Parakeet from sidewalk at Starbucks [Archive] - Glock Talk


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07-19-2009, 21:37
So, my wife and daughter and I stopped at a Starbucks for a coffee after an afternoon movie and as we were lounging I noticed a small yellow parakeet had landed on the sidewalk about three feet from the front door. I knew it must have escaped from a nearby house or apartment and in the 100 degree Houston heat it wouldn't last long.

I stepped outside and approached the little bird (male) and got my hand around its body without it moving much. As I attempted to grab him he flew off about 15 feet in the air for about 50 feet and then landed in some grass. I took the small paper sack that our bread came in and walked over and was able to capture him safely. We drove directly over to PetsMart and bought a small cage, some bedding and food. I have never owned a bird but have wanted one so we decided to try to save the little guy. It was suggested that we give him water and food and a soft place to lay if he wants to use it inside the cage and then cover it with towels for about 12 hours so he can calm down from the stress.

I left the food and water boxes directly on the bottom of the cage so he wouldn't have to fly up to get to them. He was sitting on the edge of the food box for about four or five hours. A little while ago he moved to one of the wooden perches.

Anyone have any advice ? What about about getting him a female friend ? I think it is good that he moved up to one of the lower perches.

07-20-2009, 07:46
I have owned a couple birds.
You need to move the food and water to the side of the cage so he can sit on a perch and eat or drink.
Otherwise he is eating where he poops. Get a cuddle bone. This will keep his beek in good condition and also help with his digestion. Not sure for parakeets, but cockatiels required grit and gravel as well. They love millet spray.
Do not totally cover the cage. Let there be some light.
He will calm down. Good luck.
What you did was awesome.

07-20-2009, 09:52
They don't require grit and gravel, this is a very old myth and still perputated by a lot of sources that don't know any better. Make sure the cage has a variety of perches. The ones that typically come with cages are the wooden dowel rod type and that can be very uncomfortable long term. Birds needs perches of different sizes and textures. The natural wooden wavy ones are great as they mimic nature a bit more.

Covering the cage for the first 12 hours was good advice, after that just cover at night. Make sure he's not directly by an AC vent. Birds do fine in household temps, but you don't want a strong draft blowing on him.

Do you know for sure that it's a male? Parakeets are pretty easy - you can tell by the color of the cere (the part above the beak). Males have blue cere's, females have anything from white to brown. A "female friend" would be fine if you don't intend to tame this little guy, however, it's best to quarantine new birds from current birds for at least 30 days. Petstore birds have a pretty high turnover rate and if you introduce one harboring an illness to yours, both could die.

07-20-2009, 20:05
Thanks for the advice. He is doing much better now and moved from the edge of his water box to different perches. We got a smaller female white/blue one for him to be with and they are already sitting right next to one another and preening each other. They are both eating and drinking now so I think he will be ok. I'm positive that the green one I rescued is a male and the white/blue one we added is a female.

The cage is big enough for two and I installed two different ceiling hooks so we can move them from one room to another. My wife bought them one of those nut sticks which is some sort of treat that they love. I don't know if that is a good idea to give it to him so soon but they both love it. That sounds like a great idea to get better perches and locate one so they can drink and eat easily. I'll do that next.

I want to tame them and sort of wish we didn't add the second bird so quickly since that may make it more difficult but we will see how it goes. Since he is doing so well I may have rescued him soon after he escaped from his previous home. There is an apartment complex near the Starbucks so I will put up a couple of found bird signs and see if I can find the original owner and return him. Otherwise he is ours for keeps. So far we have only heard a few chirps but my wife who has had birds many years ago said that will increase over the next few weeks.

So it is sdsnet's wild kingdom at our house with two dogs, two cats and two birds. The bird cage will stay in my daughter's room when we don't have them out to make sure the cats can't get to them. I put zip ties on the cage securing it to the tray and the other cage attachment points and will replace them when we clean it just to be extra safe.

The cats spend 80 percent of their time outside. We will have to keep them apart when they are inside.


