Farewell, Riley

On Friday evening we said goodbye to our Smiley Riley.
She had been ill and had been in and out of the vet’s office quite a few times (including an overnight stay) in May. Lab tests showed an infection, an elevated white blood count and kidney issues. Our vet also determined that she was an older budgie. Riley was losing weight and jut picking at her food. She was put on various medications, but continued to lose weight (despite hand feedings). The night before she passed away, she seemed to turn a corner, but then crashed the next day.

Although we only had Riley in our lives a short time, she was a treasured member of the flock. She overcame so much in her life, from the horrible mite infestation that she had previous to our adopting her to her frequent vet visits for her overgrown beak to her recurring facial “bump”. But she never let any of her physical ailments prevent her from being one of the flock. She loved shadowing Emmy, taking baths, and flying around the room with the budgies. Every day she was becoming more curious and adventurous. She didn’t let her small size prevent her from keeping up with the flock and was even becoming a little bit of a bossypants.

I wish we had more time with Riley – a year was not enough. She was a tiny little bird, but she left a huge mark on our hearts. Rest in peace, little love.

Out and About

Some photos of Riley out and about and with the flock.

Sunny, Felix, Ozzie, Riley and Emmy (Sunny is in the condo).

Riley is Emmy’s shadow.

Hanging out in the flight cage.

Riley seems to be doing well with the flock. We still need work with moving her around. She has no problem stepping up, but she steps right back down when you try to move her. We’ll get there…

Birthday Budgie

Today we are celebrating Riley’s 1st hatchday with us. We don’t really know how old she is, so we’re starting her at 1.

Here she is next to her present. She actually took a little nibble. Yay!

She took more than a nibble of her hatchday millet.

(Like Mariah Carey, Riley likes to be photographed from her right side.)
Happy Hatchday Riley! We hope to enjoy many, many more with you. xoxo

Introducing Riley!

Last March I happened upon an adoption notice from the San Diego Humane Society. A budgie was brought in by a Good Samaritan with a horrible case of mites. As soon as I saw this little one’s photo, I knew we would be adding to our flock.

After a couple weeks of care from the shelter’s vets, Moonshine was ready for adoption. We brought her home on April 1st. We decided to rename her Riley, because now this tiny bird would be “living the life of Riley”.
Poor Riley was a mess. Her beak was overgrown and had a honeycomb appearance and she had growths on her face. She had frond-like growths on her feet and was missing some toenails and toe tips. She was also missing feathers around her eyes and had bare patches on her wings.
We kept her in a separate room for her (extended) quarantine period. Riley took some time to finger tame. She will now step up, but we still have a way to go before she is completely comfortable with her humans.

Since bringing Riley home, she has been to our avian vet for a full examination and repeated beak trimmings. The growths on her feet eventually dropped off, as did her facial growths. Her beak and cere have greatly improved. We still take her in every three weeks or so for a lower beak trim.

Riley hasn’t discovered her toys yet, but she has started to sing and chirp along with the other birds. She has also started to eat her fruits, veggies and greens. She is camera shy, and I can only get photos of her right side. When she steps up, she immediately turns to her right side. I’m wondering if this is a quirk, or if she might have some vision problems – something to ask the vet on our next visit.

Our “Smiley Riley” is a sweet little bird, and I’m hoping she will live a long, healthy and happy life with us. She is definitely a prime example of why it is best to “Adopt, not shop”.