Birds of the Month, March, 2005
By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright Notice: No portion of this text or photos
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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. Sometime during 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 babies."

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 me!"

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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Baby Birds December 2005 November 2005 October2005
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