TWA_OPG – Interview with Mr. Byrd & Bonnie

June 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Practice Group


Mr. Byrd’s Bio and Viewpoint


Mr. Byrd and friend, Michelle

Name:  Mr. Lily Byrd or Mr. Byrd
Species:  Rose Breasted Cockatoo (natural habitat is Australian grasslands)
Weigh:  510 grams
Age:  12
Sex:  Male


Mr. Byrd was born at breeder facility and has never been in the wild.  He came to Bonnie at 3-4 months old, able to eat and perch on his own.  He was almost fully grown.  Bonnie has had him for 12 years.   

Mr. Byrd likes other people and was better socialized when he went to work with her at a bird store where she was employed for 4-5 years.   (The store was sold 4-5 years ago).  If he knew someone was uncomfortable with birds, he would just sit on their hands and try not to intimidate them.  Today, he sees fewer people and doesn’t travel anywhere.


When he first came Bonnie named him Lilith.  At 10-12 months, it was obvious that “Lilith” was a “he”.   This is why she sometimes calls him “Mr. Lily Byrd”.  He has told me in previous interviews that he doesn’t really care about his name one way or another.

Role in the Flock/family:

Mr. Byrd is the senior bird in Bonnie’s flock of 18 birds, all of whom all live inside her home. He is recognized by the others as the head of the flock.  He has been with Bonnie the longest, although he is not the oldest.

Mr. Byrd says that his role in the family is as a healer.  Many of the birds that live with Bonnie have experienced physical and/or psychological abuse and/or neglect.  Mr. Byrd is very good at helping them.  He totally trusts Bonnie, and can communicate that to newcomers who may be very reluctant to trust humans.


Cockatiel seed, cooked chicken, cooked hamburger or beef.  His evening meal consists of brown rice and cooked vegetables (pea, corn, carrots)

He prefers raw carrots to cooked one – picks them out of Bonnie’s dish of salad.

Won’t eat greens – doesn’t like them.  As a species, Cockatiel’s are not fruit eaters.

Health Issues:   

In captivity, this species tends to become overweight due to insufficient exercise.  Mr. Byrd’s weight is OK.  He has no known issues and described himself to me as “fit as a fiddle.”

His Best Friend:

Jenny, Mr. Byrd's best buddy.

Mr. Byrd’s “best buddy” is a male Meyers Parrot named Jenny, who is a small, green and grey species  from central Africa.  Byrd and Jenny have their own area in the house.  They can see all the others who are in a different area.  According to Bonnie, Mr. Byrd might be able to see the TV. 

Getting His Wings Clipped:

Mr. Byrd’s wing feathers are kept clipped, so he can’t actually fly.  Beak trimming for this species is not needed.  His claws do need to be trimmed, but he doesn’t like it done, so Bonnie has to “towel” him (wrap him up in a towel) to do his claws.  He really hates confinement of any kind, but he puts up with the toweling since that the only way he will allow his claws to be clipped.   There are special perches used to reduce the frequency of nail trimming, but they don’t completely eliminate the need for it.

Human Interaction

Mr. Byrd is out of the cage whenever Bonnie is around, which is most of the time.  When she goes out, Mr. Byrd goes into his cage for safety reasons:  birds can get into trouble chewing on electrical cords and other things that might be dangerous.

Mr. Byrd can step up on Bonnie’s hand, but prefers her shoulder.  He’s allowed up there because he has learned manners, meaning he doesn’t mess with her face.  He also loves to sit on Bonnie’s knee (usually her left one).  He’ll sit there preening himself.  He lets Bonnie use her fingers to scritch (not scratch) him under his wings in a bare spot – like an armpit.  I think “scritch” means petting him there with her soft fingertip.

Physical Space:

Bonnie has a small apartment, but it is very open between the rooms and appears larger than it is dimensionally.  She describes it this way:   her front room opens to kitchen.   Parallel to that is a long room where most of the birds live.  There is a big window-opening area (no glass) between the rooms and a big French-door sized entry. 

Toys and Games

Mr. Byrd and his favority toy from McDonalds.

Mr. Byrd’s favorite toy is a McDonald’s “jack in the box” – dark blue plastic 1.5” square.  It has a square head on a post – he chews it; carries it around

He also has a plastic chain that he loves to drag around and he loves to use his beak and feet to tear up catalogues that arrive in the mail.

