Category Archives: Parakeets

Now playing: An mp3 recording and a video of my African grey parrot, Rufus, talking to himself

Rufus, an African Grey Parrot, talks a lot, but only when he is in a room by himself, for the most part. In order to get this recording, I set up our portable phone to “Intercom” and went into another room. Then, I held up my cell phone to the house phone and set it to record:

My African Grey Parrot, Rufus, talking to himself

Rufus is a character. He’s very good company when I’m the only human in the house all day, which is most of the time. I also have other birds: Cockatiels Penny and Jonah, Lovebird Candy, and Parakeets Beady, Gumby, Shelly, Oscar and Ginger. Having a houseful of birds makes it noisy, but I like it. I like hearing God’s creatures.

My parakeet’s especially, make a lot of noise. But, the noisier the get, the happier they sound — The parakeets just sound happy to be alive. They make the most noise at sunrise. The rest of the birds were napping when I got this recording of Rufus. Here is the one and only time I have caught Rufus talking on video once, and only two words at that:

He said “What’s up” right at the beginning. Then, the naughty bird decided to get on the parakeet cage. I know from (many) past experiences that Rufus is going to lift up the wire holding the parakeet’s water bottle. He loves to watch things fall…. He will also pull a parakeet’s tail if one is sticking out of the cage. That’s me scolding him…

At the end, I have to stop the video to put Rufus back on his Boing-Boing and coil it up shorter so he can’t reach next time.

So there you have it – another peak into my boring life… Don’t worry, I like my boring life just the way it is.

X

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It’s official: My parakeet widower and my parakeet widow are now an item.

Parakeets Shelly on the left, female, and Ginger, male(4-3-10 I wrote this and forgot to post it. D’oh!)

I just came home from a ride with my hubby, and I checked on all my pets. I noticed that Shelly was sitting behind Ginger, propping him up. Ginger had his head turned around kissing Shelly. Awwww.

Ginger’s mate, Moonpie, died last week. (Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.) I was hoping he would not be alone too long.

Shelly, on the other hand, lost her mate, lovebird Pipsqueak, a year ago. She’s been fighting with Gumby, Beady’s mate. Since I only have two males, the females are jealous of who has them.

Ginger and Moonpie were the closest parakeet couple I’ve ever had in the ten years I’ve had parakeets. They totally were dedicated to each other, and totally relied on each other. I was very sad when Moonpie died, leaving Ginger alone.

Shelly has been trying to catch Ginger’s eye shortly after Moonpie died: Relationship issues in my parakeet cage – A pretty widow wants a recent widower

I’m happy that neither Ginger or Shelly are not alone anymore.

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Relationship issues in my parakeet cage – A pretty widow wants a recent widower

I blogged recently about my female parakeet Moonpie passing away leaving her male mate Ginger alone. (Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.)

Ginger on right with his lost love Moonpie. (Moonpie often stood behind Ginger to prop him up since he has crippled legs and can’t stand well.)

I mentioned at the time that Ginger was in a cage with three single female parakeets, and one of them would probably make a move on him soon. I was right. Shelly has made a move on him.

Shelly’s mate Pipsqueak, a lovebird, died last year this month. (Goodbye Pipsqueak. We will miss you very much…) Shelly is on the left below, with her lost love, Pipsqueak:

Shelly, parakeet on left, with her lost love Pipsqueak, lovebird

Shelly is being very sneaky! Shelly has been sitting on the floor in the corner of the cage. She is pretending she is sitting on eggs! She is trying to trick Ginger into coming to her and feed her (mouth to mouth) as male birds do when their mate is busy tending eggs or babies.

Apparently, Ginger is falling for the Shelly’s ploy. I’ve seen Ginger sitting face to face with Shelly on the floor.

This is making the other females in this cage upset, and there has been some loud squabbling …

I previously had to put another couple, Beady and Gumby, in another cage just by themselves. Shelly wanted Beady very badly, and was squabbling with Gumby over him.

You would not think that cute little parakeets could squabble over mates. But, they are hardwired by God to mate for life. When a mate dies, they want to find another mate to fill the void.

Human widows and widowers often marry shortly after a spouse dies, so it is hard to fault a little parakeet to want to find love again, also…

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Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.

As always, when one of my pets dies, I write a tribute as therapy…

Moonpie, in the picture on the left below, was the loving mate of Ginger, one of the crippled baby parakeets I adopted. Moonpie and Ginger were the sweetest couple. Ginger had a very bad case of splay leg, a condition where parrot-type birds’ legs do the splits permanently.

