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Friday, March 30, 2007

Parakeets

On a certain birthday, my sister Trish received a parakeet from her in-laws. As much as she and I enjoy watching birds, neither of us had owned one. Nor wanted to.


There were so many questions? What kind of cage to buy? What to feed it? How to determine if it was male or female. Do birds require shots and visits to the Veterinarian?


To answer these, she did what any former schoolteacher would do: studied.


The first action following her research was to name the bird Bluebell and purchase a male to keep the little female company. Smitty made himself right at home in the little bedroom converted to office.


They are not people friendly. They do venture out of the cage to fly around the room while the office door is closed. That, as well as Chirping along with their personal radio, eating, bathing, and grooming pretty much describes their lifestyle over the past years.


Hence, Trish was surprised one morning to find a tiny egg sitting in the food dish. She wasn’t prepared to have a bird nursery, so she discarded it. As the days went by, she found more eggs.


Trish reluctantly purchased a nesting box and gave in to Bluebells resolve. There were at least two dozen eggs laid, but she only allowed the bird to keep five, four of which hatched. Even then, she was apprehensive about the responsibility of chicks. She need not have worried; Bluebell was devoted to her eggs and much more to her chicks. Trish provided extra nutritious treats to sustain the worn out little mother.


The baby parakeets grew quickly and the time came to find them new homes. It was a distressing event for birds and for Trish. She was giving her babies away.


The four babies with mom keeping close watch in the background


The first two became gifts for an elderly man who was eager and delighted.

One was happy and settled in quickly. But the other bird refused to eat or drink, huddling in the corner of its new cage. By the second day the old gentlemen was certain the frightened little bird would die.


Then something unusual happened: The other young parakeet began to pick up food and hop over to his traumatized sibling and feed him. The new owner watched in amazement as the little bird assumed the roll of mother. Within hours after the sweet intervention, both were enjoying the toys, chirping, and exploring their new home together.


Meanwhile, back at my sister’s house, Smitty is locked in a separate cage so that Bluebell can have a little rest. Or, perhaps the little rest is for Trish. Motherood is exhausting.

27 comments:

Susie Q said...

Ohhow I have enjoyed myself here and today's post was so well written, so sweet and has just left me with a warm heart as I head off to bed. I have bookmarked your blog so I can return often. I found my way here via Susie's cyber spot and how glad I am.
Thank you for giving me a smile.
Warmly,
Sue

deslily said...

My neighbors recently went thru the same thing..it's really cute to see them grow.

when I was young we had just a female parakeet... for some reason every so often she would lay and egg, which we had to get rid of since it was not fertile and she kept insisting on sitting on it. We felt bad, but had no room for more birds.

Jeanette said...

Hi pamela
love these cute little blue Budgie.s.They bought back a lot of memories of a few years back when my son was still at home, he had an avery in the back yard. with budgie's and many a day i had to go out and feed them.

Heather said...

that was a sweet story - inspiring. wouldn't it be nice if we were all like that parakeet? a brother or sister is hungry, and we hop on over to feed him/her.

Claudia said...

That is so cute. My friend (and old roomie) had two parakeets. I loved hearing them sing, but yeah, they certainly weren't very people friendly.

Melissa said...

I had a parakeet like that, named Snowy. He didn't live very long. :(

Biker Betty said...

I've had parakeets twice and loved them. If you get them young and handle them each day, they usually are very friendly and loving. But if you have two birds, they concentrate on each other and are harder to train.

I did go bigger this last time and got a Nanday Conure. Now there is a character! I loved how in your post the one parakeet took care of the other when scared. That is really amazing.

mjd said...

What a wonderful story...wow. One little bird took care of the other.

her indoors said...

that is a great story and how sweet of the bird to look after its sibbling ah bless

JEnny said...

Awww. Gave me goosebumps.

Hey, you should come check out Mindy's post today. She's really opened up.

swampwitch said...

OH, I will have to send Leigh Anne to your post today. When she lived in Dallas, all alone for the first time after college, theHansMan bought her a blue parakeet. She named him Frank (blue eyes.) He kept her company and moved to Los Angeles with her. Frank accidentally escaped out the window one Sunday afternoon and Leigh Anne was heart-broken. She will enjoy seeing the pictures and reading about the little bird saving its sibling's life. You are such a good writer. I just lose myself in your words.

Susie said...

What a heartwarming story. I truly had no idea that parakeets laid that many eggs. She would have been one busy Mom had they all hatched!
:)

marnie said...

Too bad they weren't Cadbury Mini Eggs! What a great story.. I've never been a bird person but that definitely warmed me up on a cold morning.

ChrisB said...

I've never yearned for a bird as a pet but this was an endearing story and a nice photo of the little family.
I've linked you to fun monday.

C said...

That is the sweetest story. We used to have a parakeet. We had two at different times but the first had so much personality. We found him in a tree near our house. Many people that want to rid themselves of these pets just let them go; they normally die from climate changes their little bodies can't handle.

Trish said...

The little birds have alot of energy just like little kids. Sometimes they can hardly wait to get out of the cage and then they fly around the room several times.Fun to watch.

jenn said...

I love parakeets, they are so fun. We've had quite a few and I want to buy another. They sure can be noisy though, I kind of miss it in the mornings.

theotherbear said...

How cool - that story made me smile.

Then I snickered and thought about my only pets to have babies, my fish, which were eaten by their mother as soon as they were born.

Stephanie said...

I love parakeets! I haven't had one since I was a little girl! As an adult I've had Phydeaux the cat for such a long time, and I think if I had a parakeet they'd both die of insanity.

Beautiful story!

Anvilcloud said...

How delightful! Budgies can be great little pets, but I haven't had one for a long, long time.

Mert said...

What a sweet story! I never would have expected a male bird to do that!

I bet Trish did need the rest... it's always hard watching your babies go.

Vicki said...

That is a sweet story.

However I must tell you....

I don't like birds or mice, they are darty.

wolfbaby said...

awww what a beatiful post!!! i used to love having parakeets!!

Arkansas Songbird said...

What a great story and the birdies are so cute! ( I have my fingers crossed hoping that I can finally comment on your site again!)

mark said...

Very cool.

BarnGoddess said...

what a lovely story! your writing makes reading so easy. Excellent post.

I grew up with 2 keets named Soapy and Pretty Bird. Soapy was cool and talked. He loved my Grandmother who lived with us, he was devoted to her.

Anonymous said...

one ate off my best friends tongue. was that gross?
ivy