Tag Archives: bird blog

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

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Let the 2014 Breeding Season begin!!

A very "Red" Phaeo male we are keeping for 3rd generation breeding. He is aptly named Strawberry for obvious reasons. (TWFA 2014)

A very “Red” Phaeo male we are keeping for 3rd generation breeding. He is aptly named Strawberry for obvious reasons. (TWFA 2014)

With a Breeding Season like we had for 2013, I should have expected that the following Resting Season would be eventful and full of surprises. It did not disappoint!

TWFA gets some special attention
We’ve been getting a lot of it lately!! And it’s always very flattering and very appreciated. First, a picture of the hand raised babies was shared by the Doodlebug Duds Facebook page. We sent them a thank you alongside a customer appreciation photo, and they thought it was pretty neat that one of their hand-made pet beds was being used by little birdies.

Next, my favorite blog and birdie blog Students & Birds published my guest article about owning Zebra Finches. Her site is so cool!! She’s always got such innovative ideas for her series posts and this one does not disappoint, featuring different bird species being explained in depth by a long-time owner. And lastly, GouldianFinch.gr shared my recent photo of the updated juvenile aviary. They are a great resource for different bits of Finch-related information and will post lots of pictures of different species & mutations on their page. I also want one of their Gouldian posters!

A LB CFW male enjoying the juvenile aviary. (TWFA 2014)

2014 New Mutations
Here are a list of the new mutations we’ve come up with during this “off season” with lots of luck and wonderful parents: Lightback CFW (pictured left), Very “Red” Phaeo (pictured top right), Very Black BF BC, Fawn Yellow Beak, Fawn Penguin (pictured bottom right), and a very Vibrant CFW (pictures coming soon!).

These have all manifested in our 2013 offspring and will be bred further for 3rd generation offspring. I was highly lucky to get these colors by chance! I had expected to wait until 3rd or 4th generations. It’s a true testament to the excellent breeding of my pairs from their original breeder. I will also be leaving a review for her shortly. It has been written for some time but things have been a lot busier than originally anticipated! Now there will be many photos to accompany it. Continue reading

Off-Season Breeding & Penguin Update~

If you’ve been following the TWFA updates for this past season, then you’ve heard me gripe about my finickiest new mutation, my pairs of Penguin Zebra Finches.

What exactly makes them finicky? To start, on average they lay 1-2 eggs per clutch and will lay about 1-2 times per breeding season. They’re fragile breeders, finicky eaters and also more susceptible to illness which means it’s a good idea to keep them fat, exercised and on a consistent, balanced diet. Did I mention that they’re a challenge which I am crazy enough to enjoy? The babies they’ve produced this year have been some of the cutest and quickest to be adopted. 

It has definitely been a journey to bring them all into prime breeding condition to say the least! Both Penguin pairs have been thoroughly rested since their last clutch of babies, and have been moved to the aviary’s year-round breeding cycle. This schedule is reserved for pairs that lay 1-2 clutches each year and take breaks of up to 6 months in between.

After some nest changes and settling into the new house with a new view of the outdoors, I have returned home from a week of absence to find 5 freshly laid eggs in a newly built nest made of natural organic materials as well as pieces of their fresh millet branches. Always a happy find here in the aviary! The other Penguins are still deciding between a nest box and a cup-style, still carrying supplies here and there without any real building going on.

A slower than usual process
All of my Penguins get more natural light and less synthetic so they are not overstressed or overstimulated during their light breeding schedule. They also receive their high protein foods after they begin laying which assists them during the parenting process. I’ve also been introducing multiple nest options since these pairs are new to the aviary and to breeding so as anyone can guess, some nests are favored over others. All of these precautions do make for a slower breeding process but that is their “flow” which is always the goal here, to find their favorite environment and to replicate it in the most natural way for the rest of their lives. Continue reading

Days 3 & 11 ~ Bird Quote & What makes me :)

This post is part of my participation in the 31 Day Bird Blogging Challenge @ Students & Birds. Join me & participate in your own way through forum posts, Facebook notes/posts, Pinterest pins, etc!

Day 3 ~ Your favorite bird-related quote.

“Know birds, know life ~ no birds, no life.” -Unknown

I love this quote! It is really so perfect for keeping birds. Especially for breeders. We get to see the small nuances and miracles of life that others may miss from courting and mating to egg laying and hatching – all of the wonderful parts of new life being born. It definitely gives you a different perspective on things and your ability to care for animals. And hand-raising is an incredible life experience. You’re literally saving the lives of baby birds at that point. It kind of goes unsaid that animals who truly love you unconditionally and depend on you for their existence touch your heart in inexplicably huge ways, changing you forever.  Continue reading

Days 18 & 7 ~ Survival Tips & Flock Annoyances

This post is part of my participation in the 31 Day Bird Blogging Challenge @ Students & Birds. Join me & participate in your own way through forum posts, Facebook notes/posts, Pinterest pins, etc!

Day 18 – Your best Finch survival tip.

I have 2 main survival tips when it comes to raising & breeding Finches. The first is to make things fun. Whether this is challenging yourself to keep a rare species or mutation of Finch, blogging or posting on the forum about your birds, working towards upgrading your setups or adding an aviary, or raising your own babies by hand, each hobbyist has to make it theirs in order to truly enjoy it sometimes. This is also helpful to remember on those not-so-easy days when you may be less inclined to spend time with your birds, either due to a recent event or a growing lack of interest. When it isn’t fun for you, it isn’t fun for your flock so challenge yourself to do something new! Continue reading

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