What is your parrot story? why did you decide to get a parrot?

reeb

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Oct 23, 2017
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Cape Town, South Africa
Parrots
Berry (♀ Cockatiel) hatched June 2017
Opal (β™‚ Budgie) hatched 13 August 2017
Pearl (♀ Budgie) hatched 15 August 2017
+ an aviary of 16 other budgies! all hatched 2014-2017
What is your parrot story? why did you decide to get a parrot? How have your bird(s) changed your life?

I'll go first.

In late 2014, I was on holiday at our beach house. An emaciated white and blue budgie flew down onto our deck, and with plenty of sunflower seeds (its all we had!) and coaxing, I managed to pick up the little guy in a towel and bring him inside. I made him a makeshift cage out of some metal baskets, and rushed to the nearest supermarket to try and get some seed. This town didn't have a pet shop and only had a general vet that only worked once a week, so I was really stumped on what to do. I managed to find some plain millet seed at the shop, and I made some DIY toys out of things I had lying around the house. My mom and I printed posters and stuck them up around the town to see if anyone had lost their budgie, but by the time it came time for us to leave, we still couldn't find his owners. So, we decided to drive to the nearest larger town to buy a proper cage, proper toys and proper food for our little friend. I named the little guy Felix, and he was the skinniest budgie I have ever seen. He must have been without food for quite some time, and may have come from very far away!

We drove with him back to our home - a 13 hour drive with 3 dogs and one bird is no joke! I knew he needed a friend, and so when I got home I popped by our local pet shop and bought our second budgie, Marmaduke, or Duke for short. At the same time, I contacted a local breeder to see if she had any hand-raised babies on offer, and she did! And so, I got my two little girls, Orchid and Lotus. In February 2015, my mom called me and said that she decided on impulse to bring home two very young show budgies from our local pet shop, and bought a new massive cage for the rest of the birds. These two were not only my first show budgies, but also provided me with my first experience with hand-rearing. I named them Mango and Kiwi. I then came across another couple of show budgies, both of which were tame too. I named these two Malachite and Topaz. Topaz was one of the sweetest, cuddleist birds I've ever had. So our first bird family was born - all because of one scrawny little lost budgie:whiteblue:.

Over time, I sized up my flock bit by bit, all while getting bigger cages, Jupiter, Neptune and Apollo came next, and then one day, I decided to let Duke and Lotus have babies. They had two clutches - in total, I had 16 new babies! I chose not to sell them, because they were just so precious to me - and lucky for me, our new house in our new city had a large aviary that all my birds could live in (instead of four huge cages haha). My first serious show budgie purchase, with intent on getting a very special colour mutation, was my beautiful Azura, who I had sent to me from a city that is about a 1 hr and 30 min flight away. Later, I got Sunshine, my Lutino show budgie (you can see her in my profile picture).:yellow2:

Of course I've had losses, and each time is no easier than the last. My first loss was Topaz. He got suddenly and violently ill. The vet put him on oxygen and heat as well as treating him with medication, and he stayed in hospital for a few nights. When he came home he was a bit better - but it wasn't enough. I cried so much at his passing. I've had some of my other birds pass away, and it always so difficult- and with so many birds, my heart extends to all of them, and saying goodbye is never easy. :(

So with over 20 budgies in my aviary, how could I possibly want more?

Well, mid-2017 I saw a breeder advertise that she had two clutches of cobalt-violet show budgies for sale, and would hand rear on request. I couldn't help myself but contact her. At the time I wanted one baby, but the moment I went to fetch him and saw the pair I couldn't resist taking both. They were perfect - so affectionate and sweet, so much so that I decided to keep them indoors with me to spend as much time as possible with them! Now they are my best friends - Pearl and Opal are incredible loving, hilarious and bring a smile to my face every day!

Then, about a month ago I decided to get a cockatiel.:grey: I named her Berry, and despite being hand-reared, she was so shy when I brought her home. It took weeks, but now she'll sit on my shoulder and play with me, and we're still building our trust bond. I love her to bits already, she has such a sweet and gentle nature.

Overall, as someone who suffers from Bipolar disorder and anxiety, my birds have brought so much happiness into my life. They are an absolute pleasure to spend time with every day (even when they annoy me :D), and have truly kept me going through tougher times with my disorders.

I try to give them the best possible life - lots of space, plenty of diet variety and lots of love. Even though university takes up some of my time, I still spend as much time as possible with my little lovelies, and I am thankful for them every day!

So, what's your story?
 
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tashawithanekkie

New member
Feb 22, 2017
162
9
Northeast Ohio, USA
Parrots
Duke, Male eclectus
Thanks for sharing your story. 20 budgies sounds like fun. We have two, and I love the little sounds they make.

