The Conure Who Couldn't Whistle
by Iva Moll
I own a dusky headed, blue mutated conure named Novi. It was so named because it's hatch date was November. I was the last person you would think would own a bird as I did not like anything that could possibly fly in my face---butterflies, bees and birds (probably stemming from my youth when we had bats that would get into the second story of our home).
My son's stepmom had purchased the bird and then got migrain headaches so she couldn't keep it. By that time, my son had grown attached and begged me to take the bird in. Yes, I am a sucker and I love my son so....eventually I made friends with Novi with chocolate (not knowing how deadly they say this is for birds although it eats it in moderation to this day and is healthy).
Two years ago, Novi turned 6 yrs. old and one day, couldn't whistle. It would always echo my whistling or rather I would echo it. I made a vet appointment after checking on line to no avail. Soon after, "it" laid an egg.....then another....then another. "It did seem more clingy than usual and made unusual sounds so I thought "it" was ill. I cancelled the vet appointment telling them all about it. Poor Novi. Now "it" is a "she" and she has laid many eggs. She loves to sit with her egg after hatching it and I feel so bad when I know it will just be thrown away and what must she think?
As a side note, Novi loves to shred paper inside my shirt which is why I always wear two shirts. She is a people bird and will go to almost anyone who will pay attention to her. She needs constant attention much to my other bird's chagrin-a female ring-neck. I don't know whether she is an Indian or African ring-neck but at least I know her sex!
A neighborhood child found her under a car one rainy day and came to our door thinking she was our bird. We tried to find the owner, however these birds are great flyers---as a conure is not (Novi flies like a bat). We kept the bird naming her Polly at first thinking that the owner would call. The name stuck. The two birds do not get along but have their territories and will warningly attack each other if they forget where they are.
It is very strange that I---a poor avowed bird fearer and a cat lover although allergic, should have not one but two birds totalling $800! I am 56 years old. They could possibly outlive me!!