Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Drawer - Frequently Asked Questions

My drawer has become very popular these days.  Ever since it made its appearance on YouTube in March of 2008 I've received a lot of questions and comments.

Marcia used to keep kitchen towels in it.  When I decided this was my drawer she found a new place for the towels.  Then came the toys.  In the cabinet below she used to store boxes with Christmas dishes. I started chewing the boxes, so those dishes found a new place too.

A drawer in the kitchen might not be for every parrot.  Some parrots would destroy a wooden drawer.  For some reason I've never chewed hard wood.  I prefer the softer woods and soft plastic.  A lot of you ask the "poop" question.  Well, I have never pooped on the drawer or in the drawer.  I am always given "poop" breaks and taken off the drawer and put on my perch to take "care of  business".

I would spend all day on the drawer if my humans would let me.  But they don't.  I am only allowed when they let me.  The rest of the time I'm either in my cage or on a perch somewhere in the nest.  I really enjoy talking on the drawer too.  Visit my YouTube movies and take a look!

Many of you have asked, how do you keep the drawer open without it closing and squishing me!  The answer  is:  Unigrass 6600 Drawer Slides.  You can find them on the internet, hardware stores, even eBay!  They are inexpensive too.  They are installed on all the drawers in my nest.
Slide mounted on Drawer
Slide mounted in cabinet
Here is a video showing how the slide works.


If you and your human decide that a kitchen drawer might be fun, please remember that safety and supervision must be kept in mind at all times.  Please be aware of electrical cords and remove them from the area.  Kitchens are not the safest places for parrots, so please be careful!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Einstein and the Great State Fair of Texas

Today is Opening Day at the State Fair of Texas!  If you’re planning to go, be sure and check out the Creative Arts Contests because a portrait of YOURS TRULY has won FIRST PLACE!!!

Dallas has been home to the State Fair since 1886 and it is the largest state fair in the United State by annual attendance.  People come from everywhere to just have a great time!  I am so excited to be a part of this years fair, even if it is in a small way! 

First, a little background information- Earlier in the year Jeff was talking to a friend at work and this friend mentioned his son is a talented young artist and is interested in drawing birds.  He asked Jeff if he had any pictures of Einstein that his son could take a look at and possibly use to create a drawing.  “We only have about a MILLION!!!”, Jeff said!  Jeff took a few favorite pictures to work with him and one was chosen by Hunter, the young artist.  Marcia knew nothing about this as Jeff wanted to surprise Marcia for her Birthday in June with the completed work.  One day, Marcia had been working around the house when Hunter, his mom, and Jeff surprised Marcia with the completed masterpiece!  WOW!  What a surprise!

Marcia, Hunter, & Me

It was VERY GOOD!  So good in fact, that Hunter’s art teacher thought it should be entered in the 2011 Texas State Fair!!!  So off it went to be framed and judged as we waited and waited for a decision.

On September 4th we got the Good News!
Hunter’s drawing won FIRST PLACE!

Hunter, Thank You! for your Amazing Talent! 
Jeff, Thank You! for giving Marcia one of the Best Birthday gifts EVER!!!!!!

Marcia and Jeff went to the State Fair to view the portrait on display, with the winning Blue Ribbon!


I'm so proud of Hunter and the good job he did! I learned to say "Blue Ribbon!"
Watch the video!





Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I've Been Sent To A Secure and Undisclosed Location!


I had a little excitement at the nest last week!  Last Monday Marcia walked into the family room to do a little dusting.  Little did she know that she would have to fetch my birdie boots and a rowboat!  The faucet connection under the wet bar had sprung a leak and water was everywhere!  I just couldn't resist saying this!


She quickly grabbed a bucket and put it under the sink.  She immediately put me in the cage. Called Jeff for back up and fetched the wet vac.  It was quite a night of activity!  Our neighbor came over with his wet vac and helped too!  Carpets started to get ripped up!  OH! NO! You all know how I hate that!

