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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Bird Tales' LiveJournal:

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008
8:11 pm
Treating Arthritis In Dogs
Treating Arthritis In Dogs
 by: Suellen Cazarez
The canine is a marvelous creature and just like humans it is made up of bones, ligaments, and cartilage which must protect internal organs and hold four legs erect. And just like man, mans best friend can suffer too. In fact arthritis in dogs is very common.
The joints play an important role in your dog's walking, running, jumping, and any other movements he makes. The joints are lubricated but when the joints are damaged arthritis can set in.
Dogs just like humans can develop arthritis and treating arthritis in dogs is very similar to treating humans. Learn how to recognize and manage this debilitating disease.
Arthritis in dogs can be very difficult to manage and it can also be a bit difficult to diagnose since dogs don't always show the more common symptoms we are trained to expect. The dog may not limp or they may not appear to be in pain. The symptoms may be much more subtle than that.
The hips is the most common place for arthritis especially in some breeds. Your veterinary can check by taking some pictures. These x-rays and radiographic images will help the vet determine where the deterioration is.
Arthritis is a disease that causes changes to the joint and the tissue surrounding it. It can be caused by an injury to a joint or stress to the area. It may also be the result of a poor immune system. It is the most common cause of hip dysplasia in dogs.
Animals seldom show visible signs that they are suffering. Vets are very good at spotting the subtle behavior changes that we might miss. You need to know and understand your dog's characteristics so that you can easily tell what he wants to do.
Signs of arthritis may involve your pet being stiff after exercise, having trouble getting up and moving, or not wanting to climb the stairs. If your think your pooch has it's important to make an appointment with your vet and not try to self treat.
There are some excellent treatments available for your dog if it suffers from debilitating arthritis. Pfizer makes a drug called Rimadyl or Carprofen. It is the most prescribed treatment on the market with more than 10 million dogs being treated. Of course your vet should run regular blood tests if your dog is on long term anti-inflammatory treatment.
Deramaxx by Novartis is another popular treatment in the NSAID family as is Metacam a liquid form, and EtoGesic. Ask your veterinary which is right for your dog.
You can also do some other things to help make your dog more comfortable. Making sure your dog is not overweight is an important part of managing and treating arthritis. Exercise is also important in maintaining joint mobility and flexibility.
Your dog should have soft cushioned sleeping quarters. Do not place your dog on a hardwood floor or in a dog house. Massage therapy is also a good alternative treatment to help mobility.
There are some great nutritional supplements that you should consider feeding your dog before they develop arthritis and of course if they have arthritis. Glucosamine and Chondrotin formulas are definitely supplements worth feeding to your dog. Make sure you purchase from a manufacturer that is known for their quality product.
Do not make the mistake of thinking a human medication that works for you will be good for your dog. Acetaminophen will damage your dogs liver and Ibruprophin has been linked to gastro bleeding.
Whether your vet decides to treat with surgery or drugs you need to make sure your pet gets lots of rest and that you don't over exercise. Follow your vet's advice and Fido will continue to lead a happy, pain free life.
Monday, June 16th, 2008
9:11 am
Want To Start With Dog Shows? Show Small Dogs!
Want To Start With Dog Shows? Show Small Dogs!
 by: Blake Kritzberg
The lights, the ring, the glamour! Ever think you might like to become involved with showing dogs? If so, then starting with "toy" or small dogs can offer a great way to enter into this hobby with fewer demands on your time and space than a larger breed might involve.
The purpose of a dog show is to compare all entered dogs of a specific breed against a pre-established, written breed standard of perfection. The winners, or Best of Breed dogs, then compete against each other for Best in Group within one of the seven basic groups to which their breed has been assigned (the Herding Group, Hound Group, Non-Sporting Group, Sporting Group, Terrier Group, Toy Group or Working Group). The winner of each group then goes on to compete for the coveted Best In Show title and hopefully, earn more points toward a Championship.
As a new entrant to the world of dog shows, you'll find there are advantages to showing small dogs over larger dogs.
Sitting Pretty
First, small show dogs generally take less time and effort to bathe and blow dry before a show. You may think this detail almost inconsequential, but after you attend a number of shows it becomes more important. Small show dogs are also easier to lift in and out of a tub, and require less water, soap and conditioner. With the exception of long-coated breeds, less dog equals less hair, which equals less drying time. As a result, it's possible to thoroughly bathe and groom six toy-sized show dogs, like Chihuahuas, in the time it takes to groom one large Standard Poodle show dog!
Git Along, Little Doggies
Secondly, showing small or toy dogs means you can show more dogs because they take up far less space. Each small show dog requires a small traveling crate, but crates of that size are light to transport and simple to store. Small show dogs also require the use of grooming tables, but as long as they get along, two small show dogs can share one table.
Easy Does It
The third factor is, showing small dogs requires less physicality on the part of the person handling them. You'll seldom see small show dog handlers huffing and puffing as they race around the ring. Instead, small show dogs work harder to cover ground and keep up with the handler, whereas large show dogs cover ground in great strides, requiring the handler to work to keep up. In addition, "setting up" a small dog for viewing is a simple physical task, whereas a larger dog can involve much more effort.
As you can see, showing small dogs enjoys a bit of an advantage over showing large dogs. As a result, you may find that showing small dogs makes a very rewarding start to a downright addictive hobby that you and your mini champ can enjoy together for years.

