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Hello Victoria,
 
I saw your ad in the paper for new babies and I just wanted to touch base with you on Stormy.
I renamed him GUCCI because he is so spoiled.  I thought you would like to know how he turned out.
He talks like crazy, and I have never seen a bird stay more active than this guy.  He is going 24/7.
I got him a huge cage due to his activity level.  He loves his daily fruit and vegetable tray-
his favorite foods are bananas and tomatoes.  He has a wonderful disposition and likes my husband, 
but is bonded to me.  He is also very sociable and loving.  His feather turned out beautiful- 
I will try to shoot you some pictures.  I am sorry that I have not contacted you sooner, 
but I think about it then forget.  Thanks for a wonderful macaw.
 
Kelly
 
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Squawk boss: Exotic birds are woman’s livelihood

Will Ashenmacher
Published: 11/18/2007

Duluth News Sunday Front Page

Victoria Behrends watches as her 15-week-old blue and gold macaw, Toby, flaps his wings. Behrends, of rural Duluth, breeds exotic parrots as part of her business, Flock Options. Her interest in birds started as a child, when her parents sold parakeets wholesale to pet shops across the Midwest. Behrends and her husband are building a new home that will include a 3,000-square-foot aviary. (Clint Austin / News Tribune)

Victoria Behrends watches as her 15-week-old blue and gold macaw, Toby, flaps his wings. Behrends, of rural Duluth, breeds exotic parrots as part of her business, Flock Options. Her interest in birds started as a child, when her parents sold parakeets wholesale to pet shops across the Midwest. Behrends and her husband are building a new home that will include a 3,000-square-foot aviary. (Clint Austin / News Tribune)

For more related content visit the Duluth News Tribune

The appeal of parrots extends way beyond their ability to say a few learned phrases, and that’s part of what keeps Victoria Behrends, who raises and sells exotic birds for a living, in business. Along with many other breeds, she has African Grey parrots, Blue and Gold Macaws, Eclectus parrots, and many beautiful conures at her rural Duluth home.   “They’re awesome companions because they’re so intelligent and you can interact with them,” she said.  African Greys and Macaws can have the cognizance level of a 5-year-old. You can cuddle with them. You can talk to them.”  She may be the only large-scale parrot breeder in the northern half of Minnesota.  Sue Koski, Behrends’ friend and a former parrot breeder herself, called Behrends “one of the best breeders I have ever met in my life.”  “I think she is the only one locally, and she is an excellent, excellent breeder,” Koski said.  Julie Sands, a director of the Minnesota Companion Bird Association, said she knows of only five or six parrot breeders in the state, and all of the others are in the Twin Cities metro area.  “It’s not something that just anybody can do,” Sands said of breeding birds. “Parrots are very unique. They’re not like your average cat or dog.”   Behrends traces her interest in birds back to her parents, who sold parakeets wholesale to pet shops across the Midwest. She can recall having 3,000 parakeets in her basement as a 3-year-old.  “I blame it on them,” Behrends said with a laugh. “I should have known better, but it gets in your blood.”  Behrends’ first bird (since a parakeet that flew away when she was 6, anyway) was Pirate, an African grey she bought at a Duluth pet shop for $1,400 after she moved to the area from Brainerd.  Pirate had to be hand-fed four or five times a day for seven months and proved to be an excellent talker.  “I’d bring the vacuum cleaner out and he’d say, ‘Oh, what a mess!’” Behrends said. “I must have said that at some point.”  Now Behrends’ commitment to her breeding business, Flock Options, is such that her day revolves around her birds’ feeding schedules. She hand-feeds some of her birds four to five times a day, and each time can take an hour to an hour and a half.  “I can’t go on vacation, really, because of my birds,”   “Your life is not your own when you raise baby birds,” said Koski, who at the height of her breeding career was raising 1,000 baby birds a year. “You’re talking 2 a.m. feedings, 4 a.m. feedings.”   “My husband and I worked 20 hours a day, seven days a week for 20 years,” she added.   Behrends said she hopes to eventually write a book about breeding, raising birds, and understanding bird behavior.  “Birds are one of the most intelligent pets we can own,” Behrends said.  I enjoy the intellectual challenge of living with them, loving them, and keeping them healthy and happy.”  "It is an honor to share my life with such magnificent feathered friends."

