Bird Stories

Stephanie, IIRBS, Inc.: We took in a Green cheek conure named Harley. We were told by Harley's previous owner that Harley could talk a little and liked to give kisses. Well Harley attached herself to my son and at the time seemed to accept me as well. She liked to say "Give me a kiss" and would give us a sweet kiss on the cheek beside the mouth. Well one time she said "Give me a kiss" to me so I leaned over for the usual cheek kiss. Harley leaned past my cheek, grabbed my lip, bit down hard enough to hurt but not draw blood. Then she let go started a hysterical laughter while shouting, "I kissed her, I kissed her." One week later I went in to help my son with his homework. Harley had been out on his shoulder while he was working. When I was finished I got up to leave the room and in a stage whisper Harley says, "She's leaving, she's leaving" and as I got to the door she said, "She's gone!"

Stephanie, IIRBS, Inc.: We took in a Timneh African Grey named Sally. Sally was a bit nippy and we were told she spoke a little but not much. The female owner's fiancé hadn't liked the bird but eventually they had separated. Her living conditions changed so she was forced to find a new home for Sally. Well the first night we took in Sally after she was covered for the night she says, "get back in the cage you little freak, shut the darn door." Then came her next favorite saying. In a really sweet voice she will say, "Ahh are you a psychopath?" Lastly she has decided she is the only bird allowed to make noise after being covered so if one of the other birds starts to make noise after bedtime she will say, "shut up you little freak!" Needless to say we have been working with her on this and lately the word freak seems to have left her vocabulary instead she says beaky. We haven't been able to get her to stop with the psychopath though she will give a groaning old man's laugh and they say her "Ahh are you a psychopath and laugh hysterically again afterwards!

Stephanie, IIRBS, Inc.: Scarlett a female VOS eclectus was another rescue. She was fully plucked and liked to bite. After loving attention and forming a bond with a human her feathers re-grew and she quit biting. She also began to talk quite clearly. She would say, "Someone's at the door!" Or "Open up the door" Then one evening she surprised us with a whole question and answer conversation. She first made a loud "knock knock" sound. Then she says "Someone's at the door, who's there, 'body's home go away!" And all of this was said perfectly in my voice. We just hoped she didn't do this when someone was actually at the door and they would think we were actually there and joking with them!

(103) Say what?

As my husband was making coffee in the kitchen one morning, Congo our 7 year old golden capped conure, decided he wanted to take his bath in the kitchen sink. After he takes his bath, he likes everyone to say "pretty boy" and then he will repeat it. He will fluff his feathers and carry on as I tell him how beautiful he is. Well, my husband is always teasing our baby and trying to teach him to say new words, which up until this point has never worked. Congo never has repeated anything my husband has said. As Congo finished with his bath I said "pretty boy" and he repeated it and then looked over at my husband for his compliment. My husband responded by saying "ugly bird". Congo kept saying "pretty boy" as my husband said "ugly bird". My husband walked into the living room and I told Congo that Daddy was a bad boy. Congo and I went into the living room and sat on the couch by my husband. Congo backed his bottom up to my husband and did his business on my husband's arm. ! As Congo walked back to me he said plain as day, "Daddy is a bad boy and an ugly bird." Now whenever he takes a bath he says "pretty boy" and then looks at my husband and says either "bad boy" or "ugly bird"! Trish

(102) My little green rascal is a snitch!

The other day I came home from work and my son told me he had bid successfully on e-bay for something. He said he had gone ahead and logged onto Paypal and made payment. I asked how he had gained access to the pass word protected area and he replied "Oh, Tweets told me." He said he had been trying to get onto the site and using all the phrases he thought I would use. No luck. Then the bird climbed up on his shoulder and started chattering a phrase. Realizing what the bird was saying, he entered that phrase and bingo, he was in. I realized that the bird is usually on my shoulder when I'm on the computer and that I must say the phrase when logging onto Paypal. He made the connection between the screen image and what I say and then ratted on me. Little stinker. I've changed the password and will be more careful in future not to use it around The Green Mouth that Tells. Jeannie

(101) Making friends.

I just got a one-year-old senegal parrot named Riley; the previous owner told me he likes to eat toast and peanut butter for breakfast. Hudson our 1 1/2year old golden retriever was still not sure of this new creature in the house, until Riley thought it would be nice to share his food with the dog below... Riley and Hudson are now best friends. Whenever Riley eats Hudson is surely there under the cage begging for his share. And Riley always obliges him with a little tasty morsel of what ever it is he's eating!

(100) Before there was a Bird HotLine....

On May 29, 1996, my 8 year old hand fed male cockatiel, Cirrus, flew out my front door. I was hysterical and had no idea of what to do to find him. I immediately began making flyers and putting them up in my neighborhood. I made over 600 flyers and put them up all around the city. I put an ad in the newspaper and one in the local greensheet all around the area. That was only the beginning. I had people calling me from all around the city (Houston, Texas) telling me about a bird they had found. I traveled to many places and found many cockatiels, but not my Cirrus. I took my female, Stratus, around the neighborhood in a cage, hoping her chirping would bring Cirrus back. I'd go out early in the morning and evening, but nothing. I was determined not to give up.

The newspaper ad brought many phone calls and in a short time, I had a network over most of Houston. Everyone was extremely helpful and that gave me more hope. Days turned into weeks but I kept up the search. Fortunately, the weather in Houston was good. Hot, but no thunder storms or heavy rains.

I continued my search. I would get a calls now and then that a bird matching Cirrus' description was seen in an area right around me. I just knew it had to be him and that he was still alive. I hung on to that hope for over 2 months. It was now almost August and I had not found Cirrus yet. I searched and prayed everyday that he was still alive and I would get him back. The newspaper ad had been in the paper everyday from May and now it was August 4th. As I was driving back from my wildlife shelter (I am a volunteer for abandoned and injured wildlife) and I said to myself "Cirrus, I have done everything I can think of to find you. You have to help me get to you."

I had already decided that I would not continue the ad. My only hope now was that he had found a new home and was at least safe. When I got back to my apartment, I had a message on my answering machine. A man said that a cockatiel, answering the description of Cirrus, had been found in the neighborhood. This was the same neighborhood where I had taken Stratus to look and the same neighborhood that had called me about sightings.

I was ecstatic. Everything pointed to this being Cirrus. I grabbed the bird travel case and went to the house. In the bathroom was a male cockatiel. He was scared but calm. I talked to him softly as he climbed up my arm. This had to be my baby. He looked a bit weathered as he had only been found that day. The man told me he saw Cirrus on a low branch. He reached down and the bird climbed onto his arm. As he and his wife walked back to their house, the bird flew up into a tree, twice. Each time the man said, "if you want me to find your owner, you better come back down." Cirrus did and the man walked into his house with him on his arm.

One of my flyers was on a light pole across the street from his home and he called me. I could not believe that after 9 1/2 weeks, I had found my bird. I still wasn't certain it was Cirrus as he was a bit "different". He was not as friendly and seemed to have "aged". The true test came when I brought him back to my apartment. Stratus chirped and he chirped and they both went back and forth loudly. As soon as I let him out of the travel case, he flew to the cage and I knew I had my bird back.

I learned a tremendous amount from this experience. I also ended up with 5 cockatiels at the time of his return. One that someone had found and could not keep. I offered to give him a home. He was named "Breeze". Another one, the owner just did not have time for him and asked if I would give him a home. I did and "Prince" joined the family. They were all quite happy with each other. Stratus has since passed away and I had taken in another female, Dusty. Dusty and Cirrus had babies last year and I am now the proud owner of 6 cockatiels. I love every one of them and I took extra precautions so none of them could get out the door.

I am a believer in miracles and perseverance. It is the only explanation I have for me getting my bird back after such a long time. I know that I was the luckiest person alive on August 4, 1996 when my bird was returned, safe and sound.

Cirrus is now almost 13 years old and pretty much back to himself. He is not as "tame" as he was when he went out that door, but he will fly to my head and get on my shoulder. That's OK, I am just glad to have him back home.

(99) Caesar sings lullabies.

Caesar and Octavia are my cockatiels; they're my pets, but are also a breeding pair. Caesar is a very devoted dad; he guards his nestbox diligently and anytime Octavia comes out for a bite to eat he climbs in. Their clutches hatch at 17 days instead of the normal 19-21 because they sit on them like glue.

With this clutch, Caesar seemed even more excited than he was last summer. Tavi had laid a soft-shelled egg and I was concerned about egg binding--so there followed calcium supplements and full-spectrum lighting. I think Caesar knew something was up, and he definitely wanted eggs to be in the box. He kept popping in and looking for them.

There are now two eggs in there, and Caesar has developed a new habit. He sings to them. He goes into the box and very, very quietly whistles all his prettiest songs (which are generally made up of wolf whistles, charge whistles, and "Heeeeere, kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty pretty pretty pretty bird"). I can't believe my bird is singing to the eggs. He was a great dad last year; it looks like he'll do even better this time.

