Mum and dad cockatiel


Mum and dad cockatiel


They had raised a fine and handsome family of young over the years and were contented grandparents. 


One night there was a bit of a ruckus in the cage and the next morning mother bird was standing on the ground. Upon further investigation it became obvious that she couldn't or wouldn't fly, though she seemed otherwise unharmed. Father bird stood sentinel on the perch just above her.


A trip to the best bird vet was in order. 


Mother bird had probably bumped her head during the previous night's disturbance and now had either temporary concussion or permanent and debilitating brain damage. Only time would tell. She was given a good check-up and a special meal (being famished) and sent off home to an unknown future.


Father bird was obviously relieved to see his partner return.


Mother bird stood in the bottom of her home, bewildered but seemingly comfortable. Father bird observed. He watched, perched and still. Mother bird stood on the ground.


Hours passed.


Father bird fluttered to the ground beside his partner. He walked to the water bowl and elegantly drank. Mother bird stood still. Father bird walked back to her, stood beside her and then returned to the water bowl, sipped a little more and returned to mother bird. He repeated this action countless times, interspersed with little chatters, smooches and stationary interludes. At last, mother bird understood! She took her first tentative steps towards the water bowl and a much needed drink!


Father bird immediately walked to the wire wall of the cage and began to climb, beak and feet gripping in harmonious motion. He climbed to their favourite perch, sidled along it, climbed down the other side wall and back to mother bird.


He rested there a short while, in silent commune, beside her. Then he walked to the wire, climbed effortlessly to the perch, sidled across it, down the other side and back to his lady! He repeated this for hours, again interspersed with encouraging smooches or silent commune. She watched.


That night he slept beside her on the ground.


The next day, after the mutual morning feather preening and the guided walk to the water bowl and seed pot, father bird again immediately proceeded, with enduring patience and unfailing perseverance, with the ritual climb, demonstrating to mother bird how she could best access the safety and comfort of her favourite perch.


Many hours' labour of love later he was rewarded, and oh so proud to be perched beside his mate on their favourite branch! I watched his acts of unconditional love and devotion in absolute awe, through tear-filled eyes, and learned so much!


Mother bird never flew again, but lived a long and happy life, watched over by her mate. What a partnership! True love.



True story by Jacky Brand of Australia





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Jacky Brand
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