Birds of the Month, Page 2, April 2004
By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright Notice: No portion of this text or photos
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This is Phoebe and she is visiting us from Italy. Sabrina said, "When I got Phoebe 2 years ago she was wild. Nobody had ever treated her properly so the only thing she did was hiss. Now she is very happy because I'm her human slave and really spoil her. Phoebe had never been tamed and didn't trust people. The first few days it was almost impossible to even look at her because she started hissing and getting nervous. I decided to start working with her the first week. I trained her for about 15 minutes each day in the bathroom until she went stepped onto my finger. On the third week I let her stay on a play gym in a larger room without looking at her. As I was watching TV she left her play gym and came on my arm. She had finally decided to trust me. After that everything improved. Now Phoebe could spend 24 hours on my shoulder. She doesn't like being touched but loves being kissed and spoken to. She has never liked fruit and veggies but loves to eat sprouted seeds. Sometimes she eats some carrots, mashed eggs and spray millet. Phoebe is  still shy with my other birds. I also own two budgies and one senegal. When all of the "Feathered people" are out they're always supervised."

Blinkey, a white face cockatiel, is owned by Stefan. When Stefan got him, Blinkey wasn't in very good health because his diet consisted of just sunflower seeds. All of his crest feathers were broken and he was a very unhappy bird. He wasn't tame and was in a small cage. Stefan said, "Now Blinkey is on a better diet and eating pellets as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. His favorites are grapes, apples and lettuce. Blinkey lives in a huge cage and loves to sing. He is now happy and in much better health."
(NOTE: Sunflower seeds are the worst seed to give to birds because of the extremely high fat content. Birds should not have more than 2-3 sunflower seeds a day. Some avian vets may even consider this amount to be too many.)

Sunny is Barbara's other cockatiel. Barbara said, "Sunny is a female cinnamon pied. She is closer to my younger son. Sunny is very sweet and loves scritches. She too has learned to hang upside down from the boys' fingers. Both Sweetie and Sunny are content to sit with us when we are home or ride on my shoulders as I do housework. They take showers with us several times a week. It is something they look forward to and they practically jump into the shower when they realize where they are going! They are real spirit lifters and it's hard to stay sad or upset for long with them around. They truly bring sunshine into our home. Both birds are spoiled and have us well-trained!"

Josee often refers to her angel Soledad as "Mon Bebe Plume", which in French means "My baby-feather". Josee said, "I think that Soledad chose me. I went to the Pet Shop to buy a parakeet. Because it was my first pet, I thought I would  start small ... but there were those beautiful cockatiels in cages near the parakeets. The pale one looked really calm and alert. I asked to see her and they put her on my shoulder. She never left it! I immediately forgot the parakeets. I knew she was the one, and I decided to invest in a bigger cage so she would have lots and lots of space to play. Her orange and yellow color reminded me of the sun! So her name came naturally, Soledad, similar to Soleil, which means sun in French. Soledad's favorite thing is to rub her beak on my nose, asking for a stroke on her neck. She makes little squeaking sounds that tell me she is enjoying the caresses. She does this for hours as long as I move my fingers on her feathers!  She also loves to stand on her playground by the window to look outside and whistle at the cars."

Dusty and Kitty's owner didn't tell us his/her name, but did have this to say about the birds. These are my angels! They bring me so much joy! Kitty, the female, is the best pet anyone could ever wish for. She is the sweetest thing  and she will go to anyone. I have a 4 and 5 year old child at home and they love to play together! They say it's more difficult for a female to learn how to talk but she has made her mind up that this is not true! She will say her name Kitty and hello.  She learned these words on her own! I do have cats so she heard the word kitty alot! She must have picked it up from hearing us say it so often. I just recently got the male, Dusty. Kitty was very friendly to him kissing, and preening him. It was so cute!" I'm hoping they have babies soon!

Fauker is Angela's bird. She had this to say about him, "Fauker likes to sit in his rocking chair and watch the cats through the window. The cats lay against the window and he will sit there too so they can be together, but kept safe. He also loves to take showers and whistle. He is now learning the Mexican Hat dance and is trying to say hello. Fauker sits on his rocking chair and watches television with the family. During Bible studies in my home, he walks into the middle of the room to be part of the prayer time!"

Chippy belongs to Jeff. Jeff said, "My cockatiel is two years old now. He is very playful and loves to stand on peoples' heads. Chippy is very happy to sit on my head all day. He loves his head rubbed and also loves pulling my earring. Chippy also likes sitting in the window to look outside. He is a very sweet bird and I hope he lives forever."

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