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  Nisha, adopted on 07/27/07, † 01/27/08

NishaIn July 2007 a friend of mine told me about two budgies she got from a family who had become rid of the birds. My friend wanted to look for a fond new home for these poor birds. Since they haven't been a real pair she could separate them from each other. Soon she found a new home for the male bird, but the green female made her worry. When my friend had a closer look to the bird she noticed that it was somehow impassive and didn't move from its swing. She saw the bird stray around the cage after it fell off the swing. Also the bird ran into the bars of the cage. My friend phoned me and told me about her suspicion: Maybe the budgie is blind, she presumed. According to her description of the birds' behaviour I agreed with her because what she said reminded me a lot of Eule, a blind budgie who once lived in my home.

NishaDue to the change of her environment, the bird was totally confused and my friend worried a lot about her. Despite all her worries she decided to bring the budgie to our avian vet a few days later. I went to see the bird before we left to see the doctor. Both eyes seemed to be "grey" and later, our avian vet found out that the poor budgie was suffering from a cataract. This means the crystalline lenses of both eyes have become opaque. In humans, the cataract is one of the most frequent causes for blindness, see link on Wikipedia external link. Also the bird seemed to have lost most of its vision. She can only "see" something when she is surrounded by bright light and the vet assumed she can sense light and shadow then - that's all. No sharp and high-contrast vision at all.

NishaTo find a new home for a bird who is nearly completely blind is something that one can describe as "mission impossible". Therefore my friend decided to keep the budgie at her place. Regrettably things turned out to be more complicated than she had expected. One of her female budgies soon found out that the new bird was totally defenceless and therefore she liked to attack the blind fellow. It seemed to be great fun to beat up another bird who couldn't defend itself. Before this led to serious injuries, my friend and I decided to take the blind budgie lady to my home. My plan was to integrate her into my flock of handicapped budgies. On 07/27/2007 the green bird became an official member of my flock and got her new name Nisha.

Nisha and SpeedyYou may call me foolish and careless because I didn't cage Nisha but let her into my bird room from the first moment on. My experiences with other blind birds showed me that these amazing little creatures get along very well with their handicap and soon learn to orientate by the use of their sense of hearing. And so did Nisha. It only took her two or three days to learn where the best perches can be found and also she was no longer threatened by starvation. My other birds make such a big noise when I serve their food that it's easy for her to make her way right to the food dish. Once she heard my other birds nibble on their grains and seeds, she moved her head like an owl to find out where the source of this noise was located. Then she headed towards the food dish and hovered in the air just until she is right above the food. After landing, she immediately started to eat. Just three weeks after she had moved into my bird room she had reached normal weight because she gained five grams!

NishaShe settled in very well and even started to trust me. Nisha learned to listen to my commands and for example climb on my hand or off it. So I could carry her around the bird room what she always enjoyed much. Then, on 01/27/2008 she suddenly became very ill. In the morning she was still fine, but in the early afternoon her kidneys stopped working. Blood was coming out of her cloaca and she must have suffered from terrible pain. Even though it broke my heart I decided to bring her to a vet and put her to sleep. There was no chance to save her life, so I wanted her soul to leave in peace. She was so gentle and charming, I will miss her much! Thank you for everything, my beloved little feathered friend.

The ring she weared on her right leg shows that Nisha was born in 2005. Her colour mutation was normal like the wild budgies in Australia, but she is much larger like an English Budgie.

Meaning of the name
In India you can find very old literature, the so-called Vedas. They have been written in a language which is called Sanskrit. If you want to say "night" in this language you should use the word "Nisha". Because my budgie had such a poor eye sight I think she felt like we do at night. Therefore I chose the name Nisha for her.

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