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Our Entertaining and Playful Birds!

mom (153)

Bradley - An African Grey     

Age: 20 years old           Date of Birth: May 28, 1996      

Gender : Confirmed Female Nickname: Poof   

How I got my Nickname: When I get really relaxed and comfortable I "poof" out my feathers.  

Hobbies : Destroying cardboard boxes and turning them into confetti.
Tearing apart plastic bottles.
Singing in the shower with Daddy. I sing "Poof, Poof, Poof, I love you, Poof Poof" to the tune of 'Duke of Earl'
Sitting on my perch and watching the views out the windows as we drive along the highways.

Tricks that I have learned:  I greet my parronts every morning with a friendly "Good morning" When they leave for work I always say "Goodbye Mommy, have a day" (I haven't yet learned the have a Good day part or saying it to Daddy, but I'm learning).  I can bark like a dog, meow like a kitty, and talk to the wild birds outside with a "Caw". I can also bach like a chicken and chirp like a chick.  I have over 100 words in my vocabulary. I say hello every time the phone rings, followed by a "What are you doing?" "Okay, goodbye"

My Favorite thing about full-time RVing: Sitting on Frank's shoulder as we drive across the country and watch as all the scenery goes by while getting my head scratched most of the time. The best days are when Daddy doesn't shave and I rub my head on his whiskers. Aaaaahhhhhh! What a life! Hanging out in my outside cage in the shade of the awning or under a tree. I get a little nervous in the outdoors if I'm not enclosed, or at least in a tree that I can hide in. I'm kind of a chicken that way.

Comments from my Parronts : Bradley is our first-hatched and the most responsible bird of the family. She can be left alone on her perch on the counter while we leave for the day and won't destroy anything except her toys. She is the best talker of the birds, and can imitate any noise that she hears. She makes the sound of the alarm clock, the smoke detector, the microwave, even the tag axle of the bus lifting. She is the peacemaker of the family and will only fight if she is antagonized by her siblings. She is so entertaining to listen to. She talks in both of our voices which is a crack up and really shows which one of says what, keep in mind they say NO bad words. She does say I love you and gives kisses all the time. It's amazing what a personality she has.

Getting Bradley on video is a very tricky thing. She usually stops talking as soon as she sees the camera and just stares at me. However on this particular day, she was enjoying the sunshine, trees and music so much she didn't even notice me or the camera. Listen closely and you can hear her say all sorts of words and sayings, imitate lots of noises, including a sneeze, and the guitar. You can also hear Abbey in the foreground since she was on my shoulder at the time the video was taken.

mom (105)

Abbey - A Miniature Macaw - aka - Severe Macaw

Age: 17 years old    Date of Birth: September 10, 1998      

Gender: Unconfirmed Female, but might be a male.... read on and find out why...

Nicknames: Crabby,  Stinker Bell, Princess

How I got my Nicknames:  I am called Crabby Abbey because of my quick mood changes. My parronts also call me "Stinker Bell" when I get into trouble, but there are the times that I turn sweet and snuggly, which is where the Princess nick name comes into play.

Hobbies: Playing with my toys on a blanket either on the floor or on the kitchen counter. Chasing Daddy's toes as he crosses my blanket when it is on the floor, which is why it's usually on the counter or quickly gets moved to the counter.
Picking fights with my little brother.
Looking at myself in the mirror and talking to myself.
Playing outside in trees. You can hardly see me when I am up in a big tree since my green blends in so well unless of course it is Fall and the trees are bare.

Tricks I have learned: Well, actually I haven't learned any tricks yet, but when you cover me at night I do say "nite nite" and make kissing sounds. I only have about 10 words which included "Hi Abbey" "I Love" "Nite nite" and "Hi guys what's up?" I also love to growl at people when I'm upset, and purr like a kitty when I am happy, content or snuggled with my mom. If people around me are laughing I too laugh with them. Usually it makes people laugh even more.

My favorite thing about full-time RVing: Visiting new trees in all the different states that we visit throughout the year.

