On the lives of captive birds

At least nine years ago, I rescued a wee turquoise parakeet named Marmaduke. My little ones are allowed free flight to help them through the trauma most have endured. It’s a way they get back their power. Cockatiels never reconcile to captivity but parakeets are quite content as long as they have food & are left alone. (Training animals has never been a strength of mine.)

Most birds are extremely social creatures & cannot live without companionship. Marmi soon fell in love with a little blue girl. I discourage breeding since birds are unsuited for captivity so when I noticed the little couple were hanging out at the bookcase more than they ought, I checked & found a nest they’d built behind my chewed up books. The nest toppled & four little babies tumbled. Without thinking, I propped it back up & put the babies back. Big mistake. The mother wouldn’t go near them after they’d been touched.

The extraordinary thing was to watch Marmi try for days to corral the mother back to tending for her kids. And when she wouldn’t, he nursed them all & they survived.

My little blue girl died after several years & I watched Marmi grieve. I wasn’t sure he’d survive since birds are deeply emotional creatures. But he did & kept companionship with his kids. You can’t just find another female for them; they pick & choose as humans do.

Now our little guy is acting off kilter–overeating, flying unsteadily, sitting alone. Birds are best kept away from vets. My success rate using homeopathy with sick birds is considerably higher than my success with expensive vet care. Most often I brought them home more dead than alive. Untrained parakeets are traumatized if handled so I’ll put homeopathic remedies in Marmi’s water & let nature take its course. If he dies, it will be in peace. He’s been a joy to know. But I’m hoping for more years with this very admirable little bird.

(PS: there is a renowned avian vet in Colorado named Dr. David McCluggage who does phone consultations. He uses herbs, homeopathy, medications, & has saved the lives of several of my birds.)