Lool here! Different Types Of Bird Baths
Thursday, April 19th, 2007
7:48 pm
My boyfriend and I are incubating two Canada Goose eggs as of now. We came across them last week....Thursday I believe, and we've moved them to my house, where they sit in a large peanut can atop layers of soft cloth, with a 60 WATT heat lamp beating down on them and a heating pad [that I had for my python before I gave him away] around the exterior of the can in hopes of making it decently warm.

I know the temperature has to be around 99.5 F for the Goslings, preferably, but we're doing the best we can. They're pretty warm. They've had cool moments, and some uber hot moments...well, one hot moment, and that was when the light was too close, but now they're moderately fine.

However, when they were at his house, I noticed they smelled kind of funny, but now that they're at my house... Well, I just ran upstairs and they dont smell funny anymore. Like, if you go right up and smell them, yeah, they smell weird, but it's not like a strong smell, and it isnt bad. I dont know.

But, is there anyway to tell for sure if they're alive or not? I mean, we started off with one egg, and maybe Saturday night it was, I was holding it and I felt something similar to an abrupt tap to the forehead, only it was coming from within the egg. I take that as a good sign. But it's been almost a week until then, and I want to know if there's any definate way to know if they're alive or not.
Sunday, April 9th, 2006
10:04 am
Any fellow chicken-lovers here?
I just created a community devoted solely for the sharing of chicken stories. chickenstories. Anyone who would like to join and share their funny, cute, touching, or random stories about chickens is absolutely welcome. I just created it about a half-hour ago, so I'm definitely open to any input or ideas anyone would like to give.

On another note, birds rock! I own two cockatiels and a Pacific Parrotlett (in addition to about sixteen chickens), and I absolutely adore them. I'm an enthusiast of birds of all types--be they poultry, tropical, wild birds... I'm currently receiving training to rehabilitate wild songbirds who are injured or abandoned. I'm actually thinking about becoming an avian veterinarian, too. So, hello everyone!
Thursday, July 21st, 2005
9:13 am
Information please?
Hi.. I joined this community because I have never owned any birds, but have recently found myself taking care of a homeless baby bird... a young quail, to be exact. I know this may not be the right sort of community, but I wasn't sure where else to go for the right information. ((I will copy and paste information about this bird from my journal.))

"Yesterday, my dad found the tiniest little baby quail on our steps. It would appear that Max, our cat, somehow found the nest and broke it up. This particular little baby wasn't hurt at all, but very traumatized ((poor thing had been carried back in Max's mouth, no doubt.)) He would have practically cooked to death on the stone steps of our house if Dad hadn't picked him up. My first thought was, "Oh no.. Dad's picked up a baby creature so now its mom will never ever take care of it again."
Dad really scared me at first because he had his hands cupped around something I couldn't see and said something about the cat getting it and I thought "Oh my gosh, no, he's brought something that's bleeding and suffering and going to die... I'm not sure I want to see." Even afterwards I was a little tense and negative (just being honest) because I had learned in Environmental science that overl 50% of quail brought to rehabilitation centers should have been left alone. And also it leaped out of dad's hand and fell into the sink, which was traumatic for both of us... but he appeared to be unhurt.
There's no telling where the nest is, or where the siblings are... and even if we could find them, the mother would not accept him back into the nest probably because of both cat smell and human smell.
And he's so tiny, he must be only born in the last week. He's sure food for a snake if we release him.
So... with that said...
For now, we have him in a roomy box on the back porch with lots of fresh-picked vegetation daily (and also some of the dry brown grass from the field, where he is very camoflauge (spelling, blast) and a saucer of water for drinking and bathing. I read that baby quail mostly eat fresh vegetation. It said that only 5% of their diet is insects... but so far, the only thing we can seem to get him to eat are a few grits and some finely ground raw oatmeal.
Of course, he may not live... but the food (which was, and still is my primary concern) does not seem to be doing him any harm. I am doing more research on the topic to see what I can get out of the field for him to eat. On the other hand, he may live to be quite large...[but how to release him back in the wild... :( Constant problems, I say.]
Any suggestions or information you can provide will be welcome.

Edit Add-on: I should clarify. I say the food doesn't seem to be hurting him because he seems to enjoy it and has perked up. Also, he's been digesting regularly which is a good sign, I figure. As for vegetation, I just keep going out to the field to pick whatever green things I can find, and also gather up things that might (emphasis on might) have tasty treats like small ticks, ants, mites, or other insects quail might like to eat. ((But personally, I think this baby is too small to eat insects. I don't believe that the young eat insects, but I'm not sure.))

If no one here can give me any information, is there anywhere you can direct me to get the right information (particularly about food, because I know he doesn't really eat grits and oatmeal in the wild)?
I would be extremely grateful for any tips you may have.
Thank you!
Hoping to receive some comments,

Current Mood: hopeful
Sunday, April 24th, 2005
6:54 pm
Hi! This is Bowser and Kiwi. (Quaker parrots) We arent as innocent as we look. Bwahahahaha!!!! We hope you like our LJ. It is about our everyday adventures and our plans to take over the world!!! Bwahahahaha!

This is the playhouse we are currently taking over.

The only time we are peaceful and not reaking havoc.

Bowser likes to leave nice little presents in the playhouse sink for mommy to clean up.


Current Mood: content
Friday, March 18th, 2005
2:58 pm
I honestly think if birds were smarter they'd be able to take over the world. We humnas aer helpless when birds attack. We're too busy tryin to not have our eyes pecked out to try to defend ourselves.

I'm new here. My name is Sebastian and I love mallard ducks.
Wednesday, December 29th, 2004
9:02 am
Well yesterday was a good day.

