the first parrot blog
The guided and mis-guided adventures of new parrot owners and the people that encourage and support them. Cautions, advice, amusements and interesting stories about people and their parrots.
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J-Birds Posts of Note
Parrot Bill of Rights
J-Bird On "The View"
Epitaph To A Parrot
A Bird Of Mine
Give Love, Be Loved
Ducote's Parrot Place
Land of Vos
The Alex Foundation
Prior Months Posts
the first parrot blog
Monday, March 29, 2004
Be Careful Out There
Magic Chef is having a few design problems which result in killing birds.
I got a call from a friend a few days ago, asking for help. Another friend of hers, Cindy, had three birds, a Moluccan cockatoo, a Noble macaw, and a cockatiel. On Sunday night the Moluccan suddenly dropped dead, of no apparent cause. He was playing and acting normal, and dead 20 minutes later. Monday morning the Noble macaw was found dead when his cage was uncovered. The cockatiel was fine.
Cindy was out of town, and her husband called her to tell her what had happened. Cindy called my friend, who in turn called several other people to pick our brains. The first theory was something in the air. But
none of the usual suspects was present--no candles or perfumes, no household cleaners, no overheated Teflon, no neighbors spraying chemicals. The next theory was either something in the water, or bad food, both of which would require testing.
On Tuesday morning I e-mailed my friend suggesting that they get the cockatiel out of the house until they could figure this out. Tuesday afternoon I received the following e-mail from her: "I called Cindy this morning to tell her what you said about getting Viva out of the house but they lost her last night. But they think they know the source. Steve bought Cindy a magic chef convection microwave for Christmas. They had used the microwave but not the convection feature very often. Sunday night Steve BBQ'd but it got dark before he finished cooking so he brought the chicken in and put it into the oven. When it started smoking he pulled it out and opened the windows. (Now, I set off the smoke alarm half the time i make popcorn, so this was obviously not ordinary smoke, but they didn't know that at the time). Viva's (cockatiel) cage was higher up than Kermit's so it didn't affect her. Yesterday afternoon Steve tore down
Kermit (the Noble) cage and put Viva's cage on that stand. Last night after Steve left for work Preston (their son) started to heat a burrito in the microwave and it started smoking. He freaked out and called Cindy. she said to grab Viva and Phoebe (the dog) and go to the neighbors, but before he hung up the phone Viva dropped dead. Needless to say the microwave is now outside the house. but she is going to
pursue it with the company, and Phoebe has an appointment at the vets tonight.
Magic Chef Convection microwave, Model # MCC1010T, s/n 30903915, FCC #C5F7NF92M01000. Manufactured Sept. 2003, bought new in Dec. 2003
Steve and Cindy lost all three of their beloved pets to this tragedy. Viva the cockatiel was 15 years old. The microwave was 6 months old when it malfunctioned. There is something in this microwave that produces toxic fumes that are fatal to parrots when it malfunctions. The humans didn't smell anything unusual, but it killed three birds in a very short time.
If you know someone who owns birds and has one of these ovens, warn them that it could kill their birds too. Please feel free to pass this to other lists.
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:06 PM |
Sunday, March 28, 2004
A Parrot's Bill of Rights by Stewart A. Metz, M.D.
1) Get to know about parrots before you bring me home
I am not a domesticated pet like a dog or cat. I still have the spirit of the jungle in me. I have special needs which you may find hard to fill. Please don't learn these too late for my well-being. And please don't acquire one of my cousins wild from the jungle—it will jeopardize his survival and well-being, and that won't be a party for you either!
2) Give me the largest home possible
I am used to flying through rainforests or savannas. I have given up this great gift for your pleasure. At the very least, give me enough room to flap my wings and exercise. And I need toys for my amusement and wood to chew—otherwise, I might confuse your home with the forest and its trees.
