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  1. #1
    Brand New Egg Ghosth's Avatar
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    Bill
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    Hello from Fargo ND!

    Ok, I'll fess up, I've been lurking here off and on for a couple of weeks.

    Finally got around to taking some pictures of my new bird (who btw is whistling up a storm for all of you out there.)

    I had a budgie as a companion for almost 7 years. No warning, no danger signs, no issues, just one morning dead in the bottom of his cage.

    I'm home a lot (retired due to health issues) and don't get out a lot so he really was my wingman for a long time. He left a huge aching hole.

    So after putting up with me being depressed and in the dumps for several days my wife comes home, says get in the car. Period, no argument, no discussion, just shut up and do it.

    Well I had been just starting to think about a replacement bird, Cockatiel's seemed to have it all. Fairly long lived, a bit bigger, and more robust than a budgie. Did some quick looking at cockatiel vs cockatoo. (Ohhh thats WAY too big)

    Well my wife marched me into Petco, I wasn't too sure about it, would have prefered to find a breeder.
    We came walking up to the bird display and this almost all white (some brownish gray on back bird sees me 20 feet away.
    It walks right up to the front of the display cage, cocks its head and looks at me as if to say "well you took your time getting here" Fluffed its feathers out, looked me up and down, "Not much to look at are you, hmmmph, well you'll do."

    While I'm trying to find a store clerk it proceeds to put on a strutting display for my wife. (I "think" its a boy, but no I'm not positive.



    Amazingly enough, it seems it was one of 4 hand raised baby's delivered to Petco the day before.
    Somehow I talked the store salesman into opening the back door, and letting me try to talk to this amazing little bird.
    Less than 2 minutes later it had calmly walked over, tasted my fingertips, let itself be skritched around the head, then calmly jumped up onto my fingers and started walking up my arm.

    Getting held so the salesman could get a band number recorded was almost a dealbreaker. No one got seriously injured, Cara had a few ruffled feathers, and I had a thumb with a minor hole in it. (no blood, Cara is SO well behaved its amazing)

    Its been less than 3 weeks since that afternoon. Cara is now the proud owner of a custom built play area.


    The red rope is a piece of hollow braid with a heavy wire slid inside it, giving Cara access to the lowest platform, the spiral ladder to the top. After all birds will end up on the floor, best I felt to make sure they always have a safe way up off it.

    The spiral is another piece of the same wire (heavy gauge copper) which I braided towel strips onto, to make a good solid easily grabbed surface for climbing, hooking a beak etc. Then followed up by winding a cotton string to make sure it couldn't slip, slide or entangle. Its secured to the pvc pipe with some 2" deck screws, then zip tied into place, and surfaces covered.

    Still thinking about what I want to do in the middle, but there is a perch that swings (dollar store, and a split key ring, couple more zip ties) Possibly some kind of climbing net I am thinking. Time for that later.

    The real piece de resistance however is the "crossover" braided out of more towel strips. Lower center you can see where the top of the spiral ladder attaches to the top bar. The "Crossover" lets Cara easily go from the top bar back to his cage.
    That is Cara's #1 spot to sit, preen himself and whistle.


    At first the cage door was only open when I was in the room and watching. But gradually it is staying open more and more. The room is a cat free zone (yes we have 2, both orange tabbys, one short one long hair.) Neither has ever even killed a mouse, but the room is designed to keep cats out.

    Cara hasn't started talking yet, but then he is still quite young. My wife and I threw names back and forth at each other for at least 4 days. Finally I googled "words for snow" LOL can't pronounce one of them. Finally late one night I had a thought, and googled "words for friend" and there partway down the list it was, short, with a nice hard K sound. In Italian means beloved, in Gailic means friend/companion. Thats it, boy, girl or it, Cara is what I'll call it.

    Cara was clipped when I bought him, however he's managed to learn to fly (uphill) with a single flight feather on each side.

    A flight harness is in his near future I think.

