Fine Feathers~

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It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds~ Aesop
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My love affair with birds started when I was a very young child. I bred and raised parakeets and cockatiels as a kid. I had two egrets, one pigeon, two cockatiels, and one great blue heron find me at picnics or hikes or at home, who I adopted and raised at various points in my life.
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I talk to birds wherever I am and they tend to talk back. You should try it. I highly recommend it.
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Birds just make me happy. Always have and I find more and more now that I am retired, that the things that made me happy as a kid, still make me happy as an adult, and once again now, I have time for them!
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I cannot however adopt a bird until I stop traveling, so I get my bird fix these days by hanging out with the wild Holler birds, and visiting people who rescue birds.
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Check out the birds at Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary. Free flight was started by a veternarian who loved birds. He built the facility next to his veterinary hospital that of course treats birds. Free flight is a non-profit that accepts birds with special problems and houses them in a natural tropical setting, where birds are kept in open air perchs with other flock members as they are in the wild. The results are magical, for the birds and for people who are encouraged to visit and interact with the birds.
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People leave this place in love with birds! You can see it happening right before your eyes, when the bird decides to hop on them.
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The helpful cockatoo got me a better photo by thoughtfully removing this boys hat. I didn’t even have to ask him! Smart chirper.
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This one had strong preferences for certain tunes on this woman’s i pod and danced in approval when she picked the ones he liked.
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Big brother was quite brave and showed his little sister how to handle a big bird!
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The staff thought this eclectus might enjoy calling The Holler home. The only hard part is walking away. We have room for free flight aviaries at The Holler, so someday….. I might be able to breed some birds that are critically endangered in the wild.
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All I know is that I grew up not questioning God. God was there like the birds and the wind~ Jane Godall
Cheers to you from all your feathered friends~

For more info check out: http://www.freeflightbirds.com
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289 thoughts on “Fine Feathers~

  1. Beautiful colors. We have a lot of mocking birds around. Not quite as colorful as the birds in you pictures, but they know the tune to a lot of different songs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. So vibrant and beautiful, each and everyone! Fabulous pictures! I’ve loved birds since I was very, very young. Thank you for these wonderful photos that brightened my day!

  3. They were all stunning and beautiful, Cindy, but I especially liked the blue one and the green one most. I think, of large birds though, my favorites are the eagles/hawks/falcons. Maybe it’s a “man” thing. Hugs, Cuz. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. These colors are overwhelming! So beautiful!
    I can’t say, that I have a special love for birds, but I also talk to them. Once I barked at a Raven and he barked back! He spoke in foreign tongues! But this isn’t reserved for birds – I have the strange whim to “talk” to many animals. I moo at cows, baa at sheep and purr at cats. I tweet with tits and grunt at pigs. Strange, but they seem to understand, because they mostly answer ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Not that I think, I talk meaningful…probably I’m well known for my really bad accent and my incoherent jabber. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, I do the same. Animals are so much smarter than some people think and of course they communicate with us, they listen to us, watch our actions and our body language. If you are still and observant and speak quietly and imitate their sounds, all animals even wild ones, will be interested. I do all that you do. It works amazingly well.

  5. Thank you for giving us a tour of these fabulous birds. Birds are beautiful, special, intelligent, and sensitive. Thank you for sharing your passion for birds, Cindy! These photos, Wow!!!

  6. Birds always look like they’re smiling. They are marvelous creatures. I once worked in an office with an African Grey Wow, she could imitate me perfectly. She was amazing! Alice was her name.

  7. Beauty photos. I too love birds. I used to keep finches when I was a teen. Nobody around me shares my love of birds though. I too have noticed that I still love the same stuff I did as a kid.

  8. Wondrous. I especially love the birdie snuggle.<3 I was trying to take a picture of a woodpecker a few days ago. Its buddy decided to "disrupt" my shot by buzzing by my ear tickling me with its wings. Way fun experience. Thanks for sharing a few birdies I don't get to see around here.

    • Close encounters with wild birds feels like such a privelege. Woodpeckers are so skittish, this is particularly amazing. If I were you I would hang out more with them and see what happens……

      • I walk and try to take photos most days. The geese, gulls, robins just go about their business when I’m around as long as I give them about 2 feet. Chickadees, sparrows, downy woodpeckers don’t like to hold still for photos but love to flit around me. Great blue herons and cormorants and blue jays are truly disgusted when I come any where near their territory. Crows are my spirit birds. I pay close attention to their behavior (as one just flew by my window). Which birds in The Holler let you get close?

