Birds of the Month, July
By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright Notice: No portion of this text or photos
may be, copied, printed or reproduced without
permission from site owner.

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 challenge because 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".  He 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."

This 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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