Kiwi the not so gender neutral 19-year old lunging Meyers Parrot

Kiwi the not so gender neutral 19-year old lunging Meyers Parrot

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Popcorn update


2 mL of fluid tapped from her belly today (8mL last friday)! yea! Good “trend” her energy is up, the fluid looked better under the microscope too. She’s been a real pip. Much like me every day above ground is a good day.


Hi Mitch.


I’m a fan of your newsletters My wife, Eileen, and I have a 19-year old Meyers Parrot named Kiwi. We think she’s actually a “he”, but at this point gender hardly matters (for her and me both). We have both worked out of our house for most of her life, I’m a writer, so she is with us most of every day.


She plays on the top of her day-cage, situated next to my desk, mostly chewing magazines and burrowing in cardboard boxes, and scurries down for the occasional smooch. She and I are very close, probably because I spend an inordinate amount of time scratching, playing with her, and taking her on regular tours of the house – focusing, of course, on the closets and drawers that she is endlessly fascinated by.


She loves, for instance, to peer into the overflow hole on our bathroom sink. Go figure.


My Meyers Parrot performing tricks!!! (not David’s)


My wife used to have a more intimate relationship with her, but that has, sadly, become less possible, as Kiwi has taken to randomly lunging at her. She (Kiwi, not Eileen) often seems “contrite” afterwards, but there are obviously some potent hormones directing these attacks. Probably, we imagine, a territorial thing involving me. While a problem, we have adapted, and this is not why I’m writing (but wouldn’t mind your thoughts).


We’re planning on getting a dog in the Spring. We’ve been wanting to do this for years, but haven’t, mostly because we’ve been afraid of Kiwi’s reaction. I don’t want to cause her undo stress and unpleasantness, she a happy bird now, nor do I fancy the prospect of a one-eyed dog.


The dog will be female, no more than 24 lbs, and of a breed not known as hunters. Certainly no terriers. As Eileen is allergic, it’ll probably be some poodle mix. A friend’s Cockapoo was too aggressive, so we’re currently focusing on Australian Labradoodles, which have Lab, Poodle, and Spaniel in the blend – the Lab component seems to have tempered the Spaniel. We’re having a local breeder bring a pup to our house next week for a test.


I’m writing to ask if you have any advice about the best way – if there are any good ways – to introduce a dog into a parrot’s domain – or if you could direct me to such advice.


David B

Asheville, NC



Cute Meyer’s Parrot Dance (not David’s)


Hey David,


Bringing a new species in the home is as predictable as a surprise stay from a distant relative. There is no way to foresee how this will go.


I would advocate that you keep Kiwi in her cage 100% of the time for at least the first week, if Kiwi has clipped wings I would allow her to be flighted which is one of the best defenses against another animal in the house.


Initially Kiwi will have no way of knowing doggie playfulness from doggie aggression. Clicker training should be introduced to both animals which will also help reduce Kiwis aggression towards Eileen. My philosophy is aggression is not tolerable from any domesticated animal in a home.


It also skews the relationship for many people causing failure with the relationship of the pet. One scenario I like to spell out for people is an evacuation story line, fire, basement flooding, weather any number of disasters could befall a household. Have you ask yourself “could Eileen get Kiwi in a travel carrier and to safety if you are not there”?


You are truly Kiwis mate – she loves you. It is important to know what gender your bird is and kiwi is a perfect illustration of this. “Burrowing in cardboard boxes” defines female brooding activity. The “overflow hole on our bathroom sink” contains calcium buildup that she is seeking because she is a female bird going through certain reproductive activity.


If she does not have one already I would introduce a cuttlebone, mineral block or calcium supplement. If you introduce the cuttlebone make sure the rough surface side is towards the bird and it will be a good indicator of her craving for calcium because you will see the little beak scrapings which would also confirm that she is a female


Senegal and Meyers Parrot Babies


Lack of eggs is not a guaranteed way of determining a bird’s sex as if the bird is overweight which you really only know by weighing her on a regular basis. Eggs can get caught in the Fallopian tube and just melt away into body fat with no external” indication of reproductive activity.


