Saturday, May 8, 2010

Coco, Half-way House Bird, is Back.

Coco is a true survivor. His first owner threw him against a wall, breaking his wing and causing a permanent trauma spot, hidden by his crest, where he will forever be bald. The wing mended in its own way, but Coco drops to the ground like a rock when he tries to fly.

He had a second owner, who then passed him to a third owner (did I mention that cockatiels may live for up to 28 years?). When the third owner moved to an apartment without pets, her children considered dropping the bird off of the roof or feeding it to the snake. A neighbor claimed the bird and brought him to our home. Coco fell in love with Kawi, but Kawi didn't fall in love with him. Coco chased Kawi around like the lost little brother that Kawi never wanted.

When the neighbor who brought him to us offered to give him a trial run, we agreed, but before we could take him back, she passed him on to a second neighbor. The second neighbor (and fifth owner) had a dog who thought the bird was a chew toy. Yesterday, I think Coco wound up in the dog's mouth again, and the well-meaning family felt it was in the best interest of the bird to help him find another home. I readily agreed.

After the family dropped him off, Coco sat in his empty cage, unusually silent and looking rather traumatized. I first sprayed him down for mites, just as a precaution, and then gave him a nice long warm bath. After the bath I started to blow dry him, which birds normally enjoy, then I realized that this bird had experienced something very bad today. I wrapped him in a towel to keep him warm, and he fell asleep.
I have never seen a bird let you hold him sideways, unless he is very well trained, or dead.
Here he is not restrained, lying in the palm of my hand. He only woke up briefly...

...then fell back asleep while I held him in front of the fireplace blower to keep him warm.

When he finally awoke some time later, two dots of faint blood were on the towel, about the distance of canine incisors apart.

Now, Kawi is our little night owl. Usually you have to wake him with some serious effort. If you manage to sleep longer than he wants to sleep (which almost never happens), he will let you know with a "Hi Kawi!" And then only because of discomfort, since he refuses to poop in his cage, so you take him to the bathroom where he relieves himself, and then he says good morning to himself in the mirror for at least 20 minutes before he wants to say hello to you.

Last night I covered Coco's cage with a thin, light sheet, not taking into account the fact that the cage was next to the French Doors in the kitchen. At 6:00 AM, in the early morning light, I heard a faint cry of alarm from the kitchen. A few minutes later, after Coco figured out his safe whereabouts, came a friendly little chirp as he said hello to the morning birds outside. It wasn't much longer before I heard him say, "Pretty Bird, Pretty Bird," and then, and incredibly accurate DOG WHINING TO BE LET OUT imitation. "Coco, stop that!" I called out, and he went back to his normal pleasant bird noises. I think I will pull out the heavy polar fleece blanket tonight.

I sleepily mumbled to C, "It's like we have our own personal rooster!" C, apparently more awake than usual at 6:00 AM, said, "I had a dream last night that I went to sleep next to a beautiful woman...and then I woke up to find it was true!" Suddenly I didn't mind our dog-whining bird so much. Oh, and Kawi? Two hours later, and he's still fast asleep.

Friendly, handleable, free cockatiel bird to a VERY good home. No cats, dogs, small children, or snakes allowed. Coco loves to cuddle down for a nap with you any time of day. He has a very sweet temperament and will want to spend lots of time with you if you let him. A great companion pet for a gentle owner who will invest at least 1-2 hours/day handling him (out of cage time). Will never fly away. Says, "Pretty Bird," and can learn to say more with some time invested. Will sleep quietly when cage is kept in a dark quiet place. Needs 10-12 hours of sleep a night, a clean warm cage, and music to listen to when you are gone during the day. Cage included. Interested parties please comment below, or contact via: nixiao {at} comcast {dot} net.

Post Script: For those who wonder why we don't keep Coco, we would love to. He has a much sweeter personality than Kawi, but for some reason Kawi can't adjust to him being around and gets so stressed he gets sick.

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