Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lineolated Parakeets Being Hand Fed

Here's a quick photo of the pair I've been hand feeding since the days they hatched, Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, 2013. Have done video's too, but slow to get them onto You Tube. They'll come later.

Linnie babies at 17 and 18 days of age.
Ugly little critters, aren't they? They're noisy too. And, they never want to stop eating. The Bourke babies I've hand fed quit eating when they're full. These guys won't quit and keep cheeping for more. Another Linnie breeder told me to be careful not to overfeed them. Now I know why.
The Linnies are maturing slower than my other birds. I've read that they are weaned at 8 weeks. Their eyes are open now, just napping in my hands above.

By contrast, here are Bourke youngsters at approx. the same age.
Peace and Blessings for a
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Egg Incubation, Bourke Parakeets & Lady Gouldian Finches - Video of Live Eggs

Video of live Lady Gouldian eggs and Bourke Parakeet eggs taken yesterday. They are kept warm in a homemade incubator and turned every few hours ... even through the night. Temperature needs to remain at 98 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 to 36 degrees Celsius. A light bulb under a dish of water provides humidity. There's more detailed information on doing this in earlier posts. Search Incubation or check the Archive titles.

Peace & Blessings

Friday, December 20, 2013

Seed Eggs! A Bird Lover's Christmas Gift

Have to share an interesting Christmas gift that arrived in the mail yesterday. How fun is this? I ran right out and put them up. Didn't wait for the birds to find them before taking pictures.

Keep your outdoor bird feeders full!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Incubating Small Exotic Bird Eggs

Baby Lineolated Parakeets at 10 and 11 days of age. Also in incubator are
Eggs from Lady Gouldian finches and Rosy Bourke Parakeets.
I've written before about incubating and hatching Lady Gouldian finch eggs in the homemade incubator my innovative husband created using a cockatiel nest box.  After hand feeding them from day one, I said I'd never do it again. Well... Never say never!
Just like last year, after three clutches our Lady Gouldian finch would not quit laying. Removing the nest box did no good. I had to separate her from her mate, or risk losing her.
But, what about all those fertile eggs? I retrieved them from the floor of her cage before moving her to a separate cage away from her mate and their earlier brood of six youngsters.
The larger eggs in the photo above are from Fuchsia and Flame, our prolific Rosy Bourke Parakeets. Because of family health issues, Fuchsia's box was not removed when it should have been. She's raised too many clutches this year already. So, I removed the nest box. These four eggs were all laid on the floor of her cage, so I retrieved them too.
My prolific pair deciding to mate even without a nest box.

At present, at least three Lady Gouldian eggs have live embryo's in them and so do at least two of the Bourke eggs. Later, I'll try to video the eggs with a light behind them. The little red embryo's already show a heart beating.
One Gouldian egg and one Bourke egg have damage to their shell, probably done when they were roughly laid. I don't expect them to hatch. Considered trying to repair their cracks, but haven't.
Looks like I will be hand feeding baby birds until the end of February! Probably five or more.

Flame above, Fuchsia (the hen) below.
Very tame, they don't mind an audience.
Rosie Birds has a video of them on You Tube.
Bird eggs have to be rolled frequently for 18 to 21 days. Newly hatched chicks require feedings every two hours, even through the night. With the baby Linnies I'm down to every three to four hours. But, still sleep deprived.
My husband suggested I throw out the eggs rather than incubate and hand feed because night feedings are so taxing. That's true, but the incubator was already set up for the Linnies and readily available. It was easy to add the eggs and turn them when I feed the baby Linnies.
Then, there's the fact that I'm stridently pro-life!
And, that participating in saving even little feathered lives makes me feel really good. Can't bring myself to heartlessly cast them away. May we end abortion and spare precious human lives too.

Peace, Blessings,
 and a
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


The pair of turquoise Lineolated Parakeets we purchased early last summer decided to lay a clutch in late fall. Two of her three eggs hatched Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, 2013. For whatever reason, the parents seemed to ignore them, pushing them aside to get cold and weren't feeding them. Hence, I'm now hand feeding the pair.

They are 7 and 8 days old in the video and doing fine. We brought the home made incubator up from the basement and installed it for them. It's the same one that we hatched Lady Gouldian eggs in and raised those babies. At least the Linnie eggs were incubated by their parents.