The damage...  The major concern is about 200 square feet of wood flooring and the saturated base of an 18 foot built in cabinet that houses the wet bar.  A team of water mitigation experts were on the scene the next morning! Joe and Aaron were great and explained to Marcia and Jeff what was going to happen in the next 3 days.  Basically, they were going to have to live inside their home with the noise that only a 747 can make!  Seven huge fans and three very large dehumidifiers were set in place to dry everything out.

I had to leave!!!
I was packed up and whisked away to a friends house as the mitigation experts unrolled yards and yards of plastic sheeting.  A drying chamber had to be set up to dry the place up.  Then the dust was going to fly! All of the wet wood flooring had to be removed!  Here is what the nest looked like on day 3.


I liked being on vacation with my friends in their home. I am very lucky to have good friend's who are very nice and let me stay with them. I thank them SO very much!!!  I hope all your birdies have a safe place to go if an emergency ever happens in your nest!  Please discuss this with your humans, it's very important.  There was no way I could have stayed during these days of upheaval.  It was just too scary!  The off gassing from the plastic, the deafening noise, the very low humidity in the house, and all the dust was very dangerous for me!

I was able to return back to the nest on Saturday afternoon when every thing was all dried out.  I did miss Jeff and Marcia! It was so fun to see them again! I think they were happy to see me too!  When they came to get me I was on my perch watching TV.  Marcia stuck her head around the corner of the room and with a big smile on her face, said "Hi! Sweetie!" I made a loud whistle, made a poop, and lifted my foot up for her to pick me up! Then a few moments later Jeff came in the room and we all sat on a sofa and I perched on Jeff's knee! Flock was together once again! YAY!!!

The repairs will be made soon. There are lots of people to talk to and decisions to be made. I will probably get to go on vacation again when workmen come to fix everything.  Marcia tells me not to start reading the travel section of the newspaper.  I shouldn't get any ideas; it will not be any place exotic!
Bon Voyage!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Einstein’s Ringtones to Benefit Avian Charities!

Einstein's Ringtones


Einstein's Ringtones



My ringtone's are back!  Years ago I distributed my ringtones on Myxer.com to benefit parrot rescue organizations.  They were a big hit! People could listen to me any time their phone rang!  Sadly, Mixer went out of business and I was left with no way to distribute them.

I am very happy to announce that I am now self hosting them on my website!  They are also FREE!  However, if you like them and want to help parrot rescue organizations, I have provided a PayPal donation link.  Just go to http://www.einsteinparrot.com/ringtones/

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I need some HELP for some Texas Friends!

There is a small town south of Dallas, called Red Oak, Texas.  Located in Red Oak is a parrot rescue with a heart as BIG AS TEXAS!!!  It's called the Wings of Love Bird Haven. On July 11, 2011 the Wings of Love rescued 35 parrots from a hoarder. The parrots were kept in total darkness, food and water was far from adequate. The filth was beyond description not to mention the vermin infestation. These parrots are now under strict quarantine until testing for communicable diseases can be completed. They are getting clean shelter, clean water, and adequate nutrition. They are also getting blood tests and being seen by Avian Veterinarians.  All of this is not without cost.  Funding is needed to accomplish all that needs to get done. Blood tests and examinations will cost $100.00 per bird. Then there will be aftercare for some of the birds. Food, Toys, etc. will be a continuing cost.  Ultimately, the goal is to place these wonderful birds in Forever Homes with humans who will care for them and give them the love the deserve.


I don't often ask for help, but I'm asking you to GIVE to these birds.  Please put $1.00 in an envelope, address it to Bird Haven PO Box 182 Red Oak, TX 75154.  (If everyone sent just $1.00, the Wings of Love would get over $2,500.00 to help these birds!!!) Please give more if you can. You can also send funds though PayPal via the Wings of Love Donation Page.


Rescued were 2 Macaws, 8 Eclectus, 5 tiels, 1 Quaker, 4 Amazons & 19 Meyers and Senegals.
Here are pictures of some of my new Texan Friends.  


This is Angel.  Angel has severe club-foot. She scoots around on her belly and can’t walk at all. She was found in a nestbox with 30+ eggs in it. (all infertile, as she did not have a mate.) Imagine just how calcium depleted this little girl is.


