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”.