The Hector bird – The bird who chose me as his favourite human :)

“Not many people know this, but, birds choose you, you do not choose the bird” a sweet elderly lady whispered to me only a few minutes after meeting Hector.

I had researched adopting a pet bird for months prior to my first visit to one of the best rated bird breeders in January 2013. Please see my prior blog: ‘For the Love of Birds!’  for an introduction to birds. I had considered adopting a rescue bird, however it is not advised to adopt a rescue bird if you have no prior experience with birds – this is not the case with cats and dogs.

In January 2013, after many months of research, I finally had the courage to encounter various species of birds at a reputable bird breeder’s ‘compound’ with the intention of adopting a bird. My prior research had led me to understand that Lineolated Parakeets would be most compatible with my lifestyle and living arrangements, so I ventured to the Linnie (Lineolated Parakeet) area first that day.

The cage of Linnies was large, housing approximately 20 Linnies; this is where my Hector bird was dwelling. When the breeder opened the cage, the Linnies displayed an array of behaviours towards a potential adopter – expressions ranged from “pick me, pick me” looks and coy “look at me, I’m a sweet adoptable bird” gazes and other birds were just going about their business and probably couldn’t care less.

The breeder put her hand in the cage, however, bypassed those Linnies who had been cutely eyeing me, and chased after one loud, angry Linnie. A few excruciating minutes passed as I watched the breeder try to catch this particular energetic Linnie with her hands – among all the rest! I thought: “I’m not sure about that one – he may be the trouble maker!” After a long minute or so, she caught him and gave him to me.

When my chosen bird was handed to me, he wanted nothing to do with me :/ – he fluttered to the ground and sqwaked and whined and refused to be picked up. I intuitively covered my hands with the cuffs of my sweater and brought him over to a quiet pet product stocking area. He then calmed down and climbed to my shoulder and let out a half-happy chirp. I stood there in the dark, quiet aisle with the Linnie on my shoulder for quite some time and eventually thought: “Ok, now what? I have this cranky bird on my shoulder – for now, but what next?” Despite some fear of him flying away or biting me I decided to walk around the extensive store.

When browsing the store, I had almost forgotten that this little (45 grams in weight) bird was on my shoulder. At that moment, an elderly lady at the store was inspired to walk up to me and say that: “Not many people know this, but birds choose you, you do not choose the bird”. I loved her comment, but really wasn’t sure about this little Linnie until I looked to my shoulder and his feathers were puffed out, he was curled up like a Hedgehog with his eyes closed – he had fallen asleep on my shoulder! My heart melted and I knew I had to take him home.

With Hector fast asleep on my shoulder, I went shopping for the requisite bird equipment and toys. I bought a very large used cage for a good price. I clumsily bought perches, branches, toys and the like with some help. Hector’s favourite purchase that day was his sleeping coconut:

I agree with the elderly lady’s comment that birds will choose you, but you must be open to their varied personalities as well. Birds are looking for compatibility with their owners – you are their flock!

Hector is almost turning 5 years old and speaks approximately 10 words/phases and is toilet trained! (well 90% toilet trained :/ I would never have guessed that he would be so high functioning, he is a joy. He enjoys music, talking, cuddling, being outside and of course flying – Hector is a fully flighted bird.

If you are thinking of adopting a bird, I suggest doing your research for a very long time as some species of parrots can live up to 100 years old! Each species have different requirements and do not suit particular lifestyles or living arrangements. Most birds need a special diet which includes human foods, here’s a picture of Hector with his favourite treat – watermelon!

Below are some fabulous resources to learn more about parrots. Hector is a parakeet which is a type of parrot. Parrots are defined by a few characteristics – hooked beak used as a third arm for climbing and the ability to mimic sounds among many other features. Most parrots will not speak words, so please don’t assume that yours will – it has been reported that approximately 30% of parrots will speak words, however almost all mimic sounds they like – like the phone ringing, beeps, laughter, music etc.

My Favourite Resources:

IN BOOKS:

Alex & Me

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

IN MOVIES:

This movie can be found on Netflix

This dvd can be purchased at www.lifewithalexmovie.com

BIRDS AND TOYS: www.exoticwings.com

Have a fab day Lovelies and please leave any comments or questions below. You can also sign up for my Thursday newsletter to receive summarized content and links by topic and title, as well as extra content for newsletter recipients only. The Newsletter also allows us to stay connected and correspond confidentially. Thursday Newsletter contact here: Aly’s Newsletter. 

Take care, xo Aly

 

 

 

 

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