Little Birdie on the Big Plane

Written by on September 19, 2012 2 Comments

While I thought that a dog, a cat, a ferret, some fish and 10 or 11 hamsters was enough to care for and interact with, my husband, Mark, did not.  He wanted a bird.  And in particular, a bird that would sit on his shoulder, talk to him now and again and just pal around.   He looked high and low, north and south, and found a guy in Florida that spends his spare time breeding mynah birds. 

Like every other critter that has come into my house, I knew nothing about mynah birds.  And I knew even less about how to get a small bird from Florida to Michigan.   It turns out that all we had to do was pay the seller for said bird and allow him to make arrangements for the bird to come by airplane.   Then all we had to do is make plans to be at the closest international airport to pick up said bird.  Then we had to wait for a hurricane to blow through Florida.  Then we had to wait another week for the seller to obtain the proper container for shipping said bird in the cargo section of an airplane.  Finally, two weeks later, we went to the airport to pick up said bird.

Mark was so excited about his new pal that we left at 2:30 to pick up a bird whose plane was to land at 5:00 at an airport that was only 1.5 hours away.  That means I had a long time to hang out outside this building. 

Delta Airline's cargo flight parking lot at Detroit Metro.

I also had plenty of time to take photos of the plane the birdie might have come in on.

One of many planes I got to watch come in.

The 5:00 plane the little birdie was on became the 5:30 plane and it was around then that we learned it can take another 1.5 hours for birds to get carried from wherever they land to where Mark and I were hanging out bored to tears.  It was 7 p.m. when a guy finally walked in with a container that looked like what we were waiting for.

The container the little bird came in.

Because Mark was suddenly acting oddly nervous, I bravely peeled back the green mesh that the seller had put in front of the windows and doors.  Inside, I saw something brown and yellowish lying on its side.  I cringed as I told Mark and the clerk behind the counter that I thought the birdie was dead.  As the clerk was responding with, “Well, you’ll have to take that up with…” this thumping noise came from the cage and I heard flapping inside the cage.  I peered back inside and saw the bird in the back.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that the blob in the front turned out to be a very ripe banana the seller had shipped with the birdie. 

Mark smiled as he carried the carrier to the car.

Mark carrying his birdie.

He placed the carrier in the back of the car and we enjoyed about five minutes of quiet before the bird began throwing itself against the side of the cage, flapping, making squawky noises, and slowly making the entire car smell like banana.  I was a bit of a wreck by the time I got home.  Mark, on the other hand, was beaming and said he couldn’t wait to play with his new pal.  

It was 9 p.m. by the time we took the bird to her new home in a spare bedroom.  We held the carrier up to a real bird cage, thinking the birdie would be happy to get out of a small container it’d been in since 11 that morning. 

Mark trying to get the bird into its new home.

The little birdie suddenly stopped flapping around.  After several minutes and a complete standoff on the part of the bird, Mark reached inside the carrier and gently grabbed her.  She squawked and attempted to gnaw on Mark to show her displeasure.

Little birdie trying to show Mark who's boss.

 Amazingly though, in a matter of minutes, the bird settled in to her new home.  She hopped from one perch to the other, found the water bottle, and found the free standing dish of water and took a brief bath.  She also ate some of the 25 pounds of food Mark had purchased.   The next day, she ate fresh fruit, including blueberries, pear pieces and apple bits.  She also snarfed the dried mealworms we’d gotten to attract bluebirds.

Over the course of the next week, the bird’s name morphed from little birdie to Little Buddy.  Mark spends time with her each day, sitting next to her as he reads a book.  She hops right over to the side of the cage to see him and, after a while, sometimes chirps and makes other higher pitched calls. 

Two nights ago, we opened her cage door for the first time and I snapped a couple of photos.

Little Buddy checking out the outside of her cage.

After hopping in and out of the entrance to the cage, she finally built up the nerve to fly around a bit and ended up on top of the cage.


Little Buddy about ready to take flight.

It took Little Buddy about 20 minutes to build up the nerve to fly around a bit.  It took us over two hours to get her back inside her cage.  Apparently, we have a lot more to learn about mynahs.  Or at least about Little Buddy.

2 Responses to “Little Birdie on the Big Plane”

  1. Aby says:

    Great post Amy! So happy to hear about your new feathered friend and see pictures of her!

    Is Little Buddy her official name?


  2. Amy says:

    Thanks, Abbers. Yes, Little Buddy is her official name.

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