About Pearl

Pearl is, well, a bird.

Helpful clue.

But then again, you’ve probably already figured that out (if not, see helpful clue above). πŸ™‚

He is not a she (we thank our friends at the National Cockatiel Society for this breaking news…and for the energizing new full-time hobby of learning to call Pearl-the-girl-bird Pearl-the-boy-bird.)

While we are on the subject of nots, he is also not a mammal (his Mommy had to do extensive research on Wikipedia to figure that out). Rather, Pearl belongs to the class known as “Aves”.

Aves are warm-blooded, feathered, winged, bipedal, vertebrate, egg-laying tetrapods.

Yikes.

A warm-blooded, feathered, winged, bipedal, vertebrate, (non) egg-laying tetrapod, class Aves, up close.

He belongs to the same family of birds into which his older, larger, louder cousins, the Cockatoos, are grouped – Cacatuidae. I cannot pronounce that and have no plans to try.

However, as befits the royalty of Class Aves, Pearl gets his own genus (Nymphicus) and species (hollandicus). He has to share both of these with other cockatiels…..eventually….and they are even now forming a line to be ready when Pearl is done with them.

Other important facts about the King of the Cacatuidae (I am seriously sensing an avian remake of “Avatar” here):

First-draft pick for the male lead in the new avian “Avatar” remake.

Gender: Male.

Age: Timeless. I hope. (Typical lifespan is 20 years but the oldest known cockatiel was 36!)

Length: 10 inches (head to tail, not including crest).

Width: 2.5 inches (across wing blades).

Wingspan: Getting Aves to open wings, hold still, and get measured should be an Olympic sport. Which means we may never know.

Weight: 75 grams…give or take a few grams.

Color: Grey and white.

Favorite color: After grey and white? Green.

Favorite specific shade of green: Houseplant green.

Favorite food: Millet. Waffles.

Other favorite foods: Anything else my mom cooks or that other people are eating and not sharing.

Favorite shreddables: Library books and expensive store-bought books (not necessarily in that order). Magazines – and not the ads. Aves prefers the meaty editorials that I am looking forward to reading. Wicker – couches, baskets, and anything else not designed to come into regular contact with small, sharp beaks.

Favorite activities: Shredding (see above). Admiring himself in reflective surfaces. Showers. Drinking water out of the faucet. “Typing” on my laptop. Shrieking. Flinging seed. Neck scratches. “Singing” along to my soothing meditation music (at which point it is neither soothing nor meditative and not really worth the $25 I paid for the CD….).

Daily schedule: Rise – whenever Mommy gets up. If Mommy gets up too early (unlikely but it has been known to happen) Aves will hiss and try to bite when the cage cover is removed. All morning activities then revolve around Aves until cage changing, feeding, a shower (if desired) and location of a preferred perch is accomplished. Aves, exhausted by all the attention, then naps. For hours. Upon waking, spa services (neck massage, feather scratching) are usually required. Attendant must be prompt to avoid shrieking. Attendant must not leave Aves’ line-of-sight view at any time – and definitely not the premises – while Aves is awake….or not awake. Bedtime is whenever Aves gets more tired than an extended nap can deal with – usually around sundown in summer, and 8pm in winter.

Vocabulary: Shrieking. What sometimes sounds vaguely like “pretty birdie”. And, of course, the special chirps Grandma taught him.

Pearl. Grandma. Admiring the visual majesty and dulcet singing tones of Aves up close.

Favorite perches: Window ledges. Shower door. Bathroom bucket. Near anything reflective. Any location within shredding distance of green houseplants, wicker items, or crispy paper. Right on top of waffles, pizza, or anything else delicious that someone else is (was) intending to consume. The small tree (Grandma). The tall tree (Grandpa).

A perch on the 6’3″ green-wearing “tall tree” – aka Grandpa – is not always available, but is always preferred when available.

14 thoughts on “About Pearl

    • JP now understands that Pearl is a pet not a snack – so that is helpful. They’ve been together since both were babies so they pretty much see each other as part of the larger “flock” by now. πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading Shirley!

  1. She is a he?! I was confused for awhile, wondering if perhaps I had mistakenly been referring to Pearl by the wrong pronoun. (Mishka is a boy, too, but we gave up trying to change and decided we’d just call her a ‘she’ after all. What can we say, she’s a gender-equality parrot, haha!) Still, Pearl is so very handsome/pretty.

    • Haha – trust me, we were confused too! Turns out my gal bird is a guy bird….it took joining the National Cockatiel Society to find it out though! I agree – parrots don’t care whether they are female or male. But it sure can confuse their parronts!

  2. Another interesting fact about parrots: they cannot contract (or spread) rabies. How did I come to research this issue? Well, I went on a cruise. It stopped in Cozumel, Mexico. I got off the ship and went shopping. One of the little stores I stumbled upon had an owner who had a medium sized parrot named Pedro. Of course I am drawn like a magnet to such things. The owner said, “Pedro likes the ladies.” And then Pedro said, “Ladies!” I was charmed. I said, “Oh handsome birdie! Do you want to step up?” and put my finger out. Yes, bad idea Pedro took a nice chunk out of my finger. It is always disturbing to be bitten by something you were trying to be nice to but I really wasn’t that worried about it until I got back on the ship. Then it occurred to me: I was in Mexico. They don’t necessarily have the same standards as the US. I was pretty sure birds didn’t get rabies, since the vet never wanted to vaccinate mine for it but I had to do some research to be sure. So I did. Because rabies is NOT something to take chances with. Anyway, my finger healed fine. And I did not learn my lesson. I still try to interact with birds who seems friendly. πŸ™‚

    • Wow – that is really good to know Vanessa! I didn’t know that either. Thanks for sharing so others can know. πŸ™‚ It sounds like a more accurate statement might have been “Pedro likes how the ladies taste.” Yikes!!

  3. Hi Pearl you are so cute I have a tiel like you his name is Ockroc he is all most the same colors as you God bless you and your family ❀

  4. We have a Pearl cockatiel appropriately named Pearla! She is a love… We call her a perpetual 2 year old… She’s my “daughters bird” although she does enjoy being with everyone!

    • Awwww – LOVE Pearla’s name! “Perpetual two year old” sounds accurate for what we experience in this household as well….Pearl is my baby (in terms of if he is sick, hurt or scared) but in terms of preference he is in love with his grandpa (the “Tall Tree”).

Pearl & his mommy <3 comments! :-)

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