Notes from my Parronts: Abbey is quite the character and a drama queen.  She truly lives up the stereotype of "the middle child". She is the instigator of 90% of the fights whether they be with her two siblings or Frank's toes. She is very territorial of both her mommy and her playground, so she will literally attack Frank if he so much as walks into the hallway while she is playing on the floor with her toys or sitting anywhere near Suzy. She has the same mentality of a small dog which means that even though she is the smallest bird in the family she thinks she is twice Cody's size. One time she put this to the test and she ended up being thrown across the bed by her head when she tried to attack Cody. After a very speedy trip to the bird emergency room because of her dramatic side, she literally laid down and moaned for about 10 minutes with one eye shut, but as soon as we got to the doctors office she jumped up and greeted him with a cheerful hello. Needless to say she received a clean bill of health, but  the distance kept between her and her brother is now greater. When she is in a good mood she is the sweetest animal imaginable and will snuggle with you for hours purring next to you as you scratch her belly or head, but boy watch out because those moods change on a dime and good old "Crabby Abbey" is let loose in a moments notice. Suzy is the only one who can tame her. Her best friend is her own reflection in the mirror or as you see above in the stainless steel of the bus. She loves to play in trees and will climb around in them until you literally drag her out of them which sometimes is hard to do since she blends so well with the green it's hard to find her until she laughs or yells. She makes 'parronting' very fun!

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Cody - A Green-Winged Macaw

Age: 16 years old                 Date of Birth: 03-05-2000    
Gender: Male                    Nickname: Rifie (pronounced Rif- ee)

How I got my Nickname:  From a song my mommy used to sing to me when I was just a baby parrot.

How exactly do you confirm the sex of a parrot?? Well, since you can't just lift our feathers and peek, and in the parrot world we males and females look exactly the same in regards to coloring, aside from an Eclectics parrot, there are a couple ways to find out. In regards to discovering that I am a boy, my breeder took a blood sample when I was a teeny tiny baby and sent it off to the vet where it was tested to see if I would be named Cody or Carly. In Bradley's case my parronts named him Bradley since they loved that name, and didn't want to bother with a blood test. They just presumed he was a boy.

Then, 13 years later - - SURPRISE!!! - - Bradley laid an egg, well, actually four, which is obviously a sign that he might not be a boy. In Abbey's case she hasn't had her blood tested or laid an egg yet, but I have a sneaky suspicion that she might be needing a name change as well, since my birdie radar tells me she is actually a he, due to some strange behavior "she" performs every spring... Let's just call it a happy dance she performs with her toys... Yikes! My parronts are wonderful people, but not to good at guessing the sex of their kiddos. Well, back to my bio... ...

Hobbies:  Playing with a stack of Legos, especially if someone builds the tower for me.
Playing catch with Mommy.
Stealing any toys from my brother and sister just to watch them chase me and see my parronts reactions.
Talking to the other cars and truckers out the window as we drive down the road, or talking to the people who work at the many toll booths we go through.

Tricks I have learned: I have all sorts of tricks. If you hold up four fingers to me I will say "Give me Four". We birds only have four toes on each foot I was even on ESPN once doing this trick at an NHRA race, so I guess you could say I'm a celebrity. If someone shows be their fists and  asks "Do you want to fight?" I say "Put 'em up". My newest trick is if you wave at me I say "Goodbye". I have about 150 words and sing two different songs. One of them is the "Poof" song, Bradley and I even sing it together at times. I also sing "Happy Birthday" almost in its entirety.

My favorite thing about full-time RVing: Being in new places all the time and riding around on the handle bars of Daddy's bike to meet new people. It's amazing how many people will walk up to my parronts and ask if I am a real bird. Apparently there are a lot of people that wander around with stuffed Green-Winged Macaws on their bikes, but we haven't seen any yet. Sleeping on my Parrot Blanket, that my mommy made me in my own spot on the bed each night. See how you too can get your own Parrot Blanket, handmade by my mom, Suzy. www.parrotblanket.com

Notes from my Parronts: Cody is the baby of the family and by far the most spoiled. He thinks he is King of the Bus, and must be the center of attention. He knows what he wants and can usually figure out just how to get it. He's really fun to watch. You can actually see his little brain working as he thinks through just how he is going to try and get his way. He too is a very sweet bird as long as you have worn him out by running or riding the bike with him as he flaps his wings or playing catch or building blocks with him until he is tired, otherwise his energy level is quite high. He is also the family thespian. As soon as Suzy brings out her camera to take a picture of the scenery, or just to pack for the day, Cody will run over in front her and say 'come on come on', and pose by cocking his head from side to side until she takes a picture of him. Thank God for digital cameras and their very fancy 'delete' option.

