Week 25: 950 Grams (April 23rd, 2006)
has a nicely developed personality. She is quite stubborn but
generally sweet and handleable. Her weight is increasing
and it is likely that she will reach 1000-1100 grams as an adult.
Our bring home Date is July 15th. We could bring
home earlier but Jen and I want her introduction to our house to
include both of us and I'll be away for the first two weeks in July.
We have decided to keep her flighted as well.
She hates the harness right now but hopefully, with patience,
will accept is as Merlin has. Once the harness is on her she
quite happy as can be seen by pictures taken of her outside of our
Week 28: 1020 Grams (May 14th, 2006)
now have a tentative date of mid July for Ariel's homecoming.
Ariel & A Walnut
is also beginning to regain some of her lost weight. We
Merlin in today to let the birds meet each other. They didn't
become friends but at least took to ignoring each other after and hour
at which point Ariel settled down and became quite calm. It's
evident that she is going to be an entirely different bird.
Merlin is playful and rambunctious and Ariel seems calm and
subdued. That's fine by me, I couldn't handle two Merlins.
Week 31: 970 Grams (June 4th, 2006)
the best day with Ariel since she has become an adult and began
developing her own personality. She would get growly whenever
tried to pet her but today we just ignored it and would grab hold of
kiss her beak every time she turned around to nip at us. This
worked wonders and by the visit's end we were scritching her under her
wings and on her neck and she became totally calm and placid with us.
It is actually the exact same technique we used with Merlin, just show
the bird you don't mean it any harm but do not allow it to try to
intimidate you with it's beak. We will visit her one more
June 25th and then hope to bring her home on July 15th right after I
get back from a trip to Peru. She is now weaning well and
be ready by then. After seeing how well she can be handled we
really looking forward to the come home date. She also now
'Ariel', 'hello', and
'hi'. We also brought Merlin again so the two birds could get
acquainted and they seem to be doing OK with each other.
Week 39 (274 days since birth): 998 Grams (July 22nd, 2006)
After about 9 months of
one year since her parent's nest box was opened Ariel has
come home. While she is picky about eating she seems to be
settling in just fine. She is playing with things and allows
to pick her up without any aggression. She is reluctant to be
and seems to prefer to watch me rather than interact but I
attribute this to the short period for which she has been in my house.
I'm guessing that she will be a very sweet bird within a few
weeks and is going through transition shock right now.
greatest concern with bringing her home was how Merlin would react.
Right now I am not concerned. He is clearly jealous
hasn't changed his behavior towards me in any way other than seeking
more attention. The two of them get along for the most part
although Merlin is clearly trying to establish dominance from the get
go. As of now I will not allow them on a perch together or to
together in a room I am not in. I will be bringing her to our
next week for bloodwork and microchipping but given his insistence that
Avalon has a spotless record I am not overly concerned. I
post an update in a month or so.
Ariel & Merlin
Ariel, Not Sure About Me Yet
Week 45 (316 days since birth): 990 Grams (September 10th, 2006)
Ariel has now been with
us for about
50 days. She is finally starting to wean and is maintaining
weight on 20 or so grams of formula once a day (she had been getting
80-100 grams). This whole process has required a good deal of
patience but has been very rewarding because of it. At first
Ariel would exhibit no personality if anyone other than myself was
present (including Jen, Merlin, Echo, Seth, or Blue). Now she
will talk to us and play with toys and seems to be gaining comfort with
the world around her. She is bright, friendly, and
and picks up words quite quickly. I look forward to watching
personality develop with time. Today was the first day she
Merlin would eat on the same perch. They are beginning to
each other. All though Merlin is still quite jealous of her presence he
has not changed his behavior towards us and remains our goofy little
Year, 3 Months, 3 weeks: 990 Grams (February 25th, 2007)
We also have had both birds micochipped and they are now in a national
to begin? It has been awhile since my last update and I
think one more update after this one will pretty much finish
the saga that has been Ariel's youth. After our girl had been
home for a few months it was clear that she was not weaning and not
very interactive. We called the aviary who said to bring her
our vet Dr. Combs at West
Ridge Animal Hospital
and have her checked out. The vet found a minor bacterial
infection which he reccomended we treat with antibiotics. He
it was the first time in decades he had seen an ill bird come from
Avalon and it still mysterious how she developed the infection.
first night of
dosing went badly ands she reacted very fearfully to me after I dosed
her. I was worried that it would be a real strain
relationship so I called my aviary. They said I needed to
her back to them to prevent harming out relationship and that they
would dose her for a few weeks for me. I was sad to part with
girl but knew it was for the best so off she went, back to Avalon on
November 3rd. Suzanne and everyone else were wonderful and
treated her quite well. She was even able to interact with a
flock of 5 Greenwing babies which I think really helped her come out of
her shell (Ariel was an only baby). We visited her weekly and
finally picked her up at the end of November. After we picked
up we took her back to Dr. Combs and had a series of tests run on her
(Avalon picked up the bill and was apologetic that we had ever received
a sick bird). The results came back and Ariel was fine.
can't stress how much having a good aviary helped. They
her vet bills and took her back to heal her up. I'd imagine
would have turned out differently without Suzanne's knowledge,
kindness, and support. At the least Ariel would have forever
fearful of me because of the medication. I would especially
to thank Ruthie, one of Avalon's people, for coming to visit Ariel at
our home and put her at ease as well as spend a great deal of time
counseling me over the phone. I know Ruthie is Ariel's
person (she raised our baby for us) and is welcome to visit us at any
Once Ariel came home she was fully weaned. She also
up to us a great deal more and is talkative, alert, and friendly.
