I miss “Birdie”…

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.

Comments

  1. Delightful post, David! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. lkanigan says:

    Is this for real? You a “Bird Man”? Is there video of you with this bird on your shoulder while you are doing things…I have got to see this. Anyways, love the personal post and a great LOL moment to start a great Sunday!!

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  3. A nice story for a Sunday morning. Thank you for sharing your funny memories of Birdie.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  4. Pets stay in your heart and mind for years after they’re gone. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  5. Erin is a very pretty bird!

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  6. Sun Conures steal your heart don’t they? I love my boo. But the screeching! It comes with the territory LOL You need to live on some land or have sound proof walls to have a Conure, thankfully my neighbors don’t mind my screeching sweetie boo 🙂

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  7. Hi,
    What a shame that you had to give birdie away, and such a beautiful bird as well, at least you know he has gone to a good home with people that will look after him.

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  8. That is very sad. Did you family at least understand the relationship you had with the bird?

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  9. Hello David,
    I am a Bird Lady.
    Over the years;since 1998 and many painful goodbyes of 16 -20 parakeets,and 4 cockiteils.I now have 2 cockiteils and only 3 parakeets.
    Your Birdie is hopefully somewhere annoying someone else; yet at the same time endearing them as only birdies can do.

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  10. botanicalyarns says:

    Reblogged this on botanicalyarns.

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  11. l menefee says:

    I have a Sun Conure and I love her. I’m sorry your family members didn’t take to her. Your reminiscence sounds very sad and I feel bad for you and antipathy toward your family. I’m sorry you couldn’t find a bird trainer to help you work out her behavioral problems, which are correctable. It sounds as though she loved you very much. Still does. Birds never forget.

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    • Laura, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Everyone loved the little creature unfortunately since I wasn’t home much during the day to care for it, I was sympathetic to the wishes of others. A long weekend stay turned into a joyous several year ride with her. It was wonderful. Dave

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      • l menefee says:

        It is sad when someone with such an affinity for — such a connection with — an animal is forced to sever that connection, for whatever reason. The screaming behavior was simply her calling you — it’s what they do in the wild–they are never alone, from the time they are an egg in the nest. With positive reinforcement, and by training her that screaming would not get her what she wanted, she can be taught not to scream. I also have a Goffin cockatoo, which has an even louder reputation than the Conure. They are highly intelligent and enjoy interaction and mental challenges. It’s clear that you still miss her.

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  12. You made me well up. I’m sure she’s more than happy but missing you, too. x

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  13. Dave – if anyone ever says to you “pain has no memory” bop them over the head! I share what you’re feeling of having to give up something you care for. There was never a doubt that I did the right thing when I adopted birdie from the Bird Shoppe in NYC, and never a doubt that I did the right thing when I bestowed her on you and your family. I often get updates from the Sharon family on our feathered friend. Dave, she is as spoiled as ever. Her antics, needs and screeching have not sub subsided. Erin takes flight now (indoors only), since she is potty trained, as you wrote, she pretty much has the freedom to fly throughout the house. They no longer clip her wings. She refuses to sleep in the Taj. She sleeps in Jessica’s bed under the covers each night. Her other new habit is a daily shower in the main bathroom. Erin has stolen the hearts of the Sharon family and they love her. She is one lucky bird. Happy 10th Hatch Day little one.

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    • What a heart warming update Linda! Thanks for sharing. Dave

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    • l menefee says:

      Linda: I’m interested in this sleeping in bed behavior! I know other parrots who do it — how does this work? I tried it with my cockatoo, but he doo-dooed on the headboard…L.

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    • dou dou says:

      Oh no! Don’t let her sleep in the bed! You can make a box for her to sleep in and put it in the bed. That is the number one cause for death for pet Conures, they get squished when sleeping people accidentally roll over on them in bed. Conures are huge snugglers and they all loving sleeping in the bed but it is VERY dangerous.

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  14. What wonderful memories our pets leave with us…I’m glad she is doing well, though…
    If you’re interested, I wrote a 5 part Haiku series about my sister’s parrots…she has 5 parrots. Photos are included and I’m pasting the first link: http://lscotthoughts.com/2012/01/03/blaze-the-african-gray-1st-of-5-part-parrot-haiku. The other 4 follow this one…I hope you enjoy, if you have the time..in the meantime, hold onto your wonderful memories and all of your incriminating photos! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story~

    Take care,
    Lauren

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  15. I’m sure Birdie understands and -in a way- is still with you! [Great shot!] HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  16. So sorry you had to adopt Birdie out! But a farm life should accomodate her screeching much better, don’t you think?

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  17. Ginger Siegel says:

    I just loved this…I wish I could of met her….

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  18. l menefee says:

    Linda: I’m interested in this “sleeping in bed at night.” I tried this with my cockatoo, but he pooped on the head board…does she go all night without pooping, or does she go to her cage to doodoo, then come back…? How does this work?

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  19. David, this was a wonderful post. I wouldn’t have been able to endure the screeching either, but it does sound like you both had a special connection to each other. I’m sure Birdie misses you, too. I read this post while traveling and saved it so I could respond upon my return. The stories of animal and human bonds really resonate with me. Thank you for sharing your memories!

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  20. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was smiling throughout while reading it. 🙂

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  21. I have a 13 yr old beautiful Sun Conure named, KIWI. He is my love. He preens my eyelashes !! I am his person. I know the love you speak of. Amazing, ha ?

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  22. OMG! Sweetest of all stories…tears with this one because I know that kind of love. You posted this before I even started blogging at all…which was the end of March 2012, and I don’t even know when or how we became connected in this blogging world…so I simply missed this very special post. My kids and I had pet ducks…and when I was homeschooling Cody and he was just five, we brought five eggs into the house and hatched them under a lamp light. It was a whole process, believe me…but one of the most exciting days of my life was when those little babies hatched. I love birds, and you do too. So much love to you, dear David, my tall and gentle friend.

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  23. Here’s a little update on Birdie Girl! She’s doing GREAT! She has really become such a sweet bird and I love having her as a pet. She sits on my shoulder wherever we go…until she took flight one day. She made a nice loop around my house and came back to my shoulder! No more flying for her though, her wings have been clipped since. But I just wanted you all to know she’s happy and healthy living here 🙂 I tend to let her sleep with me more in the winter because she loves going under the covers to keep warm! Otherwise i try to keep her in the cage at night, i’d be devastated if anything happened!

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  24. Frank Hammad says:

    Bird man Dave, wouldn’t have believed it until I read this. I had a bird as a teenager, that bird went everywhere with me. Would come running from its cage climb up my leg and hang on my shoulder for hours. Killed me when it flew away.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m so sorry to say that birdie passed away yesterday. She took her last breath in my hands when I got home around 930 in the morning. It appears that she waited to see me one last time. It was the most devistating experience and I’m so lost without her. Please understand I provided the best life for her and gave her everything she deserved. I miss that my little princess. So sorry for this news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Jessica, we know you did. One of the only ways we could part with her is knowing that she had a great home with you. I’m glad we all shared a beautiful part of this wonderful creature. Thanks for dropping by. Your comment warmed my heart…

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