Something a Little Different
Well, today I’m going to talk about something that isn’t yarn related, but that is very important to me. I haven’t worked out a “theme” for Tuesdays yet, or maybe this will become the theme. Who knows! Today is for my little darlings - my birdies. I’ve loved birds for as long as I can remember - one of my favourite books as a child was “Elizabeth Hen”. My mum also loves birds and we’ve been members of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) for as long as I can remember. In the past I’ve had chickens and ducks which I love, and will be getting more of as soon as we get out of the city again. Currently we have indoor birds - three budgies and two cockatiels in two big cages, dominating the living room.
The budgies are their own little flock. Very cute, very noisy and handtame, but not really interested in human interaction unless food is involved. They are lovely though and it’s a lot of fun to watch them together. Misfit is the oldest. We think she is about seven years old, and two of her toes (one on each foot) seem to have stopped gripping properly, but there’s nothing a vet can do for her because she’s so little. She does fine though flitting and jumping around the cage so we think she’s just feeling the effects of old budgie age. They can live to ten years old, but five is more normal, especially for pet shop birds, which she was. She is a sky blue, pied, grey wing and was so completely different from any of the others in the avairy (Pets at Home when they used to sell birds, had the budgies in an amazing 4’ x7’ x12’ avairy!) so that is how she got her name. She’s the bravest of our budgies and is happy to sit on hands and be lifted around, or sit on shoulders. Gizmo is a fat, greedy, blue girl. She’s the most timid of our birds and gets bullied by both the other two, poor girl. she’s about 6 years old. Widget is our grey boy. He came from a breeder and is ringed, so we know he’s six years old. Because he was bred as a show bird, he is bigger than the other two and he’s ridiculously laid back about being handled. He’s somewhere between Misfit and Gizmo as far as friendlyness goes - he will eat from your hand, but it takes him a little while to build up the courage. He’s the noisiest of the three and has a wide vocal range that he goes though, loudy!
The cockatiels are our babies. They’re just over three years old and we got them from a breeder. They were hand raised and are ridiculously tame. Lofty is the whiteface cinamon pied (i.e. the white one), and Kami is the cinnamon pearl pied (i.e. the yellow one). When we got them, Kami, who is about two weeks younger than Lofty had just been weaned. She had her first flight the day before we first saw them (a couple of weeks before we’d got them home) and she’d crash landed onto some fly paper, poor girl, so we named her Kamikaze. She was a bit shy of flying for a while after that, so she let us carry her everywhere and was pretty much tame right from the start. Lofty on them other hand, being slightly older had learnt to fly and that was all she wanted to do, so that’s how she got her name. Kami and Lofty have completely different personalities which is really cool. Kami is relaxed and not much bothers her. She’s pretty happy go lucky, will sit on your shoulder for hours and is very good at coming when you call her name. Lofty on the other hand is much less laid back. She’s also a sweetie and loves to sit with you, but she also has tantrums and hisses and stamps her feet which can be pretty funny. She particularly dislikes “mwah” noises and sneezing! They both love having their headscratched, and Lofty is definitely the most demanding and squeezes her head under your chin as part of her demands.
The cockatiels are quite intelligent - not so much as the larger parrots of course, but about the same level as a one and a half to two year old child. So just smart enough to get into trouble! They’re intrigued by my yarn - it makes a comfy perch apparently and it’s also fun to chase the working yarn and pull it out of my hand. To keep them busy in their cage we try to do as much foraging with them as we can - they have to dig their food out from under a variety of things, like dry pasta, buttons and small toys, or pull treats out of plastic balls and things or unwrap them from paper and so on, which is really good for them and keeps them busy during the day. The budgies also get some of the more simple foraging toys.