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September 2010 Mayor of the Avenue............... Natalie (Archiesmom)

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GG.

Enjoy the small things
Mayor of the Avenue
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GG
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'm pleased to announce Natalie (Archiesmom) as September's "Mayor of the Avenue" :)

She is an terrific person and an asset to the Avenue - please join me in welcoming her
:D


Natalie, this is a wonderful interview and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about you and the feather and furbabies in your life

:hug8:


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

I have five birds :)

Archie-11 years old, Gold Capped conure

Ella-5 years old, Sun conure

Calypso-Cinnamon Grey budgie, Youngish. (She had baby bars when I rescued her).

Mr. Pigglesworth- White budgie with an electric blue butt, exact age unknown, but young. :)

Akira-Peach-faced Lovebird, also exact age unknown, but young.



2. What got you interested in birds?


When we moved out to WI, I was having a tough time transitioning. We had had two little budgies named Clint and Garth growing up that were absolutely terrified of people, and also a lovebird named "Dingy" that I have only recently confirmed with my parents that was returned to the pet store. I was told he was "sent to live on a farm" and at that age, I believed that. So not necessarily a good track record, but I had always loved the birds and tried so hard to tame Garth and Clint (no avail) and to make Dingy friendly and stop him from attacking me and everyone else who wasn't my mom (also no avail). We went into a major pet store chain and nearly choked when we saw the price of cockatiels, the bird I initially had wanted to get. The following week, we went to a bird fair where someone had let us know we could get one much cheaper, and a breeder literally tossed a baby Archie on to me, who was so scared and clung for dear life. It's been a fairytale love story ever since and has developed in to my most cherished hobby and passion, and I am constantly thankful to that lady who "lied" to us when she said an Aratinga conure is SUCH a great beginner bird, and so much quieter! (!! Yes! She said this! :rolleyes:)


3. What have your birds brought to your life?


Birds have brought a whole new meaning to my life :)Juggling work, school, a relationship, and horses, I never thought I'd have time to "enjoy" any other animal besides my horses. Owning birds has been a study in what it really means to take care of something that you have domesticated. I think back to the lives Clint, Garth, Dingy, and even Archie in the beginning lived, and while I cringe to think of some of the things I did because I was unaware, I am pleased to see the world of difference and betterment that they have slowly taught me to accept. And its carried over not just to the care I give my birds, but to myself, my relationship, and my other animals. They have taught me to re-prioritize my life, manage my time, and sometimes, just to stop and enjoy the moment. It's been a priceless life lesson.

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


They have taught me that no matter how much we think we know about birds, their behavior, and their complex personalities, we have only touched the tip of the iceberg into discovering just how complex and intelligent they really are :)To own a parrot is to be constantly learning.


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


I will always remember the day that I got Archie. I remember him snuggling on my chest and being so scared, scuttling up to hide underneath my hair, and then giving me the lightest little kisses on my ear after my mom consented and said that we could get him. We took him home in a little cardboard box (like the one you'd get from Petsmart :eek:) and I kept opening in to peek at him and let him know everything was all right, and my mom kept telling me to close that box and keep it shut. When we got him home and into his cage, I remember waiting for approximately 1 minute while he ate and drank, before taking him out again, and that bird didn't see his cage except for sleeping and eating for about 6 months lol. I was instantly smitten, and we were best friends from the very moment he landed on me :)


6. Where is your birds main living area?


I have a whole bedroom dedicated to my birds, and it’s GREAT! It doubles up as my hangout/study area and is where I spend most of my time.


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


Well, we certainly changed the notion about having a guest bedroom :) Also, my sense of style and decorating has changed to accommodate the birds, making sure that I don't have any toxic candles, potpourri, poisonous plants to birds, etc. Also, it’s caused us to be much more conscientious about ourselves. So we only cook in Stainless Steel now, we limit the amount of chemicals we use and try to keep things as natural as possible, we eat fresh produce vs. processed or even produce that has lots of pesticides, and we're much more aware now of airborne toxins and dander and such than we were before, so we're moving to invest in air purifiers. In general, our entire house is more "healthy" thanks to the birds.


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


Besides trolling on Avian Avenue all day, and attending a few vet clinics here and there, no. I one day hope to be in a position to do rescue volunteer work.


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


Just one? :DCan I make a blanket statement and say a bird room that is outfitted like Saroj's? :lol:
To be more specific, the immediate luxury item that I am saving for is the Foraging Bundle #6 from Avian Superstore...and I'm hoping to be able to afford this for them next Spring (as if I could deny them!)



