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Jeff Sexton

Monday, March 05, 2018

The Latest Bird Cookies

Time to make some new bird cookies!

This time I did not follow a specific recipe, although it is right in line with the bird treats I have made before. The basic pattern for all these is 1 cup of the dry ingredients, such as buckwheat or whole wheat flour, etc, plus a little less that a cup of some combination of brown or wild rice, quinoa, soaked seeds, nuts and died fruit and vegetables, etc.

For this one I did not use flour, but instead ground up several types of seeds from Whole Foods in a coffee grinder.

I also had this heat and serve bird food so I decided to include. It includes a variety of ingredients. Made up, it resulted in about a cup. All the bird love this stuff by the way.

I also tossed a few Harrison's pellets in the coffee grinder along with a few walnuts.

Died kale too...
With the approximately 2 cups of everything described above, I added one egg and some cooked sweet potato.

One thing I did that I have not done before was to include the eggshell. After I dropped the egg in, I microwaved the shell, then dropped that in too. The egg shell adds extra calcium.

So, yes, these bird treats will be quite a bit less "human friendly".
It all got mashed it all into a dough...
...and fried in coconut oil.
These don't look all that appetizing, They came out a brown color for some reason.
But they are a big hit for all the birds! And very healthy for them too.

By the way, I don't think I have mentioned this in prior posts about this sort of bird bread, but they are perishable. Store them in the freezer.

Find more about bird foods here.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Rice Paper

If you soak rice paper in a pan of water for a few minutes, it gets very soft and flexible. You can then wrap it around things, for example Harlan the Grey Parrot's foraging toy (with treats inside).

When it dries out again, it forms a hard, crunchy and bird-safe layer he'll just have to figure out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


What are you nuts?

Five pound bag of high quality almonds, in the shell...


This is one of Harlan's last juvenile tail feathers. It was hanging off him at an angle for some time. I finally found it dropped behind the cage.

I had thought it was broken, but now that I can get a good look, it seems just bent as though it grew that way.

The adult tail feathers are all bright red.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

One Year!

Harlan, the African Grey, has been with us for one whole year!

Friday, January 12, 2018


Harlan doesn't even like almonds that much. He will eat them, but walnuts and pumpkin seeds are his favorite.

Just the same, make some in-the-shell, partly cracked, almonds hard to get at, for example by putting them inside this foraging toy, and he'll stay busy for an a solid hour.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Elgin Advertising

Here's a nice Elgin watches print block, those were the days...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New Foraging Toy

Harlan really took to this toy quickly. I did not even have to slowly introduce him to it. It comes full of shredded paper, a couple vine balls and some wooden blocks. A few stashed treats in there and this bird is busy for awhile.

The back opens up for re-stocking, but because of the way it opens, you have to be sure to install it right side up (so it "hinges" top instead of down) it it gets pulled down really fast with a bird the size of a grey parrot. I think I'll most just load food in through the holes.

Also, the plastic screw clamp that attaches it to the cage is really not strong enough for Harlan. I simply tied a long zip tie around the flat tab at the back of the top of the toy, and the cage. Problem solved...

It's important to have foraging toys like this for parrots that, literally, make food a challenge to get to. In the wild these highly intelligent animals spend most of their day looking for food. In our homes, most of their food is just sitting there in a bowl.

Providing toys like this, with food inside, is basically a mental health requirement for a parrot in the home. Harlan will eat food that he has to work for before eating from the bowl. He'll also eat food that aren't his favorites this way.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Harlan, the Grey Parrot, has been loosing feathers like crazy. It's his first molt. I have read that African Grey Parrots have upwards of 8000 feathers (for most parrots that's in the 5-6 thousand range). They change them all out over the course of a few weeks to a few months, every year!

The big thing about this is that clipped wing weathers are being replaced. He'll soon be able to fly. And he'll have to learn how to fly, and perhaps more importantly, how to land, with injury. Parrots are not born with much of an idea about flying, they have to be taught. This is a challenging time...

So far, my strategy has been to work with him every day on going a short distance in the air (he can go a few feet with clipped wings, but can not stay level), from the cage top to me and back. He gets excited about doing this and has learned it well. If I can get him to fly on command, I hope he'll fly less on his own. 

A Tech Project Gone Well!

For a change...

I've been dreading doing this, but I'm at it today. Awhile ago, I used the wrong external hard drive for a backup and (ironically) over-wrote the backup of some files I want to keep.

Because of various computer issues that I never fully addressed, that started like 4 years ago when my main desktop died, and I didn't have a lot of money, I've been using a several mickey mouse systems since. I didn't actually have a working directory of all these specific files any place. I guess I had not been paying attention. I am (ironically again) pretty good about backups. I had like 4. But over the past few years as PCs and drives died or got re-formatted, I was down to one copy of that stuff. And I erased it.

Well it wasn't the only copy. I still have three dead PCs in the basement that go back 10 years probably. At least one I knew had 2 500 GB drives (dating back to a time when 500 GB was a huge drive) in it with a ton of old stuff, including what was once the main copy of the files in question.

I finally decided to figure this out. I bought on Amazon a device that seemed like it would do the job.

I pulled out a drive from the dusty old PC, plugged this thing all up, powered it on, and bam! in a few seconds my computer opened a file browser on the old drive. It even detected the drive format. I'm copying the files now.

I seriously can not remember when something went so smoothly.

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