My journey started off rather dodgy to be honest, I have always loved animals. Big or small, cute and “ugly”, I just couldn’t get enough of them. However, I never had a particular interest in birds, they just never stood out to me. Sure they were beautiful, but they never seemed all that special.
So how did I end up here? Well, even though I knew nothing about them, I decided to get a parrot. Not just any parrot, an Umbrella Cockatoo, I thought they were pretty “cool”. Luckily for me (and the poor bird who could’ve ended up with me), I had second thoughts. I started doing some research online, just browsing through. That’s where my obsession began, the more I learned the more I wanted to know. I had a hard time deciding on the right species for me, but I always ended up bouncing right back to the Sun Conures. Two years later I finally felt ready, at the time I didn’t know about rescue centres, so I found a local breeder online and planned on meeting up with her a week after my birthday. It didn’t exactly go as planned…on my birthday we headed into a pet store to buy dog food when I saw the cutest little sun conures amongst all the other babies. I was drawn to one particular cutie…an hour later and she was already on her way home with us. I named her Toeksie (pronounced Took-see) and she meant the world to me.
(She is not with us anymore but I will write more about her eventually.)
It was soon after I bought her that I first found BirdTricks.com on YouTube and that’s where all the fun began! I had so much fun training and caring for Toeksie I couldn’t wait to add another member to our little flock. It was through a pet supply company that I found Brainy Bird, a parrot rescue centre just a few miles away from our home! I instantly got along with the Founder of Brainy Birds, Dee and just a few months later ended up with my first foster fid “Hanna (Banana)”, a female Indian Ringneck. From there on I fostered a male little Corella/Bare eyed Cockatoo named “Ozzy/Bo”, letting him go was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. After he was returned to his original owner I adopted a phobic, un-tame Senegal parrot named Zaza, he is still the most difficult bird I ever had to care for. Regardless of his crazy personality, I love that little thing (sex unknown) dearly.
-More about him in future posts-
My other fosters included Lovie the Sun conure, Mr. Wiggles the Rose Ringed parakeet and Rosie the Galah (R.I.P). Lovie got adopted along with her “mate” Daisy and Mr. Wiggles adopted a wonderful lady last month.
Sadly Rosie didn’t make it, she didn’t have any fight left in her. She will always be missed.
We can’t save them all, that is something we all struggle to accept.
Their individual stories will be covered in the future posts!
All of that considering, I don’t think I fully understood what working with rescued birds would be like, most of them have only ever eaten seed and very few still trusted human beings. Toeksie was young, yes she was roughly handled and had a horrible one wing clip, but I only had to fix what happened a few months ago. Working with adult birds that have been abused or neglected for most of their life was an entirely new ball game for me. I think the most important thing is time, sounds too simple but time can really make a difference. It is also hard when you think about the fact that all of the pain, heartache and death could have been prevented if those people knew what they were getting themselves into. If they did the research, if they sought help early on. Those involved with rescues are left to fix what they have done, we cry over the birds who were lost and work with the ones left behind.
Earning their trust will never be an easy task, but I get to do the “fun” part. I can interact with the birds at the rescue and often foster one of the birds for a few months, Dee has to do everything else. Not only does she have to work with the remaining birds every day (provide them with fresh food, toys, out of cage time etc) but she also deals with the people responsible for the bird being there. Often times there are people who truly love their bird and simply want to provide them with a better life, that’s understandable. I think we all should try our best to educate people what life with these animals are like. It’s not easy, it never will be.
I can’t wait for the day where Rescue Centres will no longer be needed, until then, ADOPT! One by one, until there are none.