Archive for Parrot Nation

Avian Encounters – The Aftermath

Posted in Avian Encounters - The Trilogy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2010 by angelsofflight

It was the most phenomenal production of the Trilogy.  It captured the audience both in-house and online.  It swept the world with emotion and a longing to learn more about these beautiful creatures.  But in reality, it was for one purpose…to save our seabirds.

Flash keeping Christina and Patricia calm!

The premiere of Avian Encounters III took the stage on August 28, 2010 at 6:00pm.  People filtered into to the lobby with anticipation of a film that had gotten so much local press it was silly to think you were going to miss it.  People were dressed to the nines and the production crew worked around the clock getting ready for the event.  Patricia and I ran around like “expectant fathers” as Flash, Leigh Anne and Michael all stood calm and collected easing our nerves that this event would go down in social media history…and it did.

233 people gathered to watch the premiere and considering the horrendous weather conditions outside that day, that was more than expected.  The power went out, we had technical difficulties, but hope prevailed and we delivered an outstanding event.  Now that it is a week later people are asking…what’s next?  It’s been a comical week on Facebook with questions such as…Avian Encounters IV – The Encore?  Sorry…no.  The era of Avian Encounters is done…That chapter is closed and it is time to move on to bigger things.  As I always say, If you can’t dream big, what’s the point in dreaming?

L to R: Michael Porpora (Visual Production Assistant), Leigh Anne Tubbs (Graphics Design Director), Patricia Sund (Public Relations/Media Consultant), Christina Giordano (Director/Executive Producer), "Flash" Kellish (Music/Sound Director)

For the Angels Of Flight Production Crew, this has opened many doors for us.  Flash and his family are making arrangements to move to Florida, Michael and I are embarking on a music video for the theme song to AEIII, “Now Do You Believe You Can Fly?”.  Leigh Anne has new ideas on graphics and photography for our next production.  Patricia has continued to fly the friendly skies while writing her book “Parrot Nation” and creating the marketing background for personalized films for people and their parrots.  It’s safe to say that the production crew is always busy and we are coming up with new and innovative ways to express each of our gifts.  We are a collaboration of 5 people who each bring a different talent to the table.  This is what makes up the foundation of Angels Of Flight Productions.  Without the 5 production crew members, this would’ve never been the event it was… and continues to be.  We are bound to each other through Angels Of Flight and will continue to work together to bring the world together.  Our volunteer assistants at the event, Shawn Beers (Financial Adviser), Lisa Licare (Donations Director), Constantine Makovetsky (Theater Usher), Dawn Carvotta (Theater Usher), and Steven Carvotta (Lead Photographer) of Stefano’s Photography played a huge part in this event as well.  Assisting the crowds of people coming into the theater and helping the event run as smooth as it did.  Without their help…again Patricia and I would’ve had to have a bit more wine than we did.

More Wine For Christina and Patricia!

As for the close of the era of Avian Encounters, we are setting up the Angels Of Flight Productions website to accept credit cards for the DVD.  In the meantime if you would like to purchase the DVD we have 2 editions.  The limited edition is $25.00 and consists of all 3 films (Avian Encounters I, II and III) as well as the credit film for Avian Encounters III.  What makes this the “limited edition” is the fact that the DVD case is signed by all 5 members of the production crew.  The regular edition is $20.00 with all 3 films and the credits in a plain clear case.  You may send a check or money order to:

Christina Giordano
132 Greenview Street
Marco Island, FL  34145
Please make check payable to Christina Giordano.  If your payment method is a check, please note that there is a 7 day waiting period for your check to clear. All proceeds from the sale of the DVD will go to Save Our Seabirds.

For now the production crew will be taking a rest.  It is a deserved rest.  After preparing for the last 3 months we feel like we have just put Chelsea Clinton’s wedding together on the fly.  For the next few months you can be assured that we will be brain storming about our next conquest, however a long weekend in the Bahamas on the beach sounds just about where we need to be.  Stay tuned to the Angels Of Flight Facebook page for updates on what’s going on as well as the Angels Of Flight Productions website.  Until then…We’ll see ya at the movies!!!

Thumbs Up For Avian Encounters - thanks for the ride!

