Got up this morning....made coffee, and was opening the blinds when I saw our little cockatiel, Chico, who had been with us for 9 years lying dead on the bottom of her cage. She was three years old when we got her which put her at 12 when she died. She was a good little bird who was very loving and would allow you to hold and handle her all you wanted. She was a hand-raised baby who had been given to us by a firend of mine who used t work at the law firm where I am currently employed. Her name was Liz Fitchen and she was leaving the city to move to the midwest to get married, and thought that two birds would be too much to take. So, she chose to take her pocket-parrot, Opus, instead of Chico, and left Chico to live with us. Chico was primarily my daughter Andrea's bird for a long time, but as teenagerhood settled in on my daughter and her room became more dark and uninviting, Chico's care began to flag as well, so, just about a year ago, maybe just over, I moved Chico out into the living room so she could be around where most of the family activity took place.
About two years ago we were all surprised by Chico when we discovered, by finding eggs in the bottom of her cage, that she was a "Chica" and not a "Chico" after all. Hmmmm....it explained why, all the years we had her, she didn't learn to talk. The females of the species just don't have as much capacity for it as the males.
In November of last year, I bought her a really nice cage, and she lived her remaining days with the light of day on her for as many hours as it was available in the sky. She loved her honey sticks and spray millet. She would only squawk and squeak when she was hungry or needed new water. She was a great little pet, but now she's free. She's free to fly the blue skies beyond the boundaries of this flesh-life.
These pictures of Chico (whom we could never get accustomed to calling "Chica" after our revelation about her gender), were taken on April 1. Our friends Jaime and Melanie had come to visit with their dog, Lu-Lu, and Melanie wanted to see what it was like to hold the little bird. As you can see, Chico made it a pleasant experience for Melanie who really enjoyed holding her. Chico never disappointed people when they wanted to hold and pet a nice little bird who wouldn't bit them. She's bending down for a little scratch behind the neck like she loved.
So bye-bye, Chico, baby. You were a good little pet, and we tried to make you happy while you were with us. Fly free now and please remember us well if you remember us at all.