first comes home, they may not eat the fresh goodies due to it being in a new location or in a new dish. The young parrots usually get over this and start eating right away. The other main thing to remember is that all parrots tend to eat seasonally and I cannot predict their seasons. In other words, they will chow down on the romaine one week and leave the mangos....but over the next few weeks, they ignore the romaine, pick at the mango, but really concentrate on the yams. I have no idea if  I am right or wrong, but I am guessing that in their wild environments, they are forced to eat seasonally due to what is available...or they know instinctively what their bodies need and eat accordingly. I do believe it is important for we bird owners to keep offering a huge variety of foods daily. 
Beth, I think Ruby is now scared of the flight suit, she sees it and 
flies to my shoulder and I wonder if I have done anything wrong...she 
gets herself so worked up about it that she fell asleep yesterday 
after I got it on her.  I did keep it on her an hour longer yesterday 
and even put her back into her cage for a bit with it on. She does 
seem to hold still longer to get it off!!  I will continue to put it 
on daily, but let me know any suggestions.

If you feel as if your bond with her is being threatened by the flight suit, then stop. We are all not as good at getting them on as my Lisa is. You can go back to the suit once you know you two are bonded solid. She should be eager to be with you. Please do let me know how she is doing!
Your daughter is a doll and I enjoyed meeting the two of you.



I'm really glad to hear that Pippi is recovering. The story particularly tugs at my heart because I so recently lost my bird, Pippin. I know all about long nights and the animal hospital. :(
I lived with my parents when I got Pippin, and our family had two dogs-- an elderly golden retriever and a younger black lab mix. As the golden at that time had pretty advanced cancer-- but still a very sweet temperament I knew he wouldn't be jumping around and I did let both of them be with me at the same time. Pippin liked to preen his fur. When the dog would grow tired of the preening, he would just look at me with a baleful gaze, and I'd redirect Pippin. :) I never let the black lab near her and actively encouraged him to avoid her cage. He was too hyper and sometimes unpredictable so I just didn't want to take the chance.
I'm sure that Pippi's owners are right that their dogs didn't mean to hurt Pippi. It's just that the dogs are so much larger. I'm glad that she seems to be pulling through.
Question about peanuts:  I'd also heard about the risks associated with peanuts and planned to avoid them. I've noticed though that some bird foods (including Nutriberries, I think) contain peanuts. Are these safe? Is it primarily peanuts in the shell that are the problem? Are any nuts safe for GCCs?
Thanks for all the e-mails,
I know that the experts rate Almonds as a better nut for birds and typically aspergillosis free. It is the area between the shell and the "nut" of the peanut that tends to harbor the mold that causes asper. Yes, Nutriberries are safe. Here is a recipe for home made Nutriberries. I don't know if a GCC could crack an almond. We have had GCCs that will do tricks for Safflower seeds.
Home Made Nutriberry-Like Treat

1 cup of dried fruit
2 tablespoon of coconut
1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of seeds and /or crushed nuts
2 Tablespoons of peanut butter
1 Tablespoon of honey or molasses

Blend all the dry ingredients in a food processor until chopped
finely. Place mixture into a bowl; add peanut butter and honey or
molasses. Mix very well and the mixture is sticky. Roll mixture into
small 1/2 ball and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for about 20
minutes. Cool and serve. They are very good. If you use molasses
they are very dark in color. For US$7/- of ingredients and recipe
times 4 about 90 balls are got.
I know of one breeder who won't sell her birds to dog owners. I do think that is going too far. Molly now knows clearly the line she needs to draw between her dogs and her Pippi, but that line is different for everyone. I grew up in a home with brothers and hunting dogs. My dad loved all of his bird dogs. So, when I got into field bred Springers about 6 years ago, I had to tease my dad that I now had a bird dog. Here she is. This dog will not bother the babies. I have one Springer though that killed 17 chickens in one day before she lived with me. Each dog is a different story.
We have 9 dogs and they come and go inside. This is my dog and my Grey! He is a curious Papillon and the proud daddy of pups to come at the end of April.
I bet you are looking forward to your baby after losing Pippin. I did mail out the sexings on Zumo's babies. Then I will know who gets who.


Hi Beth,
Just wanted to give an update on Ruby.  She is doing great!  This morning I didn't put the seed in her cage first off. I made her plate of mash, sweet potato carrots, orange/lemon slices, romaine lettuce and kale with sprouts.  I kept her out and and had her eating it before I put her in her cage with it, that seemed to work.  I'll give her seed/millet later this morning as you suggested.  Honestly, I feel like a Jewish mom, constantly giving her food and telling her to eat!!  She absolutely LOVES grapes and flies off my shoulder to get to them, and sits and closes her eyes and eats them with pure delight!  Sadie's babies are getting ready to go home next week. It is so nice of you all to update me because you are helping the next owners know what to expect when their babies arrive home. They are frantic for people when they first come home, but take heart and know that they calm down.  Laura, because your band 225 is older, you will see a noticeable difference between him and band 226.

She has bonded with me and even has gone through the motions of regurgitating.  I put her flight suit on yesterday and took her out for a walk and I keep hoping she will associate it with that.  How long should I keep her flight suit on during the day?  You had mentioned it may take up to 6 months before they take to it, is that right? Did she enjoy the walk? We are to be up around 100 degrees next week, so I am enjoying our cooler days right now. Your plan is excellent. You can leave the suits on for up to 3 hours, but you don't need to do this everyday. Sometimes, I just put the suit on and take them out to look at flowers. Other days, you could run a short errand and then take it off. Try to vary what you do with your babies. 
Last night was strange, my daughter's school theatre group had a play and so my husband and I left at 6:30 to see it, leaving Ruby in her day cage.  We got home around 10pm and I went to put her in her sleep cage...she didn't want to be cuddled or scratched and sounded like a screeching cat...I am still trying to read her and am thinking it was way past her bedtime (I usually put her in her sleep cage by 8:15 pm and cover her) and she was mad she continued with those weird angry noises for close to a 1/2 hour (I could hear her through the closed door)...what do you think?  She was all rested this morning and happy again...thank goodness, I didn't want to take it personal!! Many birds wake up poorly and don't want to be bothered. She also could have mistaken you for a predator in the night. I do find that the more you set a routine with a baby, the more upset you are when you disrupt the schedule. My poor Emma is so used to me interrupting her time, that she steps up anytime.
Ruby likes to take showers...I don't put her under the running water, she sits on her perch and  gets the mist and talks up a storm....every so often I drip a little water over her and she likes that. Pyrrhuras love water when that initial fear is gone. I love having a buddy in the shower with me. If you start showering with your baby, allow them some time to be up high and watch you. Go slowly as far as participating. They will love the humidity.

I also have some new toys for her, she seems to like ones with bells, so I got her a few yesterday and will continue to rotate her toys.  I am trying to get her to be a bit more independent of being in the cage with her toys.  But, if she sees me she still runs to the side of the cage for me to rescue her.  Yesterday morning I was trying to do computer work and writing and she would get off my shoulder and travel to my hand and bite at my pen and then would give me an occasional nip because she didn't have my full attention!!  
It is good to teach them to play on their own and be somewhat independent. If you can ALWAYS spoil your baby, then go for it, but if your life's demands are not going to allow you to continue with the amount of attention, don't do it initially. Cockatoos especially are ones who if you spend 2 hours per day with them, they demand it the next day and the next. They then suffer when the novelty of a new baby is over and the attention dwindles.
How is the GC, Pippi?  My heart goes out to Molly...we have our three beagles and I don't dare take Ruby around them, because their instinct would kick in and they would be so fast if she flew off my shoulder!  These birds are so trusting and don't have much fear!  You definitely have to play on the side of caution with dogs. The last I heard, Pippi is recovering. Molly is a great bird mom and a great dog mom. When she first contacted me, she sent me photos of her dogs all dressed up! Accidents happen. We have had a baby Green cheek hung on a toy and one flew into a door and broke its neck. It is sad, but they are birds that are fragile. Flying is an incredible gift, but it has the price of hollow bones. When we have children over, we always show them a straw and tell them that the bird's bones are hollow like that and to be very gentle. I also am glad Molly shared her story with us, so the rest of us know the danger loud and clear. Thank you for caring about Pippi!
Thanks for the e-mails from everyone and your answers to their questions.  I look forward to reading about everyone's experiences with their babies.

I was offline most of the weekend. I am just catching up now Smile emoticon in my inbox. Things are going well. The older babies all got suited today and even the Greys were napping in their flight suits when I came back to my computer. They all grow so fast and amaze us and our friends.
Hi Beth

This is just to say hi and let you know what a hoot Tutu
(Crimson Bellied Conure)  is.  I'm sure
you know all about that but she is a lover!  What a kick to have a bird
that will run at you and climb all over you just for fun!  She is a
pleasure to have around!  She is letting us know what she wants and it
is a trial and error period so we are still getting to know each other
but what a great time!  Having her go to sleep in my hand while rubbing
her ears and beak!  Or how she starts to lay on her side as I stroke
under her wings then begins beaking me!  Or "The hand dash" where she
runs under my hand and parks her neck under my you suppose
she wants her head scratched?  She is just amazing and so much a lover!

She still is not eating the sprouts much nor does she really eat the
peppers, peanuts or pellets, she much prefers seeds, raw yams, grapes
and raisins.  She sometimes goes for blackberries, blueberries and
spinach or green leafy veggies.  She is so funny watching her sprint up
and down the table or counter with those little feet going 90 miles an
hour!  And almost like a puppy, she sees something interesting and she
dashes at it and starts exploring!  It is just so much fun.  Our friends
can hardly believe this is a bird we are describing and not a puppy. 
And of course that little beak and tongue is like a dog's nose,
constantly into EVERYTHING!  She only occasionally thinks my ear lobe as
a chew toy and to tell you the truth, I am normally laughing so much I
have a hard time saying "NO!" and putting her down as punishment (I need
training more than the bird obviously).

So I guess it isn't so much a note to let you know how she is doing but
more how Linda and I are doing with her.  She is just no end of fun and
is so much of a joy.  We really love that little rascal!


Boy, your description of her is so fun to read. Thank you for sharing! One of the side reasons we raise birds is because we love sharing them with others. I remember when I discovered that a bird can be as affectionate as a dog. Blew me away with how close they want to be to you.
It sounds like she is getting some healthy food along with everything else. The yams are super good for her. Says Beth, who just finished a slice of carrot cake.
Friends,  just an update on Pippi!
First I would like to thank EVERYONE for the support you have shown.  It kind of made me feel slightly better, considering that I am NEVER going to forget what happened! 
Pippi is UNBELIEVABLY acting like her MOODY self and eating like the little piggy she is!  She is just gong crazy stuck in her glass fish tank!!  She is on my shoulder right now telling me she loves me.
She doesn't seem painful at all, she is slightly limping, I hope she is not going to be lame. She has a vet appointment for a 2nd opinion on Monday.
I am just so LUCKY, God saved this little one!  I am just so thankful. 
I love her so much, I just feel so protective now over her.  The dogs know they are not allowed near me when she is out!! I know they are jealous, but they can deal!!
Thank you all!
Love, Molly & Pippi
I hope she full recovers. We had one baby get its leg tweaked in a cage while we were feeding. I thought it had broken it. I decided to give it to a friend who just kept handfeeding him. That baby recovered 100%. It surprised me at the time. When can she get out of her fish tank?
Speaking of accidents and things about which to be careful, I just wanted to share something that happened when I first got my budgie, Pippin. Because I got her a cage that was larger than what's typically considered a budgie cage (though the bar spacing was appropriate), the food dishes were larger than she needed. The cage came with plastic, attached-perch dishes, and I went ahead and used those. One day, when I was home but on the phone (not really watching Pippin), I heard this panicked squawking coming from her cage. She had gotten her head stuck in the little gap between the perch part and dish part of the dish. (She must have turned her head sideways to get it in, and then she was trying to pull it straight out.) Because I was home, I was able to immediately remove the dish from the cage and invert it, while holding Pippin, so that she could slide her head out (thankfully!). However, if this had happened when I wasn't home, she could have been seriously injured or worse. That was the last time she ever had a dish with an attached perch that had a gap. I learned that if it were at all physically possible for Pippin to fit her head or herself into any small amount of space (and even when I thought it was impossible), she would probably do it. Better safe than sorry.......

I've been considering getting Phoenix (the temperamental sun conure) a sleeping cage.  Jack's (GCC #221) sleeping cage is on my night stand.  I wondered if I should put a sleeping cage in there for Phoenix, too?  I wondered if moving him into a sleeping cage at night might help further with the work I'm doing with him.  The towelling is definitely making changes in our relationship, and I've been in contact with Carolyn Swicegood as well on that after reading what you posted from her website.  But I got to thinking about the fact that Phoenix has only one cage.  He spends time out of his cage almost daily (whenever I'm home), and he likes to hang out on top of an empty cage inside my front door.  But he's been sleeping in his normal cage all this time.  Until I started reading your website and emails, I had never heard of using sleeping cages before.  I'm wondering if he/she might benefit from that.  Thoughts?
Sleeping cages can help any temperamental bird. It is really exciting how far you are coming with him. For the rest of you, Dawn owned a Sun that she talked about when she came to pick up "Jack" (her green cheek). She told me about the behavior problems, so after sharing what I had done with a few birds, I referred her to and the Intensive love training. It is a link that summarizes what we have done again and again with different species of birds and had great success. Dawn and her Sun are becoming friends via this method.
Birds do benefit from sleep cages, because it disrupts their territoriality, lowers aggressiveness and you will spend more time with them when they are with you in the bedroom. Playgyms are also good for them to hang out on and help them establish more than one roosting spot. He loves his mash!  Amazes me how much a wee bird can eat in one sitting though.  I put him on the play stand when I get him out of his sleeping cage each morning.  Then late morning, I move him to his cage as most days I head out to work about then.  When I get home from work in the afternoons, I get him out of his cage to keep me company.  After he's been out for a bit, I put him in his flight suit and he goes outside with me to take care of rabbits and chickens when the wind isn't bad and too cold.
I've attached photos I took of Jack with his mash this morning.  Messy face.  *G*  And it's so fun to watch him "skin" beans.  :-)
BTW, Phoenix (sun conure) and my parakeets are also loving the mash.  I figured it was a long shot with the parakeets since the beans and such are bigger than their normal food stuffs, but they are handling that stuff like champs!  The tiels haven't made up their minds yet whether they like the stuff.
One of the things I love about the mash is that there's no waste ever.  Anything the indoor birds leave behind, I take out to my three chickens.  They love the stuff!  :-)
It is so good you are making the mash. It really helps to make those large quantities and freeze it so you don't have to make it daily. We feed our uneaten to the chickens down by our horses too. They are so much healthier than eating just seed.
A shot I took of Jack outside in his flight suit the other day.  He loves being outside with me.  :-)

It is good to see him outside. We are getting quite hot here and our outside time  is going to be limited soon.
hey beth,
How r you? I think you already answered an email about this but i just wanted to make sure Dakota is alright. lol I think hes doing that regurgitating thing and after a couple seconds some stuff comes out as he flings his head about. Is he throwing up or just doing that thing? What does it mean when he does that? Thanks,
It just sounds like he is regurgitating to you which means he has chosen YOU. Does he only do this when he is with you? If he is regurgitating when you are not around, he may be sick, but if it is when you are present, then I would take it as an "I Love You!"
Hi Beth and girls ~

Had to send you a note to tell you that little Joseph #223
 (Crimson Bellied Conure)  was in his cage and I thought he was sleeping. He could hear a movie that was on the TV and when they started playing a piano he just started talking up a storm! I had to wonder if he thought he was back at your home where that was so familiar to him! I told my hubby I think I'll have to start playing the organ again like I did when I was young just for him. 

Blessings to you all,

They do get their share of classical piano while here!...and chemistry, and biology and history too! I wouldn't doubt that Joseph would perk up in response. 



So much fun to read everyone's comments about their own babies.  :-)
I forgot to tell you in earlier emails -- Jack has taken to complaining sometimes at night when I put him to bed.  I usually move him into his sleeping cage about 8:00 each evening as that's when hubby goes to bed.  I generally go to bed quite a bit later and don't want to wake Ben moving Jack into his sleeping cage.  He doesn't squawk or scream, just complains.  Sounds like he's muttering under his breath almost, and whatever it is doesn't sound good.  LOL  And he wants to keep playing!  If I forget to put the towel over the back of his cage (which abuts a window), he uses the light from the neighbor's front porch coming in the window to play by.  Makes me think of a little boy playing under the covers with a flashlight because he doesn't want the day to end.  Gizmo did this, too.  Must be a green cheek thing.  *G*
Oh, and I am going to go ahead and see about getting a sleeping cage for Phoenix and setting him up in our bedroom.  I think I may even have a cage I can use for that in the shed.  Just have to see if it's tall enough.  Don't want his tail to be crunched and him made uncomfortable.  :-)
It is fun to read of everyone's experiences. Most, but not all, Green cheeks do argue when you put them to bed at night. Did you see the videos of when I turn out the kitchen lights at night in our kitchen? The birdies all complain.
Hi there, just checking in.... how are the babies?  Do you have any pictures yet?  : ) 
I keep the nursery pages pretty updated and added pictures last night. I do have more pictures when we know which baby is yours. I just got the first sexings in and matched the older babies up with their new families. Your baby will be fine in the big cage, but do put the food, water and mash down on the bottom until you see baby eating from the dishes that are up high.

I wanted to know if I will need to keep my baby in a smaller cage for a bit when he/she comes home with perches/bowls etc down low, or will I be able to put him in the bigger cage?  I have a small one that is about 24x18x18 and here is a link to the cages I have for my others and plan to use the same type cage for my baby:

Would that one be too big to start out with? Your baby will be fine in the big cage, but do put the food, water and mash down on the bottom until you see baby eating from the dishes that are up high. This cage looks fine. The bar spacing is good too!
I found the cutest  baby safe stuffed animal the other day.  I bought it for my baby.  That way he'll have something to cuddle up to at night if he doesn't like his sleepy hut.  He will like his sleepy hut, but they do like cuddle animals too! They like cavities such as old kleenex boxes, pvc elbows.. I think it why I can stow a bird away inside my shirt when I have them with me and I need to run into a store. They cuddle up and no one knows that I even have a bird!
The African Greys flew for their first time today!
Aww Beth! =) my birdie is adorable!!! i love it soo much already!! i already thought of a name if its a boy his name will be Ryuk and if its a girl her name will be Sage! =) and im getting the cage this weekend! =) yay! im so excited! when will you be able to tell if its a girl or a boy?

thanks a billion! =) Blessings
Monique!! =)

Sexing is easy to do and costs $25. It usually takes about a week. I will send in yours and Debbie's baby samples tomorrow. Both of those names are very unique. How did you pick them?


Thank you all for praying for these birds that travel such great distances. The airlines really are pretty remarkable. Laura's birds flew all the way into Boston and Mary's birds flew into New York!!! You would think this would be easy for me, but I still worry about them until I hear. I was up waiting for Mary's email and it just arrived. Now, we can sleep.
Hi Beth,

They are alive!! And I lucked out because the cargo people told me usually they have huge shipments of Petco birds. Today.... only mine. Yipee!!

They are doing well, the girl is a little fluffed up, but she is eating. She bit my ear pretty good earlier while I was fixing her food dishes. The two are wanting to be with each other.

So, I moved their cages next to each other till they settle. I moved their beds so they are side by side, and I moved the food bowls so they can eat and look at each other and they seem to be happier with that.

I took a video of the boy playing with a toy (within 5 minutes of being home) and a couple of pics I will send tomorrow.

The carrier was in great shape. When I got in the car I tore off the green screen from the front so I could see what they were doing. It sounded like they were fighting, but I saw him feeding her! They happily munched on the goodies you packed for their ride. Newspaper was wet, but they still had water in the bowl in the front.

I will send you more updates soon, I am cleaning the sleep cages for the other birds to go to bed (and they are getting impatient). S, I must run. I wanted to let you know they were ok though.

I must say, they are the most beautiful little birds. I am so looking forward to getting to know them.

Thanks again,

I think allowing them time to settle in is excellent, Laura. They have to feel the trip and the stress. Please make sure they have plenty of fresh foods. Sometimes a warm meal can be a real comfort to a baby. Warm yams or oatmeal are good choices.

It's almost 1:00am and we just got home! As soon as we got her to the car, I took her out and introduced myself. Her face was full of food, and it was love at first sight! My fiance Rob was with me, but I had to drive because he cant drive my car ( its a manual) so I took Luna
and stuffed her in my jacket. Rob then asked me "what if she bites you in there while you're driving"? to which I laughed and said " she's not going to bite me".
 She found a nice spot and was silently sleeping the whole ride home.

When we got home she came out to explore her new home. At one point she went up to my finger and did her little feeding jerk, so I whipped up a batch of formula and she ate some. She explored her cage for  a bit and now she is sleeping all snuggled up in my hair.
I dont know how Im going to bring myself to put her in her cage so I can sleep,, She's the cutest, sweetest little thing, I could just eat her up!

You all did such a wonderful job with her, I cant thank you enough! And I must also add that you guys did an excellent job with the shipping crate! Very impressive!

I will be doing a full photo shoot tomorrow. =) LOL.
Have a great night. Thanks again. I look forward to doing more business with you in the future! I still want my YSGC! =)

Mary & Luna
 (Crimson Bellied Conure)
Thank you both for emailing me. I got your earlier message that the plane was late. My hubby kept asking if I had heard anything yet. My printer was printing off hue today, so that is why I had Lisa email you your hatch certificate. Sleep well Mary and Luna!

I enjoy the emails coming in!  It's nice to be networked with your 
current customers and hear their stories.  I just wanted to ask you a 
question- is Band 238 the potential Pineapple that I have reserved?

I sure like looking at the baby pictures!!!  They are all smiling.

No, Band 238 is a Cinnamon. The biggest clue is when I look under the wings and see if there is yellow or lime green. Band 238 is lime green. This is the first year I have answered everyone's emails like this and I am hoping it helps educate. The internet is an incredible tool!

Hi again,
Luna  (Crimson Bellied Conure)  had a wonderful first night in her new cage. She explored and settled inside her happy hut where she is still sleeping. I got up bright and early even after not getting much sleep, and she's being a sleepy head. LOL

I had a CD playing very softly across the room, with some light , relaxing classical music (which I also love).
Where do you guys get that mega millet? It's huge!!


Yes, when we ship, I put in some mega millet. It is sold here by a Mike Miller Feeds and is thick big millet. When your babies are young, it is important to feed millet, but I rarely give it to my adult birds. I regard it as bird ice cream!
Hi Beth!

quick question do you think 1" bar spacing is way too much? i found a nice cage and the bar spacing is 1" I would find a cage with bar spacing 5/8" at the most. I have had my breeder pairs in 1" square and have had one get its head caught in the square.
We had a horse show all day today, but I left my 2 youngest home on bird duty while my oldest showed. Tomorrow AM, the 3 of them are in the AZ Study Pgm Piano competition. I will stay home on bird duty. I like being home!
Hi Beth
I thought you might get a kick watching this video.


PS   Little Joseph
(Crimson Bellied Conure)   is getting so playful this week. I think he has settled in very well and loves his big cage. He has been doing summersalts and loves to snuggle.  He is eating everything I have been giving to him. Nice to have another love bug.
Thank you, Phyllis. I am sending this to all of you on the baby bird list. Many of you have probably seen Einstein. (his video is also on my Congo African Grey link), but if not, he is incredible. He makes me feel like I should spend a ton more training time with my own Emma Grey.
How are your 2 Crimsons doing together? I sent 2 home today to Boston. It is trickier to keep 2 tame when you get them together and keep stressing that it is important that they each develop a bond with their owner before the 2 are allowed to bond to one another IF you want them to stay as pets. Please pray for band 225, 226 and 228, for they are all traveling great distances today.


