My YouTube Videos

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Blues Afternoon, song, dance, food , stretches, yawns and bedtime

This is a video showing Blue's afternoon near the end of the day. After his morning with Katie, he spends 2 hours hiding nuts and checking his cache of stolen coins, keys, and nuts. He hides everything twice, always in full view of Katie and I. So who he hides them from -- I don't think either of us know. Perhaps it's still just instinct. Blue also rearranges his cache. He pounds his nuts into his tray and arranges everything to his liking. His many hiding spots include on top of the fridge, which is sort of a drag, but he is a free bird. So we clean it daily as we do his cage and fan and his other favorite places. Blue also hides nuts and arranges his goods in his cage too.

Blue does a song and dance when he is feeling affectionate. Often when I bring him a treat he will first do the song and dance without my hand signals. In this video I use my fingers to trigger the dance as well as the treat in my hand. He isn't begging, he is showing affection. He does this when there is no reward, often when I am sick or down, he will land on me and start singing and dancing. He does this only for me. Katie has a very strong bond with Blue, but because I fed him since a baby, I get some extra attention.

After that he takes a nap, he eats and heads to bed. He often puffs up and sits on one foot. S he does stretches and yawns. Sometimes he sleeps out of his cage and if he is really tired I can pick him up softly and carry him and he never wakes up.

Enjoy this -

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Scrub Jays and time plus a new video!

Although Blue, a California Scrub Jay is a very much domesticated he is also a free bird, in the sense that he has his own life, flies free most of the day and has his own territory and possessions, although most are stolen from me. :)

(FYI: The New Video is at the bottom of this post.)

He is dependent on me for both friendship love and care. He takes interest in anything I use, the remote, the telephone, a book, and my laptop where he sits on the top and watches me type. The other day he sang to the young bird doing the Sun trance at the post below as he watched the video. He also loves music and will land on me the minute I play my guitar. I think he enjoys the vibrations he feels through the neck where he sits.

The picture above is not Blue, but a Scrub from a lab where they are studying Scrub Jays and their unique ability to perceive time in a way traditional animals were thought unable. Some interesting articles on this and precognition in Scrubs are surfacing. This one on the perception of time can be found here.

"Scientists say scrub jays are not stuck in the present.

Mental time-travel, the ability to use memories of past experiences and plan for the future, has traditionally been considered a quality unique to humans. Now scientists at the University of Cambridge have identified the same ability in a bird - the Western scrub jay, [a US native]."

Although Florida Scrub Jays are considered a sub species, they act the same and look the same. Here is an interesting audio link to some talk about the memories of Scrub Jays being better then our own, and this has been tested. To download and listen to this 2 minute audio file, Click Here.
You can also visit the site at

Blue in the morning wakes up and spends two hours with Katie as she goes through her morning routine. He helps with the feeding of the other birds and sits on her shoulder as she does her morning stuff. They play phone and basket ball until she leaves for work. I let Blue sort of do his own thing for a bit. This is a normal hour of his antics during that alone time condensed. I am in the room but he just does his thing. Latter he will mellow, sit with me, follow me from room to room , sing and dance for me and let me know if he needs anything. When I first arise in the morning, he gets very happy and emits a small peep, which he only does when he is happy to see me and only for me.

Blue needs and gets 5-6 hours of solid attention each day. That is why I try to explain to folks who find these birds in distress what kind of commitment they are getting into should they try and keep the bird. The bond so fast, they cannot be released after just a few days of seeing you as their feeder. Rescue centers who have the time and ability to release these birds, have to keep the young ones in a box. Wearing gloves and a mask, they will feed the birds quickly and shut the door. These are not Scrubs but it works the same. They not only bond, but get their vocal sounds from you and your sent. So when sent free, one they will return if they survive, and two they sound and small wrong and will not be accepted by the Scrub Jay community.
See very short video.

Small Scrubs eat every half an hour and get their water from their food. This was not an option for me. Blue is nearly ten. He has adjusted very well and I have tried my best to give him a happy and healthy life. When I found Blue I had to carry him with me everywhere I went to feed him every 30 minutes for 3 months. He was the same age as the birds in the video being fed. Luckily they sleep throughout the night without the need of food and water.
Enjoy the Video! Send in your own stories of your birds, pictures and videos. I am interested in people who have had their lives altered in a good way due to the relationships they have formed with birds. Those that befriend wild birds, which happens allot can have profound experiences. In the post below at the end, is a short video of a young scrub doing the Sun trance. This is the first video that I know of , showing a wild scrub doing this. The reason, they only do it if they feel VERY safe. If you have the patience you can get to have a very rewarding relationship with a wild Scrub. Peanuts are pivotal to this relationship. Please get raw peanuts, from a pet store. I have several Scrubs that visit, and one will land on me and let me hand him nuts. Blues mother and father were my friends before they lost their nest to the attack of the Crows. They went on to have 3 birds the next year choosing a better tree.

Blue talks to be in small krk krk. If I am in another room and he does not know where I am he will squawk, but when I answer, he replies back with a few krk krk krk's to say, "'I'm ok your ok."

Since I am disabled I am home a great deal. Having a best friend here all the time is the best medicine I have ever received.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Is Blue going to Hollywood?

Is Blue going to Hollywood?

The unbelievable has happened. Blue is going to Hollywood! Ok, ok, well not exactly but stick with me. This is exciting! Blue is going to be in a documentary.

