Monday, March 12, 2012

When Did I Know I Was.....

My little baby Quetzali...my Peach Faced Love Bird.  My glasses were only worn at night before bed.
 Different?  Well I suppose it started a long time ago.  Probably around 5th grade I started having these feelings....
Azul gives me kisses before I put him to bed.  I didn't wear glasses back then like I do now so they weren't very stylish:)
 ....but I didn't want people to know how I felt or to show others my true self....
My Mom and "Chuckie"(the green Quaker parrot) hang out with Catrina.
 ....because maybe I'd get beat up, laughed at, or ridiculed for expressing myself......
One Christmas, Mom and "Zuli"(Azul's nickname) sent a card out to friends and family.  Note: my Father is not in the picture:) I guess we know where he stood:) LOL!
 but thankfully I had my Mother there to help me along the way into the world of birding.  Today she is just as nuts and crazy for birds as ever.  So is my Dad.  Birds. Birds. Birds.  We have raised parrots from eggs and lived with birds most of our lives.  Today my Dad cares for a special needs Macaw named Sammy and my mom has a friend with Tamara....our African Grey.  The Blue and Gold Macaw above is "Azul" and he's happily living with others.  This "little" guy was raised from an egg.
But in college, I decided that birds were never meant to be put in cages nor should I ever wear large eye glasses.  In 1995, I gave up my lovebirds and today they live in large and open cages to fly around anywhere they want.  I had a hard time keeping my little Peach faced buddy in her cage.  She had free reign in our small apartment and my friends always got a kick out of this cute little bird.  But when I started travelling full time, I couldn't take care of her like before and today, some 18 years later, she is still alive and kicking.  I suppose I have my parents and grandparents to thank for my latent interest in birding:) So I guess I knew that I was a secretive birder since 5th grade.  Now I'm open about it and it feels good.

28 comments:

  1. Nice birds :-)
    I "inherited" a peach faced lovebird from a friend who was genually afraid of it because it always attacked everyone and bit them quite seriously. Like you I could not bring myself to put a bird in a cage, so I had built a voliere in my garden, and had a spare bedroom I changed into a bird room for winter use. Anyway. The little bird never bit me. At the contrary, it became as affectionate as your parrot seemed to be. It married a "Fisher" love bird and got a very nice mixed race- offspring :-)
    Thanks for the post!

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  2. Cool photos of your family and the pet birds. It is nice you decided to put your birds in large open cages. I feel sorry for the large birds that are kept in tiny cages. So birding could be in your blood. I know my grandmother loved birds but I am not so sure my mother loved them as much as I do. Great post.

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  3. Some great photos of some wonderful birds, cat too. :)
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. We're big kitty fans in our house:)

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  4. What a wonderful story! The parrot is beautiful and I adore the little Santa cap! Your Mom is pretty cute too. :)

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  5. Doesn't it feel good to finally come out of the birding closet?

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  6. A lovely story and I'm glad you are 'different' Chris because in your case different means nice!

    I too was interested in birds and Nature since a child and remember choosing to write a bird book for a school project. None of my other friends were (or are) interested so I have always felt 'different' too...

    Referring to your previous post which I also enjoyed, we had a huge influx of Bohemian Waxwings here last Winter...and I was the only person not to see one ... :-(

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  7. haha!!! i was going to say the SAME thing as tracy!! oh well, that's what i get for being behind in my reading. so, what else is new?!!
    ANYWAY!! it's a good thing you finally let the...uh...NO, not the cat...but the bird...out of the bag!! well...it's a good thing too, cause the bag is so much smaller than a closet...and some of those BEAUTIFUL birds are BIG!!

    it's so nice...to hear your love of bird story...and that you're able to let them FLY rather than be locked in a cage!!

    good for you!! and thanks for the nice post...AND pictures!

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  8. Glad you're all sorted now Chris LoL

    I'm pleased that you changed you view on caged birds :-)

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    1. It was one of the hardest things for me to do. I could never keep them in the cage. I'd let the door unlocked so that they could come and go as they please. That's why today I won't have a bird as a pet. It was difficult to keep them caged up.

