Budgies? We don’t need no steenkin’ budgies!

But we have them!

When David worked at Menagerie in Toronto, they used to order from Fish and Bird. Now Fish and Bird is making biweekly deliveries to Sault Ste Marie. They come on the off-week for Straits, which means that we get a fish order every week. We’re getting different things from the two different suppliers. Straits doesn’t carry birds – unless they’ve recently hired Monty Python to staple fins to finches – but Fish and Bird does.

We have some lovely young budgies available . People always ask “Are they hand raised?” Chances are, no. But more important than that is that they’re young birds and will be easier to tame.

Here’s a little secret: paying a premium for a hand-raised bird in a pet store is probably a waste of money. Yes, a hand-raised bird is tamer than a parent-raised one, but only if it is consistently handled. If you leave that hand-raised baby in a cage, it will lose its special tameness. Most pet stores don’t have the time and personnel to keep handling the birds.

If you get those hand-raised babies fast enough, yes, they’ll still be more handleable and tamer than their parent-raised fellows. If you don’t, you’re starting again. The good news is that young birds can be tamed quickly with a little effort and patience.

Another good bet is an older bird that’s come in from a home where it had lots of attention. We’ve placed birds that people have brought to us because they had to give them up, and some of those birds have bonded beautifully to their new owners. If you can give a bird enough attention, you can win its little feathered heart.


The cricket drought seems to be over. We’re still holding our breath a little, and the jumbo crickets aren’t as jumbo as they used to be, but it looks like the cricket supply is back to something more closely approaching normal.

During the months when crickets were hard to come by, a lot of people gave up their reptile pets, and more turned to alternate food sources, such as mealworms. Mealworms are convenient, quiet and relatively inexpensive, but they’re also not the best food source for most lizards.

A lizard on a diet of mealworms is like a human on a diet of donuts – lots of carbs, lots of fat, not much protein. Crickets are much higher in protein and lower in fat. They’re better for your animal’s overall health.

However, like humans, lizards prefer the taste of fat and carbs to the taste of protein.  Getting your lizard back onto crickets is going to take a bit of patience. The lizard is going to try to psych you out. It’s going to refuse crickets and hold out for mealworms. Bear in mind that no healthy animal will willingly starve itself, and when your lizard gets hungry – and it will – crickets will be back on the menu.

Now for those pictures I promised you. Unfortunately, the spiny mice did not come in. Darn. They’re cute little things, and we’ve been trying to get them for a while. But here are some other critters.

The mudskippers are a goby. They spend a lot of time out of the water. As long as their gills are wet, they can breathe, and they do take frequent dips.

They’re funny-looking little fish, and always make me smile. Mudskippers are a brackish water fish, and need salt content in their water. One-third of the salt concentration you would use for a marine tank is about right.


We’ve also got some African butterfly fish. These surface feeders will take small crickets.  

We like glass tetras, but most of the ones you get in the pet trade have been painted. This isn’t good for the fish. We’ve tried to avoid bringing in painted or strip-dyed fish whenever possible.  Last Friday’s shipment included some glass tetras – unpainted, unvarnished, and, we think, pretty cool.




The volitans lionfish is also pretty cool – one of my favourite marine fish.



Finally, not fish, but birds. We’ve got a few baby budgies on hand along with the society finches and zebra finches.








The fish order today is small; we’ve ordered mainly feeders. But keep watching this space for more new fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals.