BittuTheBaby

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Hello All!

I'd like to start by wishing everyone a very happy new year and being so grateful to this website for helping me for the past year.
Unfortunately, for now, I have created this account solely for some advice regarding my Indian Ringneck which is quite urgent.
I'd like to start by giving out a few details about myself. I'm hailing from Mumbai and I'm currently 16 years of age, almost finishing my high school education. So, on the early evening of January 21st, 2016, a wild Indian Ringneck flew into our balcony. On hearing all the weird noises he was making, my mom had gone to check and was, of course, astounded to see a parrot swinging on our clothesline. We immediately and very cautiously ushered him into our house, thinking he required some food, and once again, we were quite surprised to find that he came in quite willingly. He had spent the entire afternoon on our dinner table eating grapes, green chilies and whatever we gave him, making no proper attempt to escape (we were so surprised by his boldness, that we ourselves got scared). Night was rolling around and he started flying around the entire house, and to my mom's annoyance, he had left droppings all over the sofa and table (I still have fond memories of this because I go through these pictures quite often.) We had decided that we wanted to keep him. I'd gone to school and returned, knowing that Bittu (what I named him, because that's literally what he says all the time) would probably have escaped and was gone by now, since most of the other birds I'd rescued had eaten all they could and left when they felt like, leaving me heartbroken each time. Then my mom informed me that Bittu had taken residence in our bathroom until we got him a proper cage. That bathroom was the size of a small walk-in closet so it was perfect. There, I forged a bond with him after feeding him every single day after I got home from school. Eventually, he let me pet him and whenever I would, he would speak and sing and whistle. The day I put him in a cage, I cried for the first time (tearing up now too). I kept up with my routine of petting him under the sliding doors of the cage and on weekends and holidays, I would clean his cage, while on the other days my mom would do it. Bittu became more and more warmer towards us, even though he occasionally bit us out of excitement. He doesn't bite us anymore. Slowly, he incorporated himself into our lives like the way vines grow around trees. We would let him out in the balcony where he'd watch the other birds and make his usual noises and swinging on his swing. On one occasion, he had escaped his cage my mistake, when we had left him to sleep in our bedroom. I felt my heart come to a thundering stop when my mom exclaimed about the missing bird. Suddenly, I found him sitting on our indoor clothesline, looking more distraught than ever. The balcony door had been open all this time, however he hadn't made his escape. As soon as he saw me, he started asking (in his bird talk) where we were and I immediately pet him to comfort him. Also, I'd like to add that, many of the things which he says are not taught by us, such as the 'where were you?' phrase. We recognized it when he had said it. My mom speculated that he might've been owned by somebody before. So after this, he didn't bother trying to be too curious about his cage. But somehow, as each day drew by, somewhere my mom felt like he belonged in the sky. When my dad (he was always unsupportive of me keeping the wild bird, knowing I was extremely emotional. Fortunately, the relationship between Bittu and I grew stronger and he would let me rub under his wings and kiss his forehead and would even call for me! So as expected, every time my parents would bring up any matter akin to freeing him, I would promptly dismiss it, getting extremely uncomfortable. Basically, I was in love with this bird and treated him like my own son (even my parents acknowledged it). Slowly, 1 year passed however I couldn't properly celebrate because I had to return to my hometown due to my grandfather's passing. We had kept him with very loving neighbors, who after my return said that apparently, he loved cheese and dosa (we don't frequently eat those things). Nonetheless, he spoke and sang so so much and demanded to be pet, after seeing us after a week, like he had dearly missed us. A few months before this trip we had relocated within Mumbai. On the month of May, we had taken him out of his cage for a long time, keeping our doors locked and he came out quite reluctant and confused. But then he completely ignored us and started flying around erratically, and crashing into objects. Worried, we immediately found a way to return him to the cage.Then, a few months passed.
My parents were bringing up the 'free-him' matter more often and I'd completely turned a deaf ear on them. Subsequently, he added that whenever I'd leave the house, I'd worry too much about him and wouldn't be able to enjoy myself and they couldn't travel anymore because of this constant worrying. I was going into my 11th year, and studies were becoming harder and all I did was stay with him. Unfortunately, all these things are true. When they told me to closely observe Bittu and see that he was suffering because he belonged in the sky. I was really affected by this and maybe somewhere within, I knew they were right.
So, it's been a month and I've been on and off about freeing him. Every time I think about it, I cry. I know this is all because of my selfishness and obsession with him (I'm crying right now as I'm writing this.) I had made a condition to my father that if Bittu, himself, manages to escape then I won't stop him. The cage currently isn't in its good state anymore and many of the small segments of the walls are missing. Still, Bittu hasn't bothered to try to escape. My parents refuse on fixing the thing because, they're testing him (the cage won't hurt him, don't worry.)
There was this one incident where we'd been visited by a flock of wild Ringnecks, as we often get during summers and autumns. This particular female had some frequent exchanged between Bittu and herself, every time she'd visit. On that day, I don't remember quite clearly, but one of the parrots and managed to land on his cage. I heard a loud scream (one which they make when they're angry) from my Bittu and startled, I'd gone to see. I saw Bittu aggressively lashing out at the toes of the other bird. Then I immediately brought him indoors.
Anyways, as for the freeing part, I only tell myself the good things because I know how many nights I've spent crying over the agony of letting my baby go. I always remember how my baby bird was there to hear me cry even if he didn't understand what was going on and how he would sleep soundly by my bedside whenever I slept alone, without my sister. Now if he's gone, I'll be left to my loneliness. I know this is merely my selfishness, but I just can't help but cry.
I know that deep inside, Bittu yearns for his freedom. If he was born a free spirit, he should die a free spirit, right?
Anyways, digressing towards the more informational aspects, Indian Ringnecks are native to Mumbai and that's where Bittu's from. The place where we relocated, isn't very far from the place we'd initially found him. My mother says that perhaps he'll be accepted into the flock that visits us often. And since he's wild he'll eventually learn his ways again. But, sometimes, when she really can't believe that I'm letting him go (more like, she doesn't want to let him go herself, but she doesn't admit it.), she asks me what will happen if he wants to pet and kissed again. I never express anything but, in secret, I cry the most about this. I'm sure he won't be needing me once he's out there but...what if he does? What if he can't find me again? What if he gets hurt? These things have been tormenting me and haunting me. I really don't know what to do. My father has informed me that 21st January 2018 will be the day I free him because it will mark our 2 year anniversary. I'm becoming grief-stricken as each day goes by. Whenever I see him, I feel like truly freeing him but when I'm left to my own thoughts, all the other uncertainties and fond memories leave me broken and in a pool of tears.
If you've stayed with me this far, I don't really know how I could ever thank you for hearing me out when no one else could. I simply request for some advice anyone is willing to give, to alleviate my worries and pain. I don't think I have much of a choice about freeing him but whatever you have to say, would be very much appreciated.
Thank you so so much.