Mr. Byrd and Music:

Bonnie has music playing all the time unless the TV is on.  It might be classical, soft jazz, and occasionally rock.  Mr. Byrd and Bonnie dance.  He sits on her arm and flaps his wings as they dance together.

Mr. Byrd Speaks English:

Mr. Byrd knows many English words and phrases, and uses them appropriately.  For example, he says “bye-bye” when people are getting into a car and nods his head like he’s waving.  He even says, “bye-bye.  Take care.”

At night when he goes to bed, he says to Bonnie, “Give us a kiss.”

Bonnie says he also makes up his own words.  Bonnie would say, “He’s a beautiful bird” and he shortened it to “beautibird.”

If he wants what Bonnie is eating, he tells her “It’s good” as a way of asking to taste it.

Bonnie told me this story about Mr. Byrd and his ability to speak English and to communicate clearly.

One of Bonnie’s other birds is Emma, an Eclectus Parrot, bright red and 18” long from beak to tail tip.  One day Emma, who was out of her cage, disappeared.  Bonnie was looking for her all over the house, but couldn’t seem to find her.    

Mr. Byrd had not been asked to help, but tried to help anyway.  He was on perched the rim of a basket on the floor and said, “Over here” in an ordinary tone of voice.   Bonnie, in her mind, said to herself, “No, he didn’t say that” and proceeded to ignore him.   But Mr. Byrd repeated “Over HERE!” changing the tone and emphasis as he spoke. 

Sure enough, Emma was on the floor under a piece of furniture in the other room.  Mr. Byrd could see her plainly from where he sat, but Bonnie couldn’t see her until she got down to Mr. Byrd’s eye level right next to him.  Then she, too, could easily see Emma.


More Conversation With Mr. Byrd:

What do you like best about your life, Mr. Byrd?  He seemed to have trouble deciding.  Then he said, “I’m just very, very happy.  I love Bonnie.  There is no special thing that I can name.”

What do you wish you had that you don’t have?  A female of my own species.

Do you want to have babies?  Yes – I’d be a good parent.

Are you very sexually frustrated?  I get my jollies with Bonnie.  (Bonnie says he sits on her hand and “does his thing.”)

Any food you’d like to have that you don’t get?  Nuts (Bonnie says he loves pistachios, almonds, and walnuts, which she shells and gives him as a special treat.)

What’s your job?  I’m a healer, teacher, friend, and lover.  I love Bonnie mostly.”  Then he says he loves other birds, too.  He’s making a joke about the ”lover” aspect.)  “I’m very social.”

Where do you live?  He shows me pictures:   “I have lots of feathered friends; lots of interesting things; lots to do; many, many colors, happy times.”

Tell me about Jenny.  “My buddy” – we play games – hopping – running around on the floor – follow the leader is his favorite game with Jenny.

What about the other birds?  “Every day is play and fun and joy.  We just play – no serious stuff like humans.  Humans are too serious.   Only get serious if a bird is sick. Then we (Bonnie and Byrd) do healing work.  Bonnie does the basic care and I send love and support to Bonnie and sick bird.”

What do you dream about?  “Flying – lots of flying.  Don’t feel bad about not being able to fly, because I have my job/service.  My life is perfect.”

Anything you wish were different?  “No.”

TWA_OPG – June Practice Animal

June 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Practice Group

Mr. Byrd


Mr. Byrd in his home.

Mr. Byrd, aka Mr. Lily Byrd, is a male Rose Breasted Cockatoo. 
He lives with his person, Bonnie, and 18 other feathered friends in Mesa, Arizona.  
His breed is originally from the grasslands of Australia.