I got my hand-fed zebra finch! "She's" quite young, only beginning to get colour on her beak, and a beautiful white mutation. I'm not TOO sure of her gender yet, but as you can see, I think it's a her :)

The beginning of my tale, which I'll keep short, included a very abused pet-store finch of the going-bald variety. She was a darling finch who had not been hand-tamed and was very timid, but I had to try to save her.

She was the first bird I had and we had a good old time together. Her name was "bunny" and she would yap at me when I went to leave the room and stare at me from her cage when I was doing work. She was a good friend and I always enjoyed her song waking me up early in the morning!!! (Ok, well, not always, but I could handle it.)

She recovered not so badly and grew most of her feathers back over the months that I cared for her, however one day in November, she went light, and I had no idea why!

It was a devastating experience for me, as she was my first and only baby. I beat on myself for a long while, but a good friend reminded me that she would have had a better life with me than in the habitat that the unnamed petstore would have given her.

Now days, however, I decided that maybe it was worth another try with a bird that was healthy. I let my heart get the best of me and sometimes I don't make the best decisions. I frequented a reputable store that specialized in birds, and ended up with Spiorad, my white zebra finch.

I just went up and played with her for a bit. She's a silly one. She still asks to be fed with her alarming spaztic calls. I love her. I hope we have a long and happy friendship. :)

pictures!Collapse )

Current Mood: bouncy
Wednesday, December 8th, 2004
11:46 am
Can anybody advise me any special trip to see toucans and research toucans life?
Saturday, September 11th, 2004
4:09 pm
x posted to get the word out!
I'm posting to let members here know of a community dedicated to helping find lost pets, and the overall welfare of animals, specifically birds. I hope this isn't seen as spam, but rather as the expansion of a resource.

Many of you have probably heard of the 911 Parrot Alert Network dedicated to reuniting missing birds with their families.

There is now a branch of it on LJ mostly in hopes to gain new members in the network. The larger it is, the more effective it will be.
come check it out: parrot_alert911

You don't have to be actively searching for a missing bird constantly in order to help.Just being aware that a bird is missing in your area, helps in that, if you do see an exotic bird, you know who to contact to help return the bird home.

Every little bit of vigilance counts, even if it just means checking this or the main database from time to time looking for a match, or to become aware of lost birds in your area.

In the mean time, we need the largest base of members here possible in order to be most affective.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004
1:08 pm

I just joined this community because i love birdies and figured that everyone on my friends list must be sick of my bird stories by now..

i am mommy to two wonderful starlings. =D

the oldest is Bird-bird.. my husband and i found him as an adult just over a year ago, with an injury that prevented him from flying. when we found him he was severely starved, nothing but bones and feathers. i really didn't think he would survive but he surprised both of us by making a slow but full recovery. he still cannot fly, but has regained all his weight (and then some!), sings all day long, went through a full molt last summer and is staring his first this year. he is still nervous around me, but will flirt and show off his pretty feathers from a distance. :)

Flicka is the baby starling we found this spring.. we estimated her hatch day to be around May 11th, so she is about 7 weeks old now. she was about 12 days old when we found her lying on the brick walkway outside of our apartment building. she was dehydrated and very thin, so we took her in and nursed her back to health. unfortunantly she imprinted on me, so we couldn't release her, but i don't mind. she has become a great member of the family, and has made Bird-bird very happy. it is lovely to watch them interact and teach one another cute little tricks.

they are on the diet found at Starling Talk. that site has literally been a life saver for both my babies, so i had to share the link. :)

i am also mommy to 2 large dogs and 4 cats.. my apartment is quite the zoo!

anyway, enough babbling!
Thursday, June 17th, 2004
11:01 am
Pigeon / Doves in NY need home
I just got an e-mail from the girl in Brooklyn, NY with the starling she wants me to take … she’s named it Blue. I am requesting a little more info from her: What’s it eating? How Old? Etc? but if all goes well, Star may just have a companion soon… I think she’ll like the company. This girl also has two pigeons/dove that she needs to find a home for… unfortunately I just don’t have enough room for them too, though I would take them in a second if I could… oh well, anyone know someone interested in two birds, hand raised and tame?
Tuesday, June 15th, 2004
12:16 pm

Ok, I think I will start with an update on Star…

Freitag – she started learning how to come when I call her. I would say something to the effect of “come here Star” and she would fly from wherever she was to my shoulder. I am glad to know that she is not only learning her name, but also she is learning to come which will be good to stop her if she ever gets into too much trouble. After picking her up from “grandma’s” (my mom is more than nice enough to watch her during the day since she still doesn’t know how to eat on her own) Bitten & I took Star to Caffe del Mondo with us. Star seems to be rather amused sitting in her cage while Scott read and I attempted to write… I ended up paying more attention to Star than writing, because she was being quiet – not something she usually does when she is in her cage. Usually she is screaming as loud as possible to get out whenever she is in her cage for more than a few moments… Anyway, since Star seemed more interested in playing with her newspaper and other things in her cage, I planted a few bits of egg, which she eventually found and ate on her own… the first few things she ate without me having to actually put them down her throat! It was a small triumph. Tim showed up just before 20:00 to play at Caffe del Mondo, and Star was getting tired, so I brought her to sleep over at my mom’s house and Scott & I settled back in to read, write, and be entertained by Tim’s attempt at music.