3) Give me a nutritious diet
I need a wide variety of fresh and nutritious foods, even if they take time to prepare. I cannot survive on seeds alone. Take time to learn what my needs and preferences are.
4) Let me have a "social life"
I am a gregarious flock animal, but I am not one of you. I need lots of socialization to learn how to act with you, and with my siblings. I also need to have adequate quality time with you every day—no matter what your schedule or other needs are. I am a living, feeling creature. Above all, I need to be able to have complete trust in you and count on your predictability in looking after me—every day.
5) Let me be clean
I may like to drop food or even throw it, but I need meticulous cleanliness to be healthy. My skin itches without frequent showers, the barbs of my feathers won't seal if they become oily and, worst of all, I may become ill if my food or water is not always sanitary.
6) I need my own doctor
You may not understand my physiology and therefore you may not recognize it early on when I get sick. And it may be too late when you do, because I hide my illnesses (remember what I said about my being an animal of the jungle, where there are lots of predators). And I need an avian vet—a specialist (no HMOs for me please). If you can't afford one, perhaps you shouldn't have taken me home.
7) Please don't punish me
Just as I don't always understand your peculiarities, you may not understand mine. I don't TRY to get in trouble—remember, a house is not the jungle. If I do screw up, don't yell at me, and never hit me. I have sensitive ears and I may never trust you again if you strike me. Hands are sometimes scary things to us (why in the world would you not be zygodactyl like us?). Even more importantly, we don't learn by punishment. We are gentle creatures who only strike back to protect ourselves; we learn through patience and love.
8) Speak my "language"
I know you get upset with me when I knock over my water bowl, throw food, scream, or pluck my feathers. I don't do these to annoy you—I am probably trying to tell you something (perhaps that I am hurting, lonely , or sad). Learn to speak MY (body) language. Remember that I, alone, of all creatures on this planet, learn to speak yours!
9) See me as an individual
I am a unique and feeling being. No two of us are alike. Please don't be disappointed in me if I don't talk like you wanted, or can't do the tricks that your friend's parrot can do. But if you pay close attention to me (and I always empathize with you, whether you know it or not), I will show you a unique being who will give you so much more than talking and playing. Give me a chance to show you who I am; I think you'll find the effort worth it. And remember—I am not an ornament; I do not enhance ANY living room decor. And I am not a status symbol—if you use me as such, I might nip at your up-turned nose!
10) Share your love with me
Above all, please remember that you are my Special Person. I put all my trust and faith in you. We parrots are used to being monogamous (no bar-hopping for us!). So please don't go away for long periods or give me away—that would be a sadness from which I may never recover. If that seems to be asking a lot, remember, you could have learned about my needs before bringing me home. Even having a baby or taking a new job isn't a fair reason—you made a commitment to me FIRST. And if you think that you must leave me because you might die, provide for me forever after you leave. I may live to a ripe old age but I can't provide for myself. Remember I'm in a small cage amongst people who are not of my blood.
11) Your rights
You have lots of rights, but I can only assure one. And that is, if you treat me the way I described above, I will reward you with unwavering love, humor, knowledge, beauty, dedication— and a sense of wonder and awe you haven't felt since you were a child. When you took me home, you became my Flock Leader, indeed, my entire universe—for life. I would hang the moon and stars for you if I could. We are one in Heart and Soul.
Copyright © 2000 by Stewart A. Metz M.D.
- posted by J-Birds @ 12:49 PM |
Saturday, March 27, 2004
My baby is really talking. She now speaks "Old McDonald had a farm". Maybe in a few weeks she will be singing it. What a joy she is becoming day by day. She loves to crawl on my shoulder while I am in my recliner and butts her head against my cheek until I scratch her head. I feel new feathers coming in under the old, and it must really feel great for her to have her head scratched. She loves to eat and will almost eat any vegetable or fruit. I am looking for an antique Victorian parrot T Stand. I have seen them over the years, but now that I have a parrot, they elude me. Any suggestions. My best to all the fine feathered friends and their owners out there. jim
- posted by Jim @ 10:34 PM |
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
A country? A type of Blue and Gold? A china pattern?
