Who knew a lip-syncing cockatiel could amuse millions of viewers so much?

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Although Lena Wallace Black of Memphis adores all creatures great and small, her love for feathered friends absolutely surpasses her fondness for furred creatures. "I had my first pet birds at age 8 and that's all I've ever known," she tells Daily Paws. "There's just something magical about the fact that so much personality, love, and devotion can be packed into a creature that weighs only a few ounces."

She's had many different winged sweeties over the years, but her current flock includes Mardi, a 13 year old Indian Ringneck Parakeet, as well as brothers Zucchini and Mushroom, both 1 year old white-faced cockatiels. On her TikTok channel, @veggiebirblady, she shares many of their antics, including how they peck at her vegetarian meals, twitter a melody in tune with her musician husband, Nick, and share a cheerful convo or two.

bird sings a sparks a viral storm of duets
Credit: Courtesy of Lena Wallace Black

Wallace Black says she got on TikTok specifically because so many people were sending her bird TikToks that would make her day, and she wanted to contribute the adorable, funny, heartwarming things her pretties do. "I think people forget about birds as pets and how intelligent and precious they can be," she says. "So they get really surprised to see them doing such smart, cuddly, entertaining things." 

bird sings and sparks a viral storm of duets
Credit: Courtesy of Lena Wallace Black

However, nothing could have prepared her for the massive viral sensation Mushroom has become! It all started with this video that has racked up more than 1 million views since it was posted on August 3, in which Mushroom "sings." Why the quotations? You just have to watch!

Now, we'll just tell you straight up: talented as he is, that's not Mushroom singing. He was 'clearing his crop' which, as Wallace Black explains, is a little pouch in a bird's throat where food gathers before it digests. Sometimes, they need to move it along, and the strange yawning action is how they do it. Wallace Black, who works at the Orpheum Theatre, and her husband often joke around and riff on various vocals to their birdies' movements to make each other laugh, and this video wasn't any different—except she posted it to her TikTok channel.

You could say it really took flight... and even became a full-fledged hit! (Puns totally intended.)

"I'm still really new to TikTok, so I had no idea that duets could be such a big deal," she says. "That's really what started to take the video over the edge—when people started duetting and sharing it." Dozens of reaction videos popped up, with everyone doing their own thang with Mushroom. Wallace Black's favorite reaction vid is by musician Kevon Carter. "He's playing piano and reacting and it's just so great!" We totally agree with her—and another 3 million viewers!

How many other duets with Mushroom are there? So many!

And of course, one with his dad Nick Black, creating what is sure to become a musical family legacy. We see the brightly-colored tour bus with all the little birdies in a row coming down the street now, come on—get happy!

How is it that a bird mom and her feathered babies could cause such an online flutter? Wallace Black thinks it's because the world needs a little more fun right now. "It needs cute animals. It needs a laugh," she says. We couldn't agree more!