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Any parakeet owners out there?

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I've got a parakeet in the story I'm in edits on--specifically a Plum-headed Parakeet--and would love to be able to add a little more detail about their personalities and habits that you just can't necessarily find on-line.  If anyone's willing to chat/answer a few questions about these lovely birds, please PM me--or if you don't have PMing privileges, ping me here and I'll email you.

Many thanks!!   :chickendance  (not a parrot)
#1 - September 23, 2010, 01:35 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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www.nineteenteen.com

It's been a long time since I've owned a parakeet, though I've been thinking about getting one for my daughter.  But I have a Twitter friend who is bird crazy--she has parakeets and parrots and treats them like her kids.  Maybe you'd like to tweet (no pun intended) at her?
#2 - September 23, 2010, 02:23 PM

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I had one as a teen and now my daughter has one. They love shiny things and mirrors. Also salt - give them a cracker and they'll just eat the salt off the top. I would let my bird have the run of the house from time to time. He enjoyed 'buzzing' people. He'd fly right at your face then sail over your head at the last moment. We were used to it, but a guest who had a recurring dream featuring flying spiders did not find the experience amusing. My bird would also sit on my stomach when I laid down on the couch to read a book. He'd go to sleep or try to take bites out of the book I was reading.

Hope this helps - I enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.  :smile
#3 - September 23, 2010, 03:37 PM

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I'm happy to help, if I can. My daughter has a budgerigar, and I used to be a zookeeper who occasionally looked after various species of parrots. But I don't know the plum-headed variety. I have worked with Rose-crowned lorikeets.

 If you think I can still be of help, feel free to contact me. Best of luck.
#4 - September 23, 2010, 04:00 PM
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I don't know anything about that particular type of parakeet but we've had some of the run-of-the-mill blue/green/white parakeets and none of them were in any way run-of-the-mill!

One spoke like crazy! (The mynah bird, in the same house, said not a word!) One got 'lost' when I hit his cage on the porch with my head and he spent days outside (autumn, NY.) I went for a walk every day and thought I saw a blue flash. Finally, after a very heavy frost, I put his cage outside on top of the car (figuring that he'd recognize that and nothing else...how would he know our house from the outside?) The next morning, he was laying next to it. He came back and thrived.

I have really grown attached to our parakeets. They're smart and capable and...primadonna-ish. But that might be about the upbringing.  :embarrassed2
#5 - September 23, 2010, 05:51 PM

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I would let my bird have the run of the house from time to time. He enjoyed 'buzzing' people. He'd fly right at your face then sail over your head at the last moment.

I had a friend in elementary school who let her two parakeets fly free.  I hated it and she thought it was funny (I might add the next year we were not friends).  I have a great fear of things that fly in my face from being attacked by birds when I was around two.  So I had no great love of her birds in the first place.  I think they knew this as after flying in my face, they would eventually land on my head and grab hold of my hair and then poop. 

If her mother was around the darling birds stayed in the cages.  Nasty child, nasty birds.
#6 - September 23, 2010, 06:32 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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Thank you, everyone!  I love your anecdotes about their behavior and personalities--that's the most helpful.  The parakeet in my story is a male named Hester (a little mistaken identity there) and the year is 1815 (just to make life interesting).  His owner is making a point of teaching him naughty words to tease her mother...have your birds enjoyed learning new words?  Is that something that varies from individual to individual?
#7 - September 23, 2010, 07:21 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

I'm not familar with the parakeet you are talking about, but I'm assuming you mean a true parakeet not a budgerigar?

I had a budgie a few years back. And I've had a Quaker Parrot for almost twenty years. Quakers are small parrots and I believe their personalities are like the true parakeets.

If you have questions I'd be more than happy to answer them.  

I also have a nephew who is a professional bird trainer and I could get you in touch with him through email or facebook if you'd like.
#8 - September 23, 2010, 07:29 PM
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A HOLD ON ME (Dark Heart series #1) coming from Kensington Books, staring March 2016

My bird actually said a few naughty words when we adopted her at less than a year old, but she stopped speaking soon after we got her.  It was odd because she was taken from a home where she didn't get a lot of attention-- and we put her in our store where she has a lot of company.

However she loves copying loud awful noises--like electric drills. She sort of screams Jingle Bells backwards and all mixed around. She dances to music on the radio, and has favorite tunes, basically the louder the better. And she loves teasing the dog--actually she's teased and outlived several dogs. The dogs quickly learn that the bird screams in a certain tone when someone pulls up to the store, but then the bird starts faking the call and laughs when the dogs run to see who's arrived. The bird also lures people over to her cage by looking cute and by rattling her bars. Then she tries to bite the person and laughs like crazy.

Just before egg laying time (January) she becomes particularly affectionate to me--I guess I'm the mate. Actually, she nice to me pretty much all the time. There is a noticable change in behavior when I come near her. She lowers her head and will nibble my fingers nicely like she's preening me. She likes to fight with my husband--and gets really excited when he comes near.

It might be fun to have your mc teach the bird some bawdy song--the bird would like that and would pick and chose favorite parts to sing--not nessarily in the right order.