(98) OK Dear

My budgie Tweets has learned a new phrase. He has learned to say OK dear, just like I do. The other day my husband was getting ready to go somewhere and he called out "I'm ready to go." I heard a perfect reply "OK dear", only it wasn't from me it was from my feathered friend sitting perched atop my shoulder. He's used the phrase several times in the last few days. When my daughter asked if she could use the CD player, Tweets answered OK dear. I asked him who made him boss. I think I know the answer to that one.

My sister's beagle was here over the Christmas holiday. When the dog was being fed and making gross sounds, Tweets looked at me, snorted and said in total disgust "That's NOT a pretty bird." I had to agree. But Tweets liked having the dog here for one reason. He goes swimming in the dog's water dish!

(97) Charlie the parakeet says it all.

My parakeet Charlie was always making me laugh with his mixed up jabbering. He learned to speak people months before learning to chirp. The first thing he said, running down his cage top when I walked into the room and putting his beak to my nose, was, "Hi there!" Soon after, he was saying, "Happy Birthday!", "Birds don't talk!", "What do you want?", "Rock-n-Roll", "let's Party!", "To be or not to be, that is the question", "Super Bird!", the superman charge tune, "Love You!", kiss sounds, and his favorite, his own name. First he learned to rhyme: "Hi Charlie! let's Party!" which got shortened to "Charlie Party," then remixed to "Charlie Harley Party," and finally extended to "Charlie Harley knarley Party." Next in the line of rhyming was "Derry Sterry Ferry Kerry Larry Berry Sterry Ferry Berry." He informed me one day, "My name's Deke." Another time he told me, "Birds don't talk--aw, so what." While doing the dishes one night he stated, "Mom sure can cook." The all time best was on a particularly bad day when he commiserated, "You know, sometimes ya just wanna shoot someone."

(96) Milo seems to always know exactly what she is saying.

My Blue and Gold Macaw Milo seems to ALWAYS know exactly what she is saying. She has proved this several times. Once, when we were walking down the street, a little girl came running up to me and asked me if the bird on my shoulder was real. Before I could reply, Milo said "What's that?" I answered her with, "it's a little girl Milo." Milo said "" I said "no no, we don't eat little girls." Milo said "Oh, bad bird!" and laughed. One of Milo's favorite games is to chase the cats. She climbs down the cage and races after them with "Cmere...C'mere! C'mere kitty kitty, heeerree kitty kitty" and laughs. They know not to come to her, but she knows exactly what they are.

My all time favorite was when my friend taught Milo a phrase secretively. And I mean, SECRETIVELY! I had no idea Milo learned it, she was perfectly quiet about saying it around me. Well my father comes to visit one night and sleeps on the couch. Around 3 in the morning he's awakened with the very quiet whisper .. "I see dead people" and a psychotic laugh. I could not get him to spend the night at my house again!

(95) Ever want to know what a bird is thinking?

I have a two year old Senegal named Chiku who has a vocabulary of more than 30 words and a 9 year old Cockatiel named Flicka. It was dinner time one evening for both birds. Chiku eagerly went into his cage for his dinner. Flicka decided not to go into her cage & flew to the top of the tall buffet. Sometimes she feels independent & cranky! After about five minutes, Chiku noticed that Flicka hadn't gone in her cage, so he interrupted his eating to call out: "Hungry? Want your dinner?" Of course birds know exactly what they are saying! No doubt in my mind!

(93) Ooota's story.

OOOTA's story: On Sunday at noon, we started cleaning our house. And as we always do, we opened our back door to allow the cleaning solutions' fumes to escape. I checked Ooota's cage, saw him, gave him a simple "hi Oooters!" and turned to move Ernestine, the 21 year old cockatieil to the door. One more check on Ooota and…….he was gone! In a matter of less than 30 seconds…Our nightmare began as we ran outside to start looking for the bird who never, ever showed any desire to leave his cage on his own. And we called, ran, hunted for 45 minutes. Then Rick went into the house and created the flyers that would put our home whole again, eventually.

I really didn't expect we'd ever see the Oooters again. I was already choosing a name for the replacement…and teetering with the fact that I wanted a fid in my house, but there wasn't one that would ever replace Ooota, my first love, so why bother.

Rick is very personable…he loves people and talking to them. Monday night we ventured into a neighborhood—this non-animal person just had a gut feeling where to go! We posted signs on the street lamps, but he also knocked on each and every door, talked to whomever was home, left a flyer with Ooota's picture, description and our phone number with the word REWARD highlighted as best as possible. He took one end of the block, and I took the other end when I wasn't running home to print more flyers. 9 PM rolled around, and we both were pooped. So, we headed home knowing that the next day after work, we'd pick up where we left off.

As I woke up earlier than my usual time on Tuesday, day 3 of Oooters "wild adventure", I was beginning to feel as if the hunt for my bird was futile, but I put on my clothes, my tennis shoes and even though my post-operated knee was inflamed from the day's hunt before, I walked up into the hills where we hadn't checked before, just trying to listen for any sounds familiar and similar to what Ooota would be sharing at 6:00 in the morning. Just in the 6 block radius, the jungle of trees was overwhelming…so very many places for Ooota to hide…high and low. I kept walking, but I knew there was no way I'd find him. And I returned home feeling lower than when I went to sleep. I told Rick that, too, and also told him that the chances of ever seeing Oooters again was too slim and we should just prepare ourselves for that…and he agreed. But, he also said he just had to finish canvassing the neighborhood we started posting flyers as the day before.

Besides the neighborhoods full of great places for any flock to reside, to the west of us are cliffs that over look the Pacific….where red-tailed hawks constantly circle. Had Ooota flown west, he could have been hiding in any cliff-side crevice or in the ocean shrubs—or have met with a worse fate. Further, the night temperatures had fallen down to the low 50's, if that…what would the odds be?

On Tuesday, after my walk, I went sadly into the office to begin my day's work. And, to keep my mind occupied, I imagine. But, every ½ hour or so, I would call and check my home answering machine for any messages. At 12:30 we had one message…from Justin who said, "I have your bird…come and get him". Ohmigod…….I called Justin, got his address and tried to contain myself just in the event it wasn't Ooota—there was that chance! I was told that the dog at Justin's found the bird, so I was rather concerned in what shape I would find Ooota…but it didn't matter, I was on my way. I called Rick at his office, told him the good news, heard him start weeping (yes, my man has also fallen in love with "our son") and we agreed to meet at our house to go together for the support in case it wasn't Ooota.

At home I grabbed Ooota's hobo, the pack I threw together with a towel, seed, his music box, some water and our ATM card to go and get the reward money. I also had grabbed a box of dog biscuits, because after all, who was the hero here?

We drove into the neighborhood we were planning on finishing postering that night. We got to the address, both shaking of excitement, knocked on the door and was greeted by 4 wonderful young adults (about 25ish in age). They were so excited to have found the owners….and they found us by a poster on the street lamp! They had put a sign at the local PetsMart that said FOUND BIRD with their phone number (they didn't want to give any info in case someone was not the owner—they wanted a description FROM in the inquirer, not to give them any hints) and bought Oooters some high-end seed (which they said he gobbled up like crazy!). They didn't want to take the reward money – they were just delighted that we had the reunion…but we told them to all go out to dinner that night. Financial times for us are not the best, but there just is NO money that could trade the warmth and joy of getting our baby back. We needed to say thank you to these 4 people somehow. And, the black lab loved her cookies, too.

As we were told, the lab was let outside on Monday afternoon, as usual, but started going nuts barking at a tree. So Jennifer went to investigate and there was the brilliant green bird. He immediately came to their finger, so they knew he was a loved pet. Brought him inside and was talking to him and fell for him (no doubt!)..they are now thinking about getting a bird! He entertained them with his preening in front of the mirror and cocking his head as they talked to him. We were complimented with not only his coloring and condition of his feathers, but his kindness.

When we touched Ooota, and asked him for a kiss, this feathered baby of ours smothered us with kisses…I swear. He wouldn't stop kissing us, unsolicited. I will NEVER believe that birds don't have feelings. He showed me how much he missed being with us and his love for us.

Brought the guy home, and he just hung out in his cage…not even going onto the playpen, he was oozing with joy to be home again. We moved his cage to the center of the picture window and put up a sign that simply says: "HE'S HOME", since we had put posters around our condo complex and several neighbors went looking for him on our behalf. Ooota has become the condo complex icon. One neighbor family brought over a bottle of champagne to celebrate!!

So, as a thank you to all of our neighbors, the black lab and the 4 kids who captured Ooota, we are thinking about having a wine and cheese open house…maybe titling it Ooota Wants a Cracker Party…to say thank you to all that were so concerned…..

Ahh! To come home to the full house…full of dogs, cockatiel, visiting RB2 and OOOTA! What a terrific feeling….

And to continue this event, I took Ooota to the vet today to have a once over, his annual check up, the booster shots I was told he needed by the previous aviary vet, his nails done and HIS WINGS CLIPPED! All checked out perfect…I'm pleased to report and the vet was really impressed with our boy. Warmly for your caring, Debe, Rick & Ooota!

(92) Sky meets Sunny.

