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December 8, 2013 / Leslie

One Year With Charlie

Last Wednesday was one year since I adopted Charlie, a Lovebird, from a shelter. We thought Charlie was a boy but when the bird began to lay eggs, I realized he had to be a she. This determined little bird has laid eggs five times now. Of course none of them will hatch because her ‘mate’ is one of her toys. I rotate the toys to get her to stop, but she just chooses a new toy as her mate.


After I got her settled in her new home and attempted to interact with her, I realized that she had little to no social skills. Her preferred method of communication was biting. Fingers and hands were the enemy. I didn’t dare put a hand inside or even near her cage. Giving her food and water was a challenge. At first I thought she just didn’t like me. But that wasn’t the reason. She was scared.

Charlie the Lovebird

Charlie makes new friends.

I eventually found out that Charlie had lived in four homes the previous year. It was going to take time for her to adjust. Once I realized that Charlie intended to adapt on her timetable and not mine I felt better about being bit and rejected by a bird. I can’t blame her, she had no reason to trust me.

Now, after a year of no-pressure living she is finally coming around. She even made friends with my wooden birds that I use to hold notes and recipes.

Charlie takes a selfie.

Charlie takes a selfie.

We think Charlie is about 8 years old. Adjusting to a new home could not have been easy for her, but she did it. Although it has taken me a lot of time and effort, it has been a rewarding experience.

In the last few months her behavior has changed dramatically and most of the biting and aggression are gone. Time and patience have paid off. While she still doesn’t like fingers, hands are now ok as long as they are palm side down. Shoulders have become a fun place to roost and she follows me around instead of flying away. I finally feel like she is happy in her adopted home. She sat on my shoulder while I typed this, something that never would have happened a few months ago.

© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. postingfornow / Dec 8 2013 8:25 am

    Thanks for sharing your heart warming story. Charlie is beautiful!


  2. acuriousgal / Dec 8 2013 8:53 am

    Awwww, pretty Charlie


  3. BermudaOnion / Dec 8 2013 9:20 am

    Aw, I’m so glad Charlie found a home with someone like you!


  4. Beth Hoffman / Dec 8 2013 9:54 am

    Oh my gosh, the “selfie” of Charlie made my day! Bless you for having such patience and kindness. I loved how Charlie perched on your shoulder as you wrote the post.


    • Leslie / Dec 8 2013 10:21 am

      I just have to be sure to take out my hoop earrings when she sits on my shoulder. She loves shiny things. Ouch.


  5. Sheila (Book Journey) / Dec 8 2013 10:37 am

    How sweet! She is beautiful!


  6. ndluebke / Dec 8 2013 1:04 pm

    What a pretty little lady she is. I’m glad she is adjusting to you


  7. diane / Dec 8 2013 5:25 pm

    She’s lucky to have a patient owner like you. Cute pictures.


  8. irene / Dec 8 2013 5:41 pm

    Good news, for both of you.


  9. Mary / Dec 8 2013 8:03 pm

    She’s adorable and a lucky bird to have been adopted by you!


  10. Suko / Dec 9 2013 12:10 pm

    She is so lovely! The time you’ve spent with her has helped her a lot. She is precious!


  11. stacybuckeye / Dec 10 2013 10:29 pm

    Charlie is so pretty. It’s nice to hear that she has adjusted and that you gave her the stress-free time she needed. What a good mama 🙂


    • Leslie / Dec 11 2013 9:40 am

      I had to look at it from her point of view – another new home with big creatures that don’t speak her language – and the biting made more sense. She still nips, but now it’s because she thinks I’m a bird and she wants to play, and parrots love to nip and chew for fun.



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