By the way, my girl bird's name is Conrad. Yup, she was a he until the eggs appeared.
#9 - September 23, 2010, 07:45 PM
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 07:52 PM by PatEsden »
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A HOLD ON ME (Dark Heart series #1) coming from Kensington Books, staring March 2016

I had a gray cheek parakeet who just died.  She was 18 years old.  Right now I have a cockatiel and a sun conure.  Both have big personalities.  My sun conure is 19 years old and I had him since he was a baby!  One thing we've noticed is how much they HATE being in cages.  My birds love to be out on top of their perches.  The cockatiel whistles up a storm and hisses when she's mad.  It's hilarious.  Sunni, my son conure, honks really loud when he's happy.  After I had to put our gray cheek down, Sunni stopped eating and his usual bright orange feathers started to turn white.  Took him to the vet who said he was suffering from depression.  Who knew?  

PM me if you need any other info.  I've had birds--parrots and parakeets for almost 20 years now.
#10 - September 23, 2010, 08:55 PM
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I had a few parakeets growing up, and would be happy to answer questions (although I'm not sure what kind of parakeet they were, most were the typical blue ones you see in the pet shops all grouped together, and we had one yellow parakeet). 

My mom was really lonely and talked to them all the time.  One just never learned, but another was so smart that he could sing an entire song and had an amazing vocabulary.  They also pick up sounds they hear, like a doorbell.
#11 - September 23, 2010, 09:31 PM

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Aw ixtumea, sorry about your buddy.

We had a lot of standard little budgies when I was a kid.
When I was four, I had one that wouldn't fly. He would ride around sitting on the pocket of my bib overalls. And he liked to ride on records. He would hop over the needle with each rotation.
We had another blue budgie named Pierre that knew his name, and a few simple phrases like "I love you" and "pretty boy". He liked to make out with his mirror saying "Pretty boy! Pretty, pretty pierre!" He flew free around the house most of the day, and he would come into each kid's room at night when our parents tucked us iin and give us good night kisses. He also liked to eat peas.
He was the only little bird we had who would speak. Generally, the males seem more outgoing, and friendly. We had two female birds, and they wanted little to do with us. The boys were the ones that would seek out interaction with people.
#12 - September 23, 2010, 09:38 PM

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Lindsey, I love the fact that your budgie was "free range".  The question that comes to mind, of course, is biological--did he make messes, or go back to his cage for that?  The bird in my book is out a great deal (needs to be, for plot purposes), and while I'm not going to discuss whether or not he leaves droppings in inopportune places (though he does once poo on a duchess who cheats at cards), I am curious just because I need to know the details for my own happiness (you know, the 90% of research that never actually makes it into a book).

Thank you, everyone!  This is wonderful information.
#13 - September 24, 2010, 06:30 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

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I wondered about the poop factor too -- you all make owning a bird sound really fun, but I could never get DH on board with an animal that was messy!
#14 - September 24, 2010, 06:39 AM

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I adopted a bird years ago from a nursing home that also had two small dogs. Whenever someone knocked on my front door, the bird would "bark". It would also bob it's head up and down and attack the tips of my friends shoes, then run away, like it was watch dog?
#15 - September 24, 2010, 07:02 AM
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We had a parakeet that LOVED the color green. We discovered this when our new pastor came to visit my mother one day. She gave him coffee in a green mug, which he sipped while they talked. When the coffee had cooled down, the parakeet flew over, landed on the rim (while the pastor had the mug in his hand, about to raise it to his lips to take a drink) and the bird leaned over, stuck his beak into the coffee, tested the temperature, then jumped into the mug and proceeded to take a bath in the warm coffee - splattering coffee all over the pastor, the living room, and my poor mother, who was horrified and trying to get the bird out of the pastor's coffee mug! (The pastor just roared with laughter. He was a great man, luckily with a good sense of humor.)  After that, Mother filled a huge shiny green glass ash tray with warm water daily and the bird happily took his baths in it. She threw the green coffee mug into the garbage.

:moose
#16 - September 24, 2010, 07:35 AM
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 07:37 AM by Verla Kay »
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My father raised boxer dogs and I was the one that had to clean up the poop and everything. Cleaning parrots and parakeet's poop is nothing after that.  Also we cover our birds at nght.  And during the winter I put heating pads on them to keep them warm.
**I do use certain cleaning liquid I buy from Omar's bird store to clean up the poop.  We have a huge plastic mat underneath both cages.  It's easy to clean that way.  Best part?  It doesn't smell like dog or cat poop.  Son's used to it too.  Knows if Jenny 'poops' on him, he needs to clean shirt.  Most the time birds let us know when they have to go poop.  Sunni's pooped in the toliet more than once.  He screams and his feet get very hot.  Jenny leans back, and poofs up her feathers.  Ok, probably TMI!

Sunni is very vocal.  He does talk per say but he lets you know how he feels.

Every morning, after I let them out of cages, they go straight to their bowls and then look at me.  If I don't feed them quick enough they let me know.  Jenny, our cockatiel, loves to be loved.  She has different sounds she'll make to let you know how she feels.  Also she'll 'complain' if we put her back in her cage. 

They both love to ride on our shoulders.  During homeschool, son has Jenny on his shoulder or has her little stand on his desk.  She likes to be a part of it all.
#17 - September 24, 2010, 07:59 AM
NO MORE GODDESSES:
http://www.zumayapublications.com
EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA: http://museituppublishing.com
CROSSED OUT:http://www.lachesispublishing.com

I think the shed feathers and 'dust' is messier than the poop.

It's fun to hear everyone's bird stories. They are such good friends and companions.

#18 - September 24, 2010, 09:16 AM
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A HOLD ON ME (Dark Heart series #1) coming from Kensington Books, staring March 2016

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