DM
 

Scott

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Welcome to the forums, DM! I thank you for the lovely introduction and insight into your relationship with Bittu. You are truly wise beyond your years!

My guess is Bittu was once a companion bird before he flew into your life. That may explain his vocabulary and ease of accommodation with your lifestyle. Trust me, many of us know how deeply they bond and become like perennial children. Thus, our acronym of "fids" or feathered children!

If I were in your situation, I would seek to improve the cage and keep him as a treasured companion. That said, we hail from different cultures and I cannot pretend to understand the concerns of your parents. In many countries, there is a divide between what a person living with their parents can do autonomously. Were you on your own, the answer would be clear.

You will likely receive many different opinions, such is the beauty of our forum. I hope you are able to take them all to heart and decide whether to free Bittu on January 18, or have a renewed sense of negotiation with your family. I wish you and Bittu the very best!
 
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Terry57

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Hello and welcome to the forum!
I agree with Scott, it does sound like he was possibly someone's pet before he found you.
The big question is do you think he would be able to take care of himself if freed? You know him better than anyone, and if the answer is yes, he may be happier being free again. If you think that he would have a hard time feeding himself, etc., then I think it would be better to upgrade his cage and keep him.
This is such a difficult decision for you, I can't imagine how hard this is.
 

GaleriaGila

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I'll chime in with a third opinion... yes, sounds like this darling is seeking a home with a wonderful family like you and yours.
I think it's a beautiful story, and I'm so glad you shared it.
If you keep little Bittu, stick with us... we'll help you!
 

Soyajam

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Almost every person I've talked to about birds (and pet birds) always brings up the "shouldn't they be free" argument.

