Fiona: Looking for Love

Meet Fiona, a beautiful female grey cockatiel. Fiona is the mom of the baby cockatiels from the recent hoarding case and she’s a very sweet bird! Although it’s hard to say for sure, we believe that the stress of being moved caused Fiona to become too upset to take care of her babies. When I took her home to foster on Thursday night, she seemed depressed and frightened. We offered her lots of pellets, seeds, treats, fresh foods and even millet, but she refused everything except some water.

Fiona was extremely dirty and even though she was stressed, I decided to bathe her, as not only would she feel better, but I was worried about germs in the nestbox, if she decided to be with her babies.

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Fiona before bathing

Fiona really seemed to enjoy her shower, she flapped and preened and danced while she bathed. When I took her out, she was happy to be dried very gently, with the hairdryer on the lowest setting. She looked beautiful, like a different bird!


Fiona after bathing

Fiona’s vet check went well, however, she remained uninterested in being with the babies. As she’d been sitting on 2 eggs when she was found, we gave her a nest with dummy eggs to see if she wasn’t eating over the loss of her eggs. Still she didn’t want to eat, but would cry and sometimes flap her wings in  frustration. Finally on the fourth day, I decided it was time to experiment. As she’d checked out as healthy, I decided to try to introduce her to my cockatiels, Arya (2 years) and Thorin Morkenshield (13 years). Within a few moments of meeting Arya and Thorin, Fiona began to eat some millet.

Ever since, Fiona has been eating a mix of pellets and seed! She is a millet head, just like most of the other ‘tiels I know! I haven’t been successful in getting her interested in any fresh food yet, but I’m extremely relived that she’s become comfortable since she’s found some cockatiel friends. She preens and fluffs her feathers, twitters with the ‘tiels and seems to be feeling lots better.

While she doesn’t want to step up yet, she tolerates handling very well. I’ve been able to hold her when I’ve needed to, and she’s been very gentle with me. She does let me scratch her head and she’s never bitten when I’ve handled her. She needs time and patience to learn to be trusting with people’s hands, but I think she’s going to be a super sweet companion!

I’m really hoping to find Fiona a forever home with another sweet cockatiel, as she doesn’t like to live alone. Here at our home, Fiona has been with the two other ‘tiels in a 24-Inch long, 20-inch wide, 60-inch high cage. Much of the time, the door is open, so that the ‘tiels can climb up to the play top, but Fiona has kept to the inside of the cage. So far, she is very respectful of the other guys and doesn’t push to get in their space, but hangs out nearby. She is curious, but not pushy, I really like her temperament. Just as an FYI, she hasn’t showed any worry around men, wasn’t at all bothered by having my dogs around, but was terrified when my cat came into the room.

Fiona is in Northern Massachusetts and her adoption would be processed at the MSCPA at Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA. If you’re interested in adopting Fiona to be a companion for your cockatiel (or cockatiels), or if you’d like to adopt Fiona and one of the other sweet cockatiels in residence at the shelter, send me an email at I would love to hear from you!

~ Melissa