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Old 11-10-2018, 05:39 AM
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Which bird changed your life?

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Not sure if this is the right forum to post in, but here we go.

I never considered birds as “pets” before. Sure, they were cute and funny; some could even mimic you but I never thought of them as.....interesting, might be the word, as other pets. Boy, was I wrong. I grew up in a household where cats were a crazy obsession so I was truly a crazy cat lady. I’d seen other people keep birds as pets but these people would always keep their birdies caged. All their life spent in a cage, which sometimes, was too small for them. The interaction was minimum between the owners and the fids, with feeding them being the only time the fids saw the humans. Back then, I had no knowledge of birds but even then, I always felt sorry for them. I thought it was unethical to keep birds locked up all the time. These birds were kept like “show pieces”, something to boast about and look at when you got bored.

What’s crazy is that even though this seems so outrageous, it is far too common. People buy birds impulsively and give them up when they get bored / can’t take of them properly. Over the years, I’ve seen many birds being rehomed SO many times for small reasons. Bird starts biting - rehome / bird hit puberty and is cranky - rehome / bird is not “human” enough - rehome etc etc.

I told myself that I would never get a bird because I thought keeping birds as pets would only make them suffer. I think this notion was prehaps due to the fact that I had personally never seen a success story with birds as pets growing up and I stuck to the idea of staying away from them.

Well, that definately didn’t happen. 😂

Last year, I was visiting one of my mom’s friend and I met such a beautiful flock of birds that I was awestruck. This lady had budgies, an IRN and a parrotlet. And boy, were they gorgeous. They were the most trained, funny and crazy lot that I had met haha. I absolutely loved hanging out with them. The parrotlet, Wes, was such a diva and he stole my heart. I left the lady’s house a changed person that day. During my stay, I would go back to her house to hang out with the flock (especially with Wes) and I was such a happy girl doing so.

Fast forward to this year, I had been considering getting a bird of my own. The idea was still up in air but I was so excited. I had found an excellent breeder and was going to buy a cockatiel! I was so happy.

But before things got finalized, I learned of a family who had an IRN that they were keeping very poorly. This sweet boy, Max, was being kept in the SMALLEST cage ever and it was literally the size of him. His cage was filled with feces and had not been cleaned in a long time. This cage could ONLY hold a hanging perch (THATS HOW SMALL IT WAS) and that was where Max sat all day long. He was kept on a tomato a day diet. He had not been showered and was so so dirty. I was shocked and so so appalled.

The only thought process I had that time was that I NEEDED to save him. At any cost. I talked to the owner and he was not ready to give him up. I told him that I was willing to pay for Max and it took a long road of convincing him to make him give up Max.

My uncle drove and got him and by the time I was back from work, there he was. My sweet sweet Max.

I immediately showered him, transferred him to a bigger cage and he was so, so HAPPY. He eat like he had never eaten when I gave him food. It was truly a sight. Other good things followed: vet visits, bigger cage etc.

However, Max would not let anyone near him / handle him. He was terribly afraid of hands and this was understandable.

Two months of having him in, I learned from his previous owners that Max was actually a wild caught bird. His previous owners had bought him from someone who had caught Max from the wild.

Debates followed, with some of my family and friends suggesting that I release him back to the wild. They thought having a bird who wasn’t fun and wouldn’t let you touch them a “waste of time”. I strongly disagreed.

Max is maybe 10+ years old (the vet thinks), he has flying issues (he flies into EVERYTHING) and some beak problems. He would NOT make it in the wild.

And so, I kept him.

Present day, Max is still very afraid of hands and I doubt that he’ll ever be fully tame but he truly is my baby. I care for him more than I have for anyone and he’s literally my child now. Ofcourse, we have good days when Max lets me stand close and talk to him. Its days like these that keep me going.


My point being, having birds changed my life. Meeting with Wes and spending time with him in the long run made Max’s rescue possible. If I hadn’t met him, I wouldn’t have thought about taking Max in. So in a way, Wes and Max, both changed my life.

Which bird changed yours?
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:59 AM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

All of them, each in his or her own way.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:22 AM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

I guess the thing that really flipped the switch for me with birds were the birds my mother-in-law had.

