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November Mayor of the Avenue - Stevo!

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Birdlover

Avian Addiction!
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Hey Roadies! Im pleased to announce the first "Mayor of the Avenue" - Stevo! 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. Please join me in welcoming Stevo as The Avenue's first Mayor :dance4::dance4::dance4:


1. What kind of birds do you have, age, species and names.

Only one, for now...; Danny is a 3yr old Yellow-nape Amazon (parvipes spp)

2. what got you interested in birds?

I think it was my Father’s interest primarily; he used to keep homing pigeons before I can remember. Both of my parents were always supportive of me keeping birds growing up. I love their intelligence and empathy; I’d much rather spend time with a bird that a cat or dog.

3. What have your birds brought to your life?

Great companionship and they have taught me patience and different ways to approach problems.

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

I have learnt that not everybody is a bird person and that birds have an uncanny knack of working out who those people are. I have learnt patience and developed positive reinforcement techniques to enrich both of our lives.

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

The trust given me by my last parrot, Charlie an Alexandrine, as I comforted him at the vets before surgery to attempt to remove a large cancerous tumour.

6. Where is your birds main living area?

My living area is his living area!

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

I’m always conscious of dangers around the house and have modified my behaviours and furniture to suit. I have set aside a large area of the living room for his activities so that he can always be around the action. Outside I have strung up rope on the patio so that he can be with me when I’m in the garden or tending to my tropical fish.

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

I am a member of the Parrot Society of Australia (www.parrotsociety.org.au) and moderate on an Australian bird forum.

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

A huge sunroom off the patio for safe flying activities at home.

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

I try not to dwell on the unattainable, like keeping a Mealy Amazon which are not available in Australia, but rather focus on what’s required to reach the goals that are a little more realistic. Next year may see the realisation of one of these goals.... ;) The parrot hobby in Australia forces most of us to dream in some way after we see the prices and availability in Europe and the US!
I love the size of the Mealy and their temperament. All in an Amazon package!


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

A typical Saturday morning for us, when I was living in Darwin, would have me sleeping in until about 8am and Danny playing quietly in his cage until he hears me out of bed. I love that he is so respectful – during the week we both get up at 6am.
Usually we’d then share some peanut butter on toast while I have a coffee. I remove/change the paper in his cage when I let him out. After I’ve showered, with Danny on the shower-curtain rail chatting away, and woken up we drive up to the markets in Parap (tourist markets with souvenirs and lots and lots of good food!).
At the markets I’ll grab the Saturday paper, a fruit smoothie and a cheese and ham crepe. The paper and smoothie are for me, the crepe for both of us... We sit at the markets and share the crepe while answering all sorts of questions from passersby, I try and read the paper at the same time (it’s easier to read the paper while he’s eating, otherwise it’s a real battle....). Danny will normally find some children to run and chase, much to the bemusement of everyone (except the children..).
After the markets we would either head back home for some housework, or drive to a couple of the local pet shops to catch up with the employers and to give Danny more socialising opportunities. I’m also on the look-out on these drives for fresh gum-tree branches for Danny to destroy at home – I carry garden snips and a bow-saw in the car just in case.
Once back home I’ll normally have fish tanks to clean and do water changes on, so Danny will either play upstairs in the living room on his play area or hang outside near me on a rope strung over the porch.
After that I’m usually in need of a break so will flop on the couch and watch some sport. Danny will either play on the couch with me, jumping on my chest from the back of the couch, or keep himself amused on his play area.
Dinner is usually shared, although I will also cook up his meal at the same time – he has beak appetite mixed with soaked and cooked legumes and pellets (roudybush and vetafarm). I cook this up once a week and warm up portions each night. He’ll also have some of whatever i’m eating and some fruit.
Bedtime for Danny is normally around 10pm and is dictated, to some degree, by him – if he thinks I’m going to get him for bed and he’s not ready he’ll start eating his pellets on his gym.... Otherwise it’s a good opportunity for a head scritch and, always, a little protest when he goes away. He then runs around upside down in his cage for a couple of minutes before settling down on his sleep perch.
Somewhere in all of that I find time to change his water and food bowls, clean up after myself and do some one on one training and playing with him. He keeps me pretty busy!


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

Birds operate to their own pace and we need to read and accept that and modify the way we interact with them to shape positive behaviours.
I have learnt that there are so many ignorant people in the world that do not have the best interest of their birds as a priority.
Positive Reinforcement and behaviour shaping work because birds are intelligent creatures; if there are problems in training they usually stem from the trainer and techniques, not the bird.
Respect, respect, respect. Need I say any more? Lol.


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

I don’t think I would have changed a lot, perhaps I would have given my Alexandrine more boundaries early in his life. The positive reinforcement techniques used today are merely a more formalised version of techniques that have been used by a few for many years. Diets have improved, as has the research into the value of foraging and mental stimulation.

14. What other hobbies do you have?

Flying is work, but also a hobby. I also enjoy photography and have recently submitted a number of photos for inclusion in a new book on Amazons. When I have the spare time I like to SCUBA – moving to Townsville at the end of the year should give me much more opportunity for that. I like to read and recently purchased a Kindle to take everywhere with me.

15. Anything else you would like to share?

Bird keeping is a wonderful pastime that provides many insights into your own personality. It takes patience, trust and observation to develop a strong bond and friendship with your feathered friends.
 

Billie Faye

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Congrats on being our FIRST Mayor Steve!:dance5:
Great interview and learned more about you and Danny...
:hug8:
 

birdlvr466

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Congrats Steveo! So nice to get to know you better! Very nice interview!
 

Birdiemarie

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Big congrats, Stevo! It was fun sharing a day with you and Danny and getting to know you a little better. The two of you have a wonderful bond!
 

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Kristy

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:bounce7: Congrats Stevo!!!

You are Mayor, pretty sweet gig hey :):)

Loved the interview and getting to know you better.

:congrats:
 

Big Blues

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Congratulations Mr. Mayor... I know you will represent well all the Macaw Motorway residents at official events! :dancing:
 

Birdiemarie

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Hey Steve, there's a new supermarket opening up in the neighborhood and I think they need you for a photo shoot. :lol:
 

JLcribber

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Mayor Steve has a nice ring to it. Congrats.
 

itzmered

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Congrats Stevo It is nice to get to know you a little better!
 

akijoy

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:yourock: I'm trusting DANNY to keep you on the straight and narrow!:lol:
 

rockoko

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Congratulations Steve! :dance4:
 
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