I have met a lot of people through this site documenting Blue and sometimes my own life. above is Blue playing today. If you start at the beginning of my posts, you will find that in truth, Blue saved me. When I found Blue I was at the lowest point in my life, and was not that interested in continuing. I was trying to recover from severe brain trauma caused from encephalitis and chronic pain from a severe back injury requiring surgery and two titanium implants. I lost everything, my business, my house, my wife, my car, and everything that did not fit in a suitcase. When i found Blue after Crows had killed all of his siblings, he was fresh out of the egg. The most and fragile creature I have every seen.

I tried to save Blue so he could be released but because these birds are numerous here, although that is not true all over the U.S. -- no agency would take him.

I had only hours to figure out how to care for him. Young birds eat every half an hour.

It was a birder in Florida where the Scrub Jays are endangered that told me exactly what to do. Because of his help, I learned I had a big job on my hands and also how to care for my young friend. I had a 12-20 year commitment. I was determined to keep Blue alive and thus myself. I remember telling myself if I could keep this sick tiny bird alive, I could keep myself alive.

I recovered, at least I am MUCH better. I am very lucky and very grateful.

Blue has become very much my closest friend. He still learns at age 10. He is protective even of the other small birds we have. He is devoted like a dog , he continues to learn unlike an older dog. He is feisty, serene, playful, a show off, an acrobat, very much needs attention. He likes to be involved in everything I do and finds great interest in everything around him. Blue has his own possessions and he knows it. Above is Sophia and Blue loves and protect Sophia and the other birds here.

But the news I want to tell you is

. There is going to be a documentary of Blue and our relationship! Were still in the very beginning stages but it I have been told I can announce it will happen.

Beth Cataldo found me and Blue on this site. She sent me her first film which was very impressive, and asked me if I was interested in her doing a film on Blue and a chronicling of our relationship. The Movie came and was very good, enough to make me really really nervous. I am very appreciative that Beth wants to do this. Check out her first Movie! Its very good. Watch the trailer!

Ray Bandar: A Life with Skulls

Buy the DVD It is worth it!

Cover of A Life with Skulls DVDHe’s been called Dr. Bones and Reptile Ray. Usually dressed in tattered “field-trip” clothes, Ray Bandar has been a fixture at the California Academy of Sciences and the beaches around the Bay Area for more than 50 years. “A Life with Skulls” captures Ray’s
obsession for collecting skulls from local beaches, road kill, zoo animals and on field trips to Mexico, Australia and in the United States. This humorous movie investigates Bandar’s history as a skull collector, showing many of the thousands of skulls he has accumulated over the years, talking to Alkmene, his resilient wife, and touring the awe-inspiring Bone Palace.

"A Life with Skulls" is an inspiring look at a man who has a special tie to the natural world. You will be motivated to go out and explore it for yourself.

DVD include extras, including:
  • Ray collecting a Harbor Porpoise skull
  • Tour of the Bone Palace
  • Photo gallery of historic images of Ray’s house full of skulls
  • Stories about the skulls in the exhibit
  • Ray's first-person adventure stories
  • Cost: $15 plus postage. Email

I watched the movie and it was very good. Ray is a devoted unique man whose work is pivotal to the understanding and the the evolution of Sea Mammals. How they died, how they evolve, how climate change effects them, it is all in the skull.

Beth is interested in relationships between animals and people, so I think she has come to the right apartment. She is coming to meet Blue and I on Monday. I look forward to the slow march forward. Blue seems interested too as he is up late and standing on my... skull.

This site and the people who shared their stories during the spring and summer helped save, release, and rescue many birds. A small few kept their bids when there was no alternative. I have many pictures but those of you still around, send in more. I am not sure how much of the movie if any will be about the site, but because we really did save many birds, I am sure it will have its place.

So a few photos could never hurt. I have some new ones I need to post. I will and thanks to everyone for sending them. I can always use more photos, video, and updates on how your bird is doing, or even better how you released it successfully.

These birds get attached, they bond in just a few days. In order to feed and release it, it can't see you, smell you, or it will not leave. You open the door feed it with gloves and shut it.

Thats how release centers do it. There is a small video clip of that here.

Most rescues are just stunned and quickly recover. One thing we learned, with these birds almost anything is possible. I know people who have a sort of shared custody where the bird leaves in the day and comes back in the afternoon, but it is free. Another couple built a protective housing around the fallen bird. The parents came and fed it. When it was healthy enough to fly, they released it to its happy parents. That was creative. I have been your student.

Blue is doing great and flying like he is a youngster. A new video camera coming soon will provide better video of Blue and some of the many new things he has learned will be posted! He has recovered from being bind in one eye. Considering his age and that

having cataract is the only time he needed a vet, Blue is one healthy bird, but more important he is truly happy which is the promise I made him.

Update: I received the following e-mail, video and, great photos I wanted to share from Lorcan who has been active on this site for a long time and has been touched by is birds in much the same way.

"I finally witnessed one of the jays doing the sun trance while lying on the bookshelf by my window today. I was amazed to watch it. Cheeky lay down three times to do it. What a treat it was. I took this video and posted it on YouTube taking the liberty to use your description of it. I also got these wonderful shots of a Red-shouldered Hawk late this evening outside Strybing Botanical Gardens.
I just read your news about the documentary to be produced about you and Blue. I myself feel that Cheeky & Shy gave me strength to get through some tough times too so I can really relate and I hope all goes great with the film. I would love to see it when it is ready."