Well, we had a minor cockatiel meltdown yesterday. After a long night's sleep, I woke Thursday morning to get started on a massive to do list. Non Birding Bill mentioned in passing that our cockatiel was out of muffin. I thought he meant that Kabuki was eating the last piece, oh no, Kabuki had completely run out and I am the keeper of the recipe. And, when our darling little cockatiel is unhappy, he has a very particular screech to let us know. So, I had to make muffin right away to restore calm to our little home.
Our cockatiel is a home body, doesn't like to get too adventurous and really doesn't like anything new. The first time I ever heard of cockatiel muffins was from a bird store customer who brought in some she had made for me when she heard I had a bird. I thought the gesture was sweet, but that our cockatiel would avoid them. It was unlike any food we had given him before and usually when something new is introduced to his environment he stares at it for a good two days, intermittantly bobbing his head up and down as if to get a clearer focus on the potential danger. The first time I put muffin in Kabuki's treat dish, he looked, bobbed his head up and down and made a bee line for it and has been eating muffins ever since. I can't help but wonder if the breeder who sold him to the pet store we got him from fed him muffin. There are various incarnations of the recipe on the internet, and I have made up my own recipe based on Kabuki's likes and dislikes. Here's break down:
1 box Jiffy Cornbread
6 eggs, shells included
1/3 cup milk
1 cup bird pellets
1 jar of Gerber Baby Food in the form of carrots, sweet potatoes or squash
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
1 cup sunflower hearts
Sometimes I'll mix it up a little and put in some canned pumpkin or peanuts or raisins. The best part of this muffin recipe is that it gets our cockatiel to eat his pellets. Before the muffin, Kabuki would only eat the pellets if he was really desperate. Now, muffin is the first thing he eats in the morning, so I know he's getting his nutrition.
I've tried crumbling up this muffin concoction and putting it in a tray feeder for the wild birds, but even the starlings and house sparrows won't touch it. That's okay, it's one thing to bake periodically for Kabuki, I couldn't imagine doing it for all the birds outside. Well, Kabuki is now singing the Andy Griffith song, so all must be right in his world.
A friend from The Raptor Center sent me this link. I've never before seen an interpretive juggler capture my frame of mind when working on several projects at once so completely and eloquently as Chris Bliss. It's about four minutes long and well worth it. Thank you, Jake, for sending this along...you know me so well.