Above is video of them taken yesterday morning, 12/17/2013. The one below is of the home made incubator keeping them warm.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are Galatiels For Real? Check This Out.

After reading about a Galatiel at a Cockatiel website, I started searching for one. The photos and video below are borrowed from talkingbirds.com.au, and the article there is written by Lloyd Marshall. He claims it might be the only one in the world.

Marshal says, "It was bred accidentally by Nikki Wann, who lives at Brewarrina in outback Australia. She had five female cockatiels, six male cockatiels and a 12-year-old male galah in an aviary together."

Nikki Wann's Galatiel.

Parents of a Galatiel. Hen is the Cockatiel. The Gallah, or
Rose-Breasted Cockatoo, is the parent father.

Click on the link for a video of the Galatiel.

This photo is certainly striking. It's possibly
a later photo of the same bird after it has matured.
Or, perhaps its merely photo enhanced.
Anyone know?

Peace & Blessings.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Peeps in the House! Linnie Eggs Have Hatched.

Mama and Papa Linnie. Hen at left is more blue then her mate.
Peeked into the Linnie nest box this morning not expecting to see anything new. We acquired our first pair of Lineolated Parakeets early last summer. After two months to get used to us, I gave them a nest box. They immediately claimed it as their own, and slept in it at night.

But, it was several months before an egg was laid. I expected them to wait until the following Spring, so when I saw attempts at mating, I tried not to get too excited about it. Then when there was an egg, I knew there was a probability that they would be infertile. The previous owner had run into that with them.

Lineolated Parakeet Nest Box from other side of cage.

Our Papa and Mama Linnie had three eggs, but it felt like the wrong time of year for offspring and, even though the house is heated, it's been really cold and icy here lately. However, this morning a tiny baby lay an inch from the mother on its back with an empty crop. I was excited, but concerned. Was it dead? No, it moved slightly. I put the lid back down and left her alone. After about ten minutes I looked in again. Baby was still on its back with an empty crop, obviously cold and unmoving. It would expire if nothing was done and she didn't appear willing to pull him back under her.

Now, this pair is not one of our hand fed Rosy Bourkes, so reaching into the box worried me. But I knew, if necessary, I could hand feed the baby even from day one. I'd done it with Lady Gouldian finches we hatched in a homemade incubator, so day-old Linnie parakeets would be easy by comparison. I reached in and scooped up the baby. Mama Linnie retreated out of the box. Low and behold, under our turquoise blue Lineolated parakeet had been another baby!
Linnie cage and nest box. They share their cage with a
Lady Gouldian hen I hatched in an incubator & hand fed.
I picked it up too. I'd already alerted my husband to this possibility and handed the fuzzy little babies to him. His hands are always warm, mine aren't. He warmed the cold one with the sibling and it began to move slightly, although not with as much energy as the one that had been under its mom. Both began to peep while I prepared a thin mix of Exact Hand Feeding Formula...six parts hot water to one part formula.

Both babies ate like crazy. Now, should I put them back? Their mother had returned to the box and was sitting on the remaining egg. Would she hurt these if I returned them? I'd heard one horror story of that happening with a pair of Linnies. But, this pair seem so friendly and not flighty. To hand feed this young would mean feeding them every two hours for over a week.

What eventually helped me decide is that next week we have to make a 3-hour trip out of town to a doctor appointment, then drive three hours back. That's too long to leave them unfed. Taking them with us was a possibility...I've actually done that before. But, it's such a lot of trouble at this time of year when it's so cold. When I did it before I carried a thermos of very hot water, which worked for the first travel feeding and after that it cooled down and I had to reheat the water in a convenience store's microwave before mixing the formula. This time of year, keeping everything warm would be an issue.

Here is our beautiful cobalt blue Linnie, "Blue."
He or she will hopefully get a mate out of the other pair.
So, back into the nest box went my hand with the two babies in it. Mama Linnie immediately exited. I snuggled the babies feet side down next to the egg and closed the lid. Very shortly after, she returned to the box. When I looked inside she was covering everyone. Later, Papa Linnie joined her. Hopefully, they are feeding their offspring as well as keeping them warm.

On the stove, I'm boiling eggs to make fresh egg food mixture to encourage them to keep themselves and their babies strong.

