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Old 07-31-2019, 09:28 PM
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Jesse's Backstory

I've been thinking of getting a bird for over a year. Because I've owned birds in the past, I'm familiar with the pros and cons of a pet bird.

Just like someone can be a "cat" person or a "dog" person, I believe there's something unique to being a "bird" person as well.

In the past, I've gotten a bird through a breeder directly. I'm not sure a rescue is right for me because I know I'm not the best educated when it comes to problem issues for birds. And I'm aware of my comfort zone and would not be comfortable and confident with a "big" bird. So I knew I wanted a bird no bigger than a sun conure.

At the beginning of this year, our family went in a local pet store. It was there that I first saw Jesse in the cage in the middle of the store with about nine other green cheek conures. Since he is a black-capped conure, he was smaller than all the other conures in the cage with him. He was thin and bedraggled looking. He had no tail feathers and his little body was covered with stress bars and frayed edge feathers.

In spite of his appearance, he stepped up right away and would perch on someone's finger. He was clearly comfortable sitting on a person's shoulder, and would make his little happy noise, which is like a cat's purr mixed with a bird's chirp and a little bit of the T Rex from Jurassic Park thrown in at the end. Oddly enough, when he was in the cage, he would allow someone to gently stroke his head and neck, but instantly panicked if you accidently brushed his tail; or rather, what was left of it. He'd climb across the cage bars to encourage you to pet him. He'd also do that weird "monkey head bob" that conures do when trying to get your attention.

There was just this huge mixture of friendly, scared, happy, traumatized and playful all muddled together in this one little bird's personality. I knew right away this bird needed to come home with me and that we were a good fit for each other.

The sales girl told me that Jesse was eating pellets and she recommended getting his wings clipped while I was in line to pay for him and his cage. I wasn't sure if I wanted his wings clipped, but she was insistent; so I let her take him in the back while I checked out.

After bringing Jesse home, I took him to an Avian vet for a check up. The vet examined him and took a brief history. It was brief because essentially
I know very little about Jesse's past. The pet store couldn't provide any info on him other than he'd come to the store some time in July and had been there the rest of 2018. He wasn't banded, and they couldn't find any paperwork on him. So I don't know his hatch date, his age, his breeder, nothing.

The vet offered a best guess and a hunch regarding Jesse. She believes he's a young bird, less than a year old when I got him, because he'd not finished his first "big" molt. The vet thinks there's a good chance that Jesse is a female, not a male.

I chose not to DNA test at that visit. It's not overly important to me what sex my bird is. The vet cautioned me to watch for signs of my bird ever being egg-bound, should it turn out to be a female, but other then that, it's not an issue.
The vet's hunch matched my gut feeling about Jesse. She believes he was someone's pet and they either sold him or someone else bought him and sold him to the pet store. But someone had taught him to step up, and he liked people, in spite of also being scared of people. The vet was horrified at the terrible way the store had clipped his wings. It had not been done correctly and has taken a long time to grow out back to anything near normal.

Jesse shares our home with two small dogs who are crate trained and sleep in their crates in the laundry room at night. I don't trust the dogs with the bird, so they have to be crated or put outside when I let Jesse out of his cage.

I make Jesse fresh chop twice a day. The morning chop is usually broccoli, dark greens, sprouts, carrots and a few grains of cooked rice. I sprinkle a couple of sesame seeds over this mix. His afternoon chop is seasonal fruit, lately fresh cherries and peaches, diced small, with carrots and sweet potato. I'll sprinkle a small spoonful of Tops sprout seed mix on top of all this. His favorite treat is a raw sunflower seed. Sometimes, he doesn't want to go back in his cage, so I have resorted to planting 2 or 3 sunflower seeds in a see-through foraging cup in his cage. Jesse then climbs into his cage on his own, which is a solution that works for us. Because of his past, I don't want to "man-handle" him in any way, if I can avoid it.

He's slowly learning to trust me, but I don't think I'll ever be able to cup him in my hand, like I see other conure owners do. He's part of our family now. He's happy and healthy, and that's what's most important.

Last edited by JuicyNip; 07-31-2019 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:55 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

Thank you for sharing Jesse's story JuicyNip. I do believe that you have both found the perfect 'mate'. Also, it sounds as if Jesse has been 'rescued' so you are more capable than you thought really.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:56 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

Jesse sounds like an amazing little bird and he’s found a wonderful home with you! I’m looking forward to hearing more of the story as it continues
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Old 08-01-2019, 01:03 AM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

Bless your heart!!! So glad you and Jesse found each other! Looking forward to getting to know you both!
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:13 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

Quote: Originally Posted by Ellie777Australia View Post
Thank you for sharing Jesse's story JuicyNip. I do believe that you have both found the perfect 'mate'. Also, it sounds as if Jesse has been 'rescued' so you are more capable than you thought really.
I guess you're right. I hadn't thought of it that way. I don't think of myself as particularly knowledgeable regarding parrots. But there's always opportunity to learn, and certainly I am now.
I mean, I knew he wasn't in the best situation, but I was seeing at as just perfect timing for both of us. He's been a true blessing in my life, lots of love to give.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:18 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

Quote: Originally Posted by Jen5200 View Post
Jesse sounds like an amazing little bird and he’s found a wonderful home with you! I’m looking forward to hearing more of the story as it continues
He's a real sweetie. He's such a jumble of contrary drives, probably because some bad things have happened to him in his past. For example, he's still a bit nippy, but is showing more and more bite inhibition, where he puts his beak on you to show he's not happy with the situation, but he rarely breaks skin anymore. So we're slowly making progress!
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:19 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

Quote: Originally Posted by cheekybeak721 View Post
Bless your heart!!! So glad you and Jesse found each other! Looking forward to getting to know you both!
Thanks! and don't hesitate to offer me advice. I came here to learn!
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:07 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

Sounds like you did indeed rescue this little girl from the pet shop.
At least 2 of my birds were rescues that I purchased from a pet shop.

Hope you can share some pictures of your new family member.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:09 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

http://www.parrotforums.com/members/...ugust-2019.jpg

August's pic, he's still molting and his head/neck is covered with pinfeathers.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:25 PM
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Re: Jesse's Backstory

What a beautiful parrot! Great story so far, here's to many many happy healthy years of love!
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