Caveat: poodles are hunting dogs – I raised standard poodles from 1982 to 1999. I kept five in my home and bred close to 30 champions worldwide. Standard poodles were originally bred by the Germans for hunting which is why they have long legs enabling them to run fast jump very high and very far. The curly hair (dander free) is so as not to get caught in underbrush.


That said even taking them down to size barring the miniature poodles and the teacup poodles you can have a fine dog. When looking at mixed breed dogs keep in mind you will always get the best and the worst of all of the traits of the combined breeds.


An AKC registered purebred dog will have a documented lineage and less guesswork. When looking for dog I always recommend to start with your veterinarian because he or she knows where the best and worst dogs are coming from in the area.


Hope that helps – Best of luck




Priam Psittaculture Centre (PPC) Meyer’s Parrots


Dear David


I read this exchange between you and Mitch.


I caught an error in the cuttlebone use.


Use the SOFT side toward your bird, the soft cuttlebone is what the bird eats. The hard back gets thrown out when the cuttlebone is used up. If your bird just breaks up the cuttlebone and does not eat it, toss it so the bird does not try to eat the hard sharp backing.


If your bird is eating the cuttlebone great, it likely is a female. But I would recommend that you use a mineral block instead of a cuttlebone. They will hold up better and offer more useful calcium.


Thank you

Catherine Tobsing


Dear David It does sound like she could be a female. But some males will get into the nest building. My Mother-In-law had a male cockatiel who took over a small trash can with paper which is more typical of a female. I would skip the cuttlebone and mineral block at this time. Unless the bird is actively broody, it won’t be interested in it. Thank you Catherine On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 11:54 AM, David B wrote: Thanks, Catherine. Great advice. Since Kiwi spends most of each day out of her cages – usually on the tops, or on other perches around the house – she rarely plays with her cage toys, and I wonder when she’ll find time to gnaw on the cuttlebone or mineral block. Naturally she’s locked in her cage when we leave the house, and overnight, so maybe this is when she’ll be bored enough to seek out a new activity. Kiwi has always been a “she” to us, but years ago she was x-rayed by a vet (long story) and two little black spots were seen that appeared to be gonads. Never any sign of an egg, but she “digs” (like a dog after peeing) in cardboard boxes, is obsessed with dark spaces, become too attached to drawers, and shows lots of other signs of nesting/roosting. Thanks again. I’m very glad I thought to send in my question. David


Popcorn Particulate


Why should we buy expensive Lafeber’s popcorn when we can buy cheap microwave popcorn at the grocery store?


Thanks for asking.


Simple answer:


Fine and ultrafine particle emissions from microwave popcorn.


Here I go again with science.


From the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health



This study characterized fine (PM2.5 ) and ultrafine particle (UFP, diameter < 100 nm) emissions from microwave popcorn and analyzed influential factors. Each pre-packed popcorn bag was cooked in a microwave oven enclosed in a stainless steel chamber for 3 min. The number concentration and size distribution of UFPs and PM2.5 mass concentration were measured inside the chamber repeatedly for five different flavors under four increasing power settings using either the foil-lined original package or a brown paper bag. UFPs and PM2.5 generated by microwaving popcorn were 150-560 and 350-800 times higher than the emissions from microwaving water, respectively. About 90% of the total particles emitted were in the ultrafine size range. The emitted PM concentrations varied significantly with flavor. Replacing the foil-lined original package with a brown paper bag significantly reduced the peak concentration by 24-87% for total particle number and 36-70% for PM2.5 . A positive relationship was observed between both UFP number and PM2.5 mass and power setting. The emission rates of microwave popcorn ranged from 1.9 × 10(10) to 8.0 × 10(10) No./min for total particle number and from 134 to 249 µg/min for PM2.5 .


the skinny


we don’t want your bird to suffocate on the “dust” of microwave popcorn.



written by mitch rezman

approved by catherine tobsing

approved by nora caterino


your zygodactyl footnote




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