So, Hip, Hip, Hurray! Baby Linnies! Maybe our cobalt blue, hand fed and noisy "Blue" will have a future mate from this clutch. It's what we'd hoped for.
Blue shares a cage with a tame Rosy Bourke bachelor
until they both find a suitable mate.
Peace & Blessings!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Young Bourke Parakeets & Lady Gouldian Finches for Sale

Placed the following three ads at eBay Classifieds, Pets, Birds today. Thought I'd share them here too.

I primarily raise Rosy Bourke parakeets and this one is a rarity. He's a very pale pink, although over time he will darken some. His face is white and should remain that way. He also has a touch of yellow, but isn't a Lutino. He is an Opaline Fallow Rosy Bourke and has red eyes. Very unusual. Has not been DNA tested to confirm his sex.

Hatched this year (2013) he is parent raised and very sweet. With more attention he should become a tame bird, but is not hand fed. He's a lovely songster. If you raise Bourkes, his line should introduce some beautiful offspring. Recently his great grandfather died, so he is currently keeping his elderly great grandmother company. She is the Rosy shown with him.

Read more: http://oregoncoast.ebayclassifieds.com/birds/north-bend/rare-rosy-bourke-parakeet-in-opaline-fallow-pink-with-red-eyes/?ad=30737181#ixzz2m5oSolQn

Have very young Rosy Bourke Parakeets now eating on their own. They are from three different clutches and are too young to be certain about their sex, male or female. However, I'm good at guessing if you want to try for a pair.

Have very young Rosy Bourke Parakeets now eating on their own. They are from three different clutches and are too young to be certain about their sex, male or female. However, I'm good at guessing if you want to try for a pair.

These youngsters were parent fed by very tame parents. They should tame down quickly with kind handling. Bourkes are quiet, sweet-natured birds. When it's important to have a quiet pet, they are perfect. Most active at day break and sunset, and have natural, lovely songs. They also wolf whistle.

Read more: http://oregoncoast.ebayclassifieds.com/birds/north-bend/rosy-bourke-pink-parakeets/?ad=30736071#ixzz2m5ouEvpH

I raise many birds, but keep only one pair of Lady Gouldian finches. They are a sweet, tame and prolific couple. Hence, the inexpensive price for their offspring.

Baby Lady Gouldian finches. Photo taken 11/29/2013.
They will eventually be very colorful.
After first molt.

Not fully molted yet, but getting color.

Currently, we have six baby Gouldians out of the nest and beginning to eat on their own. They don't yet have their adult colors, so they are mostly brown. After their first molt they will have the brilliant colors of their parents.

I've included photos of an earlier clutch that I kept until they molted, but will let these go sooner. If I don't keep them as long, I can sell them for less...an advantage for you!

Read more: http://oregoncoast.ebayclassifieds.com/birds/north-bend/lady-gouldian-finch-babies-will-have-black-faces/?ad=30737366#ixzz2m5pIFlrd


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pink Bourke Parakeets & Lady Gouldian Finches, Young Birds Today

Below are photos I took this morning. These will be the last baby birds for 2013 and no more until late next Spring.
The Opaline, Fallow Pink Bourke Parakeet below has red eyes. Notice the bit of yellow on his wings. It's also on his rump. He is currently sharing a cage with our elderly Cherry whose mate, Rhett, passed away recently. Rhett was my very first Rosy Bourke and I miss him. Chose this bird to house with her because I might decide to keep him and didn't want her to be alone. He's also the oldest of the Bourke babies we still have from this year. 
This baby is out of Rosie and Pretty Boy.
He was raised alone and would be easy to hand tame.

Four young Rosy Bourkes ready for new homes.

The Rosy Bourke babies above are all for sale. Remember, I don't ship. They are only recently weaned. One is out of Rhett and Cherry and one out of Fuchsia and Flame. Two others are from Rosie and Pretty Boy.

Fuchsia laid four eggs and two have hatched. The other two probably won't. She's very tame. These babies will be ready to band in another couple of days.

Our Lady Gouldian finches are on their second clutch of the year. There are three babies outside the nest box and three still inside. Mother Gouldian finch is in the foreground with her pretty black face.
If I don't get the nest box off soon, she's going to lay another clutch. Not sure if I want that to happen. She's a sweet bird, and overly prolific.
These babies are also available, although our local pet shop wants them.
We live on the south coast of Oregon, near Coos Bay. Contact us at:  rosie.birds@gmail.com
May God bless you and all your beautiful birds with peace, joy and good health.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Small Exotic Birds by Gail Husband Lewis is Coming

Don't miss the video at the bottom of this post.

