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Celebirdy of the Month - March 2024 - Tatu

Macawnutz

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:starshower1:
:dance4::dance4::dance4::dance4::dance4:
It is with great pleasure that I announce the
Celebirdy for the month of March 2024

@AW2023 's Tatu​



1. How did you acquire your bird?
At a bird store in NY.
I was a child who had moved across the country a year prior, and the store was the only place that felt safe/happy to me at the time. Due to this, my parents would regularly bring me the hour drive to go see birds and pick up stuff for Peekaboo (my conure), on the condition of ‘no more birds.’ On this occasion there were several princess of wales parakeets all together, and when I saw Tatu something in me just started shouting that she was very very important. For the first time in my life, I really stood up for myself against my parents and basically pitched a fit that I needed her (very unlike me.) At the end, it was determined I could bring Tatu home, but the cost was that I would not be brought back to the store again. (Sure enough, I was unable to return until I was an adult and could drive myself.)

2. What is your bird's name, species, age and sex?
Tatu, princess of wales parakeet (natural coloring), 16 years old, dna female.

3. Does your bird do any special tricks?
Not the typical ‘shake hand’ type of trick, but she does have a few talents. She can walk/navigate backward through very tricky, tight paths of furniture/stuff (which is impressive when you take into account her 10” tail attached to her 5” body.) She can understand a staggering amount of English phrases (though she does not speak at all.) And lastly, she always knows when I am forgetting something. I can be putting stuff into my bag while preparing to go to a brand new place that requires a new assortment of accompanying items, and without fail, she will make a fuss if I forget something. I assume she picks up on something subconscious I do. It’s a very useful trick.

4. What are some of your bird's favorite foods?
Her absolute favorite is the banana. I always say Tatu has 2 loves in this world: me, and then the thing she would trade me for: a sliced banana.
Other than that she likes strawberries, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, and plain noodles.

5. What is the funniest thing your bird has done?
About a decade ago I brought Tatu to my parents’ bedroom to visit with my mom, who was reading in bed. My dad was deep asleep next to her. He was snoring up a storm, and Tatu took serious offence at this. She began furiously arguing with his snoring. I mean really arguing. She’d waddle across the comforter towards him (a safe distance away), and do her furious ‘bawk bawk bawk’ chicken-sounding yell. He’d be properly told off, and she’d come back to me, and then he’d snore again and she would take this as him ‘arguing’ back, and repeat. This went on for a good hour. My mom and I were in hysterics, tears rolling down our cheeks. I have never laughed so hard in my life.
Tatu had no fear of this giant, snoring beast, just utter contempt that he dare disrupt her bed exploring with his snoring.
I have the entire thing on a series of videos. In the future I can try and find them on my old laptop for you guys if you want.

6. How has your bird enriched your life?
My health spiraled about a decade ago, and my world shrank to the size of my house. She became my 24/7 companion. We eat, shower, sleep (her safely in her cage a few feet away) together. Each day we spend a few hours putting puzzles together while listening to audiobooks.

Tatu has no annoying habits, no “downsides.” She is beautiful, neat, empathetic, clever, and most of all utterly devoted. She has never cared much for looking out windows, other birds, toys. All she has ever wanted in life is to quietly observe the world from my shoulder. And I cannot imagine a bird I’d rather have sitting there than her.

The love we have for each other is honestly a level I never imagined existed. Someone once told me that I look at Tatu constantly with the beaming pride and love of a parent watching their child be the first in their family to walk across a graduation stage. And many others in my life have said they can tell just how much she loves me in return.

Tatu is a true, true friend. And I am so honored and grateful that we have gotten so many years together.

7. What would you tell people who are considering this species?
Go for it. I will never cease to be shocked they are so uncommon outside of Australia, nor understand why they are so often relegated to ‘aviary birds.’ They are beautiful, easily handled birds with unparalleled beauty and melodic voices. Hardy birds with parakeet beaks that don’t bite too hard, and lots of love to give.

8. What is the activity and noise level of your bird?
Tatu has always had very low energy. She is a very gifted flyer, and can run pretty fast, but she has never destroyed a toy, or ruined a piece of furniture. She has moments of spasticness, but she spends nearly all of her waking hours sitting calmly on my shoulder.

She’s also a very quiet bird. She has a pretty awful (though thankfully low pitched) sound she makes when she’s really mad, and she calls out for me if I walk away from her/am not waking up as early as she would like. Other than that, the only time she makes noise is when she wants to complain. Which is most of the time, haha (she has high standards, which do not include an allowance for even an iota of hunger/sleepiness/itchiness.) She is very considerate though—when she wants to voice a complaint, she will poke my face with her beak, open her beak slightly, and do almost a baby feeding jiggle while near-silently yowling. She’ll repeat until I acknowledge, at which point she will up the volume to a whisper of whined complaints. But she waits to make noise until she’s sure I’m paying full attention. It’s very cute.

