Happy Birthday Chiquita!

Bayou Gauche bird celebrates 22nd birthday with family and friends

Heather R. Breaux
March 26, 2009 at 9:14 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

HAPPY BIRD-DAY. Linda and Glynn Rhodes of Bayou Gauche celebrate their bird’s birthday every year. Chiquita, a banded Cockatiel, just turned 22.
Courtesy Photo
HAPPY BIRD-DAY. Linda and Glynn Rhodes of Bayou Gauche celebrate their bird’s birthday every year. Chiquita, a banded Cockatiel, just turned 22.
When Linda Rhodes’ husband gave her a baby Cockatiel in 1986, she had no idea that he would rule as head of the household for 22 years - and counting.

“Chiquita is our spoiled baby,” she said. “He was born on Oct. 12, 1986 and was a gift from my husband Glynn, along with his own personalized birth certificate. We just celebrated his 22nd birthday a few months ago."

Complete with a birthday cake, millet and sesame treats, Chiquita knows when it’s his special day.

“We have a birthday party for him every year,” said Linda. “He even ‘blows’ out the candles by flapping his wings.”

Not long after Chiquita became a part of the Rhodes home, Glynn had to have back surgery and Linda says that it was their bird who helped him recover.

“Since my husband is very active, Chiquita helped him recoup from his surgery and was great company,” she added. “They really bonded during that time and Chiquita adores Glynn.”

And two decades later, Chiquita is still doing his part to fill the Rhodes’ household with laughter.

“He makes us laugh so much. We play hide-n-seek with a towel and he can be a real clown when he wants to,” said Linda. “He has kept us amused for years and everybody knows who Chiquita is. We have no children, so you can only imagine how spoiled he is.”

Top on Chiquita’s list of favorite things to do is camping and his owners point out that he has an unique love for a variety of foods.

“He loves to eat spaghetti, boiled crabs, shrimp and crawfish, fruit, rice and a lot of other foods,” continued Linda.

Being the spoiled bird that he is, Chiquita also had his choice of prime sleeping spots.

“He has two cages - one in his room during the day and one in our bedroom at night,” said Linda. “He likes his cage to be covered with no lights or noises. If we are in bed watching television, he will fuss because of the noise so we have to keep the volume down low. He also likes to take naps with my husband.”

Linda says that Chiquita doesn’t like typical bird toys, but does like to talk.

“Every morning I put on a teaching tape for Chiquita to listen to,” she said. “He thinks that he’s human, one of us. And actually, he’s God’s little blessing to us."

View other articles written Heather R. Breaux

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