Bug,  out out out of the house!,  Super Dad,  The Zoo

Passing on our crazy obsession with birds

picking out our new birds

This post is for Toby. He has been asking me twice a day if I wrote it yet. So now I feel extremely bad that I don’t have all that much to write about. But if you look through my flickr set, you’ll see that I did make quite an effort to try to be more funny with my titles and descriptions. Being funny is hard work. It’s a good thing I can draw because I suck at the funny blogging gig.

Pulling Bug

We went to the Magnolia Bird Farm on Saturday. It was a case of me begging Toby, “Please please take us somewhere. We are so very bored of this house and I can’t think of any adventures that don’t involve the mall and shopping.” I didn’t actually beg but I think Toby could hear me through my desperate looking eyes. I take Baby Bug all over the place but sometimes, I just need to get out with another adult.

I love this pole

The Bird Farm was a total hoot with Baby Bug. Last time we took her she was too little and didn’t really care much. This time it was like what taking her to the zoo should have been. She loved looking at all the birds. (At least they were awake, unlike all the animals at the Zoo). We explored for hours. I’m sure a lot of that exploring was her exploring the poop encrustment on the cages but I can’t do anything about that. Let’s just hope none of us come down with any bird flu viruses.

sitting down

The actual reason we went to The Bird Farm was to trade in two of our very very noisy finches. Sadly, we had to let Mel go. We’ve had him for ages but he was way too noisy. I love that bird but he had to go. I kind of feel bad that I didn’t give him a proper goodbye but I think finches only have a three second memory so he probably forgave me. He’s probably thinking, “Hot Dog! Look at all the hot women in here!”

stacked birds

I got Mel way back in the beginning to be a friend to Bridgeet, my first finch. Bridgeet was a female zebra finch. All white and cute as a button. A woman at work gave her to me because she had to get rid of her because she was too noisy. (Bridgeet, not the woman at work). Little did I know, that little white bird was the beginning of our crazy bird hobby. Toby’s always loved birds but getting a finch was permission to take his bird watching hobby to a whole new level.


Then we built the bird aviary. Hmmmmm… I have pictures of it somewhere. Probably in my old archives that are GONE. Too bad because our aviary is really cool. If Toby’s office wasn’t always such a mess (and I didn’t have this aversion to showing off messes), I’d go take a picture of it. It’s huge and in our house. Just like a Zoo! In our house!

We are the crazy bird people!

Shortly after acquiring Bridgeet (and then Mel to keep her company) we started collecting more and more finches. (They are like candy except you can’t eat them and they tweet!) We had spice finches for a while but they kept having babies and that got out of control. So over the years, we’ve narrowed our collection down to mostly just waxbills. This is probably boring to 99 percent of the people who might read this but there’s going to be one person who knows exactly what a waxbill is and this paragraph is ALL FOR YOU!

Can I go in there now?

Bridgeet died a while back (she was old) and ever since, Mel has been a screeching lunatic bird. It could be because he misses Bridgeet or it could be because he just is a crazy lunatic bird. The bird aviary is in Toby’s office and in order to work, and get stuff done, Toby has resorted to squirting Mel with a squirt bottle full of water to get him to shut up. It’s really sad. Mel has had more than his fair share of baths.

The rest of the birds have suffered too because when Mel gets squirted, he sends the whole aviary into a tither. It was time for him to go. We didn’t want to do it because who knows if somebody will buy him and put him in a very very small cage in a dark dorm room or something, but he had to go. Hopefully, he’ll get to live out the rest of his days at the bird farm with a zillion new hot girlfriends.

So this is my goodbye post to Mel. And also a post about how we hope to pass on our love of birds to Baby Bug, so people can make fun of her too.


  • Alissa

    Wow! I’ve been reading your blog for 1,5 years and didn’t know you had birds. In your house as well! Sorry about Mel but I’m sure he is happier.

    You look so cute in the pics and I love your bag. Where did you get it?

    SAJ says: Old Navy. I wouldn’t really recommend it though. It’s giant and I can never find anything in it. When my phone rings I feel like I’m searching for it in a sleeping bag. I’m only using it until I find something better. My old favorite is getting thread bare.

