Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Compliment and More on Raising Bourkes

Rhett & Cherry's babies on 7-10-2011.
I must share this wonderful comment from "Inkophile" with my other readers. It made my day and put a big grin on my face! She or he said:

"Your birds are gorgeous and charm me every time I read about them. In addition your writing inspires me to do the best for my birds. I hope downsizing won't have a negative impact on the frequency of your posts. I really look forward to them."

Thank you, thank you!

Actually, the frequency of my posts has lessened because I'm working hard to finish editing a new suspense novel, "Cast Me Not Away."  Cape Arago Press is willing to publish it, and if I go with them it will be out sooner than if I seek an agent and allow her to shop it to larger publishing houses. That typically means two years or more before publication.

I also want to compile my blog information into a book on "Parakeets of the Smaller Variety," and include Turks and Elegants besides Bourkes, Budgies and Scarlet-chested parakeets.  It's assembled, but needs more work too. That one should appear here eventually. Smile.

Meanwhile, I'll try to give more updates. I opened the blog this morning to talk about my tame Rosie, who is on eggs due to hatch this week. However, I've not checked to see if they're fertile. It's her first clutch and I've left her mostly undisturbed.
Fuchsia and Flame with two nest box choices.

My other very tame pair, Fuchsia and Flame, aren't going into the nest box, so I gave them a second one. Actually, Rosie, moved into their cage and made it plain to me that she wanted the box they had, so I gave it to her. Moved both pairs. So, Rosie and her mate, Pretty Boy, are very happy.

Flame and Fuchsia appear less so. When I open their nest box lid (it sits outside the cage), Fuchsia will come through the hole and hop out on my hand, but she won't go inside when the lid is down. Maybe she doesn't like the dark? So, the other box I gave her is an open tissue box with pine shavings in it. It's open at the top and side. She's gone inside that one. It's low tech, but she seems to like it! Smile.

Meanwhile, their grandmother, Cherry, has three youngsters nearly ready to leave the nest. Even as tiny babies, I could put my hand in Cherry's nest box and lift them out without upsetting her. They are banded and have been handled a lot. Cherry and Rhett (formerly with Scarlett who died), are laid back and relaxed parents. They aren't hand tamed, but unafraid of me no matter what I do.

I mention this because I was a little worried about Rosie, who was hand fed and very tame. She seems very thin, as hens usually are when feeding their young. But, she's still on eggs. I decided to put a piece of spray millet in her box with her. This encourages the hens to eat more. They depend a lot on their mate and maybe young Pretty Boy wasn't carrying through well enough. When I put my hand in her box, she screeched and leaped at it. Weird. Normally my most affectionate bird, Rosie's motherly hormones have kicked in and she's going to protect those eggs!

She did, however, eat the millet. So, I'll keep giving her more.  Smile.
Bonnie on three eggs so far (recently laid). Her box opening slides up.
Mate is Clyde, who is a nearly complete dark rose color.
We bought him at a bird show in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Sugar is on four eggs. Notice blue on her rump, like Bonnie's.
They're sisters. Sugar's mate is Spice (or Spicy), a hand fed Normal Bourke.

My favorite bird is hand fed Rosie. She's on her first clutch of three eggs.
Notice she doesn't have a blue rump like her aunts, Bonnie & Sugar.
Her mate is Pretty Boy, actually a cousin out of Bonnie & Clyde.
He's a dark solid rose color, unlike her light pink.
These hens all keep their nest boxes very clean. Only after the eggs hatch will there be anything that soils them. Of all the Bourkes and Splendids I've had, only one ever soiled her box. That was Scarlett who never seemed strong and healthy. I think the extra effort to leave her box was more than she was willing to do. Scarlett only raised one baby, who never raised young of her own and died at only three years of age. She wasn't healthy either, like her mother. We had her autopsied and the bird vet said she died of obesity ... a fatty liver, etc. I've been careful to give them all less corn and spray millet since then, and provide more greens and vegies.

Scarlett did, however, foster two other babies at two separate times, and I think the last one was too much for her. She was a sweet bird we bought with Rhett, but she never seemed robust like all our others. Then, there's Rhett, who is still fathering and raising baby birds over ten years later.

May all your birds (indoors or out, tame or wild) remain healthy and bring you much joy. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for the mention. I'm a "she" and owned by two Society Finches. On occasion I write about them but that is only a recent deviation from my usual topics. No need to post this comment but here are some thoughts on my tiny flock. and If ever I were to expand beyond finches, the Bourkes and Splendid Parakeets would be high on my list.

Thanks for your enthusiastic writing. I really look forward to your posts.