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Member of the Month September 2012
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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:
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!

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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Member of the Month September 2012
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, Birdie is awesome! That trick with the ball is amazing :thumbsup:
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.:D
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...:rolleyes:;)
 

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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? :giggle:

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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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. :2thumbs:
 

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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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Member of the Month September 2012
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How does the laptop feel about being caged? :giggle:

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!:D
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...:eek::rolleyes:)


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.


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. :2thumbs:
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!:eek:
 

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Member of the Month October 2008
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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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Member of the Month September 2012
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think your solution to the problem is quite ingenious and I'm truly in awe of your creativity! :thumbsup:
You know what they say: "Necessity is the mother of invention" - I've found that birds have necessitated more inventions in my life than almost Any other factor! :eek::D:rolleyes:;)
 

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He is such a handsome, smart, and talented little fellow sister. Does he like head scratches ? Thank you for sharing your new buddy with us...:)
 

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Member of the Month September 2012
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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.
I know you are right, Kate - and I do believe that most birds are better off with their own kind in captivity. It's just that this all happened so suddenly, I've been trying to adjust life (and living space) for one cockatiel right now - it will have to be awhile before I can accommodate 2 cockatiels, along with my 2 budgie boys, (who can barely tolerate the presence of 1 cockatiel in the room, let alone 2). Birdie is actually happier now than when he first got here - with my computer covered, I can give him alot of out-of-cage time now, and I've supplied him with quite a few toys to occupy him while he's in his cage (he loves and chews on all of them by the hour) He also flies around alot; So he's OK for the time being...


He is such a handsome, smart, and talented little fellow sister. Does he like head scratches ? Thank you for sharing your new buddy with us...:)
Thank you, my brother. Yes - he Loves head scritches, and I give him plenty - it's some of our best times together:)
 

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I often feel guilty about not spending more time with mine. He is fully entertained by the four budgies he lives with but as you say, they are hands on bird's. Mine would let me scratch his head and face for hour's I believe...:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I often feel guilty about not spending more time with mine. He is fully entertained by the four budgies he lives with but as you say, they are hands on bird's. Mine would let me scratch his head and face for hour's I believe...:)
Totally! :D
 

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Congratulations Ollie Birdie is really cute. I thought i heard him say Joey in a sentence. Did the people teach him that. Cockateil's are really clever. I had one a long time ago and he mimicked the telephone he took it off really good. Dad had a phone call from Melbourne one day and then my Cockateil started ringing like the phone and the lady on the other end of the phone said to dad you better hang up and answer the other phone. Dad laughed and told her it was my daughter's bird ringing like the phone and the lady couldn't get over it she laughed... The cockateil i had always tricked Mum every time she was outside in the back yard and she came running in and it was a false alarm.. My birds name was Sunny he could talk to. But he died of old age... You can teach your bird lots of tricks they are quick learners. And yes they need a lot of attention and they get attached to sometimes one person... I am happy you are getting so much joy with your new friend look forward to seeing more photo's of Birdie.... Is this his name....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Congratulations Ollie Birdie is really cute. I thought i heard him say Joey in a sentence. Did the people teach him that. Cockateil's are really clever. I had one a long time ago and he mimicked the telephone he took it off really good. Dad had a phone call from Melbourne one day and then my Cockateil started ringing like the phone and the lady on the other end of the phone said to dad you better hang up and answer the other phone. Dad laughed and told her it was my daughter's bird ringing like the phone and the lady couldn't get over it she laughed... The cockateil i had always tricked Mum every time she was outside in the back yard and she came running in and it was a false alarm.. My birds name was Sunny he could talk to. But he died of old age... You can teach your bird lots of tricks they are quick learners. And yes they need a lot of attention and they get attached to sometimes one person... I am happy you are getting so much joy with your new friend look forward to seeing more photo's of Birdie.... Is this his name....
Thanks, Lyn - Yes, his name is Birdie. That's funny about your telephone ringing bird!
 

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I often feel guilty about not spending more time with mine. He is fully entertained by the four budgies he lives with but as you say, they are hands on bird's. Mine would let me scratch his head and face for hour's I believe...:)
Oh, tell me about it! LOL
Candy and Tony are both head scratch addicts :laughing:
 

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Oh my, Birdie can sure fetch better than most dogs I've seen! I've noticed that he'll take more millet from you after each fetch like "Hey don't be stingy, mom - more effort requires more treat!":D BTW, I've also seen that video of the other tiel Nanners before and played it to my tiels because Rhaegal also does the same heartwing song and dance routine.:giggle:

Congrats and Birdie is quite a charmer, Ollie:clap:
 
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