PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8, is a surfactant used in the production of Teflon® or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the non-stick substance found in a billion kitchens. It was also used to make Gore-Tex, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, and microwave popcorn bags. Related chemicals are released if you overheat your Teflon cookware; they can kill birds in seconds, which is why we eliminated all the Teflon from our kitchen a decade ago.
This afternoon Bruce suddenly started running up and down in my office window, like he wanted to go outside. This surprised me, because none of our birds have shown any desire to go outside before. I immediately felt bad that he couldn’t go fly outside, and made a note to see if I could take him outside in the cage at the weekend. Then it was feeding time, and as I put the food in the dispensers I realized Lola was mysteriously absent.
My mid-morning coffee was just interrupted by an unexpected parakeet-related problem. I went to offer Chestina and Lola a bath, and saw that Chestina’s tail was matted with blood. She shook it, obviously in some discomfort. This isn’t an uncommon situation in birds. Growing feathers have a hollow shaft which carries blood through them. If the shaft cracks, bleeding results. The recommended procedure is to pluck the broken feather from the bird.
This morning I put some seed on a piece of paper so she could “forage”. She seems to prefer eating that way. I let both birds out. Today they are getting on well. They just sat together for about 10 minutes, with Chester quietly preening the new girlie. However, the only place where she felt secure enough for that was on my shoulder, snuggled against the back of my neck. Nevertheless, it seems clear to me now that they’re going to be good friends.