Joanie and Chachi, A Tale of Two Cockatiels

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and ChachiJoanie on the left, Chachi on the right

Today I’d like to introduce to you Joanie and Chachi, our two crazy Cockatiels. Since the passing of our beloved puppy things in our house haven’t been the same. But thanks to these two crazy birds we have had not only the much needed distraction but a daily dose of laughs. You can also say that in a way these two chicken littles have become the therapy for our healing journey.

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and ChachiAmericans (and perhaps Canadians) will probably recognize and giggle at the origin of our birds’s names. For my international readers I’ll explain, Joanie and Chachi are two characters from a TV show called “Happy Days”. It was an iconic American television sitcom which both my hubby and I watched and enjoyed. Plus upon hearing my husband suggest the names I couldn’t stop laughing at the idea of two cockatiels being called Joanie and Chachi, so those are the names we went with.

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and ChachiGrowing up in Mexico my mom had a patio full of birds. (We even had a small parrot that our uncle brought for us from the jungle.) But despite having grown up with birds I don’t remember them having such strong personalities as our Joanie and Chachi. Joanie is opinionated, loud,a goof ball that loves to sing and tap her claw and beak when there is music playing. Chachi is cool as can be, he is always chilled out, curious, loves exploring, climbing, hanging upside down, also a goof ball and I think his favorite thing to do is eat.

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and Chachi
We are both animal lovers, and though it was my idea to go buy them I had mixed feelings about keeping a caged animal. I believe that animals should have the freedom to spread out, explore and decide for themselves when they want to be in their cage. Luckily though cockatiels are birds that can be, and should be, allowed to roam free in and out of their cages. We had to clip their wings to limit their flight both for safety reasons and so we could hand tame and train them. (Don’t worry it is perfectly safe and it doesn’t hurt when they get their wings clipped.)

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and Chachi

Joanie and Chachi are relatively quiet birds. Well except when Joanie decides to serenade us or they want attention throughout the day. Some mornings they sign and other mornings they don’t. It seems to depend on how much sunlight there is that day. Their day starts off by their cage door being open, then they climb out and on top of their cage where they start flapping their wings at a very high pace. From what we’ve read it’s a way of stretching out their wings after being cooped up in their cage overnight. Chachi does a really goofy thing where he hangs upside down and flaps his wings really hard, it’s really funny to watch. Sometimes he does it so hard that he ends up falling off the cage.

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and Chachi

Joanie and Chachi have now been in our home for almost 2 months. So far we’ve managed to hand tamed them and they will happily hop on you hand or finger for a ride around the house. Okay that’s except when Joanie feels like being a little biatch and hisses and pecks before agreeing. But once on your hand or shoulder they really love the attention. They particularly love to preen my husband’s beard or our hair. They also love to nibble on any jewelry I may be wearing or even my glasses.

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and Chachi
We’ve also managed to teach them a few whistling things. But really Joanie just makes whatever noises she wants and normally ignores us and tries to one up you by getting louder. The one thing she does have down is a cat call whistle. The first time we heard her we were cracking up, okay its still pretty funny to hear.

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and Chachi(Good thing Joanie can’t use the internet because I think she would be very upset that I didn’t capture her good side in this photo. Plus posting it for the world to see.)

Our little birdies spend so much time outside of the cage, where their food and water are, that it started worrying me they might not be getting enough food or water. So I started preparing them a small treat bowl to place on top of their cage along with some water. But the silly and inquisitive Chachi started lifting and flipping over the bowl with all it’s contents all over the cage and floor. My husband devised a way of preventing that by using small metal containers and magnets to hold them in place. Haha Chachi! We win this round :P

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and Chachi

Earlier I told you Chachi loves to eat, he really does. We often joke that a little bit of Panchito was reincarnated in Chachi because he has the same appetite and apparently stomach size. See those yellow thingies in the photo above? Those are crushed cornflakes. Their treat bowl always has them so Chachi can start his morning off with a good breakfast.