Hi Beth, 

I noticed 225's tail getting all beat up looking from him flopping around the cage. :-( Do you know how I can prevent this? Will he stop once he has settled in a bit? 



Crimson Bellies tend to beat up their tails for the first year of their life. They just look ratty. I can just about sex a young Crimson by its tail too, for the boys seem to do it worse. If your cage bars are narrowly spaced, it is going to give them more surface area to beat them up against. Also if your cage is wire instead of powder coated bars, it is harder on the tails. Do not worry about your bird's health because of his tail feathers. And, they do seem to recover after the first molts.


April Showers, May Flowers!
I am always encouraging the feeding of live food to your parrot. We made a new link today on this subject or you can just watch the video at this link and get the main idea


Hi Beth, I just read your email April Showers/May flowers.  Very interesting, I didn't know birds could eat flowers.  We have so many dandelions right now and I was wondering what part of those they can eat? 

Also, I have been afraid to sprout, afraid of mold..even though I use GSE in the soak water when I germinate.  Just me being paranoid I'm sure. ; )
The mix I use, TOP all in one seed mix that can be soaked and served or sprouted has the following ingredients:
Certified Organic Human Grade Ingredients: Barley, Rye Berries, Spelt, Kamut, Buckwheat, Millet, Milo, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Rice. 
Does germinating have the same health benefits as sprouting?



They can eat the yellow flower of the Dandelion. I use bleach in my sprout soak water. Isn't germinating the same as sprouting? When we sprout, we feed when there are just short tails.. Your list of seeds and grains sounds perfect! This is from the bottom of our link on sprouting.
Sprouted Lima Beans and sprouted Navy Beans can be toxic to birds. Beans that are good to sprout are: Adzuki, Alfalfa, Clover, Garbanzo (chick peas = a favorite), Lentils, and Mung Beans.

Seeds and grains are also good to sprout such as: Sunflower, Barley, Sesame, Buckwheat, Popcorn, Millet, Whole oats, Unprocessed brown rice, Rye and Wheat, Radish, Mustard, and Quinoa.

Tutu  (Crimson Bellied Conure)  is doing great and becoming more active and setting off exploring
more.  I am guessing she is getting a higher comfort level and starting
to be a more confidant "child".  I built a big gym for her and she is
starting to explore it more and is happy to climb the rope now.  What a
great little girl!  She has taken to really enjoying a before bed
snuggle.  She gets under my shirt, puts her head down on me and goes to
sleep.  Another thing she likes is to run under my hand, grab part of my
hand very gently (beaking) then go to sleep "holding" my hand in her beak.

I have a question.  She loves to get her "arm pit" rubbed (and aren't
those feather so soft?), but I am guessing her reaction is about like a
dog that starts to thump the hind leg when you scratch the back.  When I
start rubbing her under her wing, she starts getting hyper, then begins
holding her leg in her beak and then may put  her foot in her beak or
sometimes will put her foot over her face and close her eyes in pleasure
(I guess).  Sometimes she will also stick her head under a wing and go
to sleep.  At other times when she is active, she will chase my finger
like a toy and may roll on her back and attack the finger.
Is that common?
I have seen this with all of our Crimson babies, and need to get it on video. It reminds me of a puppy chasing their tail. They seem to do it when they are unusually happy.

Yes, she is absolutely amazing and just a joy to have around.  She is so
much fun and so smart!

I again want to say thank you and your family for raising these little
birds to be so wonderful.  Tutu has quickly made a place in our hearts. I thank you for giving her such a good home and enjoying her!

> Crimson Bellies tend to beat up their tails for the first year of
> their life. They just look ratty. I can just about sex a young Crimson
> by its tail too, for the boys seem to do it worse. If your cage bars
> are narrowly spaced, it is going to give them more surface area to
> beat them up against. Also if your cage is wire instead of powder
> coated bars, it is harder on the tails. Do not worry about your bird's
> health because of his tail feathers. And, they do seem to recover
> after the first molts.
Yep, I noticed that to.  I thought it would probably stay that way until
she gets a bit calmer and doesn't go so crazy for us when she sees us
around and starts crawling and jumping on her bars.

I made a perch for my laboratory gram scale and Tutu is 65 grams, the
same weight she was at the vets.  How much will she likely weigh when
fully mature assuming she isn't overweight?  She also is remarkably good
about getting off of us when she poops. Is that typical?  She is amazing
that way (and boy, do we appreciate it!)  She flew off Linda into the
empty sink then did her business there. This seems typical for her.  She
is of course praised each time she does that off of us and we say "Bombs
away" when we see the body English so hopefully before too long, she
will start going on command.

Many Green cheeks and Crimsons seem to have an aversion to pooping on their people and jump off right before it happens. I like your command of "Bombs Away" much more than my "go potty" command. Her mature weight should be about 75 to 80 grams.

Funny, the boys is worse! The cage is powder coated, but it is pretty narrowly spaced. I hope they molt out. I also noticed that these guys feel a little sticky. Are they kind of like Caiques with that? Yes, the boys seem to beat up their tails worse than the girls. I have not found them to be sticky? 

I was also talking to a friend and she was saying that parent raised birds are better parents. So I thought I would ask when these guys were pulled for handfeeding. Also, she said that a pet is often a poor breeder, but that family history can come in to play. Are these parents tame? All of our parent Crimsons were handfed. We pull them in for handfeeding later than the Green cheeks because they are such good eaters. They come inside with us when they are about 4 weeks old. Milly was the most wonderful pet for 2 years and then became a breeder. Tyler was a pet. Zame and Sadie were both handfed and then put together as babies.  They were played with lightly after weaning. Rhett and Scarlett were handfed and then put together as youngsters too. All have been great parents. Zane produced before he was even a year old.

We have had good parents and bad parents from both situations. I have had good breeders that were hand fed and I have had bad breeders that were parent fed. Generally, I like hand fed birds as my breeders for a few reasons. First, I know if they have good pet quality. But, they they are also comfortable with me and allow me to interfere with their babies when I need to for banding, supplemental feeding, etc. Thanks, I want a bird to be handleable, but make a baby too! :-)I think it will happen in time. Thanks so much, I love that these guys are loving their fruits and veggies!They LOVE their mash!!!  


Hi Beth,

I sure enjoy reading e-mails from all new baby owners and their adventures!!  This e-mail with pictures of the baby greys is adorable!!  I have a hibiscus plant and see the greys eating the flowers, is that also okay for the conures as well? I have been wanting to do this link on my site for a long time. 
Ruby is doing great, she has settled in and munches down her mash, vegies and fruit every morning.  She LOVES  her seed, and I hold off putting it into her cage until she has had her fill of the good stuff first.  She gets another plate of different vegis/fruits with her mash later in the evening before settling down for the night.  Flight suit training is going fine, she still doesn't like it but I have also gotten faster at putting it on (Shandee also is getting better at it) and make sure I give her plenty of cuddles...she doesn't get mad at me...just the suit and clamps her claws on it to make it harder to put it over her wings, and once it is on, she continues to bite at it regularly.  She then beaks me gently like she is appealing to me in her displeasure for this restraint!!  It is great having her in it and once the lanyard is on, I take her everywhere I go, that she seems to enjoy!! That is so cool you are taking her out as much as you are. Many people give up on the flight suits. They are a great tool.
How did Lisa's horse show go?  And the piano competition...were all your girls a part of that?  Sounds like a busy weekend in your house!!  Oh that reminds me, I had Ruby with me at the computer when looking at your website...I turned up the sound, played the videos and she chirped when she heard Lisa playing (in fact it is the video with Ruby on Lisa's shoulder sleeping) and ran to the speakers!!  I also played the other videos with all the babies talking and she recognized the was really cute!!  I do have a question:  Is there any harm allowing her near any mirror and letting her get to know that bird reflection?Thank you for asking! Lisa won Reserve High Point today for our County 4H finals in the Senior Advanced division. She was thrilled. They all 3 competed on the piano and did very well. We don't have those results in yet. They were tested in both Theory and playing skills. I am so thankful for how much has been added to our home from them playing instruments!
Thanks again for all the updates!!


Oh Beth this was wonderful email I thoroughly enjoyed all the experiences with the new babies.

I have a question about my cage that I just bought last year.  I had a pair of parakeets in and would like to use this cage for the new baby. Do you know of a good cleaner to clean everything with so I can be prepared? I still have the cage that the Sun Conure was in and it has a powder coating but in a few spots I noticed had a little rust so I don’t want to use that cage for that reason. That one I had for 21 years for her whole life. ThanksJ


If I am cleaning a cage outdoors, I get everything off of it and then spray down with a 1:10 bleach to water solution. Rinse, rinse, rinse!! Then, leave in the sun for a day. The sun dehydrates most viruses. Freezing things does not by the way. There are many other cleaners out there, but some do not kill everything. Novalsan (Chlorhexidine) does not kill polyoma is the one quick example I can think of. Bleach does kill...even the color on your jeans so be careful. Inside, I use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. This is described at this link.

For rust, I wash with vinegar and paint over it. This is a great article on painting cages 

Hi Beth, I found this on about germination and sprouting, germinating is the point before they get ready to sprout, which is usually just overnight 10-12 hours.  From what I understand they have the same nutritional value at both points. 
I may try to go ahead and sprout and if it doesn't turn out right, mold, slime or doesn't smell like it should, I can toss them.  

I have one of my baby's pictures as my computer desktop and can't wait to get my hands on that little fluff ball! 
Mimicking nature
When we germinate seeds for our birds, we mimic an organic process that brings the seed to a perfect, enzyme-rich stage for feeding. Nature does this all the time: seeds in the soil soak up the moisture from melting snow and spring rains. As water enters the seed, it replaces the enzyme inhibitors and the seed plumps, ready to turn all its stored energy into a seedling that will push through the soil to reach its new energy source, the sun.

To germinate seeds above ground, we use hydroponics - soaking directly in water, preferably pure (more on that later). When the water turns cloudy, we know the seed has shed its enzyme inhibitors and has awakened, ready to burst with pent-up energy for growing into a plant. From now until a ¼-inch root tip is the best time to feed the soaked seeds to your bird. They are richer in active enzymes and vitamins than they'll ever be.

Great information, Debbie! I should change my recommendations from feeding sprouts to feeding germinated seeds, for that is what I am doing. I feed when they barely have tails and some do not have tails at all.
Papagaio is snuggled under my hair as we head away from the airport. I know I have to put him in the carrier for a safe ride but I don't want to stop snuggling him. I made Bart (my hubby) pull over to give me a little more time.
He seems unscathed by the trip. As soon as we got him I peeked in and he was eating away. I will write more tomorrow but wanted you to know we have him! Safe and sound!


These Crimsons are very snuggly. Actually, the Pyrrhuras tend to be that way. Obviously, the men at the airport are getting to know me and I keep thanking them for being so good to our birds. We do pray as each baby leaves for its safety and that it blesses the home it enters. Make sure your baby is getting lots of fresh foods.
Yes it is huge!! do you know of any one that would wanna buy it? i bought it and its pretty nice it needs some work but me and my father are going to completely restore it and hopefully sell it so i can buy another one for my YSGC that is alittle bit smaller lolz!!Try selling on Craigslist? I don't know of anyone. A quick reminder for all that bar spacing for these Pyrrhuras (Green cheeks and Crimsons) should be no bigger than 5/8 of an inch.
I only have one more question; can you recommend a specific cage or direct me to a website? Thanks again Nicole

I love our California Cages. They are so well made and the paint does not blast off like some when I power wash them. I also like the Avian Adventure cages.

Tutu has discovered a new game.  We have a varnished oak table in the
dining room and Tutu seems to like to go "ice skating" on it.  Sometimes
she starts running on it with all the aplomb of a guy sprinting on a
frozen pond in bowling shoes.  Wings, feet and tail are everywhere then
she puts on the brakes and skids around.  Then she will get on the back
of a chair that is about 2-3" above the table.  She will jump to the
table and skid around then she starts hot footing it around back to the
chair, slipping and sliding all the way.  Something like kids wearing
socks on a polished floor.

Naturally, we are in hysterics!

And I didn't know Crimson bellies could defy the laws of physics. 
Somehow that 10" bird can take a full bath in her 3" diameter water
bowl.  I don't know how you taught her that but I'm going to try the
same thing by fully immersing myself in a kitchen garbage can.  If she
can do it, so can I!


Dan, what great writing style you have and thank you for the updates as the days go by. I can completely relate to the hysterics. It is constant here with the babies all pulling their antics. Their antics keeps us in love with them.

Update 5/1/09

 (Crimson Bellied Conure)  is snuggled under my hair as we head away from the airport. I know I have to put him in the carrier for a safe ride but I don't want to stop snuggling him. I made Bart (my hubby) pull over to give me a little more time.
He seems unscathed by the trip. As soon as we got him I peeked in and he was eating away. I will write more tomorrow but wanted you to know we have him! Safe and sound!


Hi Beth-

Just setting up our big cage today for Papagaio and our Cockatiel BiBi. When you say 5/8" bar spacing, what does this mean? Is there a certain diameter perch we should stay away from?
Papagaio is having a great day. Eating lots (oranges, beans, Zupreme etc) and checking everything out.
They are beautiful birds aren't they.

Becki  Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

I am so relieved to hear when babies ship happily. Band 227 is a very sweet bird. That was a long plane ride for him! We have had such great success with the airports. I am soon going to have to ship only on Continental due to our temps increasing. I have a Timneh Grey named Papagaio. She was my pet Timneh for years and is now out in our aviary. Hi Beth,

 (Crimson Bellied Conure)  is doing fabulous! She loves to hide under blankets and pillows to fall asleep! I took her outside yesterday in her flight suit to get some sun, she loved it! I've put her in her suit, almost every day, she seems to not mind it so much!

I was curious, how much of a "store" credit (lol) do I have to go towards a YSGC? Not ready for one just yet, but soon I think. I would like a boy so I can name him Oliver! =)

Mary C
Right after weaning, the babies are at such  a good stage for forming strong bonds. I am thankful that our babies get to go straight to their new homes after weaning. I wrote you offlist about the credit and look forward to being able to send you a YSGC someday. Zumo and Kaida just laid an egg yesterday again.

I'm enjoying hearing about all of the babies' antics! The cup bathing had me laughing. Pippin would actually bathe sometimes in a Dixie cup-- actually seemed to prefer it to bowls, etc. I wonder if birds sometimes feel more secure in smaller containers? (She also liked to bathe in the sink, but that was on my finger.)

I was just wondering about the heat and birds. Do you take your birds out at all in the summer? Since I'll be getting my GCC right at the start of Arizona's long summer, I kind of hate to keep him in until the fall! Maybe just quick little excursions around my apartment complex? Do you take your birds out at night at all? Sometimes I go to evening concerts in the park or outdoor movies at night in the summer, and I'm wondering if that's something the bird could enjoy....or if it would still be too hot...or if the dark would be frightening??


I think hearing about everyone else's babies makes the wait somewhat more bearable?? We do still take our birds out in the heat, but watch them for they will pant when too hot. Many times in the summer, I am going someplace with AC and don't have to worry. We take them on walks early or late to be able to be out. They will get used to the dark if you venture out and will come to trust you more. If your bird is panting, you will need to find a cooler. Hi Beth, hope you and your family are well!   

Do you have the suits in hunter green for green cheeks?  or the lime?  I'd prefer the hunter and if not then the lime. 

Is the DNA test possibly back yet?  I'm really anxious to find out.  : )

A couple more questions...what size Roudybush do you feed?  I'm going to place an order in the next couple of days and want to order the size the baby will be use to eating.  Mine eat the crumbles.   What kind of seed do you use?  I buy Volkman and wanted to see if that's ok, if it's not the kind you feed, to switch my baby over and not cause tummy upset.

Thanks so much!

Debbie A

We have the Junior small training suits in yellow for  $23 and then we have the regular suits for $29 in Lime Green, Royal Blue, Red, Kelly Green and Purple.

The DNA results are not back yet.

We feed Zupreem fruit maintenance diet, cockatiel sized. We do still feed Roudy Bush. I eliminated it this year and will change the link Yes, Volkman is a great food too and I have my Ekkies on it. You can change diet, but I do recommend starting them with Zupreem and changing slowly. The really important part about feeding is the mash and sprouts and fruit. The youngsters love their dishes of fresh goodies.

The ride home was very smooth and she stayed very calm.  I put her in her cage down low to let her get used to it.  She crawled up to a perch mid-way and fell sound asleep!  Just a bit ago she crawled back down to eat some seed.  (even though she was sleeping next to her food bowl that was at her level!)  She is a cutie.
The certificate is perfect!  Nice job.
Thanks for your flight suit lesson.  It was very nice meeting you and your Mom. I will keep in touch and sent pics!
Donna and Aleta
Here is Donna's baby for all to see. She went home with a wardrobe and the name Aleta. Aleta means 'small winged one' in Latin! Great name!

Good morning Beth.  I have been trying to find Red Palm Oil and have not been able to.  Every site I find I am being told it is not available.  Do you know why, or where we should try to look?  Or is there another product to use in its place? Help,

Thanks as always, and have a blessed day. 


I will ask Tanya at Wranglers Roost. I bought a huge bottle that is just on its last drops, so I too, will need to find more. This is where mine came from but Tanya is local in the Phx area and may be a help.

Hi Beth

Here are some pictures a friend sent to me of his yellow naped Amazon. 
This is the one he takes out boat racing all the time.  "Robert" has a
vocabulary of about 45 words, loves to sing and will often mix words
into his own song!  Here, Jim has him on a 1/4 scale model of a new boat
design in the pool on Oahu (no threat of hypothermia there!)

Tutu:  I know there are watch repair people but I wonder of there are
people that specialize in taking them apart?  If so, Tutu could have a
career in watch disassembly!  What a goof!  She could spend all day on
my wrist gnawing my watch!  She is a character and a charmer!  Now to
teach her the proper use of a jeweler's screwdriver!  On second thought,
that could be the downfall of Western civilization.  A Conure with the
tools and knowledge to take things apart boggles the mind.


A boating Amazon! Too cute, and a boat his size. Lucky bird.

Yes, parrots do take apart everything. I was trying to nap with my Grey yesterday afternoon. She cuddled up for a while and then spotted the phone. Her focus changed to button removal. I put the phone under a pillow and she was able to cuddle up again.

will you be sexing bands 243 & 244?

I don't sex the babies unless someone requests it and then it is $25. But, if someone says that they would like a male Yellow Sided or a female, then I try to find them one no matter how many I have to sex. The person buying the baby only pays for one sexing.

Hi Beth-

I am so excited!  Since we are going to be away on vacation until May 11th can we schedule her flight for May 12th?  I hope this isn't a problem, I had mentioned this before when I first inquired about her.  Can you also tell me how much to I should add for a flight suit?  I definitely want to purchase one for her.  

It is so wonderful that you took her on a field trip today and I am glad she enjoyed it.  I can't wait to meet her!

I think I am going to name her Brisa.  Brisa means "breeze" in spanish. 

Thanks much,


Brisa went to the post office today. They are so funny their first time in a car. When one goes the other way, they duck!

If I missed anyone's questions, please feel free to ask again! I added many pictures of babies last night.

Hi Beth,

Girl 226 has been biting me really badly. I have tried making her go off balance, holding her beak and saying "no!", and even blowing gently and saying "No biting or easy!". I don't know what to do. I put the two together for one trip out of the cage a day and see her trying to get the boy to feed her. She touches his beak and does the feeding response thing. Do you think her biting is related to being a baby? He has bitten her pretty hard a few times, which makes me not trust housing them together. Was she bitey when you had her? I am feeling discouraged that neither will close their eyes and relax during scritching. They both seem very anxious still. I am not sure if it is because they are living seperately. Any suggestions? Maybe I should give it more time?

Help! Frustrated in MA ....



Hi! This is Lisa, writing for my mom...
> Please read our article on biting.
> ( Being consistent on
> your end is critical. Make sure you say, "No, be gentle" always in the same
> tone of voice. Birds communicate to each other by screaming, so when we
> yell, they merely interpret that as communication. Your being consistent and
> giving the consequence every time she bites will be the most important
> factor. Our most effective technique is this and this is the technique WE
> MOST OFTEN USE: when they bite, grasp them on the cheek bones (just below
> the eyes) and gently rotate them onto their backside. Then stroke their beak
> and say your instruction of "be gentle" or "no bite." I hold them there
> talking to them until they relax in my hand. Hear that part...."UNTIL THEY
> RELAX." I even use this hold if they are on my shoulder and nibble my ear
> too hard. I reach up there, while saying "nooooo" and restrain the baby
> under the cheek bones for about 5 seconds.  We have even done this type of
> restraining with her African Grey. She is a delightful Grey that anyone can
> handle and has passed the critical age of sexual maturity.  This is critical
> because many a bird becomes unruly when hormones hit :) We videotaped us
> holding birds in this restraint to help demonstrate this technique.  We have
> used this same training technique with birds as large as Congo African Greys
> all the way down to the small little Lineolated Parakeet.
> (
> I really hope this helps and that everything works out. Time will also be a
> factor, so be prepared to be patient and consistent. Because we are not there, it is hard for me to say whether their anxiety is due to not being together. Are they in the same room? Are they getting lots of fresh foods? You could try them together for about 2 days and see if that helps. No, 226 was not bitey at all during handfeeding. It is almost always the boys who go through the nipping while here.
Do remember that they have only been with you a very short time. But, please keep asking so that it doesn't get out of hand also.
> ~Lisa
Beth, I  just had a question about Pippi.  Sometimes when I go to get her out, she will start making loud noises and running back and forth.  She does bite me, but not hard at all.  She was actually doing it a lot, but has not done it for about a week.  Is she just being moody? Or is she trying to play? I can't tell.  Once I get her out, she is as calm and snugly as can be.
Molly & Pippi

Hi Molly, Please also read up on the nipping link. There is a section on that page that talks about the difference between beaking and biting. It sounds like beaking and not biting, which is acceptable for pet birds. The Green cheeks typically will run back and forth when they want out of their cage and on their person. The running is excitement to see you. If she does bite too hard, I would hold under her cheek bones and tell her, "nooooo, be gentle."
Birds go through stages as they mature as far as their moods are concerned. The most important thing is that you don't get frustrated and that you keep working with them.


Hi! This is Lisa, Beth's oldest daughter...

I am so glad that Papagaio is doing well! They really love their fruits and veggies.
5/8" bar spacing means how far apart the bars are on the cage. If the bars are too far apart, the bird could get it's head through and get stuck, so an ideal size for Crimson Bellies is 5/8".  There is a lot of information about perches on this page

Making sure that your bird has perches that he can fit his foot comfortably on is a must! The bird's foot should not be stretched and it should not  be touching underneath of the perch. Make sure that your bird has different size perches. If he is always on dowels or on the same size perch, his feet will cramp into one position and arthritis or other diseases may occur. A perfectly round dowel is bad for your bird's feet. Make sure your perches vary in diameters and in hardness of the wood or material they are made out of. Parrots actually "rest their feet" by gripping perches of different diameters. The tree branches that they perch on in the wild are not all the same diameter. Even on one limb, there is a variance in diameter...some parts being thinner, others wider. Rarely are they the same size from one end of the limb to the other. Just like our feet get tired during long shopping trips and feel better when we change shoes, our birds' feet feel rested by changing perches because the grip is different for different size perches. To help with this, you can look for "orthopedic perches" that are made with various sizes on the same perch. Using different perches gives your bird the variety he would find in the wild.

