Billy the cockatiel, that is. I don’t suppose I’ve talked much about my Billy-bird so far. He’s a constant feature in everyday life, as much so as the bunny, and very demanding.
We bought Billy from a reputable breeder when he was still a juvenile, with pretty barring on his chest and wings and a fairly dull head and face. Because we got him that young and saw his juvenile plumage we know he’s a pearl variety, but as a male adult he has lost the barring and other pearl features and looks like a regular grey cockatiel.
His full name is Barclay Bill, named for the fact that we weren’t looking forward to the next credit card bill! His name was also picked as a tribute to Bill Oddie…because of the birding connection. He’s usually juts known as Billy, which he actually answers to.
Billy can be a bit of a pain. It’s very difficult to be in the house without paying him attention, as he always reminds you he is there. Starting with his usual “Hello Billy”, “Hello”, “Good boy”, “Wanna come out”, “Come on then” and running through his entire repertoire of words, whistles, kisses and clicks until he gets a response. If you don’t respond he screeches. And screeches.
He has a big parrot cage in the living room, and also a smaller, more portable cage which we can take to any room in the house so he has company a lot of the time. At the moment we are in the dining room, me on my laptop, Billy in his small cage watching me.
When we go away we usually take Billy to stay at A’s mum’s house, which is one of a few places we can be sure he’ll get loads of attention. Mar doesn’t let him out of the cage, but the older he gets, the less Billy seems to care about his freedom. These days he quite often climbs back into his cage after just a few minutes unless someone is prepared to talk to him constantly while he sits on their finger or knee or head or shoulder.
As far as feeding goes, he’s a fussy little beggar. And I mean beggar. Whenever we eat anything he begs for some. He rarely eats anything we do offer, but always wants a share anyway. Randomly, the only fruit he eats is pear. I have no idea why, I have offered him just about every fruit I eat, but only pear gets eaten.
Billy and the bunny have an odd love-hate-ignore relationship. If you say aloud “Where’s that rabbit?”, Billy looks around on the floor to see if he can find him. Whenever the rabbit runs into the room, Billy shouts “Hello Bill”. Yet when he’s out of his cage, Billy takes very little notice of the bunny and the bunny doesn’t take much notice of him. Except while Billy was missing some wing feathers and couldn’t fly. Every time he launched himself and crash landed, he seemed to aim his landing towards poor old bunny. He could obviously see a softer landing than the floor!
At night, when he has had enough, or when we cover his cage over (whichever comes earliest), Billy says “Goodnight Bill”. It always impresses me that he has made the association – he never says goodnight except at bedtime.
So, I should get back to work, to a rather mixed up attempt at the tune of Pop goes the Weasel.
Sooner or later I’ll sort out my technical hiccups and get some photos up here…I can take pictures with the camera but my laptop doesn’t have the right card reader so I’ll have to load up the old desktop and printer…one day!