Nope, a Congo Grey. Actually her name is Olivia. This has morphed over time to Olivia Bolivia and sometimes just Bolivia. Olivia is a severly plucked Congo. You hear stories of birds plucking but until you confront one face to face you just don't realize the frustration and sadness of the condition. No one has come up with a cure...we've sure tried. Experts tell us that there are no plucked Congos in the wild. Maybe they are eaten by predators because they are perceived as weak.
Olivia came to our home six months after Kiwi. She was a beautiful five month old female Congo that was extremely high strung and nervous. We worked with her and soon fell in love. Three months later we noticed one morning that her chest was plucked. The next day her shoulders. The next, her wings. Within a week she was naked except for her beautiful head.
Depressed? Not Bolivia. She thinks she's beautiful and she demonstrates a beautiful disposition. She speaks well with a vocabulary of over 40 words and sounds. She's the class clown of our flock. Loves to get her head scratched. Maybe she's hoping I will scratch off those last "nasty" feathers.
We used to hide her in another room when people would come over to look at birds. Shame on us. Now we celebrate her and let buyers know that it could happen to them. Usually plucking is not nearly this severe but it can happen to any grey. We don't know the statistics but I can take a guess that more than 1 in a hundred greys demonstrate some signs of plucking.
Sell her? Never. She's family and no matter what she'll be with us forever...skin and all.
- posted by J-Birds @ 7:54 PM |
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
How Did You Get Into Parrots?
We keep getting asked, "How did you get into parrots?". It's a long story. We have always had many pets including dogs, cats, fish. Twenty years ago we had a wonderful Quaker parrot that accidently flew away and helped to form the wild breeding stock of Quakers in Houston.
Then came kids...a full time job to say the least. As the kids got older we had an urge to get another parrot. We did nine months of research and decided that an Eclectus would be perfect for us.
Fortunately, we found a breeder within a mile of our home. Unfortunately, the three week old baby she had was sold. She did tell us about a bird show the next weekend. At the show we ran into the same breeder and she told us that the sale of the baby fell through and that we could have it (him) if we wished. She told us that she would teach us to handfeed and be there if we had any problems.
We accepted her offer and successfully fed out Kiwi, who is still the ruler of our roost. Our friend had a few occassions when she needed to be away from home for a weekend and she would call us to ask if we would mind feeding her babies. We always accepted. She would sometimes bring as many as 8-10 babies in a large tupperware container.
After six months of part-time feeding, Debra suggested that, since we enjoyed it, we purchase a baby "out of the nest" and handfeed it for sale as a hobby. We went to a different breeder and came home with some babies.
The rest is history. That year we handfed a few babies. Each one got good attention and made a buyer very happy. What a great hobby.
We have since scaled back our handfeeding to give us a free time during the winter and to be able to devote more attention to the few birds we have. Every winter, when we get our first baby of the new year, a smile comes to our faces...here we go again....Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:57 PM |
Monday, March 22, 2004
To Bark Or Not To Bark
debra and craig,
ed and i are not convinced that we really have an african grey after all. we think that he is possibly some genetic freak of nature-half dog, half parrot. last week we had a repair man at the house to fix our roof. every time norbert saw the man pass by the window or heard him on the roof, he would start barking. he barks when the doorbell rings. he barks at the squirrels in the backyard. the neighbors heard him through the open windows and thought we bought a new dog.
norbert continues to boss around the other family pets and continues to increase his vocal repetoire. he recently started saying "you're so weird", "stupid fat hobbit" and "honey, i'm home". when he is not misbehaving (sometimes he gets an attitude) he makes us laugh with his antics. he still hates water. i try to mist his feathers sometimes. he always tells me "stop" when i do.
take care. i have been enjoying the newsletters you send out on the e-mail. thanks. paula
- posted by J-Birds @ 12:45 PM |
Sunday, March 21, 2004
Parrots And The Outdoors
Now that Spring is here, many people like to take their birds outdoors. We sent this letter to all of our friends today to remind them to observe the following precautions and enjoy the experience.
