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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!


Few 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 roost.

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.

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4309 Henninger Court
Chantilly, VA 20151

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