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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Mistakes I have made.

The mistakes I have made

I have had Blue nearly nine years. During that time, I have made my share of mistakes. I would like to share a few of them with you so maybe , you will not do what I did.

The first mistake I made was when he was just about one year old. I had to move and took him outside in a travel cage to take him to the new pad. I tripped, and accident but I should have been more careful. The cage fell apart.

Blue flew immediately, startled by his new huge flying area, he crashed in the bushes. He then flew as I ran to him up into a tree with 50 Scrubs in it. My heart was pounding. I could not tell who was who. Suddenly they all turned on him, he smelled and talked wrong. With all the commotion, I could see very little, and suddenly, all the birds flew off in an instant -- Blue was gone.

I was devastated but told myself I would stay there until he came back. I looked around and found him hiding near me in a covered garage. When he saw me, he flew into my chest. Home at last. His little heart pounded in my hand. He was happy to be home, and never few away outside again, despite one more cage drop, a year later in yet another move. I have a horrible back, and it gives out at times that are not always good timing.

The next mistake I made was doing the dishes with Blue on my shoulder. A noise startled him and he landed in the soapy water, he was ok, but cold and I had to use a blow dryer on low to fix him up. Had the water been hotter, he would have been seriously injured. Had it been a hot stove or a fan, things would have been much worse.

One whopper mistake was over clipping his wings. It was my first time. I did it because his sight in one eye was getting worse, and he wanted to hang out with me more then he wanted to fly. This part was true, and worked. However, because I did not learn enough on the proper cutting of flight feathers, I over cut his wings. This caused several long-term problems. One, it took away his flight for a year instead of a few months. The ramification was over growth of other feathers, causing him to be itchy and scratch as the new feathers grew. It also changed his personality, he was more nervous with his eyesight now gone in one eye. He is finally over this. Blue can fly again. However, I caused him much stress, and had I simply asked better questions or had someone else do it, this would have never happened.

I am sure I have made many other mistakes, were all-human.

I know the few people who kept birds this year are in one of the best and hardest times of your companion’s life. The bird needs and wants to fly, it is weaning of liquid food, and you are trying to figure out how to work it all. My advice is to let your bird fly as much as you can, at least three hours a day, inside. Never take him outside unless his wings are cut. Make up games to play, pick the quarter out of your hand in flight. Give the bird stuff to shred up that will not hurt him. Give him shinny treats to hide. Make places in his environment to hide nuts and other treasures. I will do a video post on clipping flight feathers soon, its only three feathers, and you do not clip much.

Birds like to be in the highest place in the room. If your birds will not settle down, try giving him a perch far above everything else in the house. They love to sit proudly higher then the rest of us.

Moreover, remember, we all make mistakes, and we can only keep our promise to try our best. If it ends up you cannot provide the type of care you thought you could, its time to think of taking the birds to and agency. I do not say this lightly, but it happens and can be necessary. If things are getting hard, hang in there and experiment, these birds hate being bored. As a child who will plays with a cardboard box for hours, so will a Scrub given the right toys.

This Tree Blue is in is outside, but an inside tree makes a great place for your bird to hang out, just make sure its a safe tree.

I have learned a great deal from al off your emails and comments. Thanks to you all who have contributed your stories.

Tim Rumford

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