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Old 05-07-2018, 08:24 PM
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Smile Adopting the Blue- MO

Wanted to share my experience adopting Smoky Blue, my first rescue birdy. After Georgie, the Severely spoiled chestnut-fronted macaw passed after an acute illness, I felt such a void. She was my girl for 20+ years! I was also concerned about Taco the Amazon; we had gotten Georgie from a pet store when Taco was around 5 yrs old. He was feeling hormonal and lonely being the only bird at home. They never bonded, but he was entertained by her constant motion and frenetic macaw energy! He seemed a little glum after her passing.

I looked on several websites- Craigslist is a bit too sketchy for me... I wouldn't buy a lawn chair from there, much less a creature! I did some searches for rescues and shelters. I found a rescue in Missouri. Honestly, I would drive to Hawaii for a bird in need! I found a listing for a blue headed pionus who "wasn't wanted anymore"... broke my heart. I contacted the rescue by phone and by email. To be honest, the nurse whom answered was quite abrasive. She let me know that the pionus had been adopted, and I was looking at an old listing. I asked if there were any other birds available. She informed me that the rescue RARELY adopts to out-of-state folks, and I would need to fill out an application and visit at least twice. The call ended abruptly. Luckily, I had also emailed the rescue from that listing, and got a much nicer reply from the DVM owner whom responded. It didn't hurt that I listed my MD in the email... just sayin'

I filled out the application, which asked about my experience with birds, how many I've had, what happened to them, what I do for work, if I understand that birds live a long time and can be expensive, if the other members of the household were OK with me bringing in a bird. Scheduled an appointment, and drove the 3+ hrs to check it all out.

To be honest, I was VERY impressed. The rescue is attached to a strictly avian vet clinic. It was clean, no smells, no loose birds. The rescue birds have their own room, and we were asked to go in the room for a few minutes. (I think this was to see if we got upset with the noise or didn't know how to interact with a bird). We talked and danced with all the beauties... I saw sweet Smoky fluffed in a cage (from reading this forum, I had learned that AGs are apprehensive and aloof when unsure). We asked to visit with him. We went out to the lobby, and Smoky's cage was wheeled out to us. He stepped up for me, and stayed in my hand as we discussed his history with the nurse. He was fluffed and breathing fast, but I was able to coo to him to calm him. He relaxed in my hand

Then it was time to head back to Arkansas. The nurse informed us that she could tell we were good bird people, and she had no problems with us. Smoky wasn't allowed to leave with us... their protocol was for prospective owners to think over the decision for a few days. I wasn't able to put a deposit for his adoption- I was nervous that someone else (locally) would come in and scoop him up before I had a chance to drive back. The nurse assured me that he would not be adopted until I let her know. I brought my empty travel cage back home

Of course, I emailed her first thing in the morning on the day she asked me to. We made arrangements to pick up Smoky. At the next visit, the nurse was nicer. She explained they get a lot of suspicious folks, wanting free birds, etc. and her abrasive nature was a way of screening folks out. Smoky got a nail trim before he left. She asked us for an update when he gets settled in, as the staff becomes attached to the birds.

As with all of their rescues, the prior owners filled out a form about the bird. Smoky was said to be very scared of people, didn't like to be pet, and hand-shy. He stepped up for me the first day. He enjoys head scratches and cuddles every night. I let him show me what he wanted and what physical contact he was OK with. I keep him away from my head/neck until I can trust him more. Last night, he showed me he wanted kisses- got on my shoulder, put his foot on my chin, put his beak on my lip, and made a kissy sound!!! I guess he feels he has to teach this lady everything.

He chats with his new Amazon buddy. Taco seems to enjoy his company more than Georgie- Taco is learning new words, and they're practicing together. Taco has taught Smoky the ways of the household (when blinds open/close, when radio is on/off, breakfast time, snack time, etc). I adjusted his name to Smoky Blue, because every other AG I've seen online is named Smoky. How would anyone tell them apart if they were all flight training?

Summary:
Bird rescue in Missouri is good.
I'm so thankful I adopted Smoky Blue

Learning a lot from this forum. Thanks for reading. God bless you all.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:49 PM
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Re: Adopting the Blue- MO

Thank you for sharing - I love hearing about birds finding the right home! Smoky Blue landed in a great place with you, and it sounds like he and Taco are getting along
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:51 AM
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Re: Adopting the Blue- MO

What a wonderful story! How sad rescues need to devise methods to screen out flippers or others who may not have good intent. Thankfully you persevered and have a beautiful new fid for life!
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