Larz’s Mission: Don’t Buy Pets as Easter Gifts this Spring

Hi folks,

Spring has begun. The flowers will soon be blooming and warmer temperatures are on their way. Some of you might also be planning to celebrate Easter. Here at Urban Hermits, we are celebrating our own special holiday: Larz’s 1st Hatchday! Along with this holiday, however, is an important story.

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Larz was found by a staff member at the Bronx Zoo last April. He was left at an office doorstep in a dog carrying crate. The staff member suspects that he was an Easter gift, likely for a child, but that the owner’s family lost interest or did not know how to care for him.

Unfortunately, this is a common issue during the spring. Spring chicks and bunnies are beloved but inappropriate Easter gifts. Zlati Meyer of the Detroit Free Press recently penned an article about the challenges of giving chicks as gifts. While the article particularly focuses on the spread of salmonella, it brings up issues associated with giving birds as gifts. Caretakers need to be committed to a long-term relationship (chickens can naturally live more than 10 years) and should understand a birds’s dietary, behavioral, and habitat needs. Immediately, it becomes evident that this is above the head of young children. The same goes for bunnies. Often, families decide that these obligations are too much and they decide to either put the animal up for adoption or sadly, release them into the wild to fend for themselves. A few friends of mine recently adopted a bunny they found wandering in their back yard around Easter time, he is one the lucky ones.

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From left to right: Tél, Sufi, Larz, and Django

Thanks to my friend at the Bronx Zoo, we were able to adopt Larz to our flock. Today he is doing great. He is very anxious and hyper but loves spending time with Tél, Sufi, and Django. His favorite food is carrots, which he loves to mash up, turning his face orange. We enjoy our time with Larz, but in the back of my mind I remember that he was once a scared, abandoned bird. This is Larz’s mission: bringing attention to taking responsibility for animals dependent on us and brining attention to spring/Easter pets.


Larz, Urban Hermits, and the rest of the flock!








On Pets – Our Flock!

You may remember seeing various posts of three wonderful parakeets on our blog. Here is a bio breakdown of our flock members just for some fun!

The Zen Master – Tél

Personality: is BIG, will stand up to anyone and anything often dancing after he triumphs. However, he is very patient. Seems to be judging you and often gives the “stank-eye”.
Named after: the Hungarian word for winter.
Known as the: tolerant one.
Has a thing for: unpainted fingernails.
Favorite things are: green seeds and fingernails.
Reaches: nirvana through twirling his seeds in his beak and closing his eyes.
Has a tendency: to play tricks on people admiring him.
Lived: with only humans for 2 years until Sufi joined him.
Time in family: 3 years – adopted.

The Hyperactive Goon – Sufi

Personality: Adorable, bubbly, innocent, and hyper – the opposite of the quiet bird that we first met!
Named after: the folk artist, Sufjan Stevens.
Known as the: little psychopath.
Has a thing for: wet hair, landing on Tél’s back.
Hates: flies.
Favorite things are: his two boyfriends, Tél and Django.
Has a tendency: to squawk repeatedly and dance when someone is recounting a long story.
Lived: in an overcrowded pet store tank where he had been bleeding from his wing.
Time in family: 2 years – bought / rescued.

The Mystery Man – Django

Personality: Grounded, alert, a little drummer. Still learning about him everyday!
Named after: Django by Rancid
Known as the: weatherman.
Has a thing for: Sufi.
Hates: thumbs.
Has a tendency: to make scratchy sounds under his breath when talking.
Favorite things are: drumming on his hanging mirror.
Lived: in an inattentive home before he was up for adoption.
Time in family: 3 months – adopted.

Updates on the Budgies!

I just wanted to post some updates on the budgie crew from the past couple weeks. I have bought my first smart phone and consequently have been going a little instagram crazy. Django, Mark’s recently adopted budgie has been staying in my apartment. He had another flare up of thrush and is once again happy to be off of his medicine. My two boys, Sufi and Tél, with the addition of Django have stirred up interesting bouts of drama and jealousy. Django has decided that Sufi is his love, and the two get quiet and stare Tél down anytime he comes over to be part of the commotion. So, Tél has been hanging with Mark and I. See below!

Bird Extravaganza!

Here’s a vine video of our lazy Sunday morning with the boys!

On Pets – Meet Sufi and Tél

Meet Sufjan and Tél, my two parakeets. These guys are also known as budgerigars, or budgies for short. They are small parrots found in the wild in the Australian outback. Naturally green and yellow, breeding mutations have caused the dominant yellow gene to disappear, leaving blue, white, grey, and sometimes violet undertones in their feathers.

Budgies are found at almost any pet-store and are often considered a “cheap bird” for kids and beginning bird owners. Unfortunately, with that stigma, they are also seen as disposable compared to larger and more expensive parrots. There are many up for adoption because their previous owners did not want to commit to their needs. Please consider adoption if you are planning to accept a bird into your family. They are always joyful and energetic when treated right, and will surely brighten your day for a long time.

Budgies have very pleasant voices, and have the potential to mimic sounds. They do, like most parrots, squawk. They become background noise to those who find the songs and chirping appealing. Those who do not like a lot of noise should not get a bird. They respond to the energy in the room, making commotion when it gets loud, and napping when the room is quiet. If you are tense, they are tense. A happy bird is a talkative one.




Little Sufi!

I will be making more posts about them in the future. Hopefully our adventures, notes, and guidelines may come in handy for someone!