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Birds We Have Known

(35 Posts)
FannyCornforth Fri 15-Jan-21 08:59:35

Hello smile

Inspired by the Raven thread, I thought that I'd start a thread about tame or pet birds.
It somehow seems wrong to describe such free spirits as pets, that's why I chose the above title.

I know that it was once very common for folk to have tame Corvids, Jackdaws especially (hello Nell8!)

My family have always been friends of the birds, which I suppose culminated in my parents having Tawny Owls for over twenty years.

So, please come and tell us about birds you have known, I'm sure that there are plenty of lovely stories out there

Thank you thanks x

geekesse Fri 15-Jan-21 09:14:31

My dad had two mynah birds (Morris and Minnie) when we lived overseas. Morris flew into a ceiling fan when it was on full speed. The ceiling and all four walls were splattered with feathers and blood, and because the ceilings were so high, we had to wait a couple of weeks for workmen to come and clean the place. Gruesome!

Missfoodlove Fri 15-Jan-21 09:17:18

A blackbird had been badly injured by a neighbours cat last year.
Poor thing hopped around our garden on one leg.
We fed it meal worms and put out water, every day it got a bit stronger and could eventually fly a little way.
He started to respond to my call as I put out the food.
He would come and feed from our outdoor dining table and was quite unperturbed by our presence.
Finally his tail feathers grew back his leg healed and just like a selfish teenager he cleared off without a backward glance!!!

Bathsheba Fri 15-Jan-21 09:19:55


My dad had two mynah birds (Morris and Minnie) when we lived overseas. Morris flew into a ceiling fan when it was on full speed. The ceiling and all four walls were splattered with feathers and blood, and because the ceilings were so high, we had to wait a couple of weeks for workmen to come and clean the place. Gruesome!

Well I don't imagine that was the kind of bird story FannyCornforth was expecting shock

Riverwalk Fri 15-Jan-21 09:24:33

Thanks for sharing that Geekese hmm

MiniMoon Fri 15-Jan-21 09:29:21

We had a day out with our children. We hadn't intended to go, but there was a bird show on in a hall so we went to look at the birds.
In one area there were birds for sale and DH was smitten by a female cockatiel, being sold because the child in the family had become allergic to her.
She came home with us. She was the best alert bird ever, calling loudly if anyone approached our house, better than our poodle.
She lived very happily with us for about 10 years until one day, giving a loud squawk, she fell off her perch, dead on the cage floor.
We buried her under a tree outside our house.

Juliet27 Fri 15-Jan-21 09:32:56

We’ve had a canary for the past ten years. He landed exhausted next to my husband while he was fishing. He’d obviously escaped from somewhere but we had no luck finding the owner so he became ours. He had such a powerful and beautiful song but is now quiet in his old age. Shame as it was so nice to come home from work to hear him singing away. Perhaps he’s stopped singing as we’re now working from home!

We have the occasional blackbird nest built in the garden and we then buy mealworms for the babies to be fed. One year the pair were on their third brood and the father was so bothered by the fledglings chasing after him begging that he came into the garage where my DH and I were working, walked past us, plonked himself down and rested there for 15 minutes. We didn’t dare move and were pleased to be able to offer him an obviously much needed escape and rest from his brood.

seacliff Fri 15-Jan-21 09:33:11

We used to have a cockatiel called Goldie. From the four of us in the family she chose me as her best friend, she loved sitting on my shoulder as I walked around doing housework etc.

One day I went to put out the washing and had forgotten she was there. As I stepped down into the garden it was quite a big jolt and that made her fly off my shoulder, up into the air. she circled round and round going higher and higher, calling all the time, and then flew off towards the end of the road.

I was in dressing gown with hair all wet but I grabbed a tea towel and ran off down the street with the children all looking upwards anxiously. About 6 houses down was a clear space, I called her and she flew down to me, and landed on the ground. I hastily put the tea towel over her and held her to me, just in time as there were two cats appeared, both looking very interested. She lived a good few years more with us but never seemed inclined to try the great outdoors again.

vampirequeen Fri 15-Jan-21 09:34:02

We had a budgie called Bluey. He was absolutely insane. He would swing round and round on his perch like a gymnast. We didn't keep him in the cage...he could fly in and out at will unless we had the windows/doors open. But he seemed to really enjoy whizzing round and round.

