Zeleni the Mischievous IRN - Down the memory lane

Skarila

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āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
Here on this forum I have mentioned my very old Indian Ringneck Zeleni. He was with me from the very beginning of my life - He arrived to my family mere 2 months before I was brought to this world. Now it is time for me to share his glorious life story.

Last 4 years of his (Zeleni's) life was rehomed to a very loving bird family, a beautiful big flock of other ringnecks and aleksandrines. You could say he went into pension on a sunny beach house in his last days. That is how I try to accept it, rather than me just shunning him away. While I did miss him dearly in these last 4 years, I feel completely broken when I heard the news that he has passed away this spring. I'm having an extremely hard time accepting it, and every mention of him (even while writing this) just turns me into a slobbery mess - but I believe that perhaps writing his story down might make me tougher and help me accept the fact that he has passed to the other side, over the rainbow bridge.

My dear Zeleni has lived up to over 28 years, quite a good age for a ringneck.
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Following story goes with how my parent's told me before:

Zeleni's story begins in May of 1993. He was according to the breeder around 5 months when my parents got him. My parents really wanted a bird for their office where they worked before together. My mother uttrely wanted a lovebird, but at that time no one had a pair of lovebirds, and she did not want a single lovebird. So, they found an add that someone was selling ringnecks. My parents could choose between a girl and this lively boy. They chose Zeleni because he was very lively and talkative, a bird with a huge personality. And so they took him in, and he lived in their office, where my parents spent most of the day. I believe most parrot owners would be shocked by such thing, but remember this - there was no internet back then, and parrot keeping wasn't popular, they were mostly seen as decorations, little beings who's place is in a cage.
However, Zeleni was fully free all the time during my parent's stay there. Because this was a private firm, I believe they were there for weekends as well.

My father used .to make a certain whistle to him every day, all the time, a very unique whistle. But he was so silent in the end. He didn't pick it up. Until.
My mum was in the office, alone with Zeleni. My father was outside doing some sort of other work. And then my mum heard that unique whistle. She turned around, saying "I didn't expect you to be home so soon!!" but she wasn't greeted back. My father wasn't there. She was extremely confused. Until Zeleni repeated that whistle for the 2nd time. Let's just say my mum was extremely surprised but glad he picked it up. It was one of the cutest things he picked up, and the only thing. A whistle, followed by clicking sounds. Zeleni never learned any words or any other whistles.

Another funny story is when Zeleni (in the office) picked up my dad's freshy opened yoghurt and flew across the room with the cup of freshly opened yoghurt, all 250ml of it.
Leaving nothing but a lovely white trail on the carpet all across the room (back in the day, wall to wall carpets were such a popular thing..). Just imagining him doing that always makes me giggle. Still baffles me how did he manage to fly with so much extra weight... (I do believe it - as he did something similar to me as well, later on.)

I really do not know when did he come home exactly - apparently mere few months later my parents took him home when the firm collapsed - And I was there already, nothing but a little infant. It will take quite a few years until I am aware of myself - and aware of the little green biting monster in the cage.
 

Tikitiel

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I feel you very deeply..
we had a scarlet macaw named chris he lived till 78 years old
he was a constant plucker since he was rehomed 7 times
i still cant get over his loss even tho it was 5 years ago
the same goes for tango my sun conure
i raised him from when he was 3 weeks old
i am very sorry for your loss
over the rainbow bridge zeleni
 

Terry57

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I'm so sorry for your loss of Zeleni. Thank you so much for sharing those wonderful stories about him, I enjoyed getting to know him through your words. He got the best of both worlds, he got to enjoy the love of your family, and then enjoyed the love of his new flock.
My heart goes out to you.
Fly free, Beautiful Zeleni, you will be missed.
 
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Skarila

Skarila

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āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Thank you both - I have this certain guilt with me, so I must share some of his awesome stories of him. While he was such a hard bird to have, he was special in his own way.

