Every now and then in the busy world of animals you have a really nice quiet time and this weekend was one of those, nothing alarming happened no emergencies and no extreme weather just a relaxing weekend. So on these weekends you have to make the most of what you have and that means if you want to spend a little time with that special character, get it done. After getting all the paperwork ready for the guys to complete I went in one of the enclosures to spend some quality time with my old friend.
Parrot….yes thats his name Parrot, he’s a big old Green-winged macaw that has been with us now since 1996, he arrived at the young age of just 8 weeks and was really just with us for palliative care, he and his brother were being brought up by their parents but sadly one passed away and the zoo owner had to bring them in to hand rear, then his brother had died and parrot himself was quite ill he only had one eye too. The owner said it looked like he would have to have him put to sleep as things weren’t looking good, explaining that i was visiting one of the countries top vets the following day, he agreed to let me take it with me at my expense. On getting to Mr. Nigel Harcourt-Brown one of the most amazing parrot vets you could ever meet, he explained ‘one or two things would happen’, he would either be in and out of hospital his entire life or never need to see a vet again, I was willing to take the risk and pay what it took, and so 17 years later, he hasn’t seen a vet once, as i said earlier, this vet was amazing, he knows parrots through and through and always took the time out to offer his expertise, albeit afterwards i found out he must have had a special spot for me as he could be and more the often was, a real swine with a lot of people due to their ignorance in the world of parrots, and rightly so.
How did he get the name Parrot? okay we looked after many parrots at that time working with a lot of breeders who kindly let me have time, out of breeding season, studying the habits of certain birds and I ended up assisting should any of their birds need hand-rearing etc. Working with so many breeders meant I could be caring for 60+ baby parrots at anyone time and loved it, it did however mean that as we couldn’t name them, we did call them all ‘parrot’, and as parrot (my bird) ended up staying, the name stuck.
The real funny thing was, a few years ago (about 15) I met a local fruiterer named Ian who was a lovely man, lives in Vietnam now, he came to see me for a little advice and a few questions about his Green-wing, we ended up being really good friends and on further inspection I saw his birds leg ring was from the same breeder as mine, and it so happens he was born a couple of years before so they were brothers, the real amusing thing about it all was, he named his parrot BIRDIE, god we were so imaginative in those day BIRDIE & PARROT 🙂
Well, old parrot has been living outside for the last 14 years and has his own mate to hang about with but every now and then he just like me to go in and have a bit of a fuss, but all on his terms, its his choice to make his way to me and there’s very rarely food involved, probably had a row with his mate so wanted a bit of human attention, today was one of those days and he climbs up and just has a good old nuzzle with his mate who’s quite wild, just sat by our sides, as soon as hes had enough, usually about 20 minutes he climbs down and off they wander.
Quite a special relationship that you will only understand if you have a Green-wing of about that age or more, they’re really special birds, very much like the old Great Dane and the giant sulcata tortoise who have similar natures in their world.
Heres a pic of the old boy.
Where were we last year at this time? OOOOOH it was cold whole we were reaching roof level on one of the buildings and the timbers were on the other, starting to take shape although not easy to see due to the snow.
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