Today marks the end of an era in the Oliver household. After more than a decade of keeping a clutch of budgerigars as pets, Tiggles, our last remaining survivor passed away.
It feels kind of weird. We’ve had budgies in the house since 1997, always chirping away, and now, everything seems so much more quiet.
Tiggles was without a doubt one of the most ‘unconventional’ budgies we’d had. We honestly did not expect her to survive 6 months, let alone 10 years after what she went through. She was a tough as nails bird.
Tiggles was born in a separate clutch from the rest of our birds. If I recall, she was from a clutch of 2, however we had to separate her from her mother after the mother killed the other one (Still not sure why O_o).
In the cage we placed her in, Tiggles suffered an unfortunate accident. At the top of a cage was a small hook that was there to allow you too hook an additional perch in there. One day, as Tiggles was climbing up the cage, she got caught on the hook, which tore a hole in her side, right under her wing (basically the budgie armpit). It was a very serious injury, and there was blood absolutely everywhere. We expected Tiggles not to last the next night.
Surprisingly enough, Tiggles survived, but not unscathed. She lost the use of her wing, and was permanently rendered unable to fly. Although she could flap and hop about a bit, for her entire life, she never once flew.
In addition to lack-of-flight, the injury also had another side effect: her sternum became lopsided, which to the common person looked like she had a massive bump coming out of her tummy. Up until last year, we were wondering what that was and if it was life-threatening. Obviously it wasn’t.
Because of her lack of flight, Tiggles was the slowest in the entire bunch. She’d always have to go down the bottom of the cage for food last and she often got picked on by the other budgies. This never really seemed to phase her too much since she always ended up getting what she was after.
Late last year, Tiggles had another run-in with death. One morning, I was woken up to the sounds of a budgie screaming, only to find a crow trying to pull Tiggles’ leg off through the cage bars. Again, we all assumed the worst. If Tiggles’ leg had been permanently damaged (or completely removed), considering she couldn’t fly, she would effectively be finished. I took Tiggles to the vet, who found the leg had only been dislocated and was able to pop it back into the socket.
At this point, it’s hard to believe what Tiggles went through. She was obviously a bird of pure steel. Of all the budgies I’ve owned, none of them went through as many hardships as Tiggles, and none of them managed to live as long as she did. She truly is the Budgie Methuselah.
Because of all this, I’m not as sad about her passing as I thought I was going to be. She had a good long life, and I’m sure she’s in a better place now.
It’s going to be weird living without budgies now. No more chirping or singing in the morning. And no more bird seed and feathers scattered everywhere.
I’ve been thinking of making a promise to myself. If ever I own a big home with a garden, I’ll build an aviary in the backyard and fill it with budgerigars.
Farewell Tiggles. It was a privilege. May you Rest In Peace.
- Published May 19, 2011
- Categories Personal