Questions to ask Mr. Byrd: 

  1. What can you tell me about where you were born and your life before you came to live with Bonnie?
  2. How do you feel about Bonnie?
  3. How do you feel about other humans?
  4. How did you get your name?
  5. How do you feel about your name?
  6. What is your role or job(s) in this family?
  7. Who are the members of your family?
  8. What do you get to eat?
  9. Which foods are your favorites?
  10. Are there any foods you only get on special occasions?
  11. How does your body feel?
    1. How is your hearing?
    2. How is your vision?
    3. How is your sense of smell?
    4. How is your digestion?
    5. How are your wings?
    6. How are your feet?
    7. Please help me experience what it is like to be in your body.
    8. Do you have any health problems?
  12. Who is your best friend among the birds?
  13. What kinds of games do you and your best bird friend play?
  14. What are your favorite things or games you play by yourself?
  15. What are your favorite things to do with Bonnie?
  16. How do you feel about having your claws trimmed?  
    1. Who does this for you? 
    2. Is there anything unusual that happens when your claws are trimmed?
  17. What are some special things you get to do that some of the other birds don’t get to do?  
  18. Why do you get to do these things?
  19. What are your favorite toys?
  20. How do you feel about music?
    1. What is your favorite type of music?
    2. What do you like to do sometimes when music is playing?
  21. I understand that you can speak words in English.  Tell me about how you communicate using your voice and speaking out loud.
  22. Is there anything you really want that you could have if you lived in the wild?
  23. If your life could be different, what would you change?
  24. What do you dream about?
  25. How can I improve my ability to speak telepathically with animals?

TWA_OPG – Conversation with Grandmother Sycamore

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Practice Group


Grandmother Sycamore’s Viewpoint


Here is the conversation I had with Grandmother Sycamore on May 25, 2010:

1_ What would you like to me know about you?

I am very old and wise and have seen much.

2_ How old would you say you are?

Possibly eons – ages – old. We are talking beyond years – beyond cycles around Father Sun. My consciousness goes beyond what you may be able to conceive of. My life is not just this physical form, as I have had many forms.

3_ I feel a strong feminine energy when I focus on you. Is that how you see yourself?

Yes. The Eldest tree is more a male energy. We are here together in perfect harmony and balance. As with humans in duality, we must be two to be One.

4_ What is the role of trees on the Earth?

Trees are preservers of knowledge and wisdom. We provide homes for birds and insects. We interweave our roots to create a network for information and a library of ancient knowledge. We create substances that can be used for healing or as nourishment. Some of us grow fruit for the eating of others. We reproduce ourselves. We fill the atmosphere with life-giving breath for animals and humans. We help break down what has been shed into the soil. We do so many different things.

Trees all across the planet can speak to each other. I can feel/know what is happening to trees everywhere. I can feel the pain when the rainforest brothers and sisters are cut and burned. I can feel the joy when a seedling in Africa takes root. We communicate through a grand network, although that network has been shrinking due to humans taking down trees all the time, creating a barren land that will take a long time to repair.

5_ Can you remember a time when humans and trees lived in greater harmony?

I can remember when there were beings who lived in a connected and integrated way with trees. Their thoughts and our thoughts would blend together, making all communication fluid and harmonious. Trees could adapt themselves to shelter these beings. We were never cut then, except with our permission so that the beings could extract fluids that we offered freely.

6_ What was that like for you?

It was a more loving time.

7_ How is your current health, Grandmother?

I am quite well. My physical form continues to grow and change every year. The cycles of life are in alignment. I have learned to accept that humans control the space where I life – that it is no longer a forest. Humans come here nearly every day in the warmer weather and some touch my skin (bark) and take photos, as you did. I always try to communicate to them how happy I am to see them being gentle and enjoying nature. I feel safe in my sacred grove, at least for now.

8_ What is your purpose?

I connect with people. To help them remember the power and glory of tree beings. To teach them that they are still part of nature and to respect it.

I also support the one you call Great Grandfather Sycamore. Our roots touch and we exchange energy, knowledge, love, and peacefulness.

9_ How do you do this?

Just by being here. I stand tall. I hold my energy strong. I bless everyone who comes before me and beneath me. I offer seeds as gifts in the spring and my leaves as gifts in the fall. People can then take home a bit of me to remember how I feel to touch and how I smell. Connection must be strong if humans are to remember fully how to live as a partner in Nature.

10_ How deep do your roots go?

My roots go as deep and wide as I am tall. This enables me to appear to stand on the Earth, although really I stand within her skin. We are attached to teach other in more than physical ways. We are as one being at times. When you are fully aligned with Earth Mother, that is how it feels.