      • First off right after we moved here a Great Blue Heron adopted us. I was walking by the glass door and saw something for a nano-second that my brain registered as “dinosaur,” ie., “there is a dinosour at your door.” He was sooooo tall and his head looked just like a dinosaur. I was intimidated by his six inch razor beak, but he thought we were pals. He’s the third heron who adopted me. I am super close with the hummingbirds, and the red tails. Interestingly they never bother each other. The song birds come to the feeders but they don’t like me near. The woodpeckers are skittish but do let me get photos. I like the orioles a lot but they tend to be skittish too. The Great Horned Owls are here everynight, and we hoo at each other but I very rarely actually see them, so they are a mystery.
        You sound just like me with your birds! Can you even imagine living without them? I just realized I love talking about our wild birds with someone who loves them too! <3

  9. OK, I give up, you win. You are *THE* bird photographer. These are just stunning. That (and to add insult to injury) your reds always come out so much better than mine. It must be all your clean living! Or my, well… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think sony deserves the credit for the color and as for you, your poetry is so incredible, along with your artistic sensibility, that you must live very clean as well!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I share your joy in wonder in our feathered friends. I love walking the Vancouver Seawall and see the wings of flight come over me. We are blessed to have these creatures walk (fly) this earth with us.

    • Oh yes we are, and one connects with the spiritual nature of the world when one interacts with them. In Canada you have so many incredibly beautiful wild spaces inhabited by equally beautiful wild creatures. You are indeed blessed!

  11. Hello Cindy…they call Araras the blue one and the red one….They are originate from Brazil and and unfortunately are endangered,,,,,But we have a lot of projects to protect them….They are lovely.

    • Many of the parrot species are seriously endangered in the wild. We are all the losers for it. I am enthralled by the Golden Conure or Pride of Bavaria, which is seriously endangered in the Amazon where it lives. I would love to breed a pair someday. It is so imperative to have laws and projects to protect them. In California sea otters were extinct in local waters when I was a kid. Now they are back in good numbers due to the marine mammal protection act and the efforts of Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have personally seen these efforts work very well. The sea lions and seals are back again too. Fisherman used to drop fish bombs into the water killing everything indiscriminantly. Those days, at least here, are gone.

  12. Stunning colors. I don’t know what it is, but birds make me smile. I’m back along the Texas Gulf Coast to get my fill of all my wonderful feathered friends. Now if only this nasty weather would move along – I have some birding to do ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. You find so much to love in life, Cindy, and I admire that. Such bold colors! I particularly like the white and orange bird–fourth photo–the swirling orange through the white, and then the pale blue around the eyes. Just gorgeous!

    • Yes, I want to share this, the importance of grabbing life and squeezing all the joy out of it that you can before it is over! So happy you noticed this. The Moluccan or salmon crested cockatoo is the one you noticed. So beautiful, such subtle coloring, I agree!

  14. These are definitely amongst your best work. The colours are excellent.

    I used to frequent an inn that had an African Grey. He liked to sit on peoples shoulders while they played darts, watching the dart intently as it flew. He also liked to sit in a tree by the car park and announce “you can’t park here” when people alighted from there vehicles.

    Definitely willing companions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I adore birds too! These parrots are so exquisite Cindy! I have owned parakeets and a love bird. In fact I’ve been mulling over painting a bird series. Thank you for sharing. This looks like a wonderful place to visit!

  16. These are awesome photos Cindy, their colours are breathtaking! They are stunningly beautiful birds, and they always seem happy to make a connection with humans.
    I had a sulphur crested cockatoo a long time ago. He was very protective of me and wouldn’t let anyone else touch him except me. He loved me to talk to him and seemed to listen. They are very sociable birds.

  17. This post was a real TREAT Cindy! As a fellow bird lover, I truly enjoy the story of you and the birds as well as the beautiful bird photos from the sanctuary.

    • I remember how much I adored my first parakeet, Pretty Petey the Parakeet. Laughing….Tell your daughter she can breed them, or better yet, maybe don’t tell her and see if she figures it out. I did. Laughing……..

