4/11/2008

More Baby Bird stories

Isn't this picture funny? The one parrot with the big belly must have gorged himself on the saucer of food. The one next to him didn't eat, I guess.

I promise this will be our last baby parrot post, at least until they are ready to head to the Conrehabit ranch.

Paul and I have been caring for 50 baby parrots now for more than a week. It has been a lot of work but also quite an education. While we have had birds in our household in the past (and are still working on getting our Amazon, Tiko, to join us here in Mazatlan) it is quite a bit different to have so many babies in the house.

It's a good thing we are retired, because otherwise it would be impossible to devote this much time to these little guys. On Spanish class mornings we really have to crank to get through all the chores! We feed these guys at 7, 1, and 6:30 pm.

I call this one "Jackets but no Pants." You can see they are starting to feather out on their chests.

The birds start making noise about 6 am. We get up and give each group a saucer of food. Right now we have 12 birds who are reliably able to eat on their own. We then make a cup of coffee and maybe even eat something.

After that I mix up the day's food. They eat a combination of baby rice cereal and electrolyte water. I mix up two liters in the Vita-Mix. I microwave the electrolyte water so the whole mixture is nice and warm.

Isn't this guy cute? Almost fully feathered out. He is a mess though because when he feeds himself he makes such a mess and even walks through the food saucer. Not too smart! I love the drip hanging off his beak.

We head into the laundry room to get started. We both put on our aprons. We have three separate groups of birds. 12 in a Rubbermaid container, 12 in a laundry basket, and 26 in the cage Conrehabit gave us the birds in. We get started on the group that was fed first last time.

We each grab two birds and get started with the syringes. Sometimes you get some wonderful "stand up and eat" guys and sometimes they are sullen and uncooperative. Sometimes they cry and open their mouth and as soon as you get the syringe near them they turn their head. There is one who delights in shaking bird food all over you, bite after bite. As each bird is fed it goes into an "interim" laundry basket. That gives me a chance to change the bedding before we put them back home.


This one wasn't interested in eating...he just wanted to read the sports page.

We are glad that 12 are eating on their own since now that cuts down on the amount of hand feeding needed three times per day. We just "top them up" at the end of the meal if we think they need a little more.

After lunch we take the cages out to the patio so they can have a little sun and fresh air. When it gets close to dinner time we take them back in the laundry room for dinner and bed. We generate two big black garbage bags of used newspaper every two days. Thank goodness for friends who have pitched in to collect papers from their neighbors and have brought us all the newspaper we need and also to take our dog-walking shift at the local shelter.

So, we are glad to be taking care of these little birds but I think we will also be relieved when they head to the aviary and later, we hope, back to the wild.

12 comments:

Cynthia Johnson & Mike Nickell said...

Oh, I cannot tell you how hard I am laughing right now. You two are the best and how you do it is beyond me! Those little babies are indeed a chore and how lucky they are to have you caring for their welfare. I wish I was there to lend a hand!

Kate said...

Super photos and thanks for the update. I just sent you an email and will link to your site again for the latest update. It's so much fun following their progress, esp. without all the work!! Kudos for both of you!!

Jim said...

What a great job y'all are doing. They look so small and fragile.

Beth said...

I for one, will be kind of sad when they head off to the aviary because there wont be any more pictures!

You guys have done a great job with them!!!!

oldmanlincoln said...

I am so glad there are people in this world who are dedicated to helping those in need and in this case these baby parrots. Thank you very much. I first read about you at Kate's blog.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio

Cynthia said...

It's been wonderful following the adventures of the babies. Please continue your baby-bird-posts.

Sans said...

We are having a parrot benefit next Sunday at the Purple Onion! When I get the details in written in stone (hopefully tommorrow morning), I will let you know!

MexicowithKids said...

They really look like they're growing. The girls loved the photos, especially the parrot reading the sports page!

Sans said...

I know I am doing the benefit at high feeding time for most everybody, it was the only slot I could get on such short notice :(
I do have a favor--can you send me some pictures of your parrots? I want to do some "Thank You" flyer things for the tables. I would appreciate it! My camera was stolen in March during a trip to the good ole US of A.

Anonymous said...

Please don't stop the baby parrot pics and story!!! what cuties they are and what an amazing job you guys are doing!!

- trina in idaho

Ashley Ladd said...

Your babies are adorable. I can't imagine so much work, though.

Anonymous said...

I too would like for you to continue to give us updates and stories on the babies!!!