Last Monday I had a doctor’s appointment and ended up getting two more parakeets (I didn’t wanna leave just one in the display cage, waiting for an owner… and they were chatting with each other). Initially, I was curious about the grieving time and whether I SHOULD get another one–and when–for Dusty to be friends with (or more). But my impulsiveness took over and I brought ’em both home and totally forgot my questions.
There wasn’t a rush to get another bird, really, because Dusty had 4 cagemates already, but since they felt “paired up”, well, it made me wonder if Dusty was gonna get depressed. But two birds probably wasn’t the best answer. They got along (the first 24 hours and building a routine is always a little weird for ’em), but then yesterday I learned something from my neighbor across the street.
She came over to ask about birds and to see what could’ve happened to hers. I heard she was helping her daughter look for a bird for her own family at a show, but I didn’t realize she’d gotten one for herself. I was shocked to find out it’d only been home a couple weeks and then it died. No obvious indicators, it was eating fine, no lethargy or drafts, no discharge around the beak, nothing… was just found on the bottom of the cage dead. It was a lovebird that had plenty of interaction with her and attention, so maybe it was an older little bird and nobody realized it was on it’s last legs so to speak.
Since I’m not familiar with lovebirds–beyond them needing lots of attention from their human or a birdie partner–I couldn’t be much help.
But it got me thinking about something, especially since I let her see my little guys, namely the youngest blue. I’d gotten a 2nd blue to kind of even out the colors (since Aqua was), but it meant two blues in the cage now (dunno my thought process there, lack of sleep last week probably helped with that). Well, the other bird I bought was a greenish-yellow one that made me think of a mini-version of a pirate’s pet, down to the color kind of draining downward. More yellow than green up top, changing to greener and then becoming blue toward the bottom. It’s striking and I thought it was pretty cool.
And I’d been listening to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks a few times too many lately.
So, I named it Cap’n.
I originally named the new blue one Matey (didn’t get a picture), but decided if I could get it in it’s original carry box, there was someone that could use it more than me, and I knew they’d change the name. Early Christmas present. And it’s been just over a week, not like it was gonna come when called yet, anyway (hee hee).
So, I had to spend some time with a towel around my hand, slowly getting closer to Matey (20 laps around the cage) and finally got it. I brought it over to my neighbor’s house and came back home to get some safe toys to put in the cage. It’s a smaller species flight cage with plenty of room to spread it’s wings. I gave her the young one because she wants to be able to take it out of the cage, talk to it, play with it, and let her grandson around it. I figured it’s young enough to train and she knows how to clip the wings. I would have wanted to let mine out to enjoy walking around and bond, but The Hairy Ones would probably try to eat them, so I figured I’d let them bond together in the cages… and I can just imagine the hell of finding poop and feathers from all those birds all over the house.
And as long as you treat ’em well, parakeets have pretty good tempers. They might not be as easy to train to talk as other birds (though many can), but their twittering and chirping is quite enough. I talk to mine just fine and they respond in their own cute little language. It works.
So yeah, I checked her setup (was fine), gave a few extra toys and some ideas for veggies to let her feed. She got a lot of great info from the location (just wish we knew what was up with the birds she lost). No extra drafts, no cooking or cleaning fumes I could think of (she’s careful as I am about that sort of thing–sensitive noses all around).
So, I gave Matey up to someone new and I’m back to 10 parakeets… which is quite enough. Cap’n is making some friends and a little more amiable to being part of a flock. Matey seemed a bit overwhelmed, so a smaller family to deal with (and the ability to explore) is probably gonna be great. I suppose this is what we can call a more introverted pet bird vs. an extroverted one.
Even now I’m sitting on the couch, about to get ready for work, listening to the noise of chirps and tweets coming from the cage and they flit around and groom each other. The sound is soothing, like watching a nature channel, really. Not overly loud and crazy, just rather nice. And definitely feels like family.
Glad I could help out both my neighbor and the bird formerly-known-as-Matey, who was starting to get along with the group from what I could see, but also was so much smaller and acted a bit wary. I checked on it this morning (forgot to ask about what they named it) and it seems a lot calmer, so perhaps it’s going to be a great home for it (and they have really tiny dogs compared to mine, so no noses pressed against the cage in curious interest to scare it).
I have to admit, it felt weird to have an odd number of birds in there. 11 was just a bit too much, but 9 didn’t feel right because of Dusty losing his mate and I was afraid he’d be lonely. Well, now I might just have too many males (still preferable to too many females), but I’m not gonna be in a rush to even things out gender-wise. Besides, not sure what Cap’n is yet, so either it and Dusty will be awesome bros, or I’ll catch ’em makin’ with the lovin’ in a few months.
Either way, there’s some peace and balance in this odd little universe next to my kitchen….