11_ What can you teach me today about me?

You are fulfilling your life purpose, even though at times it may not appear to you to be so. Rest assured that you are on your path.

TWA_OPG – May Bonus Practice Being

May 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Practice Group


Grandmother Sycamore


Grandmother Sycamore (my name for her) lives in a grove along the Farmington River in Simsbury, Connecticut.  She shares with grove with some younger Sycamores and with Great Grandfather Sycamore, whom you will meet later on.

Here are some additional photos of her.  She is a huge tree and her energy extends way beyond the stones you see in the photo below.   I refer to her as female because that is how I experience her energy.  If you sense a different type of energy, make note of that.


I do not have statistics on the size of this tree, and of course, the age of a tree cannot be known unless you cut it down and count the rings.  So the purpose of speaking  with her may be less for accuracy and more for the experience of meeting a very old and wise “standing one.”

 By having a conversation with her, you will experience her energy, which is exquisite.

Also, you will be opening yourself to her teachings – knowledge and wisdom that come from a very long life and from other things as well.

Please greet Grandmother with the greatest respect and reverence.

Here are the questions I ask.  Feel free to ask these and/or others, as you are guided.

  1. What would you like to me know about you?
  2. How old would you say you are?
  3. I feel a strong feminine energy when I focus on you.  Is that how you see yourself?
  4. What is the role of trees on the Earth?
  5. What was that like for you?
  6. How is your current health, Grandmother?
  7. What is your purpose?
  8. How do you do this?
  9. How deep do your roots go?
  10. What can you teach me today about me?

TWA_OPG – Interview with Max and Magdalen

May 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Practice Group


Max’s Bio and Viewpoint





Max is a 6 year old neutered male living in an apartment in New York City.  His person, Magdalen, has had him for 3 years.  She got him from a rescue organization.  He had been living in the basement of a building in Harlem with many other cats. 

When the superintendent of the building would have the building sprayed for fleas, the cats would inhale all the chemicals.  As a result of this, Max developed asthma.  His asthma requires daily use of a “flow-vent” inhaler.  On days when his breathing is bad, Max also uses an albuterol inhaler.  Max knows he needs help and comes to Magdalen every day to ask for his inhaler.  He is totally cooperative about using it.  He has no other known health problems.

Before getting to Magdalen, Max spent some time in a family with twin boys (age 6) who would pull his ears and tail, and taunt him.  The rescue person knew he needed another home, and that’s how Magdalen got him.

Max immediately gave kisses and hugs to Magdalen.  As you’ll see, he is big on kisses.

Living with Max are two female cats who are his biological daughters.  Their names are Gracie and Dottie – full sisters.  His daughters recognized him  when he arrived, and he recognized them, too.  There was never any conflict.  In fact,  they all went right up to each other immediately.

When Max arrived at Magdalen’s there was a bulldog named Cinzano living there.  Max and Cinzano became immediate buddies.  Max started kissing Cinzano within 24 hours.  Cinzano had bad ear infections, and Max would clean his ears.  When Cinzano would lay down, Max would lie close to him.  A few times they lay with Max on top of Cinzano.  Sadly, Cinzano died a few months later.

Another bulldog named Moose became part of the family on March 4, 2010.  Because Magdalen knew that Moose had never been around cats, Magdalen and I talked to Max and his daughters, requesting that for the first 24 hours they give Moose his space.  Moose had been living with 7 year old twin boys who were taunting him.  Also, Moose’s very close friend and companion, another bulldog, had just died.  It just seemed like it might be easier for Moose if he could take his time adjusting to the new situation.

Max waited about one and a half days and then moved right in on Moose’s space.  He sniffed Moose’s nose – Moose sat very still – and then Max started cleaning Moose’s ears.  Moose’s eyebrows went up like a cartoon – very raised eyebrows – but he was also smiling   Now they are best buddies.

At night, Moose, Max, and Gracie all sleep with Magdalen in the bed.  Dottie is shy and prefers to sleep elsewhere.  Moose respects where the cats are curled up to sleep.  He doesn’t want to disturb the cats on the bed, so after they are all settled, Moose wiggles in between them.  Once Moose is settled, Max lies under Magdalen’s neck and purrs across her throat.