One day I cleaned his cage and must have put the perch back lower than normal because the next time I looked he was lying dead at the bottom of the cage. He'd swung as usual but hit himself on the bottom of the cage.

I am a budgie killer blush

Shropshirelass Fri 15-Jan-21 09:34:50

We had a tame Magpie around the garden some years ago. It was a bit of a pain, pecking fingers when pegging out washing and it would come into the house through an open window and rummage around. It pecked our dog’s tail as it walked down the garden. It also went into a neighbours house and was pecking their son’s head when he was asleep! Soon woke up! It could also say a few words. It disappeared one day and we never knew what had happened to it.

Nell8 Fri 15-Jan-21 09:37:08

Hello FannyCornforth .. Good to see your new thread. You don't hang about!
My uncle lived on the island of Lismore near Oban. A young jackdaw adopted him one summer and would perch on my uncle's shoulder as he walked around outside. For a child it was magical to watch.
Compare that to seeing a captive magpie in France chained to a stand having had its tail feathers removed.... so cruel.

Witzend Fri 15-Jan-21 09:37:54

The couple I often babysat for* in late teens were once looking after someone’s mynah bird for a couple of weeks.

It kept saying, ‘Where’s Audrey?’ in the tone of a very querulous old woman. I was very tempted to try to teach it, ‘Gone off with the milkman!’ or something ruder, but desisted.

*the bloke used to drive me home in his E-type! They went out a lot, too.

LauraNorder Fri 15-Jan-21 09:47:35

Sorry, can’t bear the thought of caged birds, they are meant to fly and be free. I’ll move along.

Nell8 Fri 15-Jan-21 09:50:38

vampirequeen gringringrin Shouldn't laugh really.... it's the way you tell 'em!

DH had a budgie trained to say his name and address in case he got lost .... "Joey Perks, 22 Acacia Gardens..."

Grannynannywanny Fri 15-Jan-21 09:51:08

Many years ago my elderly uncle in rural Ireland was befriended by a robin. It appeared inside his cottage door one day while he was sitting by the fireside. He threw a few crumbs of his bread on the floor for it. Robin at the crumbs, walked to the open door and flew off.

Next day, it appeared again. Same routine, ate the crumbs thrown down on the floor and left. This continued daily for many weeks till eventually the robin was landing on the arm of his chair and eating from his hand.

His wife had died a few months before and he convinced himself she’d returned as a robin to visit him. After about 2 months the daily visits stopped. He watched out every day but reluctantly had to accept his little robin wasn’t coming back.

Damdee Fri 15-Jan-21 09:58:47

I used to keep pigeons and white doves. They had a dovecote and aviary but could come and go as they pleased and were only shut up at night. Pigeons are intelligent birds and make wonderful companions - not the flying rats that some ignorant people choose to call them. Too many stories to tell but I absolutely loved all my birds and used to blog about them - faithsdoves

FannyCornforth Fri 15-Jan-21 10:10:48


Sorry, can’t bear the thought of caged birds, they are meant to fly and be free. I’ll move along.

I hope that you are still here Laura to read this.
I was thinking more along the lines of birds that are wild and become semi-tame.
Like the jackdaw Nell8 recalled who 'adopted' her uncle.
The owls that we had had to be domesticated because they couldn't live in the wild. My parents found them as owlets, they had been dumped in a cardboard box on the side of a motorway.