Moonpie   Ginger

Moonpie was the helpmate of Ginger in the truest sense of the world. Ginger cannot stand on a perch like the other birds. Ginger stands on one foot and holds onto the side of the cage with his other foot.

Moonpie propping up Ginger

Moonpie would stand behind Ginger so that Ginger could lean on her. They would stand like that for hours.

Here is a post I wrote about Ginger and Moonpie’s relationship: Love conquers all… 

Parrot-type birds mate for life. Of all the parakeet, cockatiel and lovebird couples I have had since I have had pet birds, Ginger and Moonpie were the closest. They were never apart.

Lately, they had been laying on the floor of the cage together. Birds do not like to be on the floor — they feel more comfortable up high away from the danger of predators like cats and dogs.

Even thought my birds have never lived outside, God wired them up with the knowledge of predators so that they could protect themselves. This post talks about the first time I saw them snuggling on the floor together: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow….

Anyway, so Ginger and Moonpie have been laying on the cage floor in a snuggle position for the last few weeks. Since Ginger does the splits constantly, the floor is the only place he can relax. When he lays on the floor, one leg goes directly to the right, and one leg goes directly to the left.

Moonpie was always right next to him, either laying her head on his back, or laying side by side. As I said, this is very unnatural for birds, but they had come to the point where they felt safe this way. Whenever I would come close to the cage, they would both move up to a “safer” area. But, I have been taking Ginger and snuggling him for a minute, and putting him back on the cage floor telling him he was safe there.

Moonpie and Ginger snuggling on the floor

Today, as always, they’ve been side by side. But, today they were exceptionally cute because Ginger had one of his crippled legs laying over and around Moonpie to protect her.

Moonpie had a long life. She is one of the last of three sets of babies that were “born” here one year about ten years ago. Their parents were Joy, a one-eyed parakeet I adopted and Davy an old man parakeet I adopted from a gentleman being sent overseas with the military.

At the most, I had 21 parakeets. Now I have just Ginger, Beady and Gumby (a couple), Shelly, Oscar and Freddie.

Freddie and Ginger were both featherless crippled babies I adopted after they had been abandoned from a breeder, apparently, because they were both crippled. This post has a section with more details about that and how I came to adopt them:

Please adopt homeless and handicapped pets

Beady, Gumby, Shelly and Oscar are the only ones left of all my babies who were born here. Beady and Gumby live in one cage alone. They have to be alone because Shelly wants Beady in the worst way, and literally fights with Gumby over him.

Ginger is my only other male. I named the crippled babies Fred and Ginger — you can’t tell the gender of parakeets until they are grown — I got them both wrong. Ginger is a boy and Freddie is a girl.

I feel very bad for Ginger since Ginger and Moonpie were so close. But, there might be a twinkling of happiness in store for Ginger. Ginger is the only male in the cage with Shelly, Oscar and Freddie. In the past, whenever one of my female parakeets have died, the other females make their move on the widower in no time flat.

Beady, for instance, is on his third mate. Parrot-type birds love to be in a couple, and I’ve experienced several couples form after the death of on the the couple’s previous mates.

Still, I can’t help feeling sorry for Ginger. He was laying next to her to the end, with his leg curved over and around her. Finally, he realized she was gone, and climbed elsewhere.

Goodbye Moonpie. Ginger and I will miss you very much.

Will Rogers said this about dogs, but personally, I feel it applies to all pets:

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

As I said at the beginning of this post, writing this was my therapy to deal with the death of my little pet. I do not expect anybody to read this entire post. However, if you made it this far down Click Here.

Dear God, thank you for letting me be the guardian of my little Moonpie and for letting Ginger have such a loving mate.

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My parakeet, Gumby, is trying to hatch some jelly beans, again….

Yes, really.

Gumby and Beady want to have a family. But, they are brother and sister. I have to take their eggs away so they don’t hatch. I hate to do it, in fact I make my hubby do it for me.

Gumby Beady
Gumby Beady
 

A couple of years ago when she was first laying eggs, we happened to have jellybeans in the house. I noticed at that time that they were the same size as Gumby’s eggs.

As an experiment, I switched her eggs with the jellybeans. She did not even notice. She just kept sitting on them. So, we’ve been using this system ever since.

