Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Corpus Cristi, TX Perched: Military Macaw "Cash"
Recently I've had some pretty huge life changes. It made me see things a bit differently and made some big changes for all of my birds. Something that happened was I was in preshow and one of the girls that trains and works with horses came up to me and said, "You know every time I see you out here with one of your birds it makes me want a bird so bad." I laughed and said, "I'll give you a green one."
I was joking, and I said it because Cash had bit me really hard the day or two before because he wanted to come to the arena with the rest of the flock and I went to put him back and he nailed me. I hadn't understood what Cash wanted at the time, and thought if he was going to bite me it would be when I got him to step up and not when I went to put him back in the aviary so it was my own misunderstanding but I was still not too happy about it.
The horse girl was so serious about taking a bird from us that we immediately took her backstage to meet Ace and Crash, two birds in our flock we knew we could part with. Dave immediately told her a cockatoo was not a good first bird for anyone, and we said we just couldn't give him to her even though he was more of an ideal size for what she wanted.
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Corpus Cristi, TX Peeking around: Blue throated macaw "Jinx"
She met Cash and loved him, but I knew the entire time it wouldn't last. Non bird people can't start that way, and Cash needs a lot of training and attention from someone, which we've sucked at giving him because he isn't a "show bird". Anyway, the horse girl came to have training lessons with Cash and get to know all our birds and work with them. It was easy to teach her because she already had a basic understanding of training horses and how valuable food is as a reward. At the end of one training session, Cash was flying to her, spinning for her and shaking his head on cue for her.
In the end, she didn't take Cash because her life was not yet planned out and the amount of time she could dedicate to him was uncertain which as an animal lover, she didn't like so I thought it was good of her not to take on the responsibility.
But it also made me realize that Cash was getting neglected in our care again, and it was once again time for a change. Not only for him, but for Ace as well. Bandit has never been a huge fan of having the brotherly competition of Ace, and I missed our previous flock of birds that we intentionally got and raised.
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Corpus Cristi, TX In training: Camelot macaw "Tusa" & Military macaw "Cash"
Dave recently decided to retire from magic in 4 months time when the Ringling contract is over, and that helped us make the decisions to place both Cash and Ace in better homes that could look after them and give them the time and attention they truly deserve that we're unable to give. It happened so easily, that there's no doubt in my mind it was the right choice.
I called up my favorite breeder and asked her if she was still breeding rosies and if she'd have use for Ace, who was mostly a pet and just needed more attention from someone. I told her of his previous owners and really, he has no issues; not a screamer or biter, just needs attention. She gladly accepted him and picked him up from the airport the next day, and called to tell me how happy he was to see someone who knew his name. I was thrilled.
Cash, who'd previously been so hard to determine where to go, had someone waiting for him within two days. Everything worked so fast and simply that I knew it was the best choice for everyone involved, for our flock that remains and for us and most importantly, for those birds.
More helpful parrot blogs on this topic here.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.