My Avian Adventures, or why I fear no beak or bird

bug_n_flock

Active member
Jan 2, 2018
1,366
34
Isolated Holler in the Appalachian Wilderness
Parrots
B&G Macaw, Galah, 5 cockatiels, 50 billion and a half budgies. We breed and do rescue. Too many to list each individual's name and age etc, but they are each individuals and loved dearly.
This is going to be a long one. I'm in a talky mood and have a lot of excited energy right now for reasons which will become apparent shortly(as will why I placed this thread in the Amazons forum). So duck out now, or get yourself a cup of tea and settle in. Prepare to get to know me a little better, and perhaps to have your heart broken a few times. :green::green:

I got my first bird when I was 9 years old: Tweety, a wonderful green parakeet. My dad was the one who championed the idea after I had wanted to keep a wild lizard as a pet. :greenyellow: I bought her from PetSmart and she was the most amazing animal ever. The absolute best friend a kid could ask for. A couple years later I used all my allowance(coins for DAYS) I had saved up to buy her a little friend from the local mom and pop pet shop. :greenyellow: Kitten was a good friend to Tweety, but I never had as close a bond with her as I did with Tweety. Tweety got sick a short time after my 12th birthday. My parents learned that their daughter actually did know what she was talking about when it came to birds needing to go to vets when her three year old best friend keeled over dead after she had begged them for days to take the thing to a vet.

It may have been as an apology, but as soon as I was recovered from the loss of Tweety(I missed school and was a complete wreak for a *while*), my parents took me to the shop where I had gotten Kitten a year or so earlier. I had thought about getting a bigger bird, but had been afraid of having the "cooler" bigger bird overshadow my precious parakeets, so I had, until then, not gotten anything bigger. But then Alex climbed to my shoulder while I was playing with the other birds. :yellow1: He groomed my hair and just generally claimed me while I still entertained the idea of taking home a different bird. In the end he had his way, though, and he came home with me. I think they kept the shop open late for me, I honestly don't remember though, it was ages ago. They were out of cardboard take-home boxes, though, so they *loaned* me a plastic small dog carrier to bring him home in! We brought the crate back the next day.

Alex is really special to me. I won't go into too many details, but I have not had an easy life. Alex has always been there for me through all of it, and is basically the only consistent thing I have ever had. :yellow1: Some of my happiest memories are the early days when I first got him. There was no "taming" or "bonding" period really. It was like we had already known each other for ages. Probably because I was an innocent kid and thought like that, and he was a just-weaned cockatiel and just as sweet as could be.

Kitten started showing the same symptoms that Tweety had. This time my parents listened and, after trying a few different ones, I found the vet I still go to today. Kitten pulled through the illness.

I got two more parakeets and began breeding them. The first time I opened the nest box and saw an egg I just about passed out from joy. The first clutch was relatively small, and I kept all the babies after hand feeding them. I got them mates, and kept breeding and hand feeding babies. I started finding homes for the babies. I stopped into a different local mom and pop parrot shop for formula and got talking to the owner about this-and-that. She ended up hiring me on the spot, one of three people she had ever hired without first going through a college level animal husbandry course. After working there for a short time I fell in love with a little African Grey and was beggining to work on my parents over the larger bird and was starting to collect supplies so I could bring home my little buddy. That, however, did not happen, and I am super glad for that.

One day I was working and a man came in and said he had a "big green bird" in his car and he could not keep it. Would we take it? It was store policy that yes, we would take in most animals(except dogs and cats) who needed homes. Some which we did not want in the store(sun conures for their noise level, iguanas for their size, etc) we would network like crazy for and find them a home. Anyway, they brought in a parakeet cage with a, well, big green bird in it. They had to take the cage apart to get the bird in and out!

Anyway, they said they were moving and they couldn't take the bird. Also it had bitten their young child on the face and she was scared of it.

After an hour in the store, they bought a chinchilla, and the little girl had the bird's cage open to pet it goodbye sadly. So I think everything they told me about the bird was a lie.

As soon as they left, my boss turned to me and said "the next sucker who walks in the store gets that bird and the big cage out front." We had been given a large(I mean, HUGE) cage to get rid of a few days earlier, and it was a paiiiin to keep around. Even with a whopping price of "free$", nobody wanted the thing. I just looked at her and said sheepishly, "<boss's name>, the sucker is already in the store..." Her response was to tell me to call my mother.

She then gave me and the bird the rest of the day in the back room to get acquainted and for me to prove I could identify and read up on the bird's needs.

:green: That's how I got Heshe, my first Blue-Fronted Amazon. I had him for about 7 years. I intended to keep him for the rest of my life, or certainly the rest of his(whichever came first, hopefully me since he was only around 6 when I got him). Other birds came and went, not to downplay their value and significance, but I was working not just at the pet shop, and I was doing a lot with birds and other animals. Heshe bit the crap out of me and everyone else at first and came screaming "help" and had a few other very concerning habits.

