Budgerigar/Budgies

 

After dogs and cats, budgies are the next favourite pet.  They are sweet and gentle.  As a kid, I always had a couple.  I did not want one as I felt it would get lonely.  My budgie called Joey was a good speaker.

The  budgerigar or budgie is a member of the parakeet family.  They live in the driest parts of Australia.  Did you know that they are naturally green and yellow, but breeding has given them many colours?

The first budgies were recorded in 1805, but the originial people of Australia (Aborigines) had known about them for many years.

Size and Weight

Wild budgies are around 18 cm (7 in) long and weight 30-40 grams (1.-1.4 oz).

Have You Noticed blue-violet cheek patches and a series of black spots across each side of their throat?

Is it a Male or a Female?

Blue across the top of a beak indicates male

                   male and female

Flaking brown across the top of the beak  indicates a female.

If the budgie is six months or older, it is easy to tell its sex. Look at the colours on the top of his beak.  If the colour is blue, it is a male. If the colour is brown, it is a female.

Dating

                   Kissy, Kissy

When humans go on a date, they dress in nice clothes.  Budgies have an ultraviolet spectrum that brightens their feathers.  Budgies show that they are in love by chewing seeds and putting this meal in their partner’s mouth.  Female birds can lay up to eight eggs.  Eggs take about 18–20 days before they start hatching. The hatchlings – blind, naked, unable to lift their head, and totally helpless, and their mother feeds them and keeps them warm constantly. Around 10 days of age, the chicks’ eyes will open, and they will start to develop  feathers that are down.  Where Do Budgies Live in the Wild?

The blue shows where budgies live in the wild

Budgies are rarely seen in cities.  They love wide open space especially where humans are not living.  They live in the Australian scrublands,* open woodlands and grasslands. (Scrublands have little grass ).  They are nomadic, which means that they don’t necessarily live in just one place.  They move on.

Budgies are friendly and love to live in small flocks, but sometimes they will join other flocks and the sky is filled with these beautiful birds.   Budgies, like most animals and birds, like to live where there is food and water.  If food or water runs out, budgies will come closer to places where people live.

What Do Budgies Eat?

In the wild, Budgies eat the seeds of the spinifex plant, grass seeds and sometimes wheat that is ripe.  Budgies that are owned by humans are twice the size of wild budgies.

How Did They Get Their Name?

Some people think the word ‘budgerigar’ came from the aboroginal word “gid-jirr-i-gaa meaning “good.”  Other people think it is two aboriginal words “budgery” meaning “good” and “gar” meaning cockatoo.

Keeping a Budgie as a Pet

Water and good should be changed every day.  The floor of the cage should also be changed regularly.  This will keep the budgie healthy.   Budgies love to play and they should have a mirror, play things and lots of attention from people.   Keep the music low and don’t speak too loud near them.  They have little ears.   Speak the same words in a gentle manner.  Have two birds as budgies like to live in flocks and need company.  Give them cuttlebone as a good mineral and to sharpen their beaks.  They will like to play at sharpening their beaks.

How Long Do Budgies Live?

Budgies on average live to be eight years old.  However, some live for 12-15 years.

Perhaps, good food, clean water and playthings help a bird to be happy and that might increase his or her life.

 

Belinda’s Dandelion: Children’s Story to Stop Bullying

Belinda’s Dandelion

Do you think dandelions have feelings?  Do flowers ever insult dandelions by calling them “weeds’?  This is a book about a beautiful dandelion that begins life amongst flowers who love her….until…………    You will really like a little girl named Belinda.  She is kind and a friend to all living things.

belinda-up-2016

I wrote this story because I think bullying is very unfair.  In school, kids get bullied.  It must be hard to come to school each day if you are bullied.   My story is about a dandelion that gets bullied.  Belinda is a kind and strong girl that sets out to rescue the dandelion.

 

Disney Characters Give Good Advice

 

“Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become.” – Mufasa in The Lion King.

