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March 2019 Mayor of the Avenue... Shezbug

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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 Shezbug is March'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 only have one bird who lives with me but will be bringing home another as soon as I have moved into our new house. I have Burt who is a Blue and Gold Macaw and he turned 1 on November 22nd 2018, so he is still my little baby bird :)
I will be bringing a SC2 home some time in the next few months....he is called Barry and is approximately 20 years old.


2. What got you interested in birds?

My mother got me a budgie when I was about three years old as we lived in a high rise flat and she was so tired of me begging for a pet to keep me company (I am an only child because my mother was smart and knew she could not cope with more than one of me :D), she knew we could not have a dog living on the 9th floor as it would not be fair to the dog so I was given a budgie. I was always interested in all types of animals- if it was living and not human I was fascinated with it! So, my first Budgie is what started my love of birds......or perhaps it was the chickens at my grandparents house that I used to fight with for the food scraps when I was 2 :lol:


3. What have your birds brought to your life?


Bringing Burt into my life has given me everything I needed to make me feel like each day was worth being a part of again. I was struggling with mental health while trying to come to terms with the many changes my disability had brought into my daily life, I really did not care about much anymore as there seemed to be no point to any of it. I really missed being a much needed mum to my kids since they grew up and I was feeling kind of useless and isolated, having Burt to care for each day has made me smile about life again and given me so much to look forward to each day. He has brought me so much happiness and motivation that it feels like my life is back on track to a degree. I find reasons to leave the house now (so I can get new things for Burt) and enjoy knowing it is time to start the day. He has given me back my spirit.


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


I have learnt from having birds that I am much more accepting of things I have no control over and I am much more patient than I thought I was. I also have learned that it does not pay to put the cleaning off till a later time as having a bird around just makes the mess pile up so much faster and then bits of bird party time get everywhere.....clean each and every day no matter what! I have also learned that I much prefer spending time with my bird than any person I can think of- not too sure if this is really a good thing but it works for me :)


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


My budgie used to do everything with me when I was little....she would shower and bathe with me and eat every meal with me. She would hang from my fringe and slide down it to meet my spoon as I was feeding myself, she would sit on the edge of my bowl and help herself to my food and this was a daily thing. One day she was helping herself to my drink and fell in the tall glass, my mum was like a tourist with everything and she insisted on finding the camera to get a pic then tipped the bird and drink out onto the floor.....my bird was orange for a few days after this:hehe: and our carpet had a permanent orange stain, mum did get her great picture though! Another time she slid into my bowl of tomato soup and was a funny color for a while but she was happy standing in the warm soup eating away.
One day Mum and I went to the Melbourne Zoo and I was in a pusher eating donuts (2 or 3 years old) when a big flashy peacock came over to inspect what I had, his tail was fanned out and he was all full of himself and being all flashy and tough (sexy for the lady birds:lol:).....mum panicked and took off leaving me stuck in the pusher with the food the peacock wanted! I was terrified and could do nothing but sit there and cry while the huge flashypeacock stole my jam donuts tiny bit by tiny bit, the stupid thing is I still have to remind myself they are not bad scary birds when I see them as the fear I felt that day instantly hits me and I nearly panic when I see them:rofl: I will never forget these things, they are some of the earliest memories I have.


6. Where is your birds main living area?


Unfortunately his living area is in the lounge room which is kind of joined to the kitchen. When I had his cage delivered I had not considered that it would not fit through the doors, I was just so excited to get it put together that I started assembling it in the most open area of the house. Once finished, I stood back and proudly looked at his new cage and then the realization that it could not be relocated from there hit:rofl:........my daughter and I could do nothing but laugh. As I knew we would be moving within the year I did not make the effort to take the cage apart and move it to my room, I take Burt out of the area and up into my room when the kitchen is being used for anything that may bother or harm him.


