This is a bit of a spontaneous blog post, but I just feel that after spending some time at home with my lovely birdies, I was inspired to write about them. As I sit here typing, Pickles, Dean’s family cockatiel from home is chirping on my shoulder. Just an essence of our little feathered family life…
1. A history of feathers in the family…
Dean and I are both absolute bird lovers and both used to them being part of the family home environment. I have had budgies since I was 6 until lost my family pet, Tweety when he was a grand age of 15 years old back in 2012. From that time until I got my own place with Dean, birds were not in my home life.
Dean and I agreed that one of the first things our home needs is a bit of feathered company, so we purchased a pair of budgies from Jolly’s here in Sheffield and took them home (via tram!) to our new apartment. Nugget and Pipoca were shy baby birds and remained in the cage for the first few weeks. When they did come out, they were difficult to catch and to tame. Not long after we took them home, we notice Pip showing signs of infection so we took her to the vet. Unfortunately, the infection was too far along, and we were unable to save her/him (too young to sex). I believe this infection was picked up from where we got her/him, as birds tend to hide illness for a long time, until they are too weak. Even though she/he didn’t stay with us long, she/he will always be in our hearts and Dean has a framed picture of her/him next to Nugget’s cage as we can’t forget that she/he was part of our first feathered family here.
Dean had loads of birds back home- his room was full of budgies and his oldest companion, Pickles- a cinnamon pearl grey hen with loads of character and very social. We were pleased to bring her home with us this month after visiting family at home for a week: we left with one bird and came back with two! It wasn’t long before Pickles was spoiled with a huge new cage and making friends with Nugget. So our feathered family is complete, or you could say our “flock”. This first reason is probably the biggest reason why we love birds as companions. The nostalgia and a huge contribution to making our new home, the warm family environment in which we grew up with and keeping us close to our original homes. Just transporting the birds in my car brought back memories of going on holiday with my parents and taking the budgies with us! Caravan, self-catering cottages and log cabins, them budgies were part of the family and of course didn’t miss out!
2. Their place in the “flock”
I guess, as any young couple seeks something to look after and call their “children” before they are actually ready to have children, this is all part of growing up that we are experiencing. The most popular choice is usually a puppy or kitten, but for Dean and I we naturally went for feathered children.
Don’t get me wrong, we are probably dog people if we were to choose between cats and dogs, but right now it wouldn’t be fair to leave a dog in the apartment all day while we go out to work or university. With the birds, they are always out when someone is in and when selecting the cages, we ensured to give them enough space to explore on those days where we need to be out. Pickles LOVES to be free and often I need to keep her in while I’m cooking as she insists on being on my shoulder or scampering around on the kitchen counter, so to save her burning her feet or drowning herself in the sink, I just put her in. Nugget is good as gold this way. He has become a lot more sociable since Pickles came home but he knows to stay out of the way when he needs to and I can trust him to be in his usual places when I leave the room, where as Pickles gets EVERYWHERE!
3. Their amusing behavior…
I suppose the last sentence leads me onto this point naturally. What I love about my birds is, I could just sit and watch them all day. They are so interesting the way they explore objects, places and even when they crawl all over me! Part of the reasons I let them out whenever possible is because I realize they are not just there to make the room look pretty and fill silences- I want them to be birds. Giving them open space allows them more of a chance to explore and interact as they would in the wild. I don’t have the space for an aviary so I guess we just have to allow the living room to become one. I believe that if you keep your birds indoors, it’s important to tame and bond with them so that they trust you as a leader and will come to you first if they ever panic or get lost in your house. What I find really cute is that Pickles actually constantly chirps when she is off on an adventure to let us know where she is. Both birds mimic mine and Dean’s calls so they recognize us as part of the “flock”.
Here are just a few of the amusing places the birds have gotten into in their domestic aviary:
4. Their individuality…
What I love about parrots is how each one is unique. I guess, like cats and dogs, they all grow and learn in their own ways. No matter much research we done on taming budgies, it was Nugget who decided when he wanted to be tame. He knew how long he wanted to check out the environment, watch us from inside his safe home, until the day he finally got the courage to fly to me on his own accord. Even now he is quite the timid bird, but when I am around, he has more confidence- he’s such a little baby, it’s adorable. He likes me or Dean to check something out before he commits to exploring it. He is, however more interested in Pickles on his own. He is curious and playful, but Pickles seams to be quite irritated by him most of the time, like a kid brother innocently tries to play with his older sister when she just doesn’t have time for him.
5. Therapeutic company.
Finally, what I enjoy about chilling out at home with my birds is the way they can totally relax in my presence. Whether they are sitting on my knee, shoulder, head or just on the couch with me, it gives me a feeling of relaxation and happiness to see them fluff up and just be happy enough and trust me enough to be this chilled out with me. I have been upset before and Nugget has flown straight over to me and sat on my shoulder or on my chest. I believe they are sensitive to my emotions and during research for a project last year, I discovered parrots have the same emotional intelligence as horses, dogs, cats and dolphins and apparently make the best therapy animals.
So that is all I have to say about my birds and why they complete my family home environment. I hope you have enjoyed reading about them and seeing what they get up to. If you are a bird lover, I’d love to hear from you and all about your feathered friends- don’t forget to comment 🙂 Thank you for reading!
All the best,