I was going to write more about Gordie’s life, but Michelle did such a good job, I’d just be repeating her. Instead I’ll share some thoughts from the last week.

Now that Gordie is gone, it is really tough to look at the flock without thinking about him. Even the flock has been behaving differently without him. He didn’t have the loudest or craziest personality and was likely one of the calmest birds. Maybe that was because he was a mature bird.

It is difficult to explain how sad losing Gordie has made me feel. I try to tell myself that Gordie lived a better life than he ever did before meeting us. He was with a flock, he had a mate, he took baths, grew out his flight feathers and flew around, probably for the first time ever. He enjoyed eating millet and fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis and even looked healthier than when he first entered our home. He met Cooper.

I hope we made him happy and I wish we had found him sooner. As sad as it is to lose Gordie, I feel more inspired to find another budgie that needs a good home. Good bye Little Man, thank you for making our lives better, you will be missed.

Goodbye Gordie

perchOn Monday, October 27th we lost our little Gordie. That morning I was cleaning the cage when I heard a loud squawking. I turned around and saw Gordie on the bottom of the cage upside down and fluttering his wings. I picked him up and he died immediately in my hands. We think it was a seizure or heart attack.

Gordie was an older budgie. We never really knew how old he was. We were his third (possibly fourth) home. His last owner estimated him at five, but he could have been (and we suspect he was) much older.

When we first brought Gordie home, he just sat on his perch looking at himself in his mirror. He didn’t play with his toys, move around much or call out to the other budgies. He wasn’t finger tame (but would sit on our shoulders). His previous owner told us that the family who gave her Gordie thought he was “boring”.

Gordie became a different bird once his quarantine was up and he moved in with the flock. He bonded quickly with his lookalike Ozzie. We think Ozzie was “the bird in the mirror” finally coming out to play. With patience, Gordie started stepping up. He expressed interest in what the other budgies were doing, playing with toys and nibbling on veggies and millet. Gordie became interested in us as well. If we stood by the cage, he would make his way right up to the bars to see us. He was the only budgie who did this. I think he liked kissy noises and being told what a good budgie he was. And he was a such a good little budgie.

When Gordie’s flight feathers started coming in he began to make the voyage from the cage to the little play gym on top of the bookcase. He really enjoyed being up high and would happily sit on his “gym” chirping to himself or the other birds. It took a lot of effort for Gordie to fly about. It could have been his age or perhaps he never had the chance to fly before. One of his wings was a little crooked – maybe that made it more difficult to fly. In any case, sometimes I would give him a little ride on his play gym back to the cage. Gordie also “hobbled” when he walked up and down on the perches. He was a little slower than the other budgies, but did his best to keep up with his friends.

We were thrilled when Gordie bonded with Lera. They were an adorable pair, constantly grooming each other. When Lera was ill, Gordie was so sweet and attentive, feeding her and cuddling with her on the bottom of the cage. I think he was key factor in her amazing recovery.

Gordie loved to take baths. When he was finished he liked to sit on the rim of the bird bath and gaze out the window. One day he even plopped himself into my water glass. He had great fun climbing out and dunking back in. Gordie also liked his green perch (above). If he wasn’t by Lera’s side, that was his spot.

I think because Gordie was an older budgie, he had a special place in our hearts. We wanted so much to give him happiness in his golden years. He was a sweet little fellow and we were lucky to have been able to share the short amount of time with him that we did. Seeing him playing, flying and interacting with the other budgies brought us so much joy. I just wish we had been able to have more time with him.

We love you Gordie and miss you more than words can say.

Our Little Miracle

A couple weeks ago we noticed that Lera was not doing well. Usually she is very active – climbing all over the place (usually upside down), playing with toys, asserting her alpha status and zipping around the room.l2

Lera was very still, just sitting on the grapevine perch with her eyes shut. We weren’t too alarmed at first, because she was still eating and drinking and wasn’t fluffed up. We put the divider in the cage, so she and her boyfriend Godie could have some undisturbed quiet time. Then she began having balance issues. She could barely move without looking like she was going to fall off the perch, so off to the vet we went. We took Gordie, too, for moral support.l1Our vet examined her (she was a trooper) and thought maybe she had been traumatized in some way. Perhaps by another budgie? We hadn’t noticed anything like that happen, but then again, we’re not with the budgies 24/7. Because she was eating and drinking, her droppings looked normal and she wasn’t fluffed up or vomiting, he recommended that we just keep her quiet and bring her back in if things got worse.

The next couple days were difficult. We moved Lera and Gordie to the quarantine cage. We kept it covered on three sides and lowered the perches and food and water dishes. I kept some millet on the bottom of the cage so she wouldn’t have to climb to eat. I also added a drop of apple cider vinegar to her water. Lera stayed at the bottom of the cage, she still had balance issues (it was really alarming) and was “stargazing” (head tilted back and looking up). Harry and I spent a lot of time on the internet looking up her symptoms to see what could possibly be wrong. We thought that perhaps she had an ear infection, as it seemed to fit her symptoms. Meanwhile, Gordie was being a wonderful boyfriend, feeding and grooming Lera and snuggling up with her on the bottom of the cage.
lcAfter a couple days, Lera started to recover. She climbed up to the bottom perch and was more active. She continually improved and was soon playing with the paper on the bottom of the cage and climbing the cage bars. She was still a little “dizzy” so we kept her separate until her balance returned.

Lera seems to have recovered completely from her mystery illness. It really is amazing – she looked like she was at death’s door. After scaring the crap out of us, she’s back with the other birds, flying around the room and playing with the toys. l3We’re so lucky that we had a positive outcome. I’m hoping for only healthiness and happiness for our budgies (and yours) from here on out!

Keeping Cool

We’ve been having a bit of hot weather in San Diego. To beat the heat the budgies have been playing in the water.

Ozzie in the pool.ozbathGordie takes a dip and a nap.gordieIt’s hard to get Alfie out of the water.a2Such a little clown.abathAfter a swim, it’s time for some refreshing watermelon. Alfie is always the first to the food. He was more about the lettuce (as you can see from the ever present food on his beak). w2Cooper was the only one who was really into the watermelon. Yum!w1