Twin Leather Crew Member - Jessie Filtrante Coughlin
A few years ago Richmond Castano Sr. drafted me into making bird toys with him one weekend and I have been creating toys for birds ever since. Richmond Sr, affectionately called Twinny raised a crew of artists kids, so he knew that sending me into a room with a bunch of leather parts and leaving me alone a few hours would send me into a frenzy of creativity. Either that or he wanted to get me out of his one or two hairs for awhile. I researched everything I could find about Parrots, and I made big tough toys for big birds to tear up! But I did not consider the Parakeet/Budgie very often. The more I read about parrots the more I longed to have one. I watched every video of clever parrots that I could find. My apartment is too confined to share with a big noisy bird, but perfect for a couple of budgies! So now I am Ma Keet to a pair of feathery delinquents! My training in behavior modification science gave me a bit of a clue how to discourage unwanted behaviors like biting with my birds. I realized however, that the behaviors that come naturally to birds but are destructive to my good stuff might require a bird/human compromise! Safety ! Safety ! Safety ! PLANTS are in danger with birds around - was lesson one for me ! I have to make sure that the plants they are tearing up are safe for them, and remove plants that I don't want them to tear up from their area. I decided that I would just give them their own plants and let them be birds! I want them to be as free as I can possibly allow them to be. I created for them a jungle in a box, a foraging playground! Environmental challenges, and conveniences! Happy Little Budgies they are and Life is good in Bird Land!
They have their own truck to poop on !
Who Cares if they can't reach the parking lot!

I even created a Budgie Boogieman
Who Chases them to put them in the SOUP!

I entertain myself entertaining them,
so you can see that they have me well trained !

          4 months old budgies
          Their introduction to Jessie's World
Although they look like feathery little angels in these photos, they use to bite like buzzards.
They had one another for company and believed I had no importance in their flock at all !
Until one day after they had tolerated my hands in the cage only to clean their house, flatter
them and feed them like royalty, I suddenly insisted on being more than their poorly paid
and abused domestic. I didn't expect them to love me or even trust me, but DON'T BITE !

~ ~ ~ NOW WE FLIP FLOP N FLY ! ~ ~ ~

First I had to catch them, it was not easy !
They would be experts at playing tag!
In the scenes where birds and I are off camera I am chasing them
they are screaming for each other!
Then I had to grit my teeth, both of them,
so as not to squeeze the life out of these tiny
vultures while they scolded and squirmed and
bit me without mercy, but I would not let go.
I spoke in soothing tones letting them squirm and holler,
but with every attempt to bite me,
I would say FIRMLY in a LOWER tone NO BITE!
and GENTLY push down on their beaks with my finger.
The biting would usually stop for a bit.
Soothingly good baby bird !
Wiggling and screaming ok this time but biting not okay ! trust comes later.
Next time no biting , no wiggling and screaming before I let them go.
In about an hour we had established an understanding !
"Chill I know you don't like to be held yet,
but sometimes I have to hold you, and you won't bite me!"

Plants Or Birds ! Toxic plants gotta go ! &
Safe Plants are not safe from birds !
My solution was to just give them their own plants,
& keep mine out of their area !

Introducing New Foods To Baby Budgies
When they were still babies I gave them both mashed and
whole fruits & veggies of the same kind.
They would eat both ! Chicho could eat a grape as big as his head!

CARROT TOPS !!! Most Favorite treat of all !
First fight over food they ever had

Grains & Seeds
I began offering well cooked brown rice,barley,lentils & finely chopped veggies.
As they grew older I cooked them less just to a comfortable snap.
Every day they had a good quality seed blend and on occasion when they didn't bite me! MILLET !
Millet is a favorite with budgies,mine would try to live on it !

Frenchy could consume a strawberry that weighs as much as her !
The way I hold my hand determines whether Chicho & Frenchy
will Fight -Take Flight or Come to me.
I don't want them to lose natural instinct to flee.
They will evade me but are never afraid of me!

I'm good at foraging myself
I am always having to look for something!
After all budgies and old ladies are much alike!
So don't forget that ok?


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