Birds of the Month, October, 2005
By Eleanor McCaffrey
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This is Angie's beloved Quaker Parrot, Mattie. She was a rescue bird and passed
away at the age of 16-18 years of age. Angie was Mattie's mommy for 8 years.
Mattie was an abused bird and
the shelter would not take her. Angie often takes in birds to foster until a
home is found for them. Angie said, "I was horrified by Mattie
when I first saw her. She was so wild I thought she would chew my eyes out and
knew she would be dangerous to have around my other birds. My first reaction was
to say no. Mattie's story is very sad. She was given away by a woman who no
longer wanted her. The new owner gave her to her 3 year old child. She was kept
in a parakeet sized cage and fed wild bird seeds. Matie had been seriously
injured in her second home. Mattie had broken
bones that had healed on their own and digestive problems from being on a bad
diet. She had infected stab
wounds from being jabbed with a GI Joy toy by the 3 year old and bare spots from
plucking out her feathers. Pets should not be given to small children as toys! The vet told me
she had so much damage that she would be lucky to live another
5 years. I looked at her again and suddenly I saw an abused child's eyes
looking at me. I brought her home.
learned fast that hands were her enemy. I received a total of 12 stitch's, on 3
separate occasions over 2 months. I
wore gloves after Matie ripped a large tear in my wrist and my finger. She
rejected everything except food. Two weeks later my friends and
family refused to come visit me. They were afraid she would break out of the cage and
attack them. One night I told Matie that I really wanted to love her. I gave her a
peanut and she took it from me. I made a kissing sound and told her to rest. Then I started to
cry. I felt like I was failing her. Suddenly I heard her cage unlatch.
All I could think of was where are my helmet and gloves? She's going
to go for my face. Before I could move she was
on the back of my chair. She began to rub the back of my head with her
beak. I just rubbed her back and she came around on my shoulder. She actually cooed for the first time.
I nuzzled her and gave her more peanuts, even though the vet had told me
"No Peanuts". That night I slept in my chair. I was afraid to break the bond we had just
made. It took 4 months before Mattie realized she could trust me. It's like abused children. You have
to love them for who they are
and not for what you dream they might be. Fear never really
ever dies in their memories. Mattie scared most people, but we loved her and I know
she loved us. She may have
just been a funny looking Quaker Parrot to some but to us she was our Matie. She is now buried under
a beautiful spruce tree in our yard."
Squirt was Lyra's beloved, beautiful budgie. Lyra said, " When we first brought Squirt home, he was
very frightened of us. My sister and I spent almost
a month stick training him. Everyday we would hold a stick closer and closer to him,
until he would step up. Then we would slide our finger on top of the stick, so he started
stepping onto our finger. We would carry him around our house on our shoulder
would get caught in my hair. Compared to my two lovebirds, Squirt was the
sweetest and the most beautiful bird. He had the prettiest chirp. We loved him to pieces. He would
give me kisses, and sing along to my guitar. When I was sad, Squirt would always
listen to me and wipe away my tears.
This past August, I went away to summer camp for two weeks. When I came
home, I found out that Squirt had died. It had taken only a few seconds
for Squirt to pass away. Squirt hadn’t had any medical issues before so his death was a
shock. Our vet said that he probably had a heart attack or a stroke. Whenever I walk into my room, I hear Gryf and Noel,
my 2 lovebirds, squawking but I miss Squirt's pretty
little chirps. Each night when I tell the birds goodnight, I don’t say ‘Goodnight,
Squirt,’ and there is no goodnight chirping back. Life has felt so empty without him.
Squirt was my baby. He was so sweet. There was no reason for him to go so soon.
Squirt, Gryf and Noel are like children to me. When Squirt left, he took part of
my heart with me. He will always be my baby budgie and the sweetest, most beautiful bird
on the planet. He was and still is, loved. We buried him in our Pet Garden
along with our past dog and hamsters. My sister
and I will pick out a special plant for him. I miss him so much. I hope Squirt is flying high in heaven, among all the stars and moons."
These 2 beautiful birds belong to Linda. Their names are Christian and Spice.
Linda said, " I rescued these 2 birds from someone who was not caring for them properly.
I needed to learn how to taking care of them because I have not had birds since
I was a teenager. Spice is a sweetheart. She likes to be held and pet and
she will give you a kiss if you ask nicely. Christian, on the other hand, is one I sometimes
think should have been named Demon! Due to poor care he has a nasty attitude at times.
He will bite and hiss at everyone. I find that if I get Spice out first, Christian will follow
and allow me to pick him up without a fight. He also defends Spice aggressively!
