Lovesick Bird Finds New Mate At National Aviary

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a story of love lost – and found again.

It starts with Skippy, a black-necked stilt from Mexico.

“Mr. and Mrs. Skippy were actually an extraordinary couple,” National Aviary Veterinarian Dr. Pilar Fish said. “They did everything together.”

But Skippy’s mate became ill and died.

“Skippy cried – he mourned so much that he cried,” Dr. Fish said. “He stopped eating, he stopped grooming himself and he became incredibly weak because he was mourning so much.”

Dr. Fish brought the now 23-year-old bird to the Aviary hospital. That’s when he saw a picture on the wall.

“We haven’t really thought about the mural because it was there for several years, but Skippy saw the portrait of Mrs. Skippy on the bottom of the mural and he started talking to her and sat right next to her,” she said.

It was love at first chirp. An enclosure was built so he’d never have to leave her side. He began to eat and groom himself. His condition improved and his broken heart began to heal.

“Every single night he sleeps next to the portrait of Mrs. Skippy,” Dr. Fish said.

Skippy will emerge from his pen to greet National Aviary visitors on Valentine’s Day.

  • lovebird

    Aww! If only people would stay that devoted to each other!
    It always breaks my heart when I see a duck or goose along the road after their mate has been hit and killed. The rest of the flock has moved on, but they’ve stayed behind. Very sad.

    • Love birds, too

      That’s so true. I saw a male mallard in the road in a panic after his mate was killed by a car. Bystanders were in tears. Probably the saddest animal experience I’ve ever had.

  • Scott

    That’s why I like animals better than people. They are more loyal.

    • Marilea

      I agree with Scott. I love animals the are more loving to each other and to their young. That bird is very cute im glad he is doing better.

  • Bird Lover

    This is the cutest story I have ever heard. I have to get to the aviary to see this little guy. :)

  • whatgoesaround

    omggg… that’s so adorable!!! cute bird. they need to get him a real mate.

  • Ming the Merciless

    I have been feeding the birds and squirrels in my back yard since I was a child and I have always enjoyed there companionship and watching there crazy antics. people need to slow down and enjoy life and see the show nature puts on for them everyday.

  • Barbara Buckley

    I hate this site. I liked the old kdka website better. Not easy to find what you are looking for. This is a cbs website. I want KDKA website back. It takes to long to find what you are looking for I knew the other site better. DID YOU HEAR OF THE SAYING IF IT’S NOT BROKE DON’T FIX IT. I think you lost a lot of people who used the KDKA website daily. PLEASE, PLEASE, BRING BACK THE OLD KDKA WEBSITE BACK.

    • FixPGH

      Barbara, instead of complaining on an article comment thread, how about contact KDKA directly???

  • Dave Crawley

    Barbara, From your lips to CBS’s ears…but don’t hold your breath

  • nancy

    Love the story – so touching. HATE THE NEW WEBSITE! I automatically go to when looking for news or weather, but lately, I immediately switch to another local news website because this one is terrible.

  • carlos

    if a persons mate died and the survivor became immensly obsesed with the deceased picture the rest of the world would think that human was crazy an would be looked down upon by society
    but yes its a beautiful story and we should all be so fortunate to witness this

  • Annie Fixler

    My cousin painted the mural! she was a vet intern

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