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Any Bird Owners Here?


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#1 of 21 ONLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 14 2013 - 02:01 PM

I am owned by two cockatiels and an African Grey, which are the lights of my life.  Any other people with fids here?



#2 of 21 OFFLINE   ChristopherG

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Posted July 15 2013 - 05:19 AM

I do not but have always been fascinated with the idea.  I met someone over the weekend who has an African Grey and she told some great stories on these amazing birds.  Would love to have one but seems like more commitment than I am ready to give.


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#3 of 21 ONLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 15 2013 - 09:50 AM

They are amazing creatures.  The intelligence if a 4-5 year old human, but with the emotional development of a 2 year old.  And they'll never grow out of that, unlike a human child.  Add to that their length of life, and it's a BIG commitment.  My Grey will probably outlive me, so I need to plan for his future care.  And the tiels are just delightful as well.  But they can live around 25 years, so that's a big commitment too.



#4 of 21 OFFLINE   ChristopherG

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Posted July 15 2013 - 11:40 AM

So, what are your thoughts on owning a pet that will outlive you? I find that an interesting item to consider.  The pain one feels at the loss of a pet (as evidenced by more than one thread here in the AHL) wouldn't be felt here.  Weird.


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#5 of 21 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted July 15 2013 - 11:47 AM

I used to have budgies, cockatiels, zebra finches and an Indian ringnecked parakeet that lived for 27 years, also had a rescued crow, got that when it was young, all shot up in a field, took to the vet who worked on it and saved it, it couldn't fly so couldn;t be returned to the wild, one good eye too, anyways it was kept outside in a specially built large cage and it lived eight years and was eating practically up to the moment it passed away.

 

I can't have birds now, not with a cat in the house.


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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted July 15 2013 - 12:21 PM

Over 20 years ago we had an Umbrella Cockatoo.  She was one very affectionate, wonderful bird.  At that time we had about 9 cats.  During the day when we were home we'd have her out on a free standing perch that had toys and food on it.  From time to time she decided she wanted to be with me, so she'd climb down the perch and walk on the floor over to where I was sitting.  Did I mention 9 cats?  What happened?  Well, think of Moses and the Red Sea.  The cats didn't mess with Bertha.

 

However, Bertha was never alone with the cats on the perch.  When we weren't around, she was in her cage.

 

Birds like this are a commitment.  They need a lot of attention and affection.  They have to be with you.  My wife and I both worked, so se spent much of her day in her cage.  We spent most of our waking moments with her or in the same room with Bertha but it wasn't enough.  She started chewing on her legs and we'd take her to her vet (specialized in birds) and get her bandaged up but we couldn't figure out a solution.

 

We decided we, as her owners, weren't good for her.  A vet-tech as the clinic was very happy to get her and we gave her all of Bertha's stuff, including cage and perch for free.  We just wanted Bertha to have a good home.  Bertha would come to the vet clinic with the gal and went home with her so she got a lot of attention and the destructive behavior stopped.  I tried to go to the clinic at lunch time once a month to visit with her.

 

There was a period when I didn't visit for 6 months but Bertha didn't forget me.  When I went in to visit and she saw me, she made this cooing sound that was so full of happiness and love that I've never forgotten it.  

 

A couple years later Bertha started losing weight and the vet had not a clue.  He was the leading bird vet in San Diego, so he was no slouch.  When the vet-tech called me it was to say that it was recommended Bertha be put down.  I went in and held her one last time and stayed with her thru the procedure.  That was one lousy day.  It can still make me cry.

 

Anyone considering a bird, in particular the larger ones, should give lengthy consideration to the idea.  Find a bird club in your area and talk to members to see if you are right person for a bird.  Not every one is.

 

On Saturdays I would have a cup of coffee with a donut or pastry.  Bertha would part the Red Sea and perch on my arm and drink some of my coffee and nibble on the pastry.  This was a repeatable occurrence, so she approved of the coffee and pastries.  I didn't let her consume much of either, but confined it to being a treat.

 

Another thing I remember is how much she liked dried peppers, the kind that would burn an asbestos mouth.  It didn't bother her, and I think I remember that it was a trait of many of the large birds.

 

I still miss my Bertha.


Johnny
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#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted July 15 2013 - 12:44 PM

Owned a Pearl Cockatiel for several years.  Despite being a very loving, easy to handle and fun bird to own I could never get him to stop this annoying squawking.  I tried everything,  even covering the cage didnt help.  Sometimes he would just make these soft little chatters that made for some cool background noise, he had a great whistle and he had a vocabulary of at least 10 words, but other times he would make these loud squawks that eventually drove me to give him up for adoption.  Plus the unbelievable levels of feather dust, feathers and seed shells made an amazing large mess for such a small pet.  I loved him but I will never own another bird for as long as I live.


