Meet Our Pets!
We got into birds the same way most folks do - one at a
time. Although our breeding birds are tame and treated just like anyone else in
the family, our pets don't see the insides of nest boxes, they don't have to
'work' for their meals, and they don't sleep in the flight cages (although a
couple have cages bigger than the flights).
We're very proud of our family:
The grand man! Dusty is a Congo African Grey parrot.
He was a rescue we came upon in early 1999. He rarely got out of his cage,
was on a poor diet, and needed some cleaning up. Now he is an inseparable
member of our family (and as much of a handful as our son).
Grey's talk - not just mimic. They understand the
meaning of what they say and can shock you with their pertinent comments.
Have we got some great stories!
birds come in to our lives and make a hard and fast impression so quickly.
Jimmy has, and pretty much decided he fits and will be the ruler of the
Everyone who comes into the aviary is immediately greeted with a friendly
hello, and the opportunity to step up. Jimmy also likes to travel around
making social appearances at local cafes or outdoor events just to meet as
many people as he can - a friendly guy! See More!
A blue-crown Conure, Conner came to us as a gift from
a very dear friend. Conner was a victim of child abuse (one of his parents
bit off the top section of his left wing).
Conner spends his days between the living room
cage-top gym and the gym in the den (where he frequently jumps over to the
fish tank to visit our pet Oscar).
On the right, a black-headed Caique who is
pound-for-pound the toughest bird in the bunch. Phinz' name relates to Jimmy
Buffet, our all time favorite performer.
Phinz and Conner spend a large part of their day
together either playing or tormenting each other. Both are becoming
bilingual (ever hear a Conure speak Caique?). Everyone is special for some
particular reason, and Phinz is the only bird that does NOT have a hard luck
story (although he might tell you we don't feed him enough - he eats
like a pig!).
Another blue-crown Conure, Tess is a rescue with a
very sad past. She was a family pet for about ten years until her former dad
married, had a child (the two-legged kind), and was transferred. For some
reason, Tess wasn't considered enough of that family and was given to
another breeder in the area.
That breeder put Tess in an under-sized cage in a
root cellar for two years where she learned to pluck out of frustration and
loss of her family. We were given Tess (and that cage - the other breeder
wouldn't even put her hand in there to get her out!). We brought her home,
had her out of the cage and on our hand in less than 10 minutes, and she
spends the majority of her time cooing pleasantly (sitting on the back of a
chair and preening one of us). She's one of the prettiest bare birds there
is, and she knows it, too!
A hand-fed canary? You bet! Thrown out of the nest at
day 3 by her parents, we couldn't just sit by and do nothing. Hand feedings
were awkward for both giver and receiver at first. We had to use a leg
banding tool because all the syringes we have were way too big.
Chippy has a slight weight problem (okay, a pretty
decent weight problem... she weighs as much as most budgies!). She's made a
New Year's resolution (with the help of our Vet) to get back into shape.
Another hand-fed canary. You were thinking they were
really rare, huh? Not here! Ace is Chippy's brother. The two of them live in
a huge flight with some of our resting finches. They come out regularly for
free flying around the bird room (actually, the whole house).
Most visitors have a fascination over such a small
bird being so tame and trusting, but what really gets them is when they (Ace
& Chippy) come when we call them!
Our albino Oscar, also known as Ms. Fish. She loves
Dusty, Conner and Phinz, or at least tolerates their visits as they both get
nose-to-beak through the glass. The aquarium is right next to the birdie gym
in our den, so they spend lots of time together. Sushi doesn't like many
things (she cleaned out her tank of all other inhabitants).
DJ's Hermit Crabs
For his birthday, DJ got 'pets of his own'. The
house full of birds just didn't seem to count, and since Daddy does most of
the upkeep on Sushi, she gets overlooked, too. DJ has a little 'crabitat'
set up in his room, complete with a coco hut (which you see Catherine in the
pink shell enjoying here)
|The shell in the back is (or maybe was - it's
hard to keep track) Mystery's shell. We try to steer clear of the painted
shells, like the one in the front left, but try to talk a seven-year-old out
of his selection!
|Hermit crabs are nocturnal. The Kramer family is
not. Most of our interaction with Hermit crabs have been face-to-shell.
As you can tell through some of the descriptions, most
of our pets seemed to have found us. We have a soft heart for a sad story. As
long as we have a home, or the means, or even not - our entire family will be
cared for (and yes, the feathered, furred, and finned ones do come first).
Pets with special needs have a special place in our
hearts. It seems they know they are special and offer back even more love in
return. There is no other more fulfilling thing you (well, we) can do in our
lives than to show these guys (and girls) all the love we have. We're very proud
of our family. Thanks for spending some time to get to know us.