Hopefully this helps some!
Lisa, thank you so much. This was extremely helpful. I have had bird since I was a child but had never had the importance of varying perch size explained to me.
Papagaio is doing great. He was nippy at first but responded very quickly to holding his head and saying "be gentle, no bite". Our cockatiel Bibi is not sold on Papa yet but we are hoping they will warm to each other.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Yes, as I had emailed you, he was just being a bit nippy in his last few days here. I can't stress ENOUGH how well restraining the head works to stop this behavior   I need to elaborate on this page again, because so many people try so many other methods. (laddering, blowing, the earthquake shake).  Some of these methods are effective, but I choose the restraining method for the reason that I can always be consistent. Here is an example, if the bird is on my shoulder and nibbles on my neck too hard or bites my ear, I can't ladder or blow or shake, BUT I can do the restraining method. I can always be consistent using the restraint method; whereas, using the other methods, I have to alternate which one I use. I am not sure if this consistency is the key or not, but I do know that it has taught nipper after nipper to not nip here in our home Smile emoticon The other key is to be gentle and persistent. Keep using an encouraging voice to them.

Beth and Lisa, 
Aleta (#232,) is doing fantastic!  She is such a kick! 
I have never had a baby bird that stayed flighted and it is very amusing!  We like to believe she is very smart (don't all parents!)  She started flying from my head to my husbands head, and back and forth.  I do believe because of her missing toes she can grab groups of hair better than trying to grip a shoulder or finger.  My husband went across the room and "yodeled" to her and she flew to his finger.  I called her back (I do not yodel!) and she flew back to me.  She went back and forth a couple of times when called. She was so proud of herself!! 
I thought because of her missing toes she would need her bowls low for a longer period, but she never went to them; prefering the bowls at the normal level.  She has a happy hut and her favorite place is to sit on top of it and preen and mumble sweetly. She has eaten some apples, oranges, carrots and mixed veggies as well as her mash and seed.  She eats well.
She is a very sweet and lovable bird, but also playful and curious.  Perfect for our family.  Thank you for working so hard to make sure your babies are so well socialized.
I have some pictures I will send you in a couple of days. 

(Aleta is a Pineapple Green cheek) We were with her sister just last night and she is a doll, too. She has much less toes and held on as her owner ran across her yard with the mini donkey chasing her. You are welcome. I had a very sad phone call today from a man who bought a Pineapple last year and it died yesterday in an accident. I can't imagine how sad that it when you lose a bird pet. It has not happened to me, yet... I bet you can yodel if you try! We really enjoyed meeting you and showing you the menagerie at our home.

Thanks for the quick response. Yes, they are housed right next to each other. They are in a quarantine room which is away from most of the household action which is unfortunate. But, they just have to hang in these for a little longer.

Yes, they are getting lots of fresh foods and I have been sprouting for them too. They don't seem to be eating the mash as voraciously as I expected. I have not forgotten that they are new. I will send you a link to a couple of videos tomorrow to see what you think. Thanks!
I am looking forward to the videos!! 
Hi, Beth--I'm enjoying all of the Q&A prep. I was at Trader Joe's today and found canned sweet potato puree (no other ingredients). Any reason why that wouldn't be healthy in the mash?

Also, I read this article about PVC that's kind of concerning--
I think canned would be fine for them as long as you don't see added salt. Thank you for the link about pvc. I was somewhat aware, but had not taken the time to read through prior to this. Having a pet bird really makes you aware of many more toxins than the normal person. If it can hurt our birds, you wonder what it is doing to us, whether the "it" is candles, plastic turkey cooking bags, or pvc.
Hello - Luna (Crimson Bellied Conure) is quiet the character! She is trying so many foods! She loves grapes and cheerios, oatmeal, oranges, apples, mangos... She's eating her roudy bush pellets and zupreem, she doesn't seem to be eating the millet anymore though I still offer it to her. I have finally taken the dishes off the bottom of the cage, as she has never eaten from them! The babies all seem to do very well adjusting to their new cages. Thank you for letting me know!
I was in the bathroom with her on my shoulder, so I decided to splash around in the sink to see what she did.. It was so funny. She jumped down into the water, so i filled the sink up a bit and she went nuts. She fluttered her wings on the top of the water making little ripples and splashes every where. Then she pretty much dived in! She had a great time! Most Pys love, love water.
When she was finished, I wrapped her up in her favorite blankie and she snuggled for a while till she was dry! She really enjoys be wrapped up! Still taking a little baby food now and then. Mostly I offer it to her in the morning and then before bedtime, and she still quacks like a duck! LOL The Crimsons do sound like ducks or like frogs. The Green Cheeks sound like crickets. My Grey still loves to be cuddled in a blanket and she is a couple of years old now.- Mary

Hi Beth,
I enjoyed talking with you the other day and I saw the picture on your web site and what a little cutie! My husband and I have a name “Oso Verde” Spanish for Green Bear. We love bears when we camp in the high sierra’s and see a lot of them when we go. So we thought of Oso for the name.
That is a new name for our page of names that families have given their babies.You are such a wealth of information I really learn a lot more then I have experienced with my Sun Conure I wish I met you back them maybe he would have lived longer .  Today I went and got some cleaning solution for the cage. Since I would like to use the toys if I could and would like to clean them is 1/10 solution of bleach ok to use on wood toys and ladders and those perches that help with the nails I am thinking they are plastic or just soap and hot water? Also I have a high powered steamer that I use on tile for cleaning without toxic chemicals it is pretty high temp for disinfecting. You have time to disinfect, so I would do the bleach rinse and then rinse, rinse and rinse really well. Then, I would lay the toys out in the sun for a day or more. I love those coconut shells as toys for them but they seem real high priced. Where did you get the one you show in the end of the video that you all are feeding them at the dining table? That has to be the cutest picture with your YSGC in the middle of it playingJ.I have had it so long that I don't know where I got it from. They do love any little cavity. I think that is what makes them to conducive to snuggling. 

I will be using the crate he/she comes home in as his night sleeping crate that is a wonderful idea and I can use they for the travel one also until I can get the nice plexi-glass  one to use.The crate is a great idea. Many Pyrrhuras will not poop in their sleep cages, so you should have a fairly clean situation too. By the way I told my sister with the horses about you and showed her your web site and she loved your horses.Thank you! They are about as addicting as the birds! Tx again donna


I've been a member of the online forum for a couple of years, and I recently posted a baby pic of Band 235. One of the other members recognized him from the Nursery page because she's getting Band 237! What a small world, huh? We're going to try to keep in touch so that we can share pictures as the birds get older since they're full siblings/cluth-mates. I'm wondering if Band 235 will recognize the photos as he gets older...that he'll remember the friendly face. I read a study about budgies recognizing photos of their mates even when they had been separated for years. Anyway, I thought the chance meeting of another clutch parent was kind of cool. :)

Also, Band 237's mom asked when my Band 235's hatch day is....and I realized that I don't know! When did he hatch? I have all of their hatch dates and give a hatch certificate to you when your baby is ready. Jessie checks each nest box daily and when an egg is laid, she records it. Then when it hatches, she writes it on the calendar again. Birds are so fascinating. Look at Zumo's babies and their hatchdates.


Zumo 1  233



Zumo 2  234



Zumo 3  235



Zumo 4 236



Zumo 5  237



Zumo's first baby hatched 15 days before the last baby. That is a huge difference in size and maturation of the babies. Books will tell you that they will lay every other day and hatch on that schedule too, but you can see that these birds don't always read the books. They do keep us guessing and challenged.

I love hearing all of the exciting stories about new birdie parents and just thinking that will be me soon is soo fantastic!! =) I was wondering if you had a guess of if my birdie(236) is a girl of a boy! and i love the pictures the baby is growing up soo fast i cant believe it!! =) I love my little birdie already!!! he/she is fantastic!! Oh yes i was also wondering if you had an estimate of when the birdie would be ready to come home? just curious =) thank you soo much!!Typically, green cheeks wean in about 8 weeks. Every now and then you get a baby who wants to be handfed longer than usual and I don't like just cutting them off because they are a certain age. In their short little lives, they have grown to trust that we humans can satiate their hunger and I would hate to break that trust. Mary's Crimson is one who wanted to eat past the typical time. Giant Blessings! =)
Monique!! =)
This is from Dawn and her band 221! Beautiful picture, Dawn. Thank you for sending. I love the red eyeliner
He loves to nap in there.  :-)

Hi Beth,I was on vacation and just checked my email. I noticed that you have a video short of band 239. He looks cute. Is resting on their backs a normal green check behavior?  Also wondering at what age the babies are ready for travel.  I’m waiting for a couple of warm days to clean the cage I’ll be using for daytime housing. I saw your cleaning recommendations of using bleach and leaving in the sun so I’ll follow that. 

Thanks for all the email feedback… it’s fun reading about the experience others have with their green cheeks. Hopefully I won’t have any issues with biting, but I’ll save this for reference.



I hope the emails help answer some questions for you too. Most of the baby Pyrrhuras do go through a stage where they like laying on their back. If that is encouraged, they will keep this up as mature birds. Some babies are more prone to it than others and we often find them on their backs. Yours is one like that. Birds use their beaks to show emotions and because of this, you will most likely have some bites. But, you can teach him not to bite. I do play with all bird beaks a lot. Birds rub beaks with other birds, and they love it. So, play with your bird's beak a lot.

My parents are visiting from out of town, so I have been offline for a few days. I am planning on shipping birds to Angela and April on Tuesday. Then, we will ship to John/Nina and Robin later in the week. Ariana, I am planning on the 12th. The crates are all ready. I think the babies will be fine with the darker traveling quarters due to Anya playing with the babies in her "playhouse" every week when she comes for piano.

Johh, you asked about Delta vs Sky West. As Phx heats comes on, I am having to ship via Sky West more than Delta. The Delta flight out of Phx (DL 1030) does not leave until late morning. If it is over 85 degrees at shipping time, they refuse to ship. The Sky West flight is early enough that the heat is not up that high yet. I did not look into DL 1784 and I am not sure why right now, but I would guess that the shipping time from Phx was too close to opening time for Phx Cargo. They open at 6 AM and will not accept any birds for flights earlier than 7:30 AM.

Greetings Beth I have reserved a crimson bellied and was interested in keeping the bird flighted with one of your flight suits. From the notes on the site I assume you train them all on the flight suit? and do you leave them flighted? I have a secure place for the bird to be with out an issue of escape and with the flight suit and harness can teach him to go outside with me . I am so excited to have a fully flighted bird with a flight suit. I tried to get my grey to eventually wear one so he could be flighted but because he was not trained on one as a baby and has an issue with body contact other than his head being rubbed (although he is the sweetest guy in the world he has not idea what it is to be other than be gentle and kind I do respect his issue with the suit even though I tried many ways to get him use to it) consequently he remains clipped to go outside. Thanks for your response when ever you get out from underneath the many tasks you endeavor each day.

jeremy lee

Ps I will want to purchase a flight suit to fit the CB.


Hi Jeremy,
We do start all the babies in their flight suits as soon as the pin feathers come in. They wear them about 4-5 times per week here. I don't always get the lanyards on them until later.  This is just the start though. It does take about 6 months of continued use and many rewards for the babies to get used to them. Taking them outside is a great reward for them. My Grey gets clipped once per year when our weather gets nice enough to venture out. I usually recommend clipping baby for that initial bonding time, but don't mind varying that for you based on your experience.

Hi Beth, I have been meaning to send you some pics of my sisters horses so as you can see I was having a blast that day loving on all of them.

Also the one is a mom and its baby colt 3 hours old!

By the way I will be leaving in 2 weeks May 24th camping in Kings Canyon and back on the June 5th. How is Oso doing and did you get my email about wanting the flight suits (hunter green) and harness (blue)? Hope you had a wonderful Mom’s day! I have been talking to Jane and ordered 2 little sleeping huts for when Oso comes home, one for the day cage and one for the night/travel crate. I am getting real excited thinking about having another conure again.


Take care and talk to ya soon

Donna B

Thank you for the pictures. We had a horse baby last night. Weighs all of 12 pounds!!!
I don't have flight suits in hunter green in the Jr Small size. I have Red, Kelly Green, Fiesta Green, Purple and Royal blue in stock. I also have trainer suits in yellow. I don't sell any harnesses, but you can find them online. Oso is growing up, not flying yet and still struggling to fit in the flight suits!

Beth, to Dan "TuTu's" Dad........

This is "Cupid" Skye's Pinapple Green Cheek Conure,

While my mom Skye was reading your email, I happen to be looking over her shoulder and I have to tell you, I was really impressed at the new little playhouse you built for "YOUR BIRD!"  I WANT ONE! My mom went out to Pet something or other, and purchased me this boxed-playgym, that was all these different colors (gave me a headache) and had to be glued together... being the brilliant Green Cheek that I AM, I was bored in 2 minutes flat.  I rather like flying around (in my fly suit) landing on Skye's head whenever I have the chance.  I have this little gig that I do that gets her every time......... I pretend to act like an EMU and pace back and forth and chirp, then she takes me's a little game we play....... but seriously, that playhouse you built rocks and I would like to know if you would build another one for me.......... if not, I understand......... I will just have to learn to use a hammer myself and chop my own wood next..........

Bye for now............. Cupid!

Skye has a baby from our Pineapple pair that she named Cupid. Cupid is very special in that he is disabled. His parents bit the tips off of his toes and off of his beak. As you can see, Cupid has blossomed into quite a character under Skye's love. Here are some pictures we took of Cupid the other day when we visited.

 I just have a QUICK question. Can the flight suit irritate under their wings?  Pippi seems to be bald and red right where the elastic strap sits under her wings. I have noticed she is hesitant to lift her wings for me.  She has started to scream if I even go near the top of her wing.  No biting though, she just shakes her head quickly and screams.
I have been MAKING her do the wing game, not because she hurts, just to get her accustomed to it. I am not wondering if it is part attitude, part irritation? I do not want her in ANY pain!
Thank you so much!
Molly & Pippi

Back to the flight suits, I have never seen them irritate under the wings, but I would guess it is possible. It should not even begin to be tight under there...could you have the suit on incorrectly?
Every now and then, a baby will be timid after wearing the suit. When this happens, back off from the suits and just work on establishing a good bond again. Then, once that is secure, start again with the suit.

 My son and I enjoyed watching the short video you had of all of the babies

congregating on one of your daughter’s shoulders while doing school work.  I can see how the babies are

well socialized and used to human interactions. I work full time and come home for lunch every day, but

between my son and I we should be able to continue interactions with the baby. We’ve been trying to decide on a

name and so far we’re leaning toward “Darcy” – figure if it’s a girl, it sounds feminine enough, and if it’s a boy could be

Mr. Darcy. Remember that name from “Pride and Prejudice”?  It’s somewhat comical to have it as a name as

the book’s character was prideful and arrogant, but it’s cute sounding as well. 




Darcy is a great name! Cupid was chosen because it could be for a girl or a boy.


So I guess I've been accepted into the club???

Thanks for the note......

I've been wrestling with the idea of leaving mine flighted.  We have a cat
which was the major impediment to me finally deciding to get the bird and
flight should help.  But I also have windows way high in my living room that
would tempt a bird.....

I'll figure it out.  The cage I chose has 1/2" x 1 inch gridwork bars
specifically to discourage paws reaching in.  I don't want you to think I'm
being impulsive or careless.

Dan,  I think you may have competition with this Gary joining up with us. Welcome onboard Gary! The cage bar spacing sounds great.
Hi Beth

I got this and read that Cupid wants her Mom to get a "Tutu's gym" made
for her. I can do that so if you want, you can forward my email to her
and she can contact me directly.


I told her of your offer, Dan. Cupid's mom got very excited and said she would have to pay you for it. I will send you email addy to her. You are a very kind man.
She is wearing the suit correctly.  I think she is just going thru her stages to see how far she can get with me.  Last week, she was sitting on my head all of the time.  When I would go to get her off, she would do the same screaming thing.  That lasted a week, now she is over that.  I just keep correcting her when she screams when i pet her on the back of the neck.  I am sure that next week will be another story!  She is keeping me on my toes!  Oh, and I took your advice.  She has not been on my husband since I talked to you about it.  I think she really is starting to like me now.  She gets so EXCITED to see me in the am.  I was so worried that she would never like me. She is so cute! She is kind of like a child that won't let you kiss them in public, but when you are alone, they love snuggling.  She is VERY much like that! :) Thank you so much!  p.s. EVERYONE is fascinated by her and her beauty!  And how well behaved she is.  Thank you for all of the hard work you all put in to these babies!!!
Love, Molly & Pippi
These birds read our body language better than we would ever dream. They quickly learn what they can control. So smart. I video'd my Emma tonight that I told you about. She used to only want my hubby, but is finally sweet talking me!

Thanks Beth What a cutie little 12 pound baby grea t picture!

For the flight suit Kelly green would work great. I do plan on keeping Ozo clipped so not sure should I get a flight suit or just a harness . I would like to take him outside on walks with me. Not sure if I should get both or just the harness? Let me know your thoughts. Have you taken more pictures of Ozo lately? You sound like you are really busy with the new horse and all and all the other babies  so  just whenever you get a chance.

Tx donna

Jess is the one who always has the camera in hand, but tonight, Anna was taking pictures of the birds. The horse does take some time, but nothing like handfeeding babies. The mom feeds her! We love raising birds, but it is time intensive and very rewarding.  I now need to edit the pictures and get them on the site. I quickly bagged my harnesses when I discovered flight suits. I love a clean shirt. But, some prefer harnesses.

Just a quick note to let you know that Band 235 (Green Cheek) is home and doing
well. He's dosing right now, listening to lullaby music. My mom said
he was really quiet in the car, and he was shy when he first got here.
He ate some of the mash we made though (especially the carrots, peas,
corn and mango), munched on seeds and played in the water. He finally
came out of his carrier to have a big poop on the couch. :)

When I took him over to his cage, he got really excited and made his
first little cricket noises that I'd heard. He climbed, tried out the
toys, explored the tent...and fell asleep. He woke up to eat some
seeds, but I think he's on his way back to dreamland. It's been a big
day for a little guy.

I'm still not 100% sure on the name, but I'm thinking he's probably Embry.

Thanks so much for all of the love your family has put into raising
him! Thanks also for the carrier. I think it will work as a carry-on.
I'm looking forward to getting to know my guy's personality as he gets
more comfortable here.


Your 235 is gorgeous, but is a shyer baby than others. I don't think you will have to deal with nippiness with him. Before you open his cage door, it helps to tell him you are going to be asking him to step up and then move slowly. He then knows what is expected of him. We really loved meeting your mom and you are blessed to have her in your life!
Okay, I spoke too soon about him being asleep! He got a second wind
and climbed around on top of the cage for a while and then tried to
evade my attempts to get him back in the cage. When I finally covered
his cage, he called to me for a few minutes (and I checked to make
sure he wasn't hurt or stuck or anything....nope, just stalling) and
then he finally fell asleep. I just went to check on him, and he's
asleep on top of the birdie tent. When I poked my head under the cover
and whispered to him, he just responded with some beak grinding I think he's feeling secure.

Take care,

That beak grinding and tail wagging is a good sign!
Hi Beth-

Just wanted to let you know that Sonoma (Soni) arrived safe and 
sound.  As soon as we got home and I opened her crate door she hopped 
up on my arm without hesitation and pretty much refused to get off!  
She then proceeded to beak my t-shirt, fingers, hair and anything she 
came across all the while making sweet little sounds.  She is so 
funny and so FEARLESS!  I can't believe how well she handled the 
transition.  Your family did an amazing job preparing her for her new 
home.  I train dogs professionally and you rarely see a puppy handle 
a transition so well! Thank you Ariana, I am grateful that the airlines do such a good job!

I am also astounded by how GORGEOUS she is.  She reminds me of a 
feathered jewel.  We are so lucky to have her!

She nibbled on some bird seed mix and Harrison's pellets (I have seed 
and corn soaking for bird mash making tomorrow morning) for a bit and 
is now curled up in her happy hut and ready for bed.   I am getting 
ready for bed myself since both of us had a long day.

Two quick questions.

Is her flight suit in her travel crate somewhere?  I didn't see it 
but maybe I don't know where to look. The flight suits are below the newspaper in the crate in an envelope. I put the baby feathers in there too. First haircut! Yes, her wings are lightly clipped. It is called a baby clip. I don't want a baby crashing and breaking the keel bone. If you feel her, you will see that she is lean, lean right now on the keel bone. She will fill in over the next 6 months and she is going to dramatically change colors. If I missed the flight suits and you can 't fine them, please email me or call me, and we can make it right.

Are her wings clipped?  At one point the sound of the cage door 
opening startled her a bit and she flew for a second or two and then 
hit the floor.  In the long run I would like for her to be flighted 
but I have to be really careful in the beginning since I have four 
dogs.  I was going to ask the vet to do it when he does her check up 
but if she is already clipped I won't have him do it.

Thanks again for everything and I'll update you soon on her progress.

Best Wishes,


Hi Lisa-

The certificate is great!  Thank you for sending it.

Sonoma is doing great so far.  We are all going to call it a night but I'll keep you guys posted with her progress.

Thanks again for everything.  We are so excited to have such a beauty join our family :)

My so smart Lisa is the only one who knows how to make the hatch certificates. I am not as gifted on photoshop.
Thanks, Lisa! I showed the little guy (name still in flux) his
certificate, and he seemed pleased. :) It's very cute, and I'll print
it out once I have color ink in my printer.

Band 235 (green cheek conure) is doing well today. He was kind of shy yesterday...and he's
still shy, but he's coming out of his shell. He's stepping up for me,
preened my hair (and licked/tongued my face) and sat on my shoulder
for a little tour of the condo. He's loving our version of your mash--
particularly the mango, corn and peas.So far, he's been pretty quiet,
except when I put him to bed! Today, he actually seemed really sleepy
and ready for bed, but when I covered his cage, he protested for about
20 minutes! I thought it was pretty funny. :D I was also impressed
with what a huge mess he managed to make while I was at work-- dishes
knocked over, poop in one of the water bowls, food everywhere! At
least I know he found everything. :)

My mom enjoyed meeting you guys too and told me about your new foal.

Take care,
Stephanie (and the bird with no name)

 Hey, we have "a horse with no name." You are probably too young to remember the song. Sometimes you have to get a feel for personality before the name.
Hello Beth and girls and pets!! =)

I just wanted to let you know that everything is going great!! =)
Ryuk(band 236) (green cheek conure) is just fantastic!! he is like a puppy he has such a personality!! My whole family loves him and I do too!! =) He ate plenty we went to Arbys on the way home and he went in with his flight suit and lanyard and he did great everyone thought he was adorable! =) then my mom drove home and he fell asleep under my hair on my sholder and i took a nap too! lolz!!
then we got home and took off his flight suit and he was it seems relieved! haha but he explored my house ate alot of seed kinda avoided the Zupreem and veggies but ill keep trying he played in his water dish and he also played on the curtins while i watched tv lolz hes such a character!! and i put him to bed about 40 min ago and he was out as soon as i put him in his cage he was out! but during the day he was kind of sleepy too and wanted to cuddle or be pet or walk on my fathers dinner plate!! lolz
Thank you so much for the baby he is a blessing, you guys do a fabulous job at everything!! =) I enjoyed meeting every one! =) you all are so pleasant to be around!! =) i love your home animals make life possible and sometimes on an extremely rare occation impossible!! ;) but thank you for having my mother and I over!!  i have learned so much from this whole experience!! =) i love the baby horse too she is precious!! =) well i will keep you all posted and keep in touch and will probably be asking some questions that come to me =)

Blessings and Kindest Regards your friends,
Monique and Ryuk!! =)

P.S. sorry i wrote back so late! i was just busy w finals, getting home, and spending lots of time with the baby! lolz!