Spicie Foodie; cockatiel birds, Joanie and Chachi

We have come to love, appreciate and enjoy our little birdies these past couple of months. They are sweet, goofy birdies who have brought not only the distraction but also a lightness with plenty of laughs into our home in a time when we have really needed it. For that they will have a space in my heart where they’ll always be remembered. But even saying all of that they nor any other pet will ever replace the big chunk permanently tattooed and carved out for our Panchito. So to answer your questions asking if we have brought another puppy into our home, no we have not. We both feel there is more healing to be done, and the time will come, but no yet. For now on our healing journey Joanie and Chachi will be providing the entertainment and distractions while we provide the bribery, that is special treats and privileges. Chirp, chirp!


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  1. says

    I had a gray cockatiel named Merlyn as a teenager (the “y” is because I thought she was a he and planned to name “him” Merlin!) and she was the sweetest, funniest little thing. She love romaine lettuce and popcorn for treats, and she’d take naps on my chest and nibble on my ear lobes. I loved the feel of her cool, dry feet and her smell – feathers and seeds and this special vitamin oil we gave her. I am so happy you have these little creatures to bring much-needed animal love into your home. Of course no one can ever replace Panchito, but you honor him by giving love to other animals. It’s nice to know your heart hasn’t dried up – at least that’s how I felt. Someday when the time is right you will have doggie love again – my Merly loved our dog, so that likely won’t be a problem!

    • says

      Mine also like lettuce and baby spinach, but haven’t tried popcorn yet. Merlyn sounds like she was such a sweetheart. Thank you so much Trix, it’s so sweet of you to say those things :)

  2. says

    Aw they are gorgeous little monkeys. They seem to be keeping you in good company which is the most important. I’ve always thought cockatiels were curious little birds and that they would be fun to have one but I think my cat would disagree!

  3. says

    This post makes me giggle, your cockatiels are so full of character that I’m happy they’re filling your home with laughter. It’s great to see that they’re spending so much time outside their cages. We had one too when my kids were very little and he was an absolute darling, plus now that you mention it, he was also goofy and curious. Maybe it’s their way of entertaining us ;-). I think your husband picked the best names for your birds, I too loved Joanie and Chachi in Happy Days! Scott Baio and The Fonz used to make me swoon (but just look at them now…LOL).

    • says

      Hi Maya, Really? I am beginning to think that cockatiels are very popular. What was yours called? Haha! Yeah and The Fonz isn’t as cool as he was on the show. But I still love it :)

  4. says

    You realize of course that if you DO end up getting a new dog now, you’ll have to name it Fonzy! ;) Hmmmm, that just conjured up images of you trying to teach a puppy to do the thumbs-up (paws up) that Fonzy always did. LOL

    • says

      Chis, My husband and I are laughing at your comment. Can you imagine how funny that would be if we had the cast of Happy Days as pets? LOL! Fonzy the dog would also have to learn to bark, Wooow and Eyy! Can’t stop laughing now.

  5. says

    Awwww.. I love Joanie and Chachi!! I love their names too. : ) Funnily, I just saw the end of a Happy Days (rerun) recently and Joanie an d Chachi were in the scene. So the characters are fresh in my mind. I’m so happy that you have found some joy and happiness with these two little lovelies! We have been talking about getting a dog for a few months now (it will be 2 years this December since Bailey my 14 year old passed). But I am waiting for the “right” one to walk into my life and I haven’t gotten that “feeling” yet. I believe the right pet is out there for all of us and they will find their way into our lives when it’s the right time. I am glad that you found the the right two little birdies. Enjoy them! : ) Loved all the pictures too. : )

    • says

      Hi Ramona, Thank you. It’s great that you have gotten to a place where you are considering bringing another pup into your home. You are so right about the feeling and the waiting. I think one must be 100% able to give as much to the new one as the previous one, it’s only fair for everyone. I hope you find the right one very soon :)

  6. says

    Oh, aren’t they gorgeous birds! And I LOVE their names…you were probably watching reruns while I was a young teen while Happy Days aired the first time :)

  7. says

    Pets of any type are good for your health, are healing and are great companionship. I am happy that you have found this with your two Cockatiels. They are very pretty birds and appear to be quite entertaining. :-)

  8. says

    I LOVE them and I love the name choice! Very clever indeed! I have thought about getting birds, but at the same time, I have cats so I don’t think that would make a good pairing lol. Anyhow, can’t wait to read more about them!


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