September 9, 2009
My Sad Little Birdy
I have a saying that I have always believed in and tell others... "Animals are people too!" All creatures great and small have feelings much as humans do and they can express them in their own ways. It's just up to those around to actually pay attention and notice.
Like right now, Misfit (our Budgie) is a sad stressed out little bird. She's been very quiet the last week and from my experience the year before with her, she will be for another 3 to 5 weeks. Last year I only thought it was because of the seasonal change; summer is ending, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler and I think she knows this and is saddened in her own way, being a tropical bird who enjoys the heat and humidity. What I do notice this September though is her loss of feathers. She went through a similar stage in the Spring and it was a molt. She lost all her tail feathers and many about her body over a span of 4 weeks. She became very quiet, not even singing along to her favorite cds (Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons or her song birds cd). She even looks uncomfortable during this process. Research shows that this is almost painful at times for birds... the feathers are needle-like and they say it's a prickly feeling on the bird's body. Feather loss is a sign of stress in a bird as is them picking and pulling their feathers out. So when they naturally lose their feathers I assume it is a naturally stressful time for them. They require a better diet (vitamin and mineral supplements added to their food). They require a lot more sleep (12 to 14 hours is good).
Misfit is normally a very happy chatty active little bird. Right now she barely makes a sound, doesn't play with her toys and is wanting to go to bed earlier than normal. She lets us know when she wants to go to bed... she has some very distinct noises in the evening. We ask her if she wants to go to bed and she re-acts with a variety of wing and leg stretches. I've had Budgies in my past and have never recalled one who loved being put to bed at night (not like Misfit does). One might think she was ill with her inactivity but her appetite shows me that is not the case.
What can we do for her? Keep her warm. Keep her fed. Keep her rested. In a few weeks she will be back to her old self again and we'll be wishing for some peace and quiet when she really gets going with her squeaks and tweets, bell ringing and so on.
Imagine that! I know so many who think little of birds... not in a bad way, they just don't think about them as much of anything other than an eating and pooping machine. Wow! Something so small but with so much personality and feelings and in need of proper care... meaning, a responsible family with them who will notice and realize these stages they go through and help them along.
Here's Misfit in her most memorable days for me... flying free out back with the Sparrows.