Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Cockatiel likes NPR....at least I hope he does.

My middle child Kati has a male (at least we are pretty sure he's a male) cockatiel named Teela. I know that may seem like a rather feminine name for a boy, but it's the one he came with and it has just stuck. An unfortunate result of this, though, is that Teela is randomly referred to as a she and then we'll think again later and realize "she" is not correct and use "he." The poor bird either is in a gender identity crisis or thinks we're all idiots in the household because we can't figure out something so simple as the correct gender of our bird.

Kati & Teela


Kati is our animal lover and when learning she had finally manipulated convinced her parents to allow her to get a cockatiel she started doing research. Teela is fortunate to have Kati looking out for him because she knows what kind of birdseed is supposed to be good for cockatiels and how much/often they should be fed, given clean water, what kind of social interaction is best for them, etc. It if were up to me the bird would definitely not be nearly so spoiled well-taken care of.

One thing that Kati learned is that domestic pet birds don't do well when left alone for several hours in a quiet house.  Apparently the only time things would be very quiet in their "natural" habitats would be when a predator is close by.  Kati could just picture poor Teela becoming extremely stressed and neurotic thinking there were predators surrounding him after spending the day alone in a quiet house when we are all gone at school or work.  Our solution to this is to leave the radio on in the living room where his cage is.  We don't often listen to this radio and it seems to be permanently stuck on our local NPR station. After thinking this through it seemed like a good choice. There is a combination of music and talking which should provide a variety of sound to jazz up Teela's day.

Teela is still extremely excited to greet whomever is the first person home and begs to be let out of his cage the minute he hears the front door open.  I hope this is because he is just anxious for "real" company and not because he can't stand another minute of NPR.
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