I have had a few birds during the last 20 years, but hadn't had one for at least 10 years when we bought a light blue parakeet that I fell in love with. We named her Sky and watched her grow and play with her plastic bird. She would stand on its tail and peak at the base. Finally, the plastic bird wouldn't stay on a perch any more, so I decide to get a new one. Sky was about 7 months old then and her feathers had grown out nicely. She would fly all over her cage and enjoyed it so much. She even hovers like a humming bird for a while (I didn't know any other birds could do this). Anyway, I went to the store to get a new buddy for her and decided to get another parakeet since it was cheaper than the plastic one. I picked out another female that was the same color as Sky's buddy and named her Sunny. Since Sunny was very shy and didn't move, Sky took advantage of this and decided to stand on her back just like she did the plastic one. (No, she wasn't amorous). Finally Sunny had enough and moved. Sky was amazed! She kept staring at Sunny. Slowly she went up to her and stared kissing her. I think that was when she realized Sunny was real. Sky was a HAPPY bird now! She started flying around and then peak at Sunny's feet. I didn't understand this feet thing. She wasn't being mean. The next day she started to pick Sunny's feet up off of the perch. Sunny would wobble, but not fall. Her next trick was to grab Sunny's wings and pull them away from her body. I asked Sky why she was doing this but I don't speak Parakeet well, until one day I realized that Sky was tring to teach Sunny how to fly! Just like a Mommy bird pushes her little ones out of the nest. Unfortunately, Sunny was still a baby and her wings were cut pretty short so she couldn't fly. Sky loves flying and didn't understand why Sunny would not fly. It has taken a couple of falls to the bottom of the cage, but Sky understands now (one fall was Sky's when Sunny stopped her from landing on a perch)! . She is content to teach Sunny the tricks of trapeze artistry until her feathers grow out. They are getting there and Sunny now flaps her almost grown in feathers a lot. Pretty soon Sky will have a flying partner as well as a trapeze partner. Maybe we'll have two humming bird-keets.

(89) Tweets has given Jeannie something to talk to us about.

Billy Joel has a new fan. A feathered fan at that. I recently purchased a Billy Joel anthology CD. Like any new album I've been playing it a lot. The other day I had it on the CD player when I started missing Tweets who was out of his cage. There he was standing in front of the CD player, his head turned up towards it, singing his little ol' heart out! Birdie kareoke? "All About Soul" seems to be his favorite. One time I decided to tease him a little and when the song before it was over I skipped his favorite. Poor little guy was so confused I felt terrible about what I had done and played it twice for him. That confused him as well, but he got over it and was bopping around singing for all get out. Maybe playing air guitar in his little bird brain. Jeannie

(87) My Magpie from Sue in Australia

I was watching out my window in La Veta, Co. when the neighbor's cat killed a female white breasted nuthatch. The male swooped down, picked her up by the back of her neck, and flew to a low branch of a tree. He sat there, still holding her by the back of the neck. The cat sat waiting for him to drop her. After a bit, the bird tried to fly away with his companion in his beak, but she weighted him down and he hit the fence. The cat ran to attack him, and I ran out and ran the cat off. The bird had flown up to a branch, but as I turned to go into the house, the bird flew down, picked up his companion by the back of the neck, and flew off. This was the most touching thing I have ever seen, and I wondered where in the world he took her. Mary

(86) Dickie the Quaker is a real Quacker.

Dickie is a quaker. When he's at the office and the phone rings, he commands "Get the phone." When Dickie gets to come for a visit, he says "Dickie go bye bye, go see grandma" He also quite frequently wants to know "Where's Amy - Amy, where are you?" and "What are you doing?" If I happen to look at him for a prolonged moment without saying anything, he'll ask "What? What are you looking at? You looking at me?" He is also a Red Wing's hockey fan - he and his dad will watch hockey together, whooping it up - it sounds like all of his dad's buddies are over, but it's really just Dickie and daddy! It's "Go Wings!" "Yeah BABY!!" and "Whooo Hooo!!" He loves to give me "kisses kisses kisses" (while kissing me very nicely) and also says "Nice kisses" He also started some "quack quack" thing. So I ask him what Dickie Duck says, and he replies "quack quack". Well, Joey, his buddy has picked this up, and it is so funny to hear them quacking back and forth just like ducks!!

(85) My Magpie from Sue in Australia

I am from Australia..I think I have a very unusual lodger in my house. She was found on the side of the road after falling a long way out of a tree. When I first got her she was fitting almost everyday, but this seems to have stopped. I looked after her for weeks and as she was only about 4 weeks old, she thought I was her Mum. After about 3 months I took her to a magpie carer, in the hopes of setting her free. Even though I went to see her 3 times a was a long 6 weeks... Finally, the carer rang me and asked me to come and get her. She had 10 other Magpies, but Lee just kept getting out and coming inside and pulling things out of the pantry and drinking the carers wine!!! I brought her home...and she remembered the place..believe it or not...sadly, the other magpies that the carer had (and intended to let Lee be set free with them) fought to the death after being released. Six years later..I am greeted every morning, by this lovely little girl (Lee), who curls up next to me. I woke this morning to see this lovely bird fast asleep in the crook of my arm. She is fiercely protective of me, so if any visitors come over, she has to stay outside. She gets in the shower with me, comes when I call her and knows where the fridge is to get food and where the back door is to be let out. She often comes and finds me and makes some noises...then runs off expecting me to follow her, when I do, I can usually work out what she wants...but she loves being held and cuddled..which on the most part is what she wants. I guess she is very imprinted and knows nothing else but a human life. When I try to carol like a magpie, she always answers...and will not fight any other wild magpies unless I am there...The wild ones are now hand fed by me, while Lee just sits in my lap as if to say "she's mine!!" I must sound quite eccentric to most people, but this is how Lee is. She never ceases to amaze me... I never knew that birds could be so intelligent...even when I cry..she hops onto me and drinks my tears...she is so cute... Just thought I would share this unusual relationship with you... Sue

(83) Patsy had a house guest and didn't even know it...It all happened in England.

I also have a quick 'I'm home' from here in England. We have a Newsagents shop, and two weeks ago, a customer came running in to ask if we had lost our parrot as there was a large gold and yellow bird sitting on his dustbin! Our Patsy, is a blue fronted amazon and I didn't need great intelligence to guess that the bird he'd seen was a macaw! I rushed back with him and sure enough, there sat the most beautiful blue and gold macaw. I went up to it and said 'Step up Macaw' and onto my hand, then up onto my shoulder he went. I was used to carrying my own bird around in this way but really had to look up to Macaw! Unwilling to risk him taking flight again, I put him in the kitchen of his saviours and ran home to get Patsy's cage. Fortunately she spends most of the time out of her cage so vacant possession wasn't a problem. Before leaving with the cage and my long suffering husband, I rang the local police to report that we'd found the bird thinking that a more detailed posting of his whereabouts could follow once I knew he was safely contained. This was not easily achieved, as macaws do not easily fit into amazon cages! I resorted to oven gloves and a quick chase across the kitchen floor but obviously he was used to the strange ways of humans and after protesting loudly during his impending imprisonment, bore me no lasting ill will and put his head down for me to scratch. This did leave us with a problem - two parrots - one cage! I had just contacted the assistant manager of one of our large local pet shops, who I had been told took in rescued birds when the phone rang. It was Macaw's mum! someone had suggested that she ring the police and they had passed on our number. Macaw turned out to be Charlie and had come from only two streets away. After resisting arrest by the fire brigade, he had flown off out of sight. To this day I don't think Patsy knows that we entertained Macaw sorry, Charlie, and even less that he slept in her bed!

(82) Kelli says "bye" to Peek-a-boo.

April 6, 1999 was a tragic day for me and cockatiels. After going through a second psticosis treatment for both birds, my beloved 5 year old Peek-a-boo passed away. I had been at work and came home, My mom said Kelli, Peek died. I fell to my knees crying. I felt I had failed her. I have been over this with my vet and she said that I couldn't have prevented it from happening. They felt her immune system must have been compromised. Peek died on a Tuesday, the night before she let me love on her and kiss her head and rub her head for about a half and hour. That is something she usually did not let me do. I believe she knew something was wrong. She was in no pain when she passed. She climbed like normal to the top of the cage and did her "King of the mountain" impression and my mom said she then just fell to the floor. My other tiel, Corie-6 yrs., is doing great. We have bonded more now and I try and show her everyday how much she means to me. After that day she seems to call louder now not wanting to be away from me. It has been six months and Corie still hollers. One day I sat the memorial picture of Peek up next to her on top of the cage. Even though it has been 6 mos. she ran right over to her and started chirping to the picture. On Sunday the 3rd of October I went to a bird show and a green little budgie picked me out. He is three mos. old and full of life. After quarantine I hope that these two will talk to one another and keep each other company. My flock is full again. No bird will ever replace Peek. My heart is full of her. Corie and I are still healing and probably will for years to come. Kelli

(81) Tiki's not the baby anymore says Amy.