Samstag – Scott & I woke up early, but thankfully not at 05:30 or 06:00 as usually when Star is home… of course, she was the perfect angel over at my mom’s house and didn’t utter a peep until around 08:00 – brat! But isn’t that always the way? The kids are always on their best behavior over at grandma’s house… So, anyway Scott & I got up and I drove him home before going back over mom’s for our weekly shopping excursion. This week Star accompanied us because she is getting to be quite insistent that she doesn’t stay anywhere alone for more than a few minutes, and last weekend, she refused to eat because mom and I were off shopping fro most of the day. Anyway, I won’t bore you all with the details of the day, coffee, Weight Watchers, shoe shopping, more shoe shopping, and the pet store, where I did find a really amazing cage for Star that I’ll have to save up to buy (it’s a steal at only $145, 3’ x 2.5’ x 4’, it will be perfect for her to have room to fly around in if she wants) and I got her some mealworms… I wasn’t sure what she would make of them, but she absolutely loved them… she was more than eager to eat them all buy herself, at one point even sticking her beak into the container and seeking out her own to find and eat. Amazingly she can easily eat those on her own, but then conveniently “forgets” how to eat her dog food mixture.

After our outing… I came home to let Star fly around the apartment while I took a much needed nap. I wasn’t feeling all that well and knew I had plans for that evening, so a nap was defiantly in order… though it was more of a lying down awake and entertaining Star every 10 minutes or so whenever she got lonely at playing by herself, still it helped. It still amazes me that one little ornery and loud bundle of feathers can so easily bring out my maternal side…

Sonntag – Star the feathered alarm clock (how many nicknames does that make now? Alarm clock, Velcro, boomerang,…) woke us up around 06:30, I assume she was being nice and letting us sleep that extra ½ hour since it was Sonntag… but then she became something of a bitch because I put her in the bathroom (safe zone for her to play and fly when I can’t watch her)… it seems that she really wasn’t interested in eating… what she wanted was attention, and she wasn’t getting it with me trying to sleep in the next room. So, being the good mommy I am, every time she squawked, I got up and went to see what was the matter – thankfully Scott was able to sleep through most of the commotion - it was always nothing with her, and she usually quieted right down as soon as I came in and paid attention to her – brat!

Star’s new thing is that since she is getting better with her flying, she doesn’t want anyone to leave her… if you walk out of the room she is in, she will fly right up to your shoulder to see where you were going. I thought this was just me at first, but she soon started doing the same thing to Scott if he tried to walk out of the room. She knows who her “flock” is and she doesn’t want any of us leaving her behind – I don’t blame her at all.

Once we all got up and ready and Star was fed and packed away into her cage… it was off to my mom’s house. Star got stuck staying there with Missy TeaLeaf for company (mom’s lovebird) while the three of us went out to get coffee. Later was Mom & my weekly excursion to the grocery store – this week Price Choppers, simply because we needed to be reminded exactly why we hate going there…

That was about it for my weekend… once we got back from shopping, I stayed over mom’s house for a bit with both birds out and causing trouble… Missy Tea was intent on getting Star’s bowl of food, while Star was intent on trying to see what that other little green thing was doing… it was comical. At one point I stretched out on mom’s couch, myself intent on reading the Time magazine I had just gotten, but I hadn’t been feeling well and I soon fell asleep. Funny how Star could be nosey all day long, but the moment I lie down for a nap, she went in her cage for a drink and didn’t utter another peep until I woke back up a little bit later… she is funny like that. Anyway, I was feeling a lot like some large truck ran me over, so I went home and retired early last night… boy, is my life exciting or what?

11:57 –
This morning I woke up with a horrendous migraine… Star of course had no idea, and thought that every time I said “please be quiet” it must have translated into “let’s be louder” in bird speak. Still, I couldn’t be mad at her... she is far too cute for that, and besides, she kept trying to practice making new sounds and singing while I was getting ready, how can anyone be mad at that? She is learning quickly about my morning routine now, and that it always ends with me leaving her with Grandma for the day… so now she is getting wise to it all, and I think she realizes that every time she flies up to my head, or tries to help me with my make up and hair (lets not even mention shoe ties) it makes time with her in the morning last that much longer… she is too smart for her own good I think…

She is defiantly outgrowing her current cage a lot faster than I expected, so I think I’ll have to go see about getting her a big birdy cage this weekend – something she can fly around in and be more comfortable in…

Mom messaged me about an hour ago, to let me know that Star’s bratty-ness has carried over into her watch this morning… It looks like she is trying to eat things now, of course this mainly involves her dumping her food bowl over on a near constant basis, but still it is a start. Also, one of the times mom went to go check on her, she flew to the floor and put her beak under the door to try to open it and she wouldn’t get off the floor – mom said she tried beating her up (we have a play fight thing that Star does when she is in the mood, its really kinda cute) and then she finally gave up and flew up to her cage. Star is definitely getting too smart!

SO, who knows? It may just be Star and I hanging out tonight… I can do that… at least I know that I never have to worry about her ignoring me… hell, she won’t even let me leave the room without her…


12:14 -
And now it seems that Star becomes a problem again… Scott doesn’t really seem all that interested in seeing me because I have to spend time taking care of the bird… I do feel a little bit bad because he did not sign up for all this with her, I did, and yet it still affects him too. But also, Star needed help and I couldn’t just leave her there… and so now she is my responsibility, and its not like I can just hand her off for someone else to take care of or anything like that… she needs to be fed and played with… she can’t just be left in a cage, especially not that tiny little cage that she has now… no, she really can’t be left alone until I get her a nice big cage that she can fly around in, etc. and even then, she will still have to be take out and played with whenever I have the time to. (sigh) Maybe just don’t have enough time to have both a mate and a bird? Who knows?