He got to be my little "attack bird" and would "protect" me from everything. He would get this look on his face when he was in "protection mode" and would stalk around(that "amazon swing" in the walk kills me every time) and look for things to keep away from me, but I could call him off. He would come when I patted my leg, like how you would do to summon a dog or something. He was such a character. He liked one of my coworkers(who would call him "Stevie" on account of how he would dance to music) so I would have him watch Hesh when I went out of town. My boss really liked that because the coworker was new to birds and she said that the way Heshe acted when I returned from being gone had shown the coworker what the intensity of a bond with a bird is.

I had to abandon Heshe and a little lovebird I also had at the time. It haunts me terribly, but I was escaping a hostile domestic situation and I could only bring so much to the place that took me in. Thank God, I was able to bring Alex with me. :yellow1:

I moved back in with my parents and a few months later my father passed away suddenly. I have not yet moved away from my mom. They were married for 41 years, and my only sibling is currently in Korea teaching. I'm not going to leave her alone. My brother is due back in a few months, and after I will be moving away to build a "bird farm". But I am off topic.

A year or so later, I was in the shop that I had worked in as a kid and where I had gotten Heshe. There was a small green bird in one of the cages behind the front counter. She was a "previously-loved bird" as we sometimes called them. At least 46 years old and "aggressive", she had been given up when her family moved across the country. She growled and postured like an aggressive bird, but also seemed to want attention. I went home, but I couldn't get her out of my mind. A week or two later my second Blue-Front came home, Ms. Crayon the absolutely amazing loving wonderful doll. :green:

I absolutely adored that bird. She was concerningly skinny and had mobility issues. Her beak was a little gnarly, but all her blood levels were normal and the vet said she was probably older than I had been told. She was a cuddle monster, and wanted to be snuggled up with me 24/7 365. Absolutely the best "aggressive" bird I have ever met. She growled constantly when being interacted with, no idea why. She only bit me 3 times: once in the vet's office, once when I took a bite to keep it off of Alex who had started to pester her too much, and once when we were first getting acquainted.

She died in my arms of a stroke. I had her only a year, none of us saw that coming. I knew I wouldn't have her forever considering her age, but I never imagined it would be that short a time.

That was a couple of years ago, and I have lately been looking to take on another large bird. I've considered other taxa, but I just can't see myself with another large bird and not an amazon.

I have sent out a few emails to people posting birds on craigslist needing homes, and will be looking for a bird somewhere on the younger side(I don't want to lose another angel like Crayon. She was not the only hospice bird I've had, but she made a huge impact on my heart), with a few issues(I don't want to buy a baby from some shady craigslist breeder, I want to save a life).

So yeah, that's some of my story. I'm leaving out a lot(for example, at the pet shop I had the honor of serving a palm cockatoo who we had and were looking for a wife for. I just recently found out through the grapevine that the breeder we placed him with was successful and Artie is recently a father of a no-longer-quite-so-little girl! Not really related, I am just super proud of him! hee hee)

Hopefully I soon will have another Amazon and can post about it, but for now that is where I am at. If anyone knows of a critter in need of a home who maybe wouldn't be the easiest bird to place, let me know. I am not set on another Blue-Front, but they will always hold a special place in my heart. <3
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,024
1,784
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
All that said and not an Idea of where in this huge World you are. Why is that important? Great question: Example: Re-homing Double Yellow Head Parrot

Let me know if there is an interest and we will see if there is a likely connection to be made. Since one of you is a Junior Member, a Super Moderator will need to act as a go-between.
 
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bug_n_flock

bug_n_flock

Active member
Jan 2, 2018
1,366
34
Isolated Holler in the Appalachian Wilderness
Parrots
B&G Macaw, Galah, 5 cockatiels, 50 billion and a half budgies. We breed and do rescue. Too many to list each individual's name and age etc, but they are each individuals and loved dearly.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
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I am in the Northeastern United States for now; the greater Washington DC area.

I saw that post and thought about answering. I am hesitant considering her age, though.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,024
1,784
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
I am in the Northeastern United States for now; the greater Washington DC area.

I saw that post and thought about answering. I am hesitant considering her age, though.

That is understandable, age can be a concern or it can be a blessing depending on how you understand the potential of a Life Time! Understanding that a Double Yellow-Headed Amazon 'can' live for 65 to 80 years or die at 14 years old. There are no assurances!

The only assurance is that if you are an Amazon person and understand clearly what it means to be 'Owned by an Amazon.' Assuring that whatever Amazon should come into your life, your goal is to assure that Amazon knows that it has been Loved Deeply.

So?
 

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