We really enjoyed meeting you too. I hope you always stay so positive during your walk here on earth. Everyone calls that little horse may end up being her name.
There is a new video of a fun trip into Frys Marketplace today with 3 baby Green cheeks. Here we snuck them in and you walked right into an Arbys! The video is on the Green Cheek journal page.



Beautiful.  I've always liked the personality of the conures.  I've had two but they were exceedingly noisy and my neighbors complained more about them than my moluccan.  I finally was forced to place them with a good friend who lives out in no man's land and I see them often and still have my bond with them. 
The pineapploes are just so darn sweet and quiet. Please count on me to get one of yours.  The price is right.  A male would be preferred but since I don't want to breed it either is fine.
Keep me posted on them please.  What a shame that the parents did that to the one pictured but she doesn't seem to know the difference.
Hi Lynette,
I am hoping we get 2 babies from Fuzzy and Wuzzy. One egg hatched and I stole baby and put it under Zumo and Kaida. It was still wet when I found it from just hatching out. Then, I took the other fertile egg and put it under Beau and Rain. They are seasoned parents and should do well. Beau was my oldest's first pet conure. He was the one we would take around to share with the elderly at nursing homes.
I included your email (below), Dan, just to help others even though we spoke already.
Hi Beth

Tutu is a snuggler!  She loves hair and she makes the funniest sounds
when she is running around our necks and playing with our hands and hair!

I had two behavior questions:

1.   When we leave in the afternoon and come back later (we have regular
afternoon sailboat races that get us back late).  So the Tutu has been
in her cage for a few hours by herself.  When we return, it may be
10:00, well after her normal bed time but I like to take her out and
scratch her head and stroke her a bit.  Linda wants to put her to bed.

    a.   My thoughts are that she has been alone and quiet and sleeping
for awhile anyway so a bit of staying awake won't harm her.  And being
so social, it is important to have time with her, and that when we come
home, it doesn't mean she is going to bed.
    b.   Linda is concerned that she needs her sleep and should go to
bed then.

We both agree that Tutu needs plenty of sleep but disagree on what that
means and what the balance is between socializing and sleep.Everything you read says to put your bird on a schedule where they get 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. If we had behavioral problems I would be listening more to these guidelines, but we don't follow this at all. When I want Emma, she is with me no matter what time it is...and you all can probably tell that I keep some odd hours due to hand feeding. She seems to nap when I am not with her and loves the attention when I can give it. But, if a pet of ours is on an established schedule, they do want you to stick to it. I have noticed this with the pets of my youngest who had more regular bedtimes. Their birds did not like to be disturbed once they were in the routine.
2.   When disciplining her for biting, we roll her on her back and say
"No bite!"  but we also want to teach her to roll on her back and "Play
Dead", plus she enjoys rolling over when chasing fingers and getting
scratched.   Could the discipline start becoming confused with play and
visa versa?   We would love to keep her playing and doing these funny
flips and rolls when we tickle her and she gets excited but worry about
the confusion of the "No Bite" punishment vs. play.  What are your thoughts?
Birds can tell when you are playing and when you are teaching a lesson. They notice our expressions and body language very well. When you teach her not to bite, always use the same verbal cue too. 3.   Tutu loves her little plastic "cage" balls with bells in them.  She
runs after them like a kid after the ice cream truck but if I hold it,
she bites my fingers HARD.  She is VERY possessive of the balls.  When I
discipline her, she then leaves the ball alone.  I want to keep her
playing with the balls but not biting fingers.  Any thoughts?Keep the ball between your fingers and her. I have found that when they are wound up or excited, that is when you can expect a bite.

Got here right on time.  My problem?  There is absolutely NO taming to do.
What the heck fun is that!!!!

I thought she was hiding in the back of the cage out of fear and stress.
Then I figured out she was EATING.  Guess it was, as you say on your site,
just another outing.

You do one heckuva job raising these babies.  She's acting right at home,
relaxed and enjoying everybody.

Thanks for all you do and of course I'll keep you posted,
On the diet, do you mean 2 part seed to 1 part pellets?  I thought the pellets
were the main feed and the seeds a lesser portion?
Gary's bird got to go to beautful Montana!! I wanted him to buy my family and not just a green cheek! I love that country. I mix a bit more seed than pellet into their diet when they are young to help them gain weight. They are thin when they first wean. As they mature, I slowly change this around. I just can't stress enough that the fresh food (sprouts and veggies and fruits) are the critical components of their diet and should be the main feed.
Hi, Beth--

A couple of questions regarding Orion:

1. He's been chasing his tail feathers lately. I think it's hilarious!
I'm just wondering if this is usual for GCCs??Yes, Green cheeks will chase their tails. Of course some of us encourage it more than others. Zumo would do a spin on command. He was  a great pet.
2. I had a sherpa fleece ball (from Choppers) in the cage, and Orion
liked it....maybe a little too much. He seemed to be trying to mate
with it. I took it out of the cage. He's nine weeks old-- was he
really trying to mate with it?? Isn't that a little young? Was I right
to take it away?He is not sexually mature yet, but I have seen this with our baby colts too. They seems to be big boys way beyond their time at about 2 months of age....and then they outgrow it. I think creatures go through various developmental stages. These stages effect each differently, but I doubt he is cognitively trying to mate. I think he is just being controlled by his hormones. You have probably seen this with young, young pups too. And, then they outgrow it for a time until the real stuff begins.
Other than that, things are going well. I'm impressed with how smart
Orion is...he's definitely understanding things (like when I tell him
to poop...he's starting to do that....or when I tell him I'm getting
his food, he comes down to wait). Another thing that cracks me up-- he
understands when it's getting near bedtime. He'll seem sleepy and will
go up to his tent when I tell him and get comfy and seem content. I do
a little "goodnight" routine, and he's happy and peaceful. I cover the
cage, and he's fine. Then I turn out the light and step out of the
room.....and a ruckus ensues! He sqwalks and protests for a good
twenty minutes!'s not like he didn't know that bedtime was
coming...and he didn't even seem upset about it. I check on him, and
he doesn't seem distressed....he just wants to be noisy! I think it's
really funny. Yes, Green Cheeks protest going to bed. Have you seen the video on our site? It is really funny to the people when we have a group over and they start asking questions. This happened the other night. I told all people present to be quiet when I turned out the lights. Then off went the lights and wammo, the babies start protesting. It is really funny and loud when there are a bunch of them.
Take care,

Haven't picked out a name yet....Just found out today he's a she...Been 40
years since I've had a bird in my shirt.  That time it took months.   She's
already asleep in there...
They love dark places. Now you see why they liked the grocery store trip!
Hi Beth-

Thank you for all of your advice.  Just wanted to let you know that Soni's flight suit arrived yesterday.  Haven't had a chance to try it out yet but am going to try tomorrow.

Also, Soni cuddled up and watched tv with me the past two nights before going to bed (in her sleep cage).  Tonight she actually started putting her head down for a head rub!

Thanks again!
Some new bird owners can be overly cautious with their new baby. You don't usually need to be slow or cautious with a handfed baby. They are used to my daughters!  I see this when I meet new bird owners. Hello Beth

We took Tutu with us on a two night, 3 day weekend out to a lodge. We
are trying to include her in our lives as much as possible. It is
interesting and fun but much like taking the kids on a vacation I suspect. I am so glad you are traveling with your baby Crimson! That is one really neat thing about the size of the can take them anywhere quite easily. Anyway, Linda and I had some questions:

A. How concerned are you with taking a bird outside with wings clipped
and no flight suit? Tutu prefers our company and snuggles against me as
I have been taking her outside to the mailbox and sometimes meeting
folks. She hasn't tried to fly away but I do have it in the back of my
mind, if she were to fly onto a tree, she would be hard to get down and
could climb to the top. Since she does have her wings clipped, and I
have never seen her fly more than maybe 10', do you feel this is OK or
should she just NOT be allowed outside? I have kept her away from trees,
though.I am VERY concerned. It may take many years, but most people lose their bird someday when they start doing this. When a sudden gust of wind comes up, they are gone and can all of a sudden fly where they never could in the home. I have heard so many horror stories from devastated people. They fly with their tails too. Not just their wings. Look at his tail! When they are startled outside is usually when they take off. They suddenly sprout wings. Have you ever been scared and gotten unusual speed or strength as a result? The same happens with birds. I would only take my bird outside in a flight suit.

B. She is getting into the habit of flying to our face and sometimes
scratching us. She grabbed Linda's lip and made it bleed last night. We
want to encourage her to fly to us when we call but want to avoid
getting a face full of bird. How do we train her to not fly into our face?
C. Continuing with the comment below about biting my finger when holding
her ball, it is not that my finger gets in the way, she goes after the
offending digits! She does not try and grab the ball while we are
holding it, she attacks the fingers and BITES DOWN HARD! I did try and
move my fingers as far behind the ball as I could and it made no
difference, she lunges at the fingers and will clamp down! Each time I
roll her over and say "No bite!" but that has only slowed her a bit
while she thinks about the consequences then bites us anyway. And it is
only the ball she does this to, no other toy.
Birds learn if you just continue to tell them no and put them where you want them. Emma used to grab my sunglasses. After many, many repeated lessons, she figured it out. They are smart. We bird owners just have to be consistent and persistent. Boy is she possessive over that ball....hmmm, maybe give up playing with the ball with her? Or, try adding 3 more balls so that she keeps running after then new one! As an aside, she is starting to show signs of understanding when we want
her to go to the bathroom. She has on more than one occasion done her
business when told the command "Bombs away!" Clever girl!

Hi Beth,

Band #230 now has a name: he is Pip.  He’s full of beans, very good about stepping up, happily flies to Nina and is very good about pooping where he should: only once on Nina so far, a remarkable feat in such a young bird.  Kudos to y’all for training him up right.

He’s starting to try to talk a little – just in his own private scribble so far, but he’s got obvious sentences in it, even if we can’t understand it.  We suspect English isn’t far away.English with an English accent??

He’s about figured out who is who, so he’s ready to move up in the pecking order.  The cheekbone restraint is working fine so far, but it’s sometimes difficult to tell if he’s just using his beak as a third hand or if he’s nipping.If the beak does not hurt, don't discipline it. Allow them to use their beaks for exploration and relationship with you. John & Nina

Thank you for the update. I hope Nina's knee is recovering!?!? Well, I made it home with the Buddy Bird and everyone just loves him.  He's just plain pooped and was falling asleep in Abby's hair.  We're going to keep him out for a bit more then put him/her in the sleep cage.  Thanks again for the great job you and your family do in getting these birds socialized.  We'll be sending some pics to you soon. 

The eucalyptus trees along Cotton Lane were just the ticket.  There was, literally, a ton of branches there for the picking.  I found a couple that could easily be used to make a standing floor perch as well as others that will become cage perches and parts/pieces to a hanging perch in the works...
One more thing, I forgot to give you the $25 for the DNA sexing for Buddy.  I'll put it in the mail if you would like, or I can bring it with later in June/July when we pick up the Crimson.
Jeff and Drea
Eucalyptus branches and leaves are both good for the birds. Fresh branches make great cheap throw away toys for your birds.  As do pinecones! Wash all well 

Pine Cone Toys

Pine cones are a cheap fun toy for parrots. Be sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect them. Make sure that they have not been exposed to insecticides.  Avoid collecting branches from areas near highways or where there is a greater likelihood of the plant life absorbing toxic emissions from cars.   You can clean branches with a non-toxic disinfectant (diluted bleach solution of 4 parts water to 1 part bleach), rinse and dry thoroughly. We then place them in the oven at  225 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes. Turn off your oven and leave the cones inside for 2 hours. Do not turn the over up higher due to the danger of starting a fire. The seeds inside the cones are a special treat and are safe for the birds to eat and your birds will have a blast destroying the cone. A fun way to encourage them to play with the pinecones is to brush them in peanut butter, and sprinkle with bird seeds, pellets or crushed cereal. Hang in the cage by tying with thin leather. 

hi beth!
thanx for the speedy reply!  zumo is quite handsome as are his children!

i think they will be fine! i will need shipping to michigan. do you have an aprox ETA? i just get concerned for the little guys if traveling during the hot summer months. we also will be needing a trainer suit for junior. and while personality is priority #1, i was wondering if a confirmation of sex would be possible (i don't know how old they have to be for that)

i will be sending the deposit via paypal as a bank transfer so just confirm the details with me and i'll get that out to you.

thanx soo much

Zumo's eggs should start hatching soon and then the babies take 8 weeks to wean usually. I peeked this morning to look in on the immigrant that I planted in their box from Fuzzy and Wuzzy's nest box. No new Zumo babies this AM. I can sex them fairly young once they are inside. I try and leave baby Green cheeks with their parents until they are about 3 weeks old.
Hello guys!!

Its been a while since ive been on the computer just been busy w birdie and work and graduations to attend and trying to get my relaxing time in haha!! Well all is going well at my house Ryuk is a fabulous baby to have around the house he is always willing to try new foods even thought most of the time he does not really eat it haha! and he for some strange reason does not like to be in his cage!! as soon as i put him in and sit down he does not hesitate to protest!! haha he loves to be in my hair all of the time i think im going to buy him a maniquin with a wig and a shirt and just let him get his hair time in there!! lolz ;)

Everything has been going great and i put his flight suit on yesterday and he did not like it very much but i tryed getting his mind off of it by giving him food but it ddnt really help. so i tryed to put on his suit today and he saw it and made a run for it i tryed to put it on him and he was just funning and screaming and i ddnt have any one to help me get it on him so it did not go on and now he doesnt want me to pet him any more i think it scared him =( and he is being fiesty now like i tryed to take something out of his mouth and he got mad! then he tryed to challenge me and was yelling at me w his featers all puffed so i picked him up in the "Beth grip" and told him to be nice and that worked but he still does not really want me to pet him on his back or on the back of his neck i think he thinks im going to try to put on his flight suit when i pet him on his back, should i keep trying to pet him or try tomorrow again? and my mom make mash but she burn the beans so we are going to make it this weekend for sure but in the mean time ive been giving him corn, carrots, greenbeans, watermelon etc plus seeds n zupreme lolz. but other than that hes been doing great he wants to be out of the cage all of the time and he is a happy birdie and he loves to show off!! when my family and i are at the table he runs on the table and hops around and hes stepping up great he took his first bath yesterday! i had the bathroom sink on and he jumped right in and started to splash around!! it was so funny!The "Beth grip!" Jeff called it the death grip or the vise grip! he is a joy to have around and he is basically fearless!!! very brave! his only secretive fear for now it the flight suit!! haha! ;) thanks for everything he is marvelous!! =)

Giant Blessings!! =)
Monique and Ryuk!! =)
P.S. sorry this was such a long email!!

Thank you for the wonderful update!! Off to get Gilbert (238) and 243 ready for an airline ride!!! Pray for them. There are some excited families waiting to meet their new feathered friends.


Hi everybody! Billy, we added you to this list so you can get baby tips.....
Well, this is Lisa, Beth's oldest daughter doing this update as my mom is really busy today. Don't worry, she'll proofread before I send this, though Smile emoticon
I had a lady write this week because she had bought a green cheek off of Craigslist and it was  one of our babies. The owner was scared of the nipping and only handled the baby with gloves. Please do not let your bird control you this way. Please keep trying. ALL parrots will test you and don't stop handling them or it will only get worst. 
hi beth!
thanx for the speedy reply!  zumo is quite handsome as are his children!

i think they will be fine! i will need shipping to michigan. do you have an aprox ETA? i just get concerned for the little guys if traveling during the hot summer months. we also will be needing a trainer suit for junior. and while personality is priority #1, i was wondering if a confirmation of sex would be possible (i don't know how old they have to be for that)

i will be sending the deposit via paypal as a bank transfer so just confirm the details with me and i'll get that out to you.

thanx soo much

Zumo's first baby hatched on Monday (the 25th) and that would make it ready to wean around July 20. Yes, we can DNA sex the baby, and it is $25. We can take the sample as soon as we bring them inside. You will need to let me know if you want your baby sexed. As of right now, your baby is the one who had his head straight back and Lynette's baby is the biggest one in the picture.
Hi Beth and family,

Wanted to ask you a question about Luna (Green Cheek)(band 212). We recently went on vacation for a week and had a bird sitter come by daily to feed, water and spend time with her. When we returned, she appeared to be in a molting stage and looked stressed. Is this normal? My last GCC never looked like this. She has lost a lot of her red color and has more pin feathers than usual. Im concerned enough to take her to a vet if this is a sign of sickness. Hopefully she just missed us and is just a little stressed. She hares a room in front of the window with her "brother".

What do you think?

Could she be plucking, or are you sure that she is molting. If she is just molting, I wouldn't worry about it as they can look pretty ratty during that time! But if she is plucking, that could be stress from you being gone. Plucking can also be caused by food allergies, parasites, metal poisoning, poor diet,  and stress....The pin feathers that you mentioned make me think that she is just molting, and everything will come out fine. Bathing or an aloe spray can help her during this itchy time.  

Hi, Beth

 I wanted to send you an update on Rico. (Green Cheek Conure) He is such a joy to us all. He is gaining weight, I can tell that his keel bone is not as obvious now and he is developing a typical toddler attitude. He lets you know right away if he is not happy about anything. He only fusses a little when I put his flight suit on. I think he realizes that he is going outside when it goes on and he does love to be outside. We have been having a lot of rain here this year and last weekend when we went to the river there was a lot of water running in the streams. He got so excited listening to it on our walk.We used to hike with a Patagonian that would get so excited by the sound of running water that he would talk and talk and talk!! Made us laugh! Today was Bailey’s last day at school for this year and Rico got to go to school to meet his class and teacher. They all loved him and of course Rico put on a show. He let them all hold him and walked all over their shoulders and heads which delighted them. We talked about what kind of parrot he was and how we care for him. I took his balls with us and he chased them all around the floor which made all the kids laugh. The teachers all wanted to know where I found you. Who knows you may be hearing from some of them! Green cheeks love those balls. You all are doing a great job with him!

I  have one thing to run by you. I think I know the answer but thought I would see what you thought. My daughter, who does not live with us, has been playing with Rico since we brought him home and he always seemed to like her. When she would come in he would fly to her and spend time snuggling and playing with earrings just like he did with us. A couple of week ago he started acting differently with her. When she would come in she would get him to come to her and after a few seconds he fluffs up and aggressively attacks biting hard enough to break the skin and bleed. We correct him as you told us by grabbing with two finger below his eyes on the cheek bones and sternly saying “No Bite”. He then sometimes will be ok the rest of her visit and then sometimes we have to do it 2-3 times. I speculated that maybe he now considers our home his territory and us his flock and because she does not live here he tries to drive her away. What do you think and should we be doing anything else any differently.


Rico sounds awesome! It is so fun when they start getting the toddler attitude. It sounds like he is considering you as his "flock" and is protecting you against the "outsider." What you are doing as far as punishing him sounds just right. Make sure that you are always consistent as to the tone of voice that you use and that you consistently consequence him whenever he does it.



Hi guys! update on Pippi. ( green cheek ) She is doing GREAT!!  She is SO gentle and snuggly!  SHe has not been MOODY at all.  No more screaming when I touch her.  I actually think that maye she got hurt in her cage. She plays so rough with her toys>
She now has her outside cage and LOVES it.   She now has 3 cages and is becoming quite the boss around here. THe Dobies and the Chihuahua have a lot of respect for her!  Everyone has setttled down nicely!
I feel I can NEVER thank you guys enough! I love her SOOOOOOOO much she has brought TONS of JOY to my life and so many others!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Love, Molly & Pippi
Thank you so much for the update! I am glad that she rules the is so funny because the dogs don't seem to realize that the bird is so much smaller than them! Green cheeks typically are not scared of anything. We ate lunch with Cupid today and mom was telling her that the best pets are ones that are mauled. Cupid's owner (Skye) looked mortified, so mom quickly explained that mauling was a good thing. It meant handling the bird all over and ignoring their protests. Skye at this time was grasping Cupid in her fist, laying her on her back and rubbing her cheeks. Cupid was very happy.
Skye also hates birdie poop, so Cupid wears her flight suit daily and has gotten used to it very quickly.

It is so nice to read all the updates on all the new babies and it really helps to know ahead of time all the little things they do like when they go to bed and protest that is really funny. Also it is nice to hear that they are so socialized right when they come home sounds like all of your hand raising really pays off .I should be getting my bunks from Jane soon I ordered one for the sleep cage and for the day cage. It sounds like they really like these bunks for both sleeping and rolling around in.. Did you ever find out if Oso is a boy or girl? I need to add that to the invoice. I will be leaving for a vacation on Sunday and will not be back until June 6th . Our plan looks like we will be driving to pick up Oso (green cheek) on Saturday June 13th. Let me know if you want I can pay now or when I com back before I come to your place.

Has Oso had a flight suit on yet , I hope he likes it since I will be taking him with me on walks and rides on my shoulder and also sitting out on my patio watching the wild birds eat . I can’t wait to see this little one thanks again for the pictures they were really cuteJ

I was planning on mixing the Zupreme and the Roudybush and a premium  conure mix for the seed and will they still be eating on the floor or up by the perches when I get my baby home?

Thanks for all you do

Donna Braswell

We never DNA sexed Oso, but we can. They results usually come back a week to a week and a half after they receive the samples, and the cost is $25. You can pay when you get back...have fun on your vacation!! He has had a flight suit on, but no baby likes it at first. In time, they eventually get used to it, and may start to like it. But they all put up a fight in the beginning. It really helps if you take them outside when you get it on as a kind of reward.

Mom revised the baby care link and added red to the typing that will tell you what is critical to feed your baby. It is NOT ENOUGH to feed dehydrated veggies. They need fresh or frozen corn, peas, fruits and sprouts and they need this daily in a big dish. Green cheeks are mash pigs. The mash is essential to them.


We have arrived home with Gilbert (green cheek) and #243. We are babysitting #243 until a decent hour today. The babies are terrific! Gilbert is AMAZING! Meaghan was more nervous than Gilbert was during their first meeting.  We took the babies out to socialize in the car at the airport. Halfway home meaghan decided she wanted to keep Gilbert in the backseat with her. He went straight to her shoulder and started playing with her hair. After about an hour he decided it was bedtime and fell asleep in the crook of her neck. Thank you for such a wonderful little gift. I served as a surrogate to #243. We stopped many times on the way home and got him out. I will send many pictures tomorrow once I get some sleep.
On another note, I couldn't find Gilbert's flight suit. Could you check to see if it accidently got left out? He had a purple one?
Thank You,
Stacey and Meaghan

Meaghan sounds so cute! The Green Cheeks love snuggling up under hair. It is always great when someone with longer hair buys a baby. Gilbert was a very funny little bird.


Beth and Lisa,
Wanted to drop a note and let you know how well Aleta has fit into our family and how much we love her! 
I recently read that Fuzzy and Wuzzy have laid a couple more eggs and you have placed them with other parents.  That is great.  Fuzzy and Wuzzy struggled as parents but have had some beautiful babies.
I want everyone to know even though Fuzzy and Wuzzy had some issues raising their babies and ate a toe or two from our baby;  our Aleta is doing fantastic and has had NO difficulties because of her missing toes.  She is very independent, climbs as well as any bird and is very happy!  I am so very glad that I chose her.
She loves to take a bath in a bowl, packs around on our shoulders, and snuggles with all of us. Her favorite place is on top of my head!  Not my preference!! She is a fantastic bird and so well adjusted.  Nothing bothers her and she is not afraid of anything. (my dogs are offended!)
I have included a couple of pictures and want to thank you again for the great companion birds you deliver to your customers.