If you take the eggs away, birds will just keep laying eggs and their little bodies get wore out. You have to put in a replacement in order for them to stop mating. There are (expensive) fake parakeet eggs that you can buy online, but white jellybeans always work for Gumby. She sits on them for a few weeks. When she stops sitting on them, I take out the jellybeans, and things go back to normal.

Gumby only lays eggs when she and Beady are alone in a house, rather than with the other parakeets, like they usually are. They have only been alone in a cage for the last two weeks, but they did not waste any time trying to start a family!

They don’t have a nest – she just kicks all the food out of her bowl and sits in it. So, last night my hubby took out her eggs, and I put three jellybeans in her food bowl. She looks very happy and content.

I wrote what follows as a draft a few weeks ago. I never got around to posting it, but I’ll put is here to explain how Beady and Gumby ended up in the honeymoon suite:

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Time to shuffle the parakeets again… A pretty widow has her eyes on a married man……

I have seven parakeets. Once in a while, they have tiffs, and they fight. As a Pet Mom, I have to make sure that all of my pets are safe. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen several of my parakeets having fights, but I never could tell who was the instigator.

Parakeets are cute and little, but they are strong fighters. I catch them on the bottom of their house (“cage” sounds so mean) clamped onto each other with beaks and claws, rolling around all over the place. Then, I have to reach in, pry them apart, and put one in another house.

Over the years since I’ve had birds (parrots, cockatiels, lovebirds, also) I’ve had to keep certain birds apart for various reasons. I don’t like anybody having to be alone in a house, and I always end up with a roommate for whoever is starting the fights.

This morning, I think I found out the problem…..

One of my mixed matches of birds, a pair I put together when one didn’t get along with anybody else, was broken when Pipsqueak, my last lovebird, died. Pipsqueak’s widow, a parakeet named Shelly, has decided she loves Beady.

Well, the problem is that Beady is married to Gumby. Gumby has taken Shelly moving in on Beady for too long, she says, and has started trying to right this wrong. So, this morning, I put Gumby, the instigator, and her husband, Beady in a house next door to the rest of the parakeets. Shelly will have to admire Beady from afar.

Calling parakeets “married” might sound funny, but in the parrot world, that’s the way it is. Parrot-type birds all mate for life. Beady is in love with Gumby now, but actually, he has been a widower a couple of times.

Beady’s first love was a one-legged parakeet I talked the manager of PetSmart out of. I try not to pay for handicapped birds – I just promise to take care of them for life, and I do.

Miss Piggy (who I named after the joke about the pig so good the farmer couldn’t eat all at one time) was alone in a cage at PetSmart, on the floor in the corner, since they didn’t know what to do with her.

Beady loved Miss Piggy, and would bring her food since she couldn’t get around very well. They were a very sweet couple. When Miss Piggy died, my old spinster parakeet named Ziggy moved in on him. They were together happily until she died a few years later.

But, Beady loves love, and now he is with Gumby. And, as I found out this morning, Gumby is fiercely protecting her marriage with Beady against the pretty widow, Shelly.

So, now all is calm in the parakeet houses again. Whew. I can stop coming in in the middle of the night to break up fights.

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Love conquers all – My rescue parakeets are finding new love

Several years ago two baby parakeets with hardly any feathers were left in a shoebox on the porch of a home of another parrot owner. These two babies had “splay leg”, a condition where they are always doing the splits.

The person who left the babies in a shoebox was most likely a breeder, raising parakeets for money, who did not want to waste food, water and room on two parakeets he could not get full price for. (Please do not buy from breeders. There are many homeless pets with lots of love to offer)

The parrot owner did not have time to raise them, and he brought the shoebox with the mostly naked babies to our local bird store. Later that day, in walks X.

I am well known at the bird store as a soft touch. The manager of the bird store insisted I take these babies and give them a good home. It was not very difficult for him to convince me.

I took these two mostly naked, handicapped babies home, named them Fred and Ginger, and started handfeeding them instant formula with a syringe several times a day. They grew up just fine.

Freddie turned out to be a girl, and Ginger turned out to be a boy, by the way. With parakeets, you never know what they are until they near adulthood and their cere, the area above the beak, turns blue for boys and pinky brown for girls.

Freddie and Ginger Ginger

Anyway, Freddy, on the left in the picture of both of them, gets around pretty good. She can sit on a perch with a fairly wide stance, and looks mostly comfortable. Ginger, in the picture above, right, however, does the splits so bad that he has to have one foot on the perch and one foot on the side of the cage.