 

Close up of Angel's feet.
This is Spice. You can’t tell from the angle but her top and bottom beak are both overgrown. The top beak so much so that it has grown into and split open the bottom beak. It is a miracle she can even eat. 





This is Rainbow, a 29 year old Catalina Macaw.




This is Ally. Her top beak is so overgrown that it has actually prevented her bottom beak to grow as normal. It is either broken off--- or at least “stunted” from growth. Again, How can this little girl still be alive? I dare say she wouldn't be alive much longer if we hadn't intervened.



The pictures below show the filth and devastation that these birds were living in. It was much worse that the pictures show because at least with the pictures, you see “light”. These birds were living in total darkness. Also keep in mind that in these pictures you aren't seeing the cockroaches scatter as you move around. This is indeed a “censored” version of what was seen that day. 




$1.00

Bird Haven PO Box 182 Red Oak, TX 75154

Thank you for caring and for helping!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tiptoo's Newspaper

So who is Tiptoo and why does he have a Newspaper? 


It just so happens that Tiptoo is a Grey Parrot featured in an old book of short stories, “Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories”.  Marcia has had this book for a very long time, the book originally belonged to Marcia's Mother. The book has no copywrite date in it, (the page may have been lost) you can tell it is VERY OLD!  My guess would be the early 1900’s.  The publisher is McLoughlin Brothers, Inc.  We search on the internet for any information and did not find a thing! We did learn the publisher went out of business in 1920. 


The other day, Marcia was dusting shelves and noticed the book in disarray.  She carefully picked it up and started turning the very old and tattered pages when all of a sudden she found an illustration of a parrot perched on a ladies shoulder!  She looked closer and WOW! It was a Grey Parrot!  Just like me!!! She had read the book as a child, but never remembered this story!  It is a fictional story about a very clever Grey Parrot and his canine friend, named Tramp. Tramp was not available to go to the store one day to buy a newspaper, so Tiptoo did the job for him!  It clearly demonstrates how smart we are and how parrots have been loved and kept as companions for hundreds of years!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  






Monday, June 27, 2011

My 14th Hatchday Celebration!

Humans are "Birthed" or "Born" so they have "Birthdays".  Not so for the birds!  We are "Hatched" and therefore, we have "Hatchdays!"  I was hatched on June 15, 1997.  I've been to some human Birthday Parties and they have been a lot of fun! Lots of fun things to eat and lots of people celebrating!  I've never had a big Hatchday celebration.  Until this year!!!

Every party needs a theme.  You all know how much I LOVE Corn!  So Corn was the theme and we had LOTS of it!!!

What’s the deal with all this Corn Talk?

Actually "Corn" is a word that I use instead of  "Food".  It was the first “food” word I learned, all food was called "corn" when I first started talking.  It wasn't till later that I learned other food words, like "sweet potato".  However, I continue to use "Corn" as my word of choice when I am being served my meals.  When I first learned "corn", I said it so much that a two young neighbor girls took a pottery class in 1999 and made me a plate!!!  

To this day I still cherish this plate from my friends "Katie" and "Kelly". ♥



The party was posted on Facebook and quite a few people stuck their faces in to see what was going on!  Marcia made 6 videos and you can see the whole party in its entirety on the Event Page.

If you are more included to watch shorter, more condensed versions, then YouTube is probably what you will want to watch.  I call it My Hatchday Trilogy!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

For the record, nothing went to waist.  Marcia ate most of the popcorn that day!  The 14 ears of corn were cooked and put in the freezer for later, and the cornbread cut up into smaller servings and frozen too!  

It must of been the best Hatchday ever!!! I had so much fun!!! Thanks to all of my Facebook Fans who participated and came to watch! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Road Trip - Memorial Day 2011

♫ ♪ ♫ On the Road Again!  ♫ ♪ ♫  
Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Back to my favorite destination, Marble Falls, Texas! Right in the heart of Texas!  ( Click here to read about a previous Road Trip I took to this area.)
This time... I got to stay in the La Quinta Hotel!


We arrived and got used to the accommodations!  Very Nice Room!  Love the art work and soft beds, but actually I prefer my perch and the "Art" I make on the floor when I eat!  I slept in my travel cage, but Jeff had to put it on the desk. It was more sturdy than the bed and I slept very well!


