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I'm New Bird Mom [Repost from 2019]

I'm utterly captivated by my new baby it's hard to get any work done at all. Seriously, how can such an animal be so beautiful, uncoordinated, strange, and cute all at the same time?

Years ago, I had a cockatiel, Dazy; she was my joy. As one would have it, teenage life got the better of me and Dazy was unfortunately neglected. I had no idea what I was doing and compared to the knowledge I have now about parrots. I read one of those booklet things about cockatiels and ran out to get one. One might say she made a good starter parrot. I didn't do everything wrong, I got some things right. She was flighted, her cage was by a window that I had open a lot so she got sun with the option for shade, and I had her on a pellet diet. She was not trained but I had no trouble handling her and she never bit me or was aggressive.

Dazy the Cockatiel

Regardless, I vowed that I would get another bird one day and I would be the best bird-mom ever. I would do it all right next time for Dazy's sake. I would make up for my poor choices and lack of research.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019, I drove to Portland with my project-dog in tow to pick up my now weened 3-month-old Galah (Rose Breasted Cockatoo). After pulling over once to let Lucy-Lue (project-dog) out to do her business, we made it to the bird shop where my baby was being housed.

I would have preferred to hand feed and raise a baby myself, but it all worked out for the better. I work a lot, and it would have been something else to worry about. Now I could pick up a well adjusted young bird ready for life with humans.

It didn't take long to get her loaded up in a small dog crate and out to the car. We headed to the avian vet clinic to get her checked out — one of the many stops we planned to make. I wanted to make the most of my long trip to the city.

The clinic let me bring the baby in even though they were not ready for my appointment. I took that time to walk Lucy about and get her settled into the truck during the appointment.

This clinic was great. Everyone seemed to love the animals genuinely. I felt they were almost as excited for me to have this bird as I was to get her. Two different people mentioned the "Animal Trainer" in my email signature. I think it was a relief for them to work with a client knowledgeable in enrichment and training.

Meet Fable the Galah

I had thought of the name "Fable" on the drive in, and that is what the clinic put down as her name. Initially, I was going to change it by the time I got home, but it has stuck. We called her "Fae".

The vet said she seemed to be in good health but noticed some stress bars on her feathers. (Always learning something.) My hope is the diet I have her on, the sunlight she is getting, and the minimal stress these bars should disappear on her next molt.

Fable has settled in nicely. I didn't know that bird parenting would be this easy. Seriously!

  • She is quiet.

  • She is already learning her recall/name.

  • She was easy to convert to healthy food.

  • She picked up targeting. (Although she really wants to eat and swing the stick around.)

  • She has learned spin.

  • She is learning to wave and started "eagle wings" today.

  • She also started accepting a head rub every now and then.

What am I missing? Everyone thinks that having a parrot is hard and a bunch of work. I guess I was ready.

Welcome to the family Fable.

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