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April 6, 2013

A home for Charlie

Lost cockatiel finds a cozy nest in Salisbury


Native to Australia, the cockatiel is a member of the parrot family and one of the most popular pet birds in the U.S.

Atlantis has a house full of birds rescued over the years, including special needs birds like a beakless pigeon, She figured what’s one more when she’s already taking care of 10 flying pets, especially given the recent death of her first bird, a sweet parakeet she had for 13 years.

So after learning no one called Newbury Animal Hospital to claim the cockatiel, Atlantis offered to give it a home. She took the bird — which she has since named Charlie — for a wellness check-up with her veterinarian, Dr. Wendy Emerson of Topsfield, who is an avian specialist.

“I always do that first thing with a new bird because birds hide their illnesses big time,” Atlantis said. “By the time you know they’re sick, you have big problems.”

Turns out Charlie was ill with a bacterial infection and has to be quarantined in his own room at Atlantis’ home.

But, not to worry, Atlantis said. Charlie’s being treated with a course of antibiotics, and he should be in tip-top shape soon.

“He’s fine,” Atlantis said. “And when he’s clear of the infection, he’ll be able to visit with all his other little friends here.”

Atlantis estimates Charlie is perhaps just a year or so old, a youngster given that cockatiels, according to, have a life expectancy of 16 to 25 years.

Although their colors vary, Charlie is dressed primarily in feathery white, with black and gray spotting on his wings, a yellow crest on top of his head and bright peach-colored cheeks.

“He is a feisty little guy with a lot of personality,” Atlantis said. “He has a home here now, and we’re happy to have him.”

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