by Nori Muster
Seeking a new zebra finch after my beloved elderly Izzy bird died in January 2012, I located Beartie (Bert) following an ad on Craig's List. Bert was the runt in a large cage of zebra finches. The people said they had bought a pair of zebras on Valentine's Day a year before, and now they had about ninety. They said that if I would take the runt, they would give it to me free. The other birds had been biting his feet and plucking his feathers, trying to kill him off. I felt sorry for him, so I brought him home.
At first he was plucked and gray, with just a few patches of baby feathers remaining. As the weeks passed, his adult feathers filled in, and he became a good looking, extra small zebra. As soon as I got him, he started watching TV and Youtube videos on my iPad. His favorite show was The Stephanie Miller Show on Ustream.tv. Later, the show went on Current TV under the name Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller. When Beartie escaped to the living room one time, he went right to the TV and watched because Stephanie Miller was playing. I sent Stephanie a picture of Bert watching her show, and the next day, she read my letter and showed his picture on the air. Now Bert is world famous. He even has his own videos on Youtube (on this page).
Postscript: in July 2013, Bert moved to a zoo in Nevada, where he now lives in a large enclosure with other birds. He is still a character, and has a dedicated following (humans and birds). He also has a look-alike twin soul best friend now. Bert and his friends live at Roos-n-More Zoo in Moapa, Nevada.