07-20-2009, 21:47
Now that you have added a second bird, it will be nearly impossible for you to tame either of them. They will become more and more bonded to eachother as time goes by and more skittish. And your wife is right, the noise level will increase. Parakeets, for being such small birds, are very vocal little chatterboxes. I personally prefer to see them kept in pairs or groups, but quarantine is an issue that is typically overlooked until it's too late, and taming.

My cats do not bother my birds, but my birds are much larger than a parakeet. You might be surprised that once the initial new novelty of the birds wears off, the cats will likely ignore them. If not, a spray bottle and a spritz to the face of the cat will correct any curiosity that goes too far.

07-21-2009, 18:37
It is more important to me that they have a mate to hang out with than to tame them. Time to put out the signs and see if anyone in that apartment complex lost him.

08-10-2009, 21:06
Well the green one (Heckle) is a girl and she has laid three tiny eggs. She sits on them when not eating. I am surprised she has dropped so many. I put a flashlight near the oldest one and can see a few veins. Not sure if any are viable. The funny thing is we thought the green once was the male and the white/blue one was a female.

I suppose we have one of each gender due to the number of eggs laid in such a short period... They say people put a white marble in their nest/bowl which will trick/stop them from dropping more eggs. I don't think that will work here because having two didn't stop her and now we have three little 1/4 inch eggs.

08-15-2009, 11:12
Ok now we have five eggs. The green one "Heckle" sits on them all day in the large foodbowl. This is getting out of hand !!!

08-15-2009, 12:18
I know nothing but I found this:

A keet does not usually start incubating (sitting) eggs until the second or third one is laid. They normally lay one egg every other day (and this is the order in which they hatch) until they have laid approximately 6 eggs. For some reason (I don't know based on the information you provided), she didn't lay as she should have. Female keets with eggs or babies only come out to defecate...the male feeds her while she's incubating eggs/caring for babies. So, for some reason, she was coming out more often than she should/was staying out longer than she should. Once incubation has started, if the eggs get too cold, they will die in the shell (if they were fertile to begin with).

The difference in the egg coloration could mean a couple things. Eggs are usually white (and appear thin shelled as a chicken egg or like you can see through them)until about the 5th to the 7th day. At about that time, if they are fertile, they turn a darker color...still white, but "thicker" shelled. This darkness to the egg indicates that something is happening inside, usually a baby is developing. However, the egg will remain dark if/when the baby has died in it's shell. After a while if the baby has died (some type of bacterial infection, etc. inside the egg), an egg might begin to smell bad.

Keet babies only take about 18 days to hatch AFTER incubation has begun. Not 18 days from the day they are laid, but 18 days from the day she starts sitting on them regularly. If she has kicked some to the side, she knows they are not going to hatch (she can feel movement inside the egg if the baby is developing properly). I'd say that if no eggs have hatched yet, they probably won't hatch. If she's still sitting on some, let her sit them out (until she kicks those to the side), and then remove all the eggs.

There are numerous reasons why eggs don't hatch. If this is her first clutch and you want her to have more babies, let nature take it's course. Once all the eggs have been removed, she should lay again in about 10-14 days, depending on the situation. Keets are very prolific breeders, so if this keeps happening (eggs not hatching), there is some reason why, which could be her health isn't good, there is some disturbance(s) going on that keeps her from incubating like she should, there's some type of infection entering the eggs, etc. When eggs are present, do not touch them with your bare hands (use a glove or something). Oil from our skin can clog the pores of an egg. Do not disturb eggs any more than necessary or if you have to disturb them for some reason, replace them EXACTLY as you found them, including the right side up or down (parent birds turn their eggs 1/2 way every 12 hours I believe the number is for proper development of the baby). Do not use cedar shavings or anything else in the nestbox.

Hope it helps :wavey:

California Jack
08-26-2009, 21:02
They normally lay one egg every other day (and this is the order in which they hatch) until they have laid approximately 6 eggs. That's not going to make a very satisfying omelette.