Trim Flight Feathers. If you haven't clipped your bird's wings in a few months, unfold the wings and make sure that no flight feathers have grown out over the winter. Parrots may not have enough lift to fly inside but the slightest breeze can give them the ability to fly outdoors. When we talk about parrots flying away we don't mean soaring like other birds. All a parrot has to do is reach the lowest branch in a tree. Their natural instinct is to climb as high up the tree as they can. At nightfall owls and other predators can and will kill your pet.
Consider Buying A Harness. For those of you who prefer not to clip your bird's wings there are several types of flight suits and harnesses for sale that will allow you to take your bird outside in relative safety. Please note that anytime a fully flighted bird is taken outside, regardless of the harness, the odds of it escaping are much higher than that of a clipped bird.
Provide Food And Water. If you are taking your bird outside for more than an hour you will have to provide the bird with fresh water or fresh fruit. Having your bird with you is like taking a small child. Make provisions to care for it while you are out.
Avoid Shocking Your Bird. Birds in public are "people magnets". Everyone who sees it wants to touch it or hold it. Some species handle this better than others. Cockatoos, Amazons, Eclectus and Macaws can be around strangers and enjoy the experience. African Greys do not socialize well. There are exceptions to every rule. Keep an eye on your bird to make sure that it is comfortable. If it shows signs of nervousness or displays aggressive behavior it is time to take it home.
Outdoor Cages. A outdoor cage is an excellent way for your bird to enjoy the spring. Make sure that the cage is not in full sunlight. Take precautions that outdoor dogs and cats cannot harass your bird. Again, provide plenty of food and fresh water and monitor the bird to make sure it is content in its new surroundings. A free-standing perch is never suitable for an unattended bird outdoors. Never leave your bird outside at night.
Be cautious and careful and have fun...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:08 AM |
Friday, March 19, 2004
Call For Help
When Janis Gore suggested that we establish this journal we suffered from a lot of trepidation. Debra didn't understand what a blog was...still doesn't see a purpose for it. I can understand her reasoning. My grandfather couldn't understand why grown men would waste time playing football in the NFL.
I didn't know if I could develop a habit of posting regularly. We all know now that babbling in the blog is not a problem for me. I have a lot more to say. Thanks to Jimmy Long for writing the first guest post (see below).
I think that the blog would have an interesting flavor if we had contributions from all of you. If you would like to share an experience or share your feelings with our extended family please email us and we will add you to the blog membership list. Let's not be shy. Its a bonding experience. - Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 9:11 PM |
Dallas Chronicles (Part 1)
Wow! What a joy my Persia has become. Persia is my Congo African Grey that I adopted from J-Birds in late December. She is now about 9 months old and mimics everything she hears with the exception human speech. (Maybe it is my Texas accent.........she was accustomed to a Cajun twang before moving into my home!) This changed last Monday. I heard her first word. Whenever I come in from work in the afternoon, I take her out of her cage and place her on the back of my sofa while I read the mail. She runs up and down the couch and makes all types of neat sounds and whistles and usually I stop and take a little time to play. Upon this occasion, I had an important letter to read and was not giving her any attention at all. After a couple of minutes, she hopped onto my shoulder and put her beak up to my ear and screamed HELLO! Needless to say she got my attention, and I have learned that nothing is as important as taking time for the little joys in life. Deborah and Craig really do a wonderful job with their prodigies. Thanks a bunch. jim
- posted by Jim @ 8:12 PM |
Thursday, March 18, 2004
A Day In The Life
We have a lot of breeder friends that raise a lot more birds than we do. They are professionals, we are hobbyists. This is the busy time of year...the Congos have hatched early. Of the eleven babies we started out with three have gone home with people who had significant handfeeding experience and wanted babies. Two are sold and are being weaned for their new owners. The other six are waiting for deposits.
