• Cheryl Rae Johnson

The Crazy Bird Lady

What comes in an array of beautiful colors and makes crunching noises? Why SKITTLES, of course! No, not the candy, but a beautiful Sun Conure belonging to Jill Theriot!

You don’t have to be around Jill long to know she relishes her role as the Crazy Bird Lady. Jill’s tender

hearted nature is evident in both her love for animals and her passion for nursing. She inherited her love for birds from her grandmother. Watching birds from her grandmother’s patio and feeding them from her picnic table instilled a lifelong love for these colorful friends. Jill had parakeets as a child, so having birds as pets came naturally. They are especially ideal for Jill’s own family, since her two kids are allergic to dogs and cats.

Jill adopted Skittles in June 2014, when he was just 8 weeks old. Jill fed Skittles with a syringe for the next 4 weeks. Now Skittles will even eat some people food! Bursting with the bright candy colors for which he is named, Jill chose Skittles because

of his beautiful colors, and he is indeed beautiful! Members of the small parakeet family, Sun Conures can be quite loud, and they connect easily with people. Jill is Skittles’ “person,” and he attaches himself to her like Velcro. If she walks out of the room, he screams until she comes back. Jill wasn’t quite prepared for how loud he is, (and neither was her family!), but his funny personality more than makes up for this. He mimics crunching noises and makes kissing noises when you give him kisses! Mwah!! And he likes his showers in the kitchen sink! Towel please!

Now 6 years old, Jill refers to Skittles as a great buddy. Sun Conures can live to be 30-35 years old, so they can be great buddies for a long time. While they make fun pets, they can be messy and need lots of care. They love to destroy things and poke holes in t-shirts. Jill wears special t-shirts around the house so Skittles can play, poke, and snuggle all he wants. She also gives him plenty of toys to keep him busy.

Since Skittles is so playful and attached to Jill, I thought he might have a hard time settling down for the night, much like a playful toddler who doesn’t want to give up his toys. Not so! Jill says he is strict in his bedtime routine. Skittles will fly into his cage between 7 and 8, yell until she covers the cage with his blanket, and doesn’t make a peep until morning. So much easier than a toddler!

Birds might be a great alternative for your traditional pet, but as with any pet, there are challenges. They can be sneaky and fly off, a heartache Jill has experienced twice. But since they can also be “good buddies,” this may be something you want to consider.

Jill is passionate about everything she does, and I appreciate her giving us a glimpse into her crazy bird life! I may never look at Skittles the same again!

Remember, I want to tell your pet story too! So get in touch with me soon!

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