More stories will come for sure!
 

foxgloveparrot

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So sorry for the loss of your beloved Zeleni, and thank you for sharing his story with us. You'd think it gets easier, but it never really does. My heart breaks for you. Never stop flying
 

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Dearest Skarila, thank you for sharing this loving tribute to Zeleni. Itā€™s clear how much he was loved by his whole family, and how well taken care of he was too. What a blessed life he led to have found and to have been loved by you all, Iā€™m just so sorry you never got to visit him just once more. I hope you can take comfort in the knowledge that you have many like-minded friends here who are thinking of you. Foxgloveparrot is right, it never does get any easier to lose any of our precious little angels. Sending love and many feathered hugs from me and my little flock to you and yours. ā¤ļø
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Lovely, poignant story of Zeleni's precious life. Something special about growing up with companion animal from earliest memory.
 
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Skarila

Skarila

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āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
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Dearest Skarila, thank you for sharing this loving tribute to Zeleni. Itā€™s clear how much he was loved by his whole family, and how well taken care of he was too. What a blessed life he led to have found and to have been loved by you all, Iā€™m just so sorry you never got to visit him just once more. I hope you can take comfort in the knowledge that you have many like-minded friends here who are thinking of you. Foxgloveparrot is right, it never does get any easier to lose any of our precious little angels. Sending love and many feathered hugs from me and my little flock to you and yours. ā¤ļø
Oh Martina, how much I wish to tell you that he was well kept, but he simply wasn't. Birds do not live just out of love, but also adequate care, which I realized way too late that his care was borderline abusement, which my family to this day do not believe in it (quote: "if he was sooo bad and if our care was abusement he wouldn't have lived so many years", I need a good comeback for it) I did all I could for the little troublemaker, but I know I couldn't make up for his 18-20 years of awful captivity with awful diet.
In this world of internet, it is so much easier to research and spread the good word, back in the day it was much harder, especially when I was "just a child" who couldn't make any final decisions until many years later. Not to mention when you take the breeder's word as godspoken, which in all fairness was the WORST. Zeleni did had quite a "dark age" for him, but he had blissful moments as well, and blissful last few of his life. I am still fighting all the guilt and the feelings, but I must accept that I simply did not know better back then, that was how I was taught. Now I give all my energy, money and my heart for any living animal in my care. I have a lot to thank to my partner as he's the one who's shown me "the right path" regarding parrot keeping.

(I didn't want the reply to turn into wall of text, but oh well..!)
 

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Skarila, I too feel guilt at the memory of how my birds were treated when I was very much younger. I loved them dearly and cared for them the best way I knew how, but I was not the decision maker or even the primary care giver. We all do our best with the knowledge we have available at the time, as inadequate as that may be. I will make a deal with you - I won't beat myself up about the past anymore if you don't, ok?? That's the very best thing about this community, we share knowledge, inspire one other and lift each other up, and our precious feathery charges benefit the most from that, and from the legacy of those that have gone before. It's not always easy to think about the past but we cannot change it. The best we can do is honour their memory by ensuring that those with whom we now share our lives have the best possible care we can give them, and I know that your little flock has that now with you. :)
 
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Skarila

Skarila

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āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Skarila, I too feel guilt at the memory of how my birds were treated when I was very much younger. I loved them dearly and cared for them the best way I knew how, but I was not the decision maker or even the primary care giver. We all do our best with the knowledge we have available at the time, as inadequate as that may be. I will make a deal with you - I won't beat myself up about the past anymore if you don't, ok?? That's the very best thing about this community, we share knowledge, inspire one other and lift each other up, and our precious feathery charges benefit the most from that, and from the legacy of those that have gone before. It's not always easy to think about the past but we cannot change it. The best we can do is honour their memory by ensuring that those with whom we now share our lives have the best possible care we can give them, and I know that your little flock has that now with you. :)
You know what - yes, it is a deal. A deal that I will no longer beat my self up over something that I had no say in nor influence, and because I didn't know better, but then neither you should do it then!!!

Who breaks the deal, has to uhm... No ideas there, lemme know if you have any ideas.
 