Hercules

“I am on my way. I can go the distance!                                                                 I don’t care how far.                                                                              Somehow I’ll be strong I know.                                                                                 Every mile will be worth my while.                                                                      I would go most anywhere to find where I belong.” –                               Hercules,  in the movie “Hercules”

Mickey and Donald

To laugh at yourself is to love yourself. –                                                Mickey Mouse in the movie, “Mickey Mouse”

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” –                               Merida in “Brave”

“The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up.” – Timothy Mouse in “Dumbo”

“Oh yes the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it” –                                                                                                              Rafiki in The Lion King

“When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming!” –                                                                              Dory,  in Finding Nemo

“You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” –                                                           Gusteau in “Ratatouille”

 

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” –                                           Pocahontas in “Pocahontas”

“You can’t force someone to like you.  It takes time for friendship to grow.” – Cody in  “Suite Life of Zack and Cody”

“When there’s too much to do, don’t let it bother you. Forget your troubles.” -Snow White in  “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

“Man has always learned from the past. After all, you can’t learn history in reverse!” – Archimedes in  “The Sword in the Stone.”

“Some people are worth melting for.” – Olaf in “Frozen”

“Ohana “means family; family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten. – Lilo in “ Lilo and Stitch”

 

 

Come With Me to Africa

 

Ranger Jabari and the African Animals
Ranger Jabari and the African Animals

Would you like to drive across the Serengeti Plain of Africa in a Landrover Jeep?  There will be Jabari and two of his ranger friends.  They will be looking for sick animals and stopping the poaching of elephant and rhino tusks.  You can journey with them in my story, “Ranger Jabari and the African Animals.”

Here is the cover.  It will be available after Christmas, 2016 as an ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple iBooks.

There is a bonus feature of African Myths or stories.  Sometimes, Ranger Jabari tells the stories around the campfire much to the delight of his ranger friends.

 

 

 

Disney Characters Have Great Advice

“Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become.” – Mufasa in The Lion King.

“I am on my way. I can go the distance!

I don’t care how far.

Somehow I’ll be strong I know.

Every mile will be worth my while.

I would go most anywhere to find where I belong.” – Hercules,  in the movie “Hercules”

To laugh at yourself is to love yourself. – Mickey Mouse in the movie, “Mickey Mouse”

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” – Merida in “Brave”

“The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up.” – Timothy Mouse in “Dumbo”

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” – Merida in  “Brave”

“Oh yes the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it” – Rafiki in The Lion King

“When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming!” – Dory,  in Finding Nemo

“You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” – Gusteau in “Ratatouille”

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” – Pocahontas in “Pocahontas”

“You can’t force someone to like you.  It takes time for friendship to grow.” – Cody in  “Suite Life of Zack and Cody”

“When there’s too much to do, don’t let it bother you. Forget your troubles.” -Snow White in  “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

“Man has always learned from the past. After all, you can’t learn history in reverse!” – Archimedes in  “The Sword in the Stone.”

“Some people are worth melting for.” – Olaf in “Frozen”

“Ohana “means family; family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten. – Lilo in “ Lilo and Stitch”

Frozen, The Sword and the Stone, Lilo and Stitch, Suite Life of Zack and Cody,  The movie Brave,

Mufasa, Disney quotes, Disney sayings, Mickey and Donald, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, Cinderella

Wedge-Tail Eagle

The wedge-tailed eagle sometimes known as the eaglehawk, is the largest bird of prey in Australia.

Aborigines or indigenous people call the bird “bunjii.”

They are also found in New Guinea, part of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.  It can be recognized by its wedge-shaped tail.

Weight:  females 3- 5.77  kg (6.6-12.7 lbs)

males     2.4 kg        (4.4 to 8.8 lbs)

Wingspan:  181-232 cm  (6 ft – 7.7 inches)

The wingspan place it among the largest eagles in the world.

Colour:

Females -dark blackish brown – slightly paler than the males

In Australia, they like to make their homes in lightly timbered and open countryside.

Courtship:

At times, the male will dive at an incredible speed towards a female wedgie.  He will pull out of his dive and fly just above her.  She will either ignore him or will playfully fly upside down while stretching out her talons.  Then the pair may peform a loop-the-loop holding on to one another.