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


I dream of owning a [FONT=&quot]TAG. I'm absolutely enchanted by their personalities, and drawn to their sensitive nature. I love interacting with my birds, and I know that TAGs (and Greys, in general) are very complex, intuitive birds that respond well to lots of interaction from their human, and while I've only read on here of the bond that can develop, it sounds absolutely magical. I know, however, that now is not the right time for me, and so I'm content to wait and keep them as my dream bird :)



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


Wake up early, and get the mashie heated up. Cut up some fresh fruits or veggies for some added nutrition, and maybe add some birdie bread to it. Mix everything together and get everyone served up pronto, as daddy is trying to sleep and the ruckus begins as soon as I open the door to collect the food dishes, and won't stop until everyone is served! I let the birds eat in peace for about an hour, and then back into the bedroom and everyone is let out of their cage. I make sure that everybirdie that wants it gets a good morning snuggle and scritches :)I then refill all of the foraging toys and skewer some more fresh fruits/veggies and hang them in the cages just in case someone wants a snack :D Guilty as charged, I'll scatter a few nutriberries in the playtop cups and crush a few smaller nutriberries and put them in the little guys' cages as well as an added bonus. I'll just hang out in there for a bit, surfing the web on my laptop or whatever, until Paul wakes up. Conures go back into their cages (and they generally enjoy this, as I drop a few more nutriberries in their dish and they then get to eat the veggies) and the little guys get some time out to roam around. Swap it up at about 1:00, and then before bed everyone is let out again together and gets to hang out while supervised. When I put everyone to bed, everybirdie who wants it get a goodnight snuggle and kiss, and of course a little treat. I say goodnight to each and every one, turn out the lights, shut the door and we proceed to tiptoe whenever we're upstairs for the rest of the night :)


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


I have learned that it is SO much more work than you first expect! I see people buying the budgies from pet stores and such for their kids, and I just can't believe the level of responsibility that entails that no one seems to know about unless they somehow stumble across a site like [FONT=&quot]AA and learn otherwise. The lack of information out there and more, the lack of interest in the public to learn otherwise, is frightening.[/FONT]


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


Oh goodness...Garth and Clint would have NOT had a tiny little cage, and we would have fed them more than just seed. I would have bought treats like millet and nutriberries, I would NOT have tried to tame them by sticking my hand in the cage and probably giving them both minor heart attacks...I would have worked with Dingy the right way, not getting angry when he bit and keeping him in his cage, which eventually led my parents to return him because he was considered "mean" and was probably more frightened than anything else :(And I would have been exposing Archie to all kinds of things, and his diet would have been SO MUCH better, and I would not have cooked with Teflon pans literally no more than 6 feet away from him! :eek:. I would have done a lot more with foraging and enrichment for all the birds too. If only, if only.


14. What other hobbies do you have?


My family raises and breeds Morgan horses, and horses have always been a passion of mine :)We currently have 16. We have 4 broodmares; Spot is currently in foal for a baby due late April (YES! I will post pics and videos when the little tyke is born :D). We also have 4 members of the “Geriatric Pastures”, some young stock that is for sale and a line of show horses as well. So yes, it’s a huge thing for us! We live and breathe horses in my family. I also enjoy volunteering for Midwest Animal Rescue, even though I'm not in a position to be fostering anymore.

15. Anything else you would like to share?


I am so honored to have been elected Mayor. The amount of information I have learned while being a member of this forum has been absolutely astounding, and I have each and every one of you to thank for that, as this site only exists because of your contributions. Thank you SO MUCH for being such wonderful people, you all inspire me on a daily basis, and I cannot tell how glad it makes me feel that as I continue my journey through "parrothood", I know that I am not alone and that I have all of you here. :hug8:
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Renae

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Congratulations.......
 

Greycloud

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Yay!!!! Congrats Natalie! Excellent interview! You are a wonderful parront!
 

marian

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:Congratwav:Natalie You are a great parront:hug8:
 

Anne & Gang

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congratulations Natalie..you rock..what a fantastic interview...I just love your pictures and your posts....:dancing:
 

magni

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:Congratwav::congrats: what a great choice:hug8::hug8::hug8::hug8:
 

Birdlover

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Loved reading about you and our flock Natalie! So glad that you are a part of our neighborhood :yah:
 

Cynthia & Percy

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congratulations
 

Daisy's Mom

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Congratulations Natalie! You soooooo deserve this.. :heart: I loved reading your story.. :)
 

Juhi882

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Congratulations!! :hug8:
 

Mystics Mom

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yeah you deserve it:dance4:
 

Thugluvgrl187

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YAY!!! Natalie Congrats! Loved hearing about you and your fids!
 

calibird

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Congrats
 

Birdiemarie

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Big congrats Natalie on becoming Mayor! I enjoyed your interview very much and hope to hear more about your horses in 'Other Than Feathers Speedway' (hint hint).
 

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allison

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Congrats Natalie! Very well deserved. :hug8:
 

saroj12

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Loved the interview!:cheer:
Congratulations Natalie!!!:hug8:
 

suncoast

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Congrats Natalie,

What a great story about Archie.

Ginger
 

Holiday

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Congrats! :) Great interview! :hug8:
 
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