Posted Apr 14, 2015
A friend was fueling his car and there was this cage with a beautiful yellow bird sitting in a cage on the counter at the gas station. When he asked about it he was told someone left the bird there and asked the cashier if she would find the bird a good home. He took the bird straight to me. He had worked with a pet store before and knew she was a lutino cockatiel. She was beautiful I named her Sunset because of her yellow coloring and the little orange markings on the side of her face.
Sunset was truly the best pet I have ever had. She was pleasant and chirpy. She did talk a little but you couldn't understand her unless you listened extremely closely because it sounded like she was talking in a higher chipmunk kind of register in her little voice. If you played anything by "The Jackson 5," she was suddenly dancing and singing along with the song. She refused to poop on anyone, which makes me believe she was trained not to do so. She would start to scoot her little tail feathers slightly off of your shoulder, and that's how you knew to quickly put her back in her cage, or grab a towel one. She would, from time to time, repeat what sounded like "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on the recorder, with a note or two wrong in the progression. It was as if she had heard a child play the song over and over, missing the occasional note while practicing. Her favorite treat of choice was cooked cauliflower. She ate that as if it were candy. She never bit me and was rarely fussy. Sunset's wings were not clipped - if something were to get her dander up, she would fly to the highest point she could fly to in the room, and would stay there, looking down upon me disapprovingly, until she felt as if her quiet little protest had been acknowledged. I did spend quite a few moments climbing on chairs, performing acrobatic-like feats of exercise to try to reach her at those times, to (hopefully) talk her down.
Most of the time spent at home was spent with her on my shoulder. She could fly to me from the top of her cage. I would leave her door open and she would move around the cage and play. She would then chirp, and fly, and land on the top of my head. I would then have her step up on my finger and I would put her on my shoulder. When she felt she had said hello adequately enough, she would walk from my shoulder to the bend of my arm by my elbow, chirp once, and fly back to the top of her cage.
I talked to her like a dear little friend, and she would patiently listen or groom my shoulder. That little painless pecking she did, that grooming, almost made me think of little kisses on my shoulder or arm. She had a very clearly defined personality with an extremely sweet disposition. She had no fear of cats or dogs whatsoever which makes me think her previous owner must have had other pets. (That did present a slight problem, since the dog that got to spend time around her was a little too interested in her. Thankfully the cat simply did not care).
I wound up having to move during a time that finances were tough for me, to a place where pets were not accepted. That's the saddest I believe I have ever been over moving, in all honesty. A dear friend who has children in her family adopted Sunset for me, so I know she went to a place where she is surrounded by lots of attention and love. However, I very much so miss the dear little friend that was that lutino cockatiel.
If you want a lifetime companion, I highly recommend a cockatiel as a bird for a pet. She was obviously trained by someone that loved her dearly. They take a lot of time and attention, but the reward is a dear sweet friend who adores you. I'd get another cockatiel in a heartbeat if I knew I was in a place where I wasn't going to have to move, and I knew she could move with me. I still greatly miss that little bird. I hate that she's had to move around so much, but I know she is happy now and that makes me smile. To this day, a cockatiel is a happy thought for me.