Birds of the Month, August, 2005
By Eleanor McCaffrey
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Jessica and Jason are previously owned birds. They were rescued from a very
neglectful owner by Nicole and her husband. She said, "I asked my husband to buy me a
lovebird for my birthday. Instead we got two adult, sickly cockatiels with
major mental trauma. The lady showed us the most
disgusting sight I had ever
seen! Inside of a
chicken wire cage were two malnourished, very skinny cockatiels. The male looked a little better
than the female. Most of her feathers were missing from her wings. They were definitely more than we bargained
but I couldn't just leave them there suffering. We paid for them and left. As soon as we got home, I went
to change their water. The water bottle was full of a thick, green mold. I threw it away
immediately. We bought them a large new, clean cage and some fresh
seeds. I doubted that they would eat anything else and they desperately needed to gain some weight.
We also bought them lots of toy. Slowly the male started to come around. After 1 month he was
perching on us, giving us kisses, and taking showers with us. Jason
started to eat eggs and pasta and do the wolf whistle. We were amazed that in just one month this "aggressive beast"
as the woman called him became just a sweetheart. Jessica took
a bit longer. She bit my husband so hard that he bled. He was a
good sport and slowly put her down before running in the other room to scream.
After 2 months, Jason started
to pull all of Jessica's feathers out and made her bleed. We got another cage
and separated them. Jessica was so happy to have
her own space! She now cuddles with me and loves to be scratched.
They are both happy and are gaining weight.
We are a happy family but we're still working on some biting and screaming issues.
It's amazing how much joy these little guys bring to our lives."
Lucky, another previously owned an abused bird, was rescued by Dawn.
She said, "I just turned 13 and got my cockatiel for my
12th birthday. Lucky was being neglected and abused at a pet store. He was stuck in an
abandoned cage in a small, dark corner. The instant I saw him I wanted him. He
was a nasty little guy. He bit and fought going into my carrying cage, In a few months of working with him,
he has become
the best pet ever. He hates hands but loves to perch on my shoulder on any
occasion. He sings, whistles, chirps, and never squawks making him a joy for
visitors and for me. He's very spoiled and always getting into mischief.
Lucky changed my life in so many ways. My father is in
the National Guard and is always being sent some place. I really love my
father but ever since the war began I haven't seen much of him. It's very
hard on me and my family. The last thing I really enjoyed with my father was
getting my bird. That is why I treasure my baby so much. Without him I
would have never gotten to where I am in life. I'm an A-B student, busy with inter
school activities and community projects, but without Lucky I wouldn't be
able to be as happy as I am. I owe it all to Lucky. That's how one bird can change your life.
I'm so happy that Lucky came into my life."
Toby is visiting CC all the way from Dublin Ireland. Cathy is his proud owner.
She said, "Toby is about 8 months old.
He is not a hand reared chap. When I first got him, he was screaming all day long and running around
as if he was trying to escape from his jailor, (me). It was like taking a bird caught in the wild and caging the poor thing. Toby would bite my
hands and face so bad that I would bleed. I never
shouted and spoke softly and reassuringly to the little mite, even
though he hurt me a lot. After about two weeks he started to calm down. He made a major breakthrough
when he stepped up onto my hand. I then decided to bring him into a different
room away from the distraction of his cage to try and tame him more. This
certainly worked for Toby. He has stopped biting and he will gently put his
beak on my finger to let me know if he is
annoyed with me. Toby nibbles on my eyelashes and lips and he will sit on my hand
for a short period of time when I am at the computer. I had
his wings clipped but he is so strong he is still able to fly high. At first,
Toby, would only eat his seed mixture
and even the
sight of millet spray frightened him. Now it's a special treat he loves. I have tried to get
eat different types of veggies and fruit but so far, he will only eat broccoli and
spinach. I will persevere with
different types of food as I know they are important for him. I cannot believe the
progress we have made!"
This is Chingy, a male lutino cockatiel. His owner, Lateefah, said this. "I named him Chingy because when I purchased him and all the things he needed,
the cash register went Cha-Ching! Chingy talks up a storm.
He was only 12 weeks old when I purchased him and after 1 week he was already talking.
His first words were pretty bird. Now Chingy can say
peek-a-boo, hello, hi baby and come here. He can also whistle the
Andy Griffin theme song along with many other bird calls I have taught him.
Chingy is on a pellet based diet. Besides eating pellets, he loves millet seeds,
scrambled eggs and Cheerios. Chingy is such a good companion. He sits on my shoulder,
making kissing noises in my ear until I rub his head. Chingy loves
talking on the phone, misting bath and being blow dried afterwards.
To top it all off he enjoys perching on his heated
perch for a quick nap. Chingy
is very friendly and never bites the hand that feeds him. He will nip at
a strange person he does not know. I just love him like he was my own child and he was truly a great
investment. As you can probably guess this bird is very spoiled!"
These birds are visiting CC all the way from Scotland. They belong to Roy and
this is what he said about them. " It all started when we took care of a cockatiel
named Fred, for our friend. Not knowing much about cockatiels, I got a book from
the library, read it and I was hooked. When my friends went away on a holiday,
the found a cockatiel that needed a home. So they brought it back for me. I had
the cage and everything ready before they came home. The bird's name is Ki-Ki.,
My next three birds were obtained locally. They were sad looking little things.
Eleanor had no tail and one leg was bigger than the other one. The other 2 were tatty
and in poor condition as well. Now they are all in super condition and are very
spoiled. I'm sure they eat better than we do
and their home looks better than ours does too! They are in a massive cage now with bark, roots,
and toys. They are eating seeded grasses from the fields which are washed very
well. They love sorting through them, but what a mess outside the cage. Oh what
we will do for the love of birds!! We have birds in the house and birds in the garden.
Where next I wonder?"
DJ is a one year old pearl cockatiel, owned by Glenna. She said,
"DJ is named after my favorite NASCAR driver, #88 Dale Jarrett. DJ just celebrated his first birthday on April 1st.
Some of his favorite
foods are Cornflakes, Cheerios, or Rice
Krispies cereal, which he has every morning before I go to work. He also loves rice, spaghetti,
tacos, corn, and green beans. DJ will eat just about anything that we
eat. He has his dinner with us at the table
each evening. After one year of trying
to get him to eat pellets, I have learned a new trick. Every night before
bedtime, DJ is given a treat such as a cracker, popcorn, etc. I have now started giving him the
pellets at "treat time" and he just loves them!
He enjoys every moment that he spends with my husband and I. He has a
large, beautifully furnished cage. He also has a toy box, that I made out of a large shoe
box. He plays with this when he
is out of the cage. DJ makes one
trip after another dragging things out of that box to play with. He loves taking
a shower with me and he enjoys
riding in the car when I take him to get his wings and nails clipped. DJ has given us so much
joy in the
year he has been a member of our family. I don't know what we did
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