And yes. In an ideal world, every animal would be free and thriving and personally? There'd be no humans to interfere.

But that's not the reality, in my opinion. The real world is sometimes much sadder, and very different.

Some thoughts for you:

* If the bird is a pet like you think he might be - then it is likely he or she grew up with humans as their family. In a way, that is where he feels be belongs, with people.
* Don't underestimate the value of a loving, kind home - where an animal can live without fear. If you can provide that, in some ways that is an easier life than that in the wild.
* If you decided to keep him - there is always the possibility of learning to free fly. It's hard, and it's risky - but properly trained, free flight is a chance he can get a taste of the skies, but he gets to return to the safety of your home. <-- Note: This is a controversial idea and not everybody agrees or likes this, but it's an option.
* Contentment is often based on perspective. If that bird chooses to be with you and seems quite happy to do so, then is he unhappy at all? It would just be your parents that are unhappy.

Long story short - birds that are human pets are a part of our reality. Pet birds are different than wild birds in that they learn to be happy living alongside people. Getting to spend time with the humans they love is THEIR freedom.

All that aside, it looks like the little guy likes spending time with you. He likes to be around you and from the occasions you've said he's excited to see you after time away, he seems to know and be comfortable with you too.

If you think you can give him the time and attention he deserves, you can afford to give him a comfortable cage and good food for his WHOLE life, and you love him, then why not let him stay?

Do you think he could feed himself in the wild? Considering you fed him many times as a youngster and that he may now come to rely on you for food? If he takes off, will he starve? Be picked on or rejected by the flock? You don't really know until you do it, do you?
Do you want to risk that he might suffer for the promise of this "freedom"? Or be killed? Maybe he'll be fine, maybe he won't be. You won't really truly know.

The decision is yours, in the end. If you love him I'm confident he'll have a fabulous home - and trust me, there are millions of birds kept as pets, that aren't loved as much as you seem to love Bittu. That in itself is something special!

Good luck figuring out, and as GaleriaGila says - this forum is wonderful help if you decide to keep him and have questions about his care!
 

Sabagail

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Hello and happy new year! Thank you for sharing your story, I’m extra emotional today but nonetheless your story welled tears in my eyes. My heart aches for you truly and I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. When I was a teenager (about 16) I had two cockatiels and a budgie and I was obsessed with learning as much about birds as possible. I asked for ornithology books for Christmas and even began writing my own book about how to raise your parrot. I had much to learn but my heart was in the very best place and although my parents didn’t care for me bird obsession they did try their best to tolerate it. There was a bird shop about near me and I used to to go there every Saturday and spend the day with the owner learning and caring for these beautiful creatures. I learned as much as I could and got as much experience as possible. One weekend an owner came in and surrendered their aggressive Quaker parrot, I was immediately in love. Over the next months I gave everything I could to this little bird and I tried my very hardest to socialize him. Although he bit me over and over and over I had hope for him. My heart hurt that no one would adopt him so I saved the money $250 and begged and pleaded with my parents to get him. Eventually they gave in and I was so elated. I brought my travel cage and brought him home, I felt ten feet all and as if my life was complete. When home I opened the car door to bring him inside and he pryed open the travel cage and flew away. I was devestated, I spent days and weeks sitting in the front yard praying and crying that he would come back to me. I spent months wondering if he was alive and although it is many years later I cannot forget him and my failure to keep him safe. I mourned this parrot as I’ve mourned nothing else in my life, it left me heartbroken. I know our stories are different but I felt this related so I hope you don’t mind me sharing. I agree with everyone that this ring neck is a companion bird and belonged in a home and possibly escaped. I urge you to plead with your parents in every way you know possible in attempts to keep him, the pain of worrying about him will be so heavy. I do think that he will be okay if released but I know how tough that will be for you. I wish you the best of luck, please keep us updated.
 

LordTriggs

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welcome

I'd agree that this was a pet bird who got out and not a wild bird who happened to enter your home. Even if he was wild 2 years is a long time in a tamed setting and he most likely doesn't know how to survive out in the wild. Honestly to me releasing him is a death sentence and it doesn't sound like this is being done for his good, it sounds like your dad doesn't like him and has decided for him to go. I would make a case to your parents that "freeing" him is akin to killing him themselves. If they still want rid of him I would look to get him adopted by someone.