 Isn't it funny how well a "disabled" bird can get around? The lady who has Aleta's sister loves that bird, and she is really disabled. "Cupid" loves going out in her flight suit and has an awesome life, though!  Look at that mug; Mom calls her an English Bulldog!   (Click on picture to blow it up bigger) Aleta sounds like a special baby! They love taking baths, and usually right after you have given them nice, clean water!
Dakota is doing well. Getting into mischief like usual. Lol
She is beautiful, Bethany! Thanks for the pictures.
Hi Beth: Are there any eggs?  Have exercised some constraint not to anxious to here....
I have been putting off getting back to you because I have not been sure if the parents are going back to nest or not. As of right now, it looks like they are not going to. When the heat hits, the birds stop laying. We keep hoping though, for our temps went back down to under 100 this past week. 
Hi Beth!

Just wanted to send you a quick update and let you know that Lola's (green cheek)
settling in well! About the second week she was here, she started
biting a lot for a couple of days. We attempted the restraint
technique you demonstrate, and this week, she hasn't really done any
biting at all! So it seems like she learned pretty quickly what kind
of beaking was allowed. We are entertained daily by her funny noises
and haven't yet decided whether she sounds more like a piggy or a
frog. So funny!

Yesterday we finally managed to get her flight suit on her after
several weeks of trying. She was so cute! But she kept chewing on the
suit, even when we took her outside. But when she stopped chewing long
enough to look around, it seemed like she was enjoying herself. :)

I have attached a picture of Lola's first excursion outside.

One quick question: is edamame OK for parrots to eat?

Thanks so much for raising such a delightful baby! We love her so
much!!! And the hatch certificate was really cute, too!

Good job on stopping her biting! A lot of people have real problems getting "the hold," but if you can get it, it works really well! They are such quick learners if you are consistent and patient. Their little noises are so funny! We call the Green Cheeks crickets and the Crimson Bellies frogs...never heard piggy Smile emoticon The flight suit can be quite a fight! She will do so much better if you take her outside right away. They get distracted by everything around them and forget to chew the suit.
 I looked online and it looks like Edamame can be poisonous to parrots unless cooked. Before we feed our parrots any beans, we cook them just to be sure.
I know we have 72 hrs. to get Gilbert vet checked but we had to make our appointment for Tuesday because of the Memorial weekend.  Gilbert or Gilly is doing well. He has started biting a bit but Meaghan has watched your videos and she is being very consistent with the No Bite training. Gilbert is doing well with step up. He definitely knows who he belongs to! He likes everyone, but wants to be with Meaghan if she is in the room with the rest of us. I got Gilbert after Meaghan fell asleep last night and after playing for a while he bit. While I had him on his/her back waiting for him to calm down he fell asleep. He was so cute! I let him sleep like that for about twetny minutes and then placed him in his sleep cage. Meaghan is on the couch rubbing his beak as a type. I did want to ask what type of cereal is best to use as a treat when trainig him? As usual, thanks for everything!

I was just wanting some advice on Gilert's behavior. It started yesterday afternoon. When he is taken out of his cage he chirps nonstop until he is put back in. It is a nice chirping sound but the fact the he never stops worries me. Do they chirp constantly when happy and if so then why is qiuet and content once he is back is his cage? Also he is now refusing to step up. His demeanor is still pleasant, no problems except for a little nipping but that has calmed down. 
There are different kinds of chirps. If he is chirping a lot when he is with you, that could mean that he is happy, or begging for food. They have different sounds for what they are trying to express. As I sit here and type, I have a baby Cinnamon Green Cheek on me, and she is contentedly chirping the whole time. She is very happy, but she is making lots of little noises. If he is refusing to step up, I would just keep practicing it. If he won't do it, try wiggling the finger you are asking to step up on, and kind of push it against him more firmly. And say "step up" clearly every time you ask. Tell Meaghan good job on learning the hold and using it on him!
Whatever cereal they especially like is best to use, but make sure there is no chocolate in it (I.e., cocoa puffs) A lot of birds tend to like just plain Cheerios.
She is absolutely wonderful and doing great.  As well as she took the trip,
she is getting much more animated and outgoing with each day so she must have
been a bit imposed upon.  But enough about me.

Did you have a wieght on her when you packed her up?  We have a good food
scale and she was 66gm yesterday.  I wish I'd thought of wieghing her day 1 to
keep track of her growth and will do so now.  Interested in where she started
(on your scale) if you had it.

Also, having adopted her so late in her life, I don't have her true baby pics.
 I downloaded the couple on the web-site but they are small files.  Can you
email me any you took of her?

Thanks again

66 grams is about average for a newly weaned baby. We did not have an exact weight on her, but that sounds very good. She will get more and more outgoing as she gets older. The Green Cheek babies can be pretty subdued, but they become very "cheeky" and cocky as they mature!
Hi Beth -

Wanted to share some pics with the people who helped God make it all possible. I took these today: The poor little girl was terrorized by my flightsuit dressing skills! I had figured it out when I put them on the boy. Yes... I am bad... I have still not decided on names. I call the boy Rollie since he rolls around on the bottom of his cage sometimes. The girl is called Rosie usually. I dont know how much I like those though. I was thinkin Merlin maybe... Robin or Ruby...... Jacob or Joshua... I dont know! are some pics..    - 226  - 225           

And..... the little girl wishes you a Happy Memorial Day!!

Talk to you soon..
The pictures were awesome! I loved the Memorial Day one! She is absolutely beautiful. Just keep doing the flight suit, and you will get much more used to putting it on. Thank you so much for sending us the pictures. 
Good morning everyone,

I was so nervous picking up Archimedes you can't even imagine.  You know my home is full of children and other pets and was very aprehensive about bringing him home.  Scared to death as it was almost 3 years waiting for this precious baby.

I first want to thank you so much for spending so much time with Jessica and me on Sunday as I know how busy you are with church and your family.  You are such an amazing person.

Well, he sat on the back of the seat all the way home just looking around.   He lost his balance one time, scared me, but since he was wearing his flight suit and lead wo I hung on to the lead rope to steady him and he was fine. 

We walked in the door with everyone anxiously waiting.   I had warned everyone to be quiet when we walked in.  Right!  How do you keep two 5 year old's quiet when they are so excited.  But, when we walked in the door Archimedes sat on my shoulder and thanks to your amazing training and socialization he had no problem accepting everyone.  Everyone had to hold him and love on him.  He fit right in.

He hates being in his cage.  He sits on top of it.  So I know that when I do get the play gym and hanging gym he is going to love it.  He doesn't belong in the cage. 

Binx, our very large dog is still curious about him but does very well with him, Archimedes has taken to everyone.  Even my cat ignores him.  Yipee!!!   He is eating well and just wants to be with us all the time. 

He is starting to feel more comfortable as he seems to be getting a little bit ornery at times.  But he still loves and steps up perfectly. 

He is truly loved.  Even the twins have held him, and even cuddled him in his blanket.  

I had is flight suit on, no problem at all.  He did start to chew on it and I finally took it off hm.  I am going to try to put it on him every day.

Well I need to go check on him as he is sitting on top of his cage.  He is getting more vocal though. 

Oh I did want to ask you one question.  He should still be sleeping during the day?  He took several naps and actually laid down on the top of his cage and slept for a while yesterday.  But he is eating well and seems to be quite happy.

Hugs to everyone and I will keep you updated as the days go by.

 Thank you so much! He was a very sweet Grey. The pictures were awesome! Babies sleep a lot and it is perfectly normal for them to take lots of naps.
Hi Beth.  Attaching a few photos of dinner time.  As you can see, no problem eating.  He is eating dinner with us.  His seed bowl is on the table he had fruit and decided he wanted the girls grilled cheese sandwiches and home made potatoe chips for dinner. 

Gilbert is doing great still. He put on his flight suit yesterday and is getting better with step up. Let me know when you get the results from Gilberts sexing. Also, is okay to give to give raw bell peppers along with his oranges and other fresh fruits?
 Raw bell peppers are great for birds. Most raw fruits and vegetables are very healthy and an essential thing to feed your bird. There are some that are poisonous including avocado, raw onion, raw tomatoe, and apple seeds. Apple seeds concentrate the insecticide sprayed on the fields, and thus we leave the part of the apple with the seeds out of the bird's diet. 
Hi Beth,

Pip is starting in on his nippy stage as he starts to figure out who’s boss.  How do you feel about using a separate cage as a timeout cage, for a maximum of five minutes at a clip?  The point here is not to punish him, but rather give him a short, sharp reminder that nipping is not acceptable, kind of like the Naughty Chair.

He’s starting to say “Step up” and “Hello, Pip,” albeit in a very scratchy voice that probably only we can understand.


John & Nina

Hi Beth,

So now Pip has graduated from nipping to all-out biting.  He got a hold of the back of Nina’s hand this morning, and when he was told “No,” he got a devilish gleam in his eye and got a better hold.  Since Nina has difficulty scruffing him because her hands are small, are there any other ways to deal with this?


John & Nina

 We have had many kids learn "the hold" on birds and have no problem. Practice learning how to grab him quickly in times of non-conflict. When I was 9 years old, I got an African Grey, and she was only 2. I was told that before she was sexually mature to learn how to restrain her. So, when she was not biting, I would practice grabbing her head, and I got to the point where it was mere habit. That way, when she started biting, I was confident and able to grab her no problem. Make sure to read the page on our website about what to do if your bird is biting: 
If you use the cage technique, it tends to separate the behavior from the consequence by a couple minutes. Animals learn quicker if the consequence happens immediately after their behavior. The "hold" is an immediate consequence and thus they know why they are in trouble. It is also easy to do if the bird is on your shoulder and is biting your ear or neck. You can just reach up, grab the head, say "no bite", and then move on. We have found it to be very quick and effective. If you read Stacey's email about Gilbert, it says, " He has started biting a bit but Meaghan has watched your videos and she is being very consistent with the No Bite training. Gilbert is doing well with step up. He definitely knows who he belongs to!" And April's email about Lola says, " About the second week she was here, she started biting a lot for a couple of days. We attempted the restraint technique you demonstrate, and this week, she hasn't really done any biting at all!" So if you are able to learn how do it, it does work very well.
We are getting really excited about bringing our bird home soon, brand 245! We feel like we are kinda preparing to bring a newborn home, except the cage cost more than the crib did! Is saturday good to come get 245? We need an adress and directions to your place and a good time of day for you. The morning will be better for us, I have to be back in Flagstaff at 5pm. I really have no idea where you live! 
Do you sell food?
Should I just go to our local pet store to get food? What is that mix called you buy?
Fresh fruits and vegies right?
We are excited!
Thanks a million,
Diane Lott
We  do not sell food, we buy our own at Pratts, a feed store in Glendale. Our seed mix is Zupreem maintenance pellets (cockatiel size) and Deluxe Small Hookbill. When you pick up your baby, we will give you a sample of the food they have been on. Fresh fruits and veggies are absolutely essential to a new baby bird. When they first come home, they can be stressed and they need the fresh food. Make sure to read this page on what to feed your baby when they come home: Oranges, apples, watermelon, and grapes are favorite fruits that we have found, and yams, corn, peas, and carrots are favorite vegetables. We look forward to meeting you on Saturday.

Hi Beth,

The baby arrived just fine, and I picked up from the airport. It was an adventure finding the cargo delivery area, but all went well.  Darcy seemed busy with his food and didn’t seem too concerned about the change of scenery. You and your family did a wonderful job of socializing him as by the end of the day, he was quietly snuggling on my shoulder. He slept quietly all night and this morning happily jumped out of his sleeping quarters to greet me.  


He does seem to be into chewing skin at times, but he’s easily distracted from it and is very cute and sweet.  I will review your articles for recommendations to discourage the behavior per your suggestions.  

I’m very happy with the baby, and thank you so very much for all that you do. 



I love the name Darcy! Is that from Pride and Prejudice? He is such a funny bird, and despite his skin chewing, is so silly and innocent that it is really funny!!! Thank you for being such a great home for him.
Hi! This is Lisa again, answering for my mom, who is bed-bound with the flu.
First off, if I haven't answered your emails for a couple days, or if you have pressing questions, please feel free to call me. 623 694 9431.
If you haven't checked the Green Cheek nursery page for a while, there is a fun sequence of Zumo's babies growing up that you may like to see!
At this stage, I think baby birds look like aliens! :D

Orion (band 235) (Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure) is doing well. He's really come out of his shell, so to speak, and is MUCH less timid. He's exploring and cuddling and falling asleep snuggled against my face. (He tries to snuggle in my hair, but I have extremely short hair so this isn't so successful!) I've heard a lot of people talk about GCCs sleeping and playing laying on their backs. With the exception of Orion's nightly going-to-bed tantrum (in which he sometimes lays on this back, screams and kicks his feet and chews on his toes), I haven't seen Orion do this. However, he loves to sleep on his side! It's so cute, and he'll have one little leg up in the air or curled against him. :) Also, I've been surprised how much Orion already uses his feet to hold things and am wondering if most birds have "footedness" the way people have "handedness." Orion seems to be a leftie. :)

Take care,
Stephanie & Orion
Thank you so much for the update, Stephanie! As Orion gets older, he may tend to sleep on his back more...maybe, I'm not sure about birds being "left-footed" or "right-footed." I know that horses have "a side" just like people, but I don't know about birds.
Thank you so much for adding me to your mailing list! I always knew you guys were fabulous breeders from your great informative website, but keeping in touch and being a support system for your birds' owners is a wonderful thing to do!
Band #131 (formerly known as Pita Bird) (Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure) is doing GREAT! I have no idea why these people wore gloves with him and had stopped all handling. Not only is he is a sweetie pie and not biting at all, he is actually very preoccupied with my lips and constantly giving gentle kisses and nibbling. LOL.
He is a delightful bird and in just a few days we feel like we know him so well and like he has been here so long. Not only are we so happy with him, but we can tell he is so happy to be here too.   :)
I am so glad that you were able to do this well with him. When people give up on a bird, it is really sad because they can do it, and if they can work through the nippy stages, GCs are such great birds! Congrats!

Orion's been doing the head bobbing/ regurgitation thing-- not actually bringing anything up, but I try to distract him once he gets started. He tends to do this when he's hanging out near my face or if I touch his beak. I think some of the time he does this when HE is hungry. Suggestions on for how to handle this?


When a bird bonds closely to you, they think of you as their mate. With a breeder pair of birds, they male regurgitates and feeds the female during the "courting" process. I am surprised that Orion is doing this already as he is so young, but this may be what he is doing. We used to have a Jardine who constantly regurgitated to my mom. This bird absolutely loved her, and thought of her as another bird!
I was doing some research and found that Fig branches and foliage are safe for birds, (except for Weeping Fig Trees). My Grandmother has one so I was thinking of getting some for Gilladora. (Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure) Have you ever used Fig branches before. We now also have a potted Hibiscus in Meaghan's room.
I also wanted to let you know that we have begun sprouting Garbanzo beans.
One last thing. I am worried about getting the millet from our pet store but I don't won't her to go without it either. It is in a big tub with a lid but it is right buy the bird room. Anyone who wants some just opens it up and grabs what they want. I also know that Laurel got her Millet from there that Saturday, which also concerns me. Every bird that gets purchased is carried right by that tub. Is that safe? If not, does she need to go without millet until I can order some from off the internet or is there a way to sanitize it before she gets it?
Thanks, Again,
Fig branches are fine to use for birds, but we have never used them. For perches, we use Manzanita, Mesquite, and Eucalyptus. For fresh foliage, we feed Hibiscus, Calendula and Nasturtiums. There are many other fresh flowers to feed your bird, and fresh foliage is extremely good for your bird. There is more information on feeding live food on this page
If you buy millet from a pet store, I would bleach the outside of the container. Our intense Arizona sun kills any bacteria left on products, so when we bring a cage, feed, or anything that has been around other birds into our place, we leave it outside in the sun for a couple days. This kills any remaining diseases or harmful things on the item. Some people think that freezing feed kills bacteria, but there are actually some diseases that thrive in the cold. The heat of the sun works much better.
Great pics and congratulations......  

I’d be really excited if Zoey (Yup, finally settled on her name) wasn’t already settled in:  One of those would be mine, ya know..

One thing that concerns me:  We’ve been weighing her  as I told you on a digital kitchen scale.  Expected to chart her growth.

She’s lost 6 grams this week.  She was 66/7 g last Monday, down to 62 on Wednesday and is only 60 today.  She spends, literally, hours a day eating.

Should we be concerned?  

I’m planning on adding some roasted peanuts and almonds to her cup as I know those are high density.  Any other suggestions?

She’s otherwise active, feathers are in great shape, color and condition, loves her baths, happy to take off and fly (as far as she can get), etc.  So no outward signs of a problem of any kind except that show by the scale
This email from Gary was more of an emergency nature, and my mom answered him privately off list. But, I wanted to post it on here so that you all would know that weighing a bird every few days is very wise. Birds are masters at hiding their illnesses. In the wild, a sick bird is picked out of the flock quickly. Thus, they have learned to hide their any sickness until it is too late. But, as a bird owner, you can detect their illness by a drop in weight. The update on Gary's bird is below, and all is well.
We're up to 64 gms today.  Will keep checking, but that's 4 gms in 3 days.
I'll  keep you posted....

Being the scientific types, we're guessing that she lost SOME weight, but
that first one (the 66/7) was probably somewhat high making the later 62 and
60 seem particularly concerning.

I mean we're talking grams here.  If I were to check, I'd bet one of their
droppings is at least 2-3 g (maybe I'll weigh one now that I've thought
about it.  So if your first weight is just before and second just after
droppings, it could make a 4-5g swing around the actual weight...

Thanks for your concern, and we're going to keep watching her daily,


    Band #238 may be going thru an identity crisis. Once Gilbert was decided to be an unsuitable name for a female the name game has been nonstop around the house. At first Gilly was an acceptable alternative..........then not really. Meaghan wanted a name she really liked for #238. Deciding (on her own), that the Gil part should remain for #238's sake Meaghan came up with a name fit for an elfin princess, Gilladora. However, after two days of using this rather long name we were on the search again. Gelda...........kinda cute but didn't match her. After running thru many normal names it was decided she was too special for such mundane names us silly humans use. So, this morning we got down Meaghan's Mythology book and delved in, Isis was a fast favorite, but repeating it with those s's over and over just wasn't pleasant, (or so I was told). No one in the realm of Greek mythology seemed fitting enough; Hera too plain, Pandora might inspire her to be a bird that would cause trouble. Persephone, at last we had found one and it was from one of Mom's favorite Greek stories. Until Meaghan read her story and realized she was taken from her loving Mother. The search was on yet again. Artemis was close but alas if only we had gotten two birds then it would fit. Artemis and her twin Apollo, (this seemed like a not so subtle hint that some of the Hill children have caught bird fever). Might I add that #238 was in on them all and seemed ambivalent to every name in the cannon of Greek mythology.
    After Egyptian, Aboriginal and many others we tried Norse mythology. The first good sign came when Meaghan found out most of European fairytales draw heavily from the myths of Norway with their fairies, elves, and dwarfs. The search was afoot. Unfortunately, the names of the few women in Norse mythology were not too appealing. Frigg, and Sif were ousted without even reading their stories. Meaghan liked Idun's story but not the name. Then EUREKA(!!!), Freya pronounced (Fray ah). She is the Norse Goddess of beauty and love.  Everyone loved the name, (and trust me it is hard to get an 11, 8 (Meaghan), 7, and 2 yr old to agree on anything).  Most importantly #238 chirped when that name was presented to her. Of course the final decision was Meaghan's and she adored it completely. So she then read all she could find on Freya to make sure it was an appropriate fit. EUREKA AGAIN! One of Freya's enchanted items was a feather coat that gave anyone who wore it the power of flight. The name must be Kissmet. So after an easy time naming #238 as a boy, (Gilbert was the first name picked and it meant Bright Promise). The new Hill family member has been appropriately named. Hopefully we have not caused Freya to spin into an identity crisis. 
P.S. For Meaghan's future Husband's sake may they be blessed with all boys or he with the patience of Job. LOL 

Oh my goodness! Your email had me laughing....I don't think that Freya will have any sort of an identity crisis, but what a funny thought! And I love the comment about Meaghan's future husband Smile emoticon Are you blaming all the indecision on Meaghan?!?!?
So sweet! I love the itty bitty baby pics!
Cheeka is home now, the drive went really well with her in the car. She loves all of us. The only time she is ever onery is when I put the fight suit on and I am going to do it everyday even if it is like a bad dream. My kids adore her and she is eating well. I just posted some of her on my blog! Check it out.
You have such an amazing thing going on and an amazing family. Your girls are so beautiful and nice, they were so helpful with my kids and the bird!
Thanks a million,
Di Lott
Thank you for your compliments! Keep up on the flight suit, and you will eventually get better at it, and she will eventually get more used to it.
Hi Beth,
Sorry for the delay in the update on Band 218 and Band 234.  My computer is down at the moment.  My trip to the Airport Cargo went rather smoothly, and my babies were patiently
awaiting my arrival.  As soon as I got home they were eager to be let out of their carrier.  Both Tinker Bell and Peter Pan "stepped up" onto my shoulder ratherly easily.  Sweet!  They took to their eating bowls as soon as they were introduced to their double decker home.  Also, they love oranges and grapes, but have eaten everything that I have placed into their food bowls, including vegetables.  Hearty appetites!!!  I knew almost instantly who was Tinker Bell since intuition told me that her friendlier nature revealed her maturier age.  I was correct in this assumption when my son indentified their band numbers for me.  Blind!!
Additionally, I am so jealous since both seem to love my sixteen year old better than me.
They climb all over him, especially while he is texting on his phone.  Does this sound familiar?  The little piglets even tried to eat out of his plate which my meticulous son resisted.  So, I went and got a smaller plate and placed it near him, and they both loved this proposition.  Futhermore, I could not believe how estatic they became when I placed a hut in their cage because they made funny chipring noises for nearly 30 minutes while taking turns running through it.  (LOL)  Last night, I opened the window so that my cats could get a cool breeze while laying on their cat bed.  You cannot believe how routy that they my lovebirds and conure got.  The people that were in the park that lies in front of my apartment window must of thought that they were in the jungle.  Next, I want to tell you about how all four of them were perched on me that first day I brought them home.  As per our phone conversation, my lovebirds were just starting to perch one me, however, I looked like a bag lady at the park feeding the pigeons with all of them perched on me.  The first couple of days I had to fight my lovebirds, Jack and Jill, off them.  Thank Goodness Tinker Bell stood up to the plate and fought back a couple of times to deter further behavior.  Peter Pan is much more meek because of his younger age, and Tinker Bell actually guards him like her own hatchling.  Not to worry, however, since they have finally settled down into a happy socialized flock.  They "step up" when out of their cages, but they will not from inside of their cages.  This behavior developed with the onset of their flight suits.  Peter Pan puts up the biggest struggle, and he can literally turn around in the thing if I am not careful.  Tinker Bell, however, sulks the most about the whole ordeal, and It takes her a while to play after I've put them on.  It doesn't hamper Peter Pan, however, because he will start to play immediately on his play station and the curtains.  Both will pull on them for a little while initially and then after that will go about their business.  Tinker Bell is not as timid with people, but plays less, while Peter Pan plays more and dislikes socialization.  I think he enjoys our outside walks more as well since he immediately settles down the moment we walk out the door, and Tinker Bell clings to me more during these excursions.  Last, I bath them both daily in my kitchen sink while my lovebirds perch on me and sing.  They are so jealous that last night they intentionally got inside the conures cage and bathed over and over.  This behavior was after I had just bathed the two conures and was rerunning some water.  LOL..  Thanks for the lovely pair and the DNA hatch cetificates that your daughter just recently sent.
They sound like so much fun, Robin! Yep, grapes are definitely a favorite with well as watermelon. They really like all fruit, and the vegetables, too. It is really good that their appetites are hearty, as that means that they are healthy, and eating all the fresh food keeps them that way.
And yes, birds climbing all over while you are trying to text, talk on the phone, or type on the the computer is so totally familiar! And of course, the birds want to help push all the buttons, and take the phone from you . Tell your son that he will get used to the birds eating off his plate...they are pretty clean animals over all. He sounds like my younger sister; your description made me laugh and think that it sounded so much like Anna, "Get these birds off my plate!" The only thing I don't like is when they fly onto the table and land feet first in the guacamole dish! Waste of good guacamole!
It is very good for birds to take baths. I don't bathe my African Grey, Liberty, as often as I should, and when I do, so much dander comes off her that it is amazing. She loves the shower because she can whistle and it echoes off the sides of the walls. The Green Cheeks seem to like the baths that they can play and splash around in more than the shower, though.

