By Arlene Poma
Sacramento, California, United States
Posted Sep 16, 2013
After working at a wild bird rescue, I adopted this Cockatiel from a friend. According to this friend, the bird had survived relatives and his late girlfriend. The bird was at least 20. I wanted to adopt this bird because our friend had a cat. And in his household, the bird was ignored. Unfortunately, you couldn't tell if this bird had been handled in the past or not. He did not welcome any hand in his cage, and if you tried to pick him up, he would peck at you. Yet, we enjoyed having him as part of our household. We found a local bird shop, and bought his toys and food there. I found it easy to care for him. The bird was fed and watered daily. It only took minutes to clean his cage. The bird was active, and he would walk constantly side-to-side on his perch. He enjoyed looking at himself in his toy mirror. He was very aware of his surroundings, and he would watch everything. I was told that he was raised around cats, so when we didn't expect it, he would sing, "Here, Kitty, Kitty." I loved to hear that. It was hilarious for anyone to hear that coming from a bird, but that was all he would say. He would also whistle. The most important thing I've learned about birds is that they have a very delicate breathing system. Never put any caged bird in the kitchen or in any room that could possibly give off toxins in the air. In the kitchen, you have smoke and other toxins when you cook. And you seldom think of it when you happen to burn things on the stove or in the oven. You don't want your bird inhaling any of it. I've been told by other bird owners that all of this can make it sick or even die. I enjoyed having a Cockatiel, but I always wondered if one is enough. Usually, people own one male because they are attractive, and apt to talk. Would owning just one Cockatiel enough? Would that be too lonely to have just one bird? Also, I don't like the idea of a bird possibly outliving me. But if you had something like a Cockatiel or a parrot, maybe it would be best if you make arrangements. Cockatiels live a long time, and there's a very good possibility that your bird may outlive you. As with all of our pets, there should be plans for someone to take care of them after you're gone. I regret that this bird was not trained. I missed having the chance to have him perch on my finger or at least have him out of his cage.