The White Bird

by Judy Moon
(Soda Springs, ID)

The White Bird
author Judy Moon
written 1/16/08

The cage was sitting way back in a corner of the bonus room. Only one light shown in the room. The white bird was sitting quietly his dark eyes constantly watching the doorway with an earnest, waiting look. His feathers were ragged and worn with bare patches on his breast where he had torn out the feathers.

He knew better than to scream out his frustrations, fear and loneliness. If he did it someone would rush into the room and throw a cover over his cage, turn out the light and leave for maybe the rest of the day.

Out of boredom he began carefully pulling more and more feathers out of his breast. Why not, he thought to himself. There is nothing else to do. He had no toys, nothing to chew on, the water dish was a filthy swill and his food was days old. He really did not care any more.

He heard footsteps approaching and quickly ducked back. The door opened and in came two people, one he knew and used to love, the other a stranger. He wondered just what they had come for.

Both people approached the cage. The man he'd known and loved was telling the other man that this bird was noisy, a feather picker and a real problem. The other man just opened his wallet and said "How much?" The man he had known and loved said, "$700.00 cash." The stranger counted out the money and said, " I'm taking the cage too" "Oh go ahead I won't get another bird. They are just too messy, noisy and a lot of trouble."

The cover was whisked over the cage. The bird screamed....he just could not help it. He hadn't done anything wrong. He did not want to be covered and left alone forever. Suddenly he felt the cage being lifted and moved. Then doors opened and shut. Then he heard a strange sound and the sensation of moving.

Finally the strange sound stopped, doors opened and he was being moved again. More doors and more lifting. Finally it stopped. The cover was gently moved away from the front of the cage. There was light! In a few minutes the strange man began talking in a soft and gentle voice as he proceeded to clean the cage. The bird shuffled away and tried not to get close to those hands. He lifted and spread his wings in fear!

The man kept talking and changed the water bowl for a clean one full of clean water. Then the stranger took out the food bowl and put in another with lots of interesting things in it. Slowly, carefully the bird inched his way across the cage and tasted the water. It was sweet and fresh. Then he looked into the dish of food. What was this and that? He began tasting and throwing food around. Suddenly he remembered that made his man very angry. He looked at the man who was standing a few feet away still making those soft words.

Days went by and slowly the bird began to realize that every day brought light, cool fresh water, tasty food and even sometimes treats held in the hand of the stranger. Slowly the stranger became a friend. New chewy things and crunch toys came into the cage. At first the bird had been afraid. Now he was beginning to experiment with them. They were much more fun than pulling out his feathers.

As the months went by the bird grew to love this stranger who was no longer a stranger, but a friend, then a companion, and finally a person he loved. One day the man put his hand in the cage and waited. Cautiously the bird came forward and touched his arm with his beak. The man he loved did not do anything. So the bird cautiously stepped onto the arm. This went on for several days, until the bird felt quite safe sitting on the arm of his friend. Then one day the friend pulled his arm out of the cage with the bird on it. At first the bird was frightened and screamed and flapped his wings. The friend only spoke in those wonderfully soothing words. This too, continued for many days.

Finally one day the man took his other hand and very slowly and carefully scratched the neck of the white bird. Oh! Oh! What a wonderful feeling! The white bird mumbled a few sounds and cocked his head over for more scratching. Over the next months the white bird grew to enjoy the scratching and holding and cuddling. He mumbled often and openly invited attention.

Then one day the man was standing in front of the cage and asking if his little white bird would like to come out. He always said that. So the white bird concentrated hard and said very clearly "Yes, come out friend".

Comments for The White Bird

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Aug 10, 2018
Birds just want to be loved
by: cockatooowner

This story reminded me of my African Grey. It took months of him learning to trust me. After a year with me, I could handle him all over, he was cooing on my shoulder and cuddling into my face. They just want to feel loved and safe. If you are going to neglect a bird, don't get one.

Jul 15, 2012
My Rescue
by: Tony

I am not an animal lover, We have always had pets. You know the children love them, But they never care for or clean up after the pet and I would be the one who has to do it. Our latest pet a Citron Cockatoo was bare chested and neglected. The owner didn't tell me much except that he couldn't care for the bird, It was his exes who ran off with a younger guy. I was very reluctant having never cared for a Bird. My wife and children loved the bird, All I could think was that the animal deserved a better home, Willie was his name and he screamed as we approached his cage. The cage was large and worth twice what I paid for the bird.

