Saturday, February 15, 2014


Many months ago, I was introduced to an adorable Timneh African Grey parrot at the bird store that stocks my bird toys.  He was just a slip of a thing and DNA sexed a male.  He was already spoken for but was still at the store due to being hand fed.  From this bird store, no babies go to their new homes until they are completely weaned.  Which is as it should be.

Months flew by and I noticed the baby was still there.  I was told he was still being hand fed and that something seemed to be wrong.  The sale was cancelled and with a broken heart, the prospective owners, whom had named him "Archie" were forced to chose another baby that was ready to go home.

More months past and Archie continued to be hand fed.  He was not declining, but not normal either.  After being fully vetted, it was determined that Archie might never fully eat on his own.  Although healthy, he was disabled and would need a loving home that would understand his special needs and help him reach his full potential.  I was chosen to be his forever Mom.  And I couldn't be more thrilled.  Archie is ten months old and will be coming home March 8th.

With a limited budget, I flew to my local Ross store that specializes in reduced priced new items.  And I began to build the special things little Archie will need.  Here is my haul from yesterdays trip.

This toy has a crinkle sound when manipulated and the feet are a tough plastic with ridges.  Sights, sounds and textures will be important for Archie and will stimulate his brain and exercise his curiosity.

I was thrilled to find this snuggly little cow for Archie to cuddle up against for comfort and warmth.  The body is quite long and will be a perfect hiding spot for when he wants to wind down from a hard day of learning.

Since he will be being hand fed and has some jerky head movements, he will need mopping up when mealtime is over.  These baby washcloths will cover that duty quite well.

With being balance challenged, Archie will need to have the bottom of his cage padded to soften any falls he might encounter while he works on his mobility skills.  These two fluffy and soft blankets will provide a nice soft landing should he take a spill.

Archie is special needs, but I am putting no limits on this little guy.  I prayed about him many months ago and let the Lord do the deciding.  I never thought he would become my own baby.  There is a reason Archie is about to enter my world and God has a perfect plan for us both.

*Pictures of Archie to come!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

TOY TUTORIAL (Peanut Butter & Jellyfish)

One of the toys I designed and sell through my business ZeeksBeak, is the Peanut Butter & Jellyfish.  This toy has been a top seller at my local bird store and is really fun to make.  Birds love to preen the long fibers.  I have decided to share a tutorial on how to make this toy, entrusting that my original design will not be stolen.  Of course I want to sell my toys and build my business, but I am a generous person and will on occasion share the "how-to" on making one yourself for your own bird.

This post is especially for my friends on The Parrot Workshop, a page on Facebook.  Look them up if you want to enjoy some really great people and their equally great toys.  Here is the step by step instructions:

You will need these tools:

*Wire cutters
*Zip ties
*Wiffle ball (use a golf ball for small birds, baseball for medium birds, and softball for large birds)
*Pear link
*100% cotton mop fibers (made in USA)

Before you begin to attach any fibers, make sure you put the bell and pear link on.  You could also use an O ring with some Paulie Rope (bird safe rope) too, if you don't want to use a bell.  Any way you like to hang your toys is fine.

Stick the top part of the bell through the top hole and loop the pear link through it.  Doing so will hold the bell in place and give you a link to hook in the cage as well.

If you are using the baseball size wiffle ball then you will need to take six strands of mop fiber (you can also use Supreme Cotton rope if your budget allows) around 12" long.  You can cut whatever length of rope you desire.  Just know that because the rope will be looped over the wiffle ball, it will hang half the size you cut.  Also you will need a zip tie.

Gather the six strands and get all the lengths fairly even.  You will then thread these through one of the holes along the bottom rim of the ball. 

After clipping off the excess length of your zip tie, you will continue adding fibers around the ball until all the holes along the rim are filled.

Your finished product will then look like this:

I always end by cutting the lengths fairly even and fluffing all the fibers out to give the bird a wonderfully full preening experience.  Please leave a comment and let me know how this tutorial worked for you!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Happy New Year Everyone!

A new year has dawned and so I find myself embarking on a journey to discover new life for my little blog.  The first thing to be renovated was the name of the blog from The Beak Whisperer to ZeeksBeak.  I have a fledgling bird toy making business and have name it ZeeksBeak, after my Nanday conure, Ezekiel, or Zeek, for short.  He was the inspiration for my business and a real shining star in my life.

In order to start fresh, I will quickly introduce you to my entire flock.  Above is a picture of the man himself, Zeek.  He gives the sweetest kisses and lives large when it comes to playing and destroying toys.


I rescued Frosty in the summer of 2012.  He came as a feather picker, but has since grown a full body of feathers.  He loves to dance (what cockatoo doesn't) and he belts out songs in the most interesting tunes.  He loves to snuggle and has, on many occasions, tried to climb down my shirt, as he loves being inside clothing.


Timothy my TAG (Timneh African Grey) is such a little ham.  He keeps us all in stitches with his verbal noises.  He is addicted to showers and will ask for them many times throughout the day.  He gives the sweetest kisses and even makes a smooching sound.  He has plucked his whole life and his avian vet says he probably always will.  No matter, because I think he is a dashing fella.


