My Birds...

Monday, July 20, 2015

My birds are a huge part of my life, not only are they just my pets, but I feel like they are my babies. Without someone to look after them, they wouldn't have a life. 

I've had birds for around 9/10 years now. I was around 7 or 8, when we got our first bird. Although she wasn't specifically mine, it bought a lot of responsibility with it. We had a lot more stuff to do now there was an additional family member. We now had an additional freezer filled with chicks, mice and quail (which freaked out quite a few of my friends!) and had to learn how to do all these new things. 

It was a huge change to how things were before. We could no longer go on holiday, we could only go out on day trips. We had to make sure she was fed and well looked after. If you don't know much about Harris Hawks, they are mostly 'one person' birds. As my Dad was the one who spent the most time with her, she was very much his bird. We called her Delilah, and she was gorgeous, but quite aggressive. 

After having her for a couple weeks, we decided to buy another Harris Hawk. This time it was a Male called Baz. We picked him up the day before my birthday, and I can remember being so happy, and thinking he was going to be mine. However, it just didn't work out that way. He was, yet again, my Dads bird. However, last year, I managed to mann him enough to trust me, and have mutual respect for one another.

Next we got Maverick, our gorgeously stunning, but nervous Saker Falcon. It wasn't until the past couple years, that I really took to him, and got him to trust someone enough. 

By this time, we had three gorgeous birds that were my Dads. It didn't take much for me and my sister to become completely and utterly hooked with the birds. This caught our parents attention, and they decided we could get something for us to look after, under the supervision of my Dad. This is when we got our first owl. She was called Belle, and she was a Barn Owl. She was absolutely wonderful. She was in a remodelled children's playhouse, and would let you stroke her, cuddle her, pick her up. Everything. She was the perfect first bird. Unfortunately, after only having her for 6 months, she got loose and flew away. I cannot tell you how long we spent looking for her. We spent a good 4/5 hours that night trying to find her, and then every night, we would go and look all around the village. We were all devastated. Touch wood, she is the only bird we have lost and it still breaks my heart to think about it. 

Following Belle's legacy, was always going to be hard. However, by the time, we all thought it was acceptable, we decided on getting some more Barn Owls. This time a male and female, brother and sister. Casper and Lillie. I had the Male, and Jasmine had the Female. These were a lot of hard work. They were not as easy going as Belle was, nor as trusting. Especially Casper. I was around 9/10 by this point, and I found it hard to keep trying, as Casper was putting up fight after fight. I'm pretty sure he is the reason I am so stubborn and won't give up without a fight. After around a year, we just couldn't deal with it anymore, and we thought it would be best if we let someone else have them, that would look after them much better than we could. 

I will admit, due to personal issues, I have tried to get rid of some of these memories, so after Casper and Lillie, the order of birds gets very confusing. We had a European Eagle Owl called Buffy, who was far to big for us to cope with. We got Mercedes, our wonderful Harris Hawk, who unfortunately passed away 2 years ago. 

One date definitely sticks in my mind, the day we went and got Breeze and her sister, Perry. This was sometime in 2009, around September, as I can remember taking Perry into school one break time. We had initially gone to collect just one Barn Owl. However when we got there, the one we chose out, had their little sister, the 'runt' of the clutch, clinging to her. In the end, we went home with both of them. At the time, I wanted Perry. She was so small, and in someway disabled. She couldn't really see, nor fly. However after about 2 weeks of having them, Perry formed a strong bond with Jasmine, and Breeze with me. This was one of the best choices in my life. Breeze became my partner, my best friend. She was my everything. I can't tell you enough about her, because it will never be enough. I loved and still love her dearly. She was my charm, she gave me confidence. I stood up in front of my whole English class and gave a speech about Owls with her beside me, I could stand in front of a crowd of brides-to-be and their families and be completely at ease. She was so calming, and helped many people overcome their fear of birds. She was taken far too soon, last December she passed by into the pearly gates. Breeze was only 5. 5. That's like dying at 15. I will never forget her, nor get over her. 

RIP Breeze. Mumma loves you. 
Then all of sudden, we climbed numbers, getting bird after bird. We got: 

  • Jaroody - Gyr/Saker Falcon (M)
  • Blue Foot - Gyr/Pere/Saker Falcon (F)
  • Nickel - Lanner Falcon (M)
  • Jesse - European Kestrel (F)
  • Lola - European Kestrel (F)
  • Buzz - European Kestrel (M)
  • Kip - European Kestrel (M)
  • Hedwig - Snowy Owl (F)
  • Tess - Harris Hawk (F) 
  • Snitch - Harris Hawk (M)
  • Snatch - Harris Hawk (M)
  • Layla - Harris Hawk (F)
  • Ollie - Barn Owl (M)
  • Ozzy - Barn Owl (M)
  • Denver - Barn Owl (M)
  • Toyah - Barn Owl (F)
  • Yoda - White Faced Scops Owl (F)
  • Woody - Tawny Owl (M)
  • Sparky - American Kestrel (F)
  • Koby - European Eagle Owl (M)
  • Scooby - Snowy Owl (F?)
  • Chillie - White Faced Scops Owl (F)
Obviously, this is a lot. Last year, it went down to just me and Jasmine doing the birds. We found that having 20+ birds was a lot of hard work. We decided that it would be best for us and for the birds, to go on to better homes. In 2 months, after making sure the ones we sold on were going to good homes, we were down to around 10. I won't lie to you, even trying to cope with 10 birds is hard work. During the summer, I would spend endless nights out cleaning all their perches, all their aviaries, made sure everything was now I wanted it to be. 

As you can see from the list, there is one missing. Bear. I got him in December, aged 3 1/2 weeks. Best and worst decision. Best because me and him now have quite a strong bond, worst because he was like a newborn baby. Constantly crying for food or attention, having to carry him around everywhere, sleepless nights for both me and him. He is wonderful though, and I wouldn't change him. 

In March, we also decided to get another Barn Owl, Blue. Blue is my sisters now, and is the complete opposite to Bear. They are siblings, however their mannerisms are completely different, the way they fly is different, everything is different. 

We currently have 7 birds. However we are anticipating for that number to increase in the next couple of weeks. We would like some help in the decision making. I have created a Strawpoll to help get people votes on what bird to get next:

Au revoir mes amis. 


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