Nesting and Eggs

Near to the breeding season, wedge-tailed eagle pairs perch close to one another.  They show their friendship for one another by preening.  The nest will be about 30 m or 90 feet above the ground often in the fork of a tree.  If they are near the ocean, they will often build their nest on a cliff edge.

The female Wedge-tail will usually lay two eggs.  Both parents will take turns incubating them.  At the beginning, the male will do all of the hunting.  When the chicks become a month old, both parents join in the search for food.  They will be feed until they are six months.  Wedgies stay with the same partner for life.

Flying High and Gliding

Wedgies love to soar high above the earth for hours gliding on wind currents.  They have been spotted at 1,800 metres or 5,900 ft.  Often this flying just seems to be for enjoyment.  When hungry, the Wedgie dives to capture its prey on the ground.  Wedge-tails often eat road kill, but they have a choice of diet: rabbit, foxes, feral cats, emus and bandicoots.  They have also been known to kill wallabies, possums, koalas as well as water fowl (ducks, ibises).  Birds are also part of the Wegie’s diet: cockatoos, bush turkeys, crows.  If food is scarce, a Wedge-tail will eat lizards, goannas and even brown snakes.  A Wedgie can lift a carcas half its own weight.

Emblems:  

Northern Territories Australia Emblem

The Northern Territories of Australia has made the bird its emblem.

Northern Territories

The New South Wales Police Frorce is proud to adapt the Wedgie as its emblem.  Several parts of the Australia military wears the Wedgie as a logo or coat of arms.

Defending Their Territory

Wedgies will attack other eagles that come into their territory. (They are also known on occasion to attack intruding model airplanes, hang gliders, gliders, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.)

Pauline the writer here.   I had the incredible pleasure of holding a Wedgie on my arm for a photograph.  Her name was Jessie.

 

The Kookaburra Laughed at My Joke

Recently, I was sitting around the pool on a hot day in Australia.  I was telling a joke and the people with me laughed.  Then, a kookaburra laughed.  I don’t think he understood my joke, but his sound is just like the sound of laughter.

There are four types of kookaburra as below:

                    Laughing Kookaburr

 

Rufous-belled kookaburra
Spangled kookaburra
Blue-winged kookaburra

Kookaburras are clever.   I was once camping when I heard a scream.

A kookaburra had swooped down and stolen a steak from off a camper’s plate.  She was from Europe and did not know that kookaburras steal food.

Eight Amazing Animals by Monty Edwards

Eight amazing animals

by Monty Edwards

 

Animals ev’rywhere always amaze:

Big beefy buffaloes quietly graze;

Cats with their claws out can climb and can scratch;

Dogs dive for balls using teeth for a catch;

Elephants’ ears are as big as can be;

Foxes from hunters can speedily flee;

Gentle giraffes are remarkably tall;

Heavyweight hippos have ears that are small.

I like the ibex. It surely can climb.

Just don’t wait for zebra. I haven’t the time!

Harry Potter Short Quiz No.2

HARRY POTTER  SHORT  QUIZ 2

  1. Harry belongs to this house:

a)  Ravenclaw b) Hufflepuff c) Gryffindor

2.  What is special about the portraits in Hogwarts?

  1. They come alive and talk   b) They spray paint on people   c) They help students cheat on tests

3. The black mark belongs to:

a) Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters  b) The Dementers

4. Who is Harry Potter’s godfather?

  1. Fawkes   b) Sirius Black   c) Peter Pettigrew

5. Name the newspaper that appears in all Harry Potter Books.

  1. The Wand    b) The Wizard   c) The Prophet

6. Harry uses the gift of Parseltongue to speak with

  1. snakes   b) giants    c) elves

7. Vault No. 713 in Gringotts Bank contained the…

  1. Best Wand  b) Philosopher’s Stone    c) invisible cloak

8.. What animal is Luna’s Patronus?
a) hare    b) owl   c) rat

9.  In “The Order of the Phoenix” why is Harry expelled from Hogwarts?)

a)disobeying a professor  b fighting with another student   c) performing underage magic

`10. Sybill Trelawney is a teacher who can predict the future using…a) magical ball b) magic powders    c) tea leaves

Answers

1c

2a

3a

4b

5c

6a

7b

8a

9c

10c

Ned Kelly: Australian Outlaw or Hero?

