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A Tribute to the Life of Rooney the Budgerigar

I am writing this article with deep sorrow for the death of an amazing bird which has been a great companion for nearly seven years of my life. Apart from being a tribute to the life of my albino budgerigar Rooney, I wish to express how enjoyable a budgerigar can be as a pet for children and adults alike. The small white bird by the name of Rooney, which had featured in one-third of my life, passed away on the 19th April 2012. I found him lying lifeless on the bottom of the cage. In order for him to be remembered always for the loving budgerigar he was, I decided to dedicate this article to his memory.

I am writing this article with deep sorrow for the death of an amazing bird which has been a great companion for nearly seven years of my life. Apart from being a tribute to the life of my albino budgerigar Rooney, I wish to express how enjoyable a budgerigar can be as a pet for children and adults alike. The budgerigar is a small version of a parrot with similar traits.

Their distinguishing feature is that they can easily bond with their owner making it a very enjoyable experience. My father got Rooney from a friend of his when the budgerigar was a few weeks old, but already full-feathered and eating on its own. This was my first experience with budgerigars and I had read extensively about them in books about pets. Being a bird, budgerigars have wings and can fly long distances and even hurt themselves by bumping into objects if they are left to fly around unattended. Hence I asked my father’s help to trim his flying feathers, which are the long feathers when extending his wing, in order for him not to be able to fly.

My intention was to have him hand tamed and not hurting himself or else escaping. When clipping a budgerigar’s flight feathers, careful attention must be given in order not to clip the tiny veins in the part connecting the feather to the rest of the wing. Professional help from a veterinary may be sought if you consider yourself inexperienced to do it yourself. Eventually, after clipping their flight feathers two or three times, they would still grow back but their wing muscles would have relaxed and they still wouldn't be able to fly or escape. 

Upon having clipped his feathers, I started training him regularly, first by sitting next to his cage in order for him to gain confidence in me, and later by inserting a pencil in the cage so that he learns to step on it. After some time, I could put my hand in the cage and gently stroke his chest until he stepped on my finger, and after several attempts, take him out of the cage on my finger. Patience is required but the rewards are great.

I had called him Rooney because I am a Manchester United supporter and a big fan of the English striker. While watching the football matches, I would take him out of the cage and put him on the carpet running around on the floor. By this time, we had built a bond which meant that every time I called him ‘Rooney’ he would frantically move around in the cage waiting for my hand to come in so he could step on it. He did not enjoy being alone. In fact, after a few seconds when I put him on the floor, he would waddle to my feet and climb slowly up the cloth of my trousers, then sit happily on my laps. When I’m typing on my laptop, he would step on the keyboard and nibble at my fingers, but never bite.

When I leave the room he would start chirping until I call him out and he hears my voice. Unfortunately I never managed to teach him how to say words clearly, but he always tried repeating his name by chirping a sound resembling it. I would take him with me into the bathroom while having a shower and he would stay outside the shower door waiting for me and chirping loudly, knowing I am there but he cannot see me. He did not enjoy getting wet and I refrained from spraying him with water unless the temperature got really hot. The thing he loved most was sitting on my shoulder while I watch TV, work on my laptop or study, and looking attentively at what I am doing.

One bad episode which I still feel sorry for up to this very day was when I left him on my bed’s quilt and went to get a glass of water from the kitchen. In panic when he saw me leaving the room, Rooney jumped off the bed and landed on his chest, hurting himself and finding difficulty in breathing and walking normally. I was angry with myself for letting it happen, and gently stroked his head until he felt better. It was some three days until he got back to beng 100% normal. As an advice to budgerigar owners, and something which I have been attentive not to repeat, budgerigars should not be left unattended on high objects and when letting them roam around, this can only be done while they are on the floor. This episode was more than a year ago and Rooney continued being a fantastic pet and companion.

Video of Rooney playing with my dwarf rabbit: http://youtu.be/sFfstYXJ7f8

The small white bird by the name of Rooney, which had featured in one-third of my life, passed away on the 19th April 2012. I found him lying lifeless on the bottom of the cage. It was one of the worst days of my life when it was evident that I would not be enjoying his company and his affection for my presence anymore. I would no longer call out ‘Rooney’ and hear him chirp happily. I buried him in a pot as I do not believe that throwing animals away like waste shows any respect in return for the love they had shown their owner throughout their life. In order for him to be remembered always for the loving budgerigar he was, I decided to dedicate this article to his memory. Rest in Peace Rooney!

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Comments (2)

This is really a moving tribute. Animals give us so much love! I'm with you. Rest in Peace Rooney.

Very best wishes.

Ranked #10 in Birds

Nice tribute. Seeking your loving support.

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