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July 2018 Mayor of the Avenue... Mizzely (Shawna)

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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 Mizzely is July'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)?

I currently have just Jingo, a male quaker who turned 7 in May.

2. What got you interested in birds?

I've always been fascinated with birds ever since I can remember. I have memories of begging my mom for a cockatiel when the local Meijer still carried live birds. That was a long time ago! The trigger for me actually getting birds though was when one of my first rats died. While I was grieving, I saw an ad from the local pet shop selling parrotlets. They were SO CUTE. And they lived longer than the 1.5 years I just spent with Penny. So, that started my research into parrots, and led me to quakers.

3. What have your birds brought to your life?

The whole range of emotions! From joy, to humor, to sadness, to frustration.

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

I have learned that the days are long but the years are short. When birds are screaming and hormonal, it feels like it will last forever because it is hard to see the end in sight. But even though our birds can live 30+ years, those years are not guarantees. That's true for everything in our lives - so they have taught me to live in the moment more.

I have also learned a lot about nutrition through birds, and I feel that has improved the diets and lives of all my pets.


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

I remember when I first brought my Hahns, Gizmo home. She spent the first few days terrified in her cage; I had to keep a blanket covering part of the cage so she could hide. I finally opened the door for her to see if that helped...and she flew out of the cage straight for my face. I was SURE that she was going to bite my face...but instead she clung to my glasses, totally unsure of what was going on either, until she finally figured out how to get to my shoulder. She settled in like it was where she was meant to be all along. It was the start of our amazing friendship, and that memory is one my favorites.

6. Where is your birds main living area?

It has changed over the years several times, but currently Jingo is caged in our living room right near the couch.

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

I have changed so many things so many times! I recently rearranged my entire living room to bring Jingo's cage into it. Other modifications are the blankets hanging in my doorways to prevent him from going into the hallway/kitchen areas to avoid interaction with cats, as well as stop him from biting me while I make coffee...

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

Mostly just my bird toy business, Lil Monsters Bird Toys, and Avian Avenue. There aren't any bird groups this far north in Michigan, sadly!

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

An Exotic Wood Dreams flyer!

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

I would love to have another mini macaw someday. I just feel that after Gizmo they are the type of bird I jive with the most.

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

Things are actually pretty chill with just Jingo right now. I am fortunate enough to work from home now, so I get up about 9am and the first thing that happens is I let Jingo out of his cage. He helps me get food ready for the cats, rats, and himself, and then I have to put him in his cage for a few minutes while I make coffee, as he hates the Keurig now and will bite me if I touch it! Then I sit on the couch and answer emails, check AA, etc, while he hangs out with me. He guards my coffee cup and then begs for scritches! He is out most of the day and comes and goes from his cage as he pleases. He starts screaming about 7pm to be covered for bed, and then once he is secure, I let the rats out into their pen for a couple hours before I head downstairs to work on orders.

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

I think that flight and foraging are two of the most important things we can provide for our birds. Foraging is an important part of their intelligence and instincts, which they really need and enjoy. Flying keeps them healthy and lets them burn off energy that may otherwise come out in the form of bad habits (screaming, plucking, etc).

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

I would have waited longer between birds; I waited 6 months between each addition and I think that was too fast. I also would have spent more time with species before deciding on quakers. Reading about a species in NO WAY prepared me for the real deal. I also would have started with an adult I had a chance to meet before diving into a baby. Living with birds is much more complicated than I ever imagined.

14. What other hobbies do you have?

I like to play video games like Fallout, Mass Effect, Okami, Don't Starve, and Ark:Survival Evolved. I also love superhero movies; my favorite Avenger is Iron Man! I enjoy going to garage sales, thrift shops, and consignment shops. I am also a horror movie addict and love alien and ghost movies.

15. Anything else you would like to share?

Never stop learning. Things are changing all the time. What was true even 10 years ago isn't true today, and all of the things you know today may be disproven in the next 10 years. Birds are definitely wild creatures, and it is more appropriate to think of yourself as a zookeeper some days than a pet owner.
 

JLcribber

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It's about time. Well deserved. :hug8:
 

faislaq

I have macaws and don't post enough pictures
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Amen! What a great interview. Congrats, Shawna! :congrats3:


We love Ark at our house, too!
 

ode.to.parrots

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:congrats5:
So well deserved!!!!
 

Tiel Feathers

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:congrats5:
Definitely about time, I can’t believe you don’t have this award already! Also, I loved reading your interview!
:starshower1:
 

aooratrix

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Ditto! Congrats!
 
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