Darby & his 'keets

Quick Bio

Type of pet: Bird
Breed/Species: Cockatiel & parakeets
Age: Adult
Gender: Male
  • Good with kids
  • Bonded pair
Adoption Status: Adopted

Hi, this is Darby and his parakeets, Nabi (butterfly) and Zen. They need a new home because I am leaving the country in August. The USA doesn’t except birds from South Korea due to the bird flu epidemic. I have to go due to health reasons.


I adopted Darby over a year ago. Darby is a really special guy and I believe that you will agree after you hear his story and all the progress…

His first home was questionable. He was obviously neglected and potentially abused. His first owners never handled him. On the rare occasions they interacted with him, they used leather motorcycle gloves (to this day he doesn’t like gloves). In fact, he prefers that you roll up your sleeve to the elbow.

He also lived with a lot of cats/dogs and his cage was on the floor. His cage sat next to the parakeets’ cage. So, he is very protective over his parakeet friends - rightly so. He has learned that I am not here to hurt the parakeets. But he still likes to keep a close eye on what is going on in or near their cage.

Now, I didn’t have bird experience. In fact, it was crazy that I took these guys on, but I just knew that I was supposed too. My grandpa was a birdman. It is in the blood (and I had plenty of chickens back in the states). They were being given away with a menagerie of other pets: turtle, ferret, and a few other things that couldn’t go back overseas with the family. In fact, only one person took all of the other pets. So, if I hadn’t taken Darby & his ‘keets their life probably really wouldn’t have changed much.

Darby’s transformation

I decided not to clip Darby’s wings so he can fly. Birds that can fly are harder to train. Nonetheless, he is hand trained now. He can whistle and say (in cockatiel talk which isn’t as clear as other bigger parrots) ‘pretty bird’ ‘cracker’ ‘I love you, Darby’. We often whistle duets at sunset. At sunrise, he will often sit and tell the parakeets that they are pretty birds or whistle them a tune. He loves to play fly game which is where he flies into a room ~ you go get him, pick him and start to walk into another room ~ and he flies back.

He is afraid of feet. I don’t know why. Other cockatiels love feet. He doesn’t. He will often have arguments with mine. As I said, his cage was sitting on the floor and he was very loud when I first got him so perhaps his cage was kicked. Now, he has quieted down substantially but birds still have voices and they like to use them during pretty regular times of day.

Sometimes, he likes to have lunch with me but he is a very picky eater. Mostly, I have learned that he loves the Korean grasses that you can get in the market. So, you will note his grass on top of the parakeet cage. They share. He also loves crackers. Oh, he is a messy eater. I read that not all of them are… but he is. He won’t be bribed with food. Either he will do something for you or he won’t. Don’t insult him. ^^

Also, he needs lots of sleep. But please don’t cover his cage. He hates that. So he will do best in a place where he can have a room that can become dark with the sunset. He enjoys when the days get longer in summer but takes advantage of the long nights of winter.

From what I can read, Darby is no different than most cockatiels now. But he is not one of the sweetie bird cuddlers. He wants to be and might grow into with age. Right now, he is working on his trust issues and they’ve gotten miraculously better! So he wants a good life! He wants to be a lover!

Probably my mistake…

I stopped keeping Darby in his cage. He mostly hangs out with the parakeets and with me. His cage is small and there were so many traumas around it that I went for the rehabilitation without thinking much about how he might need to live in his next home. He was just happiest sleeping on the parakeet cage. That is where he spends most of his time.

If he is going to live in cage while you are at work, he needs a bigger cage. I think he will get used to a new routine quite well. These birds love their routines. He loves cleaning day. And he loves to tell you what you changed in your appearance or around the house. So, the two of you – plus parakeets - will find your thing with time.
I will give you all the bird stuff that I have, but I’ve been a single mom (that just sent my daughter off to university in Hawaii) so it’s all very clean but nothing fancy.

He is a really wonderful guy and I can tell you about his lovely little 'keets upon request.

Adoption Fee: ₩75,000
Location: Gwangju - 광주
Living Situation: With owners