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The Imaginarium

Posted in African Grey, Birds, Cage set up, Chloe, Chop, Cleaning, Education, Enrichment, Kacey, Macaw, Moluccan Cockatoo, Nutrition, Patricia Sund, Recall, Rescue & Rehabilitation, Simba, Training, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by angelsofflight

When I set out on this little adventure of building The Imaginarium I knew it was going to be a huge undertaking.  My father is an old man and really doesn’t use the downstairs of his house.  In fact he doesn’t even like to bend or climb stairs so it’s undeniably ridiculous that he built a 2-story house.  However, it benefited me and my flock.  While still in the beginning stages, I have cleaned up the cement slab and all that was “stuck” to it.  Some green slimy stuff and threw all the old decrepit furniture that he was saving (for god knows what) to the curb side for pick-up.  Now I have begun setting the stage for The Imaginarium.

The Imaginarium - After clean up

I chose the name, The Imaginarium, instead of simply saying “My Aviary” for the simple reason that not only do my birds need an Aviary, but I need some peace as well.  Here I will be able to relax, reflect, be alone or with friends, dream, escape and simply imagine.  I’ve added a few little friends to the landscaping.  There is “Diva: The Pink Gecko” for some character and of course the faithful “St. Francis” to watch over the birds and I while we are in The Imaginarium.  I imagined the most beautiful sanctuary complete with music, wind chimes, lush green trees, beautiful colorful flowers, and a small vegetable garden with herbs, strawberries, tomatoes and a few others I have yet to pick out.  It is a work in progress for sure.

St. Francis: To watch over my flock

Diva: The Pink Gecko

So needless to say, my 2 non-flyers are enjoying the scenery for the moment until the fencing is put up.  I’ve already started sitting out there with Chloe and Simba and imagining the day away.  Simba and Chloe have become really good friends.  They dance and sing together to the playlist I made for Angels Of Flight Productions.  It has all the music from all of our videos on it and a few Jimmy Buffet songs as well as Kenny Chesney’s “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” which has quickly adapted as the motto for hanging out at The Imaginarium.  There’s a big wooden sign going up on the wall with that motto on it.

Chloe & Simba: Enjoying the late afternoon

Chloe & Simba: Hanging out after a bath

I am anxiously awaiting the actual fence to go up.  The materials should be here sometime this week.  My contractor assures me that it will be finished by next weekend.  I can’t wait to let Kacey and Zazu out in it.  I love watching them hang upside down on their perches and do all the comical Macaw stuff.  I can only imagine what there going to do with a 20′ x 12′ x 11.5′ Imaginarium.  The possibilities are totally endless.  I’ll be blogging most of the construction and doing some video too.  But for now…relax, pour yourself a “Green Parrot” cocktail, kick off your flip flops and imagine…

The Avian Jewel Of Hollywood Florida

Posted in African Grey, Birds, Chop, Enrichment, Macaw, Nutrition, Patricia Sund, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by angelsofflight

On my recent adventure to the East coast of Florida I had the privilege of being introduced to a whole new world of “Birdie Shopping”.  The East coast has so much more to offer for our feathered friends as opposed to the West coast.  There are more specialty shops catering to our feathered counterparts as well as a whole different way of thinking and caring for them.  Everything is more natural and more catered towards the environment and enrichment opportunities that they have there.  With superstores such as PETCO, Pet Smart and Pet Supermarket being really the only avenues for shopping for your birds here in Naples, Florida; they tend to not only cater more to the smaller birds but lack the variety of foods to be sold that we now know the Avian Community needs to fulfill our parrots lives and keep them healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, there are certain “mom and pop owned” stores here that have a bit more variety that you can travel an hour to get to, but why would you do that when just a half hour more driving will get you a plethora of specialties?  Thus this is why The Golden Cockatoo is considered their Avian “Jewel” of Hollywood, Florida.

