Birds of the Month, May, 2005
By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright Notice: No portion of this text or photos
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Heidi's baby was born with splayed legs. She said, " When 2 babies were born with splayed legs, I was using a makeup sponge to help correct them The sponge was rubbing their legs raw. An avian vet vet came to my house and he told he to put them in bowls with a nursing pad in the bottom! He only put a hobble on 1 of the babies. He said the others should correct on their own if they are kept in there own small bowl. He also stated that the makeup pad would work but you need to put on a tape hobble around the ankles too. That way the legs  are stable and the they are supported on the top and the bottom. He placed a tape hobble above the hocks and a second one below the hocks. He used 1 piece of tape,  wrapped it around one leg then brought it over to other leg and back to the middle. He told me to leave it on for 10-15 days. He also said to keep the baby in a cup, packed in if needed. Note: use white, unscented Kleenex to keep legs straight down from the body. He said I may need to change the tape as the baby grows, but to make sure it's  not too tight! It's just medical tape so it's  sticky The sticky part isn't exposed in between the legs because the tape is stuck to itself. I have an aquarium with a reptile heater on the bottom of it. I put a towel down, then the cups. That way the babies don't get too warm and I can watch them. If they pant that means their to hot and if they shiver they are to cold. I have been putting my eggs in an incubator and hand feeding from hatch. My adult birds neglect their babies, so I am playing momma bird. I have been learning a lot over the past year." Thank you so much for sharing this with us Heidi!

Bucky is enjoying a kiss from Barb, who rescued him from the Humane Shelter. Barb said, "I cannot believe this is the same bird we rescued only one week ago. He was supposedly aggressive and unfriendly because he was mistreated and rejected by 3 different owners. He wouldnít sit on fingers and bit anyone who came near him. Bucky now steps up on my finger and stays there while I walk through the house. He also flies to our shoulders, cuddles against our cheeks and gives little "kisses". Our Bucky eats everything, pellets, seeds, wheat chex, cheerios, fruits, veggies, ring spaghetti. He even has dinner with us at the table, eating off of each plate. I had to mist him with water because he  he didn't know what a bath was. He really enjoyed it, preened himself, then took a nap. What an amazing change in this little bird. He is a wonderful little tiel and I thank God we found this little angel before anymore damage was inflicted on him."

This is Starburst. She is one of the the cockatiels that Denny adopted from a bad homes . Denny said, "Starburst is about 2 yrs old. She was very thin and frightened  when I got her. She also had no idea what human love was or what real food was. She must have been on an all seed diet. You can see in the photo how well she looks now. Starburst has such a wonderful personality! She loves to come out and sit on her cage or just sit on my arm. At feeding time she jumps on my arm and starts eating as I'm placing the food dish in her cage.  Starburst Likes Cheerios , hamburger,  all veggies and she loves rice pilaf. She gets along great with the other tiels I have. She loves to get them all chirping when she hears my voice . She does the wolf whistle and a copy of a car alarm . Starburst has a lot of toys but it seems she is most fond of this one baby rattle. Just by watching her, you can see her personality shine through. You just have to take her out and play with her. I have a total of 7 cockatiels that I have adopted from bad homes."

This is Gryf, Lyra's peached faced lovebird. Lyra said,  "Gryf is 2-years old. She loves to drive me and my family crazy by ringing the bell in her cage all day long.  Gryf is very protective of me. If she's is on my shoulder and someone reaches out towards me, she will attack them.  Gryf won't let anyone take her out of her cage except me. When she  wants to be snuggled, she will bite your finger and then bend her head down and puff up with her eyes closed. Gryf loves to take baths in saucers of water. When she's mad, she will let you know  by biting you hard on the ear. When she's happy, she will chirp quietly and preen your face. When you're  sad, she will lick the tears off your face, rub them on your shoulder and give you birdie kisses. Since Gryf grew up around people, she thinks she's  a person and hates other birds.  She is an adorable bird!"

Rainbow, who is owned by Stacey, is another cockatiel that was rescued. Stacey said, "I got Rainbow about 1 and 1/2 months ago. He was rescued by an Avian Rescue group. He had been badly neglected and he didn't have any food or water. He was in a terrible cage with very dirty papers. I don't know how anybody could hurt an animal like this. I am disabled and since I got him he has made my days a lot brighter. He spends all day singing or whistling to me. When I walk away from him he start screaming and wants more attention. Rainbow is a little spoiled but I wouldn't have it any other way. He loves carrots and apples. He doesn't come out of his cage much because he has not had his wings clipped yet. As soon as he does he will spend most of his day out of his cage. I just bought him a brand new cage that is a little bit bigger than the one he has now. I also got him some new toys and treats. Just like my dog,  he get all of my attention. Hubby gets a little jealous sometimes!! Once in a while Rainbow imitates  hiccups. It's  so cute to watch him chirp and bounce a little bit when he does this. When he really gets into singing he starts bobbing his head and swaying back and forth. As you can tell he makes each day easier to handle. I thank God for him and my dog every day. They are my babies."

Stormy is Cynthia's 22 year old Quaker parrot. The average lifespan of a Quaker is 25-30 years. Cynthia said, "Stormy can talk very clearly. He says many phrases and words.  He's a great little guy, spoiled, spunky and very protective of his mommy! His favorite game is chasing my husband away from me. Stormy started getting seizures about a year ago. After several tests, my vet said it was because of his age. According to the vet, just like humans, a bird's brain can deteriorate with age. He compared it to having Alzheimers. Stormy usually has about 5 seizures a week. They come on without warning and last about 5 minutes. He will just start shaking. His little feet will curl up and he breathes hard and fast, like a dog panting. Sometimes he falls from his perch. His perches are  now lowered to the bottom of his cage and the bottom is lined with shredded paper towels for extra padding. I take him out of his cage and hold him close to me and talk to him until the seizure passes. Once he had a seizure that lasted over a  half hour. I took him to the vet and he was sedated. I thought that was the end for my baby. Thankfully, he was fine the next day. Amazingly, since we've got Annie, our new cockatiel,  Stormy's seizures have been less frequent. Our vet thinks perhaps having another bird to interact with helps keep him more focused and active.  I can't get Stormy to step up onto my hand anymore. He will still climb out of his cage so I can give him scritches  but he will not step up. I don't know if it has anything to do with his seizures or his foot which was broken long before I got him. The vet said his foot may hurt and that could be why. This afternoon I was giving him scritches and talking to him like always. He just walked right over onto my shoulder. I cried and cried. He hadn't done that in months. I sat on the couch with him for almost 2 hours. He was content just sitting on my shoulder.  He was nuzzling my cheek and preening my hair just like he used to do. Stormy is my baby, the love of my life. I know my time with him is running out and I hate that thought. Stormy is and always will be my first baby. Each night I pray for another day with him. I wish he could live forever."

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