Getting to Know Quigley ~ 2014 BOTS

We are honored to have Quigley the Bourke Parakeet as the TWFA 2014 Bird of the Season winner! He is our official mascot for the current breeding season and we will post updates about him regularly. As you can see he represents the parrot/hookbill side of the avian community and brings us all together as avian hobbyists or just enthusiasts. To find out more about this contest or to apply for next season, click here

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quigley2A little about Quigley

by Kristy

Quigley is very good at learning new tunes. He will get very close to my lips and give me kisses until I whistle a melody. We do this for a short time before he flies away to sit either on top of the fridge or on his chair in the kitchen to practice. He will fly back to me several times for me to whistle the same tune and then off he goes again. It doesn’t take long for him to learn but I love when he gets one mastered and then mushes all the tunes together making it his own.

So far he can whistle Wizard of Oz, Pop Goes the Weasel, cat calls, Andy Griffith, Cuckoo Clock bird, an Army tune, Frosty the Snowman, Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, the Charge tune and various bird calls. He also sings a very sweet warble of notes that often puts me to sleep. He calls to us using the Cuckoo Clock bird call.

Sometimes Quigley helps Dad put his socks on and lotion up his feet. He sits on one leg while Dad lotions his other foot and hops to the other side when Dad says, “rotate.” When he’s done, Dad says, “okay,” and Quigley flies away to wait for the door to open then downstairs he goes.

quigley plus mommaQuigley is a very sweet, gentle and quiet bird. He doesn’t like to have his chin rubbed too often but he does get snuggly in the evenings and does like having the top of his head kissed. He doesn’t play with toys very much but he does love his mirror with the beads and also preening type toys.

Quigley plays fetch with tiny beads and a small birdie ball. He will also help us move pieces around the Monopoly board on game nights. Quigley is the best paper shredder too. Don’t leave your dollar bills sitting around! His favorite perch is usually a shoulder for a free ride around the house. I think he looks especially pretty sitting on Mom’s shoulder (right).

Quigley is a very good eater and will try anything once. If he doesn’t like it he will shake his head crazy, sneeze and fly away. He does love his sprouts and birdie bread that is loaded with veggies and of course loves his millet. He goes crazy for fresh corn, green beans and mashed potatoes. Fresh herbs and wheatgrass are also among his diet. He’s not a fruit eater at all, but he will take a bite to make sure he still doesn’t like them.

Quigley is a very spoiled bird!

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Shipping Begins Monday the 23rd

Anyone who has been waiting for our shipping weather to come around, it’s here! Right as I left for vacation it started warming up and right when I returned home it became chilly again, figures! After this week of 50s and rainy, Monday the 23rd will be 70+ and clear as Summer should be.

This means that I’ll be shipping Monday the 23rd, so expect some TWFA offspring at your door next week if you’ve been waiting for them. It’ll be very bittersweet to have an empty aviary again, just when I was starting to enjoy actually having a selection for visitors for once. Yes, I’m emptying the aviary again and sending all of my juveniles to their new homes! We are very blessed to have a constant supply of adopters who keep that aviary empty most of the time.

After a brief resting period of about 2 weeks which has already begun for some pairs, they’ll be back to breeding their 2nd clutches of the season. I’ve decided on a nest type for the Gouldian flock, which they will be introduced to within the next couple of weeks. I decided on the model from LG with the front porch and divided nest box. It’s the most spacious and private, though hanging them on the outside of the aviary will definitely be difficult!

Slowly Moving Forward ~ New Offspring & Aviary Updates

It’s been a rough few weeks here to be very honest! Living with the loss of our sweet Miles & his shadow Mini-Miles has been much tougher on us people than the flock thankfully, especially since that’s not always the case. Miles’ mate Sweetart, his previous non-breeding mate (& sister) Fleur, as well as his “brother” Dopey have mourned his passing. Not many people expect Finches to mourn or have the capacity to feel loss, but they most certainly do. They will call out for them loudly, look high and low for their missing companion, and mope around in a sad funk. The best way to help them through it quickly is to spend time socializing with and sweet talking them as you usually would. It’s okay to let them see your sadness also, they will understand. Our Fleur has been very sweet to me every time I’m in the bird room, perching on my hand or shoulder and letting me get kisses and cuddles in. She definitely knew I needed cheering up and I wouldn’t have made it so far without her!

Getting back to calls & emails
I’ve been a little inundated since leaving for and returning from vacation! But I’m slowly making my way through all of your calls and emails as well as requests for adopting current offspring. We have plenty to choose from at the moment and some who will be shipped to their new homes shortly.

My first issue as NFSS Editor
As I mentioned in my last update, I’ve been burying myself in work since I returned home which has paid off immensely. I completed my first issue as the NFSS Editor of their bi-monthly publication which has taken most of my time since returning home. The entire magazine needed new fonts and spacer images which was a lot of fun to experiment with. I got to decide the entire issue’s style from this point on! Pretty neat project and took a lot of refreshing in layout & design. I’m looking forward to experimenting more design techniques in the future. Continue reading

A Very Great Loss @ TWFA

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My little man, I will miss you so very dearly.

