You’re probably tired of hearing about parakeets by now, but too bad for you because I still have a few posts left to go in this series! I began this bird-themed set of posts because one of my parakeets, Captain America, passed away. If you’re interested in the previous posts of this series, click here to see them all. In my article “How to Determine Your Bird’s Gender” I briefly mentioned the complicated history of my birds, and I feel it is only fair to tell you my story.
My love of owning parakeets began with the Nextdoor app, an app that allows you to post events happening in your area. My mom allowed me to ask on the app if anyone knew where would be the best place in our area for me to buy my birds. One person replied that they had two parakeets to give us so we didn’t have to buy any, and that they were overwhelmed with a new puppy and wanted a good home for their birds. When I arrived at their house to pick them up, the owners told me that both of the birds were girls. I named them Lucy and Ethel (inspired by the characters from the show I Love Lucy).
I soon fell in love with the birds and gained their trust.
(Lucy is on the left and Ethel is on the right)
Unfortunately, one night, I noticed Ethel acting strange. I walked over to their cage to see what was wrong and I found Lucy in the food dish, dead. I believe, due to investigation and the fact that she was perfectly healthy, that she slipped into the food dish and broke her neck. Needless to say, I never used those food dishes again.
I know that it’s never good to keep a parakeet by themselves in a cage, so I once again consulted the Nextdoor app. (This post isn’t sponsored, but it’s a really good app and you can check it out here.) This time I asked if anyone had a cage to give away, so I could quarantine the bird I purchased before introducing them to Ethel. (Yes, I will be writing a post on why and how to quarantine your birds later on in this series. Honestly, this set is never going to end!) I found a cage available, cleaned it, and bought a bird.
Even though I care for and pay for all of my animals on my own, I always let the naming of my new pets be a family matter. I gathered my sisters and parents around, and we searched for names. It was a long process and we couldn’t really agree on any one name, so we ended up with this exuberant title: James Buchanan Freshavacado Barnes Barrett, Bucky for short. (I’ll get to the explanation of his name shortly)
Someone else on the Nextdoor app saw our post and told us they had a large cage and a bird to give us if we still wanted it. I, of course, was interested in another bird and the cage it came with was big enough to hold all three of them. When I came to pick the bird up, I was extremely concerned by the conditions she was in. The cage was placed on their front porch, under an awning but still exposed to other wildlife and harsh winds. They told me she had been there for over a week. I understand that the bird’s owners were swamped with the responsibilities of many other pets, so I am in no way trying to incriminate them. However, you should NEVER leave a domesticated pet outside, much less a small prey animal.
This new arrival was named Shuri, after the Marvel character that is the Black Panther’s sister. After quarantining the new arrivals, I slowly introduced them to each other. I opened the door to Ethel’s cage and let her fly around and investigate the other two birds while they were still in their cages. However, Bucky was a rebel and decided that he wouldn’t be the only bird flying around, so he managed to lift the door that the food containers came through and escaped. Thus, another one of his middle names became Houdini.
After introducing all of the birds by letting them fly around the room together, I thoroughly cleaned the large cage and began the extensive process of corralling them into it. With the help of my sisters and a friend, we finally managed to get them all into the cage. (After several hours of trying and failing) The birds got to know each other and soon I noticed that the behavior of Ethel towards Shuri indicated that she was, in fact, a boy! Of course, I had to rename her, so the great family pet naming council joined together once more. After much debate, we decided on this grand honorific: Captain Leland Stottelmeyer America Barrett, nicknamed Cap. Of course, such grand names need explanations. The nicknames make the two marvel superheroes Cap (Captain America) and Bucky (Bucky Barnes). The character Bucky’s full name is James Buchanan Barnes, and we added Freshavacado in honor of the famous Vine and Bucky’s green color. All of my pets have the last name Barrett, because that’s my last name and my pets are considered family. Finally, Cap’s middle names Leland Stottelmeyer are in honor of one of our favorite characters from the show Monk.
On August 11, 2019, my bird Cap passed away. I’m writing this blog series in his honor, and thank you so much for enduring this convoluted tale of my bird-owning timeline. I have so many wonderful memories and stories that I didn’t get to add to this post, so next week I’ll share some of the highlights of my time as a parakeet owner. I hope you’re enjoying this series and please like and comment below if you are! I love hearing feedback from my readers and it motivates me to keep writing. Until next time!