LaManuka

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You know what - yes, it is a deal. A deal that I will no longer beat my self up over something that I had no say in nor influence, and because I didn't know better, but then neither you should do it then!!!

Who breaks the deal, has to uhm... No ideas there, lemme know if you have any ideas.

It's a promise! You break the deal and you will need to send me a bottle of Unicum (which according to it's brand ambassador is "a bittersweet potion, which isn't easy to enjoy the first time, but then you cross that barrier and it becomes your favorite" - spoken like a true brand ambassador!!) And if I break it I will send you a bottle of finest Penfolds Grange Hermitage, which easily retails in the thousands of dollars per bottle, so that will be a very good incentive indeed for me to hold my end of the deal up!!
 
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Skarila

Skarila

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āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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My Childhood with the Green Monster

Well, okay, he wasn't really a monster, but he was a bit scary for me when I was small. My earliest memory of him is now quite cringe worthy - Poor bird in a round small cage, closed for days, pure sunflower diet, with occasional lettuce or human food when he begs (be it bread, chicken, fruit that we ate at the time.). I remember the cage was perhaps 50-60cm in diameter, on a stand with golden bars. My parents never wanted a different cage because the rest were "ugly" and "wouldn't fit in the flat". In the cage he had a huge thick piece of wine/grape wood on which he could perch and bite on. If anything, his nails were always filed down. And toys were not a thing, it never existed in his world.

There was a general rule never to stick your fingers between the bars because the bird bites hard. And he did bite hard back then. I know he would be let out for a half an hour flight around the room maybe every few days or so. He wasn't really tame, so getting him back in the cage was a nightmare. The way he was put in was the he'd fly around the room, my parent's shooing him towards his tiny cage with rags, and Zeleni would get SO tired to the point he would get into his cage by him self. It was like this for years.

Often when we had guests over to our home, he was let out to hang out with everyone. He was such a bluffer. He did love being among people, sitting on their shoulders, stealing the food or beer (!!), and biting the ear when he felt like it. While he would go from one person to another, for some reason elderly women, including my grandmother were his favourite. He ADORED my grandmother, even though she rarely talked to him while he was in the cage. She did like him though, and was very gentle with him. I clearly remember him clinging onto her chest and yapping and chatting away - finishing with some sad "aww aww awwws", that he knew doing it in his own way. We called it the "complaining" , no wonder he complained so much to her - he was living such a lonely and awful life (for a bird), and noone even had a clue how bad it was for him.

I wasn't that close to Zeleni, I was mostly afraid of his bites. He was a semi tame bird, but I was super happy if he'd sit on my arm or shoulder. I loved the way how inquisitive he was, and fear was not a thing for him. He was completely fearless, if anything, he was surely fierce and full of life. My older brother was the one who was "taking care of him" - cleaning his cage weekly and giving food and water daily.

After some year he became an amazing escape artist. He knew each and every way to get out of that bloody cage. Opening the main door? Not a problem for him. We temporarily solved it by putting some wires and twisting so that he cannot open the door. That did not stop him at all. He persisted so much that he has undone the twisted wire every. Single time. So, we switched to an actual lock, with a 3 number code on it. It did hold him in for a while, but he learned to open the tiny doors from the food ( The doors we so that you slide in the food bowl from the outside and clip the door down). I have no idea how, but he figured it out. Click open the door, push out the bowl of water or food, and mingle his own way out. The persistance was incredible. He always just wanted to be outside. Even later we used the wire again for the food doors - at least he couldn't open those that often and successfully.

Already somewhere at the age of 11 or 12, my grandmother's health started to decline rapidly and she passed away when I was 12. That period was very traumatic for the whole family because of other things that were going on, but I will not mention any of it here now.

