Nineteen Days

When Perry left us, Lennie decided he was not going to eat from the seed pots.  He carried on eating, just not from those pots.  This appeared to be an initial indication of grief.

Birds do indeed feel grief so I kept an eye on both Lennie & Moriarty’s behaviour.  Lennie had been with Perry all his life & had never spent one night away from him.  Equally, Moriarty loved Perry & would no doubt miss all the flirting sessions & sharing of food. Rightly or wrongly, I tried to keep to the original routine as much as possible.

Four evenings after Perry left us, just before 10pm, Lennie seemed extra restless in his cage.  Both were locked up for bedtime (separately – sticking with the old routine), with the big covers over them.  I wondered if perhaps Lennie was ready to stay overnight with Moriarty.  I lifted the covers & opened the small doors on both cages.  Immediately, Lennie ran in to be with Moriarty.  This was a big step for both of them as Moriarty has always slept overnight on his own.  Maybe this was the time?  I recalled the difficulty Bezukhov had on losing his best buddy Cagney, not wanting to sleep alone, but struggling to share with Phineas (Click here to read that story).


Both Lennie & Moriarty seemed a bit surprised & subdued by the sudden turn of events.  Unfortunately, Lennie did not fully settle & at around 23:15, I opened the cage doors again, to give him a choice to stay or leave, & with no hesitation he ran out.  It clearly did not feel quite right for him.  However, he got to his door, peered inside, then turned around on the door platform so he was facing the room.  He looked up at me with a confused expression that seemed to say, “I don’t want to be in there alone.”  It broke my heart.  He did not feel at home in Moriarty’s & now he did not feel at home in his own cage without Perry.  With some encouragement he went in but though he continued to feel unsettled, he never attempted another overnight stay with Moriarty.

Some days after the above events, Lennie also developed a strange head movement that was most noticeable when he ate millet that I offered.  You can see this in the video below:


Lennie had also started his spring moult.  All these things were manageable until, on the 14th of March, Lennie stopped eating.  Nothing I offered tempted him, not even millet.  He would lean forward & touch the food, almost like he thought he ought to eat it, but he did not.  In the evening, after he managed a tiny piece of apple, he started vomiting although nothing came out.  The next morning (15th) he was no better & also had what I call ‘starvation poops’ where they were very green with an almost bluish tinge.

I got a 5pm appointment with the vet.  During the day, Lennie sat in Moriarty’s cage, mostly sleeping but definitely not eating.  It was a 50 minute car ride to the clinic, so we left just after 4pm.  It was the first time Moriarty had been alone since he joined Perry & Lennie, so I was concerned for him, as well as Lennie, who had the added stress of being in the travel cage.

Lennie had similar symptoms about two years previous (click here to read that post).  This time, as previously, his heart rate was fine although his temperature was at the upper end of the normal range.  His weight was 62g.  The vet suspected the loss of Perry along with a heavy moult had compromised his health, resulting in an inability to eat.  His crop, as expected, was completely empty.  She gave him a crop feed to keep him going, in the hope that he would feel like eating the next day.  I was given antibiotics as an option to start two days later, if there was no improvement.

It felt like a long trip home & Moriarty was relieved when we returned, as was Lennie, who settled down quickly in his cage.  He spent a quiet evening.  The next day (16th), I could see his overnight poops were an expected yellow colour as a result of the crop feed (Emeraid).  Lennie was sleepy during the day, but still alert to his surroundings, preening & spending time in Moriarty’s cage.  He did not eat though.  He had more pin feathers coming through so his moult was still progressing.


The next day (17th), nineteen days after the loss of Perry, Lennie was still no better & his poops were still green.  He still refused to eat.  I got an appointment with the vet for that afternoon.

Looking back to when Lennie was ill two years prior, it took him about a week to recover, so I thought he was probably following a similar pattern & just needed a little boost (as before) to help him along.  Of course last time he had Perry’s comforting presence…



9 thoughts on “Nineteen Days

  1. 😭. I’m so sorry. I had a same problem with my budgie and Indian ringneck. I had my budgie first and then got my Indian ringneck. My budgie didn’t eat anything but seeds and lettuce but when my ringneck came the budgie started to eat everything like his new friend. Since my budgie got missing my ringneck never eats lettuce. Its been 7 months and still not eating lettuce.

    Liked by 1 person

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