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  Niobe, adopted on 06/25/04, † 03/17/06

Niobe, the enchanting crested budgie hen In the summer 2004, life suddenly changed for a pretty, female budgie named Jimmy. When her partner died, her owners decided that time had come to break through the eternal cycle to get a new partner for a widowed budgie again and again for having two birds in the house all of the time. Jimmy should not remain alone, therefore they decided to look for a new home for her. They asked their vet if he knew a place they could bring the bird. All they wanted was a new home where Jimmy would not live as a solitary bird. The vet coincidentally also is the doctor who treats my little flock and he knows me well. He phoned me and told me about Jimmy because he knows about my activities in finding new homes for budgies. Scarcely an hour after I phoned Jimmy's owners they arrived at my place - of course they were accompanied by the bird.

Niobe with a carrot face Since she wasn't ill - this was stated by the vet -, the budgie lady was immediately allowed to move into the bird room where the other birds of the Birds-Online-flock are living in. But at first she wasn't very pleased to see so many unknown faces there. In the beginning living in a new flock confused her much so she didn't dare to approach the other birds. That wasn't astonishing at all because the poor bird had lost its partner and its home a few days ago. Fortunately soon the curiosity was stronger than her fear and the newbie made friends with other members of the flock. Also she learned to get along well in her new surrounding. She was a calm and friendly budgie, therefore the other birds liked her a lot. Only when someone dared to nibble from "her" carrot she became very angry because carrots were her favourite food as you can easily see in the photo. Her face was smeared with carrot juice nearly each day as if she had put on some make-up.

Niobe Actually I wanted to find a new home for the bird instead of keeping it here at my place - my bird room shouldn't become overcrowded. However the time was conceivably unfavourable for finding a new home: At the end of June the vacation period was about to start and there was nobody who wanted to adopt the budgie. Well, admittedly there was a prospective customer in my family, who fell in love at the first sight with the cute bird. That was however already some weeks after the budgie had moved into bird room. In the meantime, the feathered lady had settled in so well and had made friends with the other birds that I didn't have the heart to tear her from the flock. I decided in August 2004 that she may always remain here and I gave her a new name, which also made her "formally" a member of the Birds-Online-flock: Niobe. She was about five years old when I adopted her.

Niobe and her husband Nik Three months later, in November 2004, she fell in love with Max and became his wife for a few months. In fact she was a very demanding lady and Max was a little bit peculiar. This couple didn't fit together well and therefore I was not amazed when they stopped flirting. Niobe fell in love with Liriel in spring 2005 and they got along quite well until he molted heavily in autumn. Due to this he was sleepy all day long and he didn't feed his wife. She was dissatisfied and left him for another. In November 2005 she "married" beautiful Nik who had just come of age (see photo). They snuggled up to each other the whole day long; there was a lot of physical contact in their relationship.

Niobe's crest in profile The colour mutation of the beautiful budgie lady was somewhat completely special because Niobe also belonged to a rare mutation in plumage. The complicated technical term for Niobe's outward appearance is called "yellowface II Greywing normal sky blue Tufted Crest". By the way I should mention that I am not by any means colour blind. The basic colour of the plumage was actually sky blue, however there was a whiff of yellow which made the feathers look light green. Such outward appearances didn't matter at all if one knew the most charming bird. She was calm, always friendly and also full of cheerfulness. All flock members liked her, also the Barred Parakeets who live in the bird room like the friendly budgie. One of her funniest habits was taking a nap on the open cage door. She loved to lie on her belly while she was sleeping. Therefore I gave her a nickname: "Flunder". In English this German word means "flounder".

Without being ill or showing any sign of a disease Niobe died in the early morning of 03/17/2006. When I entered the bird room that morning I found her body lying on the bottom of the cage as if she was sleeping there. Next to her stood the shy male budgie Ares. As it seemed he was a secret admirer of this beautiful lady because he was caressing her head when she was lying dead and her soul was already gone. Regrettably Niobe never felt his affection when she was still alive. Her death left an empty space in the flock and in my heart. I will never forget this endearing budgie lady.

Niobe is taking a nap

Meaning of the name
In Greek mythology, Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion. Since I usually name my birds after astronomical objects, I selected the name Niobe which designates a minor planet in the astronomy.

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