Erin (aka Birdie) is a Sun Conure.
It’s Erin’s 10th birthday. (And Sunday mornings are for reflection and I’m reminiscing.)
LC, a former colleague, asked our family to watch her while her home was being renovated.
90 days came and went and somehow Birdie was adopted.
What a magnificent creature she was.
We were soul mates. (Laughing. I could hear my kids now. Dad, that’s WAY over the top.) She would camp out on my shoulder and watch me do my work on the PC while she gnawed away at old sweat shirts. (Must have been soothing for her as she worked through at least 10-15 shirts.)
People would stop in their tracks when they’d see the weird bird-man with Birdie on his shoulder. My kids would stop, drop and roll upon the sight of any other human beings. No chance they would be seen anywhere near this freak-show.
Strangers would have a natural inclination to want to pet her.
But as they say, “Beauty is Skin Deep.”
While a Sun Conure is not more than a foot long (including long majestic tail feathers) and weighs only 1/2 a pound, its beak is hard and sharp – - she’s fast and punches over her weight class. Not something to mess with. And, she was viciously protective of me. The species naturally gravitates to the tallest perch in the Household. Don’t you just love this animal! At least someone understands who’s the Boss.
So, no one comes near the The King unless she says so.
The cage that she came in was tiny. Too tiny for Dad to see an animal confined to such a small space. So, we acquired the Taj Mahal (Retail Cost including accessories: $500.00. Priceless). See picture – Birdie in her Taj Mahal – Zeke, as a pup, circling his prey.
However, she was now accustomed to being outside the cage. She’d want to ride side-saddle on your shoulder. And she’d screech incessantly until she got her way. I would just tell everyone that she simply needed to be FREE…and I would get the response that I should then “free” her.
When it was potty-time, she would flap her feathers signaling time to go back to the cage. She had very few accidents.
She would perch on my Son’s cereal bowl, dive for cheerios, slurp up milk, roll her head back and down it. (TMI-Too Much Info Right?) She loved coffee. And Greek Yogurt.
When I’d come home from work, she would flap her feathers wildly wanting to come to me. (Don’t you just love her!)
At night, Birdie would tuck between your shoulder and under your chin and sleep until it was bed time. You could feel her hot little breath on your neck. (Kids in full fetal position cringing now)
So, what happened?
Birdie, looks like a parrot but she doesn’t talk. But, she was a Master Craftsman at screeching. You could hear her 2 floors up. And she was relentless.
Susan and the kids had had enough of the screeching which would start at dawn and end when she fell asleep or was parked on one of our shoulders. A Sun Conure’s life span is 20-30 years. No one could see through another 6 months of this.
Then, came Zeke. Our first dog. It didn’t immediately dawn on me why everyone in the house wanted a Viszla (a Hungarian Bird Hunting Dog).
So, I was told the Bird had to go.
As I remind everyone at home, WE DUMPED HER.
Birdie was adopted by a nice family up North who has a barn and other farm animals. I hear that she is doing marvelously well.
And here I am typing this post all by myself in front of my PC. On a Sunday morning when she’d usually be with me. And now I’m all alone. With my little friend far far away.
Happy Birthday Birdie.
I hope you’ve found another tall (and gentle) perch.
I miss you.