We recently introduced a second green-cheek conure, Gonzo, to our family. The first one, Tiki, is exactly one year older and has been the baby of the family since he came home. At first, his behavior was really really good (he knows that appropriate behavior gets attention). Gonzo was learning to mimic whistles, and carefully watching Tiki's behavior to see how the flock all fit together. Things seemed to be working out beautifully. But after a couple of weeks, it seems like Tiki figured out that Gonzo was PERMANANT. And that made him MAD. And he decided that it was my fault. He started doing all his naughty things: screaming, nipping, refusing to step up, etc, like a toddler with a new baby. One day he said to me "Tiki step up Mama!". I was so pleased, I picked him up.and he bit me. In exasperation I asked him "What has gotten into you?". He fixed me with a beady little eye, nodded his head very decisively, and said "Gonzo!". It seems like once he got that off his chest, he was able to tolerate Gonzo much better. They whistle back and forth, and play side-by-side in the same play space. Tiki hasn't said Gonzo's name since though. Amy

(80) Mary says that Sweetpea is a real Sweet Heart!

The boss of our house is Sweetpea, a 4 year old lovebird. She was diagnosed at about 3 months of age (when we first got her) with Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD).She had a yeast infection around her beak and rest of her face, and over the next few months, lost most of her feathers. When the test for PBFD came back positive, the vet recommended that she be put to sleep. She was still eating, playing, harassing our cockatiels, so we thought we would wait till she wasn't enjoying life any more. Well, over the next 6 or 7 months after that, her feathers began growing back in, and they looked normal! We took her back to the vet, who agreed that she could be a survivor (he said this was rare). She was tested 2 more times (DNA method-most sensitive), and the 3rd time she was negative. The vet said he had never seen a bird who had shown symptoms of PBFD survive and become negative, so that's one for the textbooks. Well, now Sweetpea is healthy, gorgeous, and the life of the party. She keeps us laughing as she gets into everything we do. Of course, she thinks she is 10 feet tall and owns everything. We figure we, and everybody, could learn from her "I can do anything attitude" and her exuberance for life. I have never seen that bird unhappy. Of course, I guess we'd have to say we put up with a lot of abuse, and spoil Sweetpea to the hilt, but she is so cute and funny we just do it. Mary, SweetPea, our Peach-face lovebird

(79) Jan tells us: "Here Sheba!"

For years I have always called to my two dogs Sheba and TJ to have them come in, in the evening and to go out during the day. Well, no longer is this MY job! Grady, my 10 yr. old CAG now does the honors. I will just walk onto my patio where he stays in the summertime and go toward the door. He proceeds to whistle loudly for the dogs and say "TJ ! Get over here! Come on!" or "Sheba! you wanna go out? Good girl!" Also when I go to give Sheba her morning pills for congestive heart failure, as soon as Grady hears me get the pill bottles he yells, "Sheba? come on. Good girl!" He even yells for my husband "Danny...Danny?...Get the phone!" What a joy he is. He never ceases to amaze me!

(78) Johann has a snuggle partner.

I have a Jenday Conure that is 1½ years old. This bird of mine refuses to sleep in any cage. He loves sleeping in the bed. Whenever I get into bed in the evenings to watch TV, he will automatically join me under the covers. After about 2 hours sleeping close to me, he will pop out and insist on a sip of Coke Cola. He is also very scared of the dark. When the light is switched on, he will jump out of bed and go to his food to eat, but as soon as you turn the light out, he will run and crawl back under the covers. [If you try this, just be very careful that there is no way you can roll over while sleeping and suffocate your bird. This has happened before. Probably not a good idea. --Bird HotLine]

(77) Michelle tells us about Belle, a real sweetheart.

Inspired by Steve and Sunshine's story about "Hide and seek" on top of the cage ["Sunshine On My Shoulder" page], I began playing "PEEEK!" with my sun conure Belle. She sleeps in a "Happy Hut" which I call her snuggie. After the lights are out Belle goes in her snuggie with her tail hanging out one side. When I'm done watching TV and get ready to cover the cages, I look in the cage on the opposite side of the snuggie, and in a stage whisper I say "B-e-l-l-e....wherrrrre's Belle??" She runs to the end of the snuggie and peeks around the corner all puffed up, and I LOUDLY whisper "PEEEEEEK!" She bobs her head up and down and back and forth. When I say "HIDE!" she runs back inside and it starts all over. Well, last night after a few "PEEKS", all of a sudden she ran inside to "hide", and the snuggie started jiggling and bouncing around violently. I looked inside, and there she was on her back wiggling back and forth with her feet in the air, and grunt laughing and squeaking so hard the snuggie was really swaying. Even CurleyJo, the Quaker (his cage is right next to hers) started laughing, and he even said "Belle! Stop that! Silly Birrrrd!" I could hardly stand up I was laughing so hard.

(76) She says: "Chico is a normal gray male cockatiel." Normal?

My husband and I rescued Chico from an unloving situation when he was he was about 9 weeks old. His approximate hatch-date was 6 Nov. 97. He has been our little sweetie ever since. He likes to talk on the telephone! When it rings, he races toward it flat out yelling, "Come here little guy!" I hold the telephone for him (if it's somebody who wants to talk to him), and he says, "Hi! My name's Chico! I'm a good little guy!" Then he whistles a song for them. He also likes to make up games. His favorite game is guessing what you are going to do next. When he sees you walk toward the sink, he makes the running water sound. When you head for the refrigerator with a glass, he makes the sound of ice cubes rattling around and clinking in the glass. When he thinks I'm getting ready to leave the house, he starts yelling "See ya later!" He also likes to play peekaboo, except that he changed the name to "Chicabooooo". If you want to play, you have to say "Chicaboo" back to him. Then he pops his head out from behind a toy and says, "Here I Chico! Here I am!" Chico is a normal gray male cockatiel. He has a baby brother named Mojo who is a Timneh African Gray. Mojo is a month younger than Chico, weighs 3 1/2 times more than Chico, and thinks he is a cockatiel. Chico is pretty much in charge around here, and Mojo does not like to be away from him for very long. Mojo has learned how to play the Chicaboo game with Chico and they call "Here I am!" to each other throughout their noisier periods. Mojo plays a LOT rougher than Chico so I don't let them play near each other for safety's sake. When Chico doesn't feel well, Mojo consoles him with a soft and comforting, "Poor little guy".

(75) Candy tells us about: "Hey! Thaaatsss my tunnngggg."

My whole family seems to be infatuated with my uncle and aunt's cockatiel. My Uncle Jim and Aunt Cathy have a three year old female who can hold her own against their dog. One day after coming home from work, my uncle heard his son screaming "Don't Bite, Don't Bite". When Uncle Jim ran into the room, the dog had the cockatiel in his mouth but wasn't shutting his chops. When Uncle Jim tried to pry the bird from the dog's mouth, he found that the cockatiel had grabbed a hold of the dog's tongue and wasn't letting loose for anything. If she was going down, then the tongue was going too!

Well, needless to say, the dog and cockatiel are not allowed to be out at the same time. But at least she could hold her own!!!!!

(70) Helen knows fruit is good for birds. But fruit of the loom?

I am owned by seven feathered babies. I call them my change of life children. Five of them are budgies, and to them, I am the kind giant hand that feeds. Then there is Phydeaux, a gray Tiel. I got her when she was 10 days old. Well both of us lived thru that! I thought I would have the only three year old still being hand fed. As soon as she learned to fly, off we went to have the wings clipped. The woman at the pet store assured me she could no longer fly. Great! So off we went fishing with my husband. I felt so cool sitting on the bank of the river, reading my book and petting my Tiel on my shoulder. I'm not sure what happened but the next thing I know my baby is flying across the river! Without thinking I take my shoes off, jump in the Sabine river swimming across to rescue her. Happy ending, I got to her just as she was picking a fight with a huge red bird. I couldn't swim back across the river with her so we had to walk over a mile, me barefoot, to the highway to get to my car. If we go outside now it is in her cage.

Now about Cowboy my Jendaya Conure. I got Cowboy when he was about one year old. I have had him for almost two years now and he is so sweet. He does have his moments though. But what is so cute, he will only sleep in a pair of men's jockey underwear. I hang them up by his perch and he will wrap them around himself lean back and go to sleep. If I walk into the room to check on him he will poke one eye out and ask "What ya doing?" Too cute for words.

(69) Jeanne tells us of the "Peachface bird of happiness:"

Gizmo is a peach faced love bird that was rejected by his mother. He has a smaller than usual beak and a turned up toe on one foot. When I realized that she wasn't feeding him I took him away and started hand feeding him. He was about a week old at that point. No one believed he would live but his eyes told me what I needed to know. He was interested in life even way back then.

He is my bundle of joy now and he thinks he is my child. He was sleeping in my hand the other day and I wanted to lay on the couch and watch TV. I transferred him to my chest and pulled the covers up on the couch over his head so I could watch a movie and he wouldn't feel cold or miss the warmth of my hand. He slept with his little head down under the covers until I woke him up. He opens his beak and moves his head like Stevie Wonder when I scratch his head. No noise, just head movement and a wide open beak. He lands on the cat and wonders why she isn't thrilled but she doesn't touch him. She knows he's part of the household.

Whenever something is bothering me I just see Gizmo in my mind doing some of the endearing things he does and the blues just fade away.

