The Day Maggie Got Out
The Day Maggie Got Out

Before I began to seriously breed budgies, I had a few as pets. They lived in a nice standard Cockatiel cage in my room. There were four: Dixie, Magnolia, Hope, and Victory. Dixie was a four year old male who would later 'marry' Victory and raise three beautiful babies. Hope was a weak baby bird I had recklessly chosen at the pet store, but was extremly tame. Magnolia was a swift flier who knew the ropes of flying until I clipped her wings.

The only problem was that the cockatiel cage wires were far enough apart that all my birds but Dixie could easily slip through the bars! There was another catch, I had a Scottish Terrier that would love to eat my birds if she could get one.

I usually would close the door of my room so if the birds decided to take a stroll and fly to the floor, they would be safe from the dog (Bagpipes). One day, I decided to watch the television. Not too far into the show, I heard a racket of squawking and fluttering that caused me to quickly rush into my brother's room. There was Bagpipes with Magnolia in her jaws! I rescued my bird, and was totally amazed when I saw that she was virtually unharmed. I returned the 'shell-shocked' bird to her cage and return to Bagpipes who was trying unsucessfully to sink into the carpet. I threw her out into the backyard and went back to my room to see if the bird was still ok.

Magnolia now has named herself 'the traumatized bird' because she has been biting hard ever since then and has never been tame again. She also never seems to relax, as if the horrible event plays over and over in her head. Today, she lives in a better cage with Dixie and his new girlfriend Faith-Green Onion (Victory died of egg binding after the first three babies with Dixie).

- Submitted by Jerri Bird

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