That is, until along came Moonpie. Moonpie was a lonely spinster parakeet who had never been in love. When Ginger grew up, Moonpie fell in love with him, and decided to help him, difficulties and all.

Moonpie Ginger

Ginger and Moonpie rely on each other. They are a very sweet couple. They are most always together in one certain position. Since it is uncomfortable for Ginger to stand, Moonpie stands behind him, propping him up. The picture below is the best I can get, you can’t really see that Ginger is leaning on Moonpie, but he is.

Moonpie propping up Ginger

Ginger, being the man of the house and a good provider, feeds his bride. One of the cutest things that God ever came up with (in my humble opinion) is birds in love feeding each other. If you are not a bird lover, you might not think it is wonderful, but Ginger feeds Moonpie mouth to mouth, the same way that Mommy and Daddy birds feed babies.

In my bird cage, as in real life, individuals with various problems get together to share the load together….

My hubby and I are having an anniversary soon. Our marriage has not been an easy road. There has been many hardships of various types, but, throughout all of it, we have loved each other and leaned on each other. We’ve propped each other up, and managed to get through all of the situations together.

Love conquers all.

Happy anniversary, Sweetie.

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My new blog: Life in Our Backyard

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Please adopt homeless and handicapped pets

This post is at least a year old. I’m reposting it because I want to raise awareness about all the good pets out there. My good boy, Belty, was on death row at the pound, and he has been the best boy ever. Please consider giving homeless pet a home. Since this post, Lily and Pipsqueak, who I talk about in this post, have both died. They were really messed up when we got them, but they had a happy home for the rest of their life. X

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January is "Adopt a Rescued Bird Month", which prompts me to write this blog.

I am a great believer in adopting “used” pets. Too many people get a pet on the spur of the moment, and then realize later how much work it is to be a pet owner. When I adopt a pet, I keep it for all its life.

All three of my dogs are rescued. Belty was on death row at the pound at the age of one and a half years. Nicki was abandoned as a mixed breed puppy when a kennel changed locations. Lily is very old and was found all messed up and brought to a vet for care.

The saddest story of all is for parrots, as they mate for life and can live as long as a person. Parrots grow to love one member of the family who is his mate. When that person is tired of having a parrot, or dies, that parrot can get very sick. Here’s an article about homeless birds: Why Birds Become Homeless

I have first-hand experience with homeless parrots. Our parrot, Peanut Boy recently died. We adopted him after his elderly owner had died. Poor Peanut Boy was a mess. Because of the stress of losing his owner, he had pulled out most of his feathers. He lived out his geriatric years a very happy bird being in love with my hubby.

Rufus, the parrot in my banner picture, is also adopted. His owners got a divorce and neither one wanted him. I was working at a pet shop between engineering jobs about eight years ago and he fell in love with me. When Peanut Boy died, Rufus fell in love with my hubby.

I also have adopted old, handicapped and injured parakeets. They are so small, that there is always room for one more. Over the years I have had a parakeet with no eyes, one with no legs, one with one leg and one with one eye. They have since all died. Fred and Ginger, who I still have, were found in a shoebox in front of a house where a parrot owning lady lived.

The lady brought them into a pet shop because they were itsy bitsy babies with crippled legs, hardly any feathers, and needed to be hand fed. She didn’t have the time to take care of them. The next day, I walked into the pet shop and the personnel, who know what a soft touch I am, asked me to please take these babies, which I did. Their legs are still crippled with a condition called “splay leg”. They are happy and manage to get around alright. They both have mates.

I don’t pay for handicapped birds, as a rule. I always manage to talk the store owner out of them, promising to give them a loving home for the rest of their life.

When I first saw Pipsqueak, my lovebird, he was one big scab, and hardly any feathers. He had been attacked by his parents, and was all torn up. He was really pitiful. I took him home, of course, and my other lovebird, who has since died, tended his wounds, nibbling off edges of healing scabs.

Penny, my sweet cockatiel and my first bird, was very homely. Penny is old, as I found out from her leg band later on. She was wild when I first saw her, and she was missing a toe. The missing toe makes her walk crooked, and it makes her tail feathers break off and bend in half. She has never been able to grow out a nice tail. But she loves Mom, and that is all that counts.

There is a lot of love out there that can be found for free. Please consider adopting a homeless, or handicapped pet.

Thank you,

X

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Filed under African Grey Parrots, Cockatiels, Dogs, Lovebirds, Parakeets, Parrots, Pets