The interesting part of yesterday was when Scott said he would watch Star to the best of his ability if I ever needed… I thought he didn’t really mean it when he said it during the day, but last night he actually seemed to want to play with her some and he seemed to take an interest in her. He even told me on the drive home that he really enjoyed watching her try to take a bath and interacting with me (she refuses to bathe alone, she likes having my fingers for company) and that it really made him smile. He is beginning to see her personality emerge and see that she isn’t anything like the finches he used to keep caged up years ago. He also admitted to me that he says he is willing to learn about her and how to interact with her… he is beginning to realize that not all bird can just be left in a cage all day and simply have their food and water changed… he is beginning to understand the true commitment that having a bird is – it is like having a child, she needs not only to be housed, fed, and kept clean, but also to be entertained, stimulated, and taught… The best part of our whole conversation on her last night was Scott’s admission that he wants to try to take part in raising her with me… I think that says a lot for his commitment to me… maybe he is realizing that I truly am something of a real person and not just another one of his exs?

We let Star out, who was being a little something of a brat (probably because I didn’t come to pick her up after work) but she eventually calmed down and obviously wanted to take a bath, because she kept going through the motions on the carpet. So I got a towel and a small container for her to splash in and she was so cute. First she decided she had to see if it was truly safe or not, so she danced around my hand and the towel poking her beak under the folds to make sure all was safe before she finally settled in to take her bath. The cutest part was that she would only bathe if my fingers where there splashing in the water with her – she wanted company of course! She is defiantly growing into her personality and it is really amazing to watch it emerge… just think, only a month earlier, she was just pecking her way out of an egg, featherless and blind to the world around her…

10:16 –
Good news! I just called Puppy Center in West Hartford (right down the street from where Scott works) and they have the guy said he is pretty sure he has the flight cage I am looking for… he is going to check the back room and call me back… I told him about the one at Exotic Superpet in East Hartford, and how much it was and that I would much rather buy it from him… so hopefully he calls me back with a decent price… that would save me a lot of time and gas if I only have to stop there on the way home rather than driving all the way up to East Hartford…

11:15 –
Even better news! They have two of them, each has different bar spacing, but other than that are the exact same. The nice man even said he would give it to me for $149 which is the same as what it was in East Hartford… I told him I would definitely be there after work… very cool! Star is going to have a really cool new home for this weekend.

15:59 –
I am going to stop by the Puppy Center on the way home tonight to get Star’s new cage. Then it’s off to the shop where mom & I might go for a walk, but most likely will just end up going to Gnazzos to go get something to eat for dinner. I am hoping to try to get some more pictures of Star taken tonight… she has finally lost all the fuzzies that were left on top of her head. And it looks like she is going to loose one of her tail feathers soon… thus begins the molting of her baby plumage… she’s on her way to getting her adult colors! I want to try to keep documenting the different stages of her development. She has her first vet appointment on Samstag morning right after WW.

Of course I’ll have to try setting up her cage tonight too. That is going to be a fun project. I can’t wait for her to see it though, I think she will like it much better than the one she has now.
12:13 pm
1.Juni.2004 –

09:56 –
Star’s new thing is apparently yelling at me at the top of her lungs when I don’t get up and let her out of her cage early enough in the mornings… I needed to be “punished” for about 5 whole minutes this morning because I only got up at 06:30 instead of 06:00! Gee, I am such a bad mom for trying to sleep so late.

Anyway, we had a good weekend together… we are slowly learning each other’s habits, and one thing I have noticed is that Star DOES NOT like being alone… and she reminds me of this whenever I leave her, even for a few minutes… I am thinking of renaming her as Velcro or something like that.

Freitag Star & I went to hang out at Caffe del Mondo as I normally do… she wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but as soon as she relaxed and started listening to the birds around her, she appeared to be having fun. We sat at one of the outside tables and I shared my potato salad with her (she has a fondness for hard boiled eggs). She even tried joining into a few conversations I had with people who walked up to us and wanted to know what she was. She was still only speaking Starling, which is music to my ears, but many people find it harsh and discordant unlike most bird songs…

Samstag, she worried me a bit… mom and I have a long-standing tradition of going out and about and doing our errands on Samstags… we would stop every two hours or so to go back and feed Star, but she didn’t have as much interest in eating as she usually does… she also got really tired around 17:00 that evening which is well before he bedtime… I didn’t realize it then, but she had been stressed from being alone all day long and that was why she didn’t want to eat… Birds are extremely susceptible to stress…

I am glad to say (well I wasn’t really all that glad then) that Star was back to her normal self just before 06:00 Sonntag morning… I have also discovered that I no longer need an alarm clock, because she has permanently set herself to go off at that time. Sonntag was mostly spent in my bathroom spending time with Star as she tried to figure out how to fly better… I didn’t yet want her out in a bigger space until she can control her flight better. My cats are really good, having grown up around birds, but I don’t want to cause any unnecessary dangers. We had a good day together, and she is learning to now come for me when she is hungry rather than make me chase her every 2 hours or so… she has now gotten the concepts of drinking and bathing down pat, but she still refuses to eat unless I hand feed her… all in good time I suppose…

