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Blue was a very special parrotlet we adopted through Mickaboo. After her second stay with Mickaboo foster parents, we welcomed her home in early 2022.
She loved nothing better than sitting on her dad's shoulder, which she would do all the time while he worked from home, surprising colleagues on video calls. She was the queen of the house, bossing all our other birds around, and us as well. When we went out, she would always fly to the door to greet us as soon as we came home.
Blue left us far too soon, passing away suddenly in October 2022. We never imagined such a small bird would make such a big impact on us. We miss her so much, and she is in our thoughts every day. She stole our hearts . . .
We will always be thankful to Mickaboo and her foster dad Dean for bringing Blue into our lives.
Peilin and Henry
It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you my sweet Mackie just died in my arms.
Mackie came to us in 2007. My niece Sam called me one day and asked "do you want a macaw?" I could hardly contain my excitement! Really? Of course! Sam told me that a friend of theirs was trying to rehome a blue and gold macaw. They were his fourth home in the same number of years. Mackie was only four years old.
I made arrangements to go down and see him on a Saturday. The night before I was feeding my gecko Lizzy (a rescue that I took in because someone was going to let her go in Sacramento and I could not let that happen). I went to feed Lizzy her live crickets. I pulled their house down and a ginormous spider was on top trying to figure out how to get at her food. That spider launched (I swear she did) herself towards me and landed on my chest! I am terrified of spiders and absolutely freaked out! I called Mackie's mom and asked if she wanted a gecko to go along with her menagerie (they had every kind of turtle and reptile you can imagine). She said yes! So the next day we packed Lizzy's baggage and headed towards Union City.
Upon reaching our destination, we drove up to a household in total chaos. There were teenagers everywhere! Mackie was outside (unharnessed) sitting on one of his humans. I talked to him and they offered to let me pick him up. Well I knew from my experience to watch for signs if this was ok. It was NOT. I asked them to put him down on the water meter which they did. I then talked to him and offered him my arm. He stepped right up! I didn't know it but his family was aghast! They knew immediately that we were a good fit. We handed over Lizzy and packed Mackie up with his belongings and headed home.
We were not five minutes into the two-hour drive when he started screaming. I thought "what have I done?!" I turned on the radio. No go. I turned up the volume. He started whistling and started calling "where's grandpa? " It was then I knew everything would be ok.
It turns out that this "free" macaw was not so free! He was diagnosed with Avian Papillomatosis Disease (Pap). I started doing research, but there wasn't much out there. I came across a bird named Rico who also had the disease. He just so happened to be a resident with a Mickaboo volunteer. The rest is history. Mackie is the reason why I became mom to these birds with this horrible disease.
Mackie has outlived many of the birds we took in: Rico, Max, Jessie, Skipper, Jasmine,Oliver. The love of his life, and the only bird that ever returned his love, was Jasmine and now they are both buried in my back yard.
Mackie was a hilarious bird who loved his Babble Balls (we called them his babies). He called every man he met "Grandpa." He said funny things and often mixed up his phrases: "Paulie wanna cracker!" "Paulie wanna crap!" "Grandpa!" "Crap-pa!" He also said mom, mother, grandma, Norma, Heather, Magra (for Morgan), night, night-night, bye, bu-bye, see-ya-later. He had learned some bad words too, living with those teenagers, but had not said them in years. He loved to have visitors and would send them on their way when he heard keys jingling. He would dive into a box filled with packing peanuts and flap his wings and make a huge mess squealing the whole time! He loved to go out and about (before we knew he had pap) and greeted everyone. He was a generally happy bird.
I am heartbroken! Flyfree Mackie! I know you are with Jazzy-girl at the Rainbow Bridge.
Bella, Bucko, Blue Bird
You were a sweet, affectionate friend and companion. Unfortunately PDD took you away on November 22, 2022. You came into my life after you flew into the lobby of the Embassy Suites in Milpitas and Mickaboo rescued you. First you were a foster, and then you wormed your way into my heart and were adopted.
