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In memoriam: We are very sad to announce that our Ucci passed away December 27, 2001 in the evening while he slept. Ucci was an old bird by lovebird standards. We think he was around 13 years old. It is hard to pinpoint since (as you will read below) he was gifted to us. To his final days, he was a very sweet bird who would visit the others when we opened his cage door and flew to our head to signal that he was finished visiting. He sired 3 offspring - Sage (who lives with us), Callisto (who passed away - again, story is below) and Abu (who resides with my sister). He was bonded with Blossom. When Blossom saw him in my hands, at first she responded as if he were alive. Then she just looked at him for a very long time. Birds are intelligent and have been known to mourn the loss of their mate whether through death or other separation. When Ucci did not respond to Blossom, I am convinced that she knew something was wrong. She just kept looking at him silently. He is our little angel now and we will miss him. He provided years of companionship and truly was a sweet bird.

We love lovebirds!

Meet Blossom (pictured above), Ucci and their kids...

It all started with one lovebird - Blossom, a pastel blue pied lovebird and a gift in many ways. She was born on June 2, 1991 and we added her to our new family in July of that same year. As a hand fed baby, she was very sweet and we became great friends. Her favorite thing was to cuddle up in my long hair.

A couple of years later, on February 7, 1993, came Ucci, a suspected male. He was towed in from Wisconsin, a gift from a friend whose car broke down on the drive to Chicago. Quiet and shy, Ucci soon warmed up to Blossom.

Well, they don't call 'em lovebirds for nothing and shortly after getting Blossom and Ucci in the same cage, three baby birds were born - the first on July 13 then the 17th and the 19th! Tiny fuzzy and pink they were very cute! Since Blossom started to pluck their feathers, a common but dangerous behaviour of lovebirds, we removed them on August 5th late at night and started to hand feed them ourselves. Here's where the learning really began!

Once a hint of their true color came in, we found two resembling momma Blossom and one with yellow above the beak a la poppa Ucci. They lived in an aquarium with linen cloths - no fuzz allowed - until they could perch and fly.

In order to stay warm, the babies loved to cuddle together while asleep or awake. They also would cuddle in our hands for security.

One thing that can be said without a doubt is that baby birds are HUNGRY and demanding. We sure aquired a greater appreciation for the work involved as our adopted babies were often chirping for attention and food. Here Callisto, the middle bird and a female, gets a gulp from the feeder. They would often eat until their crops literally overflowed and they still wanted more!

Once steady on their feet, they would often push eachother out of the way for the feeding syringe and even they had been fed. The youngest would get pushed around often, but we were fair and impartial! Here, Abu, the youngest gets his fair share.

As the babies grew and matured, we found that they were becoming alot more curious and bold and they were more difficult to keep together. Here, the youngest, Abu, is getting the idea of heights and is very curious about the way down.

Here, Sage, the eldest, is getting pretty steady on her feet. The light spot on her wing is where Blossom was plucking out her feathers. Her black beak and fuzz bespeak of her young age. They also had giant "feet" to grow into!

Hand raising three baby lovebirds was not easy, but was a rewarding experience. We still have Sage and she is eager to have babies as are Blossom and Ucci, her parents. Sadly, Callisto died the following year due to an overdose of vitamin A. The necropsy performed showed the damage done to her heart and kidneys and the avian vet attributed it to the "fortified" pellets that are "supposedly safe" for lovebirds. A warning to the wise, as the vet said, some companies just test fortified food on any size parrot (maybe even be a macaw) and declare it safe for all sized parrots. Callisto is always with us. Abu resides with my sister and is also very well and eager to reproduce. He is very tame and loves his baths.
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