We hadn’t been planning on a third budgie. However, Chester’s close call last year had me thinking about what we would do if he suddenly keeled over. I realized Lola would be left alone, and budgies really need to be part of a flock. The two of them are both over 5 years old now, so it seemed like a reasonable time to get a third bird. That way when one of them eventually departs, we’ll still be left with two.
YouTube has started offering HD video. I’m not sure it’s really HD, but it’s way better than the crappy pixelated video they used to offer. I re-encoded the video of our new parakeet meeting Chester for the first time. I’ve uploaded it in HD. The result is much clearer. Now to re-do all my other movies… For anyone else hoping to do the same, the magic settings for QuickTime / iMovie are: 1280×720 progressive, MPEG-4 H.
Baby girl budgie had her first bath, after Chester showed her how. Although she’s hand-tame, she still has trust issues–if she’s in the cage and doesn’t want to come out, she’ll run away and hide in the corner when you approach. Ah well, eventually she’ll learn that I don’t do the “grab the bird and make it come out” thing. I got another play gym, a larger one. I also cleared enough space on my desk that I can put both of them next to each other.
We got a call from Gallery of Pets saying that they had taken delivery of two hand-raised budgies. We drove up yesterday evening to check them out. We came home with a new bird, a small temporary cage, some new toys, and some new veggie-enriched food. The new bird is very young, barely fully-fledged. Her cheek patches are still stick feathers, and her vent is bare. She seems to be a climber.
Chester has continued to be well-behaved, so we’ve let him keep his flight feathers. He flies around, but he lands in places we’ve taught him are safe–windowsills, his play gym, and so on. He now likes to come out of his cage most days. He’ll typically want to sit with me for an hour or so when I’m working. Weekends, we’ve been sitting on our back deck with him, by taking his cage outside.
Chester the parakeet has been molting for several weeks now. Shortly after he started, I decided to collect the feathers. A pillow is out of the question, but I think I want to put them on a black background and photograph them. It’s quite amazing how many feathers a small bird can shed; at the worst point, about 20 per day. Molting is a tough time for birds, and the process has made him itchy and cranky.
Chester just ate from my hand for the first time.
The parakeet finally came home with us on Monday, as he seemed to have settled down to life without other birds in his cage. He traveled from the pet store in a little cardboard box with air holes in. Unfortunately, the store is the other side of Austin, so by the time he got here he was huddled in the corner of the box, terrified. We returned him to the cage, and set up his food and water.
We’ve been wanting some sort of pet for a couple of years now; rothko more than me. We both love cats, but with my cat allergy that just wasn’t an option. (I’ve heard about a breed of Russian cat that supposedly lacks one of the genes that leads to the salivary protein that triggers the allergy in humans; however, they’re a pretty rare breed, so I haven’t encountered one I could test.