  18. Cindy, these are exquisite. I was entranced from the first picture and fell in love before the end of the first paragraph.
    I’m wishing I was there with those incredible birds and able to give them a home. I admire the people who have this facility…how I wish I could be there. I’ll simply have to save your post and look at the photos.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Blessings. Susan ๐Ÿ’–

  19. Ditto on these photos being awesome! I’m such an animal lover, but I’ve never fully connected with birds on a cuddle level. My sister has always had a bird friend around though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Many birds are big cuddlers. Especially if they are flocking, not solitary species. If they aren’t with their natural flock, then humans become their flock and they want to groom and cuddle. It is quite endearing to see it happen to someone who doesn’t expect it.

  20. A pleasure to see these wonderful and colorful photos! Our family had a parrot who had lived for over 30 years. Super smart, a wonderful friend, and a very beautiful bird. Thanks so much, Cindy! Have a good night! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. The birds are magnificent! I want to hold them!! I love your dream of raising endangered ones! That would be awesome!!! It’s so cool how they interact with people! I can just see the one dancing to the ladies cell phone!! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    • Birds are very social creatures, and when they are no longer in the wild (where I wish they were safe) their flock becomes people. They need continual interaction or they become lonely and anxious.

  22. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    As I mentioned in my post yesterday I have put Reblog Saturday to bed but I will still be reblogging the usual favourites during the week along with any new finds in Blogworld. This week Cindy Knoke visited a bird sanctuary and as you can see the colour and personalities of the rescued birds shines right through and cascades all over the humans, thankfully just their colours!

  23. So wondrous, Cindy – another love we share. My parakeets (Bud and Queenie) and I are grateful for your lovely photos and your new opportunities to spend time doing what you love.

  24. What great shots! I like birds too and have had cockatiels and a parrot a long time ago. But you had an egret??? how does one have an egret? lol The Blue Macaw…I knew a girl once who had one named Captain Crunch. Loved that name. Thanks for the great memories and beautiful shots!

    • Egrets and Herons have adopted me. A Great Blue Heron decided to live by our front door. That is one big bird to walk by every morning! He ate lizards. Two egrets, both uveniles adopted me. I have no idea why. I wonder as I’m writing this how many people get adopted by wild birds. I love them of course, but there have been at least a half dozen wild birds who have flown onto my picnic blanket or into my yard who don’t belong there and needed help. It is always a big thrill for me. It would be interesting to ask bloggers if this has happened to them and how often. It would be an novel data set. I wish I had thought of it.

  25. I love birds and have way too many conversations with them in my yard, glad to know someone else who does the same Cindy. Love your photographs, the colors are so vivid – really extraordinary.

    • Talking with any animal is a good idea in my book, as long as you don’t drone on too long of course, wouldn’t want them to find me a dull conversationalist! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. This post goes right to the heart, Cindy! Very enjoyable reading! The photos speak for themselves, unbelievable. Gorgeous colours they have too!

  27. I do love birds. These photo are wonderful. Look at those vibrant colors. Birds are smart too and great companions.
    I had a talking parakeet and a snooty companion for him and I once babysat a cockatiel for two weeks. Forgot about those experiences until your post. Thank you. Love this.

      • The male parakeet was such fun. He was mostly yellow and green. His name was Sunny.I thought he might be lonely so I got another one. Turned out to be a female. I called her Cher. Give a kish, give a kish, Sherry. ๐Ÿ˜€

  28. Oh Cindy, I am so enraptured by your photos vibrancy and subject matter the second your blog page opens I am immediately dumbstruck. Instead of insightful commentary I just drool and say something banal like “nice pics!’

    It’s your fault for being so damn good! ๐Ÿ™‚ I do enjoy my visits, even if it sounds like a moron is writing my comments!

  29. Each of your beautiful pictures captures the wonderful personalities of these birds, Cindy! I would SO love to visit this sanctuary. Have you ever seen the film Winged Migration? If not, I highly recommend it.

  30. Cindy, I sooo know what you mean about having a bird at home involving a commitment to not leave home for long periods of time. I have a parrotlet and have limited traveling to local road trips that allow me to take her along and staying at pet-friendly hotels. Or, I just do quick day trips and turn around and come back in the same day, or, at most, I’ll take an overnight trip. However, I schedule my trips to make sure she always gets supervised in-home flight time each day because it’s the best source of exercise for her. My life revolves around her!

