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#253796 - 11/07/13 12:52 PM Free at last and flying high all of eternity  
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JackieBoy Offline
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University Park PA, Manhattan
My eldest cockatiel passed overnight sometime between Tuesday 11/5 PM and Wed. 11/6 AM. I found her yesterday AM. I had her since August, 2001. I keep records. She was in a good home that simply didn't want her anymore as the novelty wore off for the teen daughter she was bought for when the daughter became a H.S. senior - a common scenario. The parents told me she was purchased from a breeder in spring 1996 as a just weaned chick. So she was almost 18. She had good physical health always and only a few bouts of chronic egg laying in years past.

Her last vet. visit was Jan. this year and other than a mild touch of arthritis in her legs and feet which is to be expected at her age she was physically fine. But mentally she had dementia, mild to moderate. She would sometimes think it was morning at night and sometimes think it was night in the middle of the day. She was housed with another senior hen and always had good food available as my senior tiels are not fed AM and PM only rather have good food always available.

She enjoyed cuddling and 'fighting' with her senior 'sister' tiel a few years younger. They had synchronized movements such as they stretched their wings exactly, first the one wing and then the other. Their days of flying out of cage were over as they couldn't steer anymore and were largely cagebound for their own safety. They lived in a macaw size cage and all of their movements were synchronized and I really think these two sisters loved one another. They preened each other and on the days when the eldest sister was too tired the younger would preen her completely! They took care of each other.

The younger senior sister this year would sometimes put pellets or seed into her beak, stuffed full, and hop up one perch to the eldest and offer her beak as a dish and the older would take a pellet or a seed, and eat it! It's amazing the bonding parrots can have and the care they can give to each other when they get older. I had easy access food and water on the highest perch for both so the eldest senior sister didn't have to move at all but the younger sister still helped even though the older sister didn't need help. I have food and water in four areas in this large cage for the two senior sisters.

The younger would also pull over those hanging, dangling sisal rope toys I have for them for her older sister to 'beak' and play with and actually hold onto it until sister was done.

It's amazing the bonding these intelligent birds have and amazing the compassion they have.

She had, I think, a good life with me and the small flock. She had so much time out of cage daily for all those years with me and FLEW around my living and dining area each day swooping from cage top to cage top to jungle gym and then acting all happy and would perch and preen. She flew alone and with others. As she became not good at steering in addition to not wanting to fly - the others egged her on to fly - I cage bound her which she didn't mind at all and actually liked as she could flap but then all this year she didn't even flap only stretching her wings. She was very tired all this year. But in good spirits. There were times when she didn't know what to do or when to do it and got confused as she had age onset dementia as determined by her vet of years. But she was happy and goofy. She stopped preening late last year but her younger senior sister preened her! It was the most endearing thing I ever saw and her sister was very fussy and particular of doing 'her hair' just right to include the crest and head and even her chest and abdomen.

While I hate any bird living in captivity, detest it with a passion, I think she had it about as good as any wild parrot living in captivity could with me. I wasn't perfect, I made my fair share of honest mistakes over the years with my birds - nothing that hurt them, just stupid stuff which was due to my not knowing. But overall she had it about as good as a wild parrot could get living in a very unnatural environment. She flew for real each day for many years until it was a safety risk for her but liked not flying anymore anyway, she had all kinds of flock mates from younger to older and was not a tiel living all alone, she had good food, sprouts, seeds, pellets and all kinds of fresh and cooked foods. In her aged years she loved apple and green peas and soaked pellets with life cereal and apricot and small sunflower seeds.

When I found her dead yesteday morning I wasn't surprised. I knew it was time since last year and only a matter of when. I wasn't surprised. I've lost, from old age, enough tiels over the past twenty plus years as I've taken them in as old as 10 to 15. But each time this strong, strong rush of guilt and shame overcomes me for a while. Even though I only ever bought one parrot, my first, and all the rest were from homes no longer wanting them I still felt responsible.

This was not right that she, a noble wild bird, died in a cage in a living room. She should have died in her native inland Australia as intended. There is not any dignity in a wild animal living in captivity and there isn't any dignity in a majestic tiny cockatoo being dead on a grate even if from old age and not a disease or neglect. Now I'm mad. Mad not at her of course and not at me as I didn't breed her and sell her to be a pet. But there is not any dignity in a wild animal being found dead on the bottom of a cage in my living room. I can't explain it. It's just not right. She would have had a shorter life in Australia but a better life being able to be fully who she was meant to be - a wild cockatiel not a pet.

I have all my tiels cremated, privately at a solid, well respected pet crematorium, I then scatter them in the woods in either rural central PA or rural upstate NY.

I loved this little bird. I always preach to others to not project human attributes onto their birds as they are captive wildlife but when they die I can't help to cry as even though she was not my 'baby' or child being an animal, I took care of her, and yes, I loved her each day she was with me.

She is finally free now, no bars, not in a fancy prison, not being caged, not being subject to living in captivity. Her spirit is in a place of eternal flight with her flock, eternal being a bird. She is with her creator and living how she was created to live, finally. She is free, flying free forever as she was created to do. Sorry for the vent. Not many I know face to face understand me and my tiels.

My time with you was brief little one and my only prayer is that in some small way I was able to make your life in captivity more bearable. Fly free now as you were made to do.

#253797 - 11/07/13 06:32 PM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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Brandy's mom Offline
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OH! I am so very sorry!! These little one steal your heart in a BIG way......she will never leave your heart only the sharing of your breath. HUGS

..

Last edited by Brandy's mom; 11/07/13 06:51 PM. Reason: Bump back to newest

Man has turned Earth into a hell for animals.
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#253800 - 11/07/13 07:12 PM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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So sorry. I remember losing out 'Tiel, Larry, and it was a very sad day. He was 29 years old and we had had him for 15 years. I'm sure it never gets any easier but these birds need homes and you can rest assured that you gave the best, and it was appreciated. Cockatiels are so much more than people give them credit for. Thank you for taking such good care of her!

#253801 - 11/07/13 07:22 PM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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My sincere sympathies to you and your flock on the loss of your little one.


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#253802 - 11/07/13 09:29 PM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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I'm so sorry. Rest easy knowing you gave her the best possible home.


My flock: Monty (Eleanora/medium sulphur crested cockatoo), Benjamin Button (European Starling).
#253803 - 11/08/13 03:08 AM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: AJMontyBird]  
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cry cry cry I am so sorry.

Quote:
But each time this strong, strong rush of guilt and shame overcomes me for a while.


One thing is for sure. We understand.

Last edited by Birdfriend; 11/08/13 03:11 AM.

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#253804 - 11/08/13 03:42 AM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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Elliott Offline
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I so sorry. (((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))

#253807 - 11/08/13 09:16 AM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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Oh my... My G2 is named Elliott Mess... I have no words

#253810 - 11/08/13 10:03 PM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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JackieBoy Offline
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University Park PA, Manhattan
Thank you so very much. It's just nice to have other bird people to talk to as it takes a bird person to understand losing a bird.

#253811 - 11/09/13 01:37 AM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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bellesmom Offline
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I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like she had the best possible home with you. Im sure she is smiling down on you today as she flys, tipping a wing in thanks, with the beauty, grace and freedom God intended.


#253815 - 11/09/13 03:33 PM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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I am so sorry for your loss

#253818 - 11/10/13 08:55 AM Re: Free at last and flying high all of eternity [Re: JackieBoy]  
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Ladyhutch Offline
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I am so sorry for your loss of your little girl. As you said she is flying with her flock now. (((HUGS)))


You have two choices: accept things the way they are, or have courage to change them. J Kanani



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