Luna Finds a Friend

by Lucy Macmillan

This is the story of how Luna, a 3 ½-year-old cockatiel, found a new friend with the help of Mickaboo. Luna, a whiteface male cockatiel, was adopted (not through Mickaboo) about three years ago and given a roomy finch cage to live in. His adopted "Mom" didn’t know much about cockatiels then but did notice Luna loved his reflection. So, in addition to toys and pieces of wood to chew on, Luna’s cage was decorated with many mirrors. He would visit every mirror each day and became increasingly attached to a few – he also became a little aggressive and a little less "cuddly" with people, although rumor has it he was still a wonderful bird. Luna’s Mom thought Luna might prefer a real friend, instead of a virtual one. So she decided to find Luna a friend.

One suggestion was to get another whiteface male as a buddy for Luna because he liked his own reflection so much. Two males wouldn’t breed and so-called buddy pairs can be just as loyal and loving as a male and female pair. That’s when I came into Luna’s life, thanks to Mickaboo! My name is Spottie and I am an 8-year-old whiteface male (with some pied, which gives me the spot on the back of my head plus different colored toenails). I was given to the Santa Cruz Humane Society ("SCHS") last summer with a bad feather injury on my left wing. SCHS contacted Mickaboo and Mickaboo put me in a loving foster home where my wing was treated twice daily for about a month. I didn’t like being handled, but I was around other birds and I wasn’t in a small cage where I could reinjure my wing. I have to admit though, I just wanted to be with other birds and have some fun!

After being approved as a foster parent, Luna’s Mom came to see me. I behaved myself because I was ready for a new forever home. I guess that worked because right after meeting me, Luna’s Mom whisked me away to my new home where I was quarantined in a room overlooking a pretty garden. I thought that was pretty sweet! But, even better, the next morning I heard another tiel squawk! I jumped around my cage so much to get closer to the squawk my new Mom nicknamed me Popcorn. That other bird was Luna, but I still had 29 quarantine days left so we settled for whistling back and forth through closed doors and for occasional peeks of each other on the back porch.

When the day came for me to meet Luna, I was wheeled into the living room where he lived and my cage door was opened. I flew so fast towards Luna’s cage I even surprised me! Being older than Luna and having lived with other cockatiels before, I was all game for having Luna as a pal. But Luna was a little slow on the uptake – he would play with me in short spurts but at times would peck me to show he was boss. Luna’s pecking episodes decreased as Luna’s mirrors were removed and Luna started to get what was happening. He had a real tiel willing to be his real friend!

Today, less than three months later, Luna and I are sleeping next to each other and I am learning to trust my new Mom. She taught me to step on a ladder on cue when she wants me to go in or out of the cage – Luna doesn’t even do that! I feel pretty settled here, and Luna seems to like it too. He sings and whistles to me every morning before we share our breakfast and I’ve learned to love broccoli and cilantro and other things in Luna’s varied diet. I like to follow Luna everywhere and he is pretty fit – at first it was hard to keep up and I would trip when following him. But I’m learning! And I’ve shown him how fun it can be to chew paper and walk around exploring new things. The latest news is, I started growing new crest feathers and have also started molting. Out with the old and in with new! Luna and I have lots to look forward to in 2010!