We didn't exactly decide to get a parrot. Mister Duke belonged to my mother-in-law, who passed away in July of 2016. She didn't make any provision for him in her will. Duke stayed with my brother-in-law until February of this year, when it became clear that BIL didn't have the ability to care for him. (BIL is mentally disabled.)

It was clear to me that Duke wasn't being taken care of, his beak was overgrown, his cage and water dish were very dirty. He was being fed only seed (no good for eclectus.) There was just an aura of loneliness around the poor bird. He barely knew me, had only seen me on holidays and a couple of times I'd come to help clear out MIL's possessions, but he flew to me and landed on my shoulder.

I convinced my husband to let me bring Mister Duke home. It was supposed to be only until he was healthy again but . . . I think he's here to stay. At first it was a lot to handle, and I wasn't sure I wanted the responsibility on top of 2 kids and 2 dogs. Thanks to this forum, I learned ways to make things easier, and besides, I love the little guy.

My son begged for the budgies as a birthday gift, so in June Maui and Moana came to live with us.

Our home is messier and noisier than ever, but I kind of love it. Earning their trust is rewarding in a way I never experienced before. They're domestic but not domesticated, know what I mean? I feel like some sort of tribal queen when Duke spreads his wings, or like a disney princess when the budgies consent to sit on my finger and whistle. When the depression gets heavy, they help in a way that I can't really articulate.

Anyway, the humans are waking up now. I look forward to seeing others stories.
 
Apr 3, 2013
944
19
MD, USA
My story is not so exciting, but memorable to me, nonetheless.
Back in 2000 (almost 18 years ago!?), I was in Kmart with my dad. We came across a book shelf, and I saw a book with a cockatiel on the cover. I saw that book, and knew I HAD to have a bird like that. The rest was history. Growing up I had cockatiels, budgies, lovebirds, doves, a conure, and a goffin. That evolved to where I am today, as an adult in my own home.
 

GaleriaGila

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month πŸ†
May 14, 2016
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Cleveland area
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The Rickeybird, 38-year-old Patagonian Conure
Love those stories!

My tale is of one bird, and one only!

It's a familiar one to some here.

When I walked into a bird store in New Mexico 33 years ago, the Rickeybird (a 3-month-old chick) flapped and flew and scrambled into my arms, turned on his back, and grabbed my fingers with his feet. He seemed glued to me. It was a perfect storm of my impulsiveness, his instant adoration, and the fact that I had just gotten paid by my college work-study job... I took him home. Using his band, I traced his breeder. We exchanged photos and letters (this was pre-'net, y'all!)... and she could have been my sister! We were both tall, thin, with long red hair and Poindexter glasses, long faces and big toothy smiles. The Rb thought his mommy (or close enough) had walked in to rescue him. And that was that.
I kept him pretty well socialized until we moved up North to Ohio... then, one thing led to another, and I failed him, really. He is now a one-person bird, sadly. In my defense, since he became a rooster at about 4 years of age, he really has been a little Genghis Khan. Genghis Conure, my vet calls him.

Back to history... I was in college when I got him, and then grad school, so I spent LOTS of time with him. Then it was time to go to work!
There were were years (about 25 of them) when 5-6 days a week, I was gone at 7:30-ish and back at 6-ish.
Some did and will consider me wrong and think I should have re-homed him.
Anyway, here is what I think made it work.
I moved and got new jobs maybe 5 times or so. BUT...
Every morning, he had at least ten minutes, and every evening, he had 20 or so. I have always kept him on a natural light schedule, in a separate room, so sometimes those times together were in the dark. During the day, he had a big window looking out on something interesting, a television on one of his favorite channels (Music channels, CNN - he loves talking heads), a biggg cage, lots of fun foods, and a few toys that I changed out regularly).
He KNEW he could count on those two crumby sessions a day. Somehow we both made it.
I'm now retired and times are pretty good again. But when I first retired, he was standoffish and aggressive, at times, and not nearly as affectionate and cuddly as he was 30 years ago. Of course, he became a rooster at about 4-5.
He is famous (infamous?) for his quirks, weirdness, and overall trouble-maker-ness. I take responsibility. Today he is flighted, fearless, spoiled, and adored. We worked it out. I spend most of the day with his bad self now, and I know we are back in love. I guess my motto is... don't give up, do your best, and don't be unhappy with the results. Love your bird and yourself for what you are, separately and together.

Thanks for inviting me to drone on about my little love!
 
Last edited:
Apr 3, 2013
944
19
MD, USA
Love those stories!

My tale is of one bird, and one only!

It's a familiar one to some here.