My mother-in-Law lives in Colombia and my wife would visit her every year. She came home with a video tape of her mothers birds (4/5 amazon parrots). They were so much fun to watch and listen to that we (wife and I) decided we should get one.
This was back in the mid 80's and we did not know anything about keeping birds and lived in an apartment that did not allow pets.

We figured that no pets meant cats and dogs not birds, I mean how messy could a little old bird be

A few years ago Colombia made it illegal to own parrots. Last year they were forced to give up there birds to the government after having them for almost 35 years.

So in a way the birds that changed my life (and my way of life) were my Mother-in-law's birds that I never got to meet in person.

Wes
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:18 AM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

Umm...I personally believe you can teach your bird who's scared of hands to be handled. I have a bird who was scared of hands and it took about 8 months of daily work and dedication but I was able to fix it and now if I put my hands near him he comes running over to be picked up and petted. I honestly thought at one point that my bird would never get over his fear and it definitely got worse before it got better. I just thought to myself that I have this bird whom I love and I will care for him and perhaps I will just handle him the minimal amount and...oh well. He also has "other" issues which make teaching him things harder . I believe if I can do it with my very difficult bird that there is hope for Max yet. I would start with clicker training and stick training with a clicker. There are many videos on YouTube about it. This exercise helps build trust and helps A LOT.
Also, please don't release Max into the wild as he'll die because he's not used to fending for himself and will be easy target for predators and the elements.
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Last edited by Sunnyclover; 11-12-2018 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:08 PM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

Quote: Originally Posted by Sunnyclover View Post
Umm...I personally believe you can teach your bird who's scared of hands to be handled. I have a bird who was scared of hands and it took about 8 months of daily work and dedication but I was able to fix it and not wif I put my hands near him he comes running over to be picked up and petted. I honestly thought at one point that my bird would never get over his fear and it definitely got worse before it got better. I just thought to myself that I have this bird whom I love and I will care for him and perhaps I will just handle him the minimal amount and...oh well. He also has "other" issues which make teaching him things harder . I believe if I can do it with my very difficult bird that there is hope for Max yet. I would start with clicker training and stick training with a clicker. There are many videos on YouTube about it. This exercise helps build trust and helps A LOT.
Also, please don't release Max into the wild as he'll die because he's not used to fending for himself and will be easy target for predators and the elements.

Oh yes, I know. Progress with Max is always very slow and I do think that Max may get over his fear but maybe not just yet. It will take time, lots of it!

Oh no, I won’t! I never considered releasing him back to the wild. My family, on the other hand, had different opinions. I tend to ignore their comments haha.
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:05 AM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

For me the one that turned me into a crazy bird person was a wild chick I found when I was 15 years old. This little dude was just wandering around cheeping and not knowing any better I picked him up and took him home. Upon doing a bit more research while (relatively) unsuccessfully trying to feed him for few hours, I released him in the spot I found him hoping his mother would come looking for him.
I knew I could never have a wild-caught bird as I felt that would be inhumane, but that day I decided birds were the animals for me.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:02 AM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

Joey, my little green budgie who flew down to me when I was walking to school with my mum, I was probably about 6 or 7 years old. I remember writing cards to put in shop windows to see if anybody had lost him but after a few weeks and no response my mum said i could keep him.

He was my shadow when I was home, wouldn't leave me alone, he would put his head in my ear and 'chunner' away he even shared my bath landing on my stomach I would pull my tummy in and he would take his bath then id put him on a tap and would preen. I loved him to bits and from that point ive always had a strong connection with birds. Ive had several birds since, budgies, a cockateil and now Enzo, an African Grey. Enzo is my first and most likely last larger parrot and my bond with her his hugely strong, I think about her all of the time, she is amazing.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:58 AM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

Wow, some powerful thoughts and stories. I LOVED reading and sharing them.

Allee, I like that idea about each bird changing our lives in its own way.

As for me, well, of course... my biggest influence was/is... my companion, love, fid, rooster and Genghis Conure for almost 35 years... the Rb.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:56 AM
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Re: Which bird changed your life?

I'd have to say they all have contributed in some form!
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