(68) Kay Lynn gets a wedding Rose:

My friendship and relationship with Rose (Mouloccan Cockatoo) began when I visited a local pet shop on my lunch breaks. I am an RN, so quite often I had my stethoscope hanging around my neck when I went to visit, which may have been what initially interested Rose about me.

There, in the obscure corner of the store was the loudest, most obnoxious bird I had ever seen or heard. He screamed and flapped his wings, hissed and tried to bite everyone and everything that came near him, a large sign warned---DO NOT TOUCH, BIRD WILL BITE AND CAN TAKE YOUR FINGER OFF! I was intrigued by this bird--I felt he was calling out to me because he was fine until he saw me. Eventually, I bonded with Rose---he was happy to see me when I came in, and started calling out to me "I Love You" and made the wolf whistle and a clicking sound that I have since learned is a sound of contentment. He begged to have me come over to him by bobbing his head up and down and flapping his wings at me.

The price on his head was beyond my ability to pay--so I made the pet store owner an offer that was half of the asking price. I went in faithfully to visit my new friend, Rose who had been sexed as female. I was engaged at the time, and low and behold, two months before my husband and I were married, the pet store owner called and said he would sell Rose to us for the price I had offered him. Within two weeks this dangerous, mean bird was happily and quite contentedly riding around on my shoulder and saying a few words. That was almost 5 years ago, and today we found out through DNA testing that Rose is a boy....a pink boy with a salmon colored crest and a beautiful black beak and feet. What Rose has taught me is that all of Gods creatures have feelings and needs that are not at all unlike those that we as humans have. Rose chose me to be his friend and he accepts my husband, but is also somewhat protective of me around him. Since purchasing Rose, we now have a Scarlett Macaw, a Valmerie Eclectus, Lady Goulian Finches, Scarlet Parakeets, Lovebirds, Canaries, and plan to build an aviary room on our home just for our feathered children. They have brought us so much joy and happiness in our lives, and keep us laughing and intrigued with their antics daily. Thank goodness my husband and Rose gave me "the bird" for a wedding present.

(67) Linda knows not to try to get the better of a Nanday:

Nanday Conures are very territorial, as I can attest. One day I was getting into Maxi's cage to retrieve his soiled toy and clean it and Maximillion nailed me a good one. So I told him, "Max bad boy! You don't bite mommy." And put his cover on top to show him I was not fooling around. From under the covers I heard, "Max Pretty Bird." So he got the best of that one!

(65) "Time to get up. Mom!"

Tracey tells us: "My green-cheeked Conure, Merlin, allows me to take short naps, but gets impatient if I sleep too long. One day I was taking a nap with her cage right next to my bed. Suddenly I woke up, a little disoriented, but with the distinct impression that someone had pulled my hair. I looked at Merlin, but she looked innocent, standing there quietly blinking those big Conure eyes. Strands of my hair were inside her cage, but she was nowhere near them. I was suspicious though. I pretended to close my eyes, but still kept them partially open. I watched as Merlin climbed down from her perch, went over to my hair and yanked it, then scrambled back to her original perch!"

(60) Debby, we think he knew, he just wanted an apple:

Toby (or Tobster as we call him) has known the names of all his fruits and veggies since he was just a few months old. The other day I was giving him a grape, and I said Tobster do you want a grape? He looked at the grape and said "apple", I then said no Tobster it is a grape. He then replied again "apple". Once again I said no Toby it is a grape. This time he made no reply until I walked out of the room, then he yelled at me as loud as he could "APPLE".

(58) Steven asks: "Is it live or is it a parrot?"

When I was on vacation in Norway early this year my mom kept Gospel for me. Well, one day, she went outside and when she came back in Gospel wasn't on his perch. She went all over the house looking for him. He was nowhere to be found. She started to panic. She was going to make one more walk through the house. As she went by the kitchen, she heard *me* ask, "What are you doing?". She yelled back to *me*, "I'm looking for Gospel, I can't find him! I can't find him! . . . Wait a minute... Gospel!!!!" He was on the kitchen counter standing on a loaf of bread.

(54) After reading Brigitte's story, if this bird should ever get lost, he'll probably notify the Bird HotLine himself.

I have a double yellowhead amazon by the name of Jockele. One day I came home from work and to my surprise he was not in his cage so immediately I went looking for him and calling out his name. When I got no response from him I got kind of worried for he usually likes to greet me by yelling "Hi what you doing huh?" Eventually I found him, he was sitting in front of the PC trying to catch the screen-saver. When he saw me he turned his head and to my surprise he said, "Smart bird huh?' Well, smart bird I'd say, since I had turned the computer off before I left. However, my system is hooked up to a surge protector therefore it only requires one switch to turn everything on. It was obvious to me that Jockele had found that switch and when I found him I was surprised to see that he was captivated by the screen-saver and trying to catch the flying windows. What surprised me even more was the fact that he had not destroyed anything. It seems that the screen-saver had saved more then just my screen for the bird was so captivated by it and so busy trying to catch the moving windows he forgot all about the fact that parrots are supposed to chew up things Well, things have never been the same since. For now I am sharing my PC with a bird. Every so often Jockele insist that he gets to play with the things that move on the screen.

(52) Sonja tells us about "Kiwi to the Rescue!"

It's been four days since Max, a wonderful little cockatiel who had been part of our family flock for four years died suddenly. I was sitting on the couch reflecting back on how much I was going to miss him singing "Marina, Marina" to me, a German song that my dad had taught him. Needless to say, these last four days had been some of the worst for our family. Kiwi, my 2 year old Senegal Parrot realizing that something was not right (probably because I hadn't been playing with her as much as I usually did) figured she had to do something to get that silly human moping around on the couch to get up and play with her. She climbed up on to her jungle gym and grabbed a round plastic ball with a bell in it, the kind that cat's like to play with and attempted to carry it up three flights of ladders and over to her snuggle tube. The incessant jingling finally grated on my hazy brain and I looked up to see her holding on to her snuggle tube with her beak and one foot, and dragging! the ball behind her with her other foot, looking like some crazy little green and orange hunchback climbing a bell tower, dragging along an oversized beach ball. I tried not to laugh, knowing that the sound of my laughter would stop her in her tracks, to look at me with utter amazement like, "How dare you laugh at me!" She finally managed to drag herself up to the top of her snuggle tube, with the ball still gripped by her foot. At the top she then transferred the ball to her beak, loosing control of the ball, whereby it dropped with a resounding jangle at the bottom of her jungle gym. Off the jungle gym, down three flights of ladders again, she went. She picked up the ball and proceeded to climb up the ladders again, with the ball in her beak and then repeated the hunchback routine again on the jungle gym. At this point was almost beside myself trying not to laugh. After she dropped the ball a second time, I knew that's exactly what she wanted me to do. It's the first time I laughed since Max died. Kiwi, my Senegal helped me to start letting go of that overwhelming sorrow.

(51) Nancy found out who caught who!

A totally white parakeet was visiting our bird feeder for about two months. We were able to only get within three feet of her. I would put sweet corn out for the other birds and she would stand on top of it and play "Queen of the Corn" - chasing away all other birds - even those much bigger than her! Finally she took up residency in one of our bird houses. She started "customizing" it. She would grab a beakful of nesting material the sparrows had left, then come out on top of the bird house, run back and forth across the roof and gradually spit out the straw. It was hilarious! This continued for a couple of days. When she had it almost "done" she would just stick her head out the hole and spit it out instead of coming out on the roof. THEN when anyone came near HER house she would just screech! Every time I heard her screech I knew there was someone nearby. I told my husband we didn't need a watch dog - we had a watch bird!!! After she settled in one night we decided we could catch her now. We put a small cage over the hole to the bird house and tapped on the house until she came into the cage. We planned on taking her to the Humane Society with cage, food, toys, etc. We waited a few days assuming she was traumatized from being caught. Anyway - we were hooked - she now has a huge cage - toys - the best food - seed and fresh fruits and vegetables - and she has us trained. It was a lucky day for her and us when she "chose" our bird feeder! It took a long time and patience and caution, but she trusts us completely now and sings her little heart out. I've even purchased tapes of birds chirping that I have on a timer to keep her company in cool weather when the windows are closed - she loves them. Totally spoiled ! We never even thought of being bird owners.

(48) Joe Ann is very very lucky:

I recently did a very stupid thing. I have an African Grey named Sam who normally flies like a Sherman tank. He had his wings clipped but they had grown out just enough, I guess. While transferring him from his outside cage to the inside one he was spooked by a movement and away he went tree top high with me in hot pursuit. My heart was broken. I chased him about a quarter mile and thought he landed in a tree. I walked around the tree calling for him, ready to cry. Suddenly farther away and lower I heard a loud call "Where's the Momma?" I ran to the sound and there sat Sam on the ground. when I ran up to him he said" Up, Up." We returned home ever so grateful and smarter. Sam is one smart bird who knows many things and tells me about them. I would be lost without him.