Cute birds, they are almost fully feathered. They will fledge (fly) in two or three weeks. It will be eight or nine weeks before they wean. Seeing this many Congos in one place is very unique. One year we had 12 that we raised until they were weaned. We called them the Flying Circus. Before they were clipped we would just open the cage doors and go to the feeding station in the kitchen. Before long each one would fly and land on the counter...or the curtains above the counter...or the refrigerator...or the trash can....
Trust me, it was exciting.
We have one group of Eclectus on four a day feedings, the Congos are on three a day and one tiny Eclectus is on "any time it wants to eat" (usually 5-6 times a day). This means that Debra is feeding pretty much all day long. As she puts it when she isn't feeding she's thinking about the next round.
I feed all of the babies at six in the morning. I also feed at night when Debra gives me "the look". I'll explain the look in a later blog. Enjoy your day...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 9:38 PM |
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Thought They Were Supposed To
Just to introduce you guys to Jimmy in Dallas. Hopefully Jimmy will be contributing to this blog on occassion. Here's his last email:
Subject: She said HELLO!
She said HELLO in a loud voice! How wonderful! I have a pet that talks to me! She is doing all sorts of whistles, clicks, and saying HELLO! I hear other words under her breath; they will be out soon. What a joy! Jimmy
Jimmy gets quite excited about Persia, his Congo. Later...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 6:49 PM |
Monday, March 15, 2004
To Rave Or Not To Rave
It has been brought to my attention that raves on this particular Blog may be less than appropriate. As a matter of fact, since Debra read yesterdays blog, it has been brought to my attention many, many times. You see...we sell birds. Beautiful, healthy and loving, handfed birds. We do not make potential buyers sign oaths in blood that they will care for their new baby for the rest of their lives. Nor do we use the terms "Fid" or "Bappy".
We do try to educate people in the responsibilities of parrothood. We also try to infuse our love of parrots into each buyer we meet. We encourage all of our customers to stay in touch and share their experiences. Several times a year we communicate with them with educational information or interesting stories and announcements.
Occassionally one of our birds is sold by the original purchaser. To our knowledge this has happened three times in the last four years. In all three cases the new owners have contacted us to let us know that the birds were safe and loved. In effect, they have joined our extended family.
We really can't judge people harshly because they sell their birds. Circumstances and situations sometimes exist that make the sale of the bird more desireable for the wellbeing of the bird. Thanks to the people that buy them and give them happy homes.
We will continue to fill the world with parrots one bird at a time. We will also do everything in our power to make sure that our birds are happy and assist their owners in any way we can...even if it means helping them to place their bird into a new home. - Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:04 PM |
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Is It Love or Infatuation?
You know...falling in love with a bird seems to be about the same as falling in love with a person. Some people seem predisposed to failure in both endeavors. You've read letters in this blog about people who failed in their responsibilities to their birds. Yet, all of these folks knew in their hearts that getting a bird was the right decision and they would live happily ever after.
Bird buyers fall into several categories. Some are good...some are twisted. The primary twisted category involves people who see it, want it and buy it. They are the spoiled children of the world with a closet full of unused toys. They lack patience and discipline, and fail to consider the long-term consequences of their actions.
We see a lot of these. Our first line of defense is to stall them. By delaying their purchase we hope they will fall out of love with the idea of owning a bird. After several weeks if they are still determined to buy we try reality therapy describing in great detail the responsibilities of bird ownership for the rest of their life.
Unfortunately, some of these people are so determined to get what they want ("What do you mean you won't sell me a parrot?") that we misinterpret their determination for maturity. This is when a sale turns into a regret after a year or so.
