Birds of the Month, July, 2005
By Eleanor McCaffrey
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Annie is Cynthia's 7 month old cockatiel. Cynthia's husband bought Annie as a
gift for their anniversary. That's how she got her name--Annie.
Cynthia said, "Even though Annie was
supposed to be my bird, she has become very attached to my husband. I think
this is because he's always eating something he can share with her! She
will walk right out onto his arm and climb into his plate of food, and he
lets her! Besides my husband's dinner, her diet consists of mostly pellets
and fruits and veggies, but her all time favorite food is fresh peas from
our garden. Annie's personality is so docile and sweet. She has not once
nipped at any of us. She has the sweetest chirp, and is becoming a very
loving bird. She will sit under my husband's chin and snuggle with him.
She is starting to do her little "birdy dance" when we call her name. Each
of my children can now hold her, and they have taken her into school for
show and tell. Annie is tame enough that my kids can hold her and walk her
around the classroom. Having her has brought a sense of calmness to this
house, and she is the best anniversary gift I've ever received!"
This is Beatrix. She is Fran's closest companion. Fran said, "Beatrix was a birthday gift from my
Aunt. It was my sixteenth birthday and
I had fallen in love with my cousin's pet cockatiel, Punk. Naturally, my Aunt wanted
to spoil me rotten and took me out to a pet shop. I've always heard people talking
about "love at first sight" and now I know what it is. Beatrix was mangy, small, and
still growing into her large, beady baby eyes. The other cockatiels were prettier,
ut this one followed me from behind the glass as I walked around the store and had
a strange sort of birdy-spunk. When I asked to hold a cockatiel, I was greeted
with an enthusiastic little ball of gray and yellow plumage, who climbed
up my arm instantly. I knew then and there that she was mine and I was hers.
Bea is an amazing companion and we are always together. Her favorite food is oatmeal. Her favorite activities are traveling throughout the house,
chewing Q-tips, hiding out in my closet,
looking at herself in mirrors and a good head-rub in the morning. Beatrix
is full of surprises. I learn something new about her each day. I spoil her rotten with toys and affection, but as
many other owner's have stated, I'd do anything to make my bird happy. Bea
recently had her first molt, losing the pearl markings. So it has became quite
apparent that my
baby girl is actually a boy. I still love her the same and call her my
little girl, though. It's our inside joke."
Joshua belongs to Jennifer. They are living in Vietnam. visiting us all the way
from Vietnam. Jennifer said, We're Americans living in Hanoi, Vietnam, learning the language, and
getting ready to do humanitarian work here. On our anniversary, I decided I wanted a
pet. We both love dogs, cats and birds. Dogs and cats would be a real problem
if we travel,
so since we've both owned cockatiels in the past, we decided to adopt
a local version. We went to the local market to find one. The poor
birds live in deplorable conditions here. They had jammed about 6 greys
in a small cage and pulled one out for us. We had no idea how old he was. I knew we were facing a real
they don't hand tame or train birds here.
They just don't realize the great potential of cockatiels as an affectionate pet!
Joshua was a really mean biter at first and didn't want anything to do with
us. We just kept on talking to him gently, calmly and he finally ventured
out to fly around the apartment. It was a disaster trying to get
him back into the cage, but we finally did it. I made the mistake of catching him
gently with my hands, which of course reminded him of his brutal treatment
by the vendors. He bit me all the way back to the cage. We started taking his food and water dish out
and putting them on the dining table which helped to tame him. Joshua eats
seeds. He loves broccoli, shredded carrots, spinach and whole wheat bread.
He even got a taste for our morning watermelon, eating the black seeds with
gusto. So he has been eating at the table with us each meal and won’t eat until we
sit down to eat! As far as being tame, it took
several weeks, but we had the necessary patience and
gave him all the TLC a cockatiel would want.
Now, he imitates many sounds, chirps
and sings up a storm, and lets us gently stroke him and scratch his head now.
He closes his eyes like he’s in pure ecstasy and even yawns! Joshua had been in the absolutely worst environment you could imagine, yet we brought
him the love and attention he desperately needed, and he responded with love.
He's a success story!"
Bib is the white face cinnamon hen (left) and Bub is the white face pearl hen (right).
They belong to Mary. Mary said, "I got my
birds from a breeder who has many different color mutations. Bib's father died in the beginning of February 2005 of unknown
causes. Bib and Bub live in the Tacmahal. That's what their new cage is called.
It's in the dining room where they can watch TV at the same time as the other family members, the two BIG dogs
Disraeli and Tawny, the two cats Placido Domingo and Nellie Melba, and of
course, the fish. When I whistle to the birds, they whistle back to me. Since
I'm retired and home most of the time, I talk to them all day. Bib and Bub like to play
with the toys in their in cage where they have pinecones to destroy. They like
to eat seeds, veggies, and lots of other good foods. On hot days, I give them a light spray of water, same as Winston Churchill the
grey /pink Galah that lives outside the back door to cool the area down. By hot
days I mean 40+0 C. I use a fan to keep the air circulating. Winnie, our parakeet has wet towels over his cage and the
hot air goes through that. The birds like to look out the window at the other birds that visit our grape
vines. They get covered at night to keep the drafts and the cats away from them.
The two cats are very good with them. They don't jump at up at the birds or try
to attack them. When the birds are out to fly around the family and dining room,
all of the other animals are out of the room for safety. We love the birds and
they love us. They are lost when they are not home to talk to them.
Coco, who is owned by Mary, lives in Australia. Mary said, "Coco is nine years old
now. He was given to us by a friend after we suffered a terrible family tragedy.
She thought it would help us cope with the terrible pain and grief. Coco was just a young bird then and we
have had him ever since. We tamed him and taught him quite a lot. Coco is a clever boy. He loves
colored pens (without the center) and
he carries one everywhere he goes. He has a cardboard box beside
his cage with a little door cut out and this is his little home,
where he keeps all his different colored pens. He only sleeps in his cage. Coco
can say, "You’re a cheeky bird, you are, eh? and "Dance Coco".
does a little jig. He can also whistle Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Coco often sits on my shoulder and joins in telephone conversations.
He shows off to visitors and of course he has to help himself to our
food, walking around on the table for a sample from everyone. Coco loves mashed potato, peas and corn. He is a much loved little buddy.
Coco has brought a lot of happiness to our family and we love him dearly. You can see now
why he is so special to us all."
is Ozzie, He belongs to Francis. Francis said, "Ozzie is a real character.
He's very sensitive but he can be a little moody. I describe him as being temperamental.
Ozzie is very affectionate and sweet but he doesn't hesitate to give you a peck
if your disturb him when he is in one of his moods. He never plays with
any of his toys but he loves attention from people. He can imitate the bark of
our dog for long periods of time. Yesterday my daughter noticed that Ozzie also
started crying like the dog. He's a confusing little eater. He will love a certain food
like corn, for awhile, then he will never want to eat it again. Presently, he's
eating steamed frozen vegetables and scrambled eggs. His favorite treats are
millet seeds, dried fruit and seed sticks. Ozzie won't take a bath in water. He
just looks at it. So I give him water misting baths instead. All Ozzie
wants in life is to be with humans, especially if you are playing music. He has
excellent taste in music. He chirps in all the right places or sometimes he just
listens to it. We love him very much!"
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