(46) Ally has a cute story to tell:

One day I was in a shop with my (I hoped) future bird (just my mum to convince) a Blue and Gold Macaw. When a very snotty lady came up (you know the type) and she started looking him up and down telling him to say hello and that he needs to wash (which was a very strange thing to say!) while Tango just looked at her questioningly. Then when she turned around to her husband, he took his questioning eyes off her, casually turned around to me and said, loudly, "Wretched bird!"

(44) Joyce wants to share this with us:

Last week a friend called me to tell me her son's neighbor was feeding a beautiful bird that had taken up residence there. She asked if I wanted to go and see if it were my Pede. Of course, I wanted to go. The man was very excited about his bird and said no one was getting it unless the bird went right to them. He described it and I knew it wasn't my Pede, but I wanted to see it, it was somebody's pet. The man was so excited about this bird. Said he loved it, it perched on his porch at night and let him pet it. He wanted to bring it in, but his wife wouldn't let him. He said it might be out there in the trees. Out we went to see it. He spotted it under a bush and pointed it out. At that point, I think I hurt the poor man's feelings, I looked at it and said, "It's a chicken!" To be exact, a banty rooster. Every time I think of it, I can't help but laugh.

(43) Don has an interesting tale to tell:

Two weeks ago I went out to pick up my morning paper and noticed a pigeon sitting under my car, I didn't think much of it. When I went out a few hours later he was still there, I tried to shoo it away but it wouldn't fly. so I thought "Great another wounded animal (all lost and wounded animals end up on my door step, I'm not sure if it's a curse or blessing)". So I picked him up and put him in my backyard, so no cats could get him. When I came back about 4 hours later I went to check on him. I got within 5 feet and he flew up and landed on my shoulder. He stayed up there like he was at home. Now I have built him a perch for inside the house and one for the outdoors, he prefers to be in the house. He flies off from time to time but always returns to eat and sleep.

(38) Deb reminds us how blessed we are:

The movie "Paulie" wasn't the first time that a bird has been proclaimed to be a "seeing eye parrot." Alex, my Sun Conure, was my seeing eye companion, before he was even one year old! I had had Alex for eight months, and during that time, he had become a central part of my life. Even on the worst of days, he was supportive and loving. I just didn't know how much he could give, until that December when I suffered a detached retina. I was experiencing blockage of sight in my right eye, and although I had made an appointment with a local opthamalogist, it wasn't soon enough. One December evening, I lost all sight in that eye, and ended up going through emergency surgery to save my sight. Thirty-six hours later, I was home, not looking forward to the next month or so of recovery. Alex helped me through that rough time.

This spunky bundle of feathers watched over me while my husband was at work. He never made any noise while I slept on the couch (which was a lot). This was rather impressive, considering how loud conures can be. Occasionally, I would wake to find that he had left his perch to watch me from the top of the couch or the top of my head. My sight was poor, at best, but he would ride on my shoulder and give my cheek a warning nudge if I was about to run into something. (He will still do this to this day.) And when I got depressed, he was always there with a cuddle and a comforting patter of conure "chuffing." I got much of my sight back in that eye, but I know that without the comfort of Alex's attentions, it would have been a long and maddening recovery period. Thank goodness my conure angel was there to watch over me.

(37) Tiki knows how to get Tena's attention:

I belong to a cinn pearl Tiel. She loves to pickup neon golf ball markers and throw them off the edge of the table that her playpen sits on. I am always telling her to pick up her toys, and usually she totally ignores me. This one day I was talking on the telephone and not paying a lot of attention to her, just keeping an eye on her so she wouldn't get into trouble. She started picking up all the markers she had scattered and putting them in her red bowl, but she didn't stop there, she picked up all her little plastic animal toys too and attempted to put them in the red bowl. When she was done, she came over to the edge of her playpen and chirped and chirped at me, as if to say, "See what I did, aren't I a good bird." Of Course I went and picked her up, rubbed her head (one of her favorite things) and told her what a good bird she was.

(35) Melissa will make you laugh:

I am the happy owner of a Blue&Gold Macaw, a Hahn's macaw (a small Macaw), and a Goffin Cockatoo. The two macaws share a cage and are best buddies, though it's hysterical watching them push each other's buttons. Rasta (B&G) likes to surprise Elmo (Hahn's) by suddenly picking him up with her foot and dropping him on the floor, and Elmo likes to torture Rasta by hanging from her tail. It's especially funny watching them trying to get the last morsel of a treat away from each other. Elmo will do the over-the-shoulder swipe from on top of Rasta, who will then grab Elmo's little head in her foot and (gently!) pry the goody from his beak, then - you guessed it- drop him on the floor. But they do love each other. Elmo literally sleeps under Rasta's wing.

Working for an avian vet, I see my share of delightful birds: "Swinger", umbrella 'too who nods her head and snaps toes when you sing. "Pablo", the green cheek conure who yells "Shhhhhh!" at the other birds. "Peanut", DYH amazon who responds to a rough landing with "Uh-oh, the birdie fell!" "Gonzo", bare-eye 'too - when you towel her, you hear a worried 'uh, what are you doing', you answer 'clipping your nails', and she responds with a very dubious 'okaaaaay.....' And finally, "Buster", the DYH who starts yelling "NOOO! NOOO!" at the top of his lungs when we towel him and cusses us out when released.

Here's some more amusing birds we've seen at our vet clinic... "Tootsie", an African Grey who rolls herself up in a newspaper like a burrito; "Zoie", the Quaker who spends most of her day yelling with her head inside a bell; "Nacho", a DYH who says 'Here, lizard lizard lizard...' And then there's the brown pelican we treated last week. Every time we had to tube feed this bird, we had to wear plastic bags because the last mouthful would end up as a shower!

(34) Bunny has a great story:

I was awakened this morning {May 31} by a violent knocking on my porch door. There was a violent thunderstorm going on at the time. My first thought was that someone had had an accident out on the highway. I grabbed my boots and flashlight and rushed to the door only to find my daughters goose standing on the top step rapping on the door with her beak to be let in. When she was a baby she lived in the house and only went out when it was nice. If it started to rain my daughter always brought her in. I guess she thought that this storm was bad enough that she should come in. Of course I let her in after all she is house broken. As soon as the storm passed she was ready to go back outside.

(33) Beth has a story for us:

My story is long but sweet. It is the story of a bird that clearly needed to be loved and has since gotten all the love she needs! It is pretty long so I put it on one of my home pages.

(32) Jayne gets even:

Pepsi is a real talker and she also tends to mix up things that she says. Every so often she tends to be a heathen and tosses most of her food out of her bowl, so I tell her, "Stop it, mommy's going to beat your butt!" Well now she tells everyone "Mommy's got a big butt." My husband doesn't help much, cause he encourages her to say it. But I got even with him, I taught Pepsi to say, "Daddy's got stinky feet, P U." Which she says to him every night when he takes off his work boots.

[This came in a month later.] Pepsi is finally saying it right . After me telling her every day, she is now saying "Mommy's gonna BEAT butt". Thank goodness, she finally learned it.

(31) Jenni wants us to know: Who is Punkin?

Punkin is a very special Moluccan cockatoo who was born blind and became a pioneer in Avian medicine. He is a rare treasure, and we'd like to share a little of him here with you.

I Can See! "WHEEEEEEEE! What's Punkin Doin''?" That's how I greet everybody I see, and now I CAN SEE! What you need to realize is that I was once totally and absolutely blind when I was a hatchling, and now I CAN see! My Mom, Jenni Jackson, found the help necessary to give me sight and a new life.

[This is a great story and if you want to know what happens next and get the most out of it, just click here to go to the rest of the story on Jenni's site--then click your BACK button to come back to us--Bird HotLine]

(30) Steve [not of the Bird HotLine, but lives up to the name] has this wonderful story to share:

At the age of thirty-five I figured I was never going to meet "that special someone" and was just settling down to contentment as a single person. I was active in my bird club (The Long Island Parrot Society) and went to an EARTH DAY at an elementary school with my birds to help teach about parrots and the need for conservation. As we were setting up, a beautiful blonde woman entered and took her bird out of its cage. Her Blue-Fronted Amazon got spooked and jumped to the floor with a loud yell! I went to go help and as I reached down the beautiful blonde woman said 'Be careful! She bites everyone!'. I reached down and told this wayward bird 'UP!' and handed her bird back to her with nary a scratch or nip. I guess she was impressed because the next time our paths crossed we went out for coffee and talked till 2AM+. Two weeks later I asked her to marry me and she said YES! I think I owe it all to 'Fairway' our Blue-Front Amazon and the way she said Yes first. Happy (3rd) Anniversary a little early to my wife Sally and her 'Bird of honor'. All three of our birds were at the altar with us and now our flock is about to be eight! We blew that wedding vow of six pretty quick!


(29 Bunny has this sad but loving story to share:

I wish that there had been a lost bird hot line 5 yrs. Ago when we lost Perry. He was the best Tiel I've ever had. He was a gray. He had a very large vocabulary and a close friendship with our cat. He would call, "Where's Kittenater?" And she would come running and lie down with him. He loved everyone he ever met. He loved to go to school and walk around the class. I mean he would walk on the children from child to child until he had visited with each one. We lost him when my in-laws were visiting and my husband had opened a window without telling anyone. My father-in-law wanted to meet Perry and opened the cage and Perry flew out the window. I guess once outside he got scared and would not come when called. We never got him back. We set his cage outside in hopes he would return to it and Kittenater laid by it for days waiting for her little friend to return. We now have 4 Tiels and a Conure and we love them very much and we keep their wings clipped. But none of them have the personality of Perry.

