Cartoon Bird

Hello, this is my first post here apart from a question I posted about the blender library in the wrong place. Anyways, I wanted to make a character for a fun animation and came up with this bird creature. I am having problems with 2 things: How to do the hands (what kind of hands would look good) and how to stop the particles from jittering about during animation. Any other tips also welcome, I am quite new to blender (and loving it). Video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ_iMi5CMr0

http://bp2.blogger.com/_nKkrGLt9cKQ/R3YgFvGIKbI/AAAAAAAAAEA/VvIDkoawzFY/s1600-h/pirouette.jpgimage:
http://bp2.blogger.com/_nKkrGLt9cKQ/R3YgFvGIKbI/AAAAAAAAAEA/VvIDkoawzFY/s1600-h/pirouette.jpghttp://bp2.blogger.com/_nKkrGLt9cKQ/R3YgFvGIKbI/AAAAAAAAAEA/VvIDkoawzFY/s1600-h/pirouette.jpg