Mama's Bird
By Eleanor McCaffrey,
Copyright©, No photos or any portion of this text may be copied,
printed or reproduced without site owner's written permission

Hello. My name is Mama's Bird. I'm a very lovable and affectionate cockatiel. Mommy, my lady person, is my best friend. She protects me, loves me and takes care of me. She put up this website after I got very sick, hoping it would help other people with their birds. Almost all of the articles on this site were written by her and are based upon her extensive research through books, academic publications and correspondence with the Psittacine Research Project at the University of California as well as the University of Pennsylvania Department of Veterinary Science. You will be surprised at the many different things that cockatiels can do and the things we need to stay healthy and happy. We are very playful, intelligent and sociable birds!

I'm a pied cockatiel, which means I'm yellow and gray. I'm now almost 14 years old and my avian vet said I'm a senior bird. My weight is only 100 grams and I measure 10 inches from  my beak to the tip of my tail. My feathers make up 10% of my entire body weight. My wingspan is about 12 inches wide! I stretch out my wings for everybody to see when mommy says   "So Pretty" or when I see my reflection in a mirror or window.

Talking is OK, but I prefer singing. I can whistle 8 songs including Jingle Bells, Old MacDonald and Shortening Bread. My favorite thing to sing to is the electric toothbrush! I love the sound! Mama takes me with her whenever she brushes her teeth. I also sing to the dust mop when I see it. It reminds me of Holly, our dog. She's gone now and I miss her. Our cat looks like a dust mop, so I sing to her. I even say "psst, psst, psst".  I only say 2 words, Mama and Matthew. Matthew is the kid who mommy called out to "WAKE UP" every morning for school. He's all grown up now, but I still remember him and say his name when he comes to visit. I can also do sound effects like a sneeze, cough, kiss and the telephone ringing.

I don't like teenagers. I hide on the bottom of my cage and cry when one of them comes in my room. They play loud music, shout and that scares me.  I don't like strange visitors either, unless they talk to me too. If they don't I hide on the bottom of the cage and will bite for the next week or so. If they talk to me, I'll answer them by singing. I'm such a good watch bird and SCREAM as soon as I hear a car drive up, or somebody entering the house. I also don't like baths of any type, although books say that I should. I can't read so how do I know if this is true? Hmmmm?

My favorite foods are brown rice, scrambled eggs, kale, broccoli, baked sweet potatoes, bird bread, Cheerios and millet seeds.  Sunflower seeds were my all time favorite, but I don't like them anymore, which is good. Sunflower seeds are very high in fat and that's bad for my health. I like to be handed treats because I can hold the pieces with my feet. I will eat just about anything that mommy is eating, although she  doesn't share food that's not good for me, like potato chips or cookies. When somebody has a birthday I always get a tiny piece of cake if it's vanilla and some melted ice cream. I'm so loved because it's always vanilla! Chocolate makes birds very sick.

Mommy wears a gold locket around her neck. When I don't want to hear her talking, I take it in my beak and stuff it in her mouth. Cute huh? Mommy thinks so. Jewelry can be poisonous for birds because it could contain lead or zinc, so I'm not allowed to play with her gold or silver jewelry. She can really spoil my fun sometimes and it makes me mad, so I bite. I'm also in love with her shiny coffee mug because there's a bird in it! When mommy tries to pick up that mug for a drink, I'll bite her! She doesn't have any respect for MY stuff!!

When I'm frightened, my little feet get really cold. When I'm happy they get really warm. Mommy loves my warm feet. She knows that cold feet mean "Watch Out!!!!" I was prone to rapid  mood swings. One minute I was cuddling under her chin, and the next minute I was biting so hard I cut her fingers all up. I was really good at flying and biting her face when I didn't want to go back into my cage. I  enjoyed biting her nose,where I could get a good grip. Mommy often compared me to a pit bull because I could imitate one so well.

Mommy had so much patience with me. Everybody told her to get rid of me because I bit so often. I can bite right through a fingernail. Now I have learned to behave more appropriately and I don't bite at all. I even like mommy to pet my head!  You can see more pictures of me on the next page and read about how I got sick. You can learn how mommy changed my diet, taught me to stop biting and much more on the rest of her site. There are little teddy bears to keep you company on almost every page because mommy thinks that "Cockatiels are toddlers with wings."


                               
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