Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rosy Bourke Babies Today

Presently feeding four young Rosy Bourkes. 

Two of Flame and Fuchsia's five babies. These are
the youngest two and are being hand fed.
Nice photo to compare eye colors, one dark, one pink.

With five babies in the nest, I worried about Flame and Fuchsia being over worked. So, taking two of their youngsters seems kind.

Also, Rhett and Cherry are older birds with four in their second clutch. I removed two of theirs to also feed. Once they're a little older, I will probably take their other two as well.

All of these birds will be very tame.

Bird's eye view of the four currently being hand fed.
Notice how pretty the pink-eyed baby from Flame and Fuchsia is becoming. His/her feathers are very deep rose-colored like Flame's, yet has striking pink eyes.

Rhett & Cherry's two oldest of four babies.
These are being hand fed. Others will be later.
The pink-eyed youngster from Rhett and Cherry is still too small to tell what his/her feathers will be like. Picture of two in nestbox are siblings of the two above.
Rhett & Cherry's two youngest.

The pink-eyed young one from Rosie and Pretty Boy is a delicate pale pink with a white face. Lovely.
Rosie and Pretty Boy's pink-eyed baby on left.
She (or he?) is such a delicate, lovely pink with a white face.
Rosie currently is on her second clutch of three eggs. We hope for another delicate pink baby.

Bonnie & Clyde's baby, "Sir Gray Head," is in photo below. Smile.
Little "Gray" out of Clyde, center, and Bonnie at right.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rosy Bourke Father with Food on His Face

Food from when he's fed his mate.
This spread out on his cheek feathers
 and hardened.

Bonnie and Clyde only had one fertile egg out of four. Perhaps that contributed to why Clyde looks like this. He only has his mate and one offspring to feed, and he's regurgitating too much.

This photo shows the "milk" he feeds his mate having hardened around his beak.

I expected to have to catch him and wash his face in warm water. That's something I've done many times on hand fed baby birds when Exact hand feeding formula isn't cleaned off and hardens. Best to find it and get it off before it dries.

However, I procrastinated with Clyde and this bit of hardened "milk" eventually dropped off all by itself a few days later. If this happens to one of your birds, don't let it worry you.

In photo below, Clyde's face is clean. He's the one in the center.
In all honesty, Clyde is the only parent bird I've ever seen this happen to. But, each and every one is an individual. Bless their tiny hearts. 

Baby named "Gray" because of unusual light gray head, back and chest.
Parents, Clyde in center and Bonnie on right.
Baby still has some down on head and rump.
This pair typically produce two or three offspring per clutch,
but this time there was only one.
However, he's unique.
Peace & Blessings!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Rhett and Cherry's three youngsters at upper left. Rosie and Pretty Boy's
two babies, one at far right and pink-eyed youngster at lower left.
Five young Rosie Bourkes are ready to leave home. Haven't offered them to pet shops yet, but will soon. They are from two clutches. Makes Flame and Fuchsia's five babies a bit more remarkable. Those five are all growing and doing well. Imagine seven birds in the cage though. Perhaps tomorrow, I'll remove some to hand feed, along with Cherry and Rhett's second clutch. Those parents are getting on in years and can use the extra help.

Flame and Fuchsia accept some Exact handfeeding formula.
With five babies to feed, they can use this help. The bird in the
center is Pipsqueek, who still requires handfeeding over a year
after fledging. She isn't able to feed herself due to some
physical handicap.

Dad, Flame, is on my hand. Mom, Fuchsia, has her head in the bowl
Pipsqueek (or Pip) is eating from the eyedropper.

These birds bring me such JOY!

Peace and Blessings!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Newly Banded Baby Bourke

Fingers are shiny from mineral oil used to make bands slide on easier.
All of Flame and Fuchsia's five babies now have bands. Their smallest baby is the one with pink eyes, and he/she is the last one to be banded. All have EGL, OR, 11 bands (Our initials, Oregon and 2011). This one is band #12. We also added the bi-colored blue and red bands on an opposite leg to identify parentage when they're grown.

Notice how full the crop is. Their parents are gorging all five of them so far. None are being left out. Smile.