    As for me, well my interests are wide and widely varied. I tend to spend lots of time on the computer, message boards, on and offline games, reading has been a lifelong passion. I am almost 60, married (16 years) to the most wonderful person in the world. The sign on my back door reads "A fisherman lives here with the best catch of his life". It echo's my sentiments perfectly.

    Cara seems to enjoy music (haven't quite narrowed down preferences yet) Whistling competitions, which he almost always wins (he cheats) sitting on my shoulder watching me at the computer. If I put him in the cage he will fly to get back to my shoulder. In fact that is one of our favorite games. Encourage bird to step off hand onto whatever surface is lower than my shoulder and handy, then as I try to hurry to the far side of the room Cara is already taking off to get back to his favorite perch.

    For all of you who didn't get a bird like Cara, hang in there. Trust takes time to build. Always keep movements slow, easy and controlled, and emotions the same. Calm, cool, collected. If you get rattled, walk away for 10 min.

    After all, everyone wants to be loved, but love is dangerous. Leaves you vulnerable. No one likes to feel trapped, out of control. Remember that when your working with your bird.

    Cara and I are both looking forward to getting to know all of you.

  2. #2
    Hatching britany's Avatar
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    britany
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    hi

    sounds like a great bird you've got over there!
    and I'm really sorry about your budgie...
    but it happens...

    I hope your new cockatiel is enjoying his/her's new home!

    have you found out his gender yet??

    it might be a girl!
    just looks like it to me!

    not really sure but yeah

    your new bird is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!
    Jeff
    ~Male
    ~Light green

    Green
    ~Female
    ~Dark factor
    ~Olive

  3. #3
    Brand New Egg Ghosth's Avatar
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    Bill
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    No, actually sometimes I call it "she, sweety, darling, loverbird" other times it seems more "He, bud, featherface, etc.

    Going into this I was looking for intelligence and personality with color a distant 3rd. Somehow I won the birdy lotto and got it all.

    With no orange patch's on its face it may be tough to tell short of a DNA test. And really doesn't bother me much one way or the other.

    Last edited by Ghosth; 06-25-2012 at 05:20 AM. Reason: added picture

  4. #4
    Hit with Tailfever maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    Hi, Bill and welcome to the community!! You sure were lucky to come upon such a gorgeous and beautiful little tiel. If the feathering on his back is brownish, then I would say he is a white face cinnamon pied. I'm no expert at mutations, but have been on-line over the years and have seen some really beautiful tiels. If Cara isn't a cinnamon, then in my view he is a white faced pied (with gray feathers). No matter which one, he truly is a "keeper". You were so fortunate to be able to walk into a Petco and find a hand raised baby tiel the likes of him. And he certainly is already a big part of your home and your "heart". Like you I'm retired, and my days are filled with taking care of my two little fids, Ollie, a hen tiel, and Muffin, my little yellow budgie. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose them because my little budgie, Maxi died last October. And by November, I was in the Pet shop finding another one. I've homed both budgies and tiels for many years. Please feel free to visit my gallery where you will see some pics of my flock.

    Please keep us posted on your progress with Cara!! And stop back often and post some pics too! Wishing you the best with your new found friend!! I'm sure Cara is going to be a "great teacher", as well as a "student". Tiels truly are unique and very intelligent. If you really want to know if Cara is a boy or a girl, you can go on-line and find Home DNA tests, that you can have mailed to you and send them back in for the results. And of course you can also have an Avian Vet or any Vet do the test for you.

  5. #5
    Brand New Egg Ghosth's Avatar
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    Bill
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    Hi Ellen, thanks for the warm welcome!

    Hard to say for sure on color with Cara, some of it looks more like a medium gray, some of it in some light appears to have a slight cinnamon tinge. Either way in my opinion Cara is a knockout, and a joy to be around. Here is a fresh pic of Cara in the "Hall of Mirrors" next to my keyboard (below one of my computer Monitors)


    Question, why do they call them "fids" ?