It’s with a very heavy heart that I must inform all of our dear fans & followers that our Miles the 1 year old hand tame Phaeo suddenly passed away while I was on vacation visiting home. He showed no signs of illness, no signs of injury or even discomfort. He had a very clean vent and a crop that was still half full when he left us. Because of his passing I decided to come home a week early and make sure the rest of the flock is alright. My fiance has been doing an incredible job at caring for all of them while I’m gone, sending photo updates and using video chat to let me check the bird room daily. I know that Miles’ death has nothing to do with his care, as he has cared for him many times before and is well versed at it. He helped me raise Miles whenever I’ve been gone or ill, and he was very close to him. He has been hit with this just as hard as I have, bless his heart. He has a very “tough guy” type of personality but when he called me to let me know what happened he was sobbing.

We had planned to get a necropsy done, but my fiance unknowingly froze him while I traveled home. Freezing causes the cells to burst and nullifies any chance at a necropsy. I hadn’t even thought to warn him not to before I left for the airport.

Please understand that this is incredibly hard for me and I may take longer to respond both here & on FB than usual, he was my little man and best friend. He’d been through so much in his short life, which is why I named him Miles in the first place. Even as a little fledgling he had “been through miles.” I hadn’t even gotten the chance to film him with my new camera, and all of my previous videos of him are lost on my old phone forever after it broke. I do have a little footage of him on my Youtube Channel, but I couldn’t bear to look at that right now with this gaping whole in my heart.

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Miles & his partner in crime aptly named MiniMiles for his carbon copy loving personality. They were one of a kind.

On a completely unrelated note, the hand-raised and very hand-tame juvenile Penguin male I had brought with me to deliver to his new momma on my trip also passed away during my time in Georgia. He suffered a respiratory infection for less than a day, and became sick almost a week after we had arrived. His carrier remained covered at night and the temperature never dropped below a steady 76 degrees Fahrenheit so it was surprising when he became ill. In less than a day in spite of being treated with the medicine I brought (Amoxitex, NV Powder & Megamix) and instructions from our avian vet, he passed away at about 3 am in my hands. I know I’ve said it before but helplessly watching your baby bird that you’ve raised since birth for months – in this case 6+ months – die without being able to stop it is a fate that I hope no one ever has to endure. Continue reading

Shipping Weather Is Here! & Aviary Update

A photo of my home state, GA. (TWFA 2014)

A photo from my home state, GA. (TWFA 2014)

Let the shipping begin! 
As some of you wonderful people waiting for a shipment of Finches from TWFA already know, it’s been unreliably warm and cold at different intervals here in Western Washington state during the start of this Spring season!

Thankfully we now are steadily getting into the warm weather with an overnight temperature that is safe for Finches to travel. I’ve been more lax with shipping temperatures in the past, but after hearing horror stories from friends this past year I’ve made the requirements more strict for the safety of my offspring. For more details on my weather requirements for shipping, click here.

Next week will be the first Monday with both a nice and warm (but not too warm) day temp and a safe low at night. I’ll also be leaving at the end of this week for a visit to my home state of Georgia for a couple weeks. When I return towards the end of the month I’ll be sending out offspring for shipment. I can’t wait for everyone to receive their new TWFA Finches!

rh pb female2

One of my RH females finishing up her molt & enjoying one of the many Gouldian Aviary’s privacy perches. (TWFA 2014)

Gouldian Update
Many of my beautiful Rainbows are finishing up their annual molt and look stunning! There are a couple of YH female stragglers who are just now gaining pins and losing patches. My BH male and a RH female are also mid-molt at the moment.

The Dr. Marshall system has improved their coloring in a short time, corrected any stuck issues, and gives the new feathers a beautiful, vibrant luster. I’m so happy I already had it on hand! I can’t imagine life without it, surely it would be much more difficult. Continue reading

Getting to Know Quigley ~ 2014 BOTS

We are honored to have Quigley the Bourke Parakeet as the TWFA 2014 Bird of the Season winner! He is our official mascot for the current breeding season and we will post updates about him regularly. As you can see he represents the parrot/hookbill side of the avian community and brings us all together as avian hobbyists or just enthusiasts. To find out more about this contest or to apply for next season, click here

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quigleyQuigley’s Story

by Kristy

Quigley is the first Bourke Parakeet that I have ever owned. He picked me which makes him an extra special purchase! I was at the pet store because I needed a friend and didn’t even know it. I didn’t find out why he picked me until later during a family crisis.

