Mourning a companion

by Jeana Fisher
(Portland, Oregon, USA)

My male Blue Front Amazon (Billy, age 10) passed away on the evening 02-07-2012. Signs of distress came on suddenly at which point I took him to the only open vet that would see birds.

After x-rays, he was diagnosed with either cancer or a respiratory infection. We treated for the respiratory infection and I brought him home. He died in my hands later that night; which led the vet to believe it was cancer.

My concern now is for my Blue Front female (Parrot Fawcett, age 33). They have been together for the past 6 years and it’s clear that she misses her companion. I have increased the time she has with us, including more head scratching, singing songs Billy used to sing and overall giving her more attention.

Is there anything else I can do to ease what she’s going through?

Thank you!

PS: I have an appointment schedule with an avian vet next week to give her a full check up.

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Feb 09, 2012
Mourning a companion
by: Linda

I, too, have a pair of older Amazons, and I may have to face this problem one day, so I'll try and address your question as best as I can.

You are right to have her examined by an Avian Vet just to make sure she has no physical issues. Grieving birds' immune systems become lowered during this period, so a good exam for infections both viral and bacterial will be a good idea. Also have basic bloodwork done to see how organs are functioning.

As for her grief, you are doing everything right. Grieving takes time, and she has to go through every stage very similar to how humans do. Your love and support are the two things she's always had, and she needs you more than ever now. Nothing will take away the hurt of losing her mate, and your extra warmth and attention will most likely keep her from grieving herself to death as some parrots do. Make sure trip to avian vet is soon, and keep a close eye on her eating because she needs to eat now. Amazons usually have very healthy appetites.

I don't know if you're feeding organic pellets or not, and Harrisons makes a bird bread mix, found here, that might pick her up some as most birds love it whether they're eating pellets or not. Be sure and get the Organic Red Palm Oil for it and then it takes two whole eggs and water. I bake and store some in freezer and take out enough for my birds. Allow it to come to room temp before feeding. She may enjoy this extra and new treat, and it may keep her appetite good.

I'm SO sorry for your loss, and those of us with the old birds are going to see more of this as time goes on, and my heart goes out to you, and my tears fall and are for all of you.

Love,
Linda, Eli and Stella

Feb 09, 2012
Mourning a companion
by: Anonymous

First of all I am so sorry for your loss!!!

You are doing everything right. Of course, she will miss him but just try to keep her occupied with toys and that extra attention from her human family.

Again I am so sorry for your loss.

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