This is Georgie. She is my Peach Front Conure,
or others say Fronted. She is also my blog muse. I’ve had Georgie for 5 years, and love her to death. She’s like the biological baby I don’t have. Literally. Birds are like children; they are so smart, they are often compared to toddlers. She is lovely when you get to know her, but it takes time to get trust from a bird. Her daily routines are important, or she will let you know.
At first, a cat wasn’t in the cards for my apartment, since one would cost $300 for a down deposit. I didn’t know my therapist could have wavered that fee, but a bird was recommended. I researched bird rescues in the area; Craig’s List didn’t seem like a good option, since people wanted a lot of money for them, as a way to say you need to make a lifetime commitment.
Unfortunately, birds are the number one pets rehomed, and a lot never get a forever home. They could be taken to rescue or go from house to house. Instead of educating about birds, they put up a few hundred dollars in fees. My former roommate had gotten a bird from a rescue 45 minutes away. I looked them up online, and found birds who have been there for years. I picked out a bird I thought would be a good fit, and trekked our way to get her the next day.
Georgie’s Gotcha Day
With many months of research on birds, nothing prepared me for Georgie. Like children, you just need to get your hands dirty to find out about them. When we went to the rescue, and we saw a small room of about 30 cages of birds. I asked this lady, who ran the nonprofit, about the bird I found online. She said that bird wasn’t an apartment bird, and picked out one named Georgie. She was quiet, and needed someone to help her bring out her personality.
Afterwards, we signed a $200 fee for a small bird, but was $400 for a bigger one. Also, we needed a cage, and bought a used one from this lady for $65. The cage went in the car, and Georgie in a taped box for safety. From there, the cage was set up in the living room, and played with her till bedtime a few hours later. Georgie wasn’t happy to go back in a cage, and had a hard time with one for a few months. I ended up not closing the cage anymore, because she spent her first year in one. She might have been about a year, when we got her. The nonprofit didn’t get any information about her hatch time, or even a name. PTSD came over her, and I wasn’t going to make her more miserable than she needed to be.
Now What, Georgie?
As a result, I worked with Georgie on everything to gain her trust; It was a hard battle for a long time. I kept the cage open, and sat next to her cage every day. She still loves when I sit as close to her as possible. Georgie also has abandonment anxiety, and it proves to be just as hard for her, as it is for someone who knows mental illnesses. She has now started to pluck out her feathers from under her wings and on her chest. Her screaming was unbearable for the first year. With her being in a room full of other birds, screaming was the only language she knew how to speak. Many tears shed from not being able to calm her down, and the bites were worse. Beaks are their most communicative thing they have. Different calls for different things, and it includes biting. It’s something I have come to get used to, and can’t take it personally, or the relationship will never be established.
Our relationship is very intimate. You learn the language you put out, and you have to do it pretty fast. If you don’t have the right communication, you get bit. If they’re screaming, and you don’t know why, you get to hear the song of their people all day, every day; That is included with more biting. Like babies, they take a lot of work to understand what they need.
They get bored too.
Toys are something that is learned to play with. Most birds will entertain themselves with what you give them, but Georgie prefers snuggles. She likes to chew on plastic baskets and buckets from Dollar Tree, but that’s most of what she’ll do. She has a play cage in the living room, and a food cage, wherever I tend to be at the moment. Her favorite place to be is in the bathroom. It has her baskets and buckets, plus running water if the shower gets turned on. I can’t use the sink, because it has been deemed to be hers(I’ve been brushing my teeth in the shower for a while now).
Color popsicle sticks are reserved for her play cage, and the food cage is to make sure she eats, or she won’t eat. She likes to watch TV, and especially, YouTube. Engaging with the sounds and soaking up the images are cute to watch. These are all flock things, which can be quite hard to accommodate to daily. She tells me when it’s bedtime, by flying to her play cage, if I haven’t put her to bed yet. She’ll also use it to just hang out. That’s her favorite pastime. I have to sit in the hallway across from the bathroom, if that’s where she wants me to be, which is, in her sight.
The food cage also has many functions. To hang out on top with her bucket or perch, and eats inside, while still hanging out. She won’t eat unless I’m in the room with her, so I had to come up with a solution to remind her she needs to eat. I have it on a bathroom cart, so I don’t have to place it on things, like the kitchen table. It’s one of my favorite things I can do to make my day easier with a demanding bird. If she isn’t in the same room, she’ll scream until I call back with a whistle, or to fly over to make sure I didn’t leave without telling her. The cage needs to come with, or she’ll panic with abandonment. Nap is a sad word; no naps for sensitive babies. It takes a flock to raise a fid.
She is amazing, and have never had such a connection with any other animal like this. If you have any questions, I’m here to answer them!