Friday, July 23, 2010

Feeling Flighty

Oldest baby - legband 1409, 28 days. At the beginning of the photo shoot, she was skittish and pressed to the ground in baby posture. An hour later, she was sitting on my shoulder, chirping, observing the world and grinding her beak like a grown bird. I have never seen a 'tiel with the pinpoint yellow "pearls" on her breast feathers - less than a pearl but different from the stripes of her "underpants" feathers. She has the most, and brightest, yellow on her face. Must come from feeding the parents conditioning & molting food.
Baby 2 - legband 1435, 26 days. A very squirrelly bird; always on the go. This is the only shot of got that was even a little bit clear. She is a deep, deep gray, has black feet and only two or three white nape feathers. Still likes to huddle close to the ground but is getting better at perching. For some reason unknown to me, the birds act more like grownups once they start perching. It is as if that weight redistribution flips a switch in their little birdy brain! Baby 3 - legband 1438, 24 days. Giving #2 a real run for her money in the development department; if not for the bands I would not have been able to tell them apart in age until the feathers started coming in. This one has quite a few yellow crest and nape feathers and is a soft gray. Baby 4 -legband 1475, 22 days. She still has quite a few feathers in pins (even some baby fuzz in places), and a cute naked patch visible on her crop. Has the pinpoint yellow dots on her breast feathers, but more faint than 1409. Her beak is quite dark and her feet are black. They aren't experimenting with food and water yet, but it will be any day now. They started clambering out of the nextbox early this week and I think I will remove it entirely tomorrow and add some more perches (low to the ground) for them to practice on. Hamlet & Violet are looking a little thin - definitely time to take a break from parenting.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Swing of Things

I have been quite the happy camper this week, even though I caught a cold and was laid out Monday and Tuesday. I was off work so was able to drink lots of Theraflu and sleep to my heart's content. Short days yesterday and today; I work Saturday but am looking forward to two more days off next week. The hours will surely get made up when month end arrives, but I love the time to rest and recharge now.

The baby cockatiels are growing steadily. Three of them have gotten their legbands put on, and it will only be a day or two before the littlest one is ready. All four have opened their eyes, and they love to sway and hiss in unison when I poke my hand into the nestbox. It was wonderful to see little Mustardseed grow up, but the Fearsome Foursome are a sight to behold - I can see the different stages of development and they are already showing their birdy-alities. I suspect they will all be visual grey "normals" - no indications of pied, pearl or cinnamon in the bunch.

Since I don't spend 2-3 hours a night on the phone with the Friend anymore, I have rekindled my netflix watching and my knitting hobby. Last night I stayed up way too late, but I knit maybe 4 inches on the foot of the second "Skye" sock. I finished the first of the brown "cafe mocha" socks over the weekend, but haven't cast on for the second yet. No second sock syndrome - just want to finish the blue ones. I am knitting from both ends of one skein so I use up every inch of the yarn, which makes for a big mess if the tangle-fairy comes, and I started these back when the kittens were little last spring, so it is high time they were off the needles and in the sock drawer.

I am planning on going to a renaissance faire in a couple weekends - very excited to feel the dust in my ... well, everywhere. I'll take my tent, some wool, some handcards and do a little spinning to earn my keep. I am pretty sure the pets can watch themselves for one day. I should put up the tent and make sure all the pieces are there.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Chirp Chirp Chirp... Chirp

I was having quite a low morning today; nothing seemed to be going my way. Cat is sick, chores are looming, garden is weedy, the new Friendship fizzled. Then I went to check on the birds. It was chaos in the birdroom! Empty dishes, Mustardseed the cockatiel had escaped from her cage and moved into Kiwi's digs (she has been in the play cage in the front room this week), and there was a blast of squawking, calling, whistling and.... chirping? Infant chirping? I peeked in the nestbox (Violet has been holed up in there for weeks, so I was afraid of her coming out beak first) wondering if a chick had appeared, and saw...

FOUR babies.

It was a sea of soft yellow down, pink skin and dark eyes. The eldest must be almost a week old now - i can see pinfeathers coming in underneath the skin. The youngest is dry and fluffy, so must have hatched late yesterday. How did I miss a week's worth of baby-chirping and feeding noises? Must have been watching too much "Deadliest Catch" and drowned out the sound. The babies all look fat and happy. I refilled the food dishes, made up some veggies, and filled the vitamin cup. Hamlet is holding his wing at an odd angle - wonder if he strained it somehow? I snuggled Mustardseed (who wanted to move back in with the folks) and put her back in her bachelorette apartment. Then switched Kiwi and Beaker in the playcage and now a very happy Pionus is swinging about and throwing seed into the keyboard of the laptop.

My 4 day weekend is looking up! Now I have the excitement and energy to get some stuff done this weekend. Or at least to snorgle baby birds. Mustardseed is also looking good - she is three months old now and still sweet, soft, and does her step-ups without biting. Interestingly, someone at work offered to buy a cockatiel from me last week. If this batch makes it, I guess I will have some available! I wonder if they will all be normal coloring? Ooh what if there are males in this clutch?

In non-avian updates, I dragged the Legend of the Shetland Seas stole out of the depths of the closet and have been working on the knit-on edging. I have also made quite a bit of progress on the brown socks this week. I have done some knitting during lunch at work, while watching netflix on the laptop, and then again last night at movie night at Knit N Stitch. Even found time to re-read _The Red Tent_ this week.