Most people think Eric was the original bird nerd in our household. In reality, both of us were developing bird brains as kids albeit it in different ways.
Eric spent his childhood looking at hooded warblers and LBJ’s (little brown jobs) with his dad at Pt. Pelee and Hocking Hills State Park. Later they’d drive across the country in search of western tanagers and quails.
I, on the other hand, just had dumb parakeets as a kid. First I got a blue one named Beaker, and soon my brother wanted on too so we bought Bungie. Then, and I swear this was my dad’s idea- we bought my mom a yellow one named Tweety for Mother’s Day (she was less than enthused). Life was good until a neighbor’s cat jumped on the cage and all three flew away. Dad took us to the pet shop and we bought two replacements- Birdie and Pigeon. One year later Bungie turned up at a neighbor’s house.
Pigeon met an untimely fate as my Aunt’s dog mistook him for a toy 😦
Birdie stayed home while I was away at college and had a grand time eating my mom’s mashed potatoes. Unfortunately he met an untimely fate too. We left him with my grandma while on vacation (against my better judgement) and “something” happened to him. Poor bird!
Heartbroken, I made Eric (my new boyfriend) walk past the pet section of Fred Meijer’s on Lake Lansing Rd about a dozen times. There were two cockatiels in the display, one super animated and the other sitting like a lump in the corner. After a week or so I decided I really wanted the spunky one but when I returned the next day he was gone…so we bought the other one ‘cuz I felt bad for him.
And that’s how we ended up with Little Bird. His actual name is Darwin but no one ever calls him that.
We’ve had LB since 1999 so he’s about 14 now. Middle-aged. He’s best known for this unusual shoe fetish- leave him unattended and he might just mate with your foot.
He drove with us across the country when we moved from Michigan to California, sitting on Eric’s shoulder for thousands of miles while staring into the rear view mirror. Once we hit the state line there was a huge sign that said something to the effect of “No Birds”. Panicked, we covered up his cage at the inspection stop and of course he gave himself away with a chirp. Come to find out the law only applied to Monk Parakeets. Minor heart attack that day. In 2004 LB gracefully handled the addition of his sister Daisy and two days later, the drive up to Seattle (on Eric’s shoulder of course).
LB’s back to being an “only bird” again he seems pretty happy with all the attention we’ve been giving him.
We’re wondering how he’s going to react to Baby A. No doubt about it- he’s going to mate with her foot and try to roost on her little shoes. Welcome to the family.