Ridgecrest man finds peace with feathered friends

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ridgecrest — On Mimosa Drive lives a flock of birds who serve one purpose — to soothe the psyche of their owner Shelby Nugent.

In a walk-in cage at the rear of his home, Nugent keeps his new hobby and the key to his post-work relaxation, about 25 parakeets and 30 finches.

Nugent began collecting the little birds about six months ago after observing that they have a calming effect on his brother-in-law, who also has a group of feathered companions.

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“He’d get off work, go home, clean-up and just sit back and watch his birds,” Nugent said.

And while the cheerful whistles, chirps and bright colors abound, it’s no mystery to see why one can enjoy the flutter of activity inside the cages.

With the parakeets doubling their numbers from a dozen since the undertaking of the hobby and the finches adding 10 to their original number of 20, Nugent’s feathered friends seem to enjoy their existence.

“They pretty much take care of themselves,” Nugent said. “The most work I do is feed them and you may think such little birds don’t eat a lot but that’s another story.”