Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tiel stuff

This is a post focusing on Poppy my cockatiel for all you bird lovers out there, especially Nat who has recently inherited a cockatiel from a friend.

The first thing I have to say is find a good avian vet near you. I learnt this the hard way with Poppy when she broke her wing. I took her to our local vet and wasn't happy with the results, see this post, so I had a search on the internet, thank heavens for the internet! and found this site that has a list of avian vets in Australia. You just click on your state and it will bring up a list of vets for you to choose from with contact info and websites etc, very helpful! Even though the vet I went to charged more I was relieved that they knew what they were doing. I think this is really important if you have a serious injury or just really want to have that peace of mind.

Cockatiels are just such funny birds. Poppy loves to be "scratched" all around her head, under her chin and cheek patches, I can even ruffle her crest when she is relaxed. I can pet her on her wings and back too which some birds don't like. I think it is more of a matter of conditioning and gaining trust with the bird. Showing it that you won't harm it is very important. She can be very demanding by coming over and instead of climbing onto my finger she will drop her head as if to say "scratch me please", too cute to resist.

I learnt a great deal of information from a site called birdtricks, these guys really know what they're writing about and their training packages look great, I really want to try them out sometime soon but finances are a bit tight right at the moment. There is a wealth of information out there it is just difficult to know what is good and what is not.

I think the best trick I've taught Poppy is to shake my hand, it is so simple but so rewarding when her little clawed foot wraps around my finger and we shake for a moment. I'm still teaching her stuff and I think this is always be an ongoing process.

Her wing has healed and she is flapping about with abandon, she loves to sit on her mobile perch, lean forward with crest raised and flap madly. The first time she did this I thought she was trying to fly off and did a couple of times but now I'm sure that she is doing it for some exercise and attention. When she does want to get off she holds her shoulders out and bobs up and down looking intently at me to come and get her before she jumps.

Another thing I love about cockatiels is the smell of them. Thankfully Poppy has regained her tiel smell since she has started to moult. I was concerned that she would smell of butter forever. Then I was worried that she would preen that smell through her new feathers, so I am really relieved that this hasn't happened.

Any more questions regarding my feathered friend will be welcomed.

Better go now, work calls


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