In an effort to show you reasons we should be your bird supplies purveyor of choice, we feel it’s important that you know we offer expertise, answers and solutions to the endless problems associated with caged bird care. For example you don’t have to shop with us. Feel free to enjoy the Learning Center. We offer lots of bird related information which is updated regularly.
To that end having people on our team that can fulfill these needs is essential. So you’d think it would be easy to find someone to write relevant content keeping our website what we call “sticky”. We want you coming back. The content in the Learning Center much like bread has to be made fresh daily and God knows, I’m just a guy. Since the recession began it appears as though every MBA who’s looking for work has become a social media expert and a blogger.
There are companies that specialize in providing written content. You design a project and several authors will “bid on the project”. I tried to explain to the “project manager” I really needed someone who preferably was companion to multiple birds, because I know that person understood the meaning of getting bit, screamed at, wiped red substances off of walls and laid awake at night trying to figure out Why one of the birds didn’t like the the toy with the red blocks.
“Oh no” the project manager person wrote back, “Our people are professionals and we have lots of work with many animals and have lots of pets”. So I put a project out to bid and 4 authors expressed interest. The project was to produce 100 words that would enhance the product description of Higgins safflower gold natural bird food. I stated that bird owners like this because it had no sunflowers. The last of the four authors wrote, and you can’t make this stuff up, “Your bird will love this food because they won’t have to spit out sunflower shells keeping your bird from making a big mess” – I tried.
One day I’m cruising my LinkedIn groups looking to make a little trouble and I ran into (virtually speaking) a woman who was also a fan of our Facebook page, and she started asking me some very pointed questions. One thing led to another and I learned that she has – Experience. Here’s the resume I was looking for – complete with bite marks and bird poop (Angels singing).
“Currently I am owned by a vivacious and mischievous blue and gold macaw named Keiko (12 yrs old), re-homed to me 7 years ago. She was my first ‘screamer’. Who knew? I also live with a red factor African Grey, (12 yrs old) Phoenix, who is an absolute love doll, bonded to me. I met her when she was a baby bird. Never look into a baby bird’s eyes, or she’s coming home with you! She’s had some health concerns and presents some aspects of beak and feather disease.
Denise, Keiko (right) & Phoenix
We do have some health challenges. The Macaw has asthma and is allergic to spring and fall flora My African Grey recently had pneumonia. I’ve also lived through some pretty intensive health issue with my other parrots.
My incredible Blue Fronted Amazon, Kenya, came to me after one year of being moved from pet store to pet store, always locked down as she was a vicious biter. We had that whole love struck thing through the bars and after a few weeks of visiting her at the store, I bought her. After a year of careful and loving introduction to my home Kenya became the absolute heart of my heart – goofy, loving, and gentle. And she’d go everywhere with me. She lived only to 7 yrs old. I lost her to aspergillosis and I grieved her for a year. I was devastated. I also learned a lot from that experience.
I also re-homed a delightful Sun Conure at the age of 7. What a nut. He had his own health issue after catching a toe and tearing it — he ended up losing half his foot, went septic, and I almost lost him too. A Conure in a cone is something to be seen, and he made it. He, too went everywhere with me and was seriously socialized. I’d pass him around to the children at the mall–enchanting little creature. However, about 5 years later, Charlie became unable to stand living with my dogs. He just freaked and screamed at them, and so he’s living happily ever after with my best gal pal, in a very quiet home, but I get to see him all the time. He’s adorable and feisty and crazy. And I miss the little bugger.
The menagerie of parrots I was enslaved to before that included (along with all of the above) another African Grey, crazy intelligent Chiku; another Blue and Gold Macaw, Max; a fantastic Green Winged Macaw, Gjasy; and a gentle sweet Cockatiel Phoebe who held her own with the macaws. We had a very large bird room, to say the least!
Due to divorce, we had to divide the birds since my mate at the time refused to separate the macaws, who were very bonded to each other. Leaving behind my gentle giant Green Wing was so so hard. Chiku our African Grey was equally bonded to both of us (it can be done!).
The stress of the divorce was tough on all the birds. Kenya the Amazon plucked out ALL of her feathers. The Grey pulled out every last one of her tail feathers, blood all over the cage.
The worst bite I ever got was from the smallest one of course, the Conure. Biggest bruises? Macaw. Worst heartbreak? All of ’em in one way or another. My forearms are pockmarked from bird claws and I don’t mind one bit.
So I guess you’d say I am definitely one of those crazy bird ladies! My beginner birds way back when? (18 years!!) Finches. Then Budgies. Then Cockatiels.
More recently, I’ve done parrot consultations with local people who couldn’t handle their parrots (usually, yep, cockatoo’s, those devils). Once you’re captivated by these intelligent birds, it’s your job to ensure they live happily ever after, yes? We live in Ontario, Canada.”
Denise has her own blog http://www.wildhair.ca/about-
me/ which I read so I knew she could write professionally. For those of you that have been following me for any length of time know that I spend a lot of time thinking about parrot behavior, Catherine my wife and motorcycles (not necessarily in that order). I decided to have a virtual “track day.” In motorcycle lingo that’s where we take our bikes to the track to assess performance of said motorcycles. In that this is a blog about parrots, I asked Denise to show me “what she’s got.” Here’s the “A” side of her newest release on a 45 (Sorry, just turned 62 – I’m showing my age – If you’re old enough you’ll know what I’m talking about). Find some solutions for screaming parrots here.
Please share your thoughts and experiences below.
written by Denise Wamsley
in collaboration with Mitch Rezman CMO
©Windy City Parrot, Inc, 2014
Simply Everything for Exotic Birds – Since 1993