My novel is back with the Cape Arago Press editor, so I'm free of that responsibility for a while. The novel, Cast Me Not Away, is being published with a pseudonym, Zara Heritage.
It's time to return to work on my bird book. This non-fiction, informational book will be published under my own name and available at Amazon.com and other retailerssoon.
Here is the tentative Chapter list, or Table of Contents. Have I left any subject out that you think should go into the book? Your input is appreciated. Thanks!
Keeping Small Exotic Birds
Choosing a Bird, Behaviors and Personalities
Cages and Aviaries
Diet and Nutrition
Breeding, Mating and Sexing
Nest Boxes, Brooding and Incubation
Successful Parent Birds
Banding Baby Birds
Hand Feeding Baby Birds
Health, Safety and Medications
Hand Taming, Talking and More
Beak and Nail Trimming
Egg Binding Help & Rescue
Genetics and Maintaining Records
Birds with Other Pets
Questions and Answers
Birds Bring Joy

Meanwhile, here is a video of my favorite Rosy Bourke. I started calling him "Sweetheart" and it stuck. He is a very sweet Opaline, Fallow Rosy Bourke with red eyes.


Peace & Blessings!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crocheted Birds, What Fun

A Splendid parakeet, Ring necked parakeet, Galah (or
Rose breasted cockatoo), and a Bourke in the wild color.

Came across a fun site on Facebook. This person crochets birds and sells them. To see more crocheted artistic talent, here is a link:


Assorted Budgies

Peace & Blessings

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bird Beak Trimming Example ... on a Rosy Bourke Parakeet

It seems that every few months, this elderly Rosy Bourke Parakeet needs another beak trim. And, yes, he does have cuttlebone and mineral blocks available.

Our oldest Bourke Parakeet, Rhett.
By holding a small bird's head between your fingers (slightly higher than shown here...not covering the eyes, but over the sides of the head), you can keep the bird's head straight and not allow him to turn and bite you.

Rhett has become used to this procedure. I think he appreciates it.

He doesn't struggle, making it easy to snip the extra length.
However, I still hold his head steady between two fingers.

If you snip too much and the beak begins to bleed,
quickly add corn starch to the wound to stop the bleeding.
This also works for the nails of the feet if you snip too close.

If you are unsure how high to snip, examine a young parakeet for how long their beak appears. If you don't have another bird, check out parakeet photos (or photos of birds like yours) on the internet.

Peace & Blessings.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bourke Parakeet Video of Newly Hatched Baby

Rhett and Cherry had fertile eggs, much to my surprise. They are quite elderly by Bourke standards, both over ten years. This first hatchling appeared to be dead in the nest, so I took its cold body out and noticed movement of its beak. My hands were cold, so I held it against my warm midriff and soon felt it begin to wiggle. I quickly prepared Exact Hand Feeding formula and fed him. He gulped down the food.

I returned him to Cherry, tucking him under her. I was hopeful she'd accept him back and had only accidentally let him slip away from her. She's been a good mother in the past.
I checked her before going to bed and didn't see him, so believed he was still under her, warm and safe. Next morning, however, he was in a far corner and this time he had died. Why did she reject him? I don't know. Would he have survived if I hand fed him? Well, he did have a partial black area on his stomach. Babies with black stomachs typically don't survive because there is some internal problem. This is true for finches, as well as Bourkes, and possibly for all birds. His was not ALL black, but did have that one area... Could that be why she rejected him? As an experienced mother, did she believe he couldn't survive?
Because of this chick's death, when Cherry left the nest momentarily, I checked her eggs. Three were not going to hatch, but one was piping (tapping and peeping). It would soon hatch. Would she reject that chick also? Was she tired and unwilling to keep raising her young...only willing to brood the eggs?
My sudden decision was to remove the viable egg and give it to Fuchsia who has a very good partner and has successfully raised nearly all her young.
The same day, Fuchsia hatched the egg and has been feeding the baby for several days now. It has dark eyes. Maybe Cherry would have done okay with it, and I felt sorry for her, but knew  Fuchsia would care for it and she has.
After a few days, Cherry gave up on the other three eggs in her nest, realizing they were not going to hatch.
Meanwhile, Fuchsia still has eggs due to hatch soon and so does Rosie.