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


I changed a lot of things when I was preparing to bring Burt home. I tried to convince my mum to move her bedroom into the office so I could have her room for Burt :D........I did not get very far with that one though:hehe:. I removed all of the chemicals that are harmful and hid the others so I can ensure they are only used when Burt is out of the house for a few hours. All our candles got given away, packed away or removed to the outside area we sit in. I no longer use incense which was a daily thing being burnt somewhere in my home.....this made everyone have to think of what to get me for Christmas last year as everyone knew how much I loved incense so I would get lots of it for Christmas every year. I hid or gave away all of our teflon pans and kitchen items. Fly spray and fly strips were either thrown out or hidden from the rest of the household so they are not used. A massive section of the kitchen was cleared out and devoted to Burt's foods, one of our freezers is full of only food for Burt. Vacuuming happens daily now instead of weekly or as needed. We got an air purifier which is something we have never had before. My bedroom got turned into a bird play area and the only reason it still resembles a bedroom is because I have no where else to store my bed! I no longer use perfume and have changed a lot of my personal care items for things that are not full of harmful scents/chemicals. I no longer wear my grandmothers rings as I am worried Burt will be interested in them and damage them. There are so many things that have changed and are continuing to change as I learn more and find things that may be a potential problem for Burt. One of the biggest things that changed for me personally was my potty mouth.....at one time I could not complete a sentence without using a fair few expletives, I very rarely swear now and certainly never in front of Burt- I would hate for him to be unwelcome anywhere because of a bad habit he picked up unnecessarily from me.

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


I am not a member of any groups or clubs related to birds......just Avian Avenue :)


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


The one luxury item I would love for Burt (and my future birds) is a massive aviary that is big enough to grow a tree in and set up lots of cool things for them do and still have enough room in it for me to set up a comfy spot for me to hang out in there with them..... I have been told that in our new house I can have the huge shade house (approx 20 x 30 feet) that is there for my birds :laughing12: I will need to swap out the shade cloth for wire and remove part of the solid roof before I can use it and that may take me a bit of time saving up for all that is needed to convert it to a safe bird area. So hopefully my one luxury dream item for my bird will be a reality soon enough.

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


I dream of owning a few different birds, all of which I doubt I will ever even be lucky enough to meet in person let alone be able to own! I would dearly love a GW Macaw (I have met a few but never interacted, just looked), Hyacinth Macaw and a Red-fan parrot. The GW may be a possibility for me in the future but the other two are definitely not birds I will likely ever be able to afford let alone locate here in Australia.


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


A typical day for me at home with Burt is pretty basic.... wake up and chat to him till he is ready for breakfast which is usually at about 8am. Once he has finished breakfast he usually wants to come out of the cage so I get his carrier and put him into that and take him up to the other room where he is safe to be free and do what he likes. We play for a while and I check him over to keep him used to having physical inspections then my daughter usually comes in to visit with Burt so I leave them to play and chat for a while and I go clean his cage out while they are busy either arguing or playing. After his cage is done I go back to the room where he is and we do some training which he loves as it is the only time he gets pine nuts. I try to give him a shower and I normally end up being the one who gets showered while he sits on top of the shower screen laughing or rah-ing at me. Once he starts to quieten down and looks like he wants a rest or nap then I load him back into his carrier and take him back to his cage. I do some non bird related things while he eats more, naps or practices his special noise making skills. Sometimes I take him for a car ride to see the Emus up the hill or to visit my Dad and Step Mum or just simply so he stays used to the car and does not get stressed out when he needs to go in the car.
He usually gets something similar to what we are eating for lunch then he comes out of his cage again for a while.
The afternoons he normally spends a fair bit of time destroying his toys and emptying his baffle cage (one of his favorite toys), tearing the paper on the bottom of his cage and picking through some of the days dropped food and broken toy parts. He gets some warm mushy pellets at 5pm because he started to carry on when I fed the dog like he wanted what I was giving the dog, sometimes he eats the warm pellets sometimes he likes to tip the bowl and make a mess on the cage floor. About the same time he gets his warm pellets he enjoys watching whoever is preparing tea in the next room and he gets bits and pieces of what is being made if it is bird friendly food to keep him busy till he gets his tea. He loves to eat when we are so he has a lot of little meals offered to him over the day.
For the rest of the night he usually spends time trying to get attention from my mum by either dancing for her or competing with the TV volume, chewing toys and preening.
Some days he spends a lot of time out of the cage and others he spends more time in the cage.....he lets me know what it is he wants to do and that is what we usually run with.