"Casey" the African Grey

Aside from being one of the major Avian focal points of  the East coast, The Golden Cockatoo also has some amazing and knowledgeable residents.  For instance, “Casey” the African Grey (owned by Susana) greets you when you walk in and firmly reminds you that you are in his neck of the woods so please act and spend accordingly!!  “FCAT” is a Black-headed Caique owned by Richard Horvitz (the President of The Golden Cockatoo).  “FCAT” tends to watch the customers and invite them over for a scritch of his neck.  The whole cast and crew of The Golden Cockatoo makes you feel warm and welcomed in the store.  Any questions you may have they are right there to answer for you.  With 2000 square feet full of Avian paradise for shoppers it’s no wonder why Ian Brown and Richard Horvitz  set out to make the most convenient and variety filled store you could possibly think of.  The customer service, the prices, and the variety of the store just boasts a fantastic shopping experience all the way around!  You know if Patricia Sund is shopping there, the place has to be phenomenal!

Richard Horvitz (President) and Patricia Sund (Parrot Nation)

The ambiance of The Golden Cockatoo is sort of a “Grocery Store For Birds”.  Providing a huge selection from sprouting supplies, nuts, dried veggies and fruits the store has anything and everything you could possibly think of to make your fine feathered friend happy.  During my shopping experience there I found this fantastic bag of grass!  (No…not what your minds are thinking!!)  Avian Herb Salad!!!  This stuff, when put into our ever popular CHOP! provides all the natural grasses and herbs our Avian friends need such as dandelion, red clover, elderberry, lavender, kelp and so on.  I was so amazed at the all natural selection of foods for my birds I went completely nuts and bought up a bunch of it!  The Golden Cockatoo also manufactures their own line of all natural foods and feeds; Noah’s Kingdom has become a household name here at Angels Of Flight! and the dogs like it too!  Fantastic nut and seed mixes provide all the daily essentials that we put into our CHOP!  Again, there is such a plethora of items and ideas you can come up with that it’s no wonder I was there shopping for two and half hours!!

Aisle #1 of the "Grocery Store"

Aisle #2...All Natural "Grocery Store For Birds"

Now onto the toys…what a subject here!!  Words cannot explain the amount of toys there are to choose from!!  “Petco Who?”, “Petsmart what?”  These stores don’t exist anymore when The Golden Cockatoo shows up!!  The assortment of toys, foraging, shredding, wood, plastic, footy toys, beaky toys and so on is enough to give you a happy little buzz!!  There are walls and walls of TOYS!!!  I think that is where the bulk of my time was spent…filtering through walls of toys…I think I made Patricia a bit dizzy running all over the store.  Zazu (my 10 month old Blue and Gold) is a hard chewer.  I get the biggest toys I can find here in Naples at Petco and Petsmart and within an hour…there goes my $24.95 down the drain.  With the toys I picked up at the Golden Cockatoo, after 3 weeks, they are still holding strong!!!  Go Zazu…chew all you want!!  She was so happy I found toys for her that have lasted this long.  I’m a bit on the excited side as well that my purse isn’t in the red zone every week!

Walls full of toys!!

I would have to say that The Golden Cockatoo has to be my all time favorite shopping experience for me.  I am definitely going to make it a point to travel there at least every other month to stock up on supplies.  This has been just another great adventure that Angels Of Flight has had.  I think there might be an idea in my future and a great collaboration for us here in Naples, Florida…hummm…maybe I won’t have to drive over to Hollywood as often as I think…the wheels are always spinning for me!!

So, in closing, if you get a day off from work and you are looking for something to do…I highly suggest getting in your car and driving over to Deerfield Beach, Florida to check out The Golden Cockatoo.  It is a drive and a shopping experience that you will never forget.  I’m so happy I don’t have to wait for the “Bird Fair” to come to town anymore.  I just pack up “Simone” and we are off to Aunt Patricia’s house for some relaxation and birdie shopping at The Golden Cockatoo…our favorite paradise for birds on earth!

Y'all Come Back Now!!!!

The Golden Cockatoo

360-366 South Powerline Road

Deerfield Beach, FL  33442

Phone: (954) 725-0088

www.goldencockatoo.com

Simone’s Great Adventure!!!!

