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June 2019 Mayor of the Avenue... Fuzzy (Roz)

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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 Fuzzy is June'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)?


Kobe - Blue-Headed Pionus - 12 years old
Ollie - Orange-Winged Amazon - around 16? years old
Chico - Panama Amazon - 50+ years old
Bobbie - Red-Lored Amazon - around 19 years old


2. What got you interested in birds?

We had family budgies since I was around 12 years old. Then when I first went to live in London, I would go to Harrods to see the birds on sale, which included owls. I was so taken by this huge pale peach coloured baby cockatoo (I think now she was a Moluccan) that the assistants seemed to constantly carry around. She was called Poppy and at £800 was too expensive for me… thank goodness, in hindsight!! I hope she went to a good home.


3. What have your birds brought to your life?


My initial reaction was "stress!" I'm not going to delete it because I constantly fret and wish I could do better for them. But they also bring companionship and a lot of joy and laughter. I especially love to watch them interacting with each other. Plus they brought a whole world of wonderful parrot people to talk to on the internet and sometimes in person.


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


A huge interest in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Kobe was my first larger parrot, and eleven years ago (before I found AA!) I got such awful advice on how to deal with his burgeoning aggression that I decided to research behaviour for myself. I found Dr Susan Friedman's Behavior Works, and did her Mini Lessons, LLP and LLA courses. Then went on to become one of Susan’s TAs and tutored on all of those courses. I am obsessed by books on behaviour and in the last couple of years I have been following Lara Joseph. It is a subject I never tire of. There is always something new to learn/understand.

That patience, kindness, consistency goes a long way to earning a bird’s trust.


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


The traumatic loss of my English Budgie and soul mate, Boo, ten years ago last month. He was nearly 13 years old. He had gout and arthritis in his last five years so could no longer fly. Despite me padding the floor around him, one fateful night he jumped off his cage, I ran to catch him, young Kobe flew to me at the same time and landed almost on top of Boo. Boo went tumbling out of my hands onto the hard floor. He broke his leg and died on the operating table the next morning. My world crumbled.


6. Where is your birds main living area?

The sitting room.


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


Yes, I had to get rid of a lot of furniture (a sofa, chairs, a desk, a beautiful and huge thick rug) to accommodate a growing number of cages. I made fly screens for the windows and doors, and chicken wire cages for the hot halogen lights in our old house. When I moved house I knocked down as many interior walls as possible so that there would be more flying room, ripped out the carpets and got an aviary built onto the sitting room French windows.

There are towels over book shelves and high cupboards so that Kobe doesn't eat my books and woodwork. There are hanging boings and atoms everywhere.


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


I belong to some Facebook groups - Lara Joseph's Animal Behavior Center and her Parrot Project. Also Jason Crean's Avian Raw Wholefood Nutrition and his Team Thrive.


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


I would love to make my whole garden a covered flight for them.


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

No, not any longer. Amazons have always intrigued me since a baby one tried to get into my pocket when I was looking at young Pionus before getting Kobe. Now I have three of them. I would have loved to have got an OWA friend for Ollie, but Chico and Bobbie happened along instead.

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


Kobe sleeps in my bedroom so he is the first to get up. Then we go downstairs to wake the rest of the flock. Of course Kobe likes to "help" uncover each cage and watch me folding all the sheets and blankets shouting "oh boy!" I run the hand held vacuum cleaner over the floor and take out the disabled Chico's night papers and box which keeps him from falling off his perch during the night.

The birds come out and play/socialize whilst I prepare their breakfast. Often before breakfast if there is time I will shower/spray them. Ollie and Bobbie usually settle down to scream at the outdoor birds usually in the conservatory. Or Ollie will hang out in the aviary. Kobe flies back and forth from the kitchen to the sitting room, which is great because I would like him to socialize with the other birds rather than be too attached to me. Chico is at his most chatty so I encourage his talking and singing by answering him from the kitchen. When breakfast is done, everybirdie goes into their cages to eat, and I eat with them. Then I get their dry bowls (seed, pellets, nuts etc) together and get ready to go out. Only Ollie stays out when I am out of the house since he is trustworthy.


When I get in, I let Kobe and Bobbie out. Then start preparing our dinner. We eat together and then watch an hour of TV. Then it is the big clean. It takes about 3 hours to clean all their cages and go through the night time routine. Kobe goes to bed first with almond pieces to reinforce his going into his night cage. Then I do a little work with the Amazons. They earn their treats for targeting, turning circles, etc. They get some juice, food bowls out, covers on, and bed. Ollie then gets nebulized or I use the diffuser for 20 mins.


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


Looking after parrots is way more time consuming than I ever imagined.
A good avian vet is so important and it’s better to locate one before getting the bird.
A good cage often costs more than the bird itself.
Most captive birds suffer from Vit A deficiency which highlights the importance of a diet high in colourful fruit and veggies.
Choice is a hugely important primary reinforcer. We take away choice when we clip our birds' wings. We then encounter a whole host of mental and physical problems.
With the right behaviour tools, it is always possible to change problem behaviours.


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


My budgies would have had much bigger cages.


14. What other hobbies do you have?

Gardening, photography, reading, writing articles now and again for Parrots Magazine, listening to music, making/designing greetings cards.


15. Anything else you would like to share?


When I was looking for Kobe, I never gave a thought to second hand parrots. After experiencing my three rehome and rescue Amazons I would never again consider a baby parrot. The reward in watching a second hand parrot blossom because of the work you put in to him/her is second to none.

I am honoured to receive the June Mayor of the Avenue award. Thank you! And thanks for reading.
 

Zara

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Congratulations @Fuzzy ! :loveshower:

I enjoyed reading your interview, there are many wise words throughout, especially Q12.

:starshower1:

Also, I never knew Harrods sold birds :o:
 

Teckechick

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What a great interview! Congrats and well deserved!
:congrats5:
 

cassiesdad

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Congrats!

Great interview...:)
 

Clueless

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Great interview.
 

EkkieLu

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Many congrats Roz! I loved your interview!!!
 

tka

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Congratulations Roz! Thank you for a really informative interview.
 

Fuzzy

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Gosh, thank you so much, Everyone! It took me very much by surprise. LOVE interacting with everyone here. You are all so knowledgeable!!
 

Fuzzy

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Congratulations @Fuzzy ! :loveshower:

I enjoyed reading your interview, there are many wise words throughout, especially Q12.

:starshower1:

Also, I never knew Harrods sold birds :o:
Thanks Zara! Many years ago Harrods sold lions too! Do you remember the story of two guys who bought a lion cub from Harrods? They called him Christian and he lived with them in Chelsea, until they decided to release him in Africa. They went back to visit him a year later and he recognised them. Here is a video of the story:


I'm glad they stopped selling these exotics.
 
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