The owner feed him nothing but sunflower seeds. For the last two weeks he has filled our home with joy he is a wonderful pet. He is now eating his pellets and other seeds beside the sunflowers but refuses to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. For some reason I can't understand this guy loves me, I am the only one he will come out of the cage for.

We are concerned for his health but he seems to love his new home and his feathers are coming back. Is it important for him to have a mate or will there be issues of jealousy.

Editor's note: No, he doesn't need a mate. In the future if you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, on our Parrot Questions page.

Jun 11, 2012
the white bird
by: diamondtia

This story made me cry!! I have 6 cockatoos and can't imagine my life without them. One look into those deep pools of love we call their eyes, melts my heart big time.

I had a U2 and she died many years ago and my heart still aches for her. She will be in my heart forever as long as I breathe, but until I see her again someday, the 5 goffins and my citron are the loves of my life. They come first before anyone or anything and always will.

Jun 11, 2012
my heart ached
by: Anonymous

My heart ached when I read this story. I have a U2 who was abandoned at 13, because she "screamed too much". She was part of an agreement with a bird horder who had too many birds, and had to get rid of some of them. She is now 16 and is the love of my life. I had been waiting for the right rescue for 2 years before she found us, and now, she only screams when she is happy, and it is music to my ears. Through her, I've become aware of the plight of unwanted birds. Please please please think carefully before bringing a bird into your home. Not all have a happy ending like the white bird in the story, or my girl.

Dec 12, 2011
parrot rescue
by: Tracy

Wow what an awesome story, I cried when I read it, I just rescured a 15 year old too and this is her 5th home she is so sweet and loveable She also was kept in the basement of a ladies house who just did not have any time for her, My daughter and I love Lyla to death she is so funny at times I enjoy watching and talking to her ... So glad there are still people out there with hearts.

Nov 30, 2011
a total heart touching story!!
by: farhanpws

hey man it was an awesum and an deeply heart touching story..i was jus researching on cockatoos and i wanted 2 knw about it.. cuz i own an umbrella cockattoo and i wanted 2 knw , hw to train it..
and if u knw much about umbrlla cockatoo den plz call and tel me hw 2 train it...
(phone number removed, we don't post personal information here.)

Sep 23, 2011
a wonderful story!
by: Gina Earle

I read this story because i was doing research because i am purchasing a cockatoo. The story made me teary eyed but smile. Fortunately the bird got a wonderful home and made a friend in the end. the bird i am purchasing has been treated well by a kind man. Although the bird does shy away from a man normally , he seems to love his caregiver! I will be very lucky!

Jun 19, 2011
i luv it
by: Anonymous

i luv that story it made me feel so happy. i feel good that the bird finaly got what it deserved . i cant its first words were yes come out friend. i have been trying to get a bird for a little bit and this story made me want a cockatoo.

Apr 15, 2011
A Loving Story
by: Heather Wilson

I love this sweet story.I have a cockateil bird and I like to tickle her neck.Often,we let her out of the cage.My birds name is Wilamay.She is a grey colored bird.I always comment on how beutiful she is.

Feb 21, 2011
temper tantrums and my too
by: Amy

My Sulfur-Crested, Aristotle, was a rescue parrot.When he first arrived, he actually CHASED me - trying to bite. Two years later, he knows he is loved by my husband and me. He still draws blood occasionally (my ear - 2 days ago) - but we have learned that this is still going to happen.
He will always be like a 3 year old child - tantrums included. But he will never be abandoned again!

Feb 04, 2011
On toos
by: Anonymous

I have two rescue toos....and work fulltime. But we love each other. My first one was put on the market because she...really he...was biting. That was 12 years ago....and well, it's rare that she/he bites now. Never say never! My other sweet too was left alone and is oh so clever at finding mishchief....and had plucked herself...and again actually himself...almost bald. He no longer plucks...unless something catasophic happens, such as a move. I love my toos but do not recomend them as pets unless you are willing to love them unconditionally and for a lifetime. I am.