    Whenever you’re in a place where you can keep birds at home, I sure look forward to hearing all about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, I understand fully and respect you greatly for focusing on her needs. Parrot species left alone or subjected to owners who are constantly leaving get seriously anxious. They tend to bond to one human mainly and when that human leaves their world leaves. I see you understand this completely. This is why I cannot get a bird(s) until I stop traveling. If and when I do get one, you will be one of the first people I talk too. You know what you are doing and you and your bird are lucky! <3 <3

  31. Yes I can see those birds talking to you Cindy, they know a friend when they see one. These photos are just stunning the colours of the feathers are incredible.

  32. Our East Coast birds are pretty drab compared to other regions of the worlds. Flashes of yellow from goldfinches; Streaks of red or orange from summer tanengers and oriolss. When we traveled in South Africa a few years back we enjoyed seeing so many colorful birds.
    Oscar

    • The thing that truly blew me away was seeing them in the wild, the way they are supposed to be. Flashes of crimson flocks and loud parrots calling over the jungle. Paradise~

  33. The Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary is absolutely awesome….Wonderful photographs dear Cindy… Happy weekend to you!. Love, Aquileana ๐Ÿ˜€

    :star: โ˜… :star: :star: โ˜… :star: :star: โ˜… :star: :star: โ˜…

  34. I remember at my junior school in the UK there being a minor bird called Major. Whoever named that bird certainly had a sense of humour. It was a shame because Major was in rather a small cage. I don’t own a bird but, if I did it would be given as much freedom as possible.

    • That is a perfect name for a minor!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I remember a friend’s minor bird as a kid who was a great talker. I don’t see them housed as pets anymore but I do see them a lot when I travel in the tropics and the Carribean. Most pleased to meet you~

  35. The bird sanctuary and your visits of birds in the Holler are both good ways to fill in the holes where past birds lived. I am amazed you raised a heron and an egret, along with the parrots, parakeets and cockatiels. I may have too many ‘s’s’ on these choices of pets you raised but I really love birds, envy this choice of pets to care for over all the years. They do seem intelligent and special always. Of course, having a bird name I love birds, too! Hugs to you, Cindy for this gift of caring for them.

  36. Cindy, I love the brilliant colors of these birds, as well as the incredible detail (such as in the feathers) that you were able to capture in your photos. Birds are truly amazing creatures! My aunt and uncle once had a myna bird that learned to imitate their speech, some of it quite hilarious!

  37. Hello Cindy! Birds are beautiful and intelligent creatures. I could see why you love them so. Free Flight looks like a great pace to visit. The birds are so colorful and interesting. You’ve captured some of their personality. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. These photgraphs are absolutely gorgeous. It’s so good to know there are people who care and house disabled birds. Maymont Park, in Richmond, Va. also has several birds on display who would/could never survive in the wild. In addition to a couple of bald eagles, they have owls, hawks, vultures, and I forget what else. Of course the prey birds that Maymont has are no where near as colorful as the handsome fellows in your lovely group of photos.

    http://orples.wordpress.com/category/maymont-park/

    I left a link for what I have posted on Maymont Park to date, but sadly, none of these posts show their birds. No matter, as symbolic as a Bald Eagle is, his feathers can’t compare in color and brilliance to those blues, greens, and reds your handsome parrots wear. Breathtaking colors. Wonderful Share. ๐Ÿ™‚ Blessings to the man who has given these lovely creatures refuge.

    • Oh but I have special love for all raptors, remember it takes more than fine feathers to make fine birds. Raptors are magnificent, intelligent, powerful percision fliers and I spend lots of time observing them. Marymont Park seems a splendid place that I would love to visit, Thank you for sharing it with me and it is a real pleasure to know you! Cheers~

      • Thank you, Cindy, and ditto. If ever you come to Richmond, Virginia, I can’t stress Maymont Park enough. It is a wonderful place—Richmond’s crowned jewel, in my point of view. I didn’t mean to downplay the importance or the beauty of the prey birds by any means, but you must admit, they are birds of a different feather—literally. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. Hello! You have amazing photos here. Is it okay to use one for my painting .. I can give credits when posting online.

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