While you were never a big talker, you often said your name, always followed by "bird", and "great grey", you charmed me with your ability to mimic a ringing phone and gurgling water. You would also whistle out to me and I would have to whistle the same tune back before you moved onto another. Head scritches were your favorite, as well as ringing your bell and destroying bamboo finger traps and shredders.
I am so grateful for the 13 years we had together, though I would have loved another decade or two. I even thought you might outlive me. I will always remember you.
You were quite a bird!
Scott and I adopted you back in 2007 from Mickaboo. You came with an assortment of challenges. You’d been around and estimates placed you in your mid-20’s. You shook nervously when strange people got too close. You snipped your chest feathers to thepoint of going bare chested, repeatedly. You were also a biter… big time. You would play it cool, act like a friend, and then….CHOMP!!! Many times you would follow with a slight chortle and a “Whoops!” as if unintentionally drew blood with your powerful beak. Clearly, you showed some restraint, knowing African Greys like you could easily snap a finger in two.
You were clever. You charmed us all with your dances and head bobs. Your mimicking talents fooled so many. You would call the dogs by name using either Scott’s or my voice. The dogs would trot over to your cage expectantly before you’d belt out, “Go lay down!” Whenever I was on the phone, you pretended to have your own conversation simultaneously- you usually made yours sound more interesting.
You and Scott seemed to have some sort of understanding. I think he puts up with my bird obsession just for you. However, you didn’t always spare him your beak, either.
A couple years after we got you, I had a brilliant idea to find you a friend in hopes she would tame your ways and calm your quivers. But no, you were a bad influence and years later, she has picked up some of your habits more than the other way around.
However, you two seemed like a happy pair. Gwin, I really think the two of you bonded and had a pretty terrific friendship. I’m a bit worried for Ava. I really don’t know what she’s going to do without you. She’s known you almost her entire life. She’s only 16 years old and you were 40 something. Yes, we have many other birds adjacent but none with the matching intelligence of you two. They say that African Greys have the same capacity as a 4 year old human in terms of problem solving and reasoning. Her and I are going to need to spend some time together to come up with a solution because I don’t think isolation will suite her.
Darn you, Gwin! We had you in our will because we half expected you might outlive us.
I’m glad we entertained you. You watched, cheered, jeered, and commented whether our family was swimming, jumping on the trampoline, having a party, or just chilling in the backyard. You enjoyed the gawkers along the back fence, too. Your latest was making silly fart sounds like a Minions cartoon.
Thanks for being a part of our family, you are dearly missed.
Bubbles was a Pale-Headed Rosella who came to Mickaboo with his frend Simon, from an outdoor aviary in an industrial area. They were rescued in near-freezing temperatures, and quickly became acclimated to being safely indoors.
A gentle, curious bird, Bubbles shied from direct contact with people but liked watching them. He enjoyed being with Simon, and liked to visit with the cockatiels in his foster home. He enjoyed trying new foods and had a gorgeous warbling voice.
In his later months,Bubbles became increasingly inactive and standoffish. His veterinarian found that he had metal shaving stuck in his sinuses, and calcium deposits growing around them -- an artifact of his life in the rough aviary. His condition deteriorated to the point where his quality-of-life was no longer good, but Simon stayed bravely at his side. The decision to have him euthanized was not easy, but was the right choice. He's buried between some bird-of-paradise plants in a sunny area.
Bubbles is fondly remembered as a free-spirited, distinctive bird who left us too soon.
We are sad to announce the passing of our cockatiel Soldier Nilson on 30 September 2022. Soldier was a member of the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, and Spy clan so named by Mickaboo's own Sarah Lemarie’s mother when the cockatiels were rescued from the home of the woman who had owned them until her passing. It was thought that Tinker and Tailor were the parents of Soldier and Spy. Tinker, who passed 15 July 2020, and Soldier are survived by Tailor and Spy. They have lived a relatively long life. Not much is known about their early lives but they were adopted on 28 January 2017 and went to live in Mendocino where their home was set up.
