If you know me now, you’d think it a joke that I used to have a huge phobia of birds. I had this unfathomable idea rooted into my head that one day one of them would fly into me, becoming stuck. This is what fuelled the flame for my phobia.
These days, I live with 8 birds. I wake up to their birdsong and I dance and talk with them, I refill their seed and water, and I snuggle them. I spend copious amounts of time with them, training them to be funnier and cleverer than they already are.
Birds are actually super intelligent creatures, they can sense when I’m poorly, when I’m stressed, when I’m excited, and when I just need a cuddle. Each mood presents me with a different type of bird personality and it’s one of the most comforting things I have in my life!
Let me introduce them:
Cockatiel, mumma’s boy but still likes to think he’s man of the house. Benji has learnt to sing the start of Oliver! Theme song, he’s learnt to wolf-whistle, and is still learning the Harry Potter theme tune. Benji is also low-key Instagram famous, with around 800 followers and reaching over 40,000 likes on his posts he knows he’s a pretty boy. (@benjithetiel).
Cockatiel, clingiest of them all. Belle is Benji’s sister and we bought them as a pair. They used to be thick as thieves, but since Benji got a girlfriend she likes to spend more time with her mummy’s. She absolutely loves head scratches and cuddles, and has learnt how to wolf-whistle too (which is really rare as she is a female and they don’t tend to learn songs).
Cockatiel, little brat. Haha, Khaleesi regularly appears like she’s going through that teenager phase of ‘I will not listen to a word you say’. She knows best, and if that means having a cuddle so be it, but if that means flying around like a loon not listening to mum that also goes. She’s Benji’s girlfriend… not many details on marriage though. Nicknamed: Neesi Noodle.
Cockatiel, old lady/grandma of the group. My partner has had Boni for around 20 years and before this she was wild (she escaped her former owner’s house!) Being a ‘feral’ bird, she doesn’t love cuddles as much, but when my partner is here, I’ve never seen her sit so close to someone’s neck – she’s defo got her favourite human.
Cockatiel, a bird’s bird. Puffy was not hand-reared and therefore is not accustomed to sitting or even interacting with humans. Instead she spends her time with the other birds quite happy to be away from human interaction. When she’s happy she puffs up all her feathers, hence the name.
Then we move onto the parrots….well they’re miniature parrots known as Conures.
Pineapple conure(?), baby boy. Junior is our newest edition! He is extremely small and is the baby of the flock. He has blended in well with the other parrots and they’ve become similar to the three musketeers. Junior, likewise to a human baby, likes to explore using his mouth and therefore often mistakenly bites you… so beware! We are unsure of Junior’s type as he is so young, but I am banking that he’s going to be a pineapple as opposed to a greencheek conure.
Crimson bellied conure, nibbler. Hopper was our first conure and although getting along well with the tiels I believe he missed his own kind, so we got him a friend who he now is absolutely thick as thieves with. Hop likes to test-bite you to see how far he can push you, but with a firm no he backs off and looks sorrowful.
Pineapple conure, curious cat. Pippin is the aforementioned pal that we got for Hop. They are both males, and I am pretty sure irrespective of this that they’ve paired. From the moment we introduced them, they cuddled and did everything together! Pip likes taking treats from your hand or fly onto your head if he’s feeling curious, but would prefer a snuggle with Hopper or Junior than a human.
As opposed to some other pets, birds are super easy to look after and can provide the same sort of comfort as your generic pets. They are brilliant to watch and play with too.