Gabriel has been with me the longest.  He will be 22 years old this year and he loves books.  Yes, you heard me right, he LOVES books.  Not to chew, but to look at.  He loves being read to and relishes his time on my lap to hear a bedtime story.

Now that I have gotten everyone up to speed, I look forward to a new year of many posts that will inspire, inform, educate and entertain.  I might even try my hand at uploading some videos, although don't hold your breath, as I am not real techie smart.

May you each have much peace, love and happiness in the coming year.  Blessings to all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


This is a very amazing video.  I knew parrots were smart, but this takes it to a whole new level.  Love it!

For your enjoyment, here is a picture of my Frosty, whom I believe could be capable of the same feat as this smart Cockatoo.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


It has been weeks in the making, but my studio is coming along swimmingly.  I painted and mounted the wall shelves that now hold many totes with bird toy parts.  As you can see, it runs the entire length of the wall.  A great space saver.

For some reason, the color scheme of red and aqua appealed to me in the make-over.  It felt bold and sassy and fresh all at the same time.  Kind of like parrots are.  I set out to make this room come alive with color, texture and unity and so far, I am more than pleased.

Making bird toys requires many parts, so these cute drawers are a great bang for your buck.  I love how the colorful parts look like candy from a candy counter in a general store.

This is one of my favorite corners.  It will be where I do all of my paper art, drawing and beading.  I love how the blue chair pops with color.  It's comfortable too, which is a big bonus.  The mirror will soon be painted in the aqua color to tie in the theme.  But for now it looks decent enough to put on the back burner with all the other little finishing touches.

No space is wasted in this studio.  Under the table space gave me extra room to tuck carts an more drawer storage.  I am a label freak, so everything must be labeled or I will go crazy!

Every space needs mood lighting and these electric candles do the trick.  No worries about flames or fumes from scented candles to drift into the other part of the house where the birds are housed.  I love organization.  It makes me tingly.....LOL.

This bulletin board use to be plain and ugly.  But a little paint livened it right up and gave it new purpose.  Tack on a beautiful cross, some original art work, and have a showpiece that brings cheer to even the most hectic day of making toys.  Oh, and for a touch of attitude, I threw in a cat clock to keep me on time.

I almost passed out with delight when I saw this pillow at IKEA.  Throwing in a bird themed accent did wonders for the ambiance in the room.  The aqua throw ties it all together.  Now excuse me while I use this pillow and take a nap.....this studio makeover has exhausted me!

Since I am going to be opening my Etsy shop up again to sell my toys and bird art, I needed a mailing center.  This little cart was just the ticket.  The files were not the most attractive things, so I mounted an old lap tray to the front giving the space a whimsical touch.  Notice that the tray is also the same blue.  Bonus!

With just a few more painted pieces to add and some other last minute touches, my studio space will be good to go.  I will post pictures of those last items soon.  But for now, I'm going to enjoy this new space and my new life in my new studio.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Because Frosty is a feather picker, it is essential that he be bathed as often as twice a day.  This was vet recommended for such a bird as Frosty.  Unfortunately, Frosty does not enjoy being bathed, sprayed or anything else that involves the use of water.  Timothy loves showers and asks for them constantly all day long.  He can't get enough of the wet stuff and just basks in the mist covering his body.  I thought that if Frosty witnessed his brother enjoying the water, that he would too.  But he is not convinced.  So what is a pleasant task with Timmy, is not pleasant with Frosty.

He does look a bit drippy and miffed in this picture.  Notice the clenched talon.  I imagine this as a sign that he would like to pop me in the nose for getting him soaking......LOL!  As angry as he gets, I still must press on with his hydro therapy.  He is now sporting four new flight feathers (primaries).  We are on the threshold of success!

Friday, August 3, 2012


This room used to be our garage.  For many years now, it has been a "family room" catch all.  A mix of crafts, computer, and reading area.  Recently it became a place to put all the junk that didn't have a permanent home.  It's amazing how fast an area can go from usable to wrecking yard!  All this changed when I adopted my most recent bird, Frosty.  The bird room, that use to house many things besides birds, is now JUST the bird room.  I will post pictures of that rooms transformation at a later time.  That old saying is true: necessity truly is the mother of invention.

I don't believe there was one area in this large room that really "worked" for me.  Nothing was jiving or making any sense.  I spend a lot of time in here on the computer, but never has this space had a cohesive life.  I liken it to my brain on an OCD overdrive rampage.  There is a lot going on, but nothing making sense.  I guess to truly appreciate this, one would have to suffer from OCD, as I do, or ADHD, as one of my family members does.  I have found myself standing in the middle of this mess and turning in circles not knowing what to tackle first.  Strangely enough, that all changed when Frosty came in to our home and our hearts.

I actually enjoy prep time.  It is relaxing for me.  And I felt quite proud of myself using an electric sander and all.  Not once did my carpenter brother have to come and help me.  I wanted to see if I could rise to the task at hand, and now I know I can.....and did!

Now that only the finishing touches have to be done on the space before making its big reveal, I can look back with complete satisfaction knowing that I did my best, and best turned out to be not that bad.  Stay tuned for the final reveal......