Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Sadly, we lost our sweet little bird Pearl last Sunday night. Most likely, she had a heart attack. She had been perfectly healthy up until that day. Burke and I were with her when she passed away. She was fourteen years old! Thanks to her, I never lived alone, even when I had my own apartment. She filled every home I had with music and beauty. She was like a cheery ray of sunshine brightening up the room.

Pearl was a hand-trained bird purchased from a breeder. In addition to having uniquely beautiful plumage (most cockatiels are gray and yellow), she was very tame and liked to be petted. She would put her head down while you "preened" the feathers on her head, closing her little eyelids with its tiny white lashes. She could say "Hi, Pearl" and imitate a human whistle with a call-and-response song. When she was let out of her cage, she liked flying across the room to land on one of our heads. She was totally in love with Burke and tweeted excitedly every time he came in the room.

Goodbye, sweet little companion and precious friend. You will be missed.
Pearl sleeping, with her head buried in her wings.


Geoff said...

Sorry to hear you lost your bird. I've never had birds as pets, but your story reminded me of the joy that pets can bring, and the loss I've felt as each left.

It did remind me of when we lived in Colorado, before I moved back to Plano and would have met you. I used to babysit to help support my bike racing habits. I sat for this one family who had a large parrot. He (?She?) was really friendly, and loved to be played with, but had a bed time and I'd put him in his cage and cover it.

For some reason, he'd sit silently for HOURS, and then randomly squawk. REALLY, really, really, loud. Every time I'd jump about 6.5 miles in the air!

Anyway, again, sorry for your loss. How long was he around? I'm not that knowledgeable about birds, but I know some types live a long time.

Brooke said...

I'm so sorry, KO. :( It's so hard to lose pets - they are family members, too. She was lucky to have you both as her "parents."

K.O. said...

Thanks, Brooke!
Great story, Geoff. Luckily, Pearl squawked often enough that we got used to it. It was part of the background noise in our home! She was 14 years old. You're right--some of the larger parrots live to be like 40 years old, but cockatiels usually only live to be 12-15.

Ichigo Tamago said...

So sorry about sweet Pearl. I'm glad she added so much life and light to your homes for 14 years. I have never met a bird that was so friendly and into being social with people and her relationship with you and her special fondness of Burke was so touching.