Hi Lisa,

Thank you so very much for the Hatch Certificate… it’s so wonderful to have it.  Things are going well at this end… It’s a getting acquainted process and Darcy is getting used to going from a large family to being an only child… His cage is by a window where he can see outside activity when he’s alone and I visit during my lunch break from work and play with him for a little while.  We spend more time in the afternoon and evenings. I have set up a cage in the back yard to experience the outdoors for now, and hoping that once we have a routine going, I’ll introduce the flight suit.  

Darcy is sweet and very inquisitive and loves being on my shoulder and finds mischief everywhere.  I think you have done a tremendous job of socializing your babies which is great as they are fearless. I’ve been also reviewing your articles on behavior, foods, etc. They are very helpful.

Thank you again for all you have done.  I’ll take some pictures in the next few days and will send to you. 

Best to your and your family.



It sounds like Darcy is going to be a very spoiled only child. I would start the flight suit as soon as you can because the sooner you start, the sooner he will accept it. There will be a fight in the beginning, but the more consistent you are about doing it, the better he will get!

Hi guys!! =)

Just an update on Ryuk (band 236)!! =) his is doing great he is soo funny!! we took him out to the stores and to go eat the other day and every one loved him he did not really like his flight suit but once we were out he started to ignore it =) then we put it on him yesterday and he did alot better we took him out side and he was relaxed and took him walking he has also started to finally eat mash!! so yay! and my cockatiels love it! oh yeah he does not like my cockatiels  when they are out he walks up to them like he is going to be friendly then he attacks them and they get scared and fly away so they dont play anymore lol.

 we just got back from vacation and when we came back he was nippy he did not want to be pet or anything i dont know if he was mad because we left and he was not let out of his cage for every second of the day but hes getting better about it now hes not as nippy and he lets me pet him more, he loves to be in my hair and he has been trying to feed my sister and i. lolz he was just doing that like a min ago, he does not like his day time cage at all even thought it is huge and has toys in it is that normal? oh yeah also it seems as though he has picked up a new hobby i guess u can call it he humps one of his toys alot. do birdies hump things? well that is what it looks like because ive had a pair that used to mate but ive never seen them hump thier toys lolz it that normal? should he even know that that is? well idk hes been doing that for like 2 days. any ideas? but other than that he is doing great he love to take a bath, eat off of my plate, hes healthy and playful and very energetic lolz so thank you so much for all of your hard work he is truly the best bird i have every had!! plus he likes me more than my sister haha!! ;)

Giant blessings!! =)
Monique and Ryuk!! =)
He probably doesn't like his daytime cage just because he doesn't get to be out with you. I would doubt that it has anything to actually do with the specific cage more so than him just wanting to be out. Ryuk is definitely not of the age to be sexually mature yet, but we have seen with our boy puppies and our boy baby horses that they go through "hormone surges," where they act very "studly" for a while, and then it passes. I would guess that this is just a phase and that he will pass out of it.
Dear Beth, and Family,
It feels so good to have a bird around again! Well, Buddy is doing great! He (or she??) has settled in and gets along well with all of us. He loves to be scratched around his head (ears, neck, head, under his beak) and he also likes to be scratched under his wings. Abby is pleased as can be that she can touch, hold and play with Buddy. I guess I can say the same! While Buddy has an affinity for Jeff, he see seems to be everyone's bird. Nacho, for as cool as he was, was the boys' bird and he wanted little to do with Abby or me.
Buddy has been a busy bird. Besides getting to know us and his new home, he's mastered several Lego obstacle courses, slayed aliens and bad guys (action figures),  and has explored new territory including several hand made houses  (crafted by Gabe, Matt and Abby out of boxes) . He's been to the  boys' school several times, he's been to Target, The Office (my employer) and also made a debut at Fantastic Sams, when I brought the boys to tame their wild manes. The ladies at Fantastic Sam's had no issues with Buddy  and thought he was a sweet bird. At Target, we learned that if we pretended he wasn't on a shoulder and didn't do anything to draw attention to the bird, people either didn't notice or didn't say anything. We were fine as long as he didn't scream "eek" in eardrum-busting-conure-fashion. Buddy experienced deja-vu when he was hidden under Gabe's shirt (remember Fry's?), so we could grab a snack and a fountain drink from their dining area. We didn't want to get in trouble there... you know...."Target police." <VBG>
You did a great job with Buddy. He has no problems with strangers, new situations or places or with sounds like the vacuum or hair dryers. On the last day of school, we invited 5 boys over for  a swim party, which meant 8 kids including my own, and he was unphased by the volume that 8 kids created (which was nothing compared to the sound of the kids leaving school, but the after school party lasted 3 hours) Buddy was actually begging to come out of his cage. I was concerned that the  boys  were being too rambunctious, so  Buddy was  was either in his cage, or in his flight suit, but he got a chance to interact with all of the boys. He didn't bite anyone! 
We were wondering, do you sell bird back-up alarms that can be installed so we know when a poop is coming? Buddy is proving to be easy to potty train because he so obviously backs up before he lets one go!  Maybe we can train him to say "beep, beep, beep" when he backs up! LOL! We think he says "hello" and "what, what" already! It's that gravely sound. Can birds talk this young? 
Buddy also will not poop in his sleeping cage. We think that is so odd!  But you will not hear me complain about one less cage to clean!  :) 
It's been fun having a baby bird  and watching how he develops. We see he still has some of the baby reflexes like the wing flipping (we say "flipper flap) like we saw them do when the were hand feeding (we loved the "baby button" video... all the videos, actually. Thanks for posting so many pictures and videos). He does it when he's really happy, excited or very hungry. Too cute! You know he still recognizes your voices? If we play a video off of your web site, he gets very excited when he hears one of your voices or the sound of the baby birds! You were training a bird to fly and saying "Come here baby", and he flew across the room! Buddy has mastered stepping up, but he is still clumsy! He's working on grasping things with one foot so he can chew on them, but he still falls over. We're so mean, because we laugh every time!
Like Tutu, Buddy loves his little jingle balls, but fingers beware! He can get very excited and will bite! I'm glad Dan brought that up  and you shared it with us . We just stay out of the way when he gets to playing with the jingle balls. Buddy also likes Bakugan balls, and those hollow, plastic golf balls. Jingle balls are his favorite, though.
Thank you  so much for our very sweet bird! We are looking forward to meeting Baby Crimson!  
I love all the stories about him! He was Anna's favorite bird because he was so cute and silly. Yes, he could be talking at his age. In fact, we had another baby go home about two weeks ago, and her baby was already saying, "Hi, baby!" Really funny! Thanks for the pictures and we look forward to hearing more as he grows up!

Update 6/20/09

Thanks for the update and answers, Lisa! Tell your mom we hope she gets better soon!

For the person wanting good millet, Chopper's Bird Toys sells the millet from Miller's feed stores (the big, fat kind) with 4 huge sprigs for $1. Anyone can order this online.

As far as Orion (Green cheek) & the regurgitation, I'm wondering if it's because I've been quite sick and losing a lot of weight. I'm wondering if he's trying to help an ill member of the flock??? Just a thought.....

Hi! This is Jessie. I am answering the emails for Mom. We have had very busy days due to 5 little houseguests. They kept us running!!! Their mom was in the hospital so we were the babysitters. Fortunately, they love animals, and our critters are part of the reason they want to come here.
Thank you for the get well wishes! Mom got better just in time to take in 5 kids for 3 days. Mom has not been on her computer as much so if you have urgent questions, please feel free to call.
Also, thank you for the information about the millet. Miller's is where we get our mammoth millet Smile emoticon If a bird is regurgitating because of sickness, they will fling their heads after bopping up and down. If they just bop up and down, then it is because he loves you and is "courting" you!
Hi Beth and all, I hope you are feeling better.  Things have been hectic at home.  Archimedes (Congo African Grey) is amazing.  He has attitude.  I try to get his flight suit on every day, he hates it but everyday is easier.  I started back to work this morning so we will see how he does.  I still don’t have my gyms from Wayne.  I am really starting to worry as he won’t answer my emails or my calls now.  I paid him almost $850 2 months ago and still don’t have my gyms.  I am really trying not to panic but I think I am now. 

Archimedes is starting to mimic a whistle that my son does every day.  You can almost hear him trying to talk.  Everyone holds him, even the girls, Winter is only 5 and she loves to walk around with him on her arm.  Summer, her twin, is a little scared because he can have attitude at times and is a little nippy.  Not winter, she has no fear and even when he gets nippy she shrugs it off and still wants to hold him.  Amazing.  You did such an amazing job socializing him he fears nothing.  Not the cats or the dogs.  However, we have discovered he doesn’t really like our big dog very much, but I don’t see any fear in him at all.  

We keep him out of the cage most of the day, well at least while I was at home.  He has a basket of toys that he rips apart.  The basket that is, he does play with the toys at times, but he sure likes to bunch on that basket.  

Everyone says he is getting fat.  I want to bring him out to see you all but I can’t find my land line.  So I need to order another one from you. 

I do hope you are feeling betting.   

God speed,

 Hugs to you all. 

Let me know when it would be good to come out for another visit.  I am sure Archimedes would love to see you.

Thank you very much for the update on Archimedes! Smile emoticon That is very good that you try to get his suit on every day!!! Eventually, he will get used to it. I have been putting a flight suit on my Blue Crown Conure off and on (like I put it on for a 3 weeks about every day, and then leave off for 3-4 months!) for 6 years, and she still doesn't like it going on. But, I haven't been consistent Smile emoticon That is amazing that Archimedes is picking up on the whistle already!! Wow! Emma (Mom's Grey) loves her basket of toys! She likes to chew on both the basket and the toys! That would be great to see you and him again!!! 
 Just a short note to give you a status on Darcy's progress in her new home. She's adjusting nicely to new routines.  Spending time in her outside cage and was visited by the neighborhood Junco, humming bird and the Tufted Titmouse. I don't think they were happy to see her though, but in time, they'll get used to her presence. Darcy has lots of personality, let's me know when she's not pleased. Is this normal for her age and type of conure? My other Green Cheek had a more retiring personality. Darcy has different sounds for different moods and activities which is really cute. She doesn't bite as often, and loves settling in for the night snuggled close to my neck while I'm watching TV or reading. She doesn't like being put to bed though and complains for
a short while then settles in for the night. I'm using the carrier for her sleeping cage as it's small and cozy.  There is a fuzzy sleeping tent in their but she doesn't seem to like sleeping inside, but it's a soft area to use for the night. My son commented that she is fearless and that's a very strong compliment to how well she was socialized.  She takes everything in stride which is great. I haven't tried the flight suit yet as I'm waiting for her to be more comfortable with being handled by me, in particular her wings. The flight suit is hanging by the side of the cage, and I will try
to use it as a play thing this week.

Hope you're doing well.

Yes, green cheeks have lots of personality, but Darcy was more animated than some of the others. Hi guys!  Beth, I am praying for you!  I hope you get better soon! Pippi went to an open house @ Doberman Rescue Unlimited in Sandown NH yesterday. She was an absolute HIT!

EVERYWHERE I take her people are fascinated by her. She has been such a joy! She is a happy little girl. I LOVE her so much! I can NEVER thank you and your family enough.
PS Pippi HATES her outdoor cage!  She constantly looks in the window for me when she is out there!  She starts bobbing her head for attention.  It is so CUTE! She HATES to be alone!
God bless you all, Beth, get better!
Love, Molly and Pippi
Molly, it is great to hear how Pippi is doing. I am so glad you kept persevering and kept asking questions. Birds do challenge us so much as pet owners. They are very social, moreso than many other creatures. She looks at you as her mate and/or her flock.
This is an email from a lady who bought a bird from us earlier on. You can see that her bird did bite, but she got him through it. You can get them them through the "nippy stage" if you're consistent. Her comments also echo what many of you are learning...that green cheeks do not like pooping on their people.
How are you? We are great!!  We survived Sunny getting "mature" and he  
is more fun then ever, although I call him my ADHD bird :).  He never  
stops & I swear the only time he sleeps is at nite in his sleep cage.
 We recently rescued a Quaker.  She is six, had been on a seed only  
diet and kept in a back bedroom, also never had a bath.  She has come  
along way in time we have had her, but the screaming when ever anyone  
comes into the room is bad!!! She also is a random pooper, not like  
Sunny, I am desperate for flight suits for her.  So I want to order  
her size trainers plus lanyard.  I will get the mail order out  
tomorrow.  I do want the three and 1 lanyard.
She and Sunny do great as long as they Aren't close enough to peck, then
 They start pecking at each other.  So we keep their cages by each other  
but keep them apart. 
The below email came from a fellow breeder and the information here was new to me, so I included it all for you.
Hi all, I am on another board for Conures...Just in the last week a friend had her 4 year old Jenday Conure pass due to Conure Bleeding Syndrome...The bird was in for a regular vet check and it went into cardiac arrest due to internal bleeding caused by CBS. It was brought on by the stress of having blood drawn and had a seizure before any blood was even drawn. CBS is rare, but can happen in any Conure.

Here is some information on Conure Bleeding Syndrome (Erythremic Myelosis in Conures or Hemorrhagic Conure Syndrome) from the Abridged Edition of "Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications" by Ritchie, Harrison and Harrison. I'm summarizing:

It is an endemic disease in Blue-crowned, Peachfronted, Halfmoon and Patagonian conures. There is no mention of Sun conures, but everything else I've read suggests that they are prone to this as well as ALL conure Species. The main characteristic of the disease is periodic bleeding that is eventually fatal. One theory is that it is caused by retrovirus (polyoma virus) but that's not been proven. Also, most believe that the disease is triggered by a calcium deficiency.

Here's some info on their suggested treatment suggestions:
"In birds with idiopathic hemorrhage, such as in conure bleeding syndrome, injectable Vitamin K1, Vitamin D3, calcium and antibiotics are indicated."

SOOOO... I think that those of us with conures should make sure they have adequate calcium and Vitamin K (found in foods like broccoli) in their diets

Just wanted to let you know about the baby's arrival. (Cinnamon Green Cheek)
What an adventure this little birdie had.  As you know, the scheduled arrival time was 5:57 but because of the delay in Houston, he arrived at 10:15.  The woman working at the cargo office asked me, "What's in there?"  when I told her she said "I am terrified of birds."  Too much Alfred Hitchcock I guess.  Before I left, I took a little peek in there to make sure he was okay.  I was very impressed by how well you packed that little guy in there.  It was very cozy and safe and he had plenty of food and water.  Somehow, he managed to poop in the seed bowl, I hope he didn't eat any of it.  After the insanely long flight, we had an hour car ride home, what a little trooper he is!  When I opened up his cage, he slowly walked up toward the door and started nibbling on my finger and stepped up.  He was not nervous but a little cautious.  He was not yet sure about letting me give him a  head scratch.  I could almost hear him thinking, "I don't know you that well yet."  I was very surprised when he was perched on my finger and decided to show me that he could fly, and further than I expected! I think you did a great job with the clip, I've seen birds get their wings clipped who then try to fly and drop like potatoes.  I've decided to let his wings grow, I want him to have the joy and excercise of being flighted.  I took a day off of work and we are getting well acquainted today, he is as sweet as I thought he'd be.  He has decided that he likes head scratches more now.  I haven't decided on a name yet.  My girlfriend likes disney and we are leaning very much toward Zazu. 
Thanks very much for everything! 
I will send you pictures soon, 

Billy's green cheek flew all the way to NY. This is the second time this year that we shipped into La Guardia. Here is my link about clipping wings for those of you who have not seen it.  Not every home is safe for a flying bird, but I love when an owner can make it work!
Im glad to see every one is doing good i hope your feeling better Beth i heard u had the Flu!! no fun!! =( well Ryuk is doing good but he is always trying to eat out of my mouth and i heard that our saliva is not good for them so im trying to get him to eat out of my hand lolz and he is still doing the humping thing but i hope he will get over it soon, he has kind of been going through a grumpy stage this week but i hope its only temporary!! lolz and he hates being in his cage im try to have im think that being in his cage some times is ok but he wont listen to me haha! And i take im out every day and put his flight suit on at least once a week hes getting better with that so its good he loves to chase things that move too its so funny watching him run and hop and skip!! he also loves to take baths!! he doesnt hesatate to go near running water haha its great! and he wants to eat almost every thing we look like we are going to eat lolz hes eating his mash he actually likes it so yay!! =) so thank you guys soo much!! =)

love and blessings!! =)
Monique and Ryuk
Birds have moods and they have seasons. But, they are so worth it. Emma is next to me saying her "good girl" again and again, and making it difficult for me to type. She has her moods too. At night, she is always snuggly, but in the morning, her beaking is fast and rougher, and she gets more disciplines.  
Hi Beth ~

I have a question for you if you don't mind. I have two pairs of Gouldian Finches. One pair is now laying their first clutch. She has done great up until today. She has laid one egg each day and is up to 8 eggs. Today is day 9 and thank goodness not another egg, 8 is enough! But today she has no interest in setting on her eggs. She actually started setting on her eggs on day 5. I don't know why she has a change of interest today. She really played and ate and would hide from her mate occasionally as he is still "after" her.

Now our other pair of Gouldians had their first successful clutch in Feb. and did very good. She still has somewhat of a black beak...some days it looks blacker than others. She is very receptive to the male's singing and mating dance for her. Do you think I could possibly stress her out if I put a nest box back up in their cage and placed at least half of those eggs in there for her to set on. Would she go right to setting you think?

Also since I'm a newbie with the Gouldians having babies, can you tell me when the eggs look more pink does that mean they are fertile or when they look more white?

Any help you can offer is much appreciated.

Also, little Joseph (Crimson Bellied Conure) is such a delight. He loves everyone and has the sweetest personality. He is really starting to show his funny side, he is quite the entertainer. He eats wonderfully. He still isn't too sure about eating his blueberries...which is funny because Noel and my sun conure love them. I tell him how lucky he is to be getting those blueberries. He is getting a little more red on his belly.
Jessie got sent to bed and now you all have me, (Beth) Hi Phyllis, You seem to know already that the black beak means a female Gouldian is ready to breed. The darker the beak, the more ready they are to breed. I am not going to be much help to you on your Gouldians, for we never used Societies or other means of fostering. We just leave them together till they figure it out. The wonderful thing about finches is that probably 95% of them figure out how to raise a family if you leave them alone. If you start using fosters, many of them never learn. Parrots on the other hand, are very hard to correct, if they eat eggs, or don't brood or eat babies.
Our current Crimsons were plucked by their parents while they were in the nest box. The neat thing is that their feathers are coming in red as a result! They are almost ready to go home to Jeff's family and to Jeremy.
Hi Beth--

I sent out the check on Thursday but realized I included next to no
information with it. D'oh! I figured I'd send you an e-mail to let you
know it's on its way. As someone who's never dealt with a breeder
before all of this stuff is new so bare with me and my newbie
questions. If given the option, I'm hoping to have a male bird to
avoid egg-binding problems that I've read can arise with female birds.
I didn't know if I should have included an extra $25 with the check
for a sexing fee, or does that come later?

On a completely unrelated note, I was wondering what your birds sleep
in/on. There seems to be a plethora of options, but I'm curious what
you find is the best for your animals.

Thanks again for all your help. Your site is just amazing. I can't
believe the pages upon pages of information you have (always with
pictures and video, too!). It's such a great tool for me and my
You can pay for sexing as the final payment draws near. As you can tell, you and Sue and Robin and John, have all been added to this list. If you would like to read over past emails to see previous questions and answers, they can be found at
Below is a link to a fun toy site! 
Happy Father's Day to all you dads!


Update 6/29/09

Hi Beth,
I thought I would drop you a quick update on Lindbergh. He had his first free flight out side last week. All went well and he was outside for a total of about two hours. He has been outside a total of 4 times now and he seems to be very comfortable with it. He sure is fast and aerobatic when he flies. We stay outside with him while he is out. Lindbergh has also started to talk. His first words were "step up" and "come here".
Best Regards
Larry S
You have done really amazing things with this bird! The video that you made and sent us is incredible, and now the free flight. Amazing! For those of you who have not watched Lindbergh, he rivals African Greys with how easily he learns tricks.
Hi Beth and family,
Glad to hear that you are feeling better after your bout with the flu.  Buddy is doing great.  I can't tell you how happy the whole family is having a bird that enjoys everybody (as opposed to Nacho who pretty much only bonded with the "boys" in the family).  His personality is really starting to shine and he's become quite the vocal little bird.  No talking quite yet, but he's using that little gravely voice that they use to talk more often and mumbles his pleasure (or sometimes his discontent).  :-)
(Our current Crimsons were plucked by their parents while they were in the nest box. The neat thing is that their feathers are coming in red as a result! They are almost ready to go home to Jeff's family and to Jeremy.)
We're getting excited about the pending arrival of the new crimson.  We have this big empty cage just waiting for him/her and I'm sure that Buddy would love a little companion.  We house-sat a little grey cockatiel for one of Gabe's friends and Buddy was very interested in being friendly with her.  She was a sweetie that had a head scratching addiction.  :-) 
We all thought the pictures of the poor plucked baby birds were so cute.  We can't wait to meet this little bird in person!
Thanks again for the update!  Look forward to hearing from you.
Jeff and Drea (and the kids, dogs, cat and Buddy)
It has been amazing to me how many of the babies start talking soon after they arrive in their new homes! We had one lady call the day after her bird arrived and tell us that he was already saying, "Hi, baby!" Having these little Crimson Bellies with the red on them is really fun. Normally, they don’t get the red until after their first molt, so they are really pretty babies!
Just a quick note-- Orion and I made it safely to DC. Orion was a great little traveler and has quickly adjusted to a new location. He wanted to extend Father's Day wishes to Zumo. :)

Thank you, Stephanie!! We hope your health is better??
Hi Beth and family

I hope you are all well!  Just an update on Tutu.  She is becoming more and more adventurous!   She is climbing and running around everywhere.  And what a character!  She is beginning to like the swing I made for her and will get it swinging pretty quickly at times. 
She has become very good at pooping on command (Bombs away!) and will give it the "Ol' College Try" sometimes even if the "Gun isn't loaded" so to speak. And while that's great, what she has NOT learned is to NOT go when she isn't told so more work to do on that. 
She is still biting a bit but what we are doing now that seems to make a stronger impression than just rolling her on her back and holding her beak and saying "No Bite!" is to take her into her cage IN ADDITION to rolling her on her back.
Good job, and keep it up on the biting. At the bottom of this update is an email from Veronica who bought her bird from us about one and a half years ago. She has turned into a great bird, but everyone will have to struggle through their times of biting. If you stay consistent, all will turn out well, but if you don't, the bird will learn to take advantage of you. Keep up the "no bite" and it sounds like she is a very fun little girl!