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  9. What a cute post, Chris.... So you are a bird lover --from WAY BACK.... ha.... I am kinda opposite... I never paid much attention to birds until about 2004--when I started feeding the hummingbirds in summer up here. After that, my love for my backyard birds really grew...

    We are home from our 2nd trip is a month--and both of us have colds.. Yuk! Guess it will be REST for this upcoming week for both of us.

    Betsy

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  10. I read somewhere that parrots were very possessif of their owners? Is it true?/

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    1. Hi DeeBee:) They are VERY possessive of their owners. If you don't handle the birds often, they become attached to the person who cares for them the most. I have many marks to prove it:)

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  11. This was a really fun post Chris. Too bad you lost the glasses though...Four eyes are better than 2, just ask the spiders!

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  12. A crisp and beautiful story, but I agree with you, the birds are better to be left to alone living their life outside. Good photos.

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  13. How awesome! I am actually inheriting a 20 year old African Grey which I am picking up next week (I love birds too....smile). Sure would love any advise you have that might help her adjust to her new home, and on the long (1,000 mile) car trip. She is a plucker when she is stressed. I'm hoping to prevent that.

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    1. Hi Tammy, you are in for a treat. She will pluck for a time as she gets used to you. They are really intelligent birds and love their owners very much. When we adopted Tamara, our African Grey, it took her several months to get used to our household. I have found that if you keep their minds active by whistling tunes and having them repeat, you'll make them very happy. Today she whistles the Andy Griffin tune or Flipper when she's bored....and I whistle back. They love to be around their owner. As long as you spend a lot of time initially with your new friend in the beginning, s/he will respond. Consider a perch for the living room or an area that you hang out a lot in.....and the plucking will eventually stop. They are smart. Tamara used my mother's voice to call one of our cats into the living room so that she could mess with him:) And he came and she kicked his butt! Very cool bird. I can't wait to hear your stories and you learn from each other in that first chapter:) Good luck. Get some bird toys as well as they like to have their way:)

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  14. I really did LOL when I saw the macaw in the Santa hat. I love birds but I couldn't have parrots in the house -- too loud! :)

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    1. My friends would joke and say our house sounded like the Amazon when they called or visited our home. I got so used to it that I forgot how loud they were:)

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  15. We always love birds but we don't cage them. However, when my nephew was 8 he was given an African love bird as a present. It was alone and maybe lonely so after sometime it died too. My nephew bought a pair of native zebra dove, but one was able to flee, so after a few days that it was calling the still caged partner, my nephew decided to let the other one go. For sometime, they both come home often just nearby and my mother throw some feeds on the ground for them. They never fail to visit until maybe they already flew away with their group. Sometimes we hear voices like theirs on very tall trees around us, but we can't see them, maybe they are not them anymore! Still we recognize the voices and think they are here to visit.

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    1. Andrea, once my Peach Faced Lovebird flew off into the Tucson sky. I was so worried that he would die in the hot sun. I discovered he flew into the neighbor's house and spent a day flying around in their room. They fell in love with the bird and were going to adopt it. It's possible that your birds may have been adopted by others or just flew the coup! Today I discover that the Peach Faced lovebird has been added to our birding book and live in the wild!!! Amazing stuff:)

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  16. I'm with you, I like them flying around free. But I must admit I did enjoy my Zebra Finches when I had them.

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  17. I do love to see bird flying freely in the air. Without birds, sky looks empty, though I also love the flowing clouds in different formation which look like birds in disguise. I haven’t kept birds as a pet myself, but my ailing younger brother who died at 16 loved watching birds in the cage. I like the song “Skyline Pigeon” by Elton John.

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  18. Great story and photos, thanks for sharing!
    We were one of those 'strange' people having a lot of birds in our house.
    We used to have lovebirds and raised them from eggs.
    My favorite was the blackheaded blue.
    We had them in big cages, but like you we changed our view on caged birds.
    Mette

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  19. Hi Chris,

    Beautiful story from a bird lover, and a nice post !

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Thanks for stopping by!