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I know this isn't a spectacular photo, I took it from across the room, then zoomed/cropped with software, and lost a lot of detail. But I like it because it shows these two together.

Klinger the cockatiel was rehomed with me in about 2001/2002 along with his cagemate Trapper. Trapper has since passed away, and Klinger has become buddies, sort of, with Punkin. Klinger and Trapper came to me from a gentleman who could no longer keep them due to health reasons, but he didn't want them to go anywhere they'd be deflighted; having never had their wing feathers cut, he knew how they'd be negatively affected if that ever happened to them. So they came to me.

Punkin came with his sibling Precious, and their "daddy" Papa, along with African Grey parrot Bey (who has since gone to live elsewhere, in a more ideal situation where he is the center of attention - something that could never happen here). I think they were rehomed with me in about 2002/2003. Papa and Precious have since passed on, they were older when they came to me (as were Klinger and Trapper - both were close to 10 I believe). Punkin isn't hand-tame, and so he resides in a larger flight cage. I leave the door open when Klinger is out because the 2 of them "talk" back and forth to each other all day, and Klinger spends most of his own out-of-cage time on Punkin's cage - but Punkin refuses to come out. I don't know why, but I don't force the issue, he is certainly free to do so. Punkin is an old man now and has earned the right to make his own choices - as has Klinger :).


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Last but not least is Girlfriend. She came with Maxwell to live with us, from Maine. At the time her name was Miracle, but she soon attached herself to Pete and spent so much time with him that I started referring to her as his girlfriend...and the name stuck when Bey started calling her that too!
She is a precious little green bird, and lately has also been spending time with me as well as Pete. She's definitely opinionated, and the older she gets (she was 9 when she came to live with us) the more she likes things JUST SO! But she's also gentle and sweet and though the 2nd-smallest bird physically, her presence is huge! She gives kisses one minute, and scolds us for something-or-other (usually the birds outside) the next...but soon all is forgiven and she's cuddling up into my neck, or under Pete's beard. We totally love this little girl!

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So now you've met all of our birds! This is just a final shot of me with Klinger, Phoebe, and Girlfriend.

If not for our pet birds life would be quieter, our house would be more spacious and probably cleaner, and I'd have time for a lot of things I don't have time for now. But my life would also be emptier and a LOT less fun! There's no question that I get a whole lot of joy from my birds and that they enrich my life. I can't imagine life without them!

 
 
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This is Chloe. She is a white-capped pionus parrot. I bought her I think in 2000, the only one of my parrots I purchased from a breeder as a baby; she came to me weaned and extremely well socialized. And she was a VERY funny baby!

She attached herself to my husband from day 1. When we'd only had her a couple of months my husband had to go out of town for his job for a week. Thinking she would pine terribly and be inconsolable, I prepared for the worst. Instead, she simply shifted her affections to me, and that is where they have stayed ever since, although recently she has started stepping up for Pete and even spending a little time on the back of his chair!

Chloe is my most predictable and stable parrot. She is incredibly gentle with me, I can wrap my hands around her to bring her out of her cage even when she doesn't want to come out, and she will only gently beak my hands to express her displeasure. She isn't cuddly (most pionus parrots aren't) but learned young that a minute or so of physical affection was to be expected each day, and she tolerates it well. She is the girl who I can always count on to do exactly what I expect, and hasn't let me down in a decade or more. This means that I can always anticipate her needs and wants, so she lives the life of a queen - and she IS the queen of the flock!

Chloe is also the most analytical of my parrots. When a new food or toy is offered, she studies and considers it for quite a while, thinking it through, devising a plan of escape if necessary, and trying to understand the intentions of it before she will approach. However, once she does, she never forgets. (In this way she is a lot like the donkey I had for 15 years when I was younger!)

Chloe is the bird that is easiest for me. She is easy to take care of, easy to feed, easy to be around, easy to understand...I can relax around Chloe, and don't have to worry that she's going to get into mischief. She'd just as soon settle down for a nap on my chest as look for anything new or exciting to do. She's my matronly little queen.

