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Bella Mondos Magazine - Beautiful Worlds. Home for aspiring artists.
  BIRD CHIRPS  

INTRODUCTION

When I was first asked to start writing this column, me a 57 year old registered nurse, not a veterinarian or a bird psychologist I though why me? Then I thought why not me I have been "owned" by birds my whole life. Birds have brought great joy, love, memories and beauty into my life since I was 2 years old.

I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and was lucky enough to have parents and siblings who loved animals, there was not a time in my life that I did not have a menagerie, from my parents raising parakeets and canaries to my first cocker spaniel "Cookieā€¯ My grandfather use to have everyone in the neighborhood bring him baby birds that were hurt or who feel from trees and he would feed them, get them well and release them. My first rescue bird was a pigeon that had been shot with a be gun so them brought her to use we let her live in our basement and named her "Clementon", I have had multiple animals, rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, iguanas, monkeys, chickens, horses, dogs and cats but birds are so different and have such a personality. I really did not get in to having so called domesticated birds until the age o 18 when a friend gave me a cockatiel and a quarter parrot since he could d not keep them anymore, they say hello, I love you, whistle Dixie and played dead. Of course as life goes on career, marriage, moving to Florida and having g a child I kind of got away from birds kept my dogs and cats but still kind of missed something.

Then in 2004 my husband who was not really animal friendly as I was but was becoming slowly but surely the pet whisperer got me a large birdcage and told me to go pick out a bird. I already know what I wanted because I had been researching for months it was an Umbrella Cockatoo (the Velcro bird). He went with me and I picked out Baby; Baby was 6 months old and the love of my life. Only no one told me that he had a crooked beak, when I took him to the first vet who was not an avian vet she told me it was due to way he was hand feed, of course I didn't believe this so I looked it up and found out that it was due to the mother not having enough calcium when she had the chick. I lost Baby a year later when he broke his beak and needless to say I was devastated. My husband was to so he got me a sun conjure named Dhala, she is really sweet but only to Rick and me, she especially loves my husband. I still missed my umbrella so Rick got me another one this one was only 10 weeks and I hand feed her myself, she is the joy in my life, she takes naps with me, I talk her for walks in her harness and she loves riding in the care. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and again in 2009 and my girls have helped me through it. They both play Frisbee with me cats and dogs and everyone gets along.

So let's go over some important things to know if you want to become a bird owner - Congratulations..

!. Decide why you want a bird - do you want one just to look at, to here cheep, to only have to feed water and change their cage daily or do you want one to play with.

2. Decide how big a bird you want, remember bigger bird, more time needed to care for and they can live up to 75 years.

3. What is your monetary limit?

4. How big a cage can you afford and where are you going to place it, remember birds need interaction but should not be in a busy therofare, also even little birds need cages with space. Birds should not be placed in front of windows because they can get frightened. I do not recommend leaving birds outside all the time due to extreme temperatures etc. Mine go out when I am out there

5. Do you want your bird clipped or free flying, remember free flying can escape more easily than clipped birds.

6. Will your apartment, duplex, rental, etc allow you to have birds, remember the birder the bird the louder they are especially at dawn and dusk. It would be horrible if you brought your feathered friend home and couldn't keep it.

7. This is the most important part pick out a good AVIAN Veterinarian these are vets that are specifically trained in working with our feathered friends.

8. Are you prepared to spend money on good food, vet bills (yes birds need to go to the vet at least yearly), to have toenails, beaks trimmed even if you are having a free flighted bird. And also toys birds need stimulation and my Umbrella can go through a toy every 2 days. I do not use the new gravel perches or cement perches since she spends alot of time on her feet they were irritating her, I have different sizes and types of wooden perches, Malapan etc.

9.Important to by good bird food product you can get them from any pet store or even from bird catalogs I do not by from supermarkets, I ran out of food one day brought some at the supermarket and Sophie almost died from lead poisoning which was in the food, thank goodness for my avian vet who believed me and x-rayed the food.

Well now that I gave you some things to think about I hope you will continue reading my column, again it is not written by a vet, or a PhD in avian medicine, or a bird psychologist it is just written by a person who is owned by 2 beautiful and loving birds.

Next article we will start looking at bird types from A-Z, If you have any questions, comments, or anything you would like to explore together please email me at pocorio0214@aol.com

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