Yesterday was the best day so far… she is really growing into being a real bird… Witch Hazel & Nuala got closed in the back room for the day (with all amenities of course) so that I could give Star the opportunity to exercise her wings and fly around the apartment is she chose to… she did a few laps right when I got home form Starbucks and let her out, but then she settled into playing on top of her cage in the window while I relaxed on my futon. Yesterday was a bad day for me, I was not only stressed, but also very tired and physically sore… I didn’t want to do much of anything, and thankfully I think Star understood. She amused herself for most of the day… trying to catch a fly that was buzzing around the apartment and eating a dead bug in one of the windowsills before I could stop her and explain that she shouldn’t be eating dead things… At one point she started pecking at a napkin and ended up picking it up and trying to throw it… it landed on her head and she just stood there looking kinda confused, as if asking “where did it go?” then she realized it was on her head and crouched down underneath as if to hide it in… that was one of those moments I wish I had the video camera out.. She is gaining some independence, and now flies over to me and yells when she is hungry… it is nice that she now lets me know when she wants food, so that I don’t have to guess when to feed her anymore… now she just has to learn that she can feed herself… she will eventually…

She also said her first non-Starling noise yesterday… it was garbled and unintelligible, but it sounded to me like she was trying to work out saying “pretty girl” (something I say to her a lot) – of course I know I am biased, but that is what it sounded like to me… I guess we’ll know in a few more days if she continues practicing…

There is a book out that my mom has a copy of: Providence of a Sparrow, which I started reading a bit of last night… it is similar to my experience with Star and a great book not just for bird lovers, but also for memoir enthusiasts and people simply enamored with the human condition.

Birds are so much easier to have relationships with... as long as you house them and feed them, care for them and love them, they will ultimately love you back unconditionally…
…too bad the same can't be said for men


In other news and ideas… I thought about it some last night and I decided to write more about Star… I have been given a great opportunity to have her in my life and so I want to record all of it… I am going to go back to the day I found her and write down everything from the beginning… they grow so fast when they are young… I don’t want to miss anything with her… and who knows, if I do a decent job, it may even have the possibility of becoming a book or some such nonsense one day…

I am tired; then again I have been tired since this weekend… I hear babies have a way of doing that to you… I can’t imagine baby birds would be any different… some parts of me are still sore and whatnot (the usually crap) but at least there are no sharp or stabbing pains at this very moment… for that I am thankful.

I am thinking that Star's full name should be gefallener Stern (Fallen Star) because of the predicament we found her in... She is definitely growing into her personality… she is going to be one demanding diva of a bird! She knows what she wants and when she wants it… and as long as it all goes her way, she is the sweetest bird in the world… but if I don’t get her out of her cage when she wants in the morning or some other such atrocity… I now get yelled at. She has this rather annoying yell that she has developed for when she feels I need to be reprimanded… and the length of her yelling is all dependant on how sever she determines my error was. She is about 26 days old now and doing very well… she still has all her brown baby feathers, but when she was sun bathing yesterday I could see some of the iridescence coming through. She also tries to practice making other noises (I call them her non-starling noises) every morning while I am getting ready for work… she seems to like trying to “talk” over Howard Stern. Star still isn’t eating on her own (I don’t expect that for a few more weeks) but she is very curious and will now pick things up on her own to play with – not to eat though of course. Yesterday it was little candy hearts… I think she liked the bright colors since she really seemed to enjoy picking them up and throwing them about. She has also learned the “up” command and will now step up onto my fingers when I tell her to… this is good for when she goes off on one of her flying adventures, so that I can get her to come back to me before she gets herself into too much trouble.

I am really happy that star came into my life… for all the hard work involved in raising a baby bird, she is so worth it. I never realized how much I missed having a bird until she came into my life a few weeks ago. The only downside to all of this is that she likes getting up between 05:30 and 06:00 every morning and that cuts into my sleeping time. With me being something of an insomniac and also having a lot of things on my mind lately that make me think more than sleep… I am really finding myself getting more and more tired with the passing days. But I keep telling myself that this is worth it (I know it is) and that things will get better when she grows up some and I get her a bigger cage (once she starts eating on her own) and when I have less things in my life to worry about… for now I will tough it out with a smile.

You know you're a starling mom when....

1) you go through the store checkout with 18 different fruits and veggies (none of which you plan to eat)
2) you buy dog food, but don't own a dog
3) you buy poultry feed, but don't have chickens
4) you have funny brown ice cubes in your freezer
5) you see absolutely nothing wrong with having every piece of furniture in your living room topped with cages while your lamp is on the floor, and you use a lap desk because the desk itself holds your birds' toy box
6) you buy paper towels and Kleenex by the case
7) everything in your life that's smaller than a walnut is under lock and key
8) your telephone conversations are accompanied by the tap-tap-tap of a bird pecking at the receiver
9) You frequently phone people back to explain that a bird cut them off.
10) Cleaning your computer keyboard takes on a whole new meaning.
11) your TV looks like it's been parked under a tree
12) you haven't owned an alarm clock in 10 years, but never get up late
13) Whenever you're out, one of your friends approaches you with a tissue and says "here, turn around a sec..."
14) The phrase "that's for the birds" describes your life.
15) You notice you're buying clothes in the same color scheme as 'poop.'
16) Visitors to your home hear you yell "Secure the bird!" before the door opens.
12:11 pm
28.Mai.2004 –

08:23 –
Star ate a few bugs I caught for her last night, some ants and a few flies… she loved them! The best part was when she caught her first fly on her very own… well I guess I helped some because she was perched on my hand and I kept her following the path of the fly upon the window until she finally figured it out and caught it all by herself! I was so very proud! She also took another bath, but of course I had to prompt her to get into it just like last time… she does really seem to enjoy it though, once she gets the hang of it…

Star is now trying to follow my finger and last night she tried to poke and pry at my hand, she is learning, but she still doesn’t quite get the idea of eating things on her own… she’ll learn in time I am sure – she has already learned so much this quickly.

