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February 2018 Mayor of the Avenue... faislaq

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expressmailtome

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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 Karen is February'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)?

We have Scott, our 3 1/2-year-old yellow-sided green cheek conure :ysgcc:; Harley, our 8-year-old cinnamon green cheek :cinnamongcc1:; Buzzard, our 14-year-old miligold macaw :miligold:; and Luv Bug, our 6-year-old Goffin's cockatoo :goffin:.

2. What got you interested in birds?

My husband and I went into a pet store for a bag of dog food and saw a very charismatic little green bird in one of the plexi cages. We normally get a laser pointer from the aisle and play with the kitties that are there for adoption because they don't get played with much, so I thought a mirror would be a way to play with a bird behind the glass. My husband beat me to it; he turned his phone's video on selfie mode & let the bird see himself dancing. That little ham got so into dancing at himself that he fell off his perch! (It was only a few inches.) He was such a funny and engaging little fella you could tell the employees played with him a lot. I told my husband he should hold him. He said we don't need a bird. I said "just hold him" and went to find an associate. He was such a charmer we both fell in love. About 30 minutes and $500 later we walked out with that little green cheek, tons of toys and supplies, and thankfully we remembered the dog food.

3. What have your birds brought to your life?


Joy, more birds and AA.

All because of one little heart-stealing clown in a pet store, five other birds (so far) have found their forever homes. If we hadn't been looking for a companion for Pistachio, the kids at Scotty's old house would still grabbing him out of his cage and Harley would still be in an unused room, probably egg bound as deficient as she nearly was when she came to us. (They didn't notice because they hadn't had her out in months.) If it weren't for us missing 'Stachi I wouldn't have found AA looking for ways to cope and we wouldn't have been looking to adopt when Buzzard's owner shoved him off on the first person who would take him (thankfully us!). Luv Bug would still be at her old house, still very loved and adored, but not let out for weeks at a time by the bird sitter when her owners had to go out of state/county. Even the little Brotogeris we tried to adopt found his forever home with our neighbors. I felt bad when we decided to rehome him, but he was afraid of the other birds and he is so much happier with an entire family to dote on him.

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


Before we really started learning about birds we thought they were pretty to look at and listen to, but we had no idea of the depth in those tiny creatures. We have come to realize that not only do parrots have individual personalities, thoughts and needs, but that the wild birds do as well. I had a co-worker years ago who said he loved birds and told me about his pet cockatiel -what a weirdo! :cautious: And he seemed so normal otherwise. Now I am that person. :D

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

The day we went to meet Buzzard, his owner had his cage broken down in the back of her Jeep. (Guess he's coming home with us then?) My husband pulled Buzz's travel cage out of her vehicle and Buzz looked up at my husband and said, "Hi." :blink: Scared the heck outta me, our birds don't speak.

6. Where is your bird's main living area?

Buzzard and the green cheeks are in what our floor plan says is the dining room. Luv Bug's cage is on the far wall of the living room. In our apartment they are pretty much one long room, though, so in the interest of keeping Bug's dust at a minimum, she gets showers almost daily and there is a large air filter next to her cage and another tabletop unit by the other three cages and Luv Bug's sleep cage is in our bedroom.

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

Just the usual things, no scented candles, room spray, certain cleaners, etc. I thought I was the only one that missed them, but the other day at the store my 6'4", very manly husband confessed to me that he misses scented candles. :laugh: I told him I do too and gave him a hug.

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

Just AA.

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


Those huge walk-in cages that some of the members on here have. Of course I dream of an outdoor aviary and am determined to have to have one someday, but only one bird can use it at a time. With the walk-in cages everyone would have more play space all the time and they're not much more expensive than the larger regular cages.

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

I'm pretty sure my husband still wants a grey someday, but for now we are content with our flock. The only birds I hope to have one day are friends for Buzzard and Luv Bug. And as I've mentioned in another thread, I know a few more green cheeks will find us and that will be nice, too; there are always so many around here needing homes.