Later on, I'll share some letters with you from some of these people. Thank goodness most of them are not our buyers...but some have been. Stay tuned...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 6:14 PM |
Saturday, March 13, 2004
Ever Been To A Bird Show?
Your parrot(s) will thank you. Imagine all of the toys and food and cages and parrot paraphenalia in the world all in one place. You just can't go to one without buying nice things for your bird. Need advice or just want to gossip about parrots? Imagine hundreds of experts in the same room all willing and eager to share their experiences or advice. It's like a cross between going to the zoo and spending a day at Walmart.
Debra and I don't take our birds to shows. Congos don't handle noisy, crowded rooms very well and it's unfair to take handfeeding babies away from home for the day. Fortunately we don't have to do shows thanks to referrals and the internet.
We have four major shows a year in New Orleans. The first is this weekend and there were never less than 200 visitors in the hotel ballroom from 9 am to 5 pm. Must have been 2000 people through the door today.
The March show usually has very few birds because they don't start laying until February and aren't available until May. This show was crowded with 10-12 week old birds. Good news for breeders and buyers.
Enjoy your weekend...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:30 PM |
Thursday, March 11, 2004
And Sometimes You Win
We received this letter the other day:
Hi Debra and Craig,
I visited your site today for the first time. About a month ago, I aquired one of your SI eclectus babies second hand. Olivia is a beautiful girl, in fact, she says that! She was hatched on 8-18-02 and her band # is 147. HOW??? I found an add for a 2 yr. old hyacinth macaw in PA, which is also where I live. I had been very interested in one for a long time. After going back and forth many times via e-mail and phone, I finally decided to go for it and get this beautiful boy. When I told the owner my decision, she threw in that they also had a female SI eclectus and they no longer wanted her. The wife was more concerned for a good home than money and said that when I came for the hy, I could have her if I liked her.
I did not know much about eclectus except that they were beautiful. I had heard the stories about them being nasty and the owner did say she was very noisy. She said she would like me to have her because she knew I would give her a good home and she would like the 2 birds to go together. I have found they are not bonded in any way. It didn't matter though. I do a lot of animal rescue and I knew she should not be in a home where she wasn't wanted. So, home she came.
I just have to tell you that I love this little girl! She is sweet and loving and bonded to me instantly. She also says many things and she is not noisy here. I have several other birds and she gets lots of attention and interaction. I think she was in a room alone before. My other birds are: 1-M2, 1-U2, 1-severe macaw, 3-tiels and 2 canaries. And, of course the hy, Archimedes. All of my guys are second hand and I've had some real behavioral issues to deal with, especially the M2. Wow, I had some nasty bites, including my face needing to be glued! But, I love that boy so much it hurts!
Olivia goes over to visit the tiels and goes in their cage and plays with their toys and eats their food. She is just a riot. I can hold her and my U2 on the sofa at the same time and they seem to be getting along ok. She eats well. I'm sure you can easily figure out who the former owner is. Please, I don't want you to contact her or anything. I didn't write to put her down. She had her reasons and I respect that. She did what was best for the birds and I think both are better off here. I wrote because I wanted to let you know your baby is doing just great and is very much loved. She is healthy and happy. I love her so much, I just had to tell you!
- posted by J-Birds @ 7:59 PM |
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Tonight our daughter, Rachael, is starring in the University of Southeastern Louisiana production of Metamorphoses. We got to see the opening night performance on Tuesday night. This is Rachael's second show of the year. Her first was an Oscar and Hammerstein review called Some Enchanted Evening. Don't know where she gets her talent. We did everything in our power to expose her to the arts. When she was 4 years old Debra and I were on the board of a theatre group in Houston. Rachael was a "stage rat" during rehersals. She finally got on stage in high school in Louisiana and hasn't stopped. So we can keep with the theme of this blog, you can see a photo of Rachael and a Hawkhead parrot at http://www.j-birds.com/villageparrots. More later...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:41 PM |
Sunday, March 07, 2004
Thought Weekends Were For Rest
What a weekend! My company had a booth in a home show that consumed 16 hours. We had three families as guests looking for birds. They all found the perfect little buddy. Did I mention that all of the cages required fresh litter and cleaning.