My Grandmother lived with us ever since Zeleni joined the family, so he did see her daily. And then suddenly, she was gone. Of course, Zeleni did see the change. All the sorrowful and stressful mood. I am sure that something clicked in his little head in that period. He became loud. Constant shouting. Before he did shout a lot too, but I somehow remember him becoming specifically loud after that year. Another thing I was taught (badly) is just to cover the bird when it is shouting. Zeleni is shouting? Cover him. You uncover, he shouts again? Just cover him again. That was the solution, just punish the bird. While it did work most of the time, we forget how persisting this feathery butt is. He started chewing on the thick cover, eventually creating big holes. When I mean big, I mean half a meter big. He was covered on a daily basis when my dad was taking a nap - the bird had to be silent. Even a small peep and the bird was again in a dark place.

Around age of 13 things started to change a bit, at least in his new favourites and who are his new enemies.
 
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Skarila

Skarila

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āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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The chosen one

Zeleni started showing huge interest in me when I was around 13 (meaning he was well around 13 as well). He became very talkative towards me, loved playing with me, and started doing one thing I had no idea what it was - displaying. For those who do not know, Ringnecks display by doing the "heart wings", and males do it so nicely. While often it is just a sign of friendship, he would just make these huge heart wings, even to the point where he just spreads his wings fully. I was way too young, internet has just started to bloom and googling for everything wasn't really a thing yet. I didn't know a single person who had parrots, and neither did my parents. I took this displaying as a game. I'd often prompt him to do it just so I can draw him, or just out of fun, because, it was funny. I mean, how is it not cute? Especially showing it to people, I was so proud how tame he became with me.
Slowly, I started taking caring of him as he took a great liking to me, while started loathing my older brother. I remember he did started biting him, but his hatred grew quite a lot later on.
I was letting Zeleni out more often, but there was a tiny problem - He ALWAYS wanted to play or would just start making a mess in less than 15 minutes. His personality just bloomed - He was so interested into everything, and one of his favourite things to do was toss things off the table or the shelves. tearing the paper tissues apart. To me being completely oblivious of do's and don't's what to do with a bird, I started petting him on the head, but also the back and wings. I mean, he allowed me. There was noone in the whole wide world who could stop me. I wish someone had stop me back then.

I remember I'd go to the local pet store's internet site and I would often send inquiries to the vets. "Why is my bird shouting?" or "why is my bird attacking me when I touch my cup" and stuff like that. Sadly, these vets have 0 idea about birds. Only something quite common, so they weren't much of a help. And yeah, Zeleni used to attack my hands if I'd touch a bowl or a cup. He'd go full berserk mode for some reason. Possessive little fluff. His time outs were less and less, I could keep him out few times per day but not more than 15 minutes. His hormones started to rage.

I could do anything I wanted with this bird later on. I became his chosen one. But he was showing his love in a bit different way. maybe a year or two later he first started feeding me. Regurgitating and trying to feed me. I was always grossed out. This is why I couldn't handle him much. He wasn't interested in playing fetch with stuff or tossing stuff or destroying the paper anymore, he had one thing in mind - me. Constant feeding, always trying to rub against me. This is when things started going downhill quite fast.

Zeleni became extremely hormonally frustrated. Back then, I had awful anger issues (still do but at least I'm getting the help I need), my patience and in general mental health was in danger. For many years, I had to deal with Zeleni's constant shouting and his hormonal burst outs. There was no such thing as "hormone season" for him. It was all. The. Time.
I had ups and downs with him. One day I'd have best day of my life where he's super cute and doing stuff with me, and other where I was plucking my own hair out from frustration. I loved him awful a lot - but in the same time I had this certain hatred towards him, I had no understanding. I barely understood myself when I was entering my 20's soon, and even less a broken parrot.

I did try my outmost best to help him, but there were also my parents who just...don't understand a bird's need. His old cage broke so we had to get a new one. I really wanted to get a bigger one for him, but my parents forced to get the same type what he had. I think it was even smaller than the previous one. No wonder he was so miserable!! And so was I. Full of frustration, my own issues. Just now I understand how both of us, me and Zeleni, were just simply misunderstood and we both had our needs. But noone understood nor knew, so we were left only to each other. I continued spending my time and love with him, but also my mental health has declined due to his excessive shouting on top of everything.

