I adopted Miles in September of 2009. Miles was on the fast track to being euthanized because his deformity was so awkward and gruesome looking that he had to be taken off the sales floor where he was put up for adoption because people complained about having to see him. When I acquired Miles, he was not a baby. He had never been taken out of his small cage, he had never eaten anything but parakeet seed and he was unsocialized and bit viciously. He had never even had his wings or nails clipped. Mile’s leg is splayed in a way that it turns out at an almost 90 degree angle. His other leg is straight and normal. Miles functions by holding on to a perch or shelf with his normal leg and the side of the cage with his crooked leg. Since adopting Miles, he has come a long way. He now eats a varied diet and will try almost anything I place in front of him at least once. Miles eats Zupreem Natural Parakeet Pellets. He now tolerates humans and rarely bites, but still does not want to be cuddly or close with them. He enjoys playing with the other birds and talking to people though. Miles prefers a cage that is smaller and has many perches because it is difficult for him to get around otherwise.
Miles is a male parakeet or budgie. Parakeets (Melopsittacus undulatus) are from Australia. Miles is the perfect example of a wild parakeet, because he is the typical green yellow based budgie with no dark factors. He is considered a light green. Parakeets can have no, one, or two dark factors and range in color from light green to olive. We know Mile’s is a male because his cere (the fleshy part surrounding his nostrils) is blue. Blue indicates a male parakeet, while brown or tan indicates a female.
I adopted Bella in January of 2010. Although Bella is not handicapped physically, Bella has a lot of emotional handicaps to deal with. Bella was shuffled through 8 different homes within 2 years, going through her last three homes between the day before Christmas and the third week of January. Bella is a very sweet, very emotional bird. She has lost a lot of trust in humans in her short life. I found Bella on Craigslist only three weeks after she had been placed in a home. I had yet another epiphany moment and called the guy who had Bella and went to purchase her. When I got Bella, she was being housed in a ferret cage, eating an all seed diet, and was placed between a huge lizard and a big snake down in a basement bed room. Bella is very choosy about the people she likes. She immediately bonded with me and became very territorial and protective of me. She has very slowly been getting more social and will allow strangers to pet her and will allow certain members of the family to hold her. Bella is very destructive and her favorite toys are toys she can shred and destroy. She rips up the paper at the bottom of her cage daily and when out of her cage, will rip the buttons off of any cell phone or remote available. Bella is very goofy and loves to play. She mimics many sounds that we make and talks well. When I answer my cell phone, she yells out “hello?! Hello?!” She also has learned how to play dead. She growls and laughs. And sometimes, she will take her chime time toy and scratch the top of her head with it. Bella is very cuddly with me and loves to hide under my hair and ponytail. She also loves traveling and goes to camp with me as well as out shopping or out to lunch. Bella is a very good eater and will try virtually anything I hand her. Her main diet consists of Zupreem Natural Pellets ML size substituted with fresh fruits and vegetables and high-grade conure seed.
Bella is a red throated conure. Red throated conure (Aratinga rubritorquis) are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Red Throated Conures are subspecies to the Green Conure. You cannot tell males from females visually. We know Bella is a female because she was DNA tested.
The newest member of the flock is Jules, a cinnamon whiteface cockatiel. Unlike the rest or our “fids” Jules was not rescued. Jules was bought by my wonderful girlfriend for my 17th birthday. When I got him he was four months old, and Hannah had handfed him herself. Because of this and the love and attention I give him now, he is a very affectionate bird preferring to ride on you shoulder than your hand. Jules loves to play, readily accepting new toys, even shredding things quickly. Jules also loves to cuddle, making him a wonderful ambassador for all cockatiels. One of Jules’s strangest quality is his singing and talking. Though very young, Jules began singing almost immediately after I got him, labeling him as a male. At a very young age, Jules learned to horsewhistle and to say “pretty bird” and “beat um bucks” (the latter courtesy of my father). He also knows how to sing ‘If I only Had a Brain” from the Wizard of Oz. Jules, though smart is very clumsy, and has been known to fall of perches and off people. Jules likes to try new foods though he can still be picky. He eats Zupreem natural cockatiel pellets, supplemented by fresh fruits and veggies and high-grade cockatiel seed.
Jules is a male cinnamon whiteface cockatiel. In the wild Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) are found in the Australian wetlands, scrublands, and bush lands. Cinnamon Whiteface is a cross between two rare color mutations. The white face mutation is an autosomal recessive trait, meaning that both parents had to have passed on a recessive gene for the lack of carotenoid, the pigment responsable for the yellow and orange colors, to exist. Cinnamon on the other hand is a sex linked recessive trait, meaning that the mutation is linked to the genes that control sex. This means the structure of the melanin, the pigment responsible for grey, is altered making the color a brownish grey. This means that instead of Jules being a grey bird with a yellow and orange face, he is a brownish grey bird with a pure white face. We know that Jules is a male because of his singing and talking ability (though this isnt always a surefire way of sexing), and his face is white.