Ripping up the road
- Real Name
Lets celebrate together!
I am pleased to announce February's "Mayor of the Avenue" - Monica akijoy This "award" is a monthly interview helping all of us to get to know each other a little better. It 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.
1. What kind of birds do you have, age, species and names.
I am owned by a TAG, (Gertie ) almost 3 years old, a mealy amazon, (Sam Mealy) 1 year, and a SI male eclectus (Ollie) 5years old.
2. What got you interested in birds?
My very first bird was a java rice bird (finch) that I raised from a few days old when I was a young teenager in Japan. Chip-Alert was my constant companion, and what a character he was! I always took him out (yes, in the busy streets of Tokyo) and it never occurred to me that he would fly away. He never went far from me, though fully flighted. He loved traveling in my pocket, and he would come out at the park or un-crowded areas and he would chase me around or circle around my head or watch the world on my shoulder. One day, I came home from school and my bird was gone. My mother had given him away to a taxi driver. She thought I was spending way too much time with a bird, and believed it to be the best thing to do. It broke my heart.
3. What have your birds brought to your life?
Pure joy, and a sense of humor! There’s something about bonding with a feathered creature that is magical, isn’t there?
4. What have you learned from sharing your life with your birds?
I’ve learned not to take myself so seriously, and also not to value material possessions so much. (since they can destroy it in a minute!) Also, to live in the moment and not in the past or the future, like they do.
5. What's one birdie memory that will stay with you forever?
The day I met Sam Mealy at the bird store where I went to get Gertie’s food is a memory I will never forget. I had been there so many times before without any desire to bring home another bird. She chose me and let me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted me to be hers. It was an amazing moment of clear, unspoken communication. I still get goose bumps thinking of that moment.
6. Where is your birds main living area?
Their cages are in the living room, our main common area. When I am not at home, this is where they reside. When I am at home, they are out and have the freedom of my small house.
7. Did you change things in your home to accomodate your birds and if so what kinds of things did you change?
My husband jokes that we are residents in THEIR home! There are perches, boings, and play areas throughout the house. I have turned our covered patio into an outdoor bird room, where they can enjoy the fresh air and play. This was probably the biggest accommodation. I’m deathly afraid of any strangers to see how we live because it’s not quite normal!
8. Are you involved in any kind of bird related group or activities?
Just Avian Avenue!
9. What is the one luxury item you would love to have for your bird(s)?
A spacious and lush bird room with lots of greenery and fun places to play, forage, and be a bird, in a semi-natural environment….just like Ferdinand’s!
10. Is there any bird that you dream of owning and if so why?
I have come to know and love so many different species of birds through AA, and I would love to experience all of them first hand. But time and space puts a limit on what I can and should have. I am very happy with my present flock of three, but I eat up pics and stories of all of the birds loved by fellow AA members.
11.Describe a typical day with you at home with your birds..
A typical work day begins with me getting up at 4:00 a.m. Before leaving for work, (and the birds still sleeping) I clean their cages, clean out the water bowls with boiling water, refill daily portion of pellets, make their skewer treats , hide nuts in foraging areas, and prepare the fresh offering for the day. When it’s time to shower, Ollie will be awake and dying to join me. Gertie and Ollie shower with me every other day or so. They all get their morning mush feeding before I leave. Afternoons are relaxed, and play time until bedtime. I am bad about getting them to sleep at a decent hour. They like to settle in their favorite places around or on me while I do evening work on the computer or read. Weekends are more relaxed, and on nice days, we go on outing or a drive in the car which they all enjoy. There is never a dull moment.
12. What have you learned about owning birds that you would like to share?
I believe it takes a very special person to have a relationship with a bird. It is a tremendous amount of work, that takes loads of patience and time, and most parrots need 3-4 hours of active interaction, and not many people can offer that. I wish every potential bird owner understood this…if they did, there would be far fewer birds needing to be rehomed or sold on Craig’s List.
13. If you knew then what you know now about birds, what would you do differently?
I have always been the type of person who wanted to raise an animal from scratch. I believed that you can only bond perfectly with a baby bird. After getting Ollie, my views have totally changed. Also, knowing all the neglected and homeless birds that are up for rescue have made me vow that, if I am ever in the position to add to my flock, it would be a bird in great need that would have trouble getting adopted.
14. What other hobbies do you have?
I am an avid reader and love books. My perfect life would consist of a huge library in my house, with a comfy reading chair and a great big fireplace. I also love to work with my very talented dogs (border collie and German Shepherd), watch my daughter ride at her trainer’s barn, listen to her play the piano, and see my other daughter’s dance practices... AND hang out on the Avenue, of course!
15. Anything else you would like to share?
I would just like to say that there is something truly special about this forum, and it has become like a second family to me. I love reading everyone’s posts, learning from your experiences, seeing your pictures, laughing, crying, commiserating, and sharing with you parrot lovers all over the world. It’s always a lovely day in the neighborhood! Thank you all.