It pains me to blog about this but our little blue budgie Moonie passed away rather suddenly early Monday morning.
He was just a couple weeks away from his 10th anniversary of being in the house with us. For those of you who may not remember (or know), I caught Moonie in our garden one afternoon just before I was going to work. Angie happened to be home that day, and she looked out the kitchen window, commenting about a blue bird in the garden. I stepped out back for a closer look and there was this very young budgie on the ground looking up at me. He had baby down feathers on his face. I quickly took my shirt off, dropped it right on him, scooped him up and brought him in. And this is where he has been ever since.
Moonie in the first days after coming to live with us.
It was late Saturday afternoon when Moonie's behaviour was noticeably different. He looked very tired. He was quiet. He sat on different perches than where he normally likes to sit. Occasionally there was still a chirp, a pick at the seeds, a sip of water, and even a head dunk in his bath. This continued on through Sunday as well. We monitored him. We talked about getting him to an avian vet if there was no improvement come Monday.
Angie was up shortly after 4 AM on Monday, this is normal for her during the work week. Sadly she heard a noise come from his bedroom about 4:15. Moonie had passed then, falling from his perch. It took a lot for Angie to not wake me at that time but she knows there`s nothing to do at this point, plus I work well into the evening, so to let me sleep until I got up around my usual time of 7:30 was best.
We have no idea what happened to him. It`s shocking how quickly he turned ill and passed away. Right up until those last hours, he was his happy squawking basketball playing self.
I am more saddened in the days after his death, I guess it is because the shock of it has worn off. It was too quick, and we weren't even given the chance to try and help him. Now it is time to grieve. The house is so quiet without him. Our routines have changed. We will certainly miss this bird.
I know a lot of people don't think much about budgies because they can be loud screeching birds but they are so full of personality, and if you take the time, you will grow to love them and admire their quirks.
We are not into the idea of buying birds. Both Moonie and Misfit were backyard rescues. Both caught in the warmer weather. Their lives would have been cut very short if not brought inside before the cold weather set in.
If there was one pet who really had the best last year and a bit of his life, it was Moonie, thanks to this pandemic. Having Angie working from home as much as she was, Moonie was seldom alone, and he got spoiled with hours of table time every afternoon while the cats slept in our bedroom with the door shut. Moonie LOVED his table time. We would open the window a crack so he could chatter with the birds outside. He loved the view and probably the sun. His excitement to be on the table was certainly noticeable. He played so much when here. He loved his basketball toy and I can't begin to count how many he has broken over the years just from his rough play. We always had one or two in stock in the pet tote for when he broke the clasp on the ball that attached to the chain. Oh Moonie!
I've recently been looking at my blogs from 2011 when he first came into our home. It's brought up a lot of memories. I used to get his wings clipped early on, hoping to have him adjust to being with us, becoming more tame than Misfit.
Moonie traveled about the house for silly photo opportunities.
He traveled with me in the truck when we went for a wing clipping and I would run a few errands. People did double takes at stop lights seeing a budgie looking at them from the passenger seat.
He even spent an hour at Wild Birds Unlimited one day when I visited our friends Jim and Lynda while I picked up seed. As he got older, these adventures stopped. He did travel to my parents' home on occasion when Angie and I went away for a night or two. He loved the visits to his grandparents because he got lots of attention, especially from my dad. He sat in their dining room window all day, not having to worry about a cat trying to get him.
He loved his time out on the back deck with us. Even a visit from a big pigeon didn't bother him. This wasn't a regular thing by any means but I guess with so many other birds around us, Moonie knew Slate here was no threat.
As far as budgies go, Moonie was a very easy going bird without much care in the world. I love this sleepy photo of him from last summer.
Moonie got his 5 minutes of fame in the Toronto Star a number of years ago for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I remember the photographer coming here to shoot some birds in our backyard for the story but oddly enough there were none. A Cooper's hawk sat in a tree a few yards over which ruined the photo opportunity. The guy and I hung out in the kitchen for a bit, waiting it out. He got the idea to take pics of one of our budgies, just for fun, and maybe do something with it. I had no idea what but I suggested Moonie as he was the much easier going of the two. It was a fun day when the paper came out and there was Moonie in the article. I don't think everyone liked this because what's a budgie got to do with the Great Backyard Bird Count; but they made it work with short timeline they had. I remember even suggesting to the guy that I would take him to Lambton Woods and show him some birds but he said "no". I'm glad that was his answer. I think Angie's reaction was the best because she was on public transit going to work and saw Moonie in the paper, looking over the passenger's shoulder next to her. She got pretty giddy and excited, stating "that's my budgie!" I wish there was a video of that. I wonder what the other person's reaction to Angie's burst of excitement was? A great forever memory and I have a few copies, one of which I got "placked" to a board.
Moonie now rests with Misfit, buried just above her. They are together again. Moonie and Misfit were not cage mates but they were bird buds and he would visit her almost daily. After an hour or two, Misfit would grow tired of his company and lightly lash out at him. All I had to do was bring Moonie's cage to the door of Misfit's and he would go back home.
I am sad. Angie is sad. But we are also thankful that we had him in our home for a decade.
Rest in peace Moonie. You are loved. You will never be forgotten.