First year or two of my uni, I'd let Zeleni fly to my room and simply stick with me while I was studying or playing. These were the times I taught him to stay put when he's on his back, to chill on my shoulder instead of violating my head of hands, and simply to be with me. But lord, that bird had SO MUCH ENERGY. I still question myself HOW did he survive for 20+ years on sunflower seed diet only. You wouldn't believe how much he could fly and hop around, always digging everywhere. Often I'd just put him on the floor when I had enough of him (cats and dog were out of my room when he was free). He'd just waddle so cutely around.

But aside of his hormonal state, he did have his super cute stuff he'd do. His strut is one of my favourites. Since he always wanted to be on me, I'd put him on one end of the couch and let him waddle slowly to me. He'd almost try to do it in secret it was so funny. Slooowly he'd come to me, climb until he was face to face with me and start yapping or just in silence start knocking on my nose. Oh, my heart aches just by writing this, I miss his silliness so much... He may have been broken, but he loved me truly.
 
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Skarila

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āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Dogs and parrots do not go well together

And noone can change my mind. We had 2 cats - we got a wonderful orange tabby when I was 6 or 7, and another one (by pure chance and because it was badly hurt) a few years later. Both of the cats were kittens when we got it, and it was quite easy to teach them not to touch the parrot! They were mostly curious about Zeleni, but never actually shown the interest to hunt him. Their body language was so easy to read, and in 18 and 15 years of their little cat lives, not once did they go after the bird. They were incredibly docile cats, and they knew their place. If the bird was out, under the table they in the other room, as Zeleni always wanted to play with their ears and whiskers. As I was younger and oblivious of the dangers, I did let Zeleni walk all over the orange tabby. The cat really never cared, not once did he try to swipe the bird, just make a disgusted face, stand up and go. Now, I wouldn't ever let this happen. If I did have a cat, it would be the world's biggest and most docile cat - a Ragdoll. But even then there would be a lot of precautions. Zeleni was very lucky that he didn't get sick from the cats, possibly the cats were healthy and didn't carry any parasites as they were always in the flat and never let out.

Speaking of luck, Zeleni did flew out of the jaws of death for real. By our age of 15, we found an adorable small dog, who was probably around 5-6 month of age. It surely had some terrier genes in her, as she first of all looked like one, but also her instincts to hunt were HUGE. While we were careful when Zeleni was let out, I learned the hard way you cannot always be careful enough.
My mum would have the dog next to her, holding the dog, while I played with Zeleni on another couch, maybe 2 meters away. I've seen the dog would shake from excitement or simply being nervous when the bird was out. This was a clear sign to never let the bird near the dog. Luckily the dog never sat and watched into the cage - she was no interested. But if the bird was out, she would go crazy.

So, here we're sitting, Zeleni for some reason wanted to play with my mum's hair, while my mum was holding the small 6 kg dog tightly. Zeleni took flight back to me, and I swear, the dog ripped her self from my mother's hold and jumped after Zeleni mid flight and actually caught him.

My heart sank that moment.

Zeleni managed to escape and fly back to me, I was still in shock, while my mum was scolding the dog furiously. There was no blood anywere and all feathers were in place. But Zeleni was limping, and he wouldn't use his leg. The leg turned purple. I was already sure that he had broken bones, knowing how hollow and fragile their bones are. My parents did not want to take the bird to the vet as first and foremost - we had no money (money was a real struggle at that time) and there were no vets in my town who would understand birds.
That was the moment I made few promises to my self. First one being no more dogs and birds in same room (since then I was taking Zeleni to my room OR closing the dog in another room for those 15-30 minutes) and other that I would never allow myself NOT to take a bird to the vet. I'd fight tooth and nail to get the bird to a vet. I did understand my parents at that time, and I still do understand. If there were no money, and you're already in debt, it's either we get to eat for a week or two, or we spend whatever left money we had for a vet who probably doesn't understand birds. And I have to tell you - This bird has never seen a vet. That's right, never, not once in his 28 years of life.