Parrots are very smart creatures. They behave very much like small children. They have the ability to figure things out, and speak through association.  They like to be mentally stimulated and constantly challenged. They also have moods and differing personalities, just as children do! Each of our birds are different. For example, Bradley the African Grey is very independent and responsible. We can leave him out of his cage on a perch and he is very good and responsible, unlike Cody who can't be left alone for very long without getting into mischief. If Cody is sitting with me and Suzy is doing something that looks interesting than that is where he has to be. He loves to be in the middle of the action. He likes to help you with whatever you are doing or at least watch you, he especially likes to help Suzy with dinner. He is always the first volunteer to taste test anything he can steal or sneak. You can almost see his little brain working as he stares at you, trying to figure out what you are doing. Abbey, our sweet Severe Macaw, is much like Cody. She also always wants to be in the action. When she is in one of her playful moods she is by far the most friendly, sweet and talkative of the bunch. She doesn't have a lot of words but she mumbles constantly, it's quite cute. She has a big heart in a small body. She loves to talk to any car driving by with a friendly "hello". Because parrots are so smart and active, they require a lot of attention and socialization to keep them from getting bored. Our birds are out of their cages with us as much as possible. Just about anytime that we are in the motorhome they are out with us. We keep their wings trimmed so they also go outside with us and are still safe from flying off in case something does startle them. They also share most of our meals with us, since their diet should consist of lots of protein, nuts and veggies. The parrot's diet consists of a variety of things. The primary part of their diet consists of a specially formulated organic bird pellet made by Harrisons Bird Food. This has proved to be the best parrot food available for our feathered friends. We tried several other brands of pelleted bird food before discovering Harrisons, however none of them gave our babies as good of results as Harrisons does. Of course you get what you pay for! A twenty five pound bag of Harrisons runs about $165.00. It is a bit harder to find than most bird foods since you cannot buy Harrisons at any pet store. It is only available through a Veterinarian or directly from the company that is located in Florida, another sign of brilliance in our book.

When we lived in Buellton the birds had very large custom built cages. Cody's cage measured 6 feet wide, 7 feet tall, and 4 feet deep. We definitely did not have room for that in the motorhome since we ourselves need a little room to live in . The cages in the motorhome are a bit smaller than those we left behind, but still roomy enough to hold all their toys and a bit of wingroom to spare. However, when we lived in Buellton the birds needed their large cages since we both had careers that required us to work very long days, everyday, every week and the birds would spend almost all of their time in those huge cages, which made us sad. Now that we are on the road we only work five days or so at each event with quite a few days off before and after the next event, along with a nice long break once the season is over. This works out beautifully because now the birds are out of their cages and with us about three times as much as before. The birds are much happier now that they get to spend so much time one on one with us, or three on two as the case my be. Compare it to a child. Do you think that a child would rather be locked in his large bedroom by himself all day, or have a smaller room yet be able to play in the park with his parents for half the day almost everyday? The cages that we had at home along with their current cage in the motorhome have all been custom made for us by a company called Corners Limited. This is the same company that builds cages for most of the zoos and animal parks across the country. Since one of our favorite things in each city we travel too is to check out the local zoo to visit the animals, we have seen this brand of cage in use all over the country. A couple years back we were able  to actually meet the people that have built all of our cages instead of just knowing them on the phone.  We met them all when we drove out to Kalamazoo, MI to pick up this new cage customized by Frank for our wonderful new bus. It is a great small company with just a few employees, but boy do they build a fabulous product. We even keep in touch a bit through e-mail with them. So if are ever looking for any type of cage for any type of animal make sure you contact Corners Limited. They are great to work with and no is never in their vocabulary.

We've made so many memories,