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

My husband and I have different schedules. He gets up at 5:30 for work, so Luv Bug wants to be up when he is. I get her out until he goes to work, then I put her back in her sleep cage until I get all of the birds up at 7:30. I turn on the bird light, change food and water and everyone's out for an hour until I go to work, then it's back in the cages and everyone gets a treat when I leave. Hubby gets home by 3:30 and opens all of the cages. I turn off the bird light when I get home around 8 or 9 and recheck food and water. I cover the green cheeks by 10, Buzzard doesn't like to sleep in his cage anymore, so I can't cover him but he starts dozing on his playstand around that time anyway. Luv Bug comes to bed when we do unless she's unusually cranky, then we put her to bed a little earlier with an almond; a few squawks and she's asleep.

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


Patience and respect. It's not about doing things when you want them done, it's about convincing them it's something they want to do. :) Always leave enough time to coax them so you don't have to rush and damage their trust.

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


We will never take another bird outside without a cage.

Pistachio loved to go everywhere we could take him especially when I walked the dogs. He loved singing with the wild birds and dancing & stepping up for the neighbors. He was the perfect birdie ambassador. He went for at least two walks a day with me for over a year. One day I was taking Nomi down for her morning walk with 'Stachi on my shoulder. I waved at a neighbor. He waved back, then his face changed to one of alarm. I was confused and started to turn around to see what he was looking at. Before I could turn my head I heard Pistachio squawk and I saw a brown blur. A hawk had come from behind me and taken him right off of my shoulder; I never even felt the hawk. I screamed and chased that hawk around the complex for as long as I could see it and our family searched for Pistachio for hours. I looked up online to see what were the odds of us finding him alive and learned that hawks usually break smaller prey's necks on impact. At least I know he didn't suffer, but I had nightmares for several weeks and woke up screaming a few times. I looked for his body for months, a feather, anything. I have replayed the whole thing in my mind over and over and the only answer I could find was I should have had him in a carrier, even a harness would not have saved him.

My ignorance is unforgiveable and "what ifs" will not bring him back. All I can do is tell others the bare, honest truth no matter how hard it is in the hopes that it will save even one bird. Any judgment and shame I get for it is well deserved. It is my penance; I owe him that much.


14. What other hobbies do you have?

I am quite a homebody. Between work, pets and familial obligations I have little time to myself. I used to enjoy reading but haven't had time lately. I like to watch movies with my husband and play games on pc. Pretty much anything that I can pause when something else needs to be done. The dogs and birds keep me busy, especially Luv Bug, but they are worth it.

15. Anything else you would like to share?

Just how grateful I am to AA and everyone on here. I can look up or ask any question and someone here has read about it, lived it or will help me find it! :laugh: The sense of community on here is special to me as it is hard to find time the time to get together with friends, so it means a lot to be able to connect with everyone here whenever I can. There's always a new story or posts to brighten my day!
 

SandraK

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Congratulations! I love your story and I'm so sorry about Pistachio :sadhug2::sadhug2::sadhug2:. I'm glad that he opened up your heart(s) and eye(s) to continuing being parronts. :highfive:
 

webchirp

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Congrats and loved you bio....:hug8:
 

Clueless

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congrats, loved the bio, so so sorry about 'Stachi.
 

Teckechick

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Congrats you deserve it!! I enjoyed your story and here is a hug for your Pistachio :sadhug2:
 

TikiMyn

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:congrats5: You deserve it!:heart: I loved Reading your interview:D What a heartbreaking story about Pistacho though:( I think losing a bird because another bird/predator killed her is the worst way:sadhug2: But who knows how Many lives you have saved by sharing his story:heart:
 

Familyof12

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Congratulations! You do deserve it and I'm so very very happy that you are Mayor of the Avenue. I loved how sincere and honest you opened your heart during the interview. I heart you so much and so many people here. Best place on earth with people who really care.
 

Hjarta5

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Congrats @faislaq -- this was such a wonderful interview! To no surprise, you are as open hearted and supportive as I've imagined you to be from reading your posts and likes on AA :sunflower:
 

Tiel Feathers

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:congrats5:
What a wonderful interview! I loved reading about your flock, and I’m very sorry about Pistachio.:(
 
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