Idele Gilbert, known as the “bird whisperer" by her friends, enjoys a special bond with her parakeet, Jesse. She describes him as the smartest avian companion she has had. A quick learner, Jesse began to talk with just one week of training and to twirl around on his perch after watching a dancing show on television.
Including Jesse, Idele has owned 13 pet parakeets over the years—a passion that began when she was a child. She has only owned one bird at a time and acquired all of them when they were 6-8 weeks old. Idele soon earned their trust by spending time with them daily and established close bonds with each.
With their cheerful disposition and affectionate nature, parakeets have found a special place in the hearts of Idele and her husband, Harry. Their love for these birds inspired them to include the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in their estate planning to support research to advance avian medicine and to create an endowed scholarship for students with an interest in avian companion animals.
“My parakeets have been like children to me,” said Idele. “Each one has had a unique personality and brought me a lot of joy. I’m so happy to have known each of these little darlings, but miss them dearly. I hope that our gift will help companion birds like ours enjoy healthier and longer lives.”
If you have a love for birds—or other companion animals—and want to make a difference in improving their health, please contact our Advancement team at 530-752-7024.