Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why You Don't Want to be a Bird in My House

I'm a bit wary when it comes to taking in birds.

When I was a kid, I put my heart and soul into raising a baby pigeon that I had rescued.  Her name was Annie.  Ultimately she died.  I sobbed like a baby for that stupid bird.     

In Silver Lakes I rescued a baby duck whose mother had abandoned it on the street.  I even took that bird to my credentialing classes with me to keep up with its demanding feeding schedule.  It died.

Then there was our parakeet Lewy.  He escaped when his food was being changed, smacked head-first into the stairwell ceiling fan (which was on. Full blast), and fell two stories down.  He looked as dead as a...very dead bird (I'll work on a better simile), splayed out on the floor with his neck twisted all funky.  But as the kids cried over him, he suddenly spun his head around like something in the Exorcist, and stood up.  It was the creepiest thing I've ever seen.  He was like some sort of immortal, vampire parakeet.

A month later, our immortal vampire parakeet died of a heart-attack when the cat stared at him through the cage.

Then, three years ago, one of our chickens escaped her coop and was attacked by our dog.  I tried to save her.  She survived for three days before she got gangrene and her eyeball fell out.

Yes, her eyeball fell out.

A few months after that, the easement in our backyard was struck by lightening, and all of our remaining chickens dropped dead.

A perfect example of having your fried chicken and not eating it too.

Last year Trinity saved up her money for months so she could buy a baby, hand-fed cockatiel.  Dimples.  Remember her?


That's her memorial.  Yeah, she died on the fourth of July, her heart stopping after a particularly loud bout of fireworks.  

Then there was my personal favorite: Loki.  He was not only a beautiful pineapple conure, but he was a sweetheart of a bird.


Loki dropped dead right off his perch.  No apparent reason.  One second he was standing there; the next second we heard a thump, and he was dead.

So yeah.  I feel like I'm the unwitting Grim Reaper of all things feathered.

But I wouldn't be writing all of this if I didn't have SOME good news...so here it is:  We finally--FINALLY--saved a bird!  Remember Brooke, the sparrow Trinity rescued?



Given our history with birds, I had zero expectations of her making it.  But she did make it!  Brooke got past that precarious baby phase, learned to eat solid foods, toughed through the fireworks, learned to fly (practicing all over our house--she gave us a scare last week when she got stuck behind the stove), and as of today, she was finally released into the great big wild. That part was sad.  Trin was super attached, but she recognized that it was selfish to keep her in captivity.     

Here's a sweet little video Trinity made of Brooke's release:


I love the song she chose, Arms by Christina Perri.

It took years and years of trial and error (aka: bird massacres), but we FINALLY got one right.  Thus if you are a bird that finds yourself in my home, the good news is you have a lofty 10% chance of making it.

(That sounds better than saying you have a 90% chance of dying a very grisly death).