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Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Member
Dec 26, 2019
112
2
Everett, WA
Parrots
Tashi, almost-2-year-old female moustache parakeet, Indian subspecies (Psittacula alexandri fasciata)
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  • #21
God I love this bird. I went home early from work today because I am exhausted and achy. (Fingers crossed that it's a combination of not sleeping well last night and too much gluten.) Normally I stay after my shifts until close to get time with my boy. Instead, I'm home, in bed, and feeling rather Tashi-deprived.

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"Nope. Not sleepy. Just checking the insides of my eyelids for holes." He resisted dozing off so hard!

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"I'm so happy to see you, Mama! And I love the new toy you made me. Lots of good stuff to chew on." Ugh, I LOVE the expression on his sweet little face and the raised head feathers.

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LOL at the expression! My little velociraptor. Also, didn't I just clean that perch? Messy birdie likes to dip his food in his water, sigh.

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It's definitely spring! My cats are falling apart at the seams when I so much as rub a belly, and my bird is losing his stuffing. :eek: ;) Pretty sure this is Tashi's first big boy molt.

So my coworker told me that mustache parakeets tend to be grumpy, hands-off, and not very active. It's true that Tashi hates heaving his feathers touched. I accidentally grazed his feathers while we were playing "I'm Gonna Get The Bird" today and boy did he tell me off! (I apologized repeatedly until he was satisfied and he decided we could play again.) However, my coworker got the rest wrong. This little guy is joyful, vibrant, playful, expressive, goofy, and super-active. He is non-stop busy all day, and he's a delight to watch.

A day in the life of Tashi...

Upon arrival, I go over to get kisses and nibbles from a very happy little mustache parakeet. Occasionally he initiates a brief game of "I'm Gonna Get The Bird". I head into the kitchen, turn on all the lights, and give everyone fresh water and our famous bean and grain mix (usually with fresh fruit and veggies mixed in). I go next door to finish housekeeping for everyone over in boarding, then return to the store. At this point, I usually don't need to go back to boarding and am allowed to let Tashi be a free-range chicken as long as I keep an eye on him. (He's wonderful about staying on the opposite side of the room from the door; that is the ONLY reason my boss allows him this special privilege.) After Tashi gets out of his cage, he plays, throws toys atop his cage everywhere if they aren't chained down, climbs all over the cages on that side of the room and tries (to no avail) to get the other birds to beak-wrestle, flies a lap around the center island now and then, and chews on whatever I've put on top of his cage with great determination and focus. About once every half hour, he flies over to hang on my shoulder, just to let me know he's glad I'm there and to try and get me to play with him. Whenever I rinse dishes and load/unload the dishwasher (this is multiple times per day), I bring Tashi along so I can keep an eye on him. (He thinks he's very helpful, plus he loves to try to get the unweaned babies in the kitchen to play with him.) I start dishing out our pellet/fruit/nut mix around 12:30. If it's a long day for me, Tashi and I go in the kitchen around 1:30 and eat lunch together. He pauses for a brief mid-afternoon nap, then plays hard until about half an hour before closing, and puts himself to bed without fuss.

ETA: I've also noticed that Tashi is getting a very faint salmon color to his breast, kind of under the feathers of that makes any sense. When I show people a picture of an adult male mustache parakeet, their eyes get huge and they inevitably say something to the effect of, "Wow, I bet you can't wait until Tashi grows up!" Sure, I'll enjoy the adult plumage, but there's something quietly beautiful about his juvenile coloring too. I'm gonna miss it.
 
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OP
Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Member
Dec 26, 2019
112
2
Everett, WA
Parrots
Tashi, almost-2-year-old female moustache parakeet, Indian subspecies (Psittacula alexandri fasciata)
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Cross-posting from the March 2020 POTM contest thread. I can't remember whether I shared how I came up with Tashi's name. It's a good story.

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"Tashi"
Meet Tashi. He's a juvenile mustache parakeet. Mustache parakeets natively range from China down through Indonesia. I am incredibly fortunate to have been chosen by this wonderful little parrot.

It took a while to find the right name. I was paging through a list of gryphon characters in a book by one of my favorite authors when a name jumped out at me. Tashiketh.

Hmmm. "Tashiketh."

Great name, but perhaps a bit long for a little guy. What about shortening it to "Tashi"? That felt right.

Then I remembered that one of my favorite lamas at a Tibetan Buddhist temple I used to attend was named Tashi. I looked up the meaning of the name. When I discovered that it meant "good fortune" or "auspiciousness", I KNEW that this was my boy's name.

Out of curiosity, I researched the native range of mustache parakeets, specifically looking at the specific areas they inhabit within China. To my delight, I discovered that mustache parakeets' native range does include parts of Tibet that are below 3300 feet.

I never intended to get a parrot. But it's my good fortune that my Tashi chose me.
 
