Our journey with Vlerkie 

written by Julia his foster/adopter

A bit of background:
I became involved with Cheeky Beaks in 2021 when I stumbled across them while browsing the internet. I applied and was approved as a Foster, as well as to Adopt. I started fostering birds for them. Each bird that came to me to foster, was special, as all birds are. Charlie came to me for Foster Care on Saturday 29 January 2022. His wing and foot were injured, somewhere in his past, which left him with a disability. He was a scared and mostly quiet bird. He did not pay attention to his toys and just sat and observed most of the time. We immediately adjusted his cage to make it more manageable for him. We placed perches right around the cage, at the level of the food and water bowls. He can only move around the sides of the cage, as he needs to assist with his beak, to compensate for his foot which is not fully functional. We made further adjustments as time went by. We only have one perch higher up in the one corner of the cage, as this is where he likes to sleep. He climbs to this position using his beak and healthy foot.

A short while after he came to me, he was introduced to the Cheeky Beaks website.

We take his cage outside, into our enclosed courtyard, every morning and then back inside again in the early evening. He spends the daytime in the company of our other birds. In the beginning, he would try to get to the furthest corner, away from us, as fast as he could manage when you pick up the cage. He was obviously very scared and distrusting. I am happy to say that he now sits completely at ease when we carry the cage. His noise and sound level have increased progressively as time went by. He now makes the sweetest squeaky noises when he is happy. He’s bathed in his water bowl and started playing with some of his toys. He also ventures to the bottom of the cage and tears up the newspapers, as our other birds do. It is much easier for him at the bottom, as he doesn’t need to hold onto the sides.
His trust level is also something to treasure. We still have a long way to go, but the progress is clearly visible.
About me:
I am definitely a “Bird Person”. Have been all my life. I don’t just “like” birds. I LOVE birds. They each have their own personality and unique characteristics.
It didn’t take me too long to realize that I could not see myself going forward, with this bird having to go to another home. I gave it considerable thought and first sorted it out in my own mind, before discussing it with my family. Their words to me: We knew, from the first day this bird arrived here, that this would be the outcome.

I told my Cheeky Beaks Advisor what my feelings were and what I would like to do. The Committee reviewed my Adoption Application.
On the 29th of April, 3 months after “Vlerkie”, as I call him, came into my life, I adopted him!

I simply love Vlerkie. He is such a precious bird and a joy and blessing to me.
In return, I hope I can make him happy and feel loved.