Birds of the Month, March, 2005
By Eleanor McCaffrey
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Tammy's cockatiels had their first clutch
this November. She said, "Four eggs were
laid but only 2 hatched. Mamma and
Daddy were feeding them like a charm. There truly is a
God, when you witness the Daddy bird picking up his baby and feeding it. Everything was going
so well until Monday, November 29th. While looking in the nestbox to see if their eyes were open, I noticed that the second baby was dead.
the afternoon, the baby had died and he was pushed away from were
they huddled together. I was afraid the other baby would die too so with great concern, I took
him out and started handfeeding him . I bought baby formula from the pet store, a candy thermometer
and made a brooder with a heating pad and heat lamp.
I kept the baby warm and kept his crop filled. He was growing ,
but on the morning he died, he was in my tired hands and
somehow I overfilled his crop. It was so quick, I just
kept telling him to wake up. I was so angry at myself, because more than likely, he aspirated. I couldn't even see
for all the tears. I have handfed so many other birds. I feel
so much guilt about this little bird. I took this picture of
him about 4 hours before he died. He was so sweet and had a great personality already.
I hope his picture and story will convince people to not purchase unweaned
Lily and Luke are cockatiels. Liza said, "Lily was a hand-fed cockatiel so she
thinks she is human. Lily is not only beautiful on
the outside but also in the inside. She is content
eating all the time and just sitting pretty in her
cage. I think she is a girly girl. She enjoys
getting scritches from my hubby's nose but will not
let you use your finger. Lily is gentle and needs to
be handled gently. Any rough play or sudden movements
rattles her. Luke's parents were not tame. He was nippy right from the start. He
had many broken tail feathers from injury caused by flying backwards. Luke loves
to knock on his perch and wolf whistle. He can also say "Peek-a-Boo" to my
husband. I don't know why he won't
speak to me even though I spend the entire day with him. Luke is fearless,
animated, noisy and just a wonderful tiel to play
with. His favorite game, what else, Peek-a-Boo. We adopted our budgies, Angel
and Jay, from a friend in 2003. I believe Angel was neglected and abused
because she displayed anger quite easily and would
bite at Jay or anyone that would go near her. Jay's
tail feathers were gone because of it. We separated
the budgies for a time while we re-trained Angel.
Angel no longer bites and look at Jay now - he has
beautiful tail feathers!"
Ollie, a male whiteface cockatiel, belongs to Molly. She said, "I got
Ollie at a pet shop even though I hadn't intended to buy a bird at the time. I had gone with a friend
to a pet shop and saw Ollie in the pen. I put my hand in and he stepped right
up without a fuss. He climbed up my arm and sat on my
shoulder, looking at me with his brown eyes as to ask "Aren't I a
good bird?". I knew we were meant to be together and persuaded my parents
the next day that he was the right bird for me. Luckily, my mom had experience
with birds, from budgies to cockatoos. She agreed that he was a
good choice. Ollie was only 5 months old when I got him. He did not have any tail
feathers so it was easy to distinguish him in the pen.
He adjusted to us and his new home quickly.
Today, Ollie lives in a spacious cage. I should say he
lives outside the cage more, with a companion female, as happy
as could be. His tail feathers grew in fully and his crest is getting
white, as whiteface males get a whiter face throughout their life.
He knows how to wolf-whistle and whistle Dixie and is learning how
to say Pretty Boy. I'm sure he will learn and love much more throughout his life!"
RayLee is Rachelle's little angel. She said, "RayLee is a clown. He is
ten months old now. He can wolf whistle and will wolf whistle at
the other female cockatiels. I call it flirting. If I say pretty RayLee, he
will then wolf whistle also. He is learning to whistle Jingle Bells. When he is sitting on my should he will whistle and do his little "I'm talking
my own human" talk. If I don't talk to him to let him know I'm listening
he will start to scream at me and then start tapping on my face. Also when
he is in the "talking"/whistling mood he does what I like to call the
Stevie Wonder. He will throw his head back and move it side to side. As you can see
in this picture, Mr. RayLee loves to help me cross stitch. He plays with the
thread, carrying it away and I have to watch him closely with my needle or he will steal it and run away. I could sit here for hours telling
you all kinds of stories. How he takes naps with me, he will sit on my
pillow, tuck his little beak deeply into his feathers and fall asleep.
When he wakes up he comes up to my face and gives me kisses until I wake
up. How he loves to cuddle but instead of sitting here telling you all this,
I'd rather do it with him instead of telling you. So I'm going to go and give
him tons of belly kisses and listen to him whistle his version of Jingle Bells to
Dolly is Kerri's bird. She said, "I found a small cut
under Dolly's tail feathers. We think it was from a large pine branch that had treats in it.
I took her to her avian vet immediately. Because she could reach the cut with her beak,
she put a small collar around her neck. The vet said she could bleed to death very
easy. She said Dolly probably wouldn't make through
the night. The cut had barely closed together so her picking at it would just open it back
up. Later in the
afternoon Dolly and I were spending time together and she got
her beak stuck in the neck brace. I quickly got her out of it without hurting her thank
God. Dolly is OK now and we are very thankful. She enjoys having her water misting baths.
We have a spray bottle, fill it with warm water and spray her feathers with it. She stretches
out her wings, tucks her head under her wings and moves all over so she can get wet.
Dolly has a little stick that she loves to sing to and play with! She loves this stick and
whenever she runs around she takes her stick with her. It's like her little
buddy and comfort toy.
She will drop the stick off the top of the cage, jump down
herself and start on her journey around the house. She has never left it
behind. Dolly will also play hide and seek with the stick. You hide it and she
will not give up till she finds it!"
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