OP
Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Member
Dec 26, 2019
112
2
Everett, WA
Parrots
Tashi, almost-2-year-old female moustache parakeet, Indian subspecies (Psittacula alexandri fasciata)
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Long time no see, guys! I've been very busy and too tired to do much aside from work, eat, spend time with my bird and then my cats, and sleep.

Tashi has been an absolute nut for the past week. He's an active boy, but lately he's been racing around as if he'd snuck a shot or ten of espresso. He randomly freezes and then flaps and yells (clearly happy or being silly), jumps from cagetop to cagetop as if being chased, yells and lunges at bits of down floating through the air, somehow manages to climb into his food bowl and nestle into it and wriggle around, and just generally acts like a complete screwball. My coworker and I think it's hormones. To combat it, he's having me reduce Tashi's food a bit. Theoretically, less abundant resources == less resources for raising babies, which ought to help curb the hormones at least a bit.

My goofy boy is now mostly recall-trained! I can usually get Tashi to fly to my shoulder or finger, depending on the signal. He needs more drilling though, to make it automatic.

The Button Bandit has become much more willing to step up for me when requested. He used to only be willing to step up onto my shoulder, but it seems that he's mostly gotten over his worries about hands. I even talked him into almost stepping up for Inger when she stopped by the store last week! He put one foot on her finger, hesitated, then frantically scurried back up my shoulder. We both had a good laugh over that. Since then, I've asked several customers who've admired him to ask him to step up. Early this week, he finally put both feet on one woman's finger, then froze, wide-eyed, and flew off with a squawk. Yesterday, he finally stepped up and stayed on a customer's finger as he munched on a treat! I'm so freaking proud of my boy. (Now to work on getting him to step up for my boss.)

The Button Bandit now understands "It's OK." When startled and then told "it's OK," he generally relaxes and resumes whatever mischief he was previously engaged in. (Usually play fighting with my fingers, chewing apart his latest toy, or attempting to sneakily make off with a button on my shirt.)
 
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OP
Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Member
Dec 26, 2019
112
2
Everett, WA
Parrots
Tashi, almost-2-year-old female moustache parakeet, Indian subspecies (Psittacula alexandri fasciata)
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  • #24
Tashi took another bath today. HE IS STUPID CUTE.

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"Ahhh... I'm just gonna snuggle down in the water and relax for a minute."

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"I'm so happy and flappy!"

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See? Stupid cute. :07:


Tashi is the only bird in the store who has free-range birdie privileges. As long as I'm working on the shop side (as opposed to Boarding) and can supervise him, he gets to run, fly, and climb around to his heart's content. While I was distracted by mopping the shop today, he discovered a brand-new seagrass mat stuffed with paper shred and adorned with his favorite thing ever: soft pine slats and shiny beads! It just arrived at the shop last week. It was SUPPOSED to be for sale, but my little hooligan had other ideas. By the time I caught him, it was too late: the toy had to be taken off the sales floor. It was officially his.
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"Ooh, is THIS for ME?" Stinker.
 
OP
Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Member
Dec 26, 2019
112
2
Everett, WA
Parrots
Tashi, almost-2-year-old female moustache parakeet, Indian subspecies (Psittacula alexandri fasciata)
  • Thread Starter
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  • #25
VERY long time no see, everyone! Tashi is growing up. As it turns out, my baby boy is actually a baby girl! She is still amazing and freaking adorable.

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See what I mean? Adorable!

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This picture is Tashi all over. Happy, sassy, and cute.

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Tashi and Mom selfie

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Believe it or not, this little girl can destroy a large mahogany pod in under five minutes! You should see her eyes pin wildly while she works.

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Mustache parakeets make the silliest faces!

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Underfluffies!

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Tashi loves to chew on Auntie C's hair ties. #HairstylesByTashi

"Auntie C" is my coworker, and Tashi has decided that she is wonderful. That's a good thing because C, her fiance, and I are planning to move in together as soon as they buy a house! They have a flock of five, and Tashi will fit right in. We're also making plans to modify the house to suit my three cats and to keep the cats and birds WELL away from each other. We plan to love all of the animals in the house as if they were our own, and to heck with who actually "owns" them.

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Tashi: "I lubs my Auntie C!"
Little stinker has been known on several occasions to carefully rotate C's earrings and thread them out of her ears. XD

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The Tashibirb is still a voracious chewer and LOVES to chew on wooden beads.

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Taken just a couple of days ago. Look at how grown-up my baby girl is becoming! Her adult plumage is coming in: just look at that pink chest, powder blue feathers replacing the tan, her forehead has little shocks of electric blue, and there's green around her eyes. That babyish look is slowly disappearing.

I've been much more successful at keeping Tashi's Instagram up to date, so please follow her over there if you want to hear about her every few days. :)
 
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Jen5200

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Mar 27, 2017
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Baby - Sun Conure;
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Goodness - she’s adorable and happy! Was wondering how you all were doing...glad to get an update :)
 

LaManuka

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Good thing you picked a nice gender neutral name! Tashi is blossoming into such a beautiful young lady and it's so great to see the two of you back again, thanks for the update :D
 

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