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bird Names: chirpie

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I was a stray who landed in my family's yard on a very cold October day. There were lots of birds and squirrels around eating from feeders so I thought it would be a good place for me. I was very scared, hungry and weak when my mom brought out a newly purchased cage with some food in it. I flew in almost immediately. The vet gave me vitamins and antibiotics and said I was underweight and had a bad infection. He guessed that I wouldn't have survived more than one or two more nights outside. I spent the next three weeks in my cage, too sick to make a sound and too scared to come out. All the while my new family was trying to find my old family, without any luck. I am banded but that wasn't any help, other than to show that I was most likely born in 2000.

Now almost six years later, I am a pretty lucky bird. I spend most of the day out of my cage, sunning myself on the railing or near the window. My best friend Katie keeps me company and shares her crate and her kibble with me. She even taught me how to bark like she does and beg for food at the table (we never get any scraps!). I was pretty set in my ways by the time I found my new family, and my mom thinks I was probably mistreated. As a result I won't let anyone pick me up and hold me, I'm still afraid someone is going to hurt me. I try to show my affection in other ways though, like rubbing my head under their chin and singing pretty songs when they come home. Sometimes I'll start singing before their car even pulls in the driveway, while my roomie Katie is still sleeping. My mom says I'm a better "watchdog" then she is, and that makes Katie mad. Almost as mad as when I chase her away from her food dish so I can have it all to myself.

Two years ago I was sitting on top of the front door when someone went to close it...ouch was that a bad idea! I lost half of the longest toe on my right foot. It was touch and go for a few weeks because it's really hard for a cockatiel's blood to clot. I was a good bird though and listened to the doctor. I left my bandages alone and stayed in my cage, even though it was really, really hard! Sometimes I'll sit on top of my cage and hold up my bad foot, looking at it and "barking" like Katie taught me. My mom wonders what is going through my mind when I do that, if I'm remembering the accident. I have no idea, doesn't she know how tiny my brain is?!