February 2004 Page 3
By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright Notice: No portion of this text or photos
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Blue comes to us from Australia and he belongs to Adrienne. She said, Blue is my 2 year old dinky-di, true blue little Aussie cockatiel. He thinks he's a person. Blue spends as much time as he can with me because I'm at home all day. He likes to perch up high and has the run of the house, only eating and occasionally sleeping in his cage. Blue prefers to "Camp out" on an external perch where he puts himself to bed when it gets dark. He shares meals with us and loves to whistle one of his 10 tunes. Blue has a vocabulary of about 12-15 words and phrases. When we sit out in the garden his cage hangs from a tree. He talks to the wild birds that live in and around our yard. Thanks for letting me share Blue with other bird lovers."

This lovely pair of birds belong to Miriam.  Their names are Louie and Huey. Miriam said, "Louie loves to eat anything that we eat. His favorites though are cheese and Hob Knob Biscuits, a type of nutty biscuit. Huey is much more refined in his tastes and adores sunflower seeds, millet and dried apricots as well as greens. Huey loves to fly around and is very skilled at ducking and diving. Without fail he greets the morning by singing and tweeting. Louie is the opposite of Huey. He is not as skilled at flying yet and spends a lot of his day trying to follow Huey around the room. Louie likes to be touched and stroked, Huey on the other hand loves to be read to and listens to classical music. He doesn't like to touched too much. Both birds love getting a shower. I use a spray bottle to give them a good soaking and they can't get enough!! They are wonderful birds. I'm so happy to have them in my life."

Smokey is Melissa's new, 4 month old pearl grey cockatiel. Melissa said, "We got him from a wonderful breeder.My family and I are having so much fun with him. He loves to be held and fights with you if you try to put him in his cage. He is an awesome bird and he loves all of us a lot. Some of his favorite foods are popcorn and cheerios. He also likes cornflakes and rice cakes. Smokey loves to preen mom's hair because it's long. He loves to really get in there and make a mess. Smokey is very affectionate and  loves it when you rub the back of his neck. He just melts. He also has to be in the kitchen when I am doing dishes. He thinks he might miss out on  any activity that is going on. Smokey makes us all so happy. My family and I are so lucky to be able to share our lives with someone so special."

Izzie is Janni's 3 year old normal gray cockatiel. Janni said, Izzie keeps us entertained and smiling all the time. He wakes up singing and chirping happily and is typically upbeat and happy all the time. This little fellow has brightened my life like you would not believe. He is so smart too! He whistles the wolf whistle, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, the Smurfs theme, Shave and a Haircut, The Mexican Hat Dance, and some little ditty that he made up on his own. He loves head scritches and to be rubbed under his beak and around his ears. Izzie gets grumpy if I let him stay in his play cage too long before putting him in his nite-nite cage at night. He will get all snippy and gripe at me in birdie-speech. I have been trying to teach him to say hello, and I love you, but so far he doesn’t talk. He watches intently and  sometimes he will even move his beak as if he is trying to form the words. I really think he is paying attention. Oh well, if it happens, then great and if it doesn’t, I feel like I am still blessed with the most wonderful little bundle of feathers I could have ever had."

Sammi is Andrea's bird. She said, "I always wanted a bird. One day I was in a pet store and saw him. He was the smallest one and did not have band on his ankle. I asked the clerk why. He told me that Sammi came to them with a broken leg which had now healed. They decided not to band him again. He was small and grey and had pink color on the tips of his wings. Sammi was singing away. I have a soft spot of animals that are ill and need a good home. Sammi whistles in the morning and I whistle back. Now he is trying to imitate the cat. He has it almost down now perfectly. He's so cute!  Sammi sings as he eats and he makes this cute little noise when he is falling asleep. When I cover him at night he hangs upside down to see me until the cover goes over. Then he makes this little noise as if to say good night. He is not fond of the cover so I put a night light on near him. He seems to like that. Sammi loves country music. I leave a radio on when I go to work. We tried a few stations and he would squeak at the rest. The country station he just turned his head as if to listen, so I leave that one on. His favorite toy is this bell in a cylinder. He can see the bell but it's  housed so he cannot take it out. He tries to get it out though. He bites it then tries to hold it still with his foot. He seems very smart. I think he and I will be great friends when we get to know each other better."

Blitz is Kayla's 7 month old, male normal gray split to pied cockatiel. Kayla said, " Blitz has a very distinct little personality. He can be very cuddly and affectionate one minute and then be very cocky and bad tempered the next. His favorite snack is potato chips but he can't have them. His breeder told me that giving a bird one potato chip could harm them as much as it would if you gave them fifty! He also loves noodles,  oatmeal bars and basically anything I eat. Blitz can whistle and talk. His favorite thing to say is "Pretty, pretty, pretty..." but he can say a lot of other things. He always has to be the center of attention! He bangs his beak on stuff like his feed cups, the table, my keyboard or the computer desk. Blitz can be a real clown sometimes, especially when we have company! He loves to show off in front of visitors so they can tell him how smart and beautiful he is! If visitors ignore him he throws a fit! Blitz is extremely spoiled but that's OK! He is very special to me and I love him a lot! He is an important member of my family and it just wouldn't be the same without him. Blitz adds joy and laughter to my life. I guess he really is an angel in a bird costume!"

This tiny angel is one of Ginny's  newest baby birds. She said, "Our grey male tiel is named Baby. He's a very protective father of four kiddlets. He mated with a beautiful blond named Butterball at the tender age of ten months. She gave birth to four viable eggs at age eight months. They both worked hard and hatched four eggs after only an average incubation time of 18 1/2 days. We believe the eggs matured quickly from the diet provided. Minced veggies of all kinds, chopped boiled and scrambled hen eggs, breakfast cereal, brown rice. They definitely are not finicky eaters and  'Buttercup' will eat almost anything offered.. We do however, have a problem! It will be impossible to not keep all these little feathered darlings. After all, would you give away or sell your children?"

***Caution--For their own health and the health of the babies, cockatiels should not be allowed to breed until they are 18 months old. Also, do not feed eggs to parents that are in the process of feeding babies. They can get albumin poisoning from having egg in their mouths all day long and for so many days. Eggs will not hurt the babies but can hurt the parents.

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