Mick & The Founding of Mickaboo

An interview with Tammy

by Jonathan Harris

The passing of Mick the cockatiel last October 7 was a personal loss to his longtime companions, Tammy Azzaro and her family. It was also a milestone for Mickaboo - the last connection to its first bird, ironically falling in the 21st year since Tammy’s relationship with the organization’s namesake began. In 1988, when young Tammy Finnigan got a cockatiel for herself and as a companion for the one she had given her boyfriend, Bob Azzaro, she could not foresee her relationship with this small bird leading her to found and nurture one of the largest, most successful and respected bird rescue organizations around. Sometimes the smallest things in life prove to be the ones that change you most profoundly.

Tammy and Mick

Tammy already had bought a cockatiel, "Birdy Boy," for Bob, who had prior experience with birds. Bob saw how taken she was with the young tiel, so he decided to buy one for her. He let her choose it at the pet store, and even then, her approach to that choice revealed a deepening concern for birds in need. Rather than a sweet, newly weaned bird, Tammy asked for an older one, a bird who hadn’t been sold. She was led to a back room and shown a bunch of male cockatiels in an aviary. She said simply to catch the slowest one.  Read More

Monty’s Flight Home

by Philippa Money, Maria Pangelina, Martha Kudlacik, and Jonathan Harris

When people imagine a vacation with their beloved, a Caribbean holiday might come to mind this time of year. Flying across the US to adopt a cockatiel probably would not. But that is exactly the choice Philippa Money and her fiancé, Frank, made last fall, when they swapped their trip to Aruba for a cross-country flight to adopt Monty the cockatiel from Mickaboo.

Well, almost. In truth, they had wanted to visit California for a while, so it was not that great a sacrifice. But they really did abandon the proposed Aruba vacation to fly out and adopt the little bird, going so far as to get special Monty tee-shirts made for the occasion.

Pip (Philippa) had been aware of Mickaboo for some time—even living in far-off New Jersey. She regularly visited Mickaboo’s website and read the bios posted there—not because she had plans to adopt a bird but simply for the mixture of happy and sad reading the stories provided. She respected Mickaboo’s ethics and diligence and liked its approach to bird adoption and fostering.   Read More

Phoenix’s Story

by Cathy Kendall

Phoenix came to us on August 12, 2009. I rather reluctantly agreed to pick him up from San Jose Animal Care and Services. I had just lost my favorite pet pigeon to egg yolk peritonitis, had ninety other pigeons and thirteen ringneck doves already in my care, plus eight cage birds. To be honest, the last thing I needed or wanted at that point was another bird to take care of. He was described simply as a "brown dove." I was to foster him until an adopter could be found.  Read more


Your Bird Does WHAT?

Too Skating

Does your Mickaboo bird do something unusual? Share your bird's antics with our readers! The bird must be a living current or former Mickaboo foster bird. Pictures and links to online videos are encouraged! The most interesting and endearing entries will be printed in Mickaboo's blog throughout 2010, and a select few will be included in our April 2010 newsletter.

A Holiday Aviary Wellness Check

By Vicki Ronchette

On December 22, Mickaboo volunteers visited a Redwood City home with an aviary containing over 70 birds, mostly cockatiels. The aviary had come with the purchase of the home, and Mickaboo had been asked by the new home owner for birdkeeping advice. The home is located on a big lot and has an indoor/outdoor aviary where the previous owner bred cockatiels. Mickaboo volunteer Martha Kudlacik said, "At first I didn't think there were more than 50 birds in there, but then she pointed out the ones in the attached building!" In addition to the 70+ cockatiels, there were three budgies and one white dove.  Read More

Luna Finds a Friend

by Lucy Macmillan

This is the story of how Luna, a 3 ½-year-old cockatiel, found a new friend with the help of Mickaboo. Luna, a whiteface male cockatiel, was adopted (not through Mickaboo) about three years ago and given a roomy finch cage to live in. His adopted "Mom" didn’t know much about cockatiels then but did notice Luna loved his reflection. So, in addition to toys and pieces of wood to chew on, Luna’s cage was decorated with many mirrors. He would visit every mirror each day and became increasingly attached to a few – he also became a little aggressive and a little less "cuddly" with people, although rumor has it he was still a wonderful bird. Luna’s Mom thought Luna might prefer a real friend, instead of a virtual one. So she decided to find Luna a friend.    Read More