Birds of the Month, April 2005, Page 2
By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright Notice: No portion of this text or photos
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Mickey owns these 2 beautiful cockatiels, Skippy and Gipetto. Mickey said, "I purchased Skippy 3 years ago from a very well reputable breeder and I rescued Gipetto  from a local Pet Store Chain. They said he was a handfed baby, but I found out that he was a severely neglected adult.  I told the clerk that he was very aggressive and  not handfed as advertised. She replied, "Well if you want a real handfed bird go to a real pet store." So I bought him. Skippy, a female, does not sing or talk. She just chirps. Gipetto, a male, loves to sing  and he sings love ballads to Skippy night and day. I always leave their cage door open and it's funny to hear them talk to each other from different rooms. Skippy is is very tame and lovable but she will nip at your fingers when you stop scratching  her neck and head. Since Gipetto was an abused and neglected bird,  I have had to work very hard for the past 2 years with him. The first time I brought him home he bit me so hard it drew blood and scarred my finger. Now he knows "Step up" and he gives me kisses when I ask. I always say thank you afterwards! I am just starting to be able to scratch Gipetto's head. He still hisses a little but I am making very good progress with him."

This is Sqeeky preparing to serenade Rachel with "The Andy Griffith" tune. Rachel said, " My mother and I taught Squeeky  to sing this tune. Since then he has not only perfected the popular theme song, but has diligently worked on creating his own versions of the song. Sqeeky enjoys singing to socks, other soft objects, the vacuum, stereo, and television, He has also learned  to speak phrases such as "I love you". Squeeky can also imitate sounds.  He mimics the dial tone noise of the telephone, the beep on the answering machine and he immitates  conversations between people as continual small chirping sounds that follow one right after the other. His favorite foods include corn, grated cheese, any bread products, scrambled eggs, yogurt, and lettuce. Shredding paper, chewing on his perch or any other paper, wood product, including furniture are some of  his favorite activities. Sqeueeky loves having his head and cheeks rubbed  and gets angry if such caressing is not done just the way he likes it. Squeeky makes a great "watch bird" because he knows whenever a family member has come home. He makes sure to chirp loud enough so that everyone else in the house is notified of this too. Squeeky has been a very important part of our family since my mother bought him for me as a gift when I was in sixth grade. I am a freshman in college now and love Sqeeky to pieces. He is a great bird! Happy Birthday my wiggle bear!!! (Squeeky's birthday: January 24, 1998)"

Dominique, who lives in Hong Kong, sent us this picture of her cockatiel Samba. She said, "Samba is now 6 months old. When I first got him, he  broke a blood feather on the second day!  I didn't want to pull the feather out myself because he wouldn't let me. In the first two days I had spent $40 on my little angel. Samba wasn't an angel when I first got him. He would scream, hiss and bite. He also threw food  around. Samba was vicious. One day I was listening to music and singing along. He calmed down completely! I was able to hold him and scritch his neck within a week after I purchased him. He loves to  sit on my shoulder and listen to the sound of me typing at the keyboard! Samba isn't territorial because I have him out of the cage almost the whole day. I am thinking about getting a budgie so Samba can have a companion. I am so happy that Samba is in Birds of the Month! I want the whole world to see what a sweetheart he is!"

Diana received Paulie a few months ago for her birthday. Diana said, "I've been trying since then to teach him how to talk. I've been told to repeat his name as may times as possible, but he still can't say it right. I've also tried for two days to get him to come out of the cage. Believe it or not, he came out the moment I started writing this about him! Paulie's  favorite food is yellow millet seed. He doesn't like to eat anything else. He loves his his toy parrot and he tries to talk to him. His other favorite toy is a mirror with clanking plastic balls."

These are Marie's 2 precious babies. The cockatiel's name is Tino and the parakeet's name is Heather Abigail. Marie said, "Tino's picture was taken in our washroom at home, and Heather's picture was taken from outside her cage in our kitchen. She is too timid to come out to play. Neither one of my babies is camera shy!!! Tino is going to be 9 years old on 5 May 2005 and Heather is about 3-years old. A friend of the family's found Heather at the beach in July of 2002 while he was fishing. He brought her home to his mom but they had a LARGE German Shephard who was jealous that someone cuter than him would steal the show. So she offered to give Heather to me and I joyfully accepted. Tino sings, dances and talks. He says, "Peek-a-boo" and "birdie". Heather is quite the acrobat with her rings and she loves to ring her bell at the end of her ring-set. She bops her head quite often and she peeps like a mouse. She can also imitate cockatiel noises since her cage is next to Tino's. They certainly are precious birds and I really love them!!"

This is Robert's bird, Mickey. He was born last November 21 of 2004. Robert said, "I have another cockatiel named Pampi. Mickey and Pampi are doing well together and they are good mates. They eat a well balanced ratio of mixed seeds everyday, white millet, red millet, canary, oat groats, and sunflower seeds, as well as fresh fruit and mixed vegetables. They love to hang-out on an improvised swing that I made for them. When my friends visit my  aviary, they all fall in-love with Mickey. They always ask me how much would I sell him for. I love this bird and tell them that "He is NOT for sale to anyone...". Mickey is the first cockatiel that I bred. Since, it was a first clutch, only 2 chicks were hatched out of 5 eggs. The chicks are doing well. I  also have other cockatiels in my aviary that I bought from local breeders."

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