When I walked into a bird store in New Mexico 33 years ago, the Rickeybird (a 3-month-old chick) flapped and flew and scrambled into my arms, turned on his back, and grabbed my fingers with his feet. He seemed glued to me. It was a perfect strom of my impulsiveness, his instant adoration, and the fact that I had just gotten paid by my college work-study job... I took him home. Using his band, I traced his breeder. We exchanged photos and letters (this was pre-'net, y'all!)... and she could have been my sister! We were both tall, thin, with long red hair and Poindexter glasses, long faces and big toothy smiles. The Rb thought his mommy (or close enough) had walked in to rescue him. And that was that.
I kept him pretty well socialized until we moved up North to Ohio... then, one thing led to another, and I failed him, really. He is now a one-person bird, sadly. In my defense, since he became a rooster at about 4 years of age, he really has been a little Genghis Khan. Genghis Conure, my vet calls him.

Back to history... I was in college when I got him, and then grad school, so I spent LOTS of time with him. Then it was time to go to work!
There were were years (about 25 of them) when 5-6 days a week, I was gone at 7:30-ish and back at 6-ish.
Some did and will consider me wrong and think I should have re-homed him.
Anyway, here is what I think made it work.
I moved and got new jobs maybe 5 times or so. BUT...
Every morning, he had at least ten minutes, and every evening, he had 20 or so. I have always kept him on a natural light schedule, in a separate room, so sometimes those times together were in the dark. During the day, he had a big window looking out on something interesting, a television on one of his favorite channels (Music channels, CNN - he loves talking heads), a biggg cage, lots of fun foods, and a few toys that I changed out regularly).
He KNEW he could count on those two crumby sessions a day. Somehow we both made it.
I'm now retired and times are pretty good again. But when I first retired, he was standoffish and aggressive, at times, and not nearly as affectionate and cuddly as he was 30 years ago. Of course, he became a rooster at about 4-5.
He is famous (infamous?) for his quirks, weirdness, and overall trouble-maker-ness. I take responsibility. Today he is flighted, fearless, spoiled, and adored. We worked it out. I spend most of the day with his bad self now, and I know we are back in love. I guess my motto is... don't give up, do your best, and don't be unhappy with the results. Love your bird and yourself for what you are, separately and together.

Thanks for inviting me to drone on about my little love!

I don't fault you, Gail.
IMO, frequent rehoming of a bird is more traumatic than stretches of time that they have less than ideal one-on-one time. Ultimately, you worked things out, and he probably has a better life now than he ever would have elsewhere.
 
OP
reeb

reeb

New member
Oct 23, 2017
568
Media
4
Albums
1
79
Cape Town, South Africa
Parrots
Berry (♀ Cockatiel) hatched June 2017
Opal (β™‚ Budgie) hatched 13 August 2017
Pearl (♀ Budgie) hatched 15 August 2017
+ an aviary of 16 other budgies! all hatched 2014-2017
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Ah I'm loving all of these stories! I am so excited for my future with birds. I was never able to convince my parents to let me get a bird when I was a kid, and who knew that when I was 17 a bird would just fly into my life and change everything! My mom now loves birds as much as I do, and as a full time university student I'm definitely grateful for her help! One day, when I've finished my studies, I would love to have a Galah.
 

GaleriaGila

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month πŸ†
May 14, 2016
14,640
7,187
Cleveland area
Parrots
The Rickeybird, 38-year-old Patagonian Conure
Thanks, Don, and thanks, reeb, for a sweet thread...
 

Billdore

New member
Nov 12, 2016
900
17
Vermont
Parrots
African Grey Timneh
I decided to get a parrot companion about 6 months before I met Timneh. I narrowed down what species I wanted and what kind of companion I was hoping for. Which is what I wanted a little talking buddy. So o decided on a Timneh African grey. I went to my local pet store to start familiarizing myself with birds and to see if I could handle the beak of a larger parrot. There was Timneh sitting on her house watching the world. I was so nervous and inexperienced I really didn't know why to do. I let her chomp me a few times. I was so excited I just kept sticking my hand in her face. I went back everyday till the local owners called me and asked me if I would like to take her home. I said I did but didn't have the money together yet and they said don't worry try it out and I'd work out payments. I took her home worried that she still might not really like me. Though over a few weeks she would definitely come to see me and take whatever new treat I had for her. We watched a movie together the first night (happy Gilmore) and she's been my best buddy ever since. My mom thought Timneh was going to sit in a corner and just sit there. She didn'tunderstand the intelligence level of Timneh, or the companion I was getting at all. Now she comes over and tries to win Timnehs affection. Timneh likes to copy her voice!! My nieces and nephews love to come say hi to her. Every morning ending I'm greeted with a good morning whistle come get me please. And every night she's my pal when I get home till bed time. So she has changed my life in many ways, I love her and she loves me. Thanks for sharing everyone. Owning and being owned by a parrot is a special and unique bond.
 

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