It’s a common failing. My mom only had three kids, yet we often were called by names of our siblings. I would call my daughter by my cat’s name. I ended up calling my husband Honey so that I wouldn’t accidentally call him anything else. I call my workers by each others’ names, and they give me this look that says, “You waited too long to retire.”
So I often call Maynard by Mr. Io’s name, or Jake’s name. Bobo almost never gets a wrong name, so I think I am at least confident about males and females. We have around 70 birds here, and they almost all have names. Some came with the names, some were named here, and some were moved around so much we lost track of the old name and gave them a new one.
We have a cockatiel in an outside aviary that carries the original name of Mom. Sometimes when Mike is talking to her and says, “Thanks, Mom,” I stop and wonder if he’s talking to me. When the kids were little, we did call each other mom and dad when talking to them. As a stepmom, that helped so much in getting the kids to think of me as mom. And I thought of them as Whosits and Hey You.
When I was more into breeding zebra finches, I knew the names of the birds by the place of their cages. That was okay until we began moving things around. “I’ll update the notes later” never happened.
I did put tags on all the cages with the names of the birds, their age, etc., at one time. The love birds and cockatiels really liked the new chew toy.
Most often these days, I confuse Jake and Maynard, because they are the two birds that have the most one on one time with me. Which reminds me, we were given a beautiful silver cockatiel hen named Guapisima. Her original owner, let’s call her Dora, lost her house and had to move into an apartment. She was okay to have her dog, but the bird would cost extra. Dora thought she could get away with the bird, but found out one of her neighbors is a crabby witch with a capital B, and would turn her in if the bird made any noise. The bird was in a smaller cage in a new house, and not given much out time. So she did make a bit more noise than she used to.
Dora gave us the bird and the larger cage, and we paired her up (the cockatiel, not Dora) with our beautiful and sweet lutino cockatiel male, Creamsicle. They weren’t in love at first sight, but they were interested in each other.
A couple weeks later, Dora decided she missed Guapisima too much, and asked to take her back. We always make it clear to those who rehome birds to us that they can have their birds back at almost any time. We offered to give her Creamy too. Creamy is one of the rare parrots. He was hand fed, and loved people so much that even when in the community cage with other cockatiels, he wanted out with people all the time. The chances I had to take him out are precious to me, but I always felt bad about not having him out more.
So Guapisima and Creamy went to Dora’s, and will probably live happily ever after. Dora’s teenage daughter loves Creamy and has him out all the time. That’s the outcome I so wanted. Dora did call recently because she doesn’t think Guapisima is happy. I advised her that the bird could be a little jealous, having to share her humans now. Just give her more attention. Always go to her first with out time or treats or anything. After a while, she will adjust.
Back to Jake and Maynard. Or do I mean Maynard and Jake? Well, in a perfect world these two parrots would love each other because I love them both, and would be good friends. And then it wouldn’t matter what I called them. I’ll let you know when that perfection happens. See you Thursday.