Though even adopting I would be worried about you, it seems to me you may have some anxiety issues that Bittu helps you out with and of course your parents dumping this on you isn't exactly doing you any favors. Though that is a conversation you may need to have with your parents too.

I do implore that you don't release him into the wild as even if he was a wild bird beforehand then it would take months of rehabilitation to make him survive out there and with how territorial birds are he would most likely not be accepted into the flocks around
 

Kentuckienne

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]On the month of May, we had taken him out of his cage for a long time, keeping our doors locked and he came out quite reluctant and confused. But then he completely ignored us and started flying around erratically, and crashing into objects. Worried, we immediately found a way to return him to the cage.

I agree with the people who say this was probably a companion bird who somehow escaped or was released, and that's why he was so eager to come to humans. He might have been hungry and frightened on his own.

It sounds like he's had lots of chances to leave, and didn't choose to. If you want to keep him, I think it's OK. I hear that ringnecks are not easy birds to keep tame without attention, and if they are ignored they can revert to a wild attitude. Maybe that's what happened in May? But for him to survive in the wild, even with other parrots of the same kind, he must know how to find food, how to avoid predators, what the predators are, he must know how to find a mate and how to get along with a flock of parrots. Without these skills he might not live long. Maybe if you really must release him, do it in a way that his cage stays on the balcony and there's some way for him to get back inside if he wants to come. If he makes it in the flock, that's great, but if he isn't accepted he can at least get something to eat and have a safe place to sleep.

When I was in college, I had two pet C-57 lab mice. They were cute little white things, and I kept them in a large aquarium tank with a cow skull in it. They hollowed out the inside and used to sit in the eye holes and watch the world. One day I took it into my head to let them free. It was nice weather, and their world seemed so boring. So I let them go. I came home the next day to find them sitting on the walkway in the side yard, just sitting. I didn't think much about it, just huh I guess they don't know how to be wild, but later I realized what a dumb thing that was to do. They were probably hungry, and they certainly didn't know to be afraid, so anything could have eaten them. Now I know better, but that doesn't help C-57A and C-57B.
 
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BittuTheBaby

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Hi all!

Thank you so much for the wonderful advice and consolidation! It has put a stronger influence on my decision. However, I would like to add a few more details to clear out any doubt or confusion.
I do agree that he may have been with someone before our fateful meeting, but I'd also like to say that, truthfully, we aren't quite sure if what he says is normal parrot babble or actual phrases. It may merely be our presumption to make what he says, coherent. The words he says aren't quite exactly like what they actually sound like (Also, he doesn't speak English :p but understands it since many of the times I've called him and he obeyed, I used English). And he uses the 'where were you' phrase along with a lot of his other talk, like whenever he sees an empty canister of room freshener. As weird as it sounds, he's actually quite fond of the noise it makes when you tap against it.
So, I feel that maybe what he says is normal wild parrot talk?
Also, I'd like to elaborate on the May event. We had taken him out of the cage and he sat happily eating a few red chilies and after he was finished, he completely changed. We offered him his favourite ball and he wouldn't take it. We offered him a noisy keychain, he ignored it. He just kept looking around. I was getting scared by the minute because of this, since I thought he was getting scared, so I attempted to pet him to calm him down, but, heart-wrenchingly, he rejected that too. Soon after he started flying around. He did a few rounds and proceeded to fly towards the glass covering our balcony. Our house has 4 tiny balconies, all covered by sliding glass doors. Our two bedrooms and living room have curtains, which we had made sure to pull, so he wouldn't crash into it, thinking it was an exit. Unfortunately, we thought he wouldn't make such an attempt. The kitchen, however, was not covered since the pole around which the rings of the curtain fit around was missing; plus we hardly get too much sunlight through that door. So, that's exactly where he flew to, trying to escape and crashed. We frantically put him into his cage, when we saw him panting. We were extremely frightened. I'd also like to mention that, this was the time before he would let me kiss his forehead and rub under his wings.
There are a few more instances where I feel like he does truly want to escape. Like, whenever he hears other parrots calling in the sky, he starts doing the same and flapping his wings towards the end of the cage as if he wants to escape and join them. This happens all the time. When he's indoors, all that's forgotten.
I've also observed that he is good at defending himself when he needs to. He has always been a messy eater and on the days he eats at the balcony, and whenever the pigeons and (rarely) crows try to pick up the scraps, Bittu lunges at them, scaring them off. I'm not sure if it's territorial behavior or defense, but that's what he does.
I haven't hand raised him or anything and he came to me as a young adult, I guess (I did some research on this and how we can determine the age of Ringnecks by seeing the color of their beak and the length of their ring). Would a captive bird know how to call and speak like a wild bird? I'm really not sure.
I have spoken to my mother (Just not yet to my father) and she says that she'll support me when I approach my dad on not freeing my Bittu. And the other day, we were talking about the female parrot who visits us (sometimes alone, sometimes along with her flock). She felt like maybe Bittu and her had a connection. Maybe they might've been mates and that she's finally found him. The other males don't go too near our balcony, but she does. Sometimes, she'll perch on the railing, sometimes on the nearest branch.
Anyways, I do agree with Kentuckienne's idea on the leaving-my-door-open idea. That was on my mind initially and my dad had agreed to it. The idea was that I'd give Bittu a choice to make. I'd take him out on the balcony and open the door and he's come out. All the while, my balcony door will be open for him to come inside if he chooses or fly to the nearby tree. If he comes back, we will surely keep him because then we'll know that he has a will to stay. This is the test, I'd mentioned that my parents were taking. I'm not sure exactly if it's too much of a strain on his intelligence, not that I'm underestimating it. He's an extremely smart little bird. Perhaps, his wild instincts have really not gone dull?
However, to me, the real question is, will a bird, who's willing to stay, fly off because of, say, temporary will?