Ned Kelly: 

                   Ned Kelly

 

Basic Information is taken from Kids.Net.Au to make the blog suitable for children.

For non-Australian students, I have added maps and extra information.  

Introduction to Ned Kelly:

Edward “Ned” Kelly’s actual date of birth is unknown, but he was born between 1854-1855 in Australia.  He died on November 11, 1880.

Some people call him a criminal and that he deserved to be hung on November 11, 1880.

 

Other people saw him as a hero who fought against the injustices of his day. They state that the police were out to get the Kelly family and that a policeman named Fitzpatrick may have wrongly accused Ned of injuring him.

Australia At That Time in History 

At the time that Ned Kelly lived, Australia was a land (colony) ruled by Great Britain.  Ned’s father (like so many others) had been sent to Australia as convicts.  In Ireland there was a famine that started in 1847 and many people were hungry and starving to death.  Ned’s father was caught stealing pigs and was sent to Australia as a prison sentence.  It was natural for people like Ned’s father to hate the English.  They had allowed Irish people to starve to death.  Not only were Irish sent to Australia for petty (little) crimes, but so were the people of Scotland, Wales and England.  Many people think that Great Britain wanted to bring people to Australia and this was a good way to do it.

Ned’s Early Life

Ned was born in the state of Victoria.  See map.

As a boy he attended school and risked his life to save another boy who was drowning. As a reward he was given a sash, which he would wear under his armour during his final show down with police.

The Death of Ned’s Dad

Ned’s father died when Ned was only 12, and he was forced to leave school to help take care of his family. It was at this time that the Kelly family moved to the Glenrowan area of Victoria, which to this day is known as Kelly Country.

Ned grew up in poverty in some of the harshest conditions in Australia, and folk tales tell of his sleeping on the ground in the bush during the winter

Ned The Teenager

In 1869, when he was 14, Ned was arrested for assaulting a Chinese pig farmer named Ah Fook.  He was found not guilty.  He was also charged with being in the gang of a criminal named Harry Power, but again he was found not guilty.

Perhaps, at this time, young Ned was feeling angry against the police. He had been accused twice when he was innocent.  The next year in 1870 he was arrested again for assault (fighting) and was sentenced to six months of hard labour. (Hard labour would be working in the sun and it would be hard on the body of a person).  Was he guilty or innocent?  Did the two times he was not accused upset the authorities.?

Arrested Again.

Three weeks after his release, he was arrested again for being in possession of a stolen horse. This time he was sentenced to three years of hard labour.

 

Policeman Attacks Ned’s Sister

The Kelly family were being watched by the police.  Ned’s older brother was arrested for stealing cattle.

A constable (Police man) named Fitzpatrick, visited the Kelly farm.  He  accused Ned Kelly of injuring him.  There is no evidence that Ned was actually at the farm.  Fitzpatrick has been called a worthless and unreliable person. So did he lie about Ned?  The police authorities believed Fitzpatrick and issued a warrant to arrest Ned for attempted murder.  Then, the police accused his mother of supporting and helping Ned and she was sent to jail for two years.

Ned may have felt that the police were against him and his family.  His father was dead and his mother was in jail.  Life did not seem fair to Ned.  He had to run for his life.  If caught, Ned would serve a long prison sentence or might possibly be hung.  He had nothing to loose.

Ned on the Run

Ned and his outlaw friends were discovered by police.  Three of the policemen were killed.  Now, it became a matter of hanging Ned and the others.  However, they escaped.   Now, Ned was a wanted man throughout Australia.

The police would not stop until he was brought to justice.

Nothing to Lose

Ned Kelly and his gang had now killed police officers.  He knew that he and his men were going to hang. Sometime in his life, Ned had noticed armour worn by German soldiers and armour in a Chinese parade.  To protect himself against being shot by the police, Ned decided to make armour for themselves.  To make the armour, Ned needed money.  To get the money, Ned and his men robbed two banks.  He was only 20 years of age.