Bird Talk Magazine – June 2009

Bird Talk has published it’s June 2009 issue! Featured in this magazine are articles on making a bird themed planter, making your parrot behave as a team, sound proofing your home with plants, love-birds, and Spinifex pigeons.

Editor’s Note
My name is Tori. That’s T-O-R-I, and it is not short for Victoria.

You may be wondering why I am writing this month’s editorial note. Laura has been locked out of her office, after my clever ploy of distracting her with the sweet potato fiasco in Jessica’s cubicle. You see, I had to take over this editor’s note. It was about all these human-specific articles, with tips for keeping the cage clean and how to soundproof with plants. Ahem, might I point out this is BIRD TALK magazine, not HUMAN SPEAK magazine? I am on the cover, and I declare those articles as useless as wax paper. I cannot chew wax paper; therefore, it has no use to me, or any reason to be at the bottom of my cage.

First off, keeping the cage clean? Are you mad? I work diligently, day-after-day, to make my cage as messy as possible. That is my job as a bird. Also, my job is to be noisy, so why would you soundproof me with plants? And I can’t even chew on those plants? What use is a plant if you can’t tear it up?

As for the memo to African greys, Parker and Pepper … I have one for you: Eat your memo, and tuck it into your rump feathers. That is what paper is for, dear cousins (twice removed). Your compliance will be noted by the amount of shredded paper that you leave at the bottom of your cage.

After the editors rejected my article ideas — “Chew This!” and “Why Peach Faces Rule!” as well as my cover blurbs “Scream Louder!” and “Tips & Tricks For Destroying Your Cage (and getting a new one to replace it)” — I couldn’t take it anymore. I would like to point out that not only am I the cover bird, I also grace the table of contents and one of the main articles. How could you not see how my articles would have made this issue pop?

Bird Fairy Gardens
Make a bird-themed planter.
The latest landscaping craze is fairy gardens; decorative planters that have a theme. You can buy fairy houses and miniature accessories and create cute, miniature-themed worlds among your plants. Using little bird mementoes and flair, you can make your own little bird-themed container plant. They are fun to have as décor for your front porch, or create one for your bird-loving friend as a one-of-a-kind gift.

Save It For Later
Cook once, serve all week.
Not too long ago, I was a commitment-phoebe when it came to cooking; the less ingredients the better and the less time, even better. One commonality made me re-think my kitchen routine: having picky eaters; both kids and parrots. I’ve seen my fare share of meals gone to waste, totally ignored or flung across the room. That’s why, once I found recipes that worked, I bought more tupperware and ZipLock bags. Now I set aside one or two days a week to cook the pasta dish the kids love and the rice-and-bean medley the birds run down to their food bowls for. I have birdie bread and muffin mixes to thank for family-fun baking sessions; the boys mix it and I bake it. Two half-hour sessions a week give the flock a bit of crumble yum daily for the entire week.

It’s A Team Effort
A well-behaved parrot is everyone’s responsibility.

One of the biggest challenges that parrot owners contend with is getting everyone in the house on the same page. Consistency and agreement are critical to any training plan. Just ask any teenager who has played their mom off their dad to extend their curfew. A united front is critical for behavioral success.

The challenge with parrots is that they are long-lived, extremely observant and very smart. Fortunately, all of these wonderful attributes also contribute to the solution. You don’t have to outwit your parrot, you simply need to understand that every interaction with it is a training session. Everyone must agree what you are trying to teach the parrot and how you are going to do it.

Sound Advice
Sound proof your home with plants.
Tessa, our lovebird, always happily chatters away in her cage and I love the sounds of her boundless energy and endless joy. But some days, especially when I am at work on the computer, I’ve often thought I should have a tiny caution sign with a silhouette of a person holding a finger to the mouth that reads, “Quiet Please: People at Work!” Instead of a sign though, I have found a better way of reducing noise level in a room — I use houseplants!

Clean That Cage
Tips & tricks for keeping the cage clean.
We’ve all been there (or are going to be there). Flung food on the cage bars, poop in those impossibly hard-to-reach places and the dog wolfing the scattered bird seed and pellets as if it’s buffet night with the family. Certainly after a long, long day at work, cleaning the cage is the last thing on our minds. So we put off cleaning until we have free time, and then wonder, three weeks, later what that smell is emitting from the bird cage. (Is that corn? Dog, you were supposed to eat that!)

The Three Faces Of Lovebirds
Peach-faced, Fischer’s and masked lovebirds show off their unique feats.
A half-shredded palm leaf toy, a pile of feathers and a layer of paper strips are all bundled up in the corner of the cage, and standing atop the mess is a peach-faced lovebird, nibbling a paper strip in her beak. She’s building a nest: an elaborate pad to which she’s been carry strips of paper and palm to all day.

Not Your Average Pigeon
The spinifex pigeon looks & acts like a quail.
Spinifex pigeons (Geophaps plumifera) are widespread and locally common in the arid interior of north-central Australia, where the white-bellied G. p. plumifera and G. p. leucogaster are found, and in central-western Australia, which is the range of the isolated red-bellied G. p. ferruginea. Although named because of an apparent close association with Triodia and Plectrachne spinifex grasses, the birds are not confined to areas with spinifex groundcover, nor are they found in all places where these drought-resistant grasses grown.


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