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This is my Phoebe girl. She and her mate Joey came to me on a breeder loan within a year or 2 after I got Chloe, and from the same breeder. It wasn't long, however, until Phoebe made it clear that she wanted nothing to do with Joey, but would scramble up my arm whenever I opened the door to their cage. After a couple of clear clutches, Joey and Phoebe divorced and he went on to live with another beautiful bronze-winged pionus hen who would actually welcome his advances.

Meanwhile, sweet Phoebe firmly attached herself to me, letting me know in no uncertain terms that she was my pet, and not a breeding hen. Once Joey left and I felt I could handle her without ruining her as a breeder, she quickly assumed the role of loving companion and friend. While not as steady as Chloe, she definitely likes being on or near me over anywhere else.

Back in 2008 I had a stroke. After my release from the hospital I was different. Not only that, but I was unable to handle and play with my birds for several months. And Phoebe started to pluck; in fact over the next few years she plucked herself bald, having feathers only on her head, face, and neck. No physical reason could be found for this, and nothing else had changed. Thankfully in the summer of 2012 she stopped just as quickly as she had started, but as you can see in the photograph, she does have some malformed feathers as the result of follicle damage. Throughout this time, though, she always remained devoted to me, content to spend hours just sitting on my shoulder or the back of my chair.

One especially unfortunate result of her malformed feathers is that she is no longer able to fly. My birds get great pleasure from flying around the house, and she used to be one of the best! These days it breaks my heart when she drops like a rock after attempting flight. And, whereas the poi boys and Phoebe always got along previously, they totally ignored her once she started plucking...and worse yet, Elliot attacked her one day last week when she attempted flight and crashed to the floor; he was on her instantly. I was able to retrieve her within seconds and he didn't do any more harm than to leave a dozen or so of her feathers left on the floor.

You will never see my Chloe girl and Phoebe in the same photo, unless their cages are in close enough proximity to take one. They HATE each other. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that, were they both out of their cages at the same time, one of them would end up mortally wounded. When Phoebe could fly, she would constantly land on Chloe's cage and they'd start fighting through the bars until I intervened. Chloe rarely flew to Phoebe's cage for the purpose of a fight, but if she was near enough to climb, she'd take advantage of it and go after Phoebe through her bars. Both girls will tolerate the other birds landing or climbing on their cages - but not each other. I live in fear that somehow, someday, both of their doors will be open simultaneously and I will end up with only one of my precious pi girls. I totally adore them both!

 
 
I haven't talked about my precious parrots in quite a while (and never since I moved to Weebly), so it's about time!
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These are my "poi boys" - poicephalus parrots Maxwell (red-bellied) and Elliot (Meyer's). I bought Elliot in 1999, he was a year old at the time. I was looking at Meyer's and brown headed parrots at the time, and learned about Elliot via the internet. We drove to where he was, with Sherri in a small town here in Michigan who was rehoming him, and he came home with us that day. He is extremely bonded to me, and will attack my husband - who has never been anything but nice to him! - any chance he gets. But with me he is gentle and sweet and very cuddly and lovable. He also lets my daughter handle him. I am so crazy about Elliot, I'm a fool in love with him! There's nothing I wouldn't do for my special boy  Elliot!

Elliot also won us a prize from radio station WBGL, the station I always listen to! See if you can spot him in this video (hint: he's at the 32-second mark):

Once I had Elliot I really REALLY wanted a red-bellied parrot. In fact it became an obsession almost. Everything I'd heard about them from their owners, everything I read, led me to believe the right one would be a great addition to our family. Then I met Mary up in Maine in a poicephalus group on the internet and fell in love with Max from afar - just from all she wrote about him - further strengthening my resolve to have one some day. That one day came when Mary had to give up her beloved Max, and entrusted him to me. I will never forget her for that! He is everything I expected from a RBP and more! He's silly, talkative, cuddly, funny, playful, incredibly intelligent, and highly interactive.

I love my poi boys to pieces!