The semester at school is over and I've been home for a week. Being home has allowed me to work with Digby more than I have been since I got him back in October. He has made tremendous improvement since then. I'll share those improvements, but, first, I want to tell a little bit of his history (and my bird history, and so this will be fairly long).

A little over two years ago, I was working at a pet store, taking care of the fish, reptiles, small animals, and birds. We would frequently get handfed conures. Most of the time, they weren't very nice. But, there was one we got that was nice. It liked to be handled, and would happily come out of its cage and play with us. I really liked that bird.

We had had birds in the past, a couple parakeets and a cockatiel, but the nicest one we had was a parakeet years ago. I was not very old when we had him, and only in elementary school when he died. He was an awesome bird. He would whistle the Super Mario Brothers theme song and said a few words. But, being as young as I was, I didn't really appreciate him the way I appreciate birds now. That conure at the pet store changed that. I decided I wanted a bird.

I knew the conure was out of the question as he was far too expensive. I started researching, and found out that cockatiels were good birds for pets. We once had a cockatiel. That bird was awful! He squawked all the time and would bite. We didn't have him very long. Because of his behaviour, I was hesitant to get a cockatiel, but decided to check out the handfed ones. I found one I absolutely loved. She was a sweet as could be. I couldn't decide on a name for her, and so her name became Noey (as in No Name). I loved this bird. She, sadly, got sick while we were out of town for New Year's Eve last year. By the time we got back, it was too late, and she died while I was on the phone with the vet.

This is where Digby comes in.

I really, really missed Noey. I had a bird shaped hole in my heart. My dad had given me the go-ahead to get another bird, but I didn't find one I liked until October. My mom had gone to a different pet store than usual to get cat food, and saw an adorable blue masked lovebird. She asked somebody working a few questions about the bird. The manager told her that he was supposedly handfed, but the first thing the bird did upon arrival at the store was bite him, and the bird acted skittish and fearful, and so the manager had doubts about whether or not the bird was handfed. (Remember something--I worked at a pet store for over a year and I know a few things. If a complete stranger pulls a bird out of a dark box and into a bright room after it has spent hours in the box, even the most tame bird will be scared. Chances are it will bite you. Knowing this, this little bird didn't have me worried.)

My mom told me about this bird and that weekend I made an excuse to go to that pet store (Oh, look, we'll be driving by there on the way to my sister's house. We should stop and get...um...crickets for Maxwell.). Mom knew the real reason for the stop. I walked straight over to the birds and there he was. So cute, and not really all that skittish. He didn't shy away from us approaching him. He watched us and cocked his head when we spoke to him. The manager came over to talk to us, and I asked him a few questions about the bird. Then the manager said, "I'll let you have him for $20 less if you take him today." The bird had been there for months and the manager was ready to get rid of him. So we bought him. (Yes, I know getting a bird from a pet store isn't ideal, but there are practically ZERO bird breeders nearby.)

I brought him home and let him get adjusted to life here before I started working with him. Almost immediately, I could tell that, yes, this bird was used to people and probably was indeed handfed, but he had forgotten that he liked people. If I got too close, he wanted to bite me, and I could only handle him with a towel over my hand.

He has since gotten a lot better. I'll share those improvements tomorrow (or later today). I've got to get to bed and this post is long enough.


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