Who’s behind Cockatiel Chromatics…?
Name: Ida-Emilia Kaukonen
Profession: Bachelor of culture and arts in theater and performance
Color mut… I mean…!
I was born in 1987, and I’ve kept birds since I was only seven. Birds are the love of my life. In particular, I’m known as the finnish advocate of cockatiels. My aim has been to correct misconceptions, to improve understanding the cockatiel and to increase appreciation of the species, based on the fact that the man should learn to understand things through the eyes of cockatiel, and not the other way around.
I’m a member of the government in the finnish avian pet bird society, Lemmikkilinnut Kaijuli ry. I’m also the respondent of the breeding matters of the society and with that task I am trying to create a system that would encourage finnish hobbyists in more ethical breeding methods.
How my parrot hobby got started
Before moving to the parrots I have raised some fieldfares, teaching them how to eat and fly and finally after weening I let them back to the nature. The first pet parrot came to me when I was 7-years-old. This bird, Jaco, was an african grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), which turned out to be a little bit hard pet for a young kid such as I was. Sure, my family helped a lot, and Jaco became the pet of the whole family. But still I grieved for something that was just my own and in my responsibility…
My first cockatiel came in 1998. It was a grey cock, which has so far taken many hearts, including his owners. The first two day I just sang to this two and a half month old chick that came from a pet store. I could hardly go to eat. In two months this chick became a baby in arms. He was named Becky for he looked like a female and behaved like one.
When I started upper level of comprehensive school I noticed that Becky needed more company. I had dremt already long about nestintg and also a lutino cockatiel. I saved one suffering lutino from another pet store. The bird had ophthalmia, half of its crest was missing and someone had even emptied one’s bowels on its white back. When this Peach named tiel recovered I noticed it was again cock. Unfortunately my parents put an end to my pressious hobby: No more birds!
I’ve been interested in color variations since the beginning but for I started english as A2 language (The second language that you start to study at 11-years-old in Finland) my language skills were quite miserable. Because of this I understood many things wrong. Only recently I had this incredible enthusiasm that has motivated me to study all the knowledge I could read about cockatiels.
I was perhaps 15-years-old when my enthusiasm grew very fast and made me to search and devour all the foundable knowledge. In the year 2004 , spring, I marced to the library and borrowed a couple guide books about making a homepage. I opened the first book. My forehead wrinkled I said to myself in loud “What’s that damn Java Script?” Finally I found the correct guide for html: it took only three days to create Cockatiels – The Era of the Variations, which became way more popular than I would have ever thought. The idea for the site was born because in those days there were no information available in finnish, at least not that much. I especially needed the information about the color mutations and so I decided to give the other finnish hobbyists those things I didn’t get my self. I wanted to share all the knowledge I had collected. At this moment the Era of the Variations offers the widest survey to the color mutations and the genetics of cockatiels, including the australian colors that are not met anywhere else in the worls (except thecontraband birds). The readers later requested that I should perhaps write a book, because the page was allready so big. “Why not?” I thought. The same spring, when this site was established, came Ripsa: Maarit Räinä’s bird that she borrowed for me to breed. Later came also Seraph, a blue-eyed lutino cock. I also visited a breeder Kati Kokkonen who showed me how handle and handfeed the chicks.
After some time Ripsa and Peach finally condoned each other. The first obstacle and a crushing stroke came when the chicks died. The autopsy resulted that the reason was endogenous heart disease. The fact that the problem was genetical was confirmed when the veterinarian diagnosed in 2005 that Peach had perhaps a hereditary eye pressure disease. I also lost Seraph in a mystical way. No disease was found except that Seraph had corrupted inner organs, causing the bird to stop eating. Seraph had always been quite small in size but I never guessed he would have succumbed like that. These situations are still very instructive: no more birds without knowing their origin!
After all the woe and missfortune I finally got lucky. In 2005 summer my research and studying was priced as I went all the way to Germany and brought the first special colors to Finland: two sex-linked yellowcheeks and a dominant silver. I had the chance to stay with 300 cockatiels chirping around me, to get to know colors I had only dreamed ever to see with my bare eyes and I also learned a lot about standards and good breeding methods.
The year 2006 was pretty fruitbearing for breeding. Becky met Sihteeri Almalexia and it was love at the first sight. They had two chicks and I saved their first born, a pretty cinnamon pearl hen and named her Ninja (breeding name: Deus Ex Avibus’s Crested Perky Predator). I also took care of Tyty and Poju, a nice couple who had some difficoult situations at their home so they needed a place where to stay for a while. They had one clutch. In november came also my dominant silver hen. In 2007 Autumn this silver hen, named Mystique, made three eggs with the dominant silver cock I had named Delirium. That was a big step fo me and also for the finnish cockatiel hobby! They have been breeding succesfully ever since and soon it’s time for their offspring to step up for breeding. I’m also planing to go to get more dominant silvers to have various genes.
For me, cockatiels are more than just a hobby. They are a life style, part of my imago. I can not imagine life without them.
I’m an active member of the government in Finnish pet bird association Kaijuli. My duties are for example forum and chat moderation and being the breeder program responsible.
I also have a pair of quaker parrots, Inanna and Roki, and the newest species under my roof is Pyro the white-bellied caique.
Besides the bird I have many hobbies. I like different kind of arts. I love painting and drawng (especially digitally), music and performing. I also like to be creative and I’m writing for example a book about cockatiels. I take tribal fusion lesson and singing lessons and at times I do live action role playing. My nature is balancing between a forest loving child and geek girl. The Cyber-Me loves to play in the urban world but then again there’s nothing as lovely as smelling incence and dwelling in my thoughts in the middle of the Finnish nature.
I also do some modeling for alternative catalogs. Feel free to take a peek!
Photo: Aki Aro / Photoworks.fi
Photo: Lauri Kananoja