This morning she got up right around 05:30, but thankfully she quickly went back to sleep or at least stayed quiet until about 06:00 so that I could get some much needed sleep… pain never bodes well for me trying to sleep… Star is increasing her morning noises every day, no real songs yet, but so much more than just the begging and feed me now noise of last weekend… she amazes me what she learns every day – she is such a curious bird.

Pics of baby Star…

Ain’t she just the cutest thing?
12:10 pm
This is going to be a long post, because I have to back track some... I may post it in pieces... I think I will post one week at a time. Thanks for being patient...

This is the story of gefallen Stern (Fallen Star) the European Starling

24.Mai.2004 –

The bird was shy at first yesterday, but once it realized that I could supply food, it quickly got over the apprehension of hands, and now is begging to be fed this morning. Star means Starling in German, so I am thinking of naming the little thing Star for now. I am not sure at this point if it is a male or female… many websites say that you can tell by the eyes, that males have a uniformly dark eye whereas females have a lighter ring around the outside… I will have to try to remember to go look at it in the sunlight.

If all goes well and Star takes to me or imprints, I think that I will keep her... European Starlings are a non-native species here in the U.S. and considered something of a nuisance animal, so therefore there are no laws against keeping them as pets… not like there are with crows, which I needed my rehabber’s license to keep even though they weren’t releasable into the wild. She is the perfect size for me and my apartment right now… If all goes well I think we will both be happy and I will make it a point to take better care of her then if he lived outside in the wild.

I am guessing Star is around 16 days old right now based on the day by day nest photos on one website I found, so that would put her birthday around Mai 8th or something like that… so he can be a Mai baby just like me… Star – 8.mai.2004

Right now Star is living in a large cardboard box. She can’t move around very much

I think it will be time to start trying to offer him a shallow bowl of water to see if he takes an interest in it… also I’ll have to get the old dove cage down from mom’s garage tonight and clean it up so that I will have someplace to keep him… that cage will be big enough for him for now – I’ll have to work on something bigger for the future though.

15:29 –
Mom just IMed me to tell me that she tried giving Star some banana and he ate it like a pro… he must really like it… I am glad she is having fun babysitting him… I can’t wait to see him when I get home tonight… it will be nice to at least have one “person” happy to see me come home at night…

25.Mai.2004 –

09:17 –
Star was much more lively this morning after last night’s sneezing attacks… his breathing seems to be completely back to normal… he is still sneezing some, but it is much less frequent than yesterday… I think he may have just gotten something stuck in his nares yesterday when eating too fast… When I was feeding him and washing his beak some this morning, mom turned on the water which startled him and he jumped right up onto my shoulder… he actually sat there balanced for about a minute before deciding he was going to try to jump off, but I caught him. He seems to really be taking to me, I guess because I am the one petting him and picking him up – mom is still afraid that he might have koodies or some bullshit like that, so she is feeding him and talking to him, but she won’t pick him up. I hope she eventually gets over that irrational fear… after all he is only a baby and needs to be picked up and cared for. I think I’ll try to spend some time with him tonight.

Lat night at the shop he showed that he definitely has a curious side to him… I set him down on the floor and wiggled my finger some and he came waddling over towards it… it was very cute… and whenever I would talk to him or someone would make noise, he would look in that direction. I am glad to see that he is doing so well, especially when I think of where he might be if we left him in the road…

11:10 –
Mom just messaged me to say that she let Star out of his box for a bit and they played catch me if you can… she said he was out running around and trying to explore anything and everything he could… what a difference a day makes… I am glad that he has really perked up. He should do well and thrive from this point onwards which makes me really happy… I hope he wants to stay and bond with me, I think I can provide a great life for him…

13:57 –
The European starling is truly omnivorous (eats everything). Approximately half of the diet of the starling is made up of insects, especially moths and butterflies (and their caterpillars), beetles (especially their larvae, grubs in lawns), crickets and grasshoppers. Starlings are also fond of earthworms.

They eat a wide range of seeds, grains, and fruits, both natural and cultivated. They are a serious pest in grain-producing regions of the country, due to their fondness for corn, wheat, millet, and other grains. These non-natives can be very destructive to such agricultural crops as strawberries, blueberries, grapes, tomatoes, peaches, figs, apples, and cherries. They consume large quantities of livestock feed and can have a significant impact on the cost of dairy, egg and poultry production. Starlings will also pull up newly planted seeds causing reduced yields. Starlings feed on poke berries, elderberries, and wild cherries

26.Mai.2004 –

08:19 –
Mom & I tired taking pictures of Star last night (who I am beginning to think is a girl because it looks like she might have the rings in her eyes) and I’ll find out when mom comes into work how well them came out… if they are good I might just post them up on MJ and show off my new baby… Star has been with me & mom for 4 days today, so I think it is safe to say that she will be with us at least until she learns how to fly, and possibly longer than that. I was worried about telling anyone about her at first because we all know what happens when I talk about things that I really want before I get them…

Anyway, Star is eating very well, and is a bright and curious, energetic young bird… yesterday afternoon we played in on of the big windows at the shop… she loved it! She was fascinated by the fluffy white pollen floating by the window and she looked up every time she saw a bird or bug fly in front of the window. She even started pecking at my fingers and some food that I had out for her… she still refuses to eat on her own now, but that is too be expected for some time to come. I am merely excited by the fact that she instinctively pecked at it. Star also graduated from box to cage last night (it’s a small travel cage – hand me down from Missy Tea) because she was starting to get close to jumping out of the box at the shop.

