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April 2019 Mayor of the Avenue... BeanieofJustice (Steph)

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expressmailtome

Ripping up the road
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Our "Mayor of the Avenue" award is presented to a member who exhibits the qualities that distinguish them to be an upstanding credit to the Avenue, a loving, informed, conscientious and caring bird parront and an all around good neighbor.

I am happy to announce that BeanieofJustice is April's Mayor of the Month.
I enjoyed reading your interview, and am sure that everyone else will as well!

1. What kind of birds do you have (age, species and names)?


One (approximately) twenty-five year old male Scarlet macaw named Sam Axe who has a slightly bent keel-bone and a wing that was broken and fused at some point in his life.


2. What got you interested in birds?


There are several different reasons, I can remember watching Alex on television as a kid and his intelligence captured my imagination. It wasn't the words but how he interacted with the world. I was also a HUGE dinosaur nerd (still am) as a kid and the fact that they were today's dinosaurs was the coolest thing to me. I can remember as a kid being dropped off by my father at a particular pet store when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old and they had two hyacinths on display and the entire upstairs had a bird display, I can remember spending hours just watching and listening to all of the different species.


3. What have your birds brought to your life?


Everything. I can't say enough about how much Sam has brought to my life; he's helped me at some of the lowest points in my life. He's brought me joy and he's inspired me to build toys and perches and things like that that I'd stopped doing. He even has the credit of getting me out of a very bad relationship.


4. What have you learned from sharing your life with your birds?


Besides that I can't imagine life without one, he's taught me the value of persistence and never giving up even when things look dark. He's a companion that I can count on and one that I work to make sure I can be the best companion for him that I can.


5. What's one birdie memory that will stay with you forever?


There are so many. My favorite is probably when Sam climbed down off of his cage and onto a chair I was sitting on while he preened me. It was the first time he'd done that.


6. Where is your birds main living area?


I live in a tiny house (a shed that my family and I finished into one) so he's in the computer room/entry way but he can see the whole house from his cage.


7. Did you change things in your home to accommodate your birds and if so what kinds of things did you change?


Oh man, I changed a lot. I used to clean houses and man, I loved bleach. I never used many sprays to begin with or perfume, I did have to chance the hair stuff and body wash that I used. I mix my own cleaning mix (lemon/water or white vinegar). I also actually learned how to cook so I could cook for him.


8. Are you involved in any kind of bird related group or activities?


I want to be, but more or less, I just go to the local bird store. Up north, I used to volunteer at a backyard rescue, and I miss those birds, and I miss "geeking out" about bird stuff.


9. What is the one luxury item you would love to have for your bird(s)?


One of those amazing Java tree stands.


10. Is there any bird that you dream of owning and if so why?


I guess a cockatiel was my dream bird when I was a kid, still is to some degree, because they're such sweet little birds that deserve love and time. I've had a long history of enjoying conures too. I love the conure/macaw playful personality, they seem to be higher energy (like me) so I tend to click with them better than other parrots.


11. Describe a typical day with you at home with your birds.


We spend all the time that I'm home together, and I don't close him in his cage because he doesn't crawl down because of the gap, he doesn't chew on my walls and it's good for him to exercise as much as he can. I wake up, give him breakfast, I eat breakfast. If I work, I turn his music on, tell him I love him, he opens his wings as much as he can and gets as close as he can. He gets a couple of nuts when I leave (his grandma visits him if I'm gone for too long). When I get back, we might do some clicker training, or just "whisper" to each other. I see if he wants to get on the stick so we can hang out in the living room on his stand (he's not a big fan of the couch). Before I go out to feed the horses, he gets dinner. Once a week we do a full shower bath, while on other days, it's the mister. I have a shower curtain that I use so that he can sleep even if I stay up later.

12. What have you learned about owning birds that you would like to share?


I learned a lot, and I still feel more like a student than a master, so I'm not sure how much I could say beyond; let the bird pick you, rescues are full of needy birds, and you never know who will pick you. I first started volunteering because I was interested in an African Grey and was offered an Eclectus (whom, the old owner asked for back because she missed her), I was nervous when a macaw, the largest and one of the more difficult birds to own, picked me. I waited over a year to bring him home because I was afraid about failing; I'd never been owned by a bird before, and Scarlets had some reputation that I kept reading about that discouraged me. Well, he's been nothing but a dream. Which brings me to say; it's better to know the bird as an individual than anything. Knowing about what you could be in for is good with generalities, but every birdie is different. Also; something else important, is to let them go at the pace that they are comfortable with.


13. If you knew then what you know now about birds, what would you do differently?


I actually feel like I came into it pretty prepared, but I would have started Sam on Harrison's HP a lot sooner.


14. What other hobbies do you have?


I draw, game (both video games and tabletop RPGs like Pathfinder; I'm a perma-GM), read (mostly true crime and bird stuff), write (fiction), horseback riding and building in general.


15. Anything else you would like to share?

Sam's old owner named him Archie, and I went through a phase of trying to rename him until he spoke his name (Sam) to me, and then I knew his name was Sam, so I added Sam Axe after a character on Burn Notice who is played by one of my favorite actors; Bruce Campbell.
Nothing else to share but to say thank you to this amazing community for being here and helping me give Sam the best life that I can. And listening to me when times are rough.
 

Clueless

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Awesome interview. Congrats!!!!
 

Hankmacaw

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Congratulations Steph. What a good choice for Mayor. Sam Axe has always intrigued me - like my Hank he hasn't had the easiest of lives, but has come through a champion.
 

BeanieofJustice

Rollerblading along the road
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Thank you everyone!! :D
@Hankmacaw - Thank you, I love your stories about Hank. It's amazing what they can go through and still, as you say, end up as champions. :)
 

cassiesdad

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Congrats to Sam Axe's person and a great counting partner...;) :)
 

faislaq

I have a macaw and don't post enough photos
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Congratulations Mayor Steph!
I always love reading about you and Sam Axe. Also, I did not know that you were a fellow dino enthusiast.
How cool! :)
 
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