(27)Jill tells us:

The story about my "Miracle Cockatoo"is pretty long... but well worth reading. You can see it at my home page.

(25)Eileen tells us this story:

My Australian uncle found a wild parrot who had lost most of its leg. He put it in a cage for its own protection (Australia has strict laws about keeping wild birds). My aunt used to call out, "Pat, telephone!" when my uncle was out working on their farm. They were unaware that the bird could talk until one morning my uncle was interrupted several times by my aunt calling him to the phone. Finally he realized it was the bird--who mimicked my aunt's voice so well that my uncle didn't know the difference!

(24)Donna has a cute story and some serious advice:

Digger is a CAG I once had. That bird was quite a talker! I thought I was talking to my hubby one day and I was getting answered. When I walked into the living room, I realized it was Digger answering me! He could talk just like my husbands voice. Sad to say I miss Digger very much. He died in my arms from a stroke. Watch out how much fat intake your bird has. They can have cholesterol problems just like humans do. I was not told that. Thank you for letting me share my story.

(23)Valerie sent this story in and tells us it was written by her cat, "ModemKitty." [Valerie is a Bird Patroller and goes way beyond the call of duty sending emails to every bird person she can find telling them about the Bird HotLine, answers questions on the HelpLine, and checks out our site and thankfully tells us if she sees any typos, etc. So if she says this is her cat's story, we aren't going to argue.]

I have a complaint about my mom's pigeon. Well she calls it an African Grey. I call it a pain in the behind. Quite literally, actually. My mom had been out of town and had gotten back just the day before. I'm not as independent as other cats...quite affectionate really. When I saw my mom kicking back in front of the computer, talking on the phone, I decided to jump up for a little lap-snuggle time. The BIRD was playing on the top of its boing (which is a spiral toy that hangs from the ceiling and is located a foot away from my mom's chair when she sits at the computer). Anyway, it was at the top and clearly playing with its toys, that mom had hung on the boing, so I jumped up on my mom's lap. As I'm circling around trying to find just the right spot to plop down, I feel this vise-like grip on my tail and I JUMP and turn around in mid-air hissing all the while. That menace with wings had sneaked down the boing and grabbed my beautiful tail! My mom started cackling in someone's ear and she couldn't stop. When she finally did and got off the phone, she came over to see what kind of damage had been done. I was so mad that she let it happen I wouldn't even let her touch me! About a week ago that BIRD tried it again, this time she slid down the boing and was aiming for my nose. Mom saved me that time. Now I have to wait for mom to go to bed before I get any quality time with her! Rats!

(22) Andrea has some fun stories to share with us:

We have two parrots: a 2-yr. old Double Yellowhead (Sunny) and a 6-yr. old African Grey (Gabby). Gabby should be a talker but for some reason, she has chosen to only say a few words. She is very attached to my husband who happens to have his office at home. Gabby's cage is in a room which is across from the office, but she cannot see my husband so she frequently whistles and calls (squawks) for him. Needless to say, when he is very busy or on the phone, she gets on his nerves. So from time to time he hollers at her, "Gabby, no!" or "Gabby, stop!". Sunny seems to learn very quickly and after hearing my husband reprimand Gabby a few times, now when she starts to be obnoxious, he will yell at her "Gabby, no!" or "Gabby, stop!" and my husband doesn't have to say anything!

Sunny, on the other hand is quite comfortable entertaining himself wherever he is. He will sing all of his songs (Old MacDonald, Row Row Your Boat, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I've Been Working on the Railroad, Singing in the Rain, the Opera scales (la, la, la, la, la), Kellogg Cereal Song (Good Morning, Good Morning, the best to you each morning) and the cutest one of all is when he is in the shower he sings Singing in the Rain! He usually sings in a quiet voice so as to not be disturbing when he is alone, but if he gets bored, he will mix up the songs and Old MacDonald is working on the railroad or row, rowing his boat!

Also, one time, my in-laws and my husband and I were eating dinner and my father-in-law mentioned something about why he has a Manhattan (cocktail) before dinner occasionally. Jokingly, he said it was because it made him more masculine (he's 85!). As soon as he completed his sentence, Sunny, from the other room, said, "Ha, Ha, Ha" (real sarcastic like the mynah bird that was on Johnny Carson one time). It was so appropriate, we just all burst out laughing which made him respond with his own laugh which sounds just like my husband laughing.

Sunny's cage is in the living room and there is an open window in between the kitchen and living room, so he can see and hear what is going on in the kitchen. Usually, he and I talk while I am preparing or cleaning up after meals. Well, this one particular day, I wasn't paying attention to him and he had repeated a couple of times "Hello, what ya doing?" When I didn't respond, he finally hollered in a disgusted tone, "What ya doing in there!"

(21) Karen tells us about this article in the L.A. Times:

A man found a blue keet and took him home. While walking around with the bird on his shoulder, the bird started saying numbers. The man wrote them down and realized that they looked surprisingly like a local phone #. He dialed the number and an older gentleman answered. When asked if he had lost a bird he excitedly said "Yes, I sure did. And I just knew it would come in handy if he knew his own phone number." What a great idea!

(19) Candy tells us about her blue and gold macaw:

I am always amazed by Deeker's ability to respond to me, but his heart felt sentiments really make me cry. I had him on my shoulder going through his lessons while I prepared his food dishes. "What does a doggy say?" I asked. "Ruff, ruff, ruff," he answers. "Good boy! . . . What does a kitty say?" "Meow, meow." "Good boy!" Then I asked him something I had never asked him before, "What does Mommy say?" And he responded, "Love you."

(18) Kathy had this story:

All of these stories are just wonderful. I am owned by two beautiful Congo African Greys. They are the love of my life.

I have first hand experience in looking for a lost bird. A very good friend of mine called my husband and I very distraught one day because she had accidentally let go of one of her 3 month old CAG, and it was in the woods. After searching several hours through the woods, and hearing it once, we could not find it. It poured rain that night, and we all thought, if a hawk or other predator didn't get it, it would surely die from the exposure to the awful weather. The next morning, (still down pouring) she went out tapping its food crock, and it called out to her. He was very high in a tree, which we walked past several times throughout the previous afternoon, and yes I did hear it, but couldn't see it. After a very long extension ladder and her husband taking his life in his hands climbing up, the baby was rescued and today is just fine.

(17) We got this from Catherine, one of our Bird Patrollers:

Hi, All, just wanted to tell you about a lost bird story with a happy ending. I was in a local pet supermarket posting a Bird HotLine flyer on their bulletin board and noticed a post about a lost CAG, Toby. There was no date so I didn't know how long ago it had been posted. I called the number tonight to tell them about the Bird HotLine and the owner told me their story:

They had Toby, the CAG, in a cage with the door open in their car. Someone opened the car window and Toby flew out. They posted signs at nearby pet stores and other bulletin boards and ran an ad in the newspaper. They kept the ad running for a MONTH. About a month later, they received a call from a couple who had gone to a TGIFridays Restaurant (about 5 miles away and across a major freeway system from where Toby escaped). The couple saw an African Grey sitting in the parking lot that day and picked him up. They took him home with them and were going to keep him, but looked in the newspaper and saw the ad about Toby and called.

Toby's family thought it was unlikely to be him after all this time, but went to check him out. When they got there, and the bird saw them, he jumped up on a perch and yelled, "Hi . . . Toby . . . Hi . . . Toby." He was going to be darn sure they knew it was him.

I was truly amazed to hear their story of recovering their bird after such a long time. I think this should be a good reminder that miracles do happen and not to give up hope.

Catherine, Bird Patrol Member. And Bogie --U2 Raspberry--CAG Pickles--Hawkhead

(16) Vic from Sedona gives the HotLine a new purpose:

In 1955, I lost a light blue parakeet who's name was "pretty boy" and who had an extensive vocabulary and unique and identifiable personality traits.

Years later, shortly after Ginny and I met and married, we determined the following: at the same time that I lost my parakeet, my future wife with whom I was not acquainted but who lived within a few miles of my home, found "pretty boy." Comparing notes, we are convinced that the adopted bird and mine were one and the same. After 29 years of marriage, I still find comfort in knowing that "pretty boy" found a good home and loving family.

(15) Edie tells us:

I work in a personal care home, working with a lot of elderly people. I am an Activity director and also a bird lover. My local pet store notified me one day they had a lutino-gray cockatiel that was born with crippled feet, and ask if I would be interested in adopting it for my senior residents at the home. I took him right away. After a visit to my vet and a vitamin shot he made his new home at Sugar Valley Lodge. He is now going on 3 yrs old and is the owner of 83 residents that love him as much as I do. He can sit on his perch with the back of his legs for support and gets around in his cage very well. (Pete) is a very special bird and has put smiles on the residents faces over the past couple years. We now have 9 birds at the home, but Pete is by far the number one bird!