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#8 of 21 ONLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 15 2013 - 03:36 PM

Yes, cockatiel dust can be an issue.  I had terrible allergies as a kid, but luckily, the dander has never bothered me.  And there is a lot of it.

 

Johnny, just reading about your Bertha made me tear up!  It's wonderful what you did, putting the needs of Bertha first and arranging for a great permanent home.  So many times it does NOT end well for the parrot.  And to stay in her life and visit is really terrific.

 

It is a BIG commitment.  I was scared about taking on Mojo (the African Grey) from the rescue organization because I'm already nearing 50 and he's only 8.  But he's so sweet and gentle and no one wanted to take him because he doesn't "talk!"  I can't believe people can be so shallow about such a beautiful creature.I researched birds (especially tiels) for about 6 months before getting my first one, a cockatiel.  It's not a decision to be made lightly.  Rescues are filled with birds who were impulse purchases and then either couldn't be handled or the owner got bored or whatever. 



#9 of 21 ONLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 15 2013 - 03:44 PM

Christopher, in answer to your question, it is hard.  Birds, especially parrots, bond very strongly. And Greys tend to bond to one person, especially.  So it's hard to think about Mojo having to be re-homed later in his life and not understanding why I'm not there with him anymore.



#10 of 21 OFFLINE   PrincessSpring

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Posted July 15 2013 - 04:18 PM

I have Well my son has a bird that looks exactly like your pic. How smart can they get? Sent from my SPH-L720 using HTF mobile app

Edited by PrincessSpring, July 15 2013 - 04:19 PM.


#11 of 21 OFFLINE   PrincessSpring

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Posted July 15 2013 - 04:24 PM

They bond to one person! Explains why my sons hates me when he's here if I try to even touch my son when she is on his shoulder she hissis and tries to bite my finger off, my son is 16 and this bird thinks she is his girlfriend. I just feel bad that he will never be able to introduce any girls to his bird lmao she will probably see them as competition and try to bite themSent from my SPH-L720 using HTF mobile app

Edited by PrincessSpring, July 15 2013 - 04:26 PM.


#12 of 21 ONLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 15 2013 - 04:51 PM

LOL.  Yes, probably.  Although, it can sometimes be lessened by trying introduce the bird to lots of people.  Sometimes that will help; sometimes not.  But, yes, she sounds like she's bonded to him! LOL. 

 

And they can be quite smart.  It all depends on the bird.  Some cockatiels will talk and sing songs.  Some whistle.  Some never learn to do those things, but still speak "cockatiel" and can be VERY fun and loving pets.  The males tend to speak and sing more than the females.


Edited by JohnMor, July 15 2013 - 04:54 PM.


#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted July 16 2013 - 08:21 AM

Yes, cockatiel dust can be an issue.  I had terrible allergies as a kid, but luckily, the dander has never bothered me.  And there is a lot of it.

 

Johnny, just reading about your Bertha made me tear up!  It's wonderful what you did, putting the needs of Bertha first and arranging for a great permanent home.  So many times it does NOT end well for the parrot.  And to stay in her life and visit is really terrific.

 

It is a BIG commitment.  I was scared about taking on Mojo (the African Grey) from the rescue organization because I'm already nearing 50 and he's only 8.  But he's so sweet and gentle and no one wanted to take him because he doesn't "talk!"  I can't believe people can be so shallow about such a beautiful creature.I researched birds (especially tiels) for about 6 months before getting my first one, a cockatiel.  It's not a decision to be made lightly.  Rescues are filled with birds who were impulse purchases and then either couldn't be handled or the owner got bored or whatever. 

 

The big problem adopting a pet is that so often people don't think it thru and too often their motives are shallow.  "Sweet and gentle", what more would anyone need?  I'll bet you and Mojo communicate just fine.


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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#14 of 21 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted July 16 2013 - 10:35 AM

The big problem adopting a pet is that so often people don't think it thru and too often their motives are shallow.  "Sweet and gentle", what more would anyone need?  I'll bet you and Mojo communicate just fine.

 

Too many people get a pet for their children at Xmas and don't realise how much effort it takes to look after them, it leads to abandonment and neglect, lots of bad owners out there and not enough good owners, a pet should be part of the family and not an amusement for a few months.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#15 of 21 ONLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 16 2013 - 11:23 AM

Amen, Malcolm!  And too many people like that treat birds as almost "disposable" pets to a degree they never would a dog or a cat, especially the smaller birds like budgies and tiels.  



