Tag Archives: african grey



Scout (a.k.a Scooter) says, “I see you”

While it may seem like not much is going on at Life Among the Greys, the opposite is true! One of my dreams has been to set up a Sanctuary for African Greys. I know there are a lot of very well known Rescues and Sanctuaries out there, one of which is only a few hours away from us. However, while most of the other organizations take in all species, generally speaking, of parrots, our focus will be solely on the African Grey. As the popularity of parrots as pets in the American household has increased, so has the number of birds that seek new homes after some years. Most people love their birds and strive to keep them for life. However, their are other behaviors, i.e. screaming, plucking, mess, etc. that come along with parrot ownership. Some owners will keep their birds for their lifetime, others may become ill, or need to move and are unable to take thier bird with them. Whatever, the reason, it is agony for most people to think about surrendering their bird let alone do it! As the avian population continues to grow, more and more birds will be in need of a place to call home- permanently.

We Incorporated in the State of Arizona in November of 2016, and just received our 501C3 status from the IRS a few weeks ago. We are also working on finding someone who can donate their time to assist with our website, Justgreys.org and this Blog, lifeamongthegreys.com. Eventually you will see all merged together. I hope to also have a page for each of the birds featured on the blog, as well as those who are to come.

We have set up a GoFundMe page where you can donate-all donations are tax deductible! If you are unable to donate, please share on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Our birds appreciate any help you can offer!


It’s an exciting time and I cannot wait to see it grow! I am looking forward to sharing my flock of six African Greys and the many more that will join us at our Just Greys Sanctuary.







Updates….and things…

It (again) had been way too long since I have shared a post or two on my blog. Hopefully, we are back in business… There have been numerous factors that have prevented as much activity on here as I would have liked…life, work, people becoming ill, a new puppy, etc. If you read the previous post you know we lost our beloved Vet, Kevin Wright almost a year ago. It has been an adjustment, to say the least, to think he is no longer with us on Earth. We miss him greatly. In all the years I have owned and lived with parrots, 30+, never had I ever had the benefit of a brilliant mind such as Kevin’s. I never worried about my birds getting sick because he taught me even more about prevention, good nutrition and identifying (and treating) those that might become ill. To say my security is gone is an understatement. Well, as life would have it one of my birds has ‘grown’ something on the underside of his wing, which has required attention. I first noticed it about six weeks ago when I was giving him a shower. It was pink, kind of round with no seepage or blood, etc. I have been watching it as well researching possible conclusions. It seemed as though it was a feather cyst, but I was not sure. When I had the opportunity to look at and touch it, he didn’t even flinch. There was no pain- nothing.

As luck would have it, the previous office where Kevin worked now has an exotic vet that comes highly recommended by one of Kevin’s previous employees. After a quick meeting last week I made an appt. and brought my boy, Favian, in this morning. So this is what this thing looks like….

Feather cyst Finn_7.19.14       I have never seen such a growth on a bird, but it was confirmed as a feather cyst this morning. So what are the options? Watch it- he is not bothered by or picking at it; surgery- best to remove when

it is small, according to the Vet. This would mean less time under anesthesia, faster recovery, etc. So for now, I am going to watch it. It if grows or he begins picking at it, surgery will happen. If not,

we will just continue to watch it. Eventually, I will have it removed, but anesthesia in birds can be fatal. More on the flock and future plans next time……Thanks for your patience…..


12 Days and counting….

Scooter continues to do well and is just about back to his normal self. Today he hopped of the ottoman and walked from the living room into the kitchen. Truth be told, he was hungry and a bit impatient as I prepared his food. I am waiting for the scab to fall off before removing his collar, which should take place in a day or two….

Scooter with his collar_6.21.11

Latest on Scooter….

It has been 11 days since since Scooter had  surgery on his nare. He has adjusted (and accepted) having to wear an Elizabethan collar, not being able to hold any food or toys, and not being able to scratch any itches or preen himself. He is still eating Harrison’s Recovery Formula, which he eats from a spoon. Yesterday he had all four of his sutures removed. The vet techs praised him for being so good (only emitting a few growls).

This bird is such an exceptional guy. Despite living in the desert, (for who knows how long), he continues to be accepting, patient and loving. He does seem to know we are trying to help him get better.The first photo below was taken 24 hrs. after he came home.

Post Op_6.09.11

5 days post op

This photo was taken about 5 days after surgery….

I will post more pics and info shortly….

The importance of Vitamin A in captive birds….

When I brought Magee to the vet for his first visit, Dr. W. took one look at the bird and told me he had a Vit.A deficiency. I was shocked he could just look at the bird and reach that conclusion. He said the puffiness above the birds’ eyes were a dead giveaway. The reason? The lack of Vitamin A causes the mucus to dry and become hard, especially in the sinus area- hence the puffiness. In many cases, the mucus, which has become hard can only be removed or cleaned out surgically. Upon further examination, he also noted the extremely dry skin, especially under Magee’s wings, which was pink, flaky and featherless. Our Vet has stressed the need for Red Palm Oil to be included in birds’ diets to compensate for this deficiency. Dr. W. has told me they see this over and over again in parrots that come in for treatment. While lacking Vitamin A may not seem like a big deal, over time it equates to a guarantee of future health problems, causing a birds’ system to become out of balance, weakening their immune system, leaving them vulnerable to infection and diseases. In many cases, it is just not the lack of Vitamin A, but a poor diet, i.e. seed only.