For almost a week Zeleni's leg was purple, but slowly he started using it. Like a miracle, he survived and his leg healed completely. I have never seen him limping or having any issues later on. We were extremely lucky about Zeleni's persistence and will to live. From that time I joked that he'd survive even the nuclear war.
The dog never touched the bird ever again, as they were never ever together in the same room (aside when Zeleni was in the cage). The cats crossed the rainbow bridge never caring about the birds. My dog is now 13 years and is super old and sick. I have forgiven her long time ago for what she has done, I could never be angry on her as it was my own fault and her instincts driving her to do the deed.

And this is not just my dog. I had a talk with a guy who's dog loved playing around with his lovely Quaker parrot. One day the guy wasn't home and the quaker escaped from their cage. The guy came back to greet his parrot - dead. And the dog sitting proudly with mouth full of feathers. What I never understood is that the same person let the dog play with his new other parrots too, despite his dog murdered his beloved quaker. Some people never learn, I guess, or really think this was a "freak accident".
 
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Skarila

Skarila

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āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Two mentally broken souls

Just like with any student, once uni starts, all the stress comes along with as well. I was particularly vulnerable to this extra stress. I was always a bit strange with anger issues and trouble understanding social things and trouble expressing true emotions, but not stupid, way far from that (in middle school I was top in my class, and in uni in main subjects I was also somewhere at the top).

This was the first time I experienced depression, but I kept it as a secret. The local Psychiatrist was 0 help, going to psychologist was almost impossible as I had no money, and it was just way too expensive back then for me. I wish I was more pushy about it as I would've gotten some answers and right therapy much sooner.

With my own struggles, Zeleni was on top of all of it. He was driving me mad with his constant shouting. And I meant constant - for hours to no end. With sensitive hearing, this was a living nightmare to me. Because of some rearrangements in the flat, I agreed to keep him in my room (once my big brother moved out, so I got a free room of my own). Terrible idea. While he was there, could see me, could interact with me, no, as soon as I turned my back to him, he would just shout. And shout. And shout..... For those who do not know, IRNs are among the loudest parrots out there. It's earpiercing. Those who have sun conures would know. My eardrums would hurt from his shouting. I had awful hysterical fits from his shouting. I wasn't normal, and often I had these breakdowns. I, me, the chosen one, started mistreating the bird. In those hysterical fits and breakdowns I would shout at him how much I hated him, that I will give him away, why doesn't he just drop dead. I would cover him for most of the day as I just couldn't deal with the excessive shouting. I was a broken person, and he was a broken bird. I am bawling my eyes out from guilt as I write this, these were (and still are) my demons. But I'm working hard to forgive my self, since these were my torn nerves' doing, not my heart's. I didn't hate him, I hated myself, and I hated his shouting. I didn't want to give him away. I didn't want him to drop dead - I just wanted peace. This was my greatest sin - awful mistreat of the bird, banging on the cage for him to shut up already, shouting at him, grabbing him out. And he would just look at me, still ever so lovingly. I was fit for a psychiatry, probably. And noone ever saw me in these fits, but everyone in the house knew I had a problem, but noone was too keen on helping me out the right way to solve it as "everything is just in your head". Last few years I am getting the help I desperately needed, and I feel like a completely new person. Still quirky weird me, but at least the anger is on the leash and I can control my strong emotions much better. Bird shouting doesn't drive me mad anymore, but probably because I didn't take in one of the loudest species (top 5) in the flat. I would never ever take in a ringneck, A jenday or sun conure, ever... No thank you. Pretty wonderful birds, but not for my and my partner's ears. Pascal's often shouting is quite acceptable, even for the neighbours.

This is my sin, and I repent with my whole soul for what I've done.

Some months later after my sinning, I gave up uni for failing in some subjects (math, I'm looking at you) + my loss of interest in the whole uni subject I've taken, I dropped out. I tried my best to treat Zeleni better, following my Partner's advices. We knew that a small unsuitable cage was the biggest problem, so I bird proofed my room more so he can stay out for longer time, so no broken tossed figurines this time. My partner tried his best to help me switch Zeleni to pellets after he heard about his horrible diet, and stuff like that. He was sending me stuff for Zeleni so often. Through him I have found again love for birds as I simply didn't understand the bird's needs well. Few months later, I moved out but I didn't take Zeleni with me that time, It was a question whether I would stay there, and I did everything that I stay away from my old home.