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


I have learnt that we do not know nearly enough about birds after all the years they have been kept captive, they still seem to be a mystery to us all knowing humans. I think I have also learnt more about myself than I thought was possible from caring for Burt, I have learnt what some of my strengths and weaknesses as a person are.


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


If I knew then what I know now about birds I would choose to do nearly everything differently, I think the main thing I can think of right now is that I would not ever have used a lot of the items we can not use around birds as they are also very harmful for us. I think back to a lot of the things I thought were ok to do to or around my birds when I was younger (before joining here and learning so much) and wish I had of known the things I do now as I fear some of my past birds were likely terrified of some of the living situations they had to get used to.....it makes me feel awful that I did not know and just did what I thought was right or what I had been told was right by others who really knew no more than I did at the time.

14. What other hobbies do you have?


I do not have many hobbies any more as my main hobbies used to be exercise/physical stuff that I can not do any more. I do enjoy word puzzles especially anagrams, reading true crime stories, torturing myself by crocheting, making dreadlocks, learning new things, making yummy things from home grown fruits and veg, making bird toys and anything to do with Burt and his needs.

15. Anything else you would like to share?


I would just like to share how much I love being a member of this fabulous community and how much I appreciate being chosen for this award....thank you very much for considering me for this award:heart:
I wanted to add some photos to share of me with birds when I was cute and little but as a lot of our things are packed away ready to move I have no idea where they are at the moment :(If I come across any I will be sure to share them!
 

SquawksNibbles

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I very much enjoyed reading your interview and I think you really deserved this award, Shezbug. :hug8: You are a very helpful and kind member of the Avenue. Aa really wouldn’t be the same without you. I’m sorry you went through a tough time in your life but I’m glad Burt came along and changed everything for you. :heart: I enjoyed reading about your everyday activities with Burt and also your memories of your little budgie! I’m super excited for you as you prepare for Barry the cockatoo!

Many congrats on this award! :starshower1:
 
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Zara

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Congratulations. I loved reading through your interview :)
I always enjoy reading your comments and you always have a kind word to say ❤
 

Davi

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Congratulations!!!! I also enjoyed reading your interview and completely agree that sharing our lives with birds (and other pets too) can be SUCH a wonderful thing for our mental wellbeing (well, maybe not right when they're screaming just a few inches away from your ear, but you get the gist) :hehe: Hearty congratulations!!!
 

Teckechick

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Such a great choice for Mayor of the Avenue!!!! Congrats we loved reading your interview!! :wewin::starshower::bounce7::starshower1:
 

JLcribber

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Yup. Your terminal. :lol:
 

Clueless

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Great read and congrats!

Amazing how these little feathered dudes bring us out of ourselves.
 

hrafn

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:congrats5::party:

The perfect choice for Mayor!! You're such an awesome parront to Burt and a perfect friend on AA.

I love this interview. I keep laughing at the image of your mum fleeing from the cocky peacock and leaving you there to have your doughnuts stolen. :laughin: Though I can imagine the terror you felt in the moment!

Enjoy this honour! It's SO well deserved! :starshower:
 

EkkieLu

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Many congrats!!! Well deserved!
 

Tiel Feathers

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:congrats5:
What a very well deserved award! You are such a wonderful member of AA.:heart: You are always so kind and considerate while helping other members with your knowledge. I enjoyed reading your interview so much. I loved hearing all about your adorable Budgie and about your mom and the peacock!:roflmao: Bert has such a wonderful life with you, and I know the same will be said of Barry.
 
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