Unlikely Friendships

The word “friendship” has so often been claimed by human beings for our very own….but it would seem we must learn to share this great gift with our fellow beings at long last. Thank goodness. I picked up a copy of the book “Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom” by Jennifer S.Continue reading “Unlikely Friendships”

My Mommy, My Maid

Pearl, just like any (permanent) adolescent, is quite skilled at making a mess. She can take the simplest of materials – seed, paper towels, and (of course) cockatiel poop, and redecorate the entire inside of her casa. At which point Mommy necessarily shifts into “maid mode”, complete with toothbrush, scrub brush, gloves, bucket, soap andContinue reading “My Mommy, My Maid”

The Dreaded V-E-T

Into every feathery being’s life a little rain must fall. Most days are super-cool. On those days, you might get to pounce on a giant stack of waffles, dismantle the wicker furniture, chew through some delicious window grout, and stare at the prettiest bird in the world for hours in your own personal mirror. Other days,Continue reading “The Dreaded V-E-T”

Big Wings

When she was a chick, Pearl’s left wing tip was injured. Permanently. Wings, like arms, have three parts – the upper arm (between the shoulder and elbow), the forearm (between the elbow and wrist), and the hand and fingers. Pearl is missing the “hand and fingers” portion of her left wing, which means that onContinue reading “Big Wings”

Sad Bird, Happy Bird

There are two kinds of domestic birds – “in cage” birds and “out of cage” birds. Pearl may not be able to fly (due to a wing injury when she was a chick) but she is definitely an “out of cage” bird. The only time she likes her cage and wants to be in itContinue reading “Sad Bird, Happy Bird”

What a Bird Wants, What a Bird Needs…

My little feathery gal is just as particular (and sometimes downright persnickety) as any human I’ve ever met when it comes to her wants and needs. Such as…. Snax. Family. Neck scratching. Belly kisses. Accessories. A fierce demeanor (every gal needs one, especially when it’s time for the V-E-T). A great view. Spa days.

Wild at Heart

After reading (and watching) “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill” earlier this year, I developed a much better understanding of the essentially wild nature of all domesticated birds. It’s not like this hadn’t been explained to me in other bird books, but it was how the author, Mark Bittner, highlighted in such intimate details theContinue reading “Wild at Heart”

America’s Next Top Avian Model

While there are days when Pearl seems to weary of being stalked by a small purple and green iPhone camera, other days she remembers how important it is for the prettiest bird in the whole world to build a proper portfolio. Here she is practicing different looks for her pending blockbuster hit movie (heck, theyContinue reading “America’s Next Top Avian Model”

Life With Ben

Dog lovers are so lucky……there are so many great books about pet dogs and their owners. But for bird lovers, we often have to hunt to find new stories about our fav pets and their human companions. I stumbled across “Life With Ben: A Story of Friendship and Feathers” completely by accident. Or sort ofContinue reading “Life With Ben”

The (Other) Help

To Pearl, no area of the house is more interesting than my office. There are so many neat things to chew….so many documents to “edit” (she likes to jump on the keyboard when I’m not looking)….so many reflective surfaces. While I wouldn’t call Pearl’s brand of help “helpful”, she sure knows how to keep theContinue reading “The (Other) Help”

Just Like Chicken

The truth is (odd as it feels to me to admit this) – my bird loves scrambled eggs. At first, I thought nothing of it. I like scrambled eggs too. No biggie. But then a well-meaning facebook friend delicately pointed out that Pearl, too, initially emerged from a, um, shell. Frankly, I am still sortingContinue reading “Just Like Chicken”

Plate Surfing

Plate surfing should be an Olympic sport. In a cockatiel’s world it probably is. The way it works is like this. You set a plate down on the table in front of someone. Someone with feathers spies it. Something on it looks tasty. So of course that means it is time for a closer investigation….andContinue reading “Plate Surfing”

Of a Feather

“Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding” is anything brief, despite what the unassuming title (or cover art) might suggest. Author, naturalist and ornithologist Scott Weidensaul might just be one of the best writers on birds – okay, one of the best writers period – that I have ever had the pleasure toContinue reading “Of a Feather”

The Incredible Disappearing Bird

There is a reason why Pearl doesn’t get out much. She is a very curious bird. VERY curious. During Hurricane Ike a couple of years ago, Pearl and I spent a couple weeks as drifters, moving from one friend’s house to another until the electricity in our home came back on. We stayed for oneContinue reading “The Incredible Disappearing Bird”

Smack the Fortune Cookie

Like babies, cockatiels love to play the “drop and retrieve” game. As in, they drop it (whatever “it” is) and you retrieve it. Cockatiels also love anything that crinkles or crunches. If it is securely encased in crinkly, crunchy packaging, even better. I first discovered Pearl’s fondness for fortune cookies when I came home withContinue reading “Smack the Fortune Cookie”

There’s Always a Longer Bird

Just like I tend to assume everyone is my age, Pearl tends to assume everyone is an avian. Some of us just wear our feathers on the inside. Which is why, perhaps, I noticed her studying one of my mom’s “birds” with such fascination. It started like this: And then things started to get weird:Continue reading “There’s Always a Longer Bird”

An Eagle Named Freedom

Occasionally someone mentions to me that I might be just a tad too enthusiastic about birds in general, and my bird in particular. Who me? Usually I promptly conclude that I have no idea what they could be talking about, after which I return to the enjoyable task of reading through the large stack ofContinue reading “An Eagle Named Freedom”

Family Portraits

It is impossible not to love a cockatiel. I say that with total objectivity of course (it has nothing to do with the fact that I just so happen to cohabitate with the prettiest, smartest, sweetest cockatiel in the whole world. ;-)) So of course on holidays, birthdays, or any day really, everyone wants theirContinue reading “Family Portraits”


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