Posted in Chloe, Macaw, Uncategorized, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by angelsofflight

Simone

Hi everyone!!!  Simone Giordano here…I’m a guest blogger today on Angels Of Flight!!!  Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel with my mom (Christina Giordano) to beautiful Hollywood, Florida.  We stayed in the home of Patricia Sund (Aunt “P” as I affectionately call her) with Parker, Pepper, Nyla, and Mattie (the dog).  Mommy said it was strictly a business trip but we had such a great time and mommy actually got to relax a little, start a journal and spend quality time doing the things she loves…like take of me!!!

My Spa Package

Upon our arrival on the fancy East coast of Florida we were greeted with a roar of enthusiasm from Aunt P and her clan.  We were given the ROYAL treatment and a gift basket full of all the essentials a great stay at Hotel Parrot Nation has to offer.  I even got a spa treatment during my stay there…now I smell like lavender and chamomile!  We relaxed the first day since we got in about 4:00pm and met all of Aunt P’s close friends (Les was my favorite…he gives lots of treats!!).

Aunt P's Slate Floor...Look real close...there's a fossil!!

We marveled at the unbelievable slate floor (you really have to see it in person) and all of the beautiful colors in the house…it was absolutely gorgeous and mommy got some great decorating ideas for our new place when we get to Utah!!

Our Gift basket had everything in it…there’s way to much to list but Aunt P really knows how to make you feel welcomed in her home.  The Hotel Parrot Nation is a definite keeper on my list if you are looking for that warm and fuzzy feeling!  They give treats all day long and then a jackpot treat for doing a good deed outside.  They have constant petting and kisses going on and it’s just a down right nice place to stay.

Dinner is a family setting at Hotel Parrot Nation

Mattie and I enjoyed the short ribs...they were delicious!!

Dinner time came quickly and it was absolutely delicious; consisting of short ribs, baked acorn squash, and pineapple cake for desert!!!  Mattie (the dog) and I joined mommy, Aunt P, Les and the Greys for dinner…it was a real family type setting.  Mattie and I got along great and I taught her how to clean up after the birds (Parker, Pepper and Nyla) for future situations.

The next day Aunt P had to fly to Haiti so we fed the Greys in the morning, went out for a walk and then mommy and Les went to breakfast down by the beach and then to the Farmer’s Market for some asparagus!  Mommy had such a good time she thought maybe we should move there instead of Utah!!  Huh???…Ok, Anyway…We relaxed most of Sunday afternoon until Aunt P got back to the “Hotel” and then it was time to feed the Greys again and make dinner!!

Parker graciously sharing his dinner with Mattie and I.

Parker, Pepper and Nyla had a smorgasbord of variety in their bowls consisting of rice, pasta, CHOP!, and beans (mommy is consistent on the CHOP! concept…it seems to work).  The Greys went straight to work and Parker conveniently flipped over his bowl for Mattie and I to get a little appetizer off the floor!  He’s a very thoughtful bird in sharing his food with us.

Aunt P making the delicious Roast Beef Salad!!

Aunt P headed to the kitchen and made a great roast beef salad for her, mommy and Les.  It looked awesome and from what Mattie told me…it tasted great too!!  (I just had my regular dinner because I got a little upset tummy from the night before).  There was champagne, homemade oatmeal cookies, and a lot of fun to be had that night!  We met another friend of Aunt P’s too…Nancy came up from downstairs to join in the festivities as well…”she’s a trip” …as mommy puts it.

Monday was a really special day for mommy…she got to spend the whole day with Aunt P shopping for birdie stuff!!!  They went to Chippy The Pirate and The Golden Cockatoo.  The Golden Cockatoo was an incredible place to shop mommy said (She will be doing a blog post on her trip there when I’m done typing on her computer).  Chippy The Pirate was fun too and she got a lot of toys for Kacey, Chloe and Zazu to tear up.

The Golden Cockatoo

Monday night brought much excitement and alot of fun!!  Mattie and I got fed a delicious dinner, mommy and Aunt P hung out and networked on their computers (Uncle Les called it “Dueling Computers”…he’s so funny!!).  Mattie and I hung out and played dress-up…Parker, Pepper and Nyla had a photo session with mommy (she’s obsessed with her camera)…and they got a shower on top of it!!  Aunt P and mommy laughed at the “shower coma” going on in the bath tub!!  We listened to all different kinds of music and we carried on until late night!

