Aviary News

Welcome, friends. You will find here any news related to our aviary, from how it started to which birds are having babies. Everything is in chronological order and should be easy to follow. Come back often since this page will change as events occur.

November 1st , 1998 Sebastien rescues a Normal Green Peachface lovebird from a tragic fate. It was being attacked and pecked on by baby ducks by the pond behind our old apartment. We tried to see if we could find its owner, but after 2 weeks of no response, we adopted the bird and named it Pebbles.
November 15th , 1998 We decided to get a playmate for Pebbles and got Bam-Bam at a local pet store. Bam-Bam is a Violet Green. The store clerk pelvic sexed both birds and told us that Pebbles was a female and Bam-Bam was a male.
January 11th , 1999 After doing some research and reading a lot of information about lovebirds, we found an ad in the classifieds for lovebirds and decided we wanted another pair.  We responded to the ad by phone and ended up buying two lovely Creaminos, Romeo & Juliet, from a very nice breeder just outside our city. She told us that we could give her a call any time if we ever had any questions or problems.
February 9th , 1999 "Romeo" took a fall from the top of the cage and somehow managed to break the bone in "his" back which holds the wing close to the body.  The vet said she had never seen a captive bird with that kind of injury, as it usually occurs when a raptor flies at top speed into a building or something.  She gave us some medication and told us we'd have to give the bird shots twice a day for ten days.  We also had some pink stuff that we gave the bird through a feeding syringe (and apparently it was a really yummy treat for a bird!) and Bene-bac powder.  It was stressful for all humans and birds involved, but we all pulled through.
May 22nd , 1999 We decided to separate Pebbles from the other birds because she was really wild and always attacked them. We put her in a separate cage beside the cage the other birds lived in and planned to give her to a friend of ours. 

We went to a bird mart across the street from our old aparment to get a new mate for Bam-Bam. We were told that this new bird was a female Dutch Blue, and we named her Roxanne. 

June, 1999 We returned from a weekend at Melanie's parents' house and found that Bam-Bam had laid an egg. We also found that Pebbles had chewed through one of her .5" perches. We finally decided that it might be best to keep Pebbles, and we paired Pebbles and Bam-Bam again. We thought that Bam-Bam was a female and Pebbles was a male. We didn't know at the time that they could be both females.  Bam-Bam's first clutch ended up being infertile.
August, 1999 We found another new egg in Pebbles and Bam-Bam's nestbox each day and realized that Bam-Bam and Pebbles were BOTH females. This complicated things. After thinking about it for a while, we decided to get a new mate for Bam-Bam.

At the same time, we found that "Romeo" was laying eggs.  We crossed our fingers that Juliet would end up being a male.  We didn't get a chance to find out if the two eggs from their first clutch were fertile, because "Romeo" pecked them both open within the first 24 hours after laying them.

September 6th , 1999 We bought a Green Pied, Skittles from our local pet store, which is owned by a dear friend of ours. Skittles was just barely younger than Roxanne was. We purchased Skittles with the intent that he would be Bam-Bam's new mate.
September 17th -
October 1st , 1999
We took a trip to Canada to visit Sebastien's family and see some friends. Roxanne & Skittles were both at the home of some friends who have a Sun Conure. We thought it would be a nice companion for our little friends. Romeo, Juliet, Bam-Bam & Pebbles all went to another friend who used to have a Cockatiel and Parakeet. This was the best arrangement for the birds.
October 7th , 1999 Well, after spending 2 weeks in the presence of Roxanne, Skittles decided that he liked her, and our plans to pair him with Bam-Bam went down the drain. Also to note, the Sun Conure seemed to have adopted the lovebirds as his babies since he tried very hard to keep his owner from getting our babies back (they were in his cage playing with him, and he bit anyone who tried to take them out!).
October 14th , 1999 We had a big dinner for the friends who bird-sat for us to thank them. We also traded Pebbles (with a woman who works with Melanie) for Sweet-Thing, a male Normal Green.
November, 1999 We had Roxanne, Skittles, Sweet-Thing and Juliet DNA sexed. Well, the results were good since they were what we wanted. Roxanne was a female, Skittles a male, Sweet-Thing a male and Juliet was a male. Since Juliet was a male, Romeo was a female, and neither of them responded to their names, we switched their names.
December 11th , 1999 We went to a bird mart in Gainesville with Karen Jones and her husband Steve. We purchased some Manzanita branches for our flight cage and two 12 week old Green Pieds (they were from the same clutch, according to the breeder we bought them from). After a great deal of thinking and learning from our past gender-specific naming mistakes, we decided to call these birds Gummibear and Fruitloop.
February, 2000 We had Gummibear and Fruitloop DNA sexed and the results were not what we expected.  They both turned out to be females! We wanted to pair one of them with Sweet-Thing and the other with Bam-Bam. Oh what to do!? Fruitloop took interest in Sweet-Thing and vice-versa, so that resolved one part of the problem. We still have the issue of having two females left, Bam-Bam and Gummibear.
February 13th , 2000 Roxanne started laying eggs! It's her first clutch and she seems to know exactly what to do. She made a very impressive nest with palm fronds and vines. Even Bam-Bam (who has very strong maternal instincts) and Juliet never made such a great nest. She laid a total of 5 eggs, all fertile.
February 22nd , 2000 Juliet started laying eggs! It's her second clutch but her first clutch was comprised of only 2 eggs, and both were pecked open a few days after she laid them. This time, she still only laid 2 eggs, but she didn't peck them open. Both eggs are fertile. We fostered Roxanne's last egg to Juliet since Roxanne already had 4 in the nest. That fostered egg should be only 3 days after the last egg Juliet laid, so there shouldn't be too much problem. Juliet seems to have adopted the egg without question, even though there is a significant size difference between Roxanne's eggs and Juliet's eggs (Roxanne's eggs are quite large, whereas Juliet's are fairly small).
February 29th , 2000 We began putting this website together, piece by piece. We bought ourselves a Fujifilm MX-1200 1.3 Megapixel Digital Camera to help us in our task of documenting the birds' lives. We took some pictures of the nestboxes with the eggs inside. We tried taking a picture of when we candled an egg, but it didn't come out as well as we had hoped. We might try again with the next clutch.  We decided we should leave Roxanne and Juliet and their eggs alone for the last week or two before the expected hatch dates.
March 12th , 2000 We found 2 of Roxanne's eggs hatched.
March 13th , 2000 We found another of Roxanne's eggs hatched.
March 15th , 2000 We found Roxanne's 4 th egg hatched. All the eggs that were in Roxanne's nest hatched and everyone of of them seems to be doing fine. We witnessed the hatching of the baby. It was simply amazing. It took only 15 minutes total but it sure must of seemed like an eternity for the little baby.
March 18th , 2000 We found 2 of Juliet's eggs hatched. Like suspected, Juliet's second egg is dead in the shell. It turned a yellowish color and the shell seemed almost translucent. It is a sad moment.
March 19th , 2000 We found one of Juliet's babies dead and dried out. I suspect it's the baby that came from Roxanne's fostered egg. We can't be sure until the surviving baby feathers out. If it's yellowish, it was Roxanne's baby. If it's greenish, then it was Juliet's baby. It's sad to find a dead baby but we'll live.