  • lynne

    I remembered you had birds, but you haven’t bloged about them for ages. Your post kind of reminds me when we had to release our fishies back into the wild (long fishy tale). Now I think of them merrily swishing their tails in the murky depths below each time I walk down the Regent’s Canal

  • gretchen

    Oh my gosh- I never knew of anyone who had an aviary in their home!!! My husband won’t believe it. I might not tell him about it because then he’ll want to build one… Please do post pictures someday. I definitely don’t care about the mess! But I would like to know more about the aviary. Don’t the cats stalk the birds all day long?

  • Lindsay

    Ok, have to come out of lurkdom for this one. I grew up going to the bird farm with my grandmother. She’s always had canaries and a couple times a year she’d load me and the canaries into her car and take us down to get clipped (the canaries, not me). When I saw that first picture, it brought back so many fond memories. And the smell! Is it weird that I miss the smell? Anyway, I’m glad to know that it’s still there and Baby Bug is getting to experience it!

  • SmocknMama

    OH, I love birds too! We used to have a love bird named Kramer because of the crazy way he used to move his feathers on top. He hated my hubby, used to bite him all the time. Kramer utterly adored me – loved me like a mate. He went everywhere around the house I went, often on my shoulder. He really bonded with me as I got him when he was just ten weeks old. He loved to take showers when I washed the dishes or even slap himself around on the bottom of the tub when I took my showers. He would perch on the shower rod and the fly down, splash, and back up to the shower rod. He got out one day and was gone for a few hours and broke my heart. He was very sick a few days later and the vet couldn’t help him. I cried.
    He was beautiful and a real sweet heart. He would turn my pages for me when I read a book or magazine, teaching him to wait until I was through with each page was fun and he got it and would wait for me to tap the page. I thought I was over that bird, wow. I miss him.

    So sorry Mel had to go.

    When I win the lottery ;) this is what I want: a beautiful purple female; I will name her Piper. And when I get a male I will name him Peter. I babysat one once and fell in love with her kind.

  • Nicole Iwawaki

    I heart birds but I have never had one as a pet…except for the chickens in the backyard…not the same as a finch. I don’t think I can add any more pets into the mix right now but I want to go to the bird farm!

  • Ariel

    Ahhhh, I understand completely. I come from a bird family. I even know what a waxbill is! (Does BB’s name have anything to do with the finch obsession?) We had lovebirds, cockatiels, and even macaws. I love birds. But sadly my husband and I had to give our ‘tiels to a friend because we didn’t spend enough time with them. Sweet little things, they were.

  • JennB

    I’m glad you took Mel to a place where he can be with other birds… you are good people. I love the adventures you have together, and was happy to read about this one that you had as a family!

    We love birds, too… in the winter we get quite a mixture of wild birds at our feeders… juncos, chickadees, cardinals, finches (gold & purple), blue jays (of course), sharp-shined hawks, mourning doves, and we have a red-tailed hawk family that likes to hunt the chipmunks and squirrels that raid the birdfeeders. It’s great to watch them. Sometimes we get a flock of wild turkeys, too!


  • nina

    I enjoyed reading this post- we’re bird people, here, too! Yes, we’ve had a few “Mels” in our time.

    I just wondered- do people ever question that you have birds AND cats? We get that all the time but our old Siamese has never troubled the little birds and is scared to death of the cranky parrot. Are your cats curious about them or as my husband calls it, “taking a trip to the batting cage” where they pat the bars?

  • BeachMama

    We used to have birds. It all started with a pair. Zebra finches, male and female. The first female passed away after unsuccessfully trying to have a family. We got another female. She laid five eggs and they all hatched and then… we had six male birds and one female. She passed away (I think from the terror of living with six males). We never replaced her. The birds were in our living room where I spent most of my free time, Hubby spent his in the basement far away from the birds. I kept telling him how loud they were. After J was born and Hubby was spending more time upstairs he realized how loud and irritating they were. Did I mention that he wanted the birds in the first place? So after some discussion we took them to a pet store and gave them to them to sell. I was quite content with no more birds…. we had fish at one point too, but that is another story.