What's a dad to do???

by John Nordgaard
(Reno, NV)

Howdy! We have rescued 4 birds since mid-February of this year. A 5 yo Senegal male (Cap'n Jack), an 11 yo Red Lored Amazon female (Lucy), a 5-7 yo female Sun Conure (Punkin) and just the end of June a grogeous 16 yo male Congo African Grey male (Meeko). We know the history of Jack and Meeko and liddle Punkin is just a Sweetie so it doesn't matter much.
The "issue" is poor Lucy! She was the 2nd adoptee and WE KNEW that she didn't care for other birds when we got her. She was at one end of the house and Jack was with me in the Man Cave... the den//. at the other end so it was a non-issue! She has NEVER BEEN a talker... nary a word nor has she ever been loud (she quacks like a duck and warbles some but that's pretty much IT) nor has she ever been what one would call cuddly. She would allow my wife to give her a tickle for a minute or two but only on Lucy's terms. And, we are trying to understand that sometimes... that's just the way it is with some birds. They are individuals, after all!

Since we got Meeko she has been in a near constant state of pinhole eyes and spread tail feathers whenever anyone (including my wife) comes near or tries to show her some love or attention. It's just so sad because you just know she must be starved for some contact but she refuses to allow it under any circumstances. We DID try just ignoring her for a month as the rescue people here recommended hoping Lucy would make some advances but nothing has remedied her situation.
Poor Lucy must just be beside herself wanting some love from somebody and I doubt it's very healthy for a bird to just be mad at everybody all the time?! We want her to be loved, tickled and spoiled rotten because she, like all parrots, deserves it. Might somebody offer some trick of the trade, so to speak, that we haven't considered??? Our liddle Senegal IS a little Napolean and I love that he's always into something... I have to watch him ALL the time. BUT, Jack and I go for car rides together and he's a blast to spend time with but he's strictly MY BOY... and everybody knows and respects that of him. Little Punkin is a sweetie and will go to everyone of the 4 of us and yes... she has her own agenda but we accept it and she's a little lover. Meeko is a very well readjusted boy who has picked up nearly ALL of his 50+ word vacabulary plus some new ones in a month. He eats well, and has bonded with my eife such that, if he never does "like" me... I'm OK with that because he's a very good and gentle boy otherwise and we knew he bit men going in! Our problem is do we just give up on poor Lucy bacause she will likely NEVER pull herself out of her "funk" at our home and hope she will have a rebirth in a ONE BIRD FAMILY or what??? As I say, we're OK to give her up because we are of the opinion that it's whatever IS BEST for the bird... she's got another 30-50 years to be a happy girl left, and we hope she is a very pampered, spoiled and loving girl somewhere... at some point!!!

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Mar 20, 2012
My Grey
by: Anonymous

I hope you have had better luck with Meeko. I am the second owner of a 20 year old CAG and it took me a year to build trust. Well worth the wait!

Aug 11, 2011
What's a dad to do???
by: Linda

Well, I have a pair of Red Lored Amazons, and all Amazons are independent creatures. They do not much like petting after they grow out of babyhood, and will let you know that right off.

Sometimes the Amazons do not like the Greys and sometimes this kind of reaction could just be she simply does not like him, no way, no how.

Make sure the Grey's toys and her toys are either the same or at least as good. I also recommend a trip to the Avian Vet because lots of times a sudden change in behavior like this indicates bird feels unwell or is in pain somewhere.

All of these rescue birds need to be examined by avian vet during the first few days or week they are in home. Actually, ALL new birds need this exam to make sure they harbor no parasites, infections or other problems.

So, take Lucy to avian vet and see if she may possibly be sick. If she is, vet will give her meds which will make her feel better. As I said sudden changes like this raise a red flag for illness and parrots will not show their illnesses until they are no longer able to hold their heads up.

So, get her examined and then work with her. It sounds like you may have moved too fast on all the rescues especially if they all have not been seen by avian vet which is a must for new birds and rescues in particular. Rescues are just that, they are being rescued from some intolerable situation they got thrown into which happens to parrots a lot.

Keep in touch and let us know what avian vet had to say and how this is going. This little girl may need some professional behavior help, and you'll need to have avain vet recommend someone to you if she continues this. Also, older Amazons become hormonal a couple times a year, and that could be what's also going on here. They become extremely cranky and downright mean every once in a while. Of coure, my two are wild, so they are always looking for a chance to nail me. I've had them for almost 20 years though, and we three are very much bonded or "in bondage" some days not sure which.

Just don't let this bird go too quickly and not before a thorough avian vet exam.

Linda

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