Little Bird, Big Dog

January 06, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

cockatielcockatielCockatiel bird photography Denver Colorado

Did you know cockatiels can live over 25 years? When Tiki the cockatiel was young, his elderly owner knew he would outlive her so she lined up a family friend to adopt him after she passed on. Today, he's 15 years old and his new person is young enough to keep him for the rest of his life. She's an experienced bird keeper and a true animal lover. Tiki came to live with her 7 years ago. He settled in nicely and absolutely adores her. I'm told he often greets her by sweetly touching his beak against her nose. We couldn't recreate that greeting but he did whistle, eat edamame and groom himself for the camera! 

cockatiel grooming tail featherscockatiel grooming tail feathersCockatiel grooming tail feathers Denver bird photographer

Rocky, a lab/shepherd mix, joined the household a few years after Tiki arrived. A dog and bird are unlikely housemates but, thankfully, they get along fabulously. Rocky was adopted as a puppy from the Boulder Humane Society and was trained to respect Tiki. He's such a good boy! I'm not sure any amount of training and socialization would help my golden retriever get along with a bird. 

lab shepherd mix doglab shepherd mix dog

Now for a little avian humor...


Little Bird Versus Big Bird

My son has a cute little Cockatiel
That doesn’t say a word.
But when I look in its eyes,
I can only surmise
That it’d like to take on Big Bird.

I wondered what could be the reason
For facing this huge deed?
It’d say, “Why should only puppets,
And rather large Muppets
Get to eat all the Sesame Street seed?”

Poem by David Fisher

Used with permission. You can enjoy more of David's poems on his web site and Poetry Soup.

dog and bird photo shootdog and bird photo shootdog at cockatiel bird photo shoot

Normally, I don't share behind-the-scenes photos because I feel it ruins the magic of the final image. But this pull back is too funny not to share! While we were setting up, Rocky was very curious about what his bird friend was up to. It was sort of funny because we started to take Rocky's photo first but he was a little uneasy about the camera. I decided give him a break while we photographed Tiki in another room. But he just followed us and wanted to be right in the thick of it. He laid in this spot the entire time I took Tiki's photo. Perhaps he was guarding Tiki from the scary camera? 

Dog playing in snowDog playing in snowdog playing with ball in snow

Luckily, Rocky is much more interested in his toys than birds. He has a wide collection of stuffed animal "babies." He also enjoys catching balls in mid-air and running at Cherry Creek State Park. His long legs make him extra speedy!


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