Striker and Ava, in loving memory

Striker and Ava the parakeets

We lost two wonderful pet birds on Friday. It is an incredible loss that Jessica and I feel deeply; as anyone who knows us well will be aware, we love our parakeets a great deal. What helps us in this difficult moment is our knowledge of how much we loved them, and how loving they were toward us.
Striker was the cool “wild-type” green bird who was a bold, friendly prescence, always kind to his flockmates and cool with Jessica and me–saying “I love you” when Jessica said it to him, flying over to hang out with me on the back my chair, or leading the other birds in a run around the floor (or a flight around the house). A beautiful, friendly companion who was always ready to come out of the cage first and who learned from his buddy Belle a willingness to show affection to Jessica and me, Striker was also probably the most popular among his own feathered companions–he would patrol the house with Sparty when out of the cage, he would groom back and forth with Belle, and he and Ava would look out the window and hang out while sitting together on a swing perch–sharing food and grooming each other every once in a while. Striker–“Striky Boy” or “Green Man” as I would call him sometimes as he would jump onto my shoulder–was a fast and attentive learner, a good traveler, very inquisitive, very patient with the other birds and very kind.
Ava “the Aviator” was the best flier of the birds, with effortless weaves and bobs taking her through the air at any angle she chose. A parakeet distinctly colored with a beautiful “army green” kind of plumage, we got Ava in May 2008, about two months after we got Striker, Belle, and Sparty. We got her from a Petco on the east side of Cleveland, so we called her our east side bird (Striker was from the Petco at Steelyard). I’ll never forget how confidently Ava jumped into the cage when first introduced, and she never backed down to anyone. But she was just a determined little bird, holding her own, and over time we got to see the sweet side of Ava as she shared affection and grooming with Striker and warmed to perching on my hand and tweeting. One time she even cuddled with Jessica, just leaning in and sharing warmth in a really touching way. Her deeply social nature led Ava, even when first out of the cage, to wait when offered millet by me until other birds got out and joined her in eating it. Ava was an incredibly beautiful, sweet, flighty bird who matured and flourished with love from the flock, especially Jessica (whose one-on-one sessions with Ava helped the bird build confidence and made Jessica very happy) and Striker (who Ava would love to follow around and who was always a welcoming and loving companion).
Jessica told me that she opened up about them on Sunday in yoga class, which is a very nice thing and something that Striker and Ava could appreciate as they used to watch Jessica practice yoga at home sometimes.
Jessica and I are so thankful for knowing our two wonderful parakeets Striker and Ava, and we are remembering them fondly and sending them our love. They are survived by their beloved companions Belle and Sparty.