Cameron, Charlie the cockatoo’s foster dad, has two other permanent members of his household, Herbie and Bloo. Herbie is a female Derbyan parakeet, and Bloo is a male blue-cinnamon variant Ringneck parakeet. Herbie and Bloo are true parakeets; the birds most people think of as parakeets are actually budgies. Parakeets are much larger birds, as you can see in the pictures below.

Herbie was hatched on Christmas Day, 2004. You can see a bit of the blue feathers starting to come in around the edge of her beak. Eventually her face will be a more distinctive blue. In Derbyans, the females are distinguished by their all-black beaks, while the males have bright orange beaks. Otherwise the two sexes are almost identical in coloration.

Bloo was hatched in April, 2004. Ringnecks come in a truly enormous variety of color combinations, and Bloo is a blue-cinnamon color variant. The pale ring around his neck will eventually turn black as he matures. These birds have distinctive pale irises, which gives their gaze a somewhat zombie-ish quality. Bloo is also a strange bird, who rarely makes noise and seems more content to just stare at you (or stick his beak in your ear).

Bloo was about to be sent to the breeder when Cameron called looking for a Ringneck. He was originally looking for a regular blue Ringneck, but the seller had a special one that “didn’t deserve to go to the breeder”, and cost a bit more because of his nice color. So Cameron bought him, and now he has a nice home where he doesn’t have to spend his days doing nothing but raising babies.

And one more of Herbie outside:

All pictures were taken with a Sony Cybershot DSC-S40 digital camera.

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