When we started building our flock over five years ago I knew that inevitably one of our parakeets would die. Unfortunately Kevin passed away over the weekend and our first experience of grieving a parakeet has hit quite hard. Kevin came home in November of 2017 (just three short years ago) and after a tough time in quarantine joined our flock of two girls and brightened every day with his kind and gentle nature.
When we brought Kevin into our flock just three years ago we knew that he was already a fully mature budgie and suspected that he was at least as old as Toby (currently five years old), if not older based on the development of his iris rings.
There wasn’t any accident or trauma that caused Kevin’s death. Looking back I can see that he may have slowed down over the fall a little bit, or maybe there were signs that he was failing that I took for molting. It’s easy to second guess after the fact, but up until the day he died Kevin was happy, eating well and interacting with the girls. His final morning he noshed on some carrot greens, a favorite, and spent time watching birds out the window. Towards late afternoon he puffed up and didn’t want to do anything but sleep, and he passed in the early evening. We buried him in our backyard near a bird bath and it’s nice to know he’s nearby.
I was worried that Toby and Kelly might be confused or call for Kevin, wondering where he is, but they haven’t. They were still awake when he passed, I believe they are aware of what happened, for all I know they may have seen it coming long before we humans did. They were both a bit more clingy towards me yesterday, I am not sure whether they are grieving or whether this is indicative of how our dynamic will change now that they are a flock of two.
As sad as we are, I want to focus on how grateful I am for the three years we had with Kevin. Every day we spent with him was pure joy (well, except the miserable quarantine part), watching him eat all the vegetables, and sing, and love his “sisters” even when they were the bossiest ladies possible. The house is much quieter without Kevin, and we’ll be missing him for a long long time to come.