FannyCornforth Fri 15-Jan-21 10:20:54

Shropshirelass that's amazing.
A wild magpie that was able to speak.
They are ridiculously clever creatures, but unfortunately so cruel.
We have them nesting in a birch tree every year despite our efforts to dissuade them.

henetha Fri 15-Jan-21 10:21:57

When my sons were young we always had budgies. The one I remember most was Pip because he was very tame and lived much longer than most budgies do. He could talk and told us every day, multiple times, that Pip was a pretty boy.
Some years ago I had a canary called Brian, but he only lived for 5 years. When he died I took his little body up to a quiet part of Dartmoor. It was a foggy day and as I dug a hole in the soil two ponies loomed up out of the mist and stood there. I felt like they were mourning with me. It was really weird. I cried buckets.
And now I have Wiggy. She belongs to my grand-daughter and I was asked to look after her while she was at university.
Several years later and Wiggy is still with me. By now, I have completely gone off keeping birds in cages so Wiggy is free-range. She is out of her cage most of time . I keep a packet of wet wipes to clean up after her. She's quite noisy and good company and asks me every day if I am alright,
When she goes to that big aviary in the sky I shall not have another bird. I prefer to see them flying free. I feed the garden birds every day, there are lots around here.

henetha Fri 15-Jan-21 10:24:49

P.S I forgot to say, Wiggy is a cockatiel

seacliff Fri 15-Jan-21 11:25:16

I agree about not keeping caged birds, although we used to many decades ago, which I now regret. Ours were allowed to fly around the house, but of course that is not at all the same as flying wild. To see a huge colourful flock of wild budgerigars in Australia is amazing, that is how they should live.

We do have some wild peacocks now, they wander around our hamlet. They roost at ours, probably because we are very generous with the seed and peanuts.

LauraNorder Fri 15-Jan-21 12:14:37

Thanks for inviting me back Fanny.
I met our paperboy when I was fifteen who apparently fancied me. We went for a walk in the countryside on our first date and I liked him back.
A few days later he invited me to his home where he proudly showed me his aviary full of beautiful budgerigars trying to fly freely in a space about 12 x 6 feet. He opened the door and stepped inside, I closed the door, dropped the lock and went home.
He called on me the following day having been freed from captivity by a neighbour and said that I’d made my point and he would be freeing the birds. A few weeks later the aviary and birds had disappeared.
Five years later I married him. 51 years in July. We fly freely together.
I’m afraid I can’t bear to walk through a pet shop or zoo and hear the sound of caged birds or animals.
We have befriended wild birds that we’ve helped after they’ve flown in to windows and stunned or damaged themselves. One little fat thrush in particular actually stayed about a week while recovering and walk all the way up to my foot, sang for a moment, hopped away, turned around and finally flew off, I cried.

FannyCornforth Fri 15-Jan-21 12:19:10

Laura! shock
What a story! I'm so glad that you came back to tell us the tale of how you captured Orlin's heart 💓

BigBertha1 Fri 15-Jan-21 12:23:51

When I first moved in with my now husband there was a knock at the door from a small boy holding a bird that had been hit by a car and he found it in the road (dont know what it was). DH said he would look after it and thanked the boy. He went into the garden shed where he was caring for a few other injured birds and a rodent or two. I didn't go in there as at that time I was terrified of all animals and birds. A little while later he came back with tears running down his face - he had had to administer the coup de grace and was terribly upset. I didn't understand this at all at the time. Over the last 42 years DH has taught me to love and respect animals although I am not as confident with them as he is. I wonder how I managed to grow up knowing nothing about and being terrified of animals

grandtanteJE65 Fri 15-Jan-21 12:59:34

When I was about 12 my mother rescued a seagull with a broken wing that was fluttering around in front of her car.

We put him in the largest birdcage we had, called him Peter, and fed him on bits of the cats' fish, to the great annoyance of my mother's cat.

After six weeks his wing had mended and we moved the cage outside and opened the door. For a week he flew short flights and came home to roost, then he flew off.

There was a bare patch on the injured wing where the feathers never grew back so we could recognise him when he came visiting all that summer. The following year he came back once with his mate who was hesitant about flying down low in the garden.

After that we never saw him again, but were pleased he had returned to a natural wild life.

I had a canary for years when I was a child - he sang loudly if we had the radio on, or where hoovering. Perhaps your old bird wants a little encouragement in his old age.

My canary was finally buried under a tree in our garden too.