Parkers' Photoshoot!!

Me and Mattie playing dress-up!

Parker, Pepper and Nyla got a bath!!

"Hotel Parrot Nation" gets 2-paws up from me!!

Mommy and I left the beautiful East coast on Tuesday and headed back home to Naples, Florida thoroughly relaxed and invigorated.  We obviously came home with more than we left with but everyone was happy (including my feathered sisters) with the outcome of our adventure.

Chloe loved the presents!!

Kacey, Chloe and Zazu greeted us with about 3,000 decibels of macaw / cockatoo screams and screeching.  Dusty almost ran mommy over when she came through the door and Ginger…well…Ginger is just Ginger!!

I slept all the way home!!

As for me…I was thoroughly exhausted but I was so excited for mommy.  It was a trip she needed and one she finally enjoyed.  The “Hotel Parrot Nation” is definitely on our list to visit again.  Thank you to our fantastic “hostess with the mostest” Patricia Sund, all of her awesome friends, and my new friend Mattie (the dog)…

My Best Friend...Mattie (the dog)

I found a real friend in you and you ROCK!!! Stay tuned for more posts of me and mommy’s Great Adventure…there’s more to come!!!!

An Experience Of A Lifetime!!!!!

Posted in Birds, Chloe, Education with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2009 by angelsofflight

Recently I had an incredible opportunity to do a little bit of traveling.  One of the most fantastic places on earth to visit is the West,  Utah to be exact.  The landscape is absolutely magnificent and the mountains seem to blend in with the sky creating the most serene feeling a person could ever have.

Nestled into the southern part of Utah there is a little town called Kanab.  Lying on the border about 30 minutes from Fredonia, Arizona, it’s a quaint little town with a grocery store, a gas station and several locally owned restaurants.  Right in the heart of Angel Canyon, Kanab Utah is also home to the largest animal sanctuary in the world…Best Friends Animal Society.  Best Friends boasts 3800 acres of land plus another 30,000 acres of wild life preserve, and some of the nicest people you ever want to meet and honorably call “friend”.

About a year and a half ago, when I was contemplating adding another rescue bird to my family, I contacted Best Friends to inquire about a Hyacinth Macaw they had for adoption.  I promptly got a call back from a very nice man named Steve Scheurich who was head of Operations at the Parrot Garden at Best Friends.  Sadly that lovely Hyacinth already had a new home but fortunately it was a good one (and I found Chloe anyway!!).  However, that phone call started my journey and my great friendship with one of the most intelligent men I know.  I finally got to meet Steve (in person) this year and his phenomenal staff.  May I say I was thoroughly impressed with the standards of excellence that was presented to me.  We exchanged ideas, information and yes… the feeding concept of CHOP!!  When I saw the astronomical amounts of vegetables that were being cut up I took  control of the refrigerator and that was the end of that!!  Step aside boys…I’m about to show you a fantastic little trick!! Haha!!!  I gave Steve a great piece of reading material…Parrot Nation authored by Patricia Sund, the founder of the CHOP concept.  I then gave everyone a little demonstration on how to make CHOP and POOF!!!  The Parrot Garden at Best Friends Animal Society has converted all the birds to the CHOP concept!!!  Way to go guys!!!

While I was there spending the day at the Parrot Garden with everyone, Steve conveyed to me if I ever needed someone to cover seminars or a speaker on rescue and rehabilitation to keep him in mind…well…with Tapestry Of Nations 2010 coming up in January, how could I pass an offer like that up???  Oh my goodness!!!  An icon!!  At my event!!  Between Patricia Sund being there with Parker, Pepper and Mattie the dog and now Steve Scheurich from the Parrot Garden at Best Friends!!!  I am sure to have a spectacular event!!!  Got to love networking!!!

All in all my trip to Kanab, Utah was  a productive one.  There is still alot of my trip I have not written down but as the information becomes available, I will share it and pass it along to my blog followers.    It’s kinda one of those trips that you come home feeling rejuvenated and can’t wait to see what the next turn in life is going to be…there’s alot out West for me that needs to be explored.  I’m thinking the Springtime would be the perfect time to start that exploration…we’ll see.  My time spent there was very eye-opening and the people are just kind and generous…REAL people!!!

