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Birds of a Feather

weather: mostly cloudy
outside: 18°C
mood: okay
My two chickies have been moulting all summer so we've seen all kinds of feathers coming off them. They seem to be still moulting, but as long as they're not plucking or losing blood feathers, I'm not going to worry.

I love it when they drop feathers. I want to keep them all. I had them on the dining room table, but sometimes, birdinfoSkippy will fly onto it and blow them all away with her flapping. Now I have them in a heart shaped former chocolate box.

The big wing and tail feathers are fascinating to look at. I think I'd like to clean off the dirty tip of Skippy's whole tail feathers and make one of them into a teeny feather pen. I should Google around for... I found instructions on how to make a quill pens, so I can try it. It would never be used, but it would be a neat thing to do as a keepsake*. And I could do it for that one feather that userinfoHusband Guy still has from birdinfoGuai-Guai. That would mean a lot to him.

Skippy's been losing a lot of the cut wing feathers, so we know she's going to be flying higher and further very soon.

birdinfoSid just dropped a whole one from the side of his wing that was partially grey with his white wing pattern. It's a very clean and bright shade of white, so that says he has a good healthy portion of body fat. *sigh* With Sid, I'm just falling down impressed that I don't find blood on the ends of the feathers he tosses anymore.

The cutest ones are the small inner feathers with a tuft of down and a little fan on the end.

No, the cutest are the crest feathers. I have two of Sid's. One of them looks like a question mark, it's so adorable. I had one of Skippy's, her's is all pale yellow. But it got lost or vacuumed up or thrown out. =P

No, the little orange face fuzzies are the cutest. I don't know why. It would kinda be like thinking an ear hair is cute. The orange patches are where their ears are.

I tried to get pictures of all the feathers, but I couldn't because I'm a Photography Idiot™. If I hold the camera too close, it won't focus right. If I'm too far away, you can't see the feather. *sigh* I don't think it's the Canon S300's fault. The problem is between the floor and the shutter.

Skippy loves to play with her feathers too. She'll stand on her left foot, hold her feather up with her right foot. She'll stand there on one foot, chewing and playing with the feather for a few minutes at a time. Once in a while, she'll drop it, but you just have to give it back to her and she'll play all over again.

She's a Lutino (see all cockatiel mutations), so she used to be bald behind her crest. Guai-Guai was like that too. Most pet quality Lutinos are. They're specifically bred for their colouring and the gene for baldness kinda came out of that selective breeding. To guarantee Lutino chicks, people would breed a Lutino cock with a Lutino hen and that would make the baldness worse.

Skippy came from a Lutino father and a Normal Grey mother. Her father was also bald, but he had such a minor case of it that at first, we thought he wasn't and were very excited that Skippy might not be a baldy either =D We looked at her Dad more carefully when he was sleeping and he was a little bald.

So, whatever. We love Skippy as a pet, we weren't going to breed her or enter her in Cockatiel Shows or anything. At about 4 months, when a whole bunch of new feathers came in, I noticed that she had some tiny new shafts on the top of her head(!) It's still pretty sparse, but there's a thin layer of feathers on top of her head now =D

But I don't think we'd be able to sell her for a higher price or put her in a show anyway because we noticed two feathers that have very dark brown bits of colouring on them. It's not dirt and they're not mites (that was the FIRST thing we checked) =P The brown impurities would mean that she's not a true Lutino and would probably be disqualified as a Lutino show bird. Maybe if they had an Almost Lutino But Not Quite Because of Two or Fewer Spots category, we might be able to enter her. XD

* In Taiwan, they have these Baby Keepsake sets that you can buy. They send a guy over to your house and shave the hair off your kid. People used to do this anyway because, supposedly, cutting off all the hair at 2 or 3 months (the 胎毛; "fetus hair") will promote hair growth. I say it's just a Baby's Coming of Age ritual for the family. So, they save the fetus hair and make a calligraphy brush with the hair. And recently, they've added other stuff in these Baby Keepsake sets. They sell like hotcakes. It's as standard as the engagement photography sets.

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
incognita
Aug. 26th, 2004 11:03 am (UTC)
Your photography problem can be solved by putting the camera onto Macro mode, which is usually symbolized by a flower.

The stories of your birds make me smile :) I was never a bird person and never thought much of them having personalities, I also never realized how much work they are... your stories are like a window into a whole new world for me :) :)
bride
Aug. 26th, 2004 11:13 am (UTC)
Re: Flower Mode

I love you, Gen. =)

Oh, two things that I keep wanting to tell you:
  • I was vaguely disappointed that you didn't name Pancho "Teflon", but seeing his uber-cuteness SO makes up for it =D
  • I LOVE wearing the Brownie lipgloss on its own, without any colour under it! It's even a frost and I usually wear mattes, but I love it =)
incognita
Aug. 26th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)
We liked Teflon, we really really did, but his personality just didn't fit the name. Teflon was the one name we were suggested that I was most attached to even. It was a brilliant idea. Except.. yeah... he doesn't exactly slide off things... unless it's because he's falling ;)

And hooray for Brownie lipgloss :D I actually haven't tried it and had no idea it had shimmer in it (bad MK lady BAD), but that's good to know! :D
bride
Aug. 26th, 2004 11:32 am (UTC)
Haha, it's okay =)

If there's a matte version of a darkener lipgloss, let me know! =)
incognita
Aug. 26th, 2004 11:54 am (UTC)
not yet, but they're coming out with a darker lip gloss for fall. I don't know if has shimmer or not in yet. We'll see :D
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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