Accidents Happen: A Conure Dies From Being SAT On

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Samantha and her Green Cheek Conure "Phoenix". One of Phoenix's favourite toys were Samantha's tops. He'd dive right in.

Every now and again you hear a story about a bird that sticks in your mind and just doesn’t go away. It makes you stop for a moment and re-look at what you do with your own birds. This is one of those stories.

I received an email from a follower that many of you may know as a regular poster to the Facebook page. Samantha was writing to me about her little Green Cheek Conure named Phoenix.

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Phoenix found the sprouts and helped himself.

Phoenix was one of those birds that gets right under your skin and forces you to adore him. He was Samantha’s best friend and constant companion.

His training perch was kept on the patio near where Samantha and her husband had their cuppas, but Phoenix preferred “his” chair. With the typical parrot understanding of everything must be “his”, he’d be desperate to get into their cups. As a result they had to start drinking from travel mugs to keep him out (think mug with lid).

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Phoenix loved getting into cups so much that Samantha had to get him his own "mini-mug".

Samantha kept his training treats and clicker handy and they would have several training sessions a day. At times Phoenix wanted the treat but didn’t want to train so he would jump onto the table and sit on the jar of treats, tapping the lid. Samantha would get him to step up and put him on the perch – then there would be a few minutes of him not waiting till she got the clicker and treat ready. Instead he would go back to the treat jar to “help”.

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The quality control officer in action - supervising his food preparation. Samantha used to worry he'd become part of the dish because he was always getting in the way.

Naturally, when Samantha was in bed sick. Phoenix was in there with her, happily playing and keeping her company. She had been in bed, with him sitting on her chest enjoying undivided attention and scratches when her husband came in (he had been out fishing).

Phoenix was so excited to see Samantha’s husband that he went running to meet him. It was a joyous “Daddy’s home!!!” run. Unfortunately Samantha’s husband didn’t see Phoenix and accidentally sat on him. It happened in seconds. Phoenix was killed. In Samantha’s words: “We are both so devastated, it was a stupid accident. Normally we are so careful when he is out but it all happened too quick.” 

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Phoenix eating pomegranate.

I know I froze in horror when I read what had happened as I could imagine it so readily in my own home with my own birds. Accidents happen very easily and I thought it worth sharing the story as sometimes hearing about these sorts of tragedies can serve as a reminder. The reminder might even prevent an accident somewhere else in the future.

I know it has made me more vigilant when my birds are out and about. It’s fine if I know they’re there but if anyone else is around – I now make doubly sure they know that I have a bird out and to be careful accordingly. I’m also more wary when I first enter a room just in case someone else in the house has a bird out, or just in case a bird has escaped (a common problem when you live with several feathered Houdinis).

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Everything was "his" he was constantly stealing his pen. Well it's a pen - so at least he has good taste!!!

As Samantha said in her email to me: “He was a very friendly, happy and inquisitive bird that adored me (and I him). Phoenix always had to be close and I was very vigilant on his whereabouts so nothing would happen to him, which makes what did happen all the more heartbreaking. I never thought it would happen as we were so careful but then accidents only take a second and can happen to anyone, no matter how vigilant you are.”

Phoenix has left a legacy behind him. What Samantha and her husband have learned about birds in his time with them will be knowledge they use to improve the lives of their two remaining rescue birds. Bella (a Rainbow Lorikeet) and Zoey a Major Mitchell will both benefit from that knowledge. They will not forget Phoenix. I know Samantha and her husband will read this post, so please join with me in sharing condolences in the comments section.

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Phoenix with Bella (a Rainbow Lorikeet with plucking issues).

I think sometimes it helps to know there are others out there who understand that these personalities are never “just a bird”. They are all important and special and they mark us for life. In Samantha’s words:

“I can’t stop the tears at the moment. He was a green cheek conure, small in size but it is amazing how big a hole he has left in my heart.” 

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Even glasses were toys and (of course) bananas were 'his' too.

 Mel Vincent works as an animal rehabilitator out of Australia.


Heidi Dickeson DeBoer

Im so sorry to read this…I know the heartache of this almost exact thing except my cockiteil was under our recliner rocker and I didnt realize it and I rocked forward to get up and heard her..I broke her chedt but she didnt die right away. later at the vets she passed. I didnt forgive myself for along time. I know the heartache you both went through especially your husband. Again so sorry for your loss.

Heidi Dickeson DeBoer

Oh no!!! I have just read Samantha’s story – it is terribly sad…………………. :’( Poor, poor Phoenix……….. Thinking of you – it must be very hard……………. Kind Regards Hester


I thought you were not supposed to give birds banana to eat!!


I know how you feel, my budgie Opal died today of what seems to be old age. I’ve owned him for three years but I’d gotten him from the section of the pet shop where older pets were kept. May they both rest in peace.


Samantha & Daddy, how truly heart breaking. I’m so very sorry. The one thing you must always know & always remember – you both gave Phoenix a wonderful life, just as he did for both of you. That’s special. Sending you both a blessing, take care, keep loving one another and your other babies.

The Bead Muse

Oh I’m SO sorry!! This is the worst thing imaginable!! many hugs My husband’s Green Cheek is like that with him.. she’s so flighty. We’re always afraid she’s going to wind up doing something bad! I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope you have a fantastic time with your two rescues! hugs again

The Bead Muse

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