For now, I am content knowing I have great friends like Steve and Patricia.  The honesty and the true meaning of friendship cannot be anymore defined for me then in both of them.  They are two of the greatest people I know and the awesome favor they are doing for me on January 16th will be hard to repay.  Thank you to you both for honoring me and my co-workers at Petco in Naples, Florida for the Tapestry Of Nations.  It will be an event that people will remember for a very long time!!!

Time To Clean The Cage(s)

Posted in Birds, Cage set up, Chloe, Chop, Cleaning, Kacey, Macaw, Moluccan Cockatoo, Patricia Sund, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2009 by angelsofflight

Oh the day I dread!!!  Cage cleaning day.  Once a week the cages get scrubbed and the surrounding areas get cleaned…including the walls!!  Yes…you can’t tell me that the occasional flicking of food stays neatly in your birds cage…falls through the grate at the bottom and precisely onto the news paper in the tray…life just isn’t that easy!!!

I’ve experimented over the years with several types of cleaning methods.  The obvious soap and water effect does absolutely nothing but make my arms feel like they are rubber extensions of my torso that are about to fall off (due to incessant scrubbing).  The ever popular take the birds out to the aviary and scrub with a potent all purpose cleaner and then pass out from the fumes…then there is the natural all purpose cleaner with enzymes…which costs about as much as my brand new monthly car payment and I have to use 3 times as much and more scrubbing then soap and water…not to mention that the walls need to be scrubbed as well so now I am spending my car payment plus 2 weeks worth of gas!!  Now while an enzyme based cleaner can be used while my birds are still inside, my pocketbook will not allow the dollars to be spent…then one day it hit me…hydrogen peroxide!!!!

Hydrogen peroxide is used to kill germs in cuts and wounds, why can’t it be used to clean, disinfect and clean germs on the surface.  It’s about 97 cents a bottle at the local grocery store and guess what???  It bubbles!!!!!  Although I was so intent on trying it out on the cages, I was a bit hesitant and wanted to check its cleaning capacity first.  My tile floor became the guinea pig.  Kacey (my 11 y.o. Blue and Gold Macaw) has this fantastic little thing she does with her butt…she hangs on the side of her cage, does a 3,000 decible jungle call and then proceeds to shoot her poop about 5 feet across the room being ever so precise through the bars of her cage.  It’s actually a quite amazing little trick…however…it sometimes gets annoying when her aim is at me!!  So with that said, I managed to break out the 1970’s vacuum cleaner, vacuum the bird floor and then down went the Hydrogen Peroxide.  WOW!!!  Would ya look at all those bubbles!!!  Could my floor be that dirty???  There’s no smell to the peroxide so it’s safe as far as my birds respiratory systems are concerned and I’m not passing out from fumes either…hummm…I think I’m onto something here.

After a few sweeps across the floor with my mop to spread the peroxide around I noticed something else…it evaporates!!!!  Yeah!!  No drying!!!  My tile grout is white????  Didn’t know that!  And the tile has a beautiful design to it??? hummmm…thought it was grey but it’s actually a pretty coral color!! And the dried up Kacey poop???  Lifted right up with those fun little bubbles!  Now the real test…the cage grates…ugh!

Ok…even though you might think with Kacey’s little trick with her poop shooting she wouldn’t get that much in her cage…HA!!!  She’s the messiest out of all three of them!  And talk about the food mess as well…you all know I am OCD about the CHOP method of feeding so you can imagine the flinging of food that goes on in my house!  I have what you would call…CHOP wallpaper!  It’s actually quite unique looking…Thanks Patricia!!  Anyway, back to the grates…I filled up a spray bottle with the peroxide, took the grate out of the cage and onto the porch to start spraying away.  I cracked off the larger amounts of waste and then started spraying…COOL!!!!…More bubbles!!!!  Left the peroxide on for about 5 minutes (drank a cup of coffee) and then took a sponge to it.  Talk about sliding right off!!!  This is going to be a good cage cleaning day!!  I got all 3 grates in the sun drying in about a half hour.

Now I got time to enjoy the beach this afternoon!!!

Happy cage cleaning!!!!!