Aug 16, 2010

Meet Charley

Charley is the newest member of my household. She joins Celeste and a fish who remains nameless. A member of my local freecycle group posted a message stating they were giving away a cockatiel with cage. The owners were told she was a male when they got her a year ago. After she starting laying eggs, they realized HE was a SHE. Then the woman of the house became ‘with child’ and with six people in the apartment, they’ve had to downsize on their birds. Thus, Charley now has a new home.

Charley is a white-faced grey cockatiel, and a member of the parrot family. Cockatiels are closely related to the cockatoo. Average lifespan is 16-25 years. The previous owners thought she was about 2 years old. Cockatiels are extremely social birds and need human interaction. If they are the only bird, they will become attached to their owner.

A friend of mine had a male cockatiel for about 18 years. The stories I’ve heard have been very entertaining. I’ve never owned a bird before so this is new territory for me. I’ve been doing a lot of research, and trying to interact with Charley. I’ve read that females are more aggressive than males and have a tendency to bite – which I have found out, lol. I have also read that they are very smart birds and can be trained not to bite, to do tricks, etc.

The first evening at The Homestead was quite chaotic. Celeste wasn’t sure what to make of the new family member. She paced around the house alternating between whining and woofing. Charley was up in arms being in a new environment. Numerous times, she attempted to bite me. Eventually, she acted like she wanted to come close to me but then would back away. When I walked away from the cage, she’d squawk and again, this was an attempt to get my attention – which I read she should not get if I want to train her not to squawk. That night, all was quiet. Celeste went to sleep, Charley went to sleep, and I went to sleep.

The next day, Celeste was still prancing around the kitchen and woofing, lol. Charley was a little more social. She’d go to the side of the cage I was on and then back away. She even let me rub her head but then tried to bite me, lol.

Fast forward a week:
• Charley no longer tries to bite me.
• She has learned what "lovin" means: a nice rub behind the head and ears. All I have to do is say "lovin?" and she will bow her head to get a rub.
• I can stick my hand in the cage, which the previous owners said they couldn't do without her trying to bite.
• I'm also able to let Charley come out of her cage. If I am sitting next to her cage, she will walk out onto the door and bow her head to get "lovin". Then she'll climb to the top of the cage and walk around.
• If startled, she will try to fly, but she doesn't really know how. She ends up flying into walls and such, which then startles her even more.
• Celeste still tries to "woof" and charge the cage (like she does with birds outside, lol) but for the most part has gotten used to the new member of the household.

A bit of trivia: The Australian government instituted a strict ban on the export of these native birds in 1994, which means cockatiels in the U.S. are from captive bred stock.


Sue said...

He is sooooooooooooo pretty!!!! What a nice addition to your family Meari.

valerie said...

Welcome to Charley! She's a pretty bird!

EvalinaMaria said...

Congrats on the new addition to the family. She must be pretty smart and it looks like you are a great trainer, "natural" since she is your first bird. I can't wait to hear about her progress and new tricks!

I absolutely love your sewing machine and feel your pain with the new course. In my FA3 (Financial Accounting - liabilities)I was doing a lot of analysis of financial statements. I was choosing firms that some day I would like to buy their stocks.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Meari on your new feathered friend, Charlie. Sounds like you are training him and he is doing well. Hope Celeste will adjust soon.

HuGS, Dee in TN

Sunshine said...

Congrats on your family addition. Good Choice, and Great Birds. Just wait til Charley starts woofing and whining back at Celeste. LOL! :)

Anonymous said...

Meari I can't believe your date. Charley seems like a great fast learning and loving family member.


Anonymous said...

I have 2 male cockatiels...they're brothers and Sprint was just acquired last Tuesday. I've had Tiki for over 2 years. And I also have a Gold-Capped Conure. I love my birds....they're so much fun! Sprint is still at the biting stage, but Tiki and Pepper (the conure) are both lovies...towards me, anyway! Everyone else they try to bite and sometimes succeed! LOL Have fun with Charley! And don't forget to feed her some hardboiled eggs once in a while! They love them!
Robin Ingle

Anonymous said...

Oooh! Congratulations on your new baby!!!! She's adorable! And I'm sure it won't take long for her to be completely attached to you and for Celeste to accept her! I've never had a cockatiel, but I have a friend who had one and he was wonderful!! I did have a parakeet when I was a kid. They are a little smaller but not much. One thing I learned when she would sit on my shoulder. If she poops on you, the best thing to do is to wait for it to dry then flick it off into the trash. Gross, I know, but if you try to wipe it off with a wet paper towel (like my Mom would always do to me), it will just smear into your shirt. Yuck. Hers might be a little bigger than a parakeet's though. It worked for my bird though!! LOL!!
Pam K. :o)

Nancy M said...

Congrats on the new addition, hopefully all 3 of you will adjust soon. Sounds like it's working out well already.

Anonymous said...

Charley is adorable, Meari! You have a natural talent for training, based on how far you've progressed already! Celeste & Charley will eventually become "friends" in some manner. Buddy (Jack Russell) often lets us know that he thinks it's time for Houdini (dove) to come out of the cage for a while. Buddy will sit and stare at Houdini, or will try to jump up to the perch, but when Billy (DH) puts the bird on Buddy's back, Buddy gives a look like "what's he doing on my back?", and sits there trembling. Of course, Buddy trembles like a chihuahua any time he's excited. lol

Betty W.

Kay said...

My sister has a bird just like that she has fun teaching him to talk, Charley is a cutie.

Rene la Frog said...

I know you will really enjoy your new family member. Birds can be very loving if given lots of love and attention

Sharon said...

She is so sweet! Enjoy your new family member!

sales said...

Aren't birds great! We had lots of birds growing up along with dogs, cats, tutles and fish :)Charley seems like a sweety

Blu said...

What a pretty addition to the family! Glad to hear the training is going well.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new addition! And cheers for adopting her, I have found that rescued pets have great big hearts. I have never owned a bird. It would be interesting but not a good idea (probably be the only thing that our cats would agree on it). The poor thing would be terrorized 24/7 and instead of fighting with each other our cats would be plotting their next snack.

I am sure work and school will be fine. I once had a kitten named Charlie whose name got changed to Charity because she developed.

The old singer looks great!roferie

Kathy said...

I am so far behind on reading blogs. :( I missed this one.

Congrats on the new family member. She is just beautiful! And sounds like she is a quick learner.

And that singer is looking gorgeous! Does it work?

Mel said...

She's sooo cute. And you are really making great progress with her.

too_busy_to_stitch said...

So so cute!! I just love Celeste too. One day I'd like alittle dog, and a budgerigar! At the moment the children are enough to look after though, lol!