P.S I don't know if this helps, but apparently, there's a giant tree where multiple flocks of parrots sleep at night a little far from my house. I haven't seen it myself but my parents have.
 
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Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
It seems Bittu is comfortable living in two worlds. Unfortunately it is not possible to have a rational discussion with him, so you are faced with the task of making the supreme decision.

My guess is most parrots retain instinct while humans have generally learned to suppress as needed. The forum is filled with stories of quite tame birds that have escaped given an open window or door. We have no idea if they later feel "remorse" or just accept the new situation as permanent.

I would still "vote" to keep him as a beloved companion, but the idea of leaving the cage open on a balcony as refuge is the best compromise!
 

Kentuckienne

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This is barely relevant, but it's one of my favorite parrot stories. It's a story from 1927 that Sally Blanchard has on her website. Which is an excellent website, after you read the story poke around some. It's the tale of the great Miguel de Cordoba and here it is: 'https://companionparrotonline.com/Miguel.html
 

LordTriggs

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there is one point I want to make on just opening the door and seeing what will happen.

If you were to leave a door open any animal would leave, even the most domesticated dog will run out the front door given the chance. I should know, I've had 5 dogs do exactly that.

Surely if you enjoy his company and he enjoys yours then why "test" him to see if he stays and such. He had a funny day which all parrots get from time to time where something sets them off, it doesn't mean that he doesn't want to be with you and whilst one parrot may be coming to his cage to say hello it very easily could be for the food in the cage much like the other wild birds do
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Getting close to January 21. Wondering if you have any progress with Bittu to share?
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Today is January 21, wonder if there has been a compromise or have you set Bittu free?
 
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BittuTheBaby

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Hello everyone!!