Hi Beth,
I'm so excited about the Green Cheek baby.  I think you said it was band number 255.  If I'm wrong let me know, I was thrilled and forgot to write it down.  I look forward to seeing pictures of him/her.  I love the new ones you posted with feathers just coming in, how adorable.  I am on my way to the bank and the post office.  I didn't have time over the weekend with Graduations and all.  Hope all is well.  I really enjoyed talking with you.  Thank you so much for putting my name on your baby list.  I can't wait.  Georgie the Parrotlet was having fun last night.  I gave him a piece of Swiss chard he rudely walked away from it , jumped down on the sink, grabbed one of the huge leaves I was cleaning and started running away with it.  I guess he told me.  He was not impressed with that small one.  What a character.  Well, thanks again and you should have an envelope at the post office in a few days.
Your baby is band 255. They are growing up quickly and they are fat little things! Arizona is soooo hot right now, and when we look in the nest boxes, the babies are usually laying on their backs. It amazes me that the parents still go in and sit on the chicks in 109 degree weather. Sometimes, the mom and dad will go sit in the mister spray until they are soaked and then go in the box with the babies! The deposit made it here safely!

Hi Beth,

1. Question on the seed.  You say "as babies" they eat deluxe small hookbill seed mix. How long should I feed this?  What type of seed mix shall I offer after baby graduates from the dlx sm hookbill mix?

2. If possible I would like to work out arrangements where my baby would come to his new home on or anytime after August 1st. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

3.  Now for the long one (sorry)...I'm "nesting" and anxious to begin preparing to nourish our new baby bird (not to mention enhance the diet of our resident Quaker buddy!).  I am probably taking this overboard, please bear with me!
Do I understand the recipe for Pampered Peeps Parrot Mash?

I soak (plump) the corn, the pigeon mix, and the bean mix. Next do I simmer/cook the corn, bean and pigeon mix?  Then do I leave morsels intact or do I puree? Next I steam yams and carrots and then puree? Add frozen mix veggies and froz corn. On to the fresh veggies, do I steam or leave raw? Next I add undercooked pasta/rice.  Do I freeze portions at this point? Or do I add the citrus and fresh fruit and then freeze? Do I leave the peel on the citrus? Lastly, defrost and top with fresh sprouts and romaine. 

Did anyone ever tell you your website is awesome! ; )

Warm Regards,
We always feed our Green Cheeks and Crimson Bellies the deluxe small hookbill, even as adults. Sorry to confuse you on that! Your baby will be 8 weeks old (weaning time) on August 2nd, so that will work out perfectly! After we soak our corn/pigeon mix/bean mix, we do cook it because some beans can be poisonous if not cooked. You can leave them all intact. We finely chop (in the food processor) the yams and carrots just because it is easier than chopping them all up. The frozen veggies can be left raw. An interesting thought here is that frozen vegetables have been proven to have the same amount of nutrients as fresh ones, and that freezing doesn't reduce their quality at all! We add our citrus and fruit before we freeze sometimes and after we freeze sometimes. It is probably easier to do it all before you freeze because then you can just put a little pile of mash on a plate and be done.

Hi Beth and Girls!
I check your website every now and then and seen that you still have 2 babies available. I was thinking about buying my sister one. I would like to give her a boy if you have one. The last bird I bought from you was birthday is 2-22-08 with the band # 169. I would like then to be unrelated just in case I have to bird sit. I've had so much fun with my birds that I truly believe that it'll be only pet that I'll ever have.
A good friend gave me her cockatiels and they had their first clutch (4 eggs) in early May and with my families help we hand fed them and took care of them until they were fully weaned. We decided to give them to family members since we grew so attached to them and didn't want to see them go. As it is I already have 3 large cages that take over my den room....but honestly I wouldn't have it any other way!
I commend you and your girls for all the hard work you do. I literally took the birds and my kids to the sitters (my sisters house at 5 am) to help me feed the clutch when I left for work. My kids, nephew and niece all helped out and even my local pharmacy...they gave me plenty of syringes to handfed them which was a blessing. It was truly inspiring to help out these little birds to grow and see their characters come out day by day. I must say it's a lot of hard work and it makes for a short night when you wake up at 4 am to go to work! Just want to say thanks for being such a loving breeder and your girls for spending such quality time with all the birds. Your birds are the most loving birds I have encountered and they have brought my family endless amounts of love. Thank you for such a wonderful gift.
Please let me know if you still have one available.
Many thanks,
Veronica Villarreal
Thank you so much for your compliments and encouragement, Veronica. We love hearing from previous buyers! The only babies we have available are related to your "Donna." Mom asked me to include your email to give hope to others who are dealing with the "nippy" stage right now.
Lisa and Beth
Enjoy the flock at

Update 7/2/09 

This is a fun email from a truck driver who first bought 2 green cheeks from us and then bought an African grey the next season. That African Grey is now 2 years old. The interesting thing about this life is that the Grey gets to be with Tom all the time and Tom is a truck driver who travels our country from one coast to the next. So, if you are on the interstates and see a truck driver with a Grey, say "Hi" to Tom. There is a story about Tom's green cheeks on our site at this link written by Lisa (3.5 years ago).  He lost the male Green cheek and recovered him miraculously. After Tom got Scout, he had her out without a suit and lost Scout. But, once again, God smiled on Tom and he has that bird back too. It is great to hear from our bird family even a few years down the road.
Hello to all of you!
Ok, I admit, this is coming not only from Scout/Scooter (congo african grey), but me as well.

Its been some time now since we have sent you any updates on Scooter the African Grey.  Just seemed appropriate to drop one now.  

Scooter has taken back the name you originally gave her.  As strange as it sounds, we've adopted another C.A.G. also named Scooter.  (making three of these feathered children in the house)  The most recent addition named Scooter is the oldest one.  As far as we know, near 20 years.  By far the most mischievous and a heck of a teacher for the other two.  Not only on vocabulary, but in crazy little bird tricks as well.  For the most part, all three get along well together.  There are days when the pecking order needs reestablished, but nothing serious.  

Right now, Scout, (your baby) is back on the road with me.  Really has grown up over the last year or so.  I can't begin to count the number of words and phrases she comes up with.  Certainly keeps things interesting to say the least.  Without a doubt, much of the time she isn't just "parroting" the words, but is truly making the association of the meanings.  She is speaking a little Spanish now as well.  This had to come from the other Grey thats been in the house now for near a year.  That one is defiantly a bilingual bird.  

Even with leaving Scout at the house and my being on the road, she is still "my bird".  Once I show up, it is near impossible to get her off of my shoulder.  Will attack anyone that tries to take her from me, and even nip at me if she isn't ready to leave.  For the most part, I don't have to worry about getting bird poop on me.  However she is not as carful with anyone else.  With me, she will either go to her play stand to do business or rare her butt away from me and try not to make a mess.  

Last week, as I was getting ready to leave, she was locked tight on my shoulder, watching and chattering away as I finished my laundry and packed my bags. A couple of times, I asked "Does Scout want to go to work?"  I wish I could describe the expressions I was getting.  When I set her back on the tall multi-level play stand with the others to only have her fly right back to me, push into my ear and say "Go bye bye" I decided to take her back on the road with me.  Of course this after her wings were trimmed again, and another introduction to a flight suit.  All of that went super easy.  As if she realized it was part of getting ready to go with me.

Right now, as I am typing this, Scout is on my left shoulder, facing backward to me, raring her but in the air, putting her head under and between her legs looking at me as if showing off for more attention.  Doesn't look bird comfortable at all.  Just one of the feathered acrobat stunts I get when I am supposed to be paying attention to her.  

Sometime back, I told you about our male Conure having his life cut short from being too aggressive with a cat. Since that time, we adopted two more green cheeks and two Suns.  All of that combined with the African Grey's was just getting to be too much.  The two green cheeks along with "your" yellow side, made a happy little flock.  Really hated to separate them. So, now, they are all together with Lauren's Daughter down in Houston.  The two Suns do not get along with the Greys at all.  Both are just mean toward the bigger birds.  I can't handle them whatsoever.  They accept Lauren well enough, but for now spend most of their time in one of the big outdoor cages I built last year.  We really don't know the sex of these two, but if I had to guess I'd say they are both little yellow roosters.  (have never shown interest in a nesting box)

In any event, just wanted to let you know, all is well in the feathered family here, and mainly I am very grateful for your raising Scout to be such a cool well behaved friend.  Time for us to get a some sleep.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.  Yes, as silly as it sounds, Scout still sleeps with me.  Nestles in beside my head, either on my shoulder or on the pillow. I can try to put her elsewhere, but unless locked up in a cage, she will find a way to me for bed time. Who needs an alarm clock when you have an African Grey waking up at sunrise chattering away wanting to know what's for breakfast?  :)

Hope all is well with the family, birds and horses on your end.  

Tom, And of course Scout/Scooter  
Hi guys!  I have a kind of silly/weird question. Do you know if the birds prefer warm, room temp or cold water? Pippi is so SPOILED, I give her all 3 throughout the day.
She is coming along well. Every week it is something new with her.This week, she is biting when I get her out of her cage. She KNOWS she isn't supposed to bite, so she will bear down JUST enough to get her point across!  She is SO smart! She is very cheeky and a little bit fresh! It keeps things fun and keeps me on my toes!
She came antiquing this weekend and was the GEM of the the antique stores! She got so many compliments! 
At 1st, people think she is fake. They are absolutely AMAZED at how SWEET, QUIET and well behaved she is. They simply can not get over her!  It is kind of bad because I am constantly LATE because they can't stop talking to me and petting her! LOL THey kind of freak out at the flight suit at first but understand that it makes total sense.
In CT, you would NEVER see a bird out with its owner, and Green cheeks are still pretty uncommon here.
So, in  a nut shell, we are having SO much fun with her! 
I love her DEARLY! She is a sweet(at times) sassy(at times) funny little girl.
Thank you all again!
 Love, Molly
I bathe our birds in room temp water. I know some birds LOVE blow dryers. I tend to let mine drip dry, but we are topping out at 114 degrees and my home is on the warm side even inside. Your email is very fun to read, Molly. For the rest of you, Molly was the first to reserve a green cheek this year and she sent her deposit to me in my post office box with a long, long letter and pictures of her dogs all dressed up. I knew she was going to be a good home. Then Pippi had her accident with the dog. And, Molly had initial struggles with, it is fun to read of their wonderful relationship now.  

Hi Beth,
Good to hear you're doing well, and I appreciate these updates as they provide ongoing guidelines as to what
behaviors can be expected from the Green Cheek babies.
Darcy is doing well. She does indeed have a large personality. She is trusting and friendly which is wonderful. I find her endlessly entertaining and cute. She has different vocalizations which I think I can translate to... contented munching,  playful clowning, quiet resting, don't bother me!  -come get me! -don't leave me! (sleeping cage).  She'll also call out briefly if I get up during the night. She likes grooming her legs and chest while resting on her back.
I'm making progress with the potty training so that she'll go in a small basket I've set up for that purpose when I take her from her sleeping cage each morning.  Haven't been able to put her into the flight suit yet as she's too good at getting herself out of my hands.
Darcy is a wonderful little creature and endless source of entertainment for our household.
Understanding a green cheek's vocalizations is similar to the mom who knows exactly what her 2 year old is saying, but few others get it. 
Potty training is easily accomplished by these smart birds. Sounds like you are making great progress there. The trick to the flight suit is learning how to hold your bird to put it on. Watch Lisa putting it on slowly at the end of the flight suit race. We hold the green cheeks so that they can't bite and they can't escape while putting it on.  
Hi Beth,
Thanks for the update.  I loved reading the other emails from some of your bird families.  Looks like they all have wonderful homes.  Can't wait until my baby is ready to come to his/her new home.  I heard you were ill.  I'm sorry and hope you are on the mend.  Can't wait for pictures 
I have not been so good about updating the nursery pages, but I have been sending emails to the new owners privately so they can see their babies grow. I used to always do this instead of a nursery page.
Thanks so much for the pictures, Beth. My whole family is very excited
about little "Beakman". I just contacted Jane about getting a birdie
hut from her and have started making some parrot toys. I can't believe
how hot it is where you are! And I thought the muggy 85 of Jersey was
bad enough!
Thanks again!
Jane has made many a birdie hut for green cheeks. The time will go fast while you wait. In this time, make sure you read the articles with asterisks by them on the article page. *** They are the key ones to read. I am off to clean stalls and Jessie is going to take over answering emails for me.
Mom has been kind of busy with Papillon puppies lately. Here is one of them with Mary's bird! This is the oldest green cheek baby in a flight suit meeting a puppy Papillon today.This one (Mary's baby) and the Pineapple baby (Lynette's baby) are both flying now! 

Hi Everyone!
Babies 225 and 226 have been named Roland (nicknamed Rollie because he used to roll around on the bottom of his cage) and Rebecca (nicknamed Becky or Beaky because she was a bit bitey as a baby). They are now living together and are still very friendly and sweet. As I had wished them to be breeders eventually, I figured that I should let them bond with each other and not see me as their mates. Luckily, I play with them both alot and are still very handtame. I took some great pictures of their maiden voyage in flightsuits which I will send along soon.

Can you advise me as to when I may run into problems housing these guys together, if ever?

What is Lindeburgh's owner talking about when he says "free flight" is he wearing a suit?
Hope all is well with everyone,
It's good to hear everything is doing good!!! It is rare to have birds that will breed and still be sweet. Usually, once they breed, they get mean and protective of their mate and nest. Or, they will stay sweet and not breed, because they think of you as their mate. If you can get them out of the cage and away from their nestbox, some are still sweet after breeding. Beau, Lisa's old pet, has had about 50 babies in the past years. In his cage, Beau is MEAN, but once we get him out and away from it, he is sweet again.
~What is Lindeburgh's owner talking about when he says "free flight" is he wearing a suit?~ No, the birds don't have flight suits on. They train the birds to come to them when called, and then let them go eventually. It is a great risk at losing your bird to predators or flying away, but they believe the risks are worth it!!! It is a big risk to take! I doubt we will ever do this, but I do respect the training and the response that the birds give.
Here are some websites you can go to on free flight:    
and if you go to and look up free flight, you can find videos.

Hi Beth
Tutu (Crimson Belly) has started to say her name!  We are very excited of course and
while it is very quiet when she says it, we are pretty certain that she
is saying her name.  The first few times were pretty tentative in the
evening when she was pretty calm then nothing more for a couple of
days.  Two days went by then she said it a few more times in the evening
when she was calm and snuggly.  The last 3 days though, she has said it
more often throughout the day.  So we are obviously very pleased with
our little girl!

And her stomach is very quickly becoming red now.  She was molting a bit
but it seems like suddenly she has started transforming very quickly.

Toots says hi to Grandma Beth!
Thank you for the update on Tutu! It is amazing how quickly they start talking!! and how quickly the red comes in Smile emoticon It is good to hear you all are doing good!!

Hi Beth:
Thanks for the update that came yesterday.

As for Zoey, she's holding her weight fine, but not gaining at all.  She
arrived at 65-66 gms, and has been between 61 and 66 gms ever since.  The
vet's seen her without having a worry but that was 2 weeks ago already.

How much growth should be expected after 10-12 weeks relative to "full
grown"?  Her habits are perfect as she'll eat constantly and accepts
anything.  I'm just looking for a framework within which to tell if we're
doing OK or falling behind.
I would think it takes about a year to gain 5 grams, so I wouldn't worry about it. As long as she isn't dropping her weight, you're good. Expect her to gain 5 or so grams in the next year. It sounds like you're doing great!!

LOL! I loved this notice! "He is ready and he is red"..... Yes, he is!!. I think the crimson colors are quite amazing, and even the normals are surprizingly colorful. It's hard to capture some of the color in photographs, but they are quite stunning.

Well, Momo-pip-pip-no-toe is home and doing well. I love that little pip pip sound he makes. Very cute. The baby mannerisms are adorable and interesting to watch. He's patiently accepting love from all of us, and seems to be settling in much more quickly than Buddy did. He doesn't want to be in his cage at all! Buddy loved the security of his cage at first. We make sure Momo some time in his cage so he can eat, drink and rest, but then he's out again.  
So far, Momo and Buddy don't seem to care for each other. Buddy immediatly wanted to preen Momo, and quite voraciously. Momo was alright with the idea. But since then, whenever they see each other, they attack each other with open beaks, fluffed heads and extended wings. We've been keeping them away from each other for the most part so that Momo will bond with us, but also to avoid fights. We are hoping that eventually the two fids will get along.
Turns out that Momo is quite the snuggle bug! He snuggles in our shirts, under blankets, against our necks or wherever he can find! I love the sounds he makes. Pip pip.
I made a fresh batch of mash last night, too much of it! I probably made enough to keep your fids going for a couple of weeks!  I added the pictures and I hope you can tell me if it looks OK or if I should add more sprouted seeds, corn, peas or anything else (I realised I forgot flax seeds, so I'll add that in). My mash:
1 C sprouted seeds
frozen veggie mix (green beans, corn, peas and carrots)
1 steamed sweet potato
2 steamed fresh carrots
2 C beans (from a 15 bean mix, soaked and boiled)
frozen corn
steamed fresh broccoli
spagetti noodles.  
So Beth, you went to St. Micheals in Tucson? I did too, as you know. Kindergarden (1975), though second grade (spring 1978). It was really great to meet you and your family, finally. Thank you for welcoming us in to your home!
No are aging me. I was there just a few years earlier. I had a Mrs. Hanson in second grade that scared me to death with her strictness...and knowing that Father Fowler kept a ping pong paddle in his office for offenders.

Drea and Jeff
We really enjoyed meeting you all, and we love your mom!! It is great to hear from you and that everything is going good!
Hi Beth, 
These are very special photos and are so well done.  Someone in your family is a great photographer.
I watched the video of the Congo Gray being cuddled in a baby blanket.  Do you get all your babies used to being cuddled and used to the blanket? 
Thank you very much for the compliments on the pictures! Yes, we do get all our babies used to being cuddled and the blanket. We just finished dinner and we had 2 green cheeks and a grey on the table with us! Also, the flight suits get them used to us handling them. We almost always have a baby on us!
Beth just wanted you to know that the crimson redbellied arrived safe and sound. He is calm and settled. He is so cool with those red feathers already showing on him. I'm sure he will adjust just fine and be a beloved pet. thanks again . Jeremy
Thank you very, very much for letting us know that he arrived well! It is amazing that we have never have had a problem shipping all the birds we do! Thanks for the update! Mom knows that you still need you're hatch certificate. We will do our best to get it to you tomorrow.
May we have a pic of Beau and Rain for "Stich's" baby album/family tree?
Here are some pics of Beau when he was Lisa's pet before he became a breeder: and then, here is Rain...

You sounded like a lot was going on so I ended up calling back and talking
to Lisa yesterday and she had sent the hatch cert and what a wonderful job
on the cert that has to be the cutest doc I have ever seen. Thanks again
You're welcome! Mom can't figure out how to work Adobe Photoshop, so she has Lisa do the hatch certificates!!
I hope all is well with you guys and you enjoyed the 4th of July!  Everything is great here.  A while back you sent a link to a cool toy site (thank you!)  and for some reason I can't find it now.  Would you please share that with me again and I will put it up for safe keeping ... Promise!!  Fuji and Gala are doing fine.  They are still getting use to it around here.  They are very protective of their cage and nest box so I figure it is just a matter of time before we have some little "cheekys" as my 5 year old calls them.  LOL   Thank you so much!   
Blessings, Angela
I am so happy to hear that Gala and Fugi are good! I used to take care of them when they were here! Thank you! Here is the toy site:  We had a great 4th of July, and I hope you did too!
For a while he talked about going into music ministry-right now he is interested in mechanical engineering. We'll see where the Lord leads him. He still has a few years to decide. In the meantime, he puts it to good use playing at different churches when invited for different venues. (Actually, we all do-I guess that is our 'side' business). My younger son is the guitarist, my husband the vocalist I'm a violin teacher and my oldest son a violinist. (I'm attempting to encourage my oldest son to consider the Marine Band as he recently joined the marines...less likely to get shot at playing a violin!)
I can imagine if it is tough to get to the bank, it is tougher to deliver! It is such a short drive-we are great with it. Ian can have a chance to get to know his new buddy on the way home. He has had a lot of fun showing off his new bird pictures. We especially like the one with the baby facing the camera with its head up and eyes shut! 
Take care,
I was just reading your email out loud to Mom and Dad, and when they heard  ~I'm attempting to encourage my oldest son to consider the Marine Band as he recently joined the marines...less likely to get shot at playing a violin!~ they both cracked up, and Mom says, "Tell her I have about shot you when you're playing the violin Smile emoticonSmile emoticon) I've only been playing for a couple months and am quite squeaky. Actually, I quit because I didn't really like it. Lisa played the viola and the violin for about 4-5 years, and she didn't like and quit too. Anna still plays it and loves it. Lisa and Anna played viola and violin in the West Valley Youth Orchestra for 3 years. Lisa has gotten REALLY good on the piano!!! Now we are hooked on the hammered dulcimer, I want one sooooooo bad! Most are about $800-$900 (and they are 15"/14") 19"/18" ones are $2000 to $3000!!! WOW! I like the bodhran (an Irish drum) and the penny whistle (also Irish) too! Have you ever heard of the dulcimer? There is also a lap dulcimer, or a mountain dulcimer, but I don't like it nearly as much. We all love the hammered dulcimer.
You might be amazed, but Beau still has 2 babies in the nestbox and it is about 110 F here! The misters keep them cool, because the parent birds get wet, and then get into the nestbox with the babies!
Mom is laying in bed going to sleep, so I am going to send this without her proof reading it, but she will check it in the morning.

Here is a fun video of some penguins that I thought you all might enjoy!
There is no audio.

Oh boy, this is neat. What a gift this lady has given! Look at the link below. It is all about how to enrich your parrot's day to day life and how to train!! And, she has 2 books to download for free. 