The cutest thing last night is when we were watching TV and she decided to fall asleep on my arm… she is so sweet… She also perched like a real bird for a short time at the shop yesterday!

The only thing I wish is that I still had a job where I could bring her to work with me – I know mom doesn’t mind babysitting, but I feel bad making her do the majority of the work during the day…

27.Mai.2004 –

08:29 –
Star took her first bath yesterday… it was the cutest thing in the world… I put some water in a shallow cover/dish, and showed her what to do by splashing my own fingers in the water… she got the idea really quick and had lots of fun splashing and then trying to get my fingers and then splashing again… She is also trying to fly, but really all she can do right now is glide down to the floor from a table or ledge… the real achievement will be when she can actually fly up to something…

When I got home last night from the bookstore, Star was sleeping, but she quickly woke up and wanted out, so I held her while I played solitaire on the computer… she kept trying to peck at the moving cards on the screen – it was cute.

She woke me up again this morning… yesterday at least she only wok up after my 06:00 alarm went off, but this morning, she decided that 05:54 was the right time to get up… I tried to talk some sense into her and tell her that it was not yet to get up, but she just stared at me as if to say: “But I’m hungry!”

11:50 –
Mom has cleaned up the spare bathroom at the shop and Star now has the run of it… much better than being trapped in a cage all day long… Mom said she was happy to be able to look out the window and was playing so much that she was falling asleep… I decided to not stay at Caffe del Mondo tomorrow night (unless it is a really nice night and she can stay outside with me) because I really don’t want Star to be alone for that long while I am there writing. So, if it is chilly out tomorrow evening, I will simply stop and get my chai, etc and then go home and write there where I can spend some quality time with her. I told Scott this, and told him he doesn’t have to come if he doesn’t want to, but I haven’t heard back from him yet…

I also made Star an appointment to go see Dr. Giddings on the 12th of Juli (the earliest Samstag appointment) to check her out and make sure that she is healthy and doing well…

13:36 –
Mom just told me that she went in to check on Star and couldn’t find her in the window where she left her… so she panicked… that was until she looked down into the cage and saw Star sleeping in there… silly birdy…
11:43 am
There is far more about the story with Star (the Starling I rescued) and I... I have posted it in my journal for now, but would gladly cross post it here if anyone is interested...
Friday, June 11th, 2004
8:45 am
23.Mai.2004 –

Ok, where to begin? This morning wasn’t that much more exciting than a typical Sonntag. That is, not until mom & I decided to stop off at Pralines and get some ice cream for that evening. We ended up being too early; they weren’t open yet so we didn’t get any ice cream, but what we did get was so much more valuable to me. As I stepped out of mom’s Explorer, I was listening to all the birds out singing… Autumn may be my favorite season, but I always love the springtime simply for the fact that all of songbirds have returned to this area seemingly to sing their little hearts out. I find bird song to be one of the most melodious sounds on this earth. If you ask my mom, she might disagree about that, simply because of one overly noisy mockingbird which has taken up residence near her house. We both walked along the sidewalk silently, listening to the various calls… but then as we were walking closer to the road, I heard something that sounded a lot more like a baby bird than an adult… and it didn’t seem to be singing - it sounded hungry… and very nearby…

Well, sure enough, as I tilted my head to look down into a nearby patch of manicured evergreen bushes… low and behold there was a little Starling trying to hide in there! – The Bird didn’t have all its full feathers yet and obviously could not fly – actually it could barely walk around. Mom and I watched the little one for a few moments, trying to discern what had happened. I scanned the area only to find that about 10 feet away, there was a tiny skeleton, picked clean and sun bleached, though obviously one of the nest mates that had also fallen and been eaten by some neighborhood cat. I went over and over in my head all the possibilities of what to do about this little creature, and I was almost going to leave it there because I knew the parents were up on top of a nearby building. There were raising up a ruckus and wildly flapping, trying to get the baby to fly up to them and to safety, but the poor thing couldn’t fly at all and wasn’t yet smart enough to know to stay in the bushes…it kept wandering out into the busy road. I refused to leave it there, I couldn’t let it get hit by a car or meet the same fate as its sibling on the sidewalk... So mom helped me corral the little pre-fledgling, which was far more of a challenge than one would expect; and we brought it home.
Monday, April 5th, 2004
12:03 am
The adventures of Cisco Kid
When I moved to Virginia from California I had a bird called Cisco. He was a White-eyed Conure with half of his right wing missing from a hatchling accident and an attitude that more than made up for it.

When we moved I took Cisco on the plane with me. He started squawking while the plane took off and kept squawking until the seatbelt light went off. Being a red-eye flight you can only imagine what EVERYBODY on the plane was probably thinking at that point. I thought "to hell with rules" and I got him out of his carrier - placed him on my shoulder, laid down with him across two seats (this was befor the airlines start squeezing people in like cattle at a slaughterhouse). We promptly both fell asleep for the four hours that the rest of the flight took (he was nestled the whole time in the crook of my arm). Needless to say, the flight attendents all cooed over him when we woke up, thought it was the cutest thing they had ever seen...

In Virginia I had to board him for a few days at a local boarding facility. When I went to pick him up four days or so later, he stuck hic chin out and his wings back and SCOLDED me for a good five minutes - sitting on my finger threatening to bite me if I touched him until he was done. Then he flipped his wings back into position, smiled (bird owners know what I'm talking about here)and gtarted grooming me. He had had his say and everything was fine after that...

Unfortunately, Cisco died after I left for college. I do miss him, but I have alot more stories left to regale about the adventures of Cisco Kid!

Current Mood: nostalgic
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