(Note: my other princess Yuli is the complete opposite in both activity level/noise, so do not take this to be representative of the species as a whole.)

9. What are some of your bird's quirks?As stated elsewhere, Tatu is talented at maneuvering backward, and she is considerate in voicing her complaints.
She likes to sit on top of my shower door and lick condensation off the tiled wall there.

Tatu enjoys being a bird role model, mostly so she can look at the others disapprovingly when they fail. Whenever one of my birds sis struggling to learn a behavior, be it a natural behavior (i.e. preening) or unnatural (i.e. potty training), I simply ask her to demonstrate, and she’ll kind of sigh and then she’ll do whatever thing perfectly in front of them. It’s helped the others a lot.

Sometimes she enjoys steam baths. She’ll act like she’s in a bird bath splashing about, when in reality the only water is the steam in the air.

Tatu has really unique eyes. She has black pupils, a dark brown that’s nearly black iris, and then an orange red around that, that I think is just the color of her eyeballs. It’s really gorgeous, and makes her eye pining look really unique (as does her little faux feather crest rise that often accompanies said pinning.)

When she was younger, her favorite game was ‘Toro’; I’d hold out a Kleenex 6" above my bed and shake it, like I was a bullfighter, and she would charge the Kleenex like a bull. We’d do it over and over again until she had defeated the Kleenex.

10. If your bird talks, what is the most surprising word or sentence it has said?
Tatu doesn’t speak English. Her species can, but she has deigned it beneath her. Up until recent years she could wolf whistle and mimic my old guinea pig though. I will say I can understand a lot of her ‘bird words’ for things, such as the sounds that mean ‘hungry’, ‘thirsty’, etc.


11. What is your bird’s favorite treat?
Bananas.

----

Just want to say a big thank you to Avian Avenue for choosing Tatu for the Celebirdy award. She doesn’t have much time left on this Earth thanks to her kidney tumor—weeks, maybe months if we are very lucky. She is a spectacular soul, and I am very happy I get to introduce her to a few more people, even via typed word.
Tatu is the best companion you could dream of in this life. And she is so, so loved."


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Emma&pico

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:congrats5::starshower:Such a lovely interview glad you throw a tantrum to get her sounds like you were made for each other
Absolutely loving the pictures
 

Clueless

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Beautiful interview. You were just as brave to get her as she was to the snoring giant!
 

Xoetix

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Amazing interview!! Congratulations!!
 

sunnysmom

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So cute! Congrats!
 

Dartman

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What a awesome little girl you have there.:xflove: She seems like a cross between a Green Cbeek Conure, and a BeeBee parrot. That long tail reminds me of Pippen and the eyes remind me of Ralph, my first slightly bigger bird, a BeeBee Parrot.
I never realized how small he was till I accidentally saw another one at the bird shop down the street a few years ago.
 

Spearmint

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Congrats!!
 

JMArena200

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Tatu is beautiful -- I enjoyed reading your interview and it made me feel like I am absolutely in the right place as a new member. Lots of love to you, Tatu and family as you navigate this health challenge. What a sweet girl she is ❤
 

haleybird

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I really enjoyed reading this, thank you for sharing you and Tatu's story. I hope she has many many moons with you yet
 

Shezbug

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Omg I missed this before now somehow! What an interesting interview and adorable Celebirdy…

:congrats5:
 

AW2023

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Thanks to everyone who commented, along with everyone who read my full interview (I know I can be a bit long-winded haha.) This has been a very difficult time for me, and Tatu's recognition in this award has made it a little better. :) My mom even printed it out and hung it on her wall :laugh:

Such a lovely interview glad you throw a tantrum to get her sounds like you were made for each other
Absolutely loving the pictures
Thank you so much! Yes, we absolutely were :)
As bird owners there's always the awareness that our birds might be happier elsewhere --- be it their natural environment (free of human destruction), or even one of those unparalleled bird homes with spacious outdoor aviaries and vastly differing pounds of bird chop severed several times a day. And I do worry about that sometimes with my other birds. I do my best by them, but I am still aware that they would probably be more fulfilled in another life.
But I have never had even a sliver of doubt that out of all the lives Tatu could have led, including a natural princess of wales life in Australia, she is living her happiest life with me :heart:. Not a single, single doubt.

Tatu is beautiful -- I enjoyed reading your interview and it made me feel like I am absolutely in the right place as a new member. Lots of love to you, Tatu and family as you navigate this health challenge. What a sweet girl she is ❤
Thank you so much! It is wonderful here, and we are so glad to have you on Avian Avenue!
 
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