Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Day before yesterday a distraught man wrote into Tiel Talk; his little male cockatiel (a new daddy) was gasping and acting weakened. The area was in the middle of a storm and most of the town had evacuated. He called vets as far as three hours away -- none of them treated birds or had already evacuated. Then the power went out. All day yesterday and last night all of us worried about that poor little bird.

This morning I see he wrote in to say he hadn't been able to find a vet and that the bird had died gasping for breath. He said he dug a hole to bury the little thing, and cried like a baby. As far as I can tell, the hen is okay.

I tell you, if one of my birds was sick or died, I'd just have to lay down and die myself. I do not think I could bear it. I am so lucky that one of the region's best (if not THE best) avian vets is right here in town, and she knows me and my birds.

So let this be a lesson for you readers out there -- if you don't have an avian vet, go find one now.

Most vets study chickens in vet school, and parrots are not chickens. Which is to say that most vets don't handle birds in their practice, or worse, are willing to "practice" on birds brought to them without the necessary training and education. Take your parrots now to an avian vet so there's a history and a file on them -- if/when there's an emergency your bird probably won't have time to wait while you go searching for an avian vet.

On a more positive note, sort of, I trimmed everyone's feathers last night. All the birds are quite angry with that white dishcloth that "trapped" them so I could do the deed.

I need to take more pictures, especially of Flash. He has the longest crest I've ever seen, and it curls right at the top. Too cute for words. I read somewhere that cockatiels are inordinately proud of their crests -- I think they're inordinately proud of everything about themselves.

And that's as it should be.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I've lost 3 budgies over the years and it is horrible, even though the longest we'd had any of them was 2 years. I will be an absolute mess when any of my current birds go. Totally agree on the necessity of a good vet. Unfortunately, they can be hard to find -- we went through 4 different ones before finding our current guy!