If she is screeching and he thinks she is being hurt he will attack whoever is holding her.
When I am clipping her wings I have to keep Christian locked in their cage.
Christian and Spice were in separate cages, but he screeched all the time and
she was pulling feathers so I put them in the same cage.
Now they are a happy, healthy couple. I have
made great progress and both birds and are happy and healthy. Christian and
Spice are now raising a clutch of 2 baby birds. They are going a terrific job as
is a pictures of "Alfie Sweetpea Munchchops". He belongs to Gary and
he's 2 and half years old. Gary said, "Life would be very
dull without him. At 6 weeks of age he was already a character, pulling my glasses
of my face and letting them drop to the floor!
He is very intelligent, he can do mimic lots of sounds, such as the phone, the microwave, the smoke alarm,
the door closing, a can opening, sneezes, coughs, burps. He whistles the muppets theme
tune, puppy power, and wolf whistles. He also say "hokey dokey",
"hello you" and "see you later".Alphie loves having his head rubbed and
he will come and ask for
one by placing his head on your lips.
He is a very dominant male and bullies my friends around. Alfie eats a very small amount of seed each
lettuce, cucumber and carrot. He also likes mashed potato, peas and what ever you may be eating!
He enjoys pushing things off the tops of book cases and tables and watching them fall to the ground.
He will also nibble on absolutely anything. Edges of wooden tables have to be especially well protected.
Alphie has numerous toys but he's favorite game is to knock on the side of glasses.
He loves being out of the cage and has to be the center of everyone's attention.
You can not read a
book when he's out because he will do one of two things, either climb on to the page you are
reading and start to nibble it or climb on to your head cling on to you hair and peer into your face."
Mickey and Henry belong to Chelsea. She said, "Mickey is my beautiful female
Pearl Pied cockatiel. She is 2 years old and enjoys being with other cockatiels.
Mickey oves to play with my family & friends. Her favorite food are carrots and green leafy lettuce.
Her favorite toy is a silver bell. Mickey loves taking showers with warm water
from a spray bottle
and she also likes to bathe in a plate of water. Mickey loves playing with
my other cockatiel, Henry. Henry is a year and a half old. He's a Pearl Gray cockatiel.
He also likes to be with other cockatiels. Henry's favorite food is carrots and
he also loves taking baths & showers. Mickey & Henry are soul mates. Mickey has layed her first clutch of eggs and it has all been good news.
My cockatiels Mickey and Henry are currently nesting. It won't be until at least the 27th
until the first egg hatches. So far Mickey has laid four eggs. Henry is very protective,
but he still lets me hold him. Mickey comes out of the nesting box to get food, water
and the other special foods I've been giving her. Henry loves to sing quietly each
time Mickey lays an egg. I am very proud of Mickey & Henry for being such great parents.
My family just can't wait until the eggs hatch!"
This precious little baby cockatiel's name is Lucky and Charlene is her mommy.
Charlene said, "Lucky was one of four cockatiel babies born to first time parent’s Pepper and Spot,
hatching right on time on July 17th, 2005. One and a half weeks later the clutch
was complete and was 4 days old. The parents seemed to be
doing really well, feeding and cleaning the babies. They were very protective of their youngsters.
To our dismay when tucking the birds in for the night, we looked in the box
and found three of the chicks dead! We couldn't understand why and assumed that perhaps since the
oldest baby, Lucky, was the only survivor,
that perhaps the parents had destroyed the younger ones who were too weak or
were not feeding them. We thought no more of it. Two days later a loud and almighty noise drew us to the aviary and found that a budgie had got into
the nestbox with Lucky, while the parents were out eating. The budgie was attacking
Lucky ferociously!!! We then realized what had happened to his brothers.
We quickly removed the budgie from the aviary. Poor Lucky was in bad
shape., His mother was cleaning him up but he just looked like
one big ball of blood. We feared for the worst and could only watch and hope that
he would pull through. The scabs on his back and head were large but he seemed to
be recovering. We were checking him regularly and we noticed that his parents were almost never with
midnight they were making no attempt to stay in the nestbox to keep
him warm or to feed him. I had to make the quick decision to intervene and start
handfeeding him. One week later and he
is doing great. His scabs have completely fallen off and new feathers are starting
to emerge where we thought there would only be scars. We still keep budgies
with the cockatiels in the aviary but we are now aware of how aggressive budgies can be to other species, especially the young.
is one lucky cockatiel and without the help of
cockatiel cottage I fear he may have perished."
There is 1 more page of October 2005 Birds.
for October Birds Page 2
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