We've banded the first two babies of Roxanne and I have to admit, it was easier than I expected. The babies sure kicked lots but we prevailed and both of them seemed to be ok. We both watched Roxanne after we put the babies back in the nest and she didn't seem to mind that the babies had something around their legs.
March 22nd , 2000 Melanie banded Roxanne's 3rd baby without any problems.
April 06th , 2000 We pulled all 5 babies yesterday afternoon for their first feeding. So far, the babies seem to residt the food. The food seems too liquid instead of having a little more consistency. We will try the mix a different way next time.
April 21st , 2000 We finally took the babies out of their small plastic container and put them in a low, wide cage with 2 happy huts in which they can hide and sleep. No perches added yet, just normal cage with newspaper on the bottom until they get used to walking on wires.
May 02nd , 2000 The babies are officially weened today. They prefer their fruits and veggies seed mix, roudibush and pellets more than that yummy handfeeding formula! They could teach a thing or two to the older birds about proper diet!
May 24th , 2000 All five babies are now fully grown, great eaters, great flyers and simply adorable. We're now teaching them to step up. We've put an ad in the local newspaper to sell the babies. We'll be both heart broken when they go but we can't keep them all. I guess that's something every bird breeder has to deal with some day or another.
July 13th , 2000 We've sold 4 of the 5 babies and kept the last one for ourselves. We also sold Gummibear, Fruitloop and her mate Sweet-Thing to make space for our future Blue Masked birds. We're hoping to get the new birds sometime around the end of September or October.
August 16th , 2000 We've discovered 2 eggs crached on the bottom of the cage in Romeo & Juliet's part of the flight cage. Because of that, we gave them a nestbox with some Aspen shavings and other nesting materials. From observations, the eggs must of been layed Saturday & Monday. Later that same evening (10:15 PM) we found a 3rd egg with a dent in it. Patched the dent with nail polish in case of cracks in air sack.
August 30th , 2000 So far, Romeo & Juliet laid 3 eggs and only the 2nd seems to be fertile. We will find out later. The egg that was patched didn't seem to make it since it's yellowish and no sign of veins.
September 20th , 2000 On the 16th the 2nd egg hatched and the baby seemed fine. On the 17th in the evening the baby looked unfed but mommy seemed ready to feed him so we left them alone. On the 18th in the morning, the baby was dead. It was all shriveled up and seem to have been pecked a bit. I emptied the nestbox and removed it. Next time we might want to 'swap' eggs of approximate same due date with Roxanne and see what happens. Juliet did well before raising Roxanne's baby. Maybe her babies are too week to beg and therefore she doesn't know they are hungry? We'll find out next time.
October 21st , 2000 We've moved in our new house. The birds are put in pair in separate cages until we have time to clean the flight cage and made some space in the study where they will reside.
November 1st , 2000 We've finally made enough room in the study to bring in the flight cage. The whole cage is cleaned thoroughly and 2 pairs are set up for breeding. Hopefully, around next Friday we should have signs of first eggs for the two pairs. If both pairs have eggs (Romeo/Juliet & Roxanne/Skittles) we will exchange eggs to see if Romeo & Juliet's eggs will hatch and survive with Roxanne & Skittles. If so, then we know the parents are not experienced enough.
November 9th , 2000 During my morning inspections and feeding rounds, I saw Roxanne walking around on the side of the cage with uneasy movements. After some inspection and visual clues (swollen claoca), I have come to the conclusion that she is getting ready to lay eggs again. Her nest is coming along great. So far, of all the birds we have, she's the best nest building mom.
June 1st , 2001 We have been very busy with both work and our new house that we have not updated this in a L-O-N-G time. Since the last news, Roxanne & Skittles had two more clutches, Juliet & Romeo tried again, with no success so far. I have set them up again for breeding season after 3 months of rest since the last clutch of the group. Added to the previous pairs, Bam-Bam & Buddy are joining the ranks of breeders. When I was preparing the cage, the nestboxes and other things for the setup of the breeding season, Bam-Bam kept flying back and forth in the flight cage. She would land as close as she could to me, looking and knowing all too well what I was doing. She's been waiting for a LONG time for this moment (over a year) and she's very anxious. Hopefully, we will have little birdies when my mom visits for the month of July!

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