#16 of 21 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted July 16 2013 - 11:31 AM

Amen, Malcolm!  And too many people like that treat birds as almost "disposable" pets to a degree they never would a dog or a cat, especially the smaller birds like budgies and tiels.  

 

True, i never understood why people threw out their pets when they died as if they were garbage, all mine are buried and treated with some dignity in death.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted July 17 2013 - 06:48 PM

They bond to one person!

 

My brother has always had birds, parakeets and more recently, a pair of finches who have laid eggs.

 

He originally had one parakeet, absolutely darling bird. We'd play video games together, bird would perch on my shoulder for hours watching things. Other than bird poop down my shoulder, even more friendly than my black lab. Could be fed by hand, my brother even put bird seed on his lips and the thing would nibble carefully and eat the seed.

 

After that one passed away, he got another, which totally bonded to him again. Then he got another to go with it and it was a complete 180. They bonded to each other and he was out of the picture.

-----------------------

 

Another story. A friend had two cockatiels, separate cages, and they absolutely adored her. I'd pet sit for her (three dogs, two rats, two birds and a rabbit), but it was fun. However, the cockatiels despised me. No matter how gentle I was, or how slow I moved when feeding them, changing their water, etc. I felt like Tippi Hedren. They were in attack mode whenever they saw me.

 

Along with the fact that one was named Rudy, so whenever I was there, the other one would say "Hello Rudy", over, and over for hours. It came out as "Herro Rudy" in bird-speak, but I think it did it on purpose to piss me off. 


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#18 of 21 ONLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 18 2013 - 09:23 AM

LOL, Stan.  It is true.  A lot of people don't think birds have personalities, but they do and each will react to people differently.



#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Radioman970

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Posted August 09 2013 - 01:57 PM

I've had Parakeets.  Mainly in the 90s when I was away from home in college. 

 

Poor "Herman".  Appropriately blue.  I loved him.  I had him mimicking, lighting on my shoulder and everything.  One day while at home he tried to fly outside but the sliding glass door stopped him.  He passed out.  I could almost feel his pain.  I felt horrible about that but he came back okay.  One day coming back into town I stopped by to see my mom at her job and left him in the car without water. It was a cool day but the sun heated up the car more than I thought it would (lesson learned, even the windows were down, he climbed into the empty water container but nothing...it was all just a no no).  He died on the way to the vet.  Took a long time to get over that.  Poor Herman. 

 

Next, Sonny and Cher.  Sunny was a wonderful green and yellow. Cher was white and black.  I didn't travel with them too much.  They lived a long time. Sonny would get PO'd and do the seed slinging.  I bought the most expensive seeds!  Maybe he heard about poor Herman.  :(

 

Finches, while I still had Sonny & Cher.  They were Jim & Tammy.  Jim was black and brown, Tammy was white with black streaks under her eyes and orangeish beak.  Jim was a bastard and picked at Tammy.  Tammy was a sweet little bird, poor thing.  I gave them to my mother and she did great taking care of them. 

 

I'd like to get another pair of pairakeets someday. 


Edited by Radioman970, August 09 2013 - 02:01 PM.

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#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted August 09 2013 - 02:26 PM

I've had Parakeets.  Mainly in the 90s when I was away from home in college. 

 

Poor "Herman".  Appropriately blue.  I loved him.  I had him mimicking, lighting on my shoulder and everything.  One day while at home he tried to fly outside but the sliding glass door stopped him.  He passed out.  I could almost feel his pain.  I felt horrible about that but he came back okay.  One day coming back into town I stopped by to see my mom at her job and left him in the car without water. It was a cool day but the sun heated up the car more than I thought it would (lesson learned, even the windows were down, he climbed into the empty water container but nothing...it was all just a no no).  He died on the way to the vet.  Took a long time to get over that.  Poor Herman. 

 

Next, Sonny and Cher.  Sunny was a wonderful green and yellow. Cher was white and black.  I didn't travel with them too much.  They lived a long time. Sonny would get PO'd and do the seed slinging.  I bought the most expensive seeds!  Maybe he heard about poor Herman.  :(

 

Finches, while I still had Sonny & Cher.  They were Jim & Tammy.  Jim was black and brown, Tammy was white with black streaks under her eyes and orangeish beak.  Jim was a bastard and picked at Tammy.  Tammy was a sweet little bird, poor thing.  I gave them to my mother and she did great taking care of them. 

 

I'd like to get another pair of pairakeets someday. 

 

The finches you've got to watch. With the first batch of eggs my brother's finches laid, the male destroyed them all. Second time they mated, after the eggs were laid, he separated the male and female, and this time got a batch of baby finches.

 

Not sure what's going on, but the males can sometimes have quite an attitude problem.


Stan




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