Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:12 AM
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My mom and I were visiting the local Petsmart/Petco and came across the prettiest little bird we had ever seen. He was a sun conure, and so snuggly that it wasn't hard to convince my mom that we should take him home. My dad wasn't really happy about it; he didn't think a bird would make a good pet. (But like most things around my childhood home, it wasn't really his decision.)
Tweezer was mostly green and blue when he was a baby. But he transitioned to having a beautiful, bright red head, which transitioned to orange and yellow on his body, and to green and blue on the tips of his wings and tail. He was all of the colors of the rainbow, from head to tail.
Tweezer loved people. He got very excited when visitors came over. He always wanted to be held, on to be on a shoulder--or even better, to cuddle inside your jacket or sweater. He would literally cuddle for hours inside my dad's shirt, and Dad would forget he was there. He would have literally cuddled until he died, if we had let him.
Being a Sun Conure, he was a small parrot, and could talk a little. His favorite thing to say was “Peek-a-boo”, which he was quite good at. He knew how to play peek-a-boo, but it also meant a lot of other things to him, like “everything is ok”, and if he was unsure, an inquisitive, “is everything ok?”.
He didn't say other things as well, but he had some sounds that we recognized as his “hello”, and “thank you”. He also knew how to SQUAWK, and loudly. For my brother, his favorite person, Tweezer would hear his car pulling up on the street and would start squawking to greet him (which could be heard from any area in the house or out!) until my brother would give him cuddles. He also would let my brother groom his “spiky” new feathers, as they came in, but he wouldn't stand for anyone else to do it.
He had some good tricks. Aside from playing peekaboo, he was quite the dancer. My brother had a rhythmic beebop routine that would REALLY get him dancing. He could lay on his back, hang upside down by one leg, and was quite the acrobat at climbing around in his cage. He also like to wrestle. My dad would wiggle his fingers on his chest, and he would grab them with his feet, and bite them (gently) and squawk and squawk.
He loved his birdy-bunks, and customized them by chewing up the stiff floor so that they collapsed, and snuggled him better. That’s where he slept every night.
Tweezer was a flyer. Once he became potty-trained (which happened quite quickly and effortlessly), we would often give him free reign of the house for short periods. He had a perch in the living room that he would fly to if he had to take care of business.
He loved cashew nuts. We kept a can of them handy, just for him. We tried giving him just one a day, but I think that sometimes, multiple people gave him one (or more) per day. He also loved fruit, and yogurt, and to drink out of a cup. He liked his bird seed mix much more than the actual conure food that we always strived to make the bulk of his diet. Sometimes, he would flip his conure food out of his food dish, to get to the “good stuff”. What a character Tweezer was.
Tweezer's parting was much sooner than expected--due to an upper respiratory infection that the pet-hospital and antibiotics couldn't ward off. He was fine yesterday morning, and suddenly he was very ill and at the bottom of his cage, struggling to breath. Less than 24 hours later, he was gone.
While I routinely called him the Sneaky Devil bird, we had made up the last few times we had visited my family, and for that I am glad. Tweezer will be missed.
Posted 23 October 2013 - 05:11 PM
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Gerri & IzzabellaCanonsburg, PA
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