They had previously lived a very in-cage life and were not used to the freedom allowed to them in an open timber-framed home where they have been welcomed to fly about. Another three cockatiels were adopted by the parronts to bring a more active lifestyle with interaction with the new members of the family into the lives of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier and Spy. The TTSS family learned to live with the new activity of the younger cockatiels lifestyle and learned to enjoy being out and about with them. Soldier and Spy had a lifetime bond and Spy misses Soldier terribly. The remaining family members are truly missing Soldier. Rest in Peace our dear little Soldier.
To our baby amazon parrot Kiwi, who left us suddenly by a liver infection at the age of 2 months old.
You were the brightness of our lives and the soul of our family. The home is so empty without you. We suffer so hard looking at your empty cage and toys.
Rest in peace baby. Thank you for bonding us as a beautiful family. Never forget you.
Simi passed away suddenly today. One moment she was fine, doing her usual morning routine of examining the traffic outside the window and ensuring her mate, Topal, was properly preened, and the next she was in a fit of ‘sneezing.’ In 30 seconds, seemingly out of nowhere, she had passed away. She had dealt with and seemingly been healed from a fungal infection a couple years back, but was otherwise healthy. She died held in my hands.
Simi (previously Sandy) was of unknown age – the vet guessed 7 to 14 when I received her – but was a Mickaboo bird I adopted from Martha in 2010. She was a white-face cockatiel who had a damaged wing which mended but prevented her from flying effectively. When I brought her home, she quarantined in a room that shared a wall with my living room where my other 2 cockatiels lived. From the moment I brought her home, she would make inquisitive chirps to my other birds through the wall, and their daily chatter would continue until her quarantine period ended. The moment I brought her out in her cage to be introduced to my other birds, I could barely restrain her from leaping into their cage. She immediately jumped over, gave chirps of jubilation, and snuggled right up to one of my other cockatiels, Topal. It was as if they had formed a long-distance relationship and had already planned out the move-in.
Topal and Simi were essentially inseparable. If I took Topal away from Simi, she would cry and call after him until I took her too. If I took Simi away from Topal, he would cry and actually chase after me. Topal had a special cry he only used when separated from her, and when they were reunited, he had a special song he would sing, a mixture of his frantic, upset voice and a whistling, flirty song reserved only for his happy interactions. Simi was on the more vocal side for a female cockatiel, but I like to think she learned it from Topal.
Simi, on her own, was a caique in a cockatiel’s body. She was massive and burly like a swaggering sea dog, often bumping into the other birds or just walking into them as if she was unaware of her own size. She would engage in physical play unlike any of the other, mild-mannered cockatiels I’ve kept. She liked to hang upside-down, holding on only with her feet from rope perches, comically trying to meet your gaze and spreading her wings when you would notice her. She would engage in rigorous flapping, upside-down or not, sometimes bonking into the other cockatiels with her wings or upsetting their naps. She was a gigantic, fast-moving athlete with a knack for slapstick comedy. Her first nickname was simply “Turbo,” for how fast she would run everywhere. She was even funnier when contrasting her with her mate, Topal, a very runty, physically cautious bird. When perched together, she seemed nearly double his size. Ironically, my other, also petite cockatiel was the only thing she seemed to be afraid of.
During the pandemic, I had taken to staying home most of the time and doing activities in different parts of my apartment. As a present for them in 2020, I ordered a portable stand I could use to take the cockatiels around the house with me and let them have a ‘morning commute’. Simi was constantly enthusiastic about this activity and would often lean out of the cage in the morning, awaiting her ride to the stand. Athlete that she was, she figured out a way to climb to the top of the play stand and would love to sit on a special perch I added just for her at the very top. My other birds could never reach it, but Simi would always go racing to it when she heard piano music play from the other room, signaling it was time to come to dance class, and I would carry them over to watch out the window in my bedroom where I dance.