 

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Victoria, 

Our family has been enjoying Rascal, the Blue and Gold Macaw we purchased from you, tremendously.  He is the subject of every writing assignment our daughter has.  We appreciate your help with selecting a proper cage and perch, providing a list of local bird veterinarians, and the names of suppliers of food and toys. The information you gave to us when we decided to have a macaw as a pet has made us comfortable and confident in caring for the healthy,  beautiful bird.  It is clear that you do not consider your birds as inventory, but a labor of love. 

Thank you,

Jill, Mike, Erika, and Troy

 

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After reading the article in the Duluth News Tribune on Victoria, my first                                      
contact with her was when I was looking for help with a recently rescued                                          
Eclectus parrot.  Victoria answered all my questions and even offered some                                      
suggestions with the adjustments needed for the new bird.  Victoria put up                                      
with all my questions during our 30 minute phone conversation and even                                           
answered my many emails.  I could tell she was very knowledgeable and                                           
willing to help me with Ruby, and during our conversations, she mentioned                                        
she had a baby Grey for sale.  I have always wanted a grey, and after having a                                        
very high comfort level with Victoria from all her help, I purchased a 5                                        
month old Congo African Grey.  Doing much research on Greys, I was                                              
anticipating a very leery bird to acclimate into our home, but boy was I                                         
wrong.  The first thing this baby did when I met her was tell me her name;                                      
it was the sweetest thing to hear.  After a two hour drive home, Meeko was                                        
introduced to her cage, and she attacked her toys with 100% gusto!  I was very                                       
surprised, as I had been waiting for her to just settle in the corner of the                                     
cage for the first week and take us all in.  I can tell right away that                                          
Meeko had been handled often and was given a lot of love and attention.                                         
I am so blessed to have been able to get one of Victoria's babies. Meeko                                        
met my grand daughter, who is 3 years old, and followed her every move and                                       
told my grand daughter what her name was on her second day home.  Not only                                      
do I know she will be there for me if I have any questions at any time, but                                     
she also has a true love for her birds.  I feel like we have a new extended                                     
family with the Behrend's.                                                                                      
     
Thank you again,                                                                                                
                                                                                                                
Anne, Dennis, Meeko, Ruby and the rest of the crew.                                                             
                 
My daughter just called from our house.  She had to call and tell me Meeko                                      
is some watch dog.  As soon as she walked in the door, she told my daughter                                     
who she was!   She has now gone thru 2 toys already; guess she will keep me                                     
busy making new toys daily!                                                                                     

 

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Victoria,

The blue and gold macaw we got from you is the joy of all of our daily lives.  He is so friendly with everyone that comes over.  I could not have asked for a better breeder than you.  I tell him to give me hugs, and he puts his head down on me.  It is so cute.  He is really attached to all of us in the family.  The kids hold him and talk about him to everyone.  He is the friendliest macaw I have ever come across.  Thank you very much for answering all my questions I had when I was getting everything ready for him.  I know you care so much about all your baby birds.

Thank You so much

Holly and family

 

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Victoria,

Just thought I'd let you know that things are going just great with Neiko, our baby African Grey. He is perching up on my hand wonderfully, and he is also going to John when handed to him.  I have opened up his cage and he has begun exploring the outside of it and is very easy to get to perch up outside of his cage.  I ordered him a stand yesterday, and it should arrive today, so we can do more training with him.  We just love him.  This morning he was in our room with us as we had coffee and watched the news.  He just hung out on the bed and had some food and a couple treats.  We have to laugh, because I think he thinks he's training us at the same time, which I'm sure is happening somewhat.  Have a great day.

Kim

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