    I'm guessing a whitefaced Pied (with gray)

    Thanks for the info on the home dna test, that might be interesting and more affordable.

    Yes Cara is teaching me at least as much as I teach it. The fact that Cara loves mirrors as much as it does is leaning me towards thinking its a boy.

  6. #6
    Hatched! Pipers Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    You sure do have a beauty. I have a white faced male pied named Tango. My husband and I purchased him from a breeder at a bird show this past April. We just love him to bits and pieces. Fids is another word for kids but the "F" denotes either feathered, finned or feline. It's almost impossible to tell the gender on a pied cockatiel. DNA is your best option. Good Luck to you and Cara.

  7. #7
    Hit with Tailfever maxollie's Avatar
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    Ellen
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    Do you know how old Cara is? I've homed both male and female tiels, and I have to tell you, both loved mirrors. The one thing you will find about tiels is that they are not like the typical budgies we had in regard to mirrors. When a tiel "bonds" with a mirror, that is his or her "friend". And as they get older, especially at about 8 months to a year old (some even younger), they begin to get hormonal, and at that particular time caregivers sometimes have to remove the mirrors from their cages.

    You definitely are right . . . Cara is a "knockout"!!
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-25-2012 at 07:04 PM.

  8. #8
    Brand New Egg Ghosth's Avatar
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    Bill
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    Ellen, pretty young I think but I have no way of knowing for sure. I'd be willing to bet that Cara was pretty recently fledged before making the trip to Petco. Cara has gotten much more "sure footed" and adventurous in the last couple of weeks I've had him. And until a week ago showed no interest at all in spray millet. Even in the last 2 days I've seen a marked change in how quickly Cara will fly.

    I've already noticed that Cara will at times get "defensive" if I try to approach when its close to a mirror.
    Thanks for the tip about them "bonding" to a mirror. Its interesting, as some of the time I'll see Cara "hack" at the mirror, like he thinks its another bird getting too close.

  9. #9
    Hit with Tailfever maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Fargo ND!

    Tiels also develop a strong bond with their caregivers. Since you are the one that is the main person in your home that is taking care of him, interacting with him, talking to him, etc., it is very likely that you will be considered his "mate", because all birds in the wild seek out a mate. And since tiels are what I call "evolved" a little higher than budgies/keets, their natural instinct is to find a "mate", no matter whether they are in the wild, or with a caregiver. So, most likely, you will be Cara's mate, and soon he (or she) will begin to "flock call" you. If you happen to be in a different room or area of the house, he will chirp very loudly, because in his mind he must know where his mate is at all times. When you are away from home, most likely he will just sit in his cage and especially on his food cup (lots of birds like to sit on their food cups, personally I think that is because they are comfortable for the feet), and as soon as you get back home Cara will start her chirping, wolf whistling, speaking (when he begins to talk), and his desire to interact with you.

    Now if Cara does happen to be a female, generally females do not speak words, or wolf whistle. They do cheep and chirp, and bond with their caregivers like a male, but are not quite as active as males. Females also like mirrors, and will preen and look at themselves in the mirror, as though it was a mate. This can lead to hormonal activity, especially in females, and of course, no matter whether there is a mate or not, the hens can begin laying eggs. I have that situation with my little Ollie. I never expected her to be an egg layer because she does not have a tiel mate, and the budgie is in a different cage, but last fall Ollie started laying a clutch of about 4 eggs, almost every 5 weeks, and has done so ever since that time. I just purchased her a new cage and changed her toys and perches all around, hoping I can break her of the chronic egg laying, because it takes so much calcium out of a bird, and really is not good for Ollie's health. I supplement lots of calcium rich foods and cuttle bone into her diet. Generally, hen tiels that have a mate will lay eggs in Spring and Summer. But weather conditions can easily motivate them to lay.

    You are on quite a journey now with Cara. Each day definitely will bring something new for you to witness and ponder with him. It is a "fun" journey for sure! And I'm sure happy for you that your wife just took you over to that Petshop and you found little Cara to be your friend!

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