I'm terribly sorry for the late response but unfortunately I'll have to make it sort of short. But I will come back and elaborate on things a little bit later because I have a ton of things to say.
Firstly, I'm extremely happy to say that I haven't freed my little baby! He's still with me today. However, last Sunday he escaped his cage (because that thing is completely broken now) and started flying around. I'd jumped out of my bed when my dad informed me and literally sped out of my room and seeing me, Bittu flew towards my room. He almost flew into the fan because I never expected him to fly to me like that! So I promptly turned it off, panicking. He sat on the top of my mosquito-net and I gave him his morning cuddles and belly rubs plus a few more extra kisses because I thought those would've been my last. Soon after, he flew on to the curtain holder and sat there for an hour, grooming himself and dozing. We called him to eat breakfast with us but it seemed like he... couldn't come down? Like he flapped his wings like he was trying to fly but couldn't. Eventually he did, and he landed on the cupboard and we gave him a biscuit to calm him. All the while, my dad pressed me to release him. We heard a bunch of flocks fly by, too. Bittu flew into my parents bedroom and sat on our indoor clothsline and crawled all over the bed. I was happy to see that he hadn't crashed into the glass doors. He was however slightly ignoring us. We got him to sit on the cage where I cuddled him again and he had his plate full of veggies and fruits. He looked tired after all the flying, I guess. He had been sitting on the headboard of my parents' bed and was staring outside and speaking and squeaking to himself.
After a lot of trouble, we cautiously brought him back inside his cage. He seemed a lot more relaxed, I should say, once he was inside. He slept after that.
My dad looked super puzzled at all this because he thought Bittu would definitely escape. My parents had opened the door a couple of times too but Bittu didn't budge from that headboard. Then, my dad said that he had noticed something about the way Bittu was flying. My mom, sister and I had already seen it and I've also mentioned before in my original post that be Bittu flies erratically, like he can't carry his own weight. I don't really know but we're looking into this. My dad still refuses to get the cage fixed however but I've made my own temporary amendments to the cage so that it's safe. Right now, Bittu is all fine. He's screaming and squeaking at all the other birds who're making their way home, since it's almost dark.
I have one more thing to add, but I'll add it a bit later.
Thank you so much for being so supportive to me!!! <3
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Thank you for the update, looking forward to when you have time to elaborate!

I sense your father would prefer nature take its course rather than orchestrating a dramatic release. However, it seems Bittu is in a state of limbo; a less than ideal cage yet seemingly unable to properly fly.

If you choose to keep him permanently, a new or overhauled cage is needed. Impromptu escapes can lead to tragedy in the presence of fans.

It is hard to assess Bittu's flying ability, has it noticeably changed over time? It may be he has some sort of skeletal or muscular defect that led to his intuitive seeking of safety with you. Perhaps he has simply gained excess weight?
 

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Gold Capped Conure (Mango)
Bittu seemed at first to be poised between the choice of two worlds, but it sounds as if he's more grown comfortable in yours, due to your attentions. That being the case, now belaboring this outcome's origins or your influence upon it is secondary to providing good care for Bittu - while he remains. But there are several important and serious factors for you to think deeply on:

Bear in mind that the overhead fan is a real, present, and severely injurious danger to Bittu. And there are many human-made devices like it capable of proving deadly to Bittu. Electrical wires that can shock a small avian heart when chewed. Buckets full of water that pose risk of drowning. Rodenticide, insectidide, fumes of vehicles, vaporous poisons from incense and such. And also that, Bittu (compared to our Western, bred-birds) is much closer to the wild(er) environment still present at the periphery of even very densely-urban Indian cities. The very diet you feed Bittu, without opposing counter-action by the necessary and strengthening physical stress of foraging - of life in the wild, is itself, and in the long-run, a detriment to Bittu's health, unless you put an inordinate amount of effort into matching that as closely as possible (and supplementing with occasional attention of qualified Avian veterinarians..or at least ornithological expertise...how much of either can you easily access in your environment?)

Now given the above, think on this: birds are quite adaptable, resilient, and intelligent. And have wings which they need to use. Now, the longer birds are in our care in a controlled (and perhaps too-comfortable) an environment, the less adaptable and resilient they become. This is a certain fact for humans as well. But they remain no less intelligent, and that intelligence craves stimulation, socialization, novelty.

Without the press of life-in-near-wild to provide (and in some cases, distract the need for) those things to Bittu, it will be contingent on you to make up the shortfall.

  • Even when you are taking your exams.
  • Attending higher education.
  • Stressed out, looking for work.
  • Stressed out, starting a new job.
  • Stressed out, trying to keep your job.
  • Starting a family, having a family, having kids of your own.
  • etc...
Ringnecks have lifespan between two and three decades. More, with better-than-adequate care.

This is perhaps some of what was in your Dad's line of thinking. You sound as if you very much want to keep and properly care for Bittu. But it is a duty that you can not simply shirk "because there are more important things" that will come your way, even feeling the way you do now about this creature.

If you have the energy and will to provide those things to Bittu, and still attend to all the things that are required of you as an Indian son to Indian parents in India, and pursue your goals and develop yourself for your own success, then it is not such a big thing. But it is not such an easy 'if'!

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master;
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!
The irony of quoting Kipling to you is not lost on me, baisab. Good luck.
 
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