Oct 05, 2010
new bird
by: eva

We adopted a too about a month ago, his owner was getting divorced and did not have time for her. I'm glad I checked your story out. She can be very loving. She bites me now and then, draws blood in fact. I have to keep telling my husband to give her time, she will stop in time. She was kept in a local liquor store where the owner let her interact with the public. People are so afraid of hook-bills, they would all admire her from a distance. She has plucked several feathers from her tummy, and I think around her eyes. i cant wait for them to grow back, she is too beautiful to not have patience for her. i am so glad there are bird people everywhere who honestly love their animals and want to care for them and understand them. Your story was very helpful, it lets me know a little more about my new baby! My other baby, a red-lored amazon wants to get to know her, he will have to have patience too!!!

Mar 29, 2010
Thank you
by: Sarah

What a beautiful story that brought tears to my eyes. My boyfriend and I have a bird sanctuary, as I call it, filled with mostly rescue birds that take a lot of time and patience. We have 5 cockatiels, two African Greys, a Blue & Cold Macaw, an Eleanor cockatoo, and our most recent addition is Peaches, the Moluccan. I am frustrated with Peaches at the moment because she bit me HARD over the weekend as I was trying to place her in her cage as I was leaving the house. This story made me remember that she isn't angry at me, she is just still so scared that we might not be coming back to take her out and show her the affection she deserves. Thank you for the beautiful & heartfelt reminder of where she was before she came to us, and what she needs from me to always feel safe and loved.

Jan 21, 2010
by: Sierra

Oh my goodness! I cried and cried! "He hadn't done anything wrong!" Oh that makes me feel terrible! None of my birds have ever plucked their feathers but I've neglected them!

It's so terrible that we are capable of this level of cruelty. Humans hurt other hurtful humans and that's not okay, but it isn't as bad as hurting something this innocent! Animals don't know any better than what they do. It's like hitting a toddler who just learned how to walk because she tripped. It isn't fair. There has to be some way to stop that kind of abuse.

Jan 16, 2010
This story gives me hope.
by: Celina

I recently was given a cockatoo from my dad who got it from an aunt who used to bang his cage with a stick if it screamed. He was very anti-social when my father first got it but I could tell he was not beyond help. The bird has finally trusted me enough to be pet on his head but still is not tame enough to climb on my arm and be held. I really want him to get to this point because I would like to take him around everywhere with me. I hope my cockatoo learns how much I love him.

Oct 21, 2009

I too have just adopted a "too" I was in tears tonite because he bit me quite hard., I want to give this lovely creature a second chance... he loves macaroni and rice and fruit, Ive tried so hard to socialize him... but he suddenly turned on me... any help , any suggestions , would be greatly appreciated....I dont want to be just another human in his life.....

Jul 21, 2009
white bird
by: Anonymous

Wonderful story! My husband and I are actually considering adopting a Goffin's named Cisco. He's been through 3 families who didn't have time for him and he's only 5 years old! He's plucked nearly all his feathers because his last family locked him in a dark back room. Even though we are strangers to him, every time we visit he lets us scratch him and pet him. He's currently at a lovely bird store that has been nursing him back to good mental health and his feathers are growing back. But of course he needs a forever home. We might be the family for him. Especially after reading this heart pulling story!

Mar 30, 2009
Tears to my eyes
by: Marla

This story has brought tears to my eyes..I think of all the lonely birds left behind boring bars and pray they find happiness..Very well said..Great story with a sad beginning and a happy ending

Mar 28, 2009
Great story
by: Bob Descoteaux

Wonderful story with a great ending. Lucky bird.

Mar 17, 2009
Very Nice
by: Schmollins

This story was very well written. I enjoyed it, and I truly could feel for that hurt bird. We have a Sun Conure and we love him to pieces!

Jan 29, 2009
Just beautiful!!!
by: Carolyn

I definitely know the feeling of taking in an "unwanted/unloved" cockatoo. I have 5 goffins and a citron and they are all "hand me downs" except one. These birds are my life and I would die for them.

God bless you for taking this beautiful angel of God and giving it a loving home!!

Sep 11, 2008
by: Anonymous

This story nearly made me cry :'(
it is so sad that people can treat a bird like this.
i own a cockatiel and i could never hurt her, i love her sooooooo much.
I am glad that you took this bird home and looked after it.
In my eyes you are a hero.

Aug 10, 2008
by: Anonymous

Truely wonderful,so pleased that we Humans are not all cruel to our fellow creatures.

Jun 06, 2008
nice story
by: chris

hi loved the story if true thank you for sharing,that is one bird saved from cruelty,but the list goes on hey

Jan 25, 2008
The White Bird
by: Hector

very good,I really liked it!!! Is it a true story?

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