Nice TV too!  Can we take this one home?


This is the kitchen!  Small, but adequate.  Microwave, sink, and refrigerator!  That's all Marcia needs!  See my Sprout container?  I brought it so I could have fresh sprouts with my meals!


Here I am by the window on my perch.  There was a lovely view of Lake Marble Falls.  Also, a nice balcony, but I didn't have a chance to go out there.  We were too busy because...


we were in Marble Falls for a very special Birthday Party! My Cousin "P"'s 2nd Birthday Party! The Party was about to begin! So we better go!  Weeeeeeeeee!   Party! Party! Party!

The party was being held at my Uncle's Lake house on Lake LBJ.  I've been there many times before.  I call him my, "Gunkle Mark!"  Here is a video of me talking about him!





Marcia and Jeff loaded up all my stuff and headed to the Lake House.  It took them about 2 trips each time.  Jeff carried the perch and packed it in the car, Marcia carried the box of stuff I needed.  Then they came back for me in my cage and other stuff they needed.  It was very much like traveling with a baby, only worse!  I think I require more stuff!!! (They did this several times over the course of the weekend!  They got a good work out!  Ha! It's so much fun watching them work on my behalf!)

Here I am at the Lake House all set up on my perch.  The party had started!


There were 28 adults, 11 kids of all ages, and my dog cousin, Harley. Harley is a cute Jack Russell Terrier.  Harley and I had to be kept apart. I liked all the people and they liked me.  Marcia and Jeff kept a close eye on me and made me feel safe around so many people.  I must say, all those people made a lot more noise than me!!!  Whew! Give me some peace and quiet!

My new cousins are so cute!!!  Actually, "P" is my 1st cousin , once removed.  "P" is the daughter of my cousin, "K".  (Aren't you glad you know that!)  This is also the first time I got to meet "P" and her new brother "D"!  Family!  Gotta Love it!!! Both of them are as cute as Buttons!!!!

Birthday Girl!  Ms. "P"
Master "D"

After a while, all the humans went down to the water and I had a chance to catch up on current events and watch some TV.


My favorite place was on the patio, visiting with all my friends and family!  The weather was nice, windy at times, but the nice breeze kept it cool and the mosquitoes away!  I must have gone out onto the patio 4 or 5 times over the weekend! 

Oh! I almost forgot!  There were a few other guests at the party!  Some kind of bird built a mud nest on the front porch of the house!  The eggs must of just hatched!  Here is a picture of the nest full of babies!!!


 That night we pack my stuff up and headed back to the hotel.  Here I am perched on the shower rod waiting for one of my humans to take a shower.


While at the hotel I met a nice dog who was staying in the room next door.  Her name was "Sophie" and she was a Yorkie.  She heard us every night when we can into our room. We could hear her as she would welcome us by saying, "Yap, Yap, yap, yap!"  Then she would be quiet!  Nice doggie!

The next morning, we packed up again for another day at the Lake.  While Marcia and Jeff got things packed, I perched on the shower rod and talked.


It was a fun trip and in case you are wondering... NO! I did not destroy anything in the hotel room and NO! I did not steal a towel!

It was good to be home again!

Wishing all of you safe travels!  Maybe I'll see ya on the road sometime!

Monday, May 2, 2011

To Catch A Thief!

Humans might call me a Pack Rat! I beg your pardon!!! A hoarder? I don’t think so! Me? Stealing? A Thief! Never!!!! But officer, it was a misunderstanding, I was just BORROWING IT!!!

Marcia uses a dish drainer in addition to the dishwasher. Items we use everyday get put in the dish drainer. Other things go into the dishwasher. One item that Jeff uses everyday is his coffee mug. He fills it up every morning as he gets ready to leave the house for work. He puts on the special lid so that it doesn’t slop and spill everywhere. (I understand this is an act performed by many people in their need to satisfy their caffeine addition.) In the evening, he or Marcia washes the mug and lid and places it in the dish drainer to be used the next morning. I’m quite smitten with the lid too! I like to take it out of the dish drainer and throw it on the floor, just like the rest of my toys.