Thank God for next weekend. We are manning the raffle booth for the Louisiana Aviculture Society Saturday and Sunday mornings. On Saturday night we have a banquet to attend in Mississippi, about 75 miles from home. Oh, did I mention that all of the cages will require fresh litter and cleaning?
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:28 PM |
Saturday, March 06, 2004
It Must Be Love
We had visitors arrive today to pick up their baby grey. Not an unusual occurrence except these folks drove down to Louisiana from Michigan to pick up their new baby, spend one night in New Orleans and drive back to Michigan. Ahh...the power of parrots.
In other J-Bird news...Janis and Lyman from Vidalia, LA stopped by to drop off Miss Lucy Belle for a week of "bird camp". Janis got this Solomon Island female about 2 years ago and has kept in touch religously ever since. We agreed to baby sit because Janis has been a great owner and she is President of the J-Blog fan club.
The second week of Spring turned out to be even better than the first. Sorry you all can't be here to enjoy it with us...later, Craig.
- posted by J-Birds @ 10:18 PM |
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
OK...So We're Weird
We got and email from Carolyn in Mississippi. She bought and handraised a 10 week old Congo named Presleigh a year ago. Her life has changed with grandchildren in a different city and she feels she can no longer give her "baby" the attention she requires. She wanted to talk to us about buying Presleigh back or helping her to find a buyer. Every time this happens (which is not often, thank goodness) we feel like we failed in the screening process prior to selling the bird.
With 12 babies in the house, we really can't take Presleigh back at this time. Hopefully we can list her on the website and find a more suitable buyer. We feel bad for the bird but if she is being neglected perhaps it's better to place her in another home.
If anyone knows a friend that wants a beautiful, friendly, one year old Congo please let us know...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 7:02 PM |
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Tales of Oddyseus (Part Two)
A week of settling in...all we did was talk to Odie a lot and offer him treats through the bars. He seemed more than happy with this arrangement. After he calmed down we would leave his door open during our conversations. We would reach into his cage to arrange toys and slip food into his bowls. He would act very nervous but not hysterically so.
Weeks two through four...Odie was starting to bond with the flock...Olivia, Kiwi and Prophet. He was also showing signs of enjoying, even encouraging, our company. If we were careful he would let us scratch his head through the bars.
Six months in and Odie was climbing out of his cage and hanging out on Olivia's cage. Seems he was in love...but Olivia could care less and bit his feet through the bars. We tried to get him to step up but he didn't respond. Rather, he would dive off of the cage onto the floor. This is when we discovered that he welcomed a helping hand and would step up and stay on your hand. No bites. Fact is that Odie liked head and neck rubs and would sit on your hand for hours if you let him. He still seemed to keep a careful eye on us but you could tell he liked us. Back in the cage he was still a monster to me. He and Debra had a different relationship. She could reach in and try to touch him and he would push her hand away but he would never bite her.
Two years later...Odie still doesn't step up. He lets Debra and I rub his head while he is in the cage but he pushes Debra away when she tries to get him to step up. He still bites me.
Where do we go from here? Debra has a theory that Odie hasn't really bonded with either of us. We hope that one day someone will come over to see a baby and Odie will fall in love with them. If that ever happens we'll try our darndess to get them to take him. We want a good life for Odie. In the meantime Odie is more than welcome here for the rest of his life. He still enjoys our company and he demands a head rub through the bars every night before I go to bed.
Parrots don't have to be cuddly to wonderful pets. Odie has shown us some wonderful kindnesses and talks to us often. He just has different parameters than some of the flock. We respect his space, he enjoys being here. Life is good...Craig
- posted by J-Birds @ 8:33 PM |
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