She and Merlin quickly became great friends and preen each
constantly. Fortunately their friendship has not affected how
they behave to us at all. It has been a win win situation for
everyone. Merlin does like to bully her pretty much
though but that is his nature, he does it to us, the cats, strangers...
Even as I type this I can here him bothering her until she
screams loudly after which he say 'You're OK, Good Girl, You're OK'
then goes back to mischief.
One other thing that had gone wrong with Ariel was her wing feathers.
Due to her illness, fearfulness, and clumsiness when we first
her she broke many of the feathers on one wing. She lost so
that when a new one would come in it would break if she vigorously
flapped her wings and hit something (there were no other feathers to
buffer the new ones). After watching our girl be flightless
months we brought her to Dr. Combs and explained the situation.
month or so before this Dr. Combs had tried to save my cat Seth who died much
from a mysterious illness. After watching Dr. Combs work and
being on the receiving end of his skill and kindness I'd pretty much
trust him with anything so I figured I would take his advice.
said that in rare cases birds with multiple missing feathers can not
become flighted because a cycle of breakage ensues and that we should
really sedate her and have the broken ones pulled. I had
figured this would be necessary because as long as they were coming in
individually the would keep breaking.
We brought Ariel in and had the procedure done. It went quite
smoothly and the pain medication we gave her was easily injected in
grapes so we avoided any fear responses. As I write this, a
weeks have passed and a strong of 10 blood feathers are growing out of
Ariel's wing. We are feeding her a high protein diet
with birdie bread, nuts, fruits, vegetables, beans, and pasta.
another two months I expect my baby will be fully flighted.
a moment I am really looking forward to.
I've watched this bird since she was an egg. We have gone
weaning problems, bacterial problems, and flight problems but today she
is a happy, healthy, friendly, beautiful bird. She is quiet and
completely non-aggressive. I am blessed to share my home and
with such incredible creatures. I just tell myself these problems
balance out how easy Merlin was to introduce in our life. I
forward to posting pictures of my girl in flight. Stay Tuned.
Ariel really likes the camera
Merlin The Bully
Merlin The Bully Part 2
Ariel Is safe But Now It Is My Turn
Year, 4 Months, 2 weeks: 973 Grams (April 20th, 2007)
VIDEO (64 mb)
a couple months Ariel's feather's have all grown back in.
At first she had a hard time flying but with patience and a
lot of tossing her about she is now flying quite well. She
enjoys it tremendously but for some reason won't take off on her own.
She doesn't seem to know she can fly without being picked up
first and still flaps furiously without taking off when she wants to
leave the perch. I'm guessing this to will pass.
She now makes turns quite nicely and Jen and I are beginning
the process of recall training her.
Without a doubt birds are meant to fly.
She was a quiet, shy character for the first year and 3
months but as soon as she was able to fly she perked right up.
She is more confident, talkative, inquisitive, and friendly.
The transformation reminded me of the book 'Leo the late
bloomer' which is about a lion cub growing up. The only sad
thing is I can't take her outside now. She is terrified of
the harness and I'm not sure I want to force it on her. Jen
and I are going to try a different one and see if we can get
her to accept it with time but for now I'm just happy to see
her flying. She really has grown into an absolutely
delightful, sweet bird. This animal doesn't have an ounce of
malice in her and she tries to befriend the cats.
Ariel Cruising the House, Jen thinking she might be tasty
Ariel and Blue
I live in a zoo
Ariel learning to come and having fun
Ariel And The New Ktiten, She's A Sweetheart Of A Bird
Year, 8 Months, 1 weeks: 990 Grams (July 10th, 2007)
picture to post but a quick update. Ariel's speaking ability is
going through the roof. I'm not sure what motivated it but it
seems that after she was a confident flier that her vocabulary shot up.
She also got even friendlier and happier after she could fly
again. She now chatters endlessly and says: almond, thirsty, I
love you, Hi, Ouch, aaargh, Hi birdy, Hey there big birdy, hi baby, how
you doing, and other things I quite make out yet. I feel even
more strongly that depriving these creatures of flight does more damage
than people are aware of. Watching her transformation from
pre-flight to post flight has been quite amazing.
Ariel, Page 1
2 Years, 1 week: 1000 Grams (November 14th, 2007)
New Movies of Ariel And Merlin playing and Talking
Ariel has settled in nicely.
She is extremely affectionate and talkative. She is still
afraid of being harnessed so we very rarely take her for a walk which
is a shame because she recognizes what the harness means and gets very
sad when we leave with Merlin. Other than that she is very happy
and continues to learn new words at an amazing rate. She has
picked up thirsty, hungry, hi big baby, shower, and even more.
She is also very bright and uses them contextually. I'm
going to be sad when she leaves the baby phase because right now I can
scritch her for a long time.
2 Years, 10 Months: 1000 Grams (September 29th, 2008)
that's really what it takes with birds, patience and kindness. (Oh yes,
also letting them fly is right up there.) I look back at Ariel's
progress and can't believe that she started out as a scared and
unfriendly bird. She now talks all day long, comes over
uninvited, initiates playing, and is all in all, one friendly,
outgoing, sweet little greenwing. She'll wrestle just like Merlin
now and won't go away when you are sitting on the couch.
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