Shanna and Mac
I was born in Provo, Utah. My family raises, breeds and trains Quarter Horses. I was riding horses at a very early age. We also had the normal other animals which my family still has; goats, chickens, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, salt water and fresh water fish, cows, dogs, cats and a few small finches. I always had a love for animals. I would constantly bother my grandmother with questions about different critters. The two that I was most fascinated with was bugs and birds.
Wherever we went I would look for the local pet store and we HAD to stop (I'm still like that). When I was about 6, my grandmother and I had gone to the local pet store. There they had a bird that was the most beautiful bird I had ever seen! Grandma said it was a Cockatoo (I later found out it was a Medium Sulfur). Well, I fell in love and wanted one from then on. That Christmas I asked Santa for a Cockatoo. What I received was a wild pair of cockatiels. They were really neat, but not my Cockatoo and I couldn't hold them. We had that pair for many years though. From then on our house always had tiels, budgies or finches in it. But none of them were tame and that was what I really wanted.
When I was 18 I moved to Northern California to stay with my father while I got a job and my own place. As I couldn't bring my pets with me they stayed in Utah. After about a month I went and got a fish tank as I needed something as a pet. Soon to follow was a young tiel. He wasn't handfed but I was able to tame him after awhile. I did all the normal crazy things that young people do, worked odd jobs, stayed out late, etc, even moved to Arizona for awhile. When I came back I finally got serious about my life and got a good steady job, a nice apartment and a new car.
One day while at lunch I had been reading the want ads for a new pet. I still had my fish tank and a lizard. But I wanted something that I could interact with more. I saw an ad for a Bird Expo at the Cow Palace in San Francisco - I had to go to this!
There I saw so many beautiful birds! I fell in love with a handfed Red Throat Conure. After buying him, his cage and extras I had spent my extra money for about 6 months! That was how Spanky came into my life. He was not quite weaned and I handfed him for about 2 more weeks. I had him for about a year or so. Then I made the same mistake that so many bird owners do and didn't quite clip all the wing feathers that had grown in - and off he flew. I was so upset that my boyfriend at the time got me a Patagonian conure (Pookie) and a friend gave me a Red Lored
Amazon (Joshua) that flew into her yard. About the same time I got a new baby Indian Ringneck, Monster. Not long after that a friend had several pairs of Tiels that would lay eggs but not sit on them. So being the animal nut I am I incubated and handfed about 30 Tiels that first year. That was how I got into this fascinating business. I still have other pets, a corn snake, saltwater fish, Chameleons. But the birds have become number one in the household. I have handfed just about anything you can think of. The normal parrots, doves, pigeons and finches. I've rehabilitated wild birds as well.
Believe it or not I still have time for other hobbies. My husband and I both play airsoft. I belong to a club called the Centurions. We will go to the mountains and camp and play there all weekend. Yes, the baby
birds come too. Actually the birds like it they get to come out and play and meet new people and see new things. I also like to ride my motorcycle and am a member of the local Women on Wheels chapter.
I am looking forward to the day when I find a place in the Bay Area with about 5 acres and I can build my aviaries and breed mostly Australian birds. My dream is to have at least one pair of each of the Cockatoos. This is going to be hard as some are very hard to find in the U.S. Until then I will continue to learn as much as I can about all the different kinds of birds.
Certified Avian Specialist