(14) A guardian angel . . .

I have a lutino 'tiel that incurred $1000 in vet bills because she had a cranial abscess. She lost her hearing and sight and her head was inverted also. She nearly died many times. I tube fed her for more than six months. Today, her sight and hearing have returned and her head is vertical most of the time. She wants to do everything that the other 'normal' birds do. So each day, when it's her turn, she is placed on the play gym (bottom rung) with our other 'tiel and a 'keet.

I was in the kitchen washing and filling a water dish, when I heard Brandy our 6 year old African grey yelling "Mommy Daffy . . . Mommy Daffy," repeatedly. I came into the room and she had fallen down and I hadn't heard her. Brandy usually just says "Daffy fall down," but he had altered his norm to alert me! He knows she is one of God's special children and he treats her accordingly. He'll say, "Daffy girl, do you have an ouchie?" He has assumed the job of being her guardian angel. Gotta love 'em'. . . . Cathy

(13) Heather in Minnesota shares:

I have a female African red bellied parrot who is just over one year old. She has come up with a new favorite thing. In the evening she sits on her play gym in front of the window. The window is often open ( with a screen of course) since the nights have been very warm lately. At dusk the outside birds are getting settled in for the night and make quite a stir in the trees outside. She wants to be a part of that, so she puts on quite a show. She will lean her head against the screen and flash her eyes and say "Hello there! How ya do'in?" and "love you" and 'morn'in!". Then she'll hang upside down on her rope perches and cry out "Weeeeeeee!" like she is having the time of her life. But alas, none of the birds come over to the window. She has this little pinched voice that comes out pretty high, but she is trying to be as loud as she can and seems very determined about it. She is great fun.

(12) Shirley tells us:

The other day a speech therapist was working with our 2 year old little foster child (girl). The worker said, "The rooster says, 'Cock-a-doodle-doo'." Then Nyla our 8 month old blue front amazon said, "Cock-a-doodle-doo? What in the world?"

(10)Donna tells us about: A Very Surprised Vet!

A few months ago I took my CAG [African Grey], Bogie, to the vet for a check-up and a wing clipping. Bogie is a very social bird who will talk to anyone and began our visit by telling everyone who would listen, "Bogie's a good boy!"

In the examination room, the vet couldn't get over what an outgoing personality Bogie had. When it came to clipping his wings, little did I know that he was going to ask me to hold Bogie for him! Well...Bogie wiggled and squirmed trying to break free from my grasp. Finally, in frustration, he turned his head around and nipped me. I said "Ouch" just as the vet began clipping Bogie's wing. Bogie said, "That hu-urts!"

Talk about funny! The vet's jaw dropped and he just stopped what he was doing. He looked at me and asked, "Did he just say it hurts?" Laughing to myself I replied "Yes, he did." (I didn't have the heart to tell him that Bogie's comment was more a response to my, "Ouch!") With an incredulous look on his face the vet said, "That's the first time I ever had a patient tell me I hurt him!"

When the wing clipping was over, and we exited the examination room, the vet couldn't wait to tell everyone who would listen what happened! I can't wait for our next visit...I can just imagine Bogie telling the vet when he begins clipping his wings "Knock it off!"

(9) Billy my own blue angel:

A little over 2 years ago I bought my husband a blue front amazon, named Billy as a Xmas gift...Billy was 9 years old at the time, but quite tame and friendly. Even so, I was scared to death of him. He can look fierce at times, and that beak looked like it could take off my finger. I liked him but kept my distance.

Well, in February of the following year my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and we knew he did not have long to live. While he was sick, he would lay on the couch, and Billy would ask him, "Are you OK?" And do all sorts of tricks for him, and talk up a storm, almost like he was entertaining him. My husband died on May 1st of that year. Afterwards I wasn't sure what I was going to do about Billy, but little by little he wormed his way into my heart, and now he is my heart. When I go on vacation, he comes with me. He calls me "Mother," most of the time, or "Pat" if he's mad at me. I wouldn't give him up for all the tea in China, or for that matter any reason at all.

[Pat, thanks for sharing that story with us. . . . Bird HotLine]

Judy adds: Our angels, indeed! I have a neighbor with an African Grey. He mimics perfectly her voice, her husband's voice, and their son's voice. Shortly after she had told me that, I met a young man who told me about a lady who had a grey. The lady passed away, and her grey was so very special to her children because, you guessed it, they could still " hear their mother's voice", thanks to her cherished feathered friend.

(5) Cockatiel And Owner Reunited

Palo Alto bird, known for singing Dutch tune, helps own cause:

With a splash of color and a flutter of feathers, a cockatiel fell into Kathy Politzer's life one sunny day in June. It also happened to be the same day she was holding her garage sale.

"All of a sudden this bird just flew into the back yard," said Politzer, who lives near Loma Verde Avenue and Alma Street in Palo Alto. She grabbed a towel from the tables of sale items, wrapped up the exhausted bird and put him in a box. That was June 21.

When she unwrapped the bird, he instantly hopped up onto her shoulder. The gray cockatiel with orange cheeks quickly began to grow on Politzer's family. She checked out books on bird care and asked at every pet store she went to whether anyone had reported a lost bird. No one had.

The one unique thing about the bird was it would sing a tune that sounded to Politzer like "Dixie." But she couldn't quite make it out. Days passed and then one morning this month, Politzer glanced through the lost pet ads in the Palo Alto Weekly. There she spotted an ad for a lost cockatiel, one that disappeared from a home on Kipling.

She called the name and got in contact with Anna Wiersma who lives about six blocks away for her and had been missing her bird, Bonnie, since June 20. But Politzer needed to be sure. Does he sing any particular song, she asked?

Wiersma began whistling the Dutch wartime anthem "House of Orange, Long Live the Queen" over the phone.

"That's him!" Politzer said.

A tearful reunion ensued and Bonnie was soon back home with his friend Clyde, the parakeet he rooms with. Wiersma is hoping her cousin, who breeds the birds, will be able to find one for Politzer in the fall.

"She took good care of him," Wiersma said.

(4) Nancy with a Fishy Bird Story:

Our 5 year old Sun Conure is a 'sentry' bird - her job is to advise all in the house if anything is happening - outside or in. One day in the mid afternoon she started screaming and screaming.....I couldn't find anything amiss in the house - no cats big black crows at the birdfeeder.

Before leaving the room I walked over to the fish tank and noticed a prize saltwater fish lying on the floor. I quickly picked him up and dropped him back in the tank. Daisy immediately stopped screaming and went back to her food bowl. Somehow she had seen the fish jump out and wouldn't quiet down till someone did something.

What an amazing bird!!!

(3) From The Bird HotLine

On Sunday morning Feb. 1 (our 3rd day on the web) we at Bird HotLine got news that a Grey was lost in PA. A few minutes later someone else sent us the details as the owners were not on the web. We immediately got busy setting up the info to add to the View Lost page.

We checked back with our email a few minutes later and found a message that the bird was found! Hurrah! We got busy again removing the message from the View Lost page. Much happier at our work this time.

Today (Feb. 2) we received the following and wanted to pass it on to you all:

RE: Lost Grey in PA: I'm a breeder and since the owners are not on-line, I've been in contact with them throughout. They found her [their Grey] in a neighbors yard, after dark, huddled next to a woodpile. If I had to guess, I'd say what stopped her from flying up was the cold weather and the fact that she is so tame. They do realize how fortunate they are to get her back, and they are so thankful to all who helped. They even had someone somewhere in PA call and offer to come over today and help with the search. [Are bird people wonderful, or what]

Normally she is clipped, but it has been so cold there that they decided to let it go until the weather got milder. Needless to say they now have a different view about that. These people are wonderful pet owners too, very responsible. I was quite surprised when they called and told me the bird got out. [Remember that, folks, it can happen to the best of us.] She is going to the vet to be checked out Monday, just as a precaution.

I [the breeder] must thank everyone again. The response was quite touching and I am so grateful to know that there are people out there who care and want to help. [We at the Bird HotLine want to second that, and are so excited at the response to our site. Here we were in Sedona, AZ trying to get help for someone in PA. . . . What's that phrase about "a small world."]

(2) ASHLEY of Atlanta:

Max, my blue & gold macaw, likes to sit on his play area, and throw treats to the dogs.
    The dogs will sit nicely waiting at his feet, and when he throws one it's like a king throwing a gold piece to the poor: they scramble to see who gets it. (note: the treats are carrots, brocolli, nuts, whatever).

(1) GARRY of Anchorage, Alaska:

E.T., my Congo African Grey parrot, has always shown a preference for words with an "ooooo" sound, so I tried to teach her to say "Hi! My name is Poo-Poo!"
    She took me literally and now calls ME "Poo-Poo!"
    In the AM it's "Good Morning, Poo!" In the evening it's "Goodnight Poo-Poo." When I sing Itsy-Bitsy Spider, I get "Thank you, Poo."
    The other day, she elevated my position in her universe; I came up the stairs and she said "Good Morning, Poo-Poo Bird!"
    What did we do for fun before we had parrots?