This particular day, I had other plans. I never intended to enter a life of crime, but the coffee lid treasure was just too hard to resist! There it was in all of its radiant black plastic loveliness!!!!

Watch the video and pay attention to my quick thinking and stealth action!


Fast forward, the next morning. Jeff gets ready for work, time to fill his mug… no lid? Where’s the lid? “Marcia, have you seen my lid?” he asks. “No, it should be in the drainer” she replies. Just so happens there is another similar type container in the cupboard (not his favorite) and he reluctantly fills it up and off to work he goes. I secretly hoped that loosing the lid would keep him home with me, alas that idea did not work. Several days go by, searching for the lid continues. Jeff concludes it was the best coffee mug lid he had ever had and will just have to go and buy a replacement.

Then, one day Marcia decides it was time to clean my toy drawer. (A chore she does about every other week.) This is the drawer in the kitchen, next to my cabinet where I go to shred my toys. A nice dark place and perfect for hiding things. Guess what she found!!! OH! MY! The coffee mug lid!!! HOW DID IT GET IN THERE??? She gave me three guesses and the first two didn’t count!



Mystery solved! I had enjoyed quite a few chews in seclusion and the rubber gasket necessary to keep the liquid contents from spilling had been totally shredded. Those humans! They really should take better care of their prized possessions, otherwise they become MINE!!! Lesson Learned AGAIN!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Color My World!

A friend is doing a school science project, and asked me to help. I love science! (After all my name is Einstein!!!)

She is trying to determine if parrots prefer a certain colors over other colors.  She asked me these questions.

1. Do I have a favorite color? Green.
I can say green and salad is green. I love to eat salad! Most vegetables are green.

2. Do I prefer to play with toys of a certain color?
My favorite toy is a bell. They are shiny and usually silver.

3. Do I eat food pellets that are a certain color?
My pellet parrot food is all one color. It is natural yellow sort of color. I used to eat colored pellets many years ago and the color I preferred was… Green!!!

I can say Green, Red, Orange, and Purple. Green was the first color word I learned.

Marcia decided to do an experiment with me. Watch!


The results: Green was chosen first, followed by Orange, Red, and Purple. (These are all words that I can say. However, I do not say them when they are shown to me.) Yellow and Blue were last. (Words I have not learned to say.)

Now, this was not a very scientific study. Marcia tried to repeat the experiment, but I was not in the mood. You know… Scientists are very temperamental!

I hope this helps my friend and gets an A+ on her project!!!

****************************************************
Update of the school science fair project: 5/11/2011
My friend won first place and got a Blue Ribbon! YAY!!!!  WAY TO GO!!!  CONGRATS!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

To Buy a Baby Parrot or Adopt an Older Parrot? – That is the Question!



I’ve been asked this question so many times! The answer is not easy, even for me, “Einstein”! Before I give you my opinion, let me tell you my story.

I was hatched in a closed aviary (A closed aviary restricts the introduction of new birds to prevent infectious diseases.) located in Garland, Texas in June of 1997. The breeder raised the chicks in her home, so my first months of life were in a home environment. The home was clean and well kept. I was held by humans and fed by the breeder’s grandchildren. I learned about the sounds of a vacuum cleaner, a dog barking, children playing, and all the other sounds and activities of a home life! By the time I was old enough to go to my new home with Jeff and Marcia, I was ready! The breeder was responsible! She made sure that Jeff and Marcia knew what getting a parrot was about! Before she accepted their down payment she told us about books to read and she told them it was like having a 2 year old child for the rest of their life!!! She did not paint a rosy picture and told Jeff and Marcia to go home and think about it! They started to read everything they could find! Remember this was 1997, and the internet was still in its early days! There was not a lot of information to be found on the internet! The rest is history; I came to live with Jeff and Marcia. To this day, they continued to read and learn about parrots and how they should be trained and raised.