Dr. W. recommends Harrison’s Bird Food and their line of Healx/AVIx Pet Wellness Products. [Check out their website: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com] Upon Magee’s arrival to my home he was immediately placed on a pellet diet, with fruits and veggies. But it was obvious he needed more, especially since he required 3 Vitamin A shots in his initial treatment. After trying the clay and ‘salad’ treatments, I focused on adding Booster (see Harrisons’ website) to Magee’s daily intake, and Boosterconverting him completely to Harrison’s organic pellets. Dr. W. had recommended this as part of his initial treatment, but I had stopped it when Magee recovered. Now his poop was abnormal and he had begun plucking his feathers again, starting under his wings and moving to spots on his chest and one wing. It was time to, literally, Boost(er) his system. I began feeding the High Potency Coarse Pellets and mixing some Booster with peanut butter. We were off…..I prayed this was the answer to obtaining and maintaining optimum health for Magee…..

*Note- Harrison’s is in no way compensating me for talking about their product(s) on this blog. I am merely sharing what our vet has recommended and what I have used with successful results.

The birds….

Somewhere along the way my awareness of birds and their behaviors increased dramatically. We never had pet birds in our home. Although there was one time when my older sister went to the local ‘Grants’ dept. store and came home with a bird in a paper bag. She had no cage, food, toys or supplies- just a bird in a bag. Once my mother became aware of its presence she put all of us in the car, drove to the store and made my sister return it. It was not until much later that my parents allowed birds in the house, but by then I had grown and left home.

I married at what would be considered a young age,  by today’s standards, and had our two children in our first few years together. As most couples do, we struggled financially, but managed to survive. One of my sister’s was working in Manhattan and had mentioned a co-worker had a pet bird they needed to re-home. After what seemed to be an eternity the bird finally came to live with us in Upstate NY.  To me he was the most beautiful bird I had ever seen! (Of course, he really was the only one I had ever actually had in my possession or been near.) It was named Nikki and he/she was a beautiful Cherry-headed Conure. [We never did find out if he was a she or a he.] After Nikki was with us a short time I found out just why he had to leave his previous home- he screamed incessantly! As a result of his loudness, he had eventually been banned to an upstairs bedroom, which is why he had to leave. In addition to the noise level, he was not tame. My lack of knowledge and experience was obvious as any attempts to remedy these issues were fruitless.

It has always seemed irrational to me, as a human, that the hand (literally) that feeds one would not hold any weight in developing an avian relationship. But there in lies the problem even today. While we attach the word ‘pet’ to our feathered friends it does not translate as one would imagine a pet dog or cat. Pet birds are still wild animals with innate behaviors that are still being deciphered, thirty years after Nikki came to live with us. No matter how well I provided food, housing, baths and attention, Nikki was not swayed. He remained obstinate. He wanted nothing to do with me or any other human in our home. It was discouraging. I knew I could give him what he needed if he would just give me a chance. No such luck. One day I took Nikki, in his cage, outside. It was a beautiful early summer day, with a mild breeze. I don’t know what possessed me to do so, but I let him out of his cage. Within minutes he realized he was not confined by any barriers and took flight. He flew up into a tall oak tree and kept going higher and higher, then on to a neighboring tall tree and so on. I could hear him and at times see him. However, both his sounds and my visual sightings eventually ended. There was no way I ever could have gotten him back down. I left his cage out for days, but never saw Nikki again. I felt guilty and grieved for my own loss for the relationship that could have been and my feathered friend that was now happily free. That ended our 1+ year ‘relationship’.

All creatures great and small…

I remember being fascinated with birds and their ability to fly when I was a child. I so wanted to join them in the air. It looked like such fun to be able to maneuver through the trees, soaring higher and higher. After numerous experiments building my own ‘wings’ I realized it was futile and gave up. However, I still do think about being able to fly, but have decided it would probably not be safe for me to attempt hang gliding, sky diving or parachuting. I think Heaven might allow for such experiences….

As one of six children you can imagine there was always some sort of activity or goings on in my family. We didn’t really have many animals at first. I can remember our first dog, Joe. He was an English Pointer that lived in the backyard of our home. He and my father would go out on the weekends and hunt pheasant. I didn’t realize how attached I had become to Joe until the day I came home from school and he was gone. My older sister told me he had been ‘put to sleep’. I had no idea what that meant. When she told me I locked myself in my bedroom for two days, sobbing as I grieved for this ‘friend’ that had always been there to listen and play. I think this was my first dose of reality- the fact that none of us will live forever…. at least not on this Earth as we know it. It was shocking, nonetheless.

The first bird that I actually came close to touching was that of my grandmother’s. She had a parakeet that she adored. I do not remember anything about this bird except that I was fascinated with it. I so wanted to have one, but that would not happen for quite some time.

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