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Other Birds Post your stories and pictures about your non-budgie birds in this forum
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  #1  
Old 01-15-2016, 11:51 AM
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Default The adventures of Birdie, the Cockatiel

About a month ago, a friend gave me her cockatiel, Birdie, whom she could no longer take care of.


Birdie talks, after a fashion - he says "Peekaboo, Whatchadoin? Pretty Birdie", with multiple variations - he also whistles and "sings" - in fact, he absolutely memorized this YouTube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9NZnpleU0s
So he learned to whistle "If you're happy and ya happy and ya happy and ya happy and ya happy and ya happy", (etc etc etc ad infinitum...) I think if I had had him in the formative stage, I would probably have played him a Correct rendition of the song; But, as it is, he's hilarious and charming doing the repetitive weird cockatiel version from the video.

Birdie is basically a sweet bird, very people oriented, although he came to me with some biting issues. I was afraid to present my bare hand to him, so I decided to try clicker training (never done it before), so I could possibly handle him with an oven mitt.
Bingo! From cringing, hissing, and striking at the oven mitt, within 2 days he learned to peacefully get on and off it, No problem!!! I am Thrilled with clicker training, and have actually trained him to fetch a ball!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyJElW2dBuo

He is very smart, and a quick learner (took only 4 days, of 2 10-minute training sessions a day), to retrieve the ball!
But - a problem with him, in terms of my life setup, is that he is very needy, and wants attention All the time - I always feel So guilty bypassing his cage...
So Then - the Big problem with having him stay with me outside his cage is my Computer Life! Of Course, with his bold inquisitive nature, he was Tempted beyond Measure to get on the keyboard, fiddle with the keys, and Poop on it. I couldn't tolerate That, so my friend and I came up with a (possibly) Unique solution:





It works Great!

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Old 01-15-2016, 02:07 PM
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Wow, Birdie is awesome! That trick with the ball is amazing
Cockatiels are so much fun - I love mine!!
If you have two, they are not as needy, I have found out. My Tony loves to put his beak into my business all the time though.
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Old 01-15-2016, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by eduardo View Post
Wow, Birdie is awesome! That trick with the ball is amazing
Cockatiels are so much fun - I love mine!!
If you have two, they are not as needy, I have found out. My Tony loves to put his beak into my business all the time though.
Thanks, Dee!
I have considered getting another one sometime in the future, Good Lord's will - just going to go as far as I can with Birdie, first...
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:03 PM
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How lovely to have Birdie as a friend to keep you company throughout the day!
I know what you mean about neediness in a bonded bird though -- I have the same issue with Peachy.

I'm so impressed you were able to teach Birdie to fetch his ball so quickly! Well done, my friend. The video is very cute.

What an awesome set up you've devised for your laptop.
How does the laptop feel about being caged?

I'm curious to know if Birdie gets on top of the laptop's cage and poops on your keyboard?

When my girlfriend was birdie-sitting Peachy, she found that he wants to play on the keyboard and pull all the keys off. Her solution was to lay a dishtowel over the keyboard, slide her hands under it and type away!

I'll be looking forward to more updates about Birdie!
Thanks for sharing him with us.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:34 PM
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It's great to meet your latest addition! My boy Khaleesi and I were very much impressed with the ball-fetching trick.
Birdie really is quite intelligent and I'm glad you were able to fix the biting issue in such little time.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:49 PM
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Birdie is very cute and funny! I'm glad you gave him a new home.
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:41 PM
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Birdie is very cute and very smart. With the biting an Avian Vet friend of mine told me that when approaching the bird with your hand to do so with a closed fist and the wrist down like a little platform. This tightens the skin and makes it more difficult to get a real bite in. I have been on the receiving end of cockatiel bites and they can be really brutal.

I just love your solution with the laptop. Cage the computer and not the bird. Just perfect. I always had a similar problem with my Cheekie Cockatiel with the telephone cord and the cordless phone. He was always trying to chew the cord on the landline especially when I was on the phone and he was on my shoulder. Or trying to eat the buttons and the antenna (when cordless phones had long antenna's).

I miss having cockatiels and hand raising them. May have to get a few when I move.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post

How does the laptop feel about being caged?

I'm curious to know if Birdie gets on top of the laptop's cage and poops on your keyboard?

When my girlfriend was birdie-sitting Peachy, she found that he wants to play on the keyboard and pull all the keys off. Her solution was to lay a dishtowel over the keyboard, slide her hands under it and type away!
The computer is very relieved to be caged for its own protection!
I have put a dishtowel over the cage top for poop; as for the typing thing, alas - I have never learned to type without looking at the keyboard, so typing under a cover is not an option - when I covered my outside mouse hand, he often climbed down and sat on it anyway - made my mouse Way too heavy for comfort! So I hung a side curtain over it instead, and it seems to have solved the problem...(The things we have to do to accommodate our birdies...)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate C View Post
Birdie is very cute and very smart. With the biting an Avian Vet friend of mine told me that when approaching the bird with your hand to do so with a closed fist and the wrist down like a little platform. This tightens the skin and makes it more difficult to get a real bite in. I have been on the receiving end of cockatiel bites and they can be really brutal.

I just love your solution with the laptop. Cage the computer and not the bird. Just perfect. I always had a similar problem with my Cheekie Cockatiel with the telephone cord and the cordless phone. He was always trying to chew the cord on the landline especially when I was on the phone and he was on my shoulder. Or trying to eat the buttons and the antenna (when cordless phones had long antenna's).

I miss having cockatiels and hand raising them. May have to get a few when I move.
I do like Birdie - he has an endearing quality about him, as well as his challenging aspects...I think I am more comfortable with the oven mitt, though.
Thanks for supporting my solution - there was not an option to cage him in my presence, without making him totally miserable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aluz View Post
It's great to meet your latest addition! My boy Khaleesi and I were very much impressed with the ball-fetching trick.
Birdie really is quite intelligent and I'm glad you were able to fix the biting issue in such little time.
Thank you! I found clicker training to be almost a magical solution - such great results in so short a time- I was pretty impressed, myself -incredulous, in fact!
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Last edited by FaeryBee; 01-15-2016 at 06:50 PM. Reason: MERGED POSTS
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:49 PM
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I think your solution to the problem is quite ingenious and I'm truly in awe of your creativity!
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:53 PM
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Ollie you may want to look at getting a friend for him down the track. My Cheekie although he just loved me as I hand raised him from a baby was never really needy as he had other Cockatiels to talk to including his brother from the same clutch. He and Spike also struck up a talking friendship with my Alexandrine Big Bird. Doesn't need to be a female two males will get along great together.
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