In this family, there is lots of love among all of them.  Each animal gets personal time with Magdalen.  Moose goes for walks – his special time outside with her.  Max’s special time with Magdalen is  while she watches TV on her daily break from her dog-walking job.  Max lies on Magdalen’s chest and purrs himself to sleep.

Max told me, “In our home, Moose knows he’s king dog, but he respects me as King Kat and senior animal.”  Magdalen described it this way:  “If both are moving towards the kitchen, like at mealtimes, Moose let’s Max go in  first.”

Max likes to sit on the edge of the bathtub to watch Magdalen take baths.   But he won’t go near the bathroom when Moose is getting a bath.  I asked him why.  “Moose splashes alot and I don’t want to get wet,” said Max, showing me an image of Magdalen in her bathing suit, Moose in the tub, and water flying everywhere.  Magdalen has both a red bathing suit and a black one and he showed me both colors.

Max told me his favorite food is fish.  Magdalen confirmed this – the can says  “Ocean white fish and tuna.”   He’s not big on treats – only takes them when he wants them – doesn’t always eat them – depends on his mood. 

Max also requests couch time whenever he feels like it.  He told me, “That’s when I take care of Magdalen. I knows how she feels and what she needs.”  This is his “job” – take care of her and the others.

As for play, Max doesn’t care for toys and doesn’t play with them.  Instead, he’s rather play with his daughters.  According to Magdalen, the game goes like this:  “We’re going to run up and down the 30 foot hall in the apartment and come into the living room and pounce on each other and wrestle.”  When Max has had enough play, he cuffs both his daughter’s in the face and walks away.  The girls play with each other after that.

Questions and Answers

  1. How do you feel about living with your daughters?  Fine. 
  2. How is your relationship with the girls?  I let them be themselves.  I really don’t interfere in their relationship, not with each other nor with Moose.  I do expect them to be polite and have good manners – letting me go first as senior cat for food and litter box and with Magdalen. 
  3. Dottie is a shy.  Are you helping her with that?  No.  I can’t help her because she doesn’t want help.  She likes being the way she is.
  4. What would you like to change in your life?  Nothing.  I’ve got it great!!!!!!
  5. What would make things better for everyone else?  If Magdalen could retire and be here ALL the time. 
  6. What if she enjoys her work?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Magdalen’s favorite thing to is to be here with us.  (Magdalen confirms this.)
  7. Magdalen can’t get enough exercise running up/down the hall with you guys.  “I never thought of that.”
  8. How do you feel about Moose?  “He’s snuggly.  He cuddly, too.  He’s very sweet and I love him.  I wash his face, and his ears and his wrinkles.” 
  9. Why did you stay out of the bathroom during Chinano’s baths?   Too much splashing.  Cinzano likes to play in the water and the water would go everywhere.  That’s why Magdalen wore a (red) bathing suit  But I don’t have one and I didn’t want to swim.”  (also showed me a black one.)
  10. Do you miss hunting?  It’s too much work and too inconsistent – you don’t always get a meal.  I like good food service, and I get that here.
  11. How does your body feel?  Good, except for my lungs.  Sometimes very hard to breath, but Magdalen takes good care of me. 
  12. You’re OK with the inhaler?  Yes.  [He finds Magdalen to ask for the inhaler if she doesn’t give him the dose by 11 a.m.]
  13. Emotionally, how are you?  In heaven – it’s a state of mind.  I love it here and I love my family and I share love with everyone I meet.
  14. According to Magdalen, there are 3 litter boxes:   1 kitchen; 2 living room.  We share them.  Max uses wee-wee pads to pee – he doesn’t like to use the litter boxes to urinate.   Wee-wee pads are in the bathroom on the floor.
  15. The family moved to a new apartment 2 years ago.   Max, how does it compare with the old one?  Roomier and brighter and much nicer.  (Magdalen says they are the same size, and the kitchen and bathroom have less light than the old apartment).   Better energy.  (Magdalen burned sage  in the new apartment before moving in.  Says she got rid of a lot of things and it’s less cluttered than the other one.)   Better neighbors, and that affects the energy.  (Magdalen liked the other neighbors better.)  Just my opinion, says Max.
  16. Do you remember being neutered?  Don’t want to talk about it.

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