Old Buddy has cracker chance at record books

Sunday Star-Times - - News - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A steady diet of Jimmy’s Pies could be an Otago cock­atiel’s se­cret to a long life.

Roxburgh cock­atiel Buddy is on track to break­ing the Guin­ness World Record for the old­est cock­atiel when he turns 32 in June.

Anne Walders and her late hus­band bought Buddy in 1986 to re­place their pre­vi­ous cock­atiel, John Wayne, who flew off her shoul­der while she was mow­ing.

Buddy has had a long and happy life, be­ing raised along­side Walders’ two chil­dren who are now 46 and 47. He of­ten trav­elled in the car as a young bird, wolf-whistling at peo­ple on pedes­trian cross­ings and ac­com­pa­ny­ing the fam­ily on trips to Nel­son.

The chirpy lit­tle fella even had his own place at the ta­ble where he fre­quently en­joyed a Jimmy’s Pie – a fa­mous Otago brand – and a cup of cof­fee.

‘‘Usu­ally if we are sit­ting here hav­ing a pie and he is sit­ting on a chair, he goes crook un­til he gets a piece,’’ Walders said.

‘‘He is fam­ily, he is Buddy Walders, and prob­a­bly when the day comes that he dies it will be quite up­set­ting. I will miss him. He is quite a char­ac­ter.’’

Buddy not only gave her a pur­pose, but pro­vided her with en­ter­tain­ment – he can ask for a cup of tea, say hello and thank you, and whis­tle Pop Goes the Weasel.

‘‘He car­ries his wings very low now. Those joints are start­ing to show the wear and tear. But all said and done, he is do­ing pretty good for an old bug­ger,’’ Walders said. ‘‘He is prob­a­bly stay­ing alive to keep me alive.’’

She hoped he could break the Guin­ness World Record. ‘‘Ten years is ac­tu­ally 40 years in hu­man life for a bird, so I call him an old bug­ger now ... He is about 137 in hu­man years.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN/STUFF

Anne Walders has many happy mem­o­ries of Buddy’s many years with her fam­ily, and hopes he can hang on for a world record.

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