6 months forward, I've landed my first job, and I decided to bring Zeleni with us. Since I had some money at the time, I bought him a much bigger cage what was more fit for him. I remember my mother rolling her eyes that the new cage is "too big" for him (50x50x150cm, really? too big? You mean absolute minimum??), but I didn't care - this was my money, my decision. My parents helped me drive Zeleni to us, with the cage and all. All went smoothly, and Zeleni was here again, with me.

Now, in those 6 months without the bird, I still had some stressful things that happened in meantime, but I was out of a toxic place, and somehow I did feel refreshed and happier. I felt I had a new good start. I was cringing on the thought that Zeleni was back home with my parents closed, rarely anyone worked with him, aside of my little brother. He because his main caretaker. They again put him back on seeds instead of pellets. I remember comming back to a horror that they filled his bowl with raw legume mix which was suposed to be cooked before hand. They didn't even ask me what to do with the mix they found. They just... gave him rock hard beans and corn and stuff and wondered why doesn't he eat it. That was the point when I decided to take him with me, and I did. After lot's of learning (real learning!!) About parrots, i've seen how much injustice was brought to Zeleni. He didn't deserve any of this, plus... Despite everything, he was my little green monster. I was super glad I could take him with me in the end, at least for a few months.

The beginning was super. He immediately felt comfortable in the new flat. He didn't mind the little budgie that was there. He was getting so much free space, being out most of the day when someone is home, better diet, lot's of attention from both me and my partner. I was working very late afternoon shifts or night shifts. His shouting wasn't so bad there in the new place.

In those blissful few months I could work with him, teach him how to play with his new toys, watch him explore. My heart was always soaring when my partner would send me pictures of Zeleni doing Zeleni stuff - either just puffing up while on his monitor, tearing away the newspapers or flyers, beaking and trying out everything what was on the table... My Partner really loved this bird from the very start, and has given his all to maintain a good relationship. For some reason, we never managed to clicker train Zeleni. He never understood the concept. He simply was never food driven, unless he really wanted my food. But even then, like a bulldozer, he would just jump/fly to you, steal the food, and go away. Holding treat while asking him to touch the stick? Heck no! Give me the treat. He wasn't afraid of anything, and I mean it. Fear was an unknown word to him. He was 23 years old at the time, guess you cannot teach an old fart of a bird new tricks...! But lord, that determination this bird had, to this day it just amazes me.
 
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Skarila

Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Chicken drum thief

Zeleni had very strong determination. Extremely strong will to live.

And simply being.... strong.

One evening, I prepared some nice oven grilled chicken drums for dinner, and some rice. My partner was always late to sit by the table, it's something I fight with for years still, heheh. Food's on the table already, and he's still not there. And he would never sit by the table before the food is there! Weird man.

Zeleni was known to simply jump into our plates and bowls. Once he dunked himself into a bowl of red soup too. He knew no limits regarding food. He loved human food so much.... Especially chicken meat, little cannibal (unsalted cooked chicken meat is okay to give occasionally!)

So, that evening, I've put the chicken drums with rice on the table, and went into the kitchen to get my plate. My Partner was in the room, but God forbid him to watch what was the bird doing. As soon I was out of sight, the little thief grabbed the entire chicken drum. I think that drum weighted as much as he did!!! Just as I entered the room again, he already had the drum and was running away with it.

And he flew with it. He was running away with the drum. The two of us couldn't catch one bird in the room, with the chicken drum (and yes, he stained everything where ever he landed....). Even while he was on his cage, I simply couldn't grab the chicken drum from him. Of course, I did in the end, but he wasn't letting it go! I had to pry him from the chicken, he did tear off a piece, and was munching away happily in victory. To me the whole thing was hilarious, to my partner, not so much, as it was his dinner that was stolen and dragged around the room :D Nevertheless, he never learned his lesson, I think. But, neither did Zeleni ever stop attempting to steal my food.
 

Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Lovely tribute to beloved Zeleni. I hope sharing his life brings cathartic peace!
 
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Skarila

Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
544
Media
75
Albums
5
1,162
Hungary
Parrots
āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Lovely tribute to beloved Zeleni. I hope sharing his life brings cathartic peace!
Thank you, Scott. Some parts were extremely hard to write as I felt naked and at fear that people might start judging, but... It's there, and I have nothing to hide or lie about...
I have to admit, it does feel easier now, I know it will never be easy, but the pain did subside a bit.
 

Sudired

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Oct 27, 2021
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Indian Ringneck
Here on this forum I have mentioned my very old Indian Ringneck Zeleni. He was with me from the very beginning of my life - He arrived to my family mere 2 months before I was brought to this world. Now it is time for me to share his glorious life story.

Last 4 years of his (Zeleni's) life was rehomed to a very loving bird family, a beautiful big flock of other ringnecks and aleksandrines. You could say he went into pension on a sunny beach house in his last days. That is how I try to accept it, rather than me just shunning him away. While I did miss him dearly in these last 4 years, I feel completely broken when I heard the news that he has passed away this spring. I'm having an extremely hard time accepting it, and every mention of him (even while writing this) just turns me into a slobbery mess - but I believe that perhaps writing his story down might make me tougher and help me accept the fact that he has passed to the other side, over the rainbow bridge.

My dear Zeleni has lived up to over 28 years, quite a good age for a ringneck.
View attachment 31258
Following story goes with how my parent's told me before:

Zeleni's story begins in May of 1993. He was according to the breeder around 5 months when my parents got him. My parents really wanted a bird for their office where they worked before together. My mother uttrely wanted a lovebird, but at that time no one had a pair of lovebirds, and she did not want a single lovebird. So, they found an add that someone was selling ringnecks. My parents could choose between a girl and this lively boy. They chose Zeleni because he was very lively and talkative, a bird with a huge personality. And so they took him in, and he lived in their office, where my parents spent most of the day. I believe most parrot owners would be shocked by such thing, but remember this - there was no internet back then, and parrot keeping wasn't popular, they were mostly seen as decorations, little beings who's place is in a cage.
However, Zeleni was fully free all the time during my parent's stay there. Because this was a private firm, I believe they were there for weekends as well.

My father used .to make a certain whistle to him every day, all the time, a very unique whistle. But he was so silent in the end. He didn't pick it up. Until.
My mum was in the office, alone with Zeleni. My father was outside doing some sort of other work. And then my mum heard that unique whistle. She turned around, saying "I didn't expect you to be home so soon!!" but she wasn't greeted back. My father wasn't there. She was extremely confused. Until Zeleni repeated that whistle for the 2nd time. Let's just say my mum was extremely surprised but glad he picked it up. It was one of the cutest things he picked up, and the only thing. A whistle, followed by clicking sounds. Zeleni never learned any words or any other whistles.

Another funny story is when Zeleni (in the office) picked up my dad's freshy opened yoghurt and flew across the room with the cup of freshly opened yoghurt, all 250ml of it.
Leaving nothing but a lovely white trail on the carpet all across the room (back in the day, wall to wall carpets were such a popular thing..). Just imagining him doing that always makes me giggle. Still baffles me how did he manage to fly with so much extra weight... (I do believe it - as he did something similar to me as well, later on.)

I really do not know when did he come home exactly - apparently mere few months later my parents took him home when the firm collapsed - And I was there already, nothing but a little infant. It will take quite a few years until I am aware of myself - and aware of the little green biting monster in the cage.
I am also sooooo sorry for you losing Zeleni. I have an IRN who we adopted from The Gabriel Foundation almost 28 years ago as well. He has not been the friendliest bird up until the last few years, after he had lost his Blue Crown Conure buddy last year. I selected him because he was so beautiful (same as my husband)but he has been fun and quirky and I do treasure him for however long he has because like someone else said "rescuing birds has made me crazy".
 

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