Silver band with information is visible on right leg. Colored band is on left leg.
First band went on easily, but he fussed and wiggled for the 2nd, as if to say,
"Enough of this! Let me go home now."
Peace & Blessings.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pink-eyed Baby Rosy Bourke Parakeets

Fuchsia with her brood of five. Wouldn't you know that the bird
with the largest clutch is the one with the smallest nestbox?
When Rosie and Pretty Boy hatched pink-eyed offspring recently, I was excited.  Then, Rosie’s aunt, Fuchsia, and her mate, Flame, hatched five eggs … one with pink eyes.

Now, Fuchsia’s parents, Cherry and Rhett, who are also the grandparents of Rosie, have hatched at least one pink-eyed baby in their clutch of four eggs. Two have hatched so far, one with pink eyes and one with dark eyes. Wondering what the 3rd and 4th will look like.

Granted, these three hens are all related to one another. They all carry a gene for pink eyes, yet it’s still unexpected and exciting. I’ve never had a white-faced, pink-eyed Bourke parakeet before.
Fuchsia's five babies with smallest, pink-eyed one at top.

Slightly older here, taken 8/17/11.
Pink-eyed youngster is covered up by her siblings.
Fuchsia & Flame's five on 8/17/11. Tiniest baby rests her head
on a sibling near top. Pink eyes are visible, but not open.

This is great grandmother, Cherry, hiding her latest brood.
As of 8/17/11 she's had two of her four eggs hatch.

Cherry's two babies with two more to hatch.
Photo taken 8/16/2011.

Rosie's pink-eyed youngster. She has a dark-eyed sibling. She is not only
lighter in color with pink eyes, she is also smaller than her sibling or her parents.
Ads on back are to keep the males from bickering with each other. Newsprint
hides them from each other. The other three sides of their cages are open.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Update: All five babies survived to become healthy, beautiful adults.

Tame birds offer so many advantages.
Especially when you want to photograph them. Smile.

Flame feeding his mate, Fuchsia. There are five babies in the nest.

Fuchsia with head out of nest box. Flame on perch.
I have one bird who requires twice daily hand feeding. All my other tame birds love to steal a bite of the Exact hand feeding formula from her whenever possible. Flame is the one most eager to do so. Since he's feeding his mate, who in turn is feeding FIVE babies, this morning I let him share in the prepared Exact. He loves it and ate all he was allowed to. 

As soon as I prompted him to go back to his cage, he called to Fuchsia. She came right to the nest box opening and he began feeding her. These photos are the result. This pair is not put off by having a camera shoved into their cage and, in spite of it, they didn't stop the feeding process.

From above. See Flame's deep, bright color ... hence his name.
I offer them a variety of foods to choose from.

Male Bourkes feed their hens on the nest. This allows the mothers more time with their babies, and also ensures that the food she's feeding the young is thoroughly dissolved. Most hens rarely leave the nest until their babies fledge. Once or twice a day they will exit the nest to deficate, and then quickly return. Older, experienced hens are more likely to spend time outside the nest, particularly when it's very warm. Young ones, however, seem afraid to leave their babies alone, even for a few moments.

Fuchsia asking what I'm doing up there.

Most recent hatchling in my hand. It's much smaller than the others,
 and needs to be watched. It may not compete well for its food.

I love small, exotic parakeets. They are adorable birds. In addition to bringing sweet birdsong to our home, ours provide much joy.

May you, too, experience happiness through all that you love and those that love you.

Peace & Blessings!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Flame and Fuchsia, parents of Five!

Fuchsia with her five babies. Dark pink on right is newly hatched & still wet.
Egg shells are from this last one that hatched today. It has pink eyes.
This morning Fuchsia's fifth egg hatched. Unlike its siblings, this tiny baby has pink eyes. Yet, the stomach appears dark ... not a good sign. Based on information sent to me when Cherry's pink-eyed baby didn't survive, there may be something wrong with this one's internal organs. I hope not, but am preparing myself for disappointment.

Sorry this is blurry. It does show size of baby.
Head is near my ring and turned, showing a
pink eyelid that indicates pink eyes below.
Fuchsia and Flame, both handfed, are doing well with their little charges so far.  Five babies is the most any of my Bourkes have ever hatched in a single clutch. And, this is their first clutch. Both parent birds are young themselves.

