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Wings of Hope, New Jersey
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Experiences with Parakeets
Don't Underestimate the Charm and Appeal of a Parakeet.
It all started with a little blue American Parakeet. We researched about Parakeets and were quite pleased with what we found out. They can talk, like to play, like to spend time with their owners, etc. So the first bird we adopted was a 12-week-old parakeet and we named him Feathers. We took him to our local avian veterinarian to get his wellness checkup and by that time (about a week) he was already finger tame. We worked daily with him and spent many hours every day with him. He used to sit on our big toes as we watched TV. Now, he actually flies to me when I am on the telephone!
He loves to listen to his Momma on the telephone! He will sit on my pinky finger and listen intently as I talk. I think that's how he learns his vocabulary. He loves to talk. He can say 47 different words and 34 different phrases so far. Among my favorites are, "I love you Cinnamon Girl" and "Talk to you later, bye". We do not recommend anyone let their bird's flights grow without research and careful thought. Please read this page on Pros and Cons of Wing Clipping. He flies to me when I am in the bedroom or bathroom when he wants a bath. He also flies to me when we are at the dining room table and frequently eats lunch with us. It's very cute. He also sits on the answering machine and listens to the message as I play them back.
Since we were so pleased with Feathers - who we nicknamed "Fez", we adopted a cockatiel. Now we have a Cockatoo, 2 cockatiels, 2 parakeets (including Fez), about 25 finches and 3 canaries. To this very day he is still one of my favorites. He is just incredible! And our love for companion birds all started out with a parakeet.
Article written by Sue
I have been the proud Mom of parrots for over 40 years. To this day I am still fascinated by parakeets, cockatiels, parrotlets, and lovebirds. These little parrots have huge personalities packed into small bodies. Their antics, friendliness, and intelligence rivals that of their larger counterparts.
I have had many memorable birds, but if I must narrow it down to cockatiels or parakeets, then Whitey wins hands down. When I first saw him in the pet store I was fascinated by him. I couldn’t take my eyes off this stunning white bird.
Whitey was a rare albino parakeet and thus his name. However, I should have named him “Easy”. From the moment he stepped into his cage, he was easy: Easy to tame, easy to train, easy to be around, he loved easily and he was easy to love.
It took a little time to handtame him but once that was accomplished, I soon found out he was quite intelligent as well. He learned games quickly, especially “pick up” and playing cards. Pick up meant that he would retrieve something I threw a short distance. His version of playing cards meant that you could hand him a card which he dragged a few inches and then stood proudly waiting for another he could put on his pile.
He eventually had a substantial vocabulary and preferred to be close to your face while you were talking to him. Many words were surprisingly clear. He also mimicked other sounds quite well and whistled several seconds of a few songs. His favorite tune was the theme from The Monkees TV show. His laugh was contagious.
I’ll never forget the day my best friend was staying overnight and forgot to take her pajamas into the bathroom. My friend was wrapped in towels heading toward my room when Whitey did a wolf whistle - looking right at her. I can also remember the time he kept repeating his one not-so-nice word in front of our pastor (thanks, Dad). It was from that time on that he had to be in my room when there was company.
He loved to eat whatever you had. His favorite meals were scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and pasta. My mother made her own pasta sauces. He especially enjoyed the tomato sauces. The red dots from him eating took a bit to clean up and eventually wear off, but he didn’t mind. He loved baths anyway, so he usually got a double dose of fun on pasta day.
As I learned to cook, so did he. Of course, he couldn’t help much, but he was so adorable and proud when he’d bring over a beak full of bean, kale, broccoli, pasta, or whatever it was I was helping Mom cook. All I had to do was to teach him how far from the stove to stay so he didn’t get hurt. I never could get him to give up what he brought though.
He also had a routine during school days. Faithfully, about the same time every day before I was to come home, he would start carrying on in his cage (providing he wasn’t already out). He would screech and yell while he was making the fake bird on one perch twirl. The longer it took for my Mom to open up the cage, the madder he got and the harder that fake bird twirled. Once he was let out he would fly to the mirror near the front door and would stay there talking to himself in the mirror and peeking out the bay window next to it until I came home. Mom said she always knew when I was coming up the walkway because Whitey would call for me and seconds later I would open the door.
At one point I was extremely ill and spent about 8 weeks in the hospital. While I was hospitalized, Whitey was heartbroken. Mom said he would fly from room to room calling me. He did eventually form a stronger bond with my Mom, but his joy was apparent when I finally came home.
While I finished my recuperation at home, Whitey rarely left me alone. I would fall asleep and wake up hearing him chatter. Once I went to sleep, Whitey would go to his cage and my Mom would put him to bed. When he got up, so did I.
Whitey was also my study partner. He loved to turn pages for me and I did not have one notebook that didn’t have beak impressions or holes in the corners. It was tough teaching him to stay away from textbooks.
Whitey was loving and accepting to practically everyone. If I introduced him to you, all was fine. Otherwise he blatantly ignored you. Ever been snubbed by a parakeet? Nonetheless, despite a cage full of toys, he rarely wanted his cage over the company of his human flock.
Was he a perfectly trained bird? Hardly. He had his moments where he could test your patience but he was perfect to me. I will forever remember Whitey and the fun and love he brought into my life. He was a great companion and my hope is that you are lucky enough to find your Whitey.
Article written by Kathy
Our Peeper was the cutest parakeet ever. His vocabulary wasn’t very big, but his personality certainly was. His favorite food was tunafish and he would come from wherever he was in the house when he heard the can opener. He also loved to fly onto my husband’s chest of drawers or the kitchen counter and throw everything he could find over the edge and watch it fall. He suffered from a variety of ailments, including overgrown beak and impacted feathers, but with great veterinary and parental care he lived with us until he passed at the age of 12½. He is buried in our front yard with his plastic best friend “Pinky” and we think about him and still miss him every day.
Article written by Jane