It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my babies. My cockatiels have come such a long way since we first got them back in December. They are just starting to feel at home in their new home. It definitely takes lots of patience when you decide to adopt adult cockatiels who’ve lived in multiple homes. But the journey has been well worth it.
Of course my baby, Scooter, whom I’ve had since he was seven weeks old, is as spoiled as ever. He is becoming a hormonal teenager, however. The word bratty comes to mind… He still thinks that my shoulder is supposed to be his permanent perch, and he still sleeps with my husband most nights. My girls, however, have decided that they like to sleep in the bed on occasion as well. My beautiful lutino kept having night frights last week, and so I put her in the bed with us. She slept soundly on my pillow for the rest of the night. They are so like children.
It has taken six months to even begin to gain their trust. I’ve only just begun to be allowed to hold them. They are such emotional creatures. I know that I tend to anthropomorphize my animals, but they really do experience a whole range of emotions. They can be moody, jealous, and just plain mean at times. They have good days and bad days, just like us. But most of the time they are very sweet. Zeus, my pied cockatiel, was much easier than Crazy, my lutino. She was much more trusting right from the beginning. But it definitely took Crazy longer to gain her trust. She was a very sad little bird, almost as if she grieved for her previous family. I never thought I’d see the day when she would want me to hold her. But that day has finally come, and some days I wish I hadn’t started that habit. Walking around with three jealous, fighting cockatiels on your shoulder can be quite daunting, especially when you are trying to do housework. When they decide that they don’t want to be put down, they will bite. No one has drawn blood yet, thankfully. Well, not with me anyway. My poor mom is a different story for another day 🙂 Scooter loves her big cloud of white hair. He loves to sit on her head for some reason.
We did get a new male parakeet, Oscar. Males are definitely different from females. He is much more vocal, and he wasn’t hand tamed. And he is definitely a little meaner. He can bite! Hard! Our breeder was going through a very stressful time in her life and just didn’t have the time to hand tame this clutch. And so here we go again. I bought my first two parakeets from a pet store, which i said I would never do again. I’ve had them since September, and they have only started to let me near them in the last few months. I can get within inches of them, and sometimes they’ll even flutter inches from my face as if they are deciding whether or not they want to perch on me as well, along with my cockatiels. I’m convinced it has nothing to do with me, however. They just like to torture my cockatiels, which have to be the biggest wimps ever. Sometimes at night, when they are sleepy, they’ll let me rub their tummies. And so I know they aren’t frightened of me. They just don’t want to be touched, but I’m still holding out hope that someday they’ll allow us to handle them. And so back to Oscar…our breeder did clip his wings. I’ll never do that to another parakeet again. He occasionally tries to take off and fly with the other parakeets, only to land on the floor pretty hard. I think he sometimes forgets that he can’t fly. Poor little guy. And did i mention that he bites? Really hard? Ouch. Cockatiels aren’t agile flyers like parakeets. They fly into walls and everything else. Parakeets are very, very agile. I never worry about them flying into windows or walls. And so i really see no need to clip them. They stay in my bedroom and never go near an open door, so I don’t worry about them escaping. My cockatiels, on the other hand, do occasionally like to walk around the house perched on my shoulder.
And so this is my update….hopefully I’ll have something else to write about soon. They are such fascinating and intelligent animals. And entertaining. I can sit in my room and watch them for hours and just laugh. Oh, did i mention that Scooter has started to speak? He laughs at me, and he says “what are you doing”? He wolf whistles, and mimics my parakeets (which can be really hard on the ears) and a multitude of other birds outside. He makes these noises and I’m never quite sure if it’s a normal male cockatiel vocalization…and then i go outside and recognize the sounds that he makes coming from the wild birds outside. He’s definitely very vocal. And adorable, of course 🙂