She loved the piano sounds, and all my birds were soothed by it. On the other hand, when startled, they would take flight, but Simi never quite remembered the off-kilter state of her once-broken wing. With tremendous strength and gumption, she could fly, but could only make turns in one direction. She was very good at it, nonetheless, and would sometimes come looking for me in her mid-flight state, landing with anything but grace on my pant leg. She would happily step up any time, but especially in these cases, to be returned to Topal.
Simi was my first Mickaboo adoption and was an essential part of my little cockatiel family. She will be missed not just by me but especially by her mate, Topal, another rescue who loved her dearly.
- Dan Gerstein, posted September 23, 2021
It is with a broken heart that I share that after 4 years (almost 5) Ellen's suffering ended on 2/27/21.
She came to Mickaboo in the summer of 2016 after she self-rescued by crawling under a security screen into a kind-hearted young lady's home. She obviously had had enough of life out on her own. The woman had two large dogs who, thankfully, were sleeping at the time. The woman found Mickaboo and contacted us.
I was Mickaboo's lovebird coordinator at the time, and since the location was close to me, I went and picked Ellen up and took her home. I could tell she was a sweet gal and she showed no agression.
Soon after I could also see something was a little off with her health, so off we went to the vet where it was determined she had problems with her liver. After a long course of medication her labs were improved enough that she could stop the medication. Through that time she did very well and was an active, happy lovie.
Her next challenge came when she had an egg that she could not pass. Scared us both as she was breathing hard and at the time I had no idea it was due to an egg. Of course this was after-hours, so we raced off to an emergency vet in San Francisco. When the avian vet was open the next day, I took her there and she eventually passed the egg. She had a minor prolapse after coming home, and since her usual vet was not available, we made our first trip to Medical Center for Birds in Oakly. She recovered well from her prolapse and later she was diagnosed with right-sided heart disease. A new medication regimen and treatments were started and she continued to have an active happy life through their dedicated care.
She enjoyed life and in the morning she was the first birdie I would uncover. She was always ready to greet the day and if she was especially happy she would spin around on her perch waiting for me to open the door so she could hop onto my arm and start the day playing with her pal Cammy (my other foster lovie). I'll miss that greatly.
I always knew that the medications would help Ellen until they could not anymore. That time came as she became unable to breathe well and I could see she was struggling. We took one last drive through the delta to get to Oakley. Through ugly crying, I reflected on the fact that she had been able to have these years with a great quality of life she would not have had if not for Mickaboo and the dedicated vets and staff at Wildood, and Medical Center for Birds. I am extremely grateful to them and to have so many fond memories to cherish from having Ellen in my life. This birdie took any challenges head on and met them all as long as she could.
She was loved by many and will be remembered fondly as one of the sweetest lovebirds EVER!!!! ❤ ~ Shauna Hill
There once was a patridge named Ziva
who lived the plush live of a Diva.
She had a dog, a few birds, and a rabbit
and not a single bad habit.
She was loved and adored
and brought the wild indoors.
It's simply impossible to chart
what a special place she held in our hearts!
- Gina & Doug Farr
Scout (1994 - July 9, 2017)
Scout was my beloved companion and best feathered friend for 23 years. We went through a lot together, including driving across country to move to California from the East Coast. Scout perched in his travel cage and sang all the way. I thought he'd be with me for at least 30 years, the reported lifespan of a captive cockatiel, but it was not to be. To anyone reading this - always notice everything about your bird and get him/her checked right away by an avian vet if anything seems different, no matter how seemingly inconsequential. Scout began sleeping very deeply during the day. I failed to notice right away, and when I did I wrote it off to him becoming an "old man." I also failed to weigh him for awhile and so when I did he had lost 10 grams. That's a lot. I took him immediately to a bird hospital (lucky there is one where I live - very rare), and they did all they could, but he died. I miss everything about him. The feeling of him on my shoulder, the way it felt to preen his crest feathers for him, the way he smelled. It's hard to go on without him, but I guess I have to. Love lives on forever in the heart. As long as you loved, you are not forgotten. "We remain responsible forever for that which we have tamed." (The Little Prince) Scout was my little prince.