I lost my Mother 6 years ago to pulmonary fibrosis and miss her dearly every day. Sometimes I’d have dreams about our good memories together, but other dreams were messages from Heaven. Over the course of several days I had the same dream and the only words I could understand was mom telling me “everything is okay,” and I kept asking her, “what’s okay Mom?” It wasn’t until I got the phone call from my sister that her son had a knee injury which they thought was cancer and would possibly have to amputate. At that moment I understood the dream and told my sister, “Everything is okay!” As we found out it was okay just as Mom had said. Little did I know that there was more to her message.

quigley sleepyThat night, I had that dream again. “Everything was okay,” my Mom said to me and I replied, “Yes Mom, we miss you and love you.” She then asked me, “Do you love Quigley?” I responded, “Yes I love him, how did you know?” Her answer was, “I love him too.” This is when I knew he was a special gift to help me through the hard times.

In this picture (right) is Quigley when he gets sleepy in the evenings and loves to nap on a shoulder. Any shoulder will do, but sometimes he prefers a toe. He loves sneaking off on Saturday afternoons and he’ll whistle for me from the bedroom. I can always find him waiting on my pillow. Those are the best times for snuggling and he’ll put me right to sleep when he starts “crackin.” They are very short power naps, but it’s our weekend routine. I can’t imagine Saturdays without our naps. Continue reading

20 Charcoal, Fawn, White & Pied Finches available in Sydney, Australia

Charcoal male & his young offspring

By Wayne

Hi all, my name is Wayne and I live in the suburb of Pennant Hills in Sydney, Australia. I will be shortly moving house and will not be able to take my flock of around twenty zebra finches with me. As I will be moving in three weeks, whoever wants them, must take the lot. 

Chelsea has kindly allowed me to place my information here. My zebra finches are Charcoal, Fawn, White and Dappled (Pied) in color, all are healthy birds. They would be the perfect flock for a beginner to start some selective breading.

I would like to give my birds to someone who could give them a good home. They come with a traveling cage and plenty of seed to keep them going! If you’re interested please message me here

Additional Photos (click to enlarge):
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Happy Easter Everyone!!~

IMG_20140420_112552-picsay Happy Easter Everyone! I hope y’all enjoy your Sunday time with your flocks &family. Everyone celebrates Christmas, Vday and Thanksgiving but we like to make a big deal out of Easter at my house also. It’s a holiday full of fun things to do and happiness from all people you come across regardless of religious preference.

Under the bunny ears and decorated eggs in this photo you can see the 3 hand-raised hatchlings I’ve been caring for. They’re very fuzzy now and make the perfect Easter subjects. Soon they’ll be going to their new homes locally & living the spoiled life.

May all your egg hunts be successful today!~

2014 Waiting List & My Pairs Page

The 2014 waiting list is up! Many are already scheduled to pick up their offspring while others wait for their pairs to be bred. If anyone wants to be added to the list for Gouldians now would be a great time to get in at the top. They will be breeding mid to late this season once they’ve settled in & finished quarantine.

I also updated the My Finches page with current photos of each of my pairs who are breeding at the moment. I also have pairs who are of course non-breeding as well for various reasons and won’t be featured on that page until they’re paired with a compatible mate. This means they need a little space for the moment as they meet each other & see if it’s a good fit.

As always, thanks so much for following, visiting & sharing! 🙂 Look for a Gouldian update with detailed plans, photos & videos soon. Some were triggered into their annual molt & we want them to look their best for the camera.

Videos of Egg Binding Progression & Treatment~

Egg binding. We all hate those words. They are very often deadly, and always painful for your bird to experience. It’s also pretty scary to see your female Finch sitting there, on the bottom of the cage, eyes shut in pain, dying slowly.

Fortunately thanks to the Dr. Marshall program, we don’t have many cases of egg binding while using the products in combination with each other (Ioford & Dufo Plus). However every rare once in a while it still happens. No matter what you do you need to be ready for it, especially if you’re a breeder. What do you do?

The first step is identifying whether or not your hen is actually egg bound. If she is, she will be fluffed up in pain, seemingly very fat and pregnant, possibly with a wet or swollen (or both) vent area, unable to move, staying on the bottom of the cage. It is possible to catch it very early when your hen begins to slow down her movements and starts seeming a little tired or a little pained. Since all birds hide their symptoms, most often than not you will notice an egg bound hen when she’s hours away from death displaying all symptoms at once and seeming frozen in pain.

Last night, one of my hens started showing severe signs of egg binding. One minute I was in the bird room feeding the babies, watching her and the rest of the flock bounce around their cages. When I came in for their next feeding, she was on the floor of her cage. Her eyes were not yet closed but I could tell something was wrong. She had seemed a bit sluggish before but was that pregnancy or egg binding?

In this video you can see my female BC “Lilac” is showing symptoms of being in severe pain due to egg binding. Step 1 is identifying the symptoms & treating immediately. Shortly after this video she was given a few drops of Calcium Plus through a syringe. (The lights have gone off for the night as it was about 7:30 when this video was taken.)

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