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Friday, February 13, 2009
Destined To Own Birds?

By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.

parrots and destiny
Photo courtesy of Linda Costello
Maybe destiny brings parrots and their owners together.

After my mother passed away, I was sorting through her things, and I came across a box of my grandmother's old diaries. In an entry dated March, 1964, she wrote that her mother's (my great grandmother's) parakeet (budgie) had died at 12 years old.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time visiting my great grandmother. I was 13 when she passed away, but being in my early teens when the bird died, you would think I would remember that parakeet. But that was long before birds became such a big part of my life.

None of my older family members are around to talk to about the bird. I'd have a lot of questions:
What was the bird’s diet? How tame was it? Was it male or female? Did it talk?

My own budgie, Mylo, passed away last October. He would have been 13 now. He was full of personality and a great talker. I left his cage in place for awhile, but I finally made myself put it away. As I did, my African grey, Muggsy, was watching. She asked me, “Where is Mylo?”

Still feeling the ache in my heart over losing Mylo, I realized that these birds are so much more than pets — they are family members. So I explained to her, as you would a small child, what had happened.

Reading on in the diary, I learned that my Great Aunt Meryl — whose husband's nickname was Bird, by the way — had canaries. I had no idea any of them had birds back then. I find it so interesting to read about it now!

Coincidentally, I have a 27-year-old blue-fronted Amazon named Radar that had belonged to my dad’s Uncle Mike for 15 years, until Mike died. 

I wonder how many of us, if we did a little investigating, would find out that there had been bird lovers in our families. I find it interesting, and it seems to me that with all these coincidences, maybe I was predestined to end up with all my birds.

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Destined To Own Birds?

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Reader Comments
Hey Linda
I'm new to bird talk (but not new to owning birds). You have some really great articles. My family has always had birds as far back as I can remember. I feel I was destined to be a bird person. My Uncle rediscovered the Taiko (new zealand bird thought to be extinct) and worked for the New Zealand department of Conservation for many years and I am now wanting to do conservation work with birds also.
Casey, New Zealand
Posted: 12/2/2009 5:46:40 PM
Linda, another good read. I had several aunts who kept canaries and budgies. These were the same aunts who taught me about nature and developed my love for critters. :)
Don D., D/FW, TX
Posted: 2/15/2009 1:59:53 AM

What a great article as usual. In thinking about what you wrote, my great-grandmother had a Scarlet, my grandmother had canaries, and we had a budgie as I was growing up. I've always loved birds. That is why I now have 8 and I enjoy them all except for a few times that the macaws start letting the world know how great it is to be alive (they all tend to do this at one time!) Maybe in need to invest in earplugs!

Keep the great articles coming.
Carol, Bolivar, MO
Posted: 2/14/2009 1:39:42 PM
Hey Linda,

That was a great article! I usually find that people who own birds have family members who have owned/own birds. Most of my family members own birds and I think its great as long as you knw what your doing. It brought tears to my eyes thinking about Muggsy asking where Mylo was. :-/

I hope you have many more happy and healthy years with your feathered friends :-)
Ruba, Clifton, NJ
Posted: 2/14/2009 6:58:14 AM
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