Memory and human attatchments

by Jane
(Great Britain)

I have a Hahns Macaw that I rescued(18 months old) and I have only just managed to find a suitable loving home for her after 15 months. The problem is that since she left to be with her new family I have been grieving for her and didnt realise the strong attachment I had formed with her. I am so upset and missing her terribly . I want to know if she will be feeling the same sorrow as me? Will she remember me and wonder where I am? I have spoken to the new owner and he said she is settling in but I worry about her feelings and if she will be missing me in the same way? She left 3 days ago. Please could you help me ? Jane

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Feb 09, 2011
Memory and human attatchments
by: Linda

Jane, yes, she will grieve for you until she gets settled in her new home. Birds are highly intelligent, roughly the emotional/mental development of 4-5 year old human children. Though they live in the moment for the most part, they DO remember loving friends in their past and miss them. This will be harder for you than for the little bird because once she is settled in and hopefully her home is with people who know about parrots and will take good care of her, she'll start to bond with them. It takes a while.

A story from my past as a bird store manager. Lady brought in her 9-10 year old African Grey for us to sell because she had a lung condition and doctor told her the powder down coming off her bird would rush her demise. She brought him in with about a million toys and cried like a baby when she left. This bird went into a deep mourning period, and though I was able to handle him, he was very quiet and appeared to be lost in his own world. He ate but not with a lot of gusto. After about a month, a 10 year old girl came in with her Dad to find her a parrot. The family had experience with parrots, and she went immediately to the Grey's cage. I told them what had happened, and little girl cried. I took him out for her, and he got onto her hand, but it was all automatic with no enthusiasm. This child came everyday after school with her Dad to visit the Grey. She came for a month and during this time, he started to look forward to her visits and would call out when he knew she was due in. I was so relieved I cried the day they took him home which was the Saturday after last visit. He was talking to her and very happy to be going home.

Your little Hahn's will be okay provided new family is loving and knows about parrots. It would not hurt to do a followup call in a week or two to make sure she is adjusting well, in fact, I recommend it for the first few months. Little girl with the grieving Grey called me several times in the first month, and she and bird were very happy, and he also loved the rest of her family. I called Grey's past owner, and we both cried on the phone for a while!


Feb 08, 2011
Do birds miss us the same way?
by: Tracie

Dr B has helped another person with a similar question. He explained that birds do miss people, but move on and get along fine with their new owners if the new owners spend time with them.

It sounds like the bird is adjusting fine in it's new home, but that doesn't mean you are not special to him. It just means that the new owner has been accepted as a fellow flock member. You are both a part of it's flock for now.

At least the new owner knows you will take the bird back if he/she decides they don't want the bird.

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