Other parent Bourkes have hatched and raised as many as four youngsters, but no others have ever hatched more than four eggs. Fuchsia hatched all five of hers ... quite an accomplishment!

Rosie's pink-eyed baby and its dark-eyed sibling are still doing well. The dark-eyed baby is out of the nest, and the other will soon follow.

Wishing you and your birds all possible joy and happiness!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Remember my favorite handfed Rosy Bourke hen, Rosie, who hatched three eggs and two of her babies had pink eyes? 

Since Rosie's grandmother's pink-eyed youngsters seemed to have internal defects and didn't survive, we worried for Rosie's babies. At two weeks of age one pink-eyed baby did die. I expected to lose the other one too, but that was not to be. Here it is with its dark-eyed sibling.

Pink-eyed baby Bourke in front.
Notice that the typical black feathers are gray.
This bird's "rose" feathers are actually light pink with yellow highlights.

This was Rosie's first clutch and her mate, Pretty Boy, is very young and not much help feeding her before she feeds their babies. After inspecting the dead baby bird, I think she simply did not feed it and let it starve. If I'd kept a closer watch, I might have saved it with hand feeding. I hope it wasn't a genetic problem. We've had other young hens with young mates who give up on one or two of their clutch.

You'd think that with ample food provided they'd happily raise all their young. However, when the males aren't enough help... 

In the case of some of those hens I was able to successfully hand feed the abandoned youngster(s). By the time I saw this one, however, it was too late. Rosie and her mate will probably improve with future clutches. Experience seems to add confidence and many of those hens who rejected one or two babies in the beginning went on in later years to hatch and raise four babies in every clutch instead of hatching four and only feeding two.

Bonnie with her single baby. He's very calm and serene.
A very sweet little bird.
Bonnie & Clyde hatched only one egg this time, although there were three in the nest. That's unusual for them. The baby is doing fine, but grew so fast that I missed banding him. By the time I took him out of the box, his foot was too big to put a band on.

I was kept enjoyably busy with visiting relatives and forgot to check on this bird.

Can't wait for her to leave the nestbox so I can see what she has
hidden under her. At least two of her five eggs have hatched.
Tame Fuchsia and mate, Flame, have five eggs. She shares a grandmother with Rosie, so I'm curious to see if she will also have pink-eyed youngsters. Yesterday I discovered that two of her eggs have hatched. One baby has dark eyes, but I wasn't able to see the other one without moving Fuchsia. Didn't want to upset her since it's her first clutch.

I need to watch these babies more closely than I did Rosie's. Don't want to miss whether they are being fed, and will need to band them on time. 

Currently have eight baby Bourkes with two more clutches waiting to hatch. Bourkes are such sweet birds.

I hope to trade some baby Bourkes for more Splendids. Ours haven't been productive for quite a while. Rainbow's mate died and he needs a new hen. He is becoming noisy, crying for her. Sad.

Peace & Blessings
to all of You and your Birds  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hummingbird Release and Return Visit

We released our little hummingbird hen this morning from our west deck near a sugar water feeder hanging there. She didn't hesitate. She flew off and disappeared very quickly. 

However, at mid afternoon today I was watering potted plants on our south deck and in she flew to the feeder! She landed on the holder and sat there cheeping (or singing?) at me. She was very friendly, and unafraid. My granddaughters asked how I knew it was her. She is still missing a few feathers on her breast, and has some white ones near her tail that are unusual.

It was so much fun to see her again and realize that she is less afraid than the other birds. Although they aren't all that timid either. 

Several people have sent messages about her need for protein as well as sugar water. The special items zoo's use aren't available in our community. We tried offering her small insects, but she didn't seem to want them. If you think about it, people can exist for a long time on bread and water ... not the best of diets, but we survive. Hummers do too. She was in captivity about two weeks and managed to regain her strength and ability to fly while being sustained on sugar water and fuchsia flowers. She is healthy and can find insects now that she's released. 

Time for Release ... and off she flew!

A happy ending to this random act of kindness. 

Happy Monday and many Blessings!