Peace & Blessings.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bourke Parakeets & Others - End of Season Update

I've tried to keep up with questions to rosie.birds@gmail.com, but lately I haven't been posting as often to this blog because my husband had back surgery. He is recovering nicely, but between him and the new puppy, my time is limited. One day I'll gather the newest questions and post them with their answers. However, for now, I want to update everyone on the current state of affairs with my birds this season.

Rosy Bourke parakeet on eggs. This is our sweetest hen,
 called Rosie. Photo taken 9-17-2013.
We've always recommended no more than three clutches a year per pair of birds. And, only two clutches per year for birds that might be stressed in any other way, such as being older, the weather suddenly turning cold, predators nearby causing a panic that could happen again -- anything that might make raising a third clutch difficult for the mated pair.

In spite of that recommendation, one year a young Flame and Fuchsia raised a fourth clutch because I didn't get their nest box removed in a timely manner. Often, I will hand feed a third clutch just to take some of the stress off the parent birds, and in the case of Flame and Fuchsia that year, I did hand feed their last clutch. Hand feeding the last clutch also allows me to remove the nest box before a pair begin mating again and the hen can go back and start laying more eggs.

Bourkes often begin to mate again right away, and a hen may lay eggs for a new clutch before their last clutch of young ones are all eating on their own. This year, in Fuchsia's case, while the last baby of her third clutch was still in the nest box, she laid another clutch of four eggs.

I couldn't hand feed the third clutches of any of our pairs this time because I knew we'd be traveling to a larger city for my husband's surgery. The birds were left alone with plenty of water and extra food for three days and two nights. They did fine, but hand feeding their young was out of the question.

Our oldest hen, Cherry. Her last clutch didn't hatch, so her
nest box has remained clean for this one. It seems unlikely
 these eggs will hatch either as her mate, Rhett, is quite
elderly too. In 1st clutch this year, they raised two.
My hubby usually attaches and removes nest boxes for me. This year, he's unable to remove them, and the nest boxes are still up. That problem can be dealt with by blocking off the entry opening. But, busy me, did not do so.

I also try to clean boxes between clutches and add new pine shavings. Since my birds are all very tame, if needed I can remove eggs for a short time and return them to a clean box. The hens always accept this from me. I'm not recommending it for everyone, however. I simply know my TAME birds will allow this, and I think they appreciate a clean box. The eggs are never away for more than a few minutes and handled carefully.

This post is to let you know how adaptable Bourkes (and probably all birds) can be. The picture below illustrates how they can accept their circumstances. Fuchsia's third clutch of four left the box pretty dirty and I've not been able to remove and clean it. She is using her "dirty" box for a fourth clutch. Cleaning it now will be a challenge since the dried food around her eggs is so hard. I need to decide when to do it...possibly after the babies hatch and I take them out to hand feed. Meanwhile, the box has a slight odor, but the weather is cool and that helps...

I'd never recommend allowing Bourkes to have fourth clutches in the same year, however, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. These eggs are already laid and I'm not going to throw them away.

Fuchsia's box after raising four babies and starting
another clutch before the nest box was cleaned.
Instead of pine shavings, bottom has dry droppings.
The Lady Gouldian finches have babies again. All their clutches from late last year sold, and when she started laying eggs on the floor, I decided to give them their nest box back. I hear tiny peeps coming from within, Duchess won't move to let me see what's under her, smile. This photo is of a clutch from last year. They are about a week old here.
Lady Gouldian finch babies at about one week of age.

Turquoise Lineolated Parakeet.
The pair of Linnies (new to me), are in the nest box. The hen wasn't coming out, so I finally peeked in. She looked like she was brooding and I assumed she had eggs. However, I finally saw her out of the box and rushed over to have a look. No eggs. Disappointed, but still hopeful.

Cobalt blue Lineolated Parakeet. He loves his toys.

Light pink, white faced and red-eyed, opaline fallow Bourke.
This baby is from Rosie and Pretty Boy's third clutch this year.
She should be eating on her own soon. For now, Pretty Boy is
still feeding this daughter and his mate, Rosie, who is on eggs.
We have no breeding Splendids right now. It's all about the Bourke parakeets...my favorites.

Peace and Blessings,