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Steven J. Mepham

If there is one thing I have learnt about Cockatiels it is that they are terrible schemers. They lull you into a false sense of security, aided by their terribly cute appearance and as soon as you let your guard down they strike.

Today while doing the daily cage liner change, I made the fatal error of closing Yukine’s cage door but not locking it. He’s very timid for a new bird, tending to retreat to the back of his cage when I draw near. Well, the moment my back was turned he decided to do a Houdini and escape. Hopped at the door, opening it and then took to flight. It’s my own fault for not locking the door while I turned around for two secs. I forgot that Yukine, unlike Chakuro is a prolific hopper. In any case, he bundled out of his cage and ended nose-diving into my ensuite. Luckily I have the habit of keeping my toilet seat down. So while he did crash, he didn’t end up drowning, unfortunately, he managed to break a blood feather. So we ended up with a bathroom covered in blood a panicked bird and me panicking.

Blood feathers are feathers that are growing and still have a blood supply. If these feathers break, a cockatiel can bleed profusely and in some cases die. Luckily, the feather Yukine broke stopped bleeding quite quickly and has not bled since. So while there was a little stress between us (especially when I was trying to tend to his wing, while he was panicked) there’s been no harm done. His broken feather will drop off and a new one will grow. I will have to make sure to keep the door locked in future.

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