Update 7/14/09

This is part of my "baby bird newsletter" that has gone out to our baby buyers in 2009, but I am adding a few more of you to this specific email just to give the tip of how minor changes can upset a bird more than you realize . Here is the first email I got this morning....
Oh my goodness!  I HATE to bother you guys, you are ALWAYS so busy!
Let me WIPE my TEARS away and get started.
Pippi (Band 213, yellow sided green cheek)  is OK. I didn't want to startle you.
Anyway, I have NO IDEA what is going on with her!
She has been fine, coming EVERYWHERE with me, LOVING it and keeping busy.
Last pm, I took her out of her cage to go to bed and she was VERY BAD!  Biting and screeching VERY LOUD and HARD!! I have NEVER seen her do this!
I kept correcting her, she simply did not care.
I chalked it up to maybe she was just tired.
This am, I couln't wait to get her out. I heard her playing and talikng to herself. I figured we would have a lovely day.
I opened the cage and RIGHT away she was BEYOND NASTY!!!! She pretty much attacked my hands full force!
SHe RIPPED up my hands pretty well and it is VERY painful!  It got to the point that I could not EVEN HOLD her!!
All I asked her to do was "step up"and she FREAKED OUT!!!!!!!!!!
She was like a DIFFERENT bird!  It was really SCARY!
I am so upset, that I don't ever want to try to handle her again!! I am kind of scared of her. I had NO IDEA she would hurt me so much!
I know I am emotional right now, but I am feeling like I just want to get rid of her.  I had NO IDEA that she could change like that. All I wanted was a sweet little friend and now I have a MONSTER!
I have no clue why she would be acting like this. She is eating well, playful and active! Nothing has cahnged!
I know you said they need a lot of sleep. Should she be going to bed @ the same time every night? That is the ONLY thing I can possibly think of.
i hope mybe that is the problem. I am just so upset and if she continues this,  I will have no choice but to get her a new home.
Please HELP!! I am so upset!
I am so sorry guys!
Love, Molly
It sounds like she is either hurt somehow or scared. I would give her some time and try again. I am trying to understand though...she has been wonderful, wonderful until just last night? Then she came out like a tiger? You can hold her if you hold below the cheekbones...they cannot turn their heads to bite. If you cannot do this, then use a towel and get her out so that you can look her over and make sure she is not hurt. This is very unusual what you describe and I am sorry for you. I don't necessarily put our birds to bed every night at the same time. I would not reconsider rehoming after one bad night and morning. I would give her some time and see if she comes out of it. Of course, you don't want the pain, so hold onto her head if need be. I probably would not flight suit her incase that has been scaring her. Have you been flight suitting her?? Does she have this attitude towards your hubby too? Have you added nails or changed polish color? Any new ring? Keep thinking if anything changed? New hair color? 
Wait! I painted my nails DARK blue last PM! I have been so busy since I have had her that I have been unable to paint them. You really think that could be it? Nothing else has changed! I will take it off right now. Otherwise, I do not see her scared of ANYTHING. THe last time I suited her was 2 days ago and she was WONDERFUL! We went for a ride and she was SPLENDID!!! VERY Sweet!!
Thank you so much!! i hope it is the nail polish!
These little guys really keep us on our toes!!
Love, Molly
I waited and next came this email....
Oh MY!!! I guess Pippi was trying to tell me that she didn't think the blue nail polish looked good on me!!!!!!
I took it off. Went over to her cage, offered her treats and she was FINE!
Thank goodness I have you to ask questions to!!
I would have NEVER thought nail polish! I feel so badly now! I was reprimanding her for biting  and she was just scared! I thought she was just being mean! AWWWW, I am sad now :(
She is a good girl.  I was just scared that she was changing into a mean bird!  I do not like mean birds! I LOVE taking her EVERYWHERE! People LOVE her!!! I was worried she was beginning to not like me again. :( Thank goodness she does. :)
I just want to give her the best life! I really hate having her as my "guinea pig" to learn about caring for my 1st bird. I do not want her to suffer at all due to my mistakes. I just love her so much, the little booger that she is! :)
Thank you so much again!
I am sharing this email with you all so that you are aware of how sensitive birds are to our hands. I am not a smart behaviorist....I just retain what I learn from you all; the smart buyers of our babies.  I learned this lesson from an observant baby buyer who shared this story with me. It was back in 2003 and she bought a baby Sun from me. The Sun was her best friend, not a biter and a great companion bird. Then this buyer got pregnant. When a woman is pregnant, our nails grow very quickly. This lady loved her new nails and bolstered them with some fake nails. Her Sun started biting and she didn't realize why the change. This went on for some time. Sadly enough the lady miscarried. She took off her nails, the Sun immediately changed back and all was well. I am so glad she called me and shared this story, for today, it helped Pippi and Molly.
I know, as handfeeders, we now need to paint our nails a different color every day....and change the color of our hair. Some of you know I am not the type of person to spend much time on my appearance.
I also once had an Ekkie buyer where the lady changed her hair color. We had a raging red head (female ekkie) who got furious at that change and started buying.
As a side note, we had a wonderful weekend where we took 3 of our Miniature Horses into a nursing home to visit the residents.....   (copy and paste into your browser to see the visit in video) Next trip, it'll be the birds we take in. When you take an animal into a nursing home, it is such a blessing. It seems like each resident has a story about how they once had a parrot, or once rode a horse, or used to live on a farm. I even had one 103 year old lady tell me she was the one of the first 3 women to ride bulls in the United States. The animals brighten their day, and open up their hearts. Try it someday....

Update 7/15/09

Beth just wanted you to know that the crismson redbellied (band 259) arrived safe and sound. He is calm and settled. He is so cool with those red feathers already showing on him. I'm sure he will adjust just fine and be a beloved pet. thanks again . Jeremy
Hi!!! This is Jessie, Beth's daughter. Yes, Mom will check my answers later..... 
I am so glad to hear that 259 got there safely! Thank you for the update!  
Last night I ordered millet, dlx sm hookbill seed mix, a mix to use for mash and for sprouting from Choppers Bird Toys.  I also ordered a new cage from another pn-line store.  This afternoon while doing our regular grocery shopping I picked up a 16 bean mix!
Warm Regards,
Joey and Josie
WOW! Sounds like I want some! Just something from our site (mash page) to keep in mind about beans... cooking them:

For some starches, I either undercook whole grain pasta, brown rice and add that to the mix. Another time, I will add a pot of COOKED 10-mix bean combination.

Beans are excellent also for providing proteins and carbohydrates, but I always cook them. Certain UNCOOKED beans contain enzymes which inhibit protein assimilation. Thus, they are called "proteolytic enzyme inhibitors."  When a parrot eats these inhibitors, their body loses its ability to use certain substances (trypsin and chymotrypsin) and a nutritional deficiency is the result. 


Lima beans, Kidney beans and Soybeans are all proteolytic enzyme inhibitors. But, when cooked, the enzyme inhibitors is destroyed. Because in the midst of making mash, I don’t tend to remember which bean needs to be cooked and which are fine to feed raw, I just am sure to cook them all. Some dried beans do not appear to contain these enzyme inhibitors, or if present, are in low concentrations.  Don't ever feed your parrot uncooked beans, and I would stay completely away from fava beans."

Hi Beth and all,   

Archimedes (African Grey) is doing great.  He is still letting put on his flight suit.  He doesn’t like it too much but he accepts it.  Guess what, he says his name!!!  We were sitting in the living room and I heard Archimedes!  It was very quiet but he said it, and now he says it several times a day.  We are so excited.  We all love him and he is out of his cage all the time.  I can’t wait until I get the play gyms from Wayne, which I have not received yet.  Unfortunately.  Most of the time he doesn’t even respond. 

I would like to come out  Friday if that is possible to pick up 2 land lines.  Can I still bring Archimedes to visit?   

Well hope to see you soon.  Please tell me what time would be good for you all.  I know the girls are busy with school and chores and you never stop.  So just let me know when would be good. 

Hugs to you all.  I can’t wait to see you.


We are all doing good... we are a little less busy because all our babies are going home! That is amazing that your dad is 92! My Dad's Mom died last July at 90 or 91. I am glad to hear that Archimedes is doing good! I can't believe that he is already saying his name!!! They sure learn fast!! WOW! I can't believe you still haven't gotten your play gyms. (To other people reading this, we love the quality of Wayne's play gyms, but there are MANY people having a lot of troubles getting their PAID goods delivered.) I'm sorry we missed you on Friday. Just call some morning you want to come out, because we are almost always home.

Hi Beth ~
Thank you so much for sending this web site! Wow....she has really thought of very creative ways to keep our birdies busy and happy. I'm ready to go do some shopping and start making some of these! I love to hear the happy sounds the birds are making during the day when they are busy playing with a new toy that I have made for them! 

Joseph (Crimson Belly Conure) is doing so good! He loves to be with his humans. He is just starting to drop a few feathers now. He loves to watch both of us at the computer when it's his turn. He also enjoys his night time snuggles under my over shirt I put on just for them. He eats just about everything that I give him. He loved the red raspberries I gave him but he is still working on eating his blueberries. He surprises me every now and then and will eat them all. He takes several baths a day and also makes the most interesting "soups" in his water dish. I have all the birds on Harrison's Pellets along with their other foods and seeds/nuts etc. I'm glad they are eating the Harrison's. I made them a huge batch of fresh mash again today. What little piggies they can be! I can't seem to get any of them to eat carrots...I'm going to try giving them some fresh carrots sliced thin and see if they like them better that way. Beaks turn "up" to cooked carrots. They like their broccoli cooked lightly but not really loving it fresh. I never know when they will change their minds on a food so I keep presenting it to them and know that one day they will surprise me and start eating it.

I also enjoyed the penguin little guys aren't they!

Blessings to all at your nest!


Hi! It is good to hear everything is going good. Our CBs outside color in a lot faster than the ones inside. The more natural light you can give them, the faster they will get the red. Harrison's makes an excellent pellet, but nothing replaces fresh fruits and veggies! It sounds like you are doing everything right. Mom says our birds produce so well because of what we feed them. Boy, I want some red raspberries and blueberries!!!!!  Cherries are only .99/lb again at Sprouts and Sunflower market this week. Blueberries are also good at Sprouts. Yes, just keep offering the different foods to them! Mom LOVED the penguin video, but I haven't gotten to see it yet ):

Hi Beth,
Thanks for the emails.  I just love reading everyone's stories.  Sounds like my baby is growing fast, i can't wait.  Give him/her a cuddle for me.  If you have an extra minute, could you please send me pictures of his/her parents?  I too would like to make a baby book.
Wish I had a camera.  Last night Georgie my Parrottlet and Emma my Cockapoo were playing tug of war on my lap, with a huge leaf of Kale.  You should have seen them.  It was so funny and Emma was so gentle.  She did end up with half of it.  She will eat most anything but I've never seen a dog like greens like she does.
Well, I'm on my way home.  Have a great day.


Everything is better when you compete for it (: I love cameras!! I take soooooo many pictures! We have a mutt that will sometimes eat carrots or lettuce. We will give "it" a cuddle!!! The pictures of Beau and Rain are on as attachments so you can print them off. The first ones is of Beau when he was Lisa's pet, and the second one is of Rain.

Lisa, would there be any pictures of Oso’s parents on the website or is there? I am creating a album for him. I have been working with him and spending a lot of time so we can bond. He still is al;ittle nippy but I know that will pass. I have been letting him watch tv with us on a play gym with millet and peas and corn and he seams to like staying on there for alittle while. Have to keep an eye on him since he likes to explore. Also he really likes his sleep crate you guys have made and the bunks to sleep in sometimes its hard getting him out of his day bunk to go to bedJ  

Thanks again


Thank you for the update on Oso. Yes, if you are consistent, he will come out of the nippy stage. I attached pictures of Fuji and Gala to this email so you can print them/

Below is a chart that was sent to me from Avian Biotech. It tells the sex of the babies for those who requested it. Jessie went to bed and now it is me, Mom, back on the computer....


Yellow-sided/Green-cheeked Conure
' 254
Yellow-sided/Green-cheeked Conure
' 252
Green-cheeked Conure (Pineapple)
' 250
Green-cheeked Conure (Pineapple)
' Cupid


Hi Beth and family,
Gidget [band 217] is doing fine.  I am sending a picture of her in her patriotic flightsuit.  She has been saying her name for a few weeks.  A couple days ago after I had been gone for awhile she called out her name when she saw me come thru the front door.  I have taught her the 'Turn Around Trick'.  I reward her with a safflower seed, she loves them.  Hope to teach her more soon. 
After a wing clipping, how long does it take for their wings to grow out before they can be fully flighted again?  Once they are flighted again, should they remain flighted for their well being or could they be clipped again? 
Thanks for all your work,
God Bless,
Zumo also did turn around tricks and for a safflower too! He loves them. And, Gidget looks great in that suit. I am proud of you who are continuing to use the suits and take your birds outside with you. The flight feathers can vary in how long they take to grow back, but I would say 6-15 weeks is about the average.
Just a quick note-- Orion's SUCH a good little boy! Everyone (friends and family) are impressed with how well he's adapted to all of the changes. He's quite adventurous and also flexible about his schedule, routine, etc. I made him a make-shift hanging gym (hung from a plant hook in the living room) with ladders and beaded ropes and swings, etc....and he absolutely LOVES it. Last night, I was watching a movie in the living room, and Orion spent the first hour climbing up and down on the gym and the second hour cuddled under my chin. I'm still waiting for my gym from Wayne and am wondering if I will ever get it.

Anyways, I think Orion is trying to talk-- he'll mimic the syllables of things that I say. Also, he definitely understands certain things. For instance, I don't want him to climb all the way up to the ceiling hook, and when he starts to do that, I'll tell him to go down, and he does. He responds well to praise.

Just wanted to let you know that things are going well.....
Take care,
 I am so sorry about Wayne. What a sad situation. Yes, he has had difficulties, but we all do and our word is our word. Connie, who bought a Grey, has not gotten hers yet either.
I was wondering if I'd also be able to purchase a flight suit from you
that you could ship with band #253. Would this be possible?
Yes, I typically put the suits in an envelope below the newspaper in your crate.
Thanks Beth,
How fast they grow.  And how cute  You're right he/she does seem to have lots of color.  Beautiful, Beautiful. I'm sure it's to early, but what do I need to do to have you sex my baby?  I also would like to order some flight suits for him.  Should I send you the money now?  Let me know.
Have a Great Day!  We had a beautiful weekend.  High 60's, Low 70's.  Don't know if my tomatoes will ripen if we keep having cool nights.  What am I talking about I haven't seen any yet.  Guess I should look. Give my baby cuddles.
I will sex 255 for you. It is $25 and yes, they are beautiful. They are such characters too.  Yes, please send the $25 in a postal money order for sexing.  
This is wonderful news.  She looks just great.  I can't wait.   Am looking forward to the email that tells me she's ready.
I wish I could give her a name for you to start getting her use to, but like to name my pets sometimes by their little personalities or habits. I just have to bond with them as little children first. 
I have a question about the site you have in your articles page
( I recently went through
my yard and cut down some maple and crepe myrtle branches (unsure
about the maple, I made sure to peel the bark off, but left the crepe
myrtle's bark in tact), scrubbed the branches (and a bunch of cut
twigs) in a diluted bleach solution, and left everything to bake out
in the sun. There is a safe plant list also at this link

I went to the hardware store today in search of stainless steel parts
for the perches, but was unable to find stainless steel hanger bolts
and wingnuts. The author of the site says the washers are the only
things that need to be stainless steel. Is that true or should I look
online for stainless steel parts?I tend to believe the author. He really seems thorough and I have followed his instructions with no problems. When a bird does get metal toxicity, they often pluck. This does not always occur, but it is something to consider if you have a bird start plucking.
Similarly, on your site you mention the importance of fresh branches.
Do you wash and bake these as well? Should I have not washed the twigs
that I will be using in foraging toys? I just wash the branches really well. I have grown pineapple guava on my screened in porch so I am sure that the branches and fruit are clean. I do just pick the hibiscus flowers and put them right in our cages. There is a plant by our back door and I pick on my way in.
Thanks so much!
Thank you for this interesting email.  Two other things that caused me trouble with scaring birds was suddenly wearing sunglasses, and approaching my birds for the first time without out my dentures in leaving a gap of two missing front teeth.  Incidentally there missing because they got knocked out by a Green Wing Macaw. 
This is a great email from John who has a lot of insight into birds from his relationship with his flock. I did have a lady write me this year about her "Peanut" who is a Blue Crown she got years ago from us. Peanut was a great companion for many years. The owner added a Sun conure last year (Butter) and that is when Peanut changed. He would just all of a sudden chomp down on her with no warning just as John describes below with his Buster.  She called about 2 weeks ago and we talked for a while. Finally I recommended moving Peanut to a room where he could not see Butter. I just got an email from her:
Hi Beth: 
Just thought I would pass along that Peanut is back to his same ole that Butter is in the other  He sometimes gets a notion to be stinky, but I talk gently to him, sing him his little song and he perks right up.  I took him, not Butter, up to Lakeside for two days, got his flight suit on him and we went for walks, he enjoyed it and I did too for that matter, so much cooler up there than here.
I also am going to our religious convention next week in Tucson, taking Peanut only, as the hotel I am staying in allows pets, and my daughter is taking care of my other critters.  So, he is going to get more one on one attention.  I told him we are in it for the long haul, just try not to bite me anymore than he has to....he cocks his head and looks at me like, yeah, right!!
Stay cool as you can in this the way the attachment you sent to see the little miniatures, did not come thru. 
Do be aware that your bird has the potential to be jealous and regards you as belonging to him. Many parrot owners buy a second bird, thinking that they are getting their pet parrot a companion, but that can backfire on the owner. Your birds wants you! Of course, if the first bird is older and more set in his ways, this situation is more likely than if they are both young and not sexually mature yet.
Now back to John's story below. He is so right when he says you have to read your bird's communication. Study the patterns of your bird and you will see that he is talking to you.  
Hello Beth, 
This was a very informative letter for all your customers.  It also brings back memories.  I have always been a big fan of gray cheek brotogeris parakeets - a species you can't buy for love or money any more.  In 1991 I purchased my long time buddy Buster "Booger Bird".  He got that name because when I went into a PetLand here in the Fort Worth area they had a box with probably thirty of them just out of quarantine.  I thought they were cute so I asked to see one.  The first one to scurry up the girls arm looking for attention was Buster.  When holding the little guy who was in his "teething" stage and testing the texture of everything; he bit down on my hand.  I exclaimed, "Hay Buster!  Your a little booger aren't you!", and he was henceforth known to me and by himself as Booger Bird.
I later found an adult male gray cheek for sale in a Bird Mart here in Ft. Worth.  He was also in a box on a make shift perch and had a group of kids around him poking at him and "playing" with him.  I have always had a way with birds and when I went over and started talking softly to him an offered him my finger he ran up my arm, across my shoulder and "hid" under my chin in the small of my neck.  I played with him for a while and then put him back on his perch.  He immediately jumped from the perch to the side of the box and onto my shirt where he scurried up and "hid" in the same place.  This happened about three times more and I realized I had been adopted and just couldn't leave him to his fate.  I think I must have reminded him of his first owner.  He immediately started saying, "I love you!" which is the only thing he ever said. 
Buster didn't like him from the beginning.  Sam, my now totally blind cockateil could care less about his presence, but Buster hated him and turned on me because Pee Wee as I named him - was in his space and interfering with his relationship with me.  I have to admit I gave Pee Wee much more attention than Buster because he was such a sweet little guy and Buster was still young.  Buster became very very mean.  I could see in his eyes when he was getting ready to punish me - and I do mean punish.  One minute he would be friendly and lovie dovie and the next minute I was literally pulling him off of a nostril or my lip - very painful.  At that point he WANTED to hurt me very badly because he was hurting emotionally and I didn't know it.  Needless to say our relationship did not grow during that time period.  I didn't come to understand until later after Pee Wee's accident and subsequent departure over the rainbow bridge that he was tremendously jealous.
As time went on we once again became friends.  He still bit me periodically but I came to understand that this was one of his means of communication.  Usually it meant that he was not feeling well or he was trying to tell me something.  I realized that there were several things he hated from the very beginning and would always attack my hands viciously unless I worked out a "deal" with him.  One of the things he always hated was aluminum foil.  I could not until his later years count on his cooperation when pulling out a sheet of aluminum foil and even then he would scream about it.  Another thing he just never adjusted to is the noise a bottle of pills or any other item making the same sound when shaken.  If he was quietly sitting on my shoulder when I shook a bottle of aspirin he would run down and attack my hands.  He really hated paper towels too.  A vicious attack would soon ensue if I pulled out a sheet of paper towel - UNLESS I asked nicely.  I would say, "I have to blow my nose! Can I blow my nose on the paper towel?"  At that point he would sit back quietly and wait for the "honk" of my blowing my nose with no other reaction - but I had better ask!
This communication between you and Molly just goes to illustrate how smart the little guys can be.  He may have been scared by her fingernails but could just as easily been trying to fend off something he perceived as hurting her.  What I am trying to get across is that it took years for me to come to understand how to communicate with birds in general and the ones I share my house with in particular.  I hope your letter served to help people understand that we have to try to figure out what the little guys are trying to tell us.  After all we are their family and they normally don't intend to do us harm unless they believe they are being harmed or might be harmed and in some cases actually trying to protect us.
I don't remember if I sent this to you before or not.  It is a tribute to my little buddy Buster that I sent to friends and family when he passed away this past February.  I miss him so much and hope my new YSGC will help me get over the hurt.
"I know some of you will think this is silly but you can never know how much he meant to me.  My best buddy of 18 yrs. Buster "Booger Bird" died last night.  I think he just reached the end of his genetic life.  He had been getting weaker and obviously struggling for a week.  I tried my best as did the vet but it was just his time.  I am going to be a much lonelier person with him gone from my life forever.  He was my buddy and I was his person.  He was a member of my family and since I have no children both he and Sam were my children substitutes and it hurts me no less than if one of my children had died.  The two of them helped me through some really bad times.
He knew himself not so much as Buster but more as "Booger Bird".  He received that nick name when in about March or April of 1991.  I went to a Pet Land in the then very active North Hills Mall in North Richland Hills.  I saw a big box full of the little guys and was very interested in birds.  I asked if I could hold one and the very first one that climbed up the girls arm was presented to me.  Being a young bird he proceeded to test the texture of my hand by biting on it a little.  I said, “Watch it Buster!  You're a little booger aren't you?”.  I liked him and he went home with me and was henceforth known as Buster "Booger Bird".

Buster was a gray cheeked brotogeris parakeet from Ecuador.  Although literally millions were gleaned from the wild on the coastal side of the mountains of Northern Peru and Southern Ecuador, (that is the extent of their range) they did not breed well in captivity and are now totally unavailable.  Buster was one of the very last of the imported babies.  They were commonly known as "pocket parrots" because quite often just weaned babies liked to crawl into men’s shirt pockets and peek out.

This variety of bird is incredibly smart for a small bird.  Buster knew the difference between cold and hot if I warned him.  Quite a few routine questions I could ask him he understood and if the answer was yes I knew what sound he was making for yes.  If it was no he just ignored the question.  One of the questions he answered most often but not with a yes but with a "Treat!" was when i asked him if he wanted some treat - which was his always available personal bottle of Welch's grape juice.  He drank it right out of the bottle. He would get up beside my head and preen my feathers, (play with my hair), to take care of me.  If I was sad he could sense it and would try to cheer me up - and usually did!  He loved curling up in my hand and watching TV and would often fall asleep right there in my hand.  He liked doing “upside down Booger Bird” and then getting kisses on his belly. 

Anytime I was at home both he and Sam - my totally blind cockatiel - would be riding around on my shoulders.   I know Sam already senses he is not with us even though he can’t see.  He doesn’t hear and Buster doesn’t answer when called.  I will have to give him more personal attention from now on.

Silly or not he was a very huge part of my life and is now gone forever and I really, really hurt!  I am absolutely grief stricken!"


Hi Beth ~
So glad you forwarded this email. I have learned too that birds are very sensitive to colors and much more. Our birds will let us know if they don't like something that we are wearing as well. Some of them freak out when they see me wearing a skirt and some dresses for some reason. They notice if I have on high heels too...The cockatiels especially don't like my change of clothes. They also do not like for my husband to have on a dress shirt - they prefer a T-shirt. They also are not too fond of his wearing a hat.
Our cockatiels even noticed when I brought in a different sheet to cover up their cage - amazing that they noticed the paisley print over a more plain print. But they accepted it to cover their cage.
I also noticed with my sun conure that he will let me know right away if he doesn't like my nail polish. I have a real pretty plum color and it took weeks for him to accept that color. All the conures like the pink polish. So for them I'll keep wearing lighter colors!
If these birdies only knew what all we change in our lives just to keep them happy little campers. But there isn't anything that matches the joy and companionship that they give to us each and every day. Every day is a happy day for them.
It is good to hear from you and Joseph! I can tell how much you love your birds by the way you know what they are saying. This is something that takes time. It was very nice getting to meet you! I did add another pair of Crimson Bellies this week. They are in quarantine and will have to live indoors till our heat breaks.
Enjoy the flock at


























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