BYC Member Interview - Julie Bird


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Julie, known to BYC members as Julie Bird, has been a member of our community since March 2014. A big lover of all things bird, especially ducks, she will often be found in the Ducks section, where she is known for her a friendliness.

1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I live in Bend, OR and have been here 25 years. I moved from the SF Bay Area so that I could be in snow country, be near mountains and play in the outdoors. I've taken advantage of all this area has to offer. In the 90s I worked for Mt Bachelor ski resort and was heavily into snowboarding and mountain biking. Then in the 00s I switched to a state job in town and stopped snowboarding and dove into technical rock climbing, mountain climbing, trail running and international adventure travel. This past decade I've abandoned rock climbing and mountain climbing and have gotten back into mountain biking and now dirt bike riding. I also love hiking long distances in the wilderness and backcountry areas off trail. I strive to keep fit and be as active as possible in whatever I do. I've had major injuries doing some of these things but it's part of what goes with it so I have no regrets.

I am single and that's okay, too. It hasn't been for lack of trying but just never met the right guy. Now I am wondering if at my age of 52 if I am too set in my ways. Who knows!! The family I grew up in lives in Pleasant Hill. My mom is still living and I have two younger brothers. We're all very close and I am very appreciative of that. Family is priceless.

2. Why and when did you start getting interested in geese/ducks?

I've always loved birds. Always. My BYC name Julie Bird is first is from my real name Julie and Bird is what my parents nicknamed me years ago because of my love for birds.

How I got hooked on ducks/geese was interesting, I guess. I've always thought they were cool but never really paid them much mind. I've been more of a tiny bird fan. Like finches, hummers, sparrows, etc.

About 3 years ago one day at work I was on a break and outside walking near a one story office building when as I was walking down the sidewalk, this yellow gosling came sailing off the roof and bounced on the asphalt in front of a parked car. I was shocked. What the…..? I looked up at the top and there was another ready to jump. I freaked out and tried to get under him but wasn't in time to catch him. He hit the ground and bounced and was kinda stunned and just laid there. I had to do something so I went over and righted him. Well that ticked off his Canadian geese parents cuz they came towards me with wings out, tongues out and hissing. I backed up and gave them their space. I know. It's nature and humans shouldn't intervene but I was mortified when he hit the ground. He could have been killed for all I knew. But when I had held him I loved how soft and warm he felt. And soooo cute. Unbelievably cute.

Seeing these birds so closely really triggered something in me and I started paying more attention to them and talking about them a lot with a coworker. My coworker also loves birds and just weeks after hearing about my goose experience, went to a feed store and bought two ducklings. His wife and kids had no idea. He kept them in a box indoors and once they got older, moved them into a protective enclosure outside. He always had pictures of them which he emailed to me and had stories to tell me of their antics and behaviors. I loved hearing about them and would always ask him a myriad of questions about them. I fell in love with his birds and one day got to meet them and was thrilled to death. One is a Pekin and the other a Welsh Harlequin. So cute and big and soft and you can hold/pet them which is something I cannot do with my finches. Then I started noticing how cute their webbed feets were. Their quacking and sounds and just how funny they are is what makes me so interested in them. Plus the cute factor. It is huge with ducks. They can have puffy cheeks, varying colors, varying breeds but they are all duck or goose and they have webs.

3. Which aspect(s) of poultry keeping interest you the most?

The fact that you can have birds that are hardy, cute, funny, silly, ornery and if they allow it, huggable and squeezable. I know some of these birds don't like being handled and I'd respect that but if I got lucky enough to have some or one that did I'd be in heaven. There's just something about being able to hold and love on your pet. It can be hard with my tiny finches. They are so cute but cannot be handled as a rule. It scares them and I don't like to subject them to it. I have had to handle them occasionally for reasons of transferring them to another cage or clipping nails or whatever and I love it. They are so soft and warm. Little bitty living beings. It's so sweet.

4. If you could choose any breed of duck, which would you keep and why?

I'd go for Call Ducks. I'd never ever heard of them in my life until BYC. Several of the members here have them and have the funniest stories about their birds. But really, it's the size, the bodies, the faces, bills. The WEBS. All of it. They are sooo cute. And then you can have them as a house pet. And diapers. Had never heard of that either until recently. I let my finches fly free when I am present but each one is the size of a nuthatch so they don't need diapers. But I still have to clean up their messes, poop proof things with magazine pages and keep paper towels and 409 on hand to clean the surfaces they go on.

But truthfully if I could I'd have any of the duck breeds from Pekins to Muscovies because of all the great things I've read about them from other members.

5. What pets do you keep?

Currently I have two Australian Zebra Finches. A male and female. I was introduced to this bird over 40 years ago and even had some then. Since I've lived here in Bend I've had them for 25 years. Not this pair since a bird lives an average of about 5 years. You cannot keep them alone. They'll die of loneliness. I only keep two because believe it or not, they are messy and my lifestyle with a full time job and all my activities prevents me from having any more than that. The reason I cannot have Calls or any ducks for that matter is because I am a renter in a townhouse. I live vicariously thru my friends here on BYC.

6. Anything you'd like to add?

I love BYC. Not to sound sappy but it is a big part of my life. I've made so many wonderful friends, learned so much and am having so much fun. I am not on Facebook or any other social media. BYC is my social media but it's really more than that because of the relationships I have with people all over the country. Plus the pictures they post. I go absolutely nuts. Seriously. I do. Why are birds so cute?


Jibby, male, in my hand shows his small size.

Jibby and Little Bit free ranging.

Little Bit with her orange beak.

Kensington, the 1st duck I've ever touched in my life. She is beyond adorable and just look at her. See why I love these birds so much?!

Silly tiny Jibby.

A rooster, in Nepal.

A rooster at a farm in Cape Town, South Africa.

A really cute Mallard drake sleeping on shore of lake in Queenstown, NZ.

A parrot, I don't know his species, at a park in Melbourne, Australia.

I go nuts and crazy over birds when I see them in my travels all over the world. I am still not used to seeing parrots in the wild. And the best thing for me is seeing birds I've never seen before in my life.

The geese that fly overhead in Cape Town, SA and Queenstown, NZ sound soooo different than our Canadian geese. I wish I could remember what those southern hemisphere geese looked like...

See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Dec 12, 2013
Hi Julie, such an interesting interview! Your love of birds really shines through. Thanks for giving us a chance to know you better, hope I'll be seeing more of you in the Duck forum (I get my 1st ducks in April). Your finches are so pretty!

Yorkshire Coop

Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Aug 16, 2014
Hi Julie, what a lovely interview :D The goslings crash landing to the road must have been very scary!! I can see why you would go and check, I would too!! It's lovely to read that this got you interested and you are now having a great time.

I have loved looking at your pics, that are beautiful :love
Thanks for sharing :thumbsup

Debs Flock

Crossing the Road
Apr 28, 2015
Jefferson County, MO
Great interview!! I had no idea you loved birds.



Chicks Ducks oh my
15 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Great interview Julie. We all know your love for birds and of course their webs. One of these days you will have your own ducks and I know you will spoil them to death.


pays attention sporadically
10 Years
May 22, 2009
North Central Florida
I agree with your assessment of call ducks.
They make me want to grab 'em, and squeeze ,'em and stuff 'em in my pocket, and take them home with me!

...But that would be mean. and defeat the purpose of everything.

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