It was a couple of years later that Marcia and Jeff learned about parrot rescues. These are places that are filled with birds that were not as lucky as I was! The parrots were purchased as babies and then for some reason or another, the owner did not have time for them or they developed behavior problems. It was heartbreaking to hear stories about people who could not spend time or make a commitment to their feathered friend! It was then that Marcia began my website in 2001 to educate people. To let people know that parrots need interaction and companionship to thrive in captivity! Given that, we make pretty entertaining and wonderful companions!

My opinion…
80% For the adoption of older (re-homed) parrots
20% For the purchase of baby parrots from RESPONSIBLE Breeders
100% Against the capture and importation of wild caught parrots.

It’s a fact, everyone loves baby kittens, puppies, and parrots. We live in a free society and we cannot stop people from going into business and breeding parrots. However, we can decide who to purchase those parrots from, and we should only do business with those breeders who are responsible and who look out for the welfare of the parrot. Breeders should screen prospective owners, educate the buyer, and refuse to sell to someone who is not suitable. Prospective owners should do their homework and be prepared for parrot ownership. If you are making your baby parrot purchase in an informed and responsible manner, I congratulate you!!!

Unfortunately, parrots will continue to be placed into rescues due to the irresponsible decision to purchase a baby parrot. These birds need your help! Here is a list of Rescue Organizations. If you own parrots, like parrots, or thinking about getting a parrot you have a responsibility to support a rescue organization. Go visit a rescue, ask questions! You may find that the parrot of YOUR DREAMS will be right there waiting for you!!!

Sponsor a parrot! This is a terrific idea if you don’t have time in your life for a parrot right now! Did you know many parrot rescues have programs where you can donate toward a particular parrot while it is being kept at the shelter until it is adopted? People don’t think twice about donating to a dog or cat shelter, parrot shelters need donations too! (I donate to several organizations, and whenever I’m in a contest, all my winnings will always go to a parrot rescue!)

More importantly, my opinion doesn’t really matter! People need to make their own decision. It must be an educated and researched decision. Be a responsible pet owner! There are Pros and Cons to owning both a new baby and an older parrot. (There are plenty of websites that address these Pros and Cons*.) Let it be said, a parrot is not the right pet for ALL people! We live in a busy society and people should realize that owning a parrot is a commitment for the rest of your life!

Lastly, I’d like to share a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Many have forgotten this truth but you must not forget it. We remain responsible forever for what we have tamed."


*Pros and Cons: Baby vs. Older Parrots
http://www.petparrots101.com/buy-adobt-parrot.asp

Still wondering if you should own a parrot? Read This

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Play Perches

Ever Since I was in the DVD and CD ROM combination set entitled, “Train Your Parrot To Talk”, a lot of you have been asking me about my play perches.  I really like them and if you're crafty you can probably build them yourself.

The pictures are in thumbnail,
so click on them to see the "BIGGER" Picture!

My Kitchen Perch

My human, Jeff made this perch for me when I was a little chick.


It is made from an unfinished bar stool (24" tall) and a plastic plant saucer (22" diameter).  Marcia bought the toy hook from a company that is now out of business and she can't find anyone who makes one like it these days.  It mainly stays in the kitchen, but can be rolled into other parts of the house.  The saucer is bolted to the stool, so it can be taken apart.  This is the perch we take to the bird sitter and when we go for a road trip in the car.  

My PVC Perch

This perch purchased at a Bird Mart in May of 1998.  It was built by the man who was selling them.  He had a whole bunch.  Marcia has never seen him at the show again, so I guess he went out of business too. 
 
I hope these pictures and measurement help you build one.  1" PVC pipe and fittings where used.  The measurements indicated are the cut lengths of the PVC pipe before you glue the fittings on.  I don't know what kind of glue was used.  Just be safe and be sure it doesn't "off gas" and hurt your birdies.   The "poop tray" can be purchased from any restaurant supply.



 
   
Underside of Bowl

Tray and Tray Frame

Tray frame rests on intersecting supports


 

To make the PVC pipe less slippery, it looks like it has grooves gouged into it.  Most likely done with a Dremel tool.  All of the perches that I use are textured like this and I have no trouble getting around on them.



There are 10 stainless steel screw-eyes for hanging toys.  They are indicated with a red dot in this picture.


Have fun with this project and send me a picture of the perch you build!