Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The "Throw-away Parrot"...
Just goes to show that appearances aren't everything...

While online a couple of nights ago, I was researching Meyers' Parrots, because, after all, I now have one and wanted to find out more about this curious little bird. In the midst of my net-surfing, I found a true story about a little Meyers' Parrot, titled "The Throw-away Parrot", which can be found at http://www.prettybirds.net/Throwawayparrot.htm. I wanted to express my appreciation to the person who wrote it, and sent off an e-mail, but "Mailer-Daemon" mailed me back saying "no go". I'd gone to all the trouble of writing a long e-mail, and didn't want to see it go to waste. So I've included it here. I'd advise you to go to the above link first, read the story, then, read my follow-up, below...
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I was really touched by the "Throw-Away Parrot" story about the Little Meyers' Parrot. Especially because I now have a little Meyers' of my own, a little girl named Jill. I had extreme trouble from the Bronze-Winged Pionus Parrot I had bought; whoever says Pi's are laid-back definitely hadn't been around my bird. So it broke my heart when the Pet Rescue guy I brought him to "did better" with the Pi in 5 minutes than I had in over 3 months. Maybe I'm just not good at handling birds...some people have the talent/patience for what it takes to train a bird; I guess I don't. As time went on, the Pi (who I'd named 'Ringo) got worse and worse; screeching, throwing things, ripping seed dishes from the cage wall; I couldn't take it anymore.

The bird-rescue guy traded me a little Meyers Parrot he'd been having trouble with. Little Jill had been with a little Meyers Male, "Jack". Jack wouldn't mate; he had no interest. Jack later was adopted out, leaving Jill all alone. She and Jack had repeatedly attacked an African Grey Parrot that lived next to their cage, in a room full of birds and bird cages. I don't know how birds think, or 'if' they think, but perhaps Jill was possessive, or perceived a threat, or whatever. Perhaps the multi-bird environment stressed out Jack and Jill. Meyers' Parrots don't make a whole lot of noise; they're quiet by nature. When I first saw Little Jill, she was sitting near her cage, keeping to herself. I'm just kinda thinking she just didn't fit in where she was anymore.
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The Meyers' Parrot looks drab at first, almost 'mousy'; Little Jill has a darkish-brownish front with a black beak. Not flashy at all. But she'll surprise you; she has bright green feathers just underneath her outer wings and dark green feathers on her tail. She's tiny, compared to the Pi I had owned. The Meyers Parrot pictured below has more green on its chest than mine does. Also, my bird has yellow spots on its wing-shoulders in addition to a yellow crest. There are several sub-species of Meyers' Parrot, all with subtle differences in coloration. Tens of thousands of them fly around in Central Africa, so, unlike the Dodo bird, this species won't be on the brink of extinction anytime soon.

Little Jill can sit on my shoulder virtually all day if I let her; talk about a companion bird! When I arrive home after being somewhere, she lets out a high, shrill, but dainty "Peep!" which makes her sound so vulnerable...she likes mixed vegetables (especially the diced carrots), and more often than not she has orange carrot pieces stuck to her beak. She's also crazy for sunflower seeds, which she munches and crunches to her hearts' delight. She also goes absolutely nuts over broccoli. I'm always having to clean up carrot pieces, broccoli shreds and seed shells, but I don't mind. She's a good little girl. I'll get up in the morning, take her out of the cage, feed her (although she's probably been eating from sunrise 'till I rise), and then she naps on my shoulder, with her head tucked in between her wings. She also likes to go for car rides; she sits on my shoulder and watches the scenery go whizzing by. I can take her outside and she stays on my shoulder, but I don't do that often. Once she leapt from my shoulder, flew about 20 feet high, landed about 30 feet away (her wings are clipped), and then she took off from the ground and flew right back to me. So, that situation ended well, even though she gave me a pretty good scare.

When I'm sitting here in the easy chair, she'll eat at a seed dish I've setup at chairside, and when she's done, she'll fly/hop back onto my shoulder...she'll preen herself there; she'll grind her beak (a parrot sign of contentment); tonight, she went over, got a little carrot cube, then flew back to my shoulder to eat it. Little things like that are just so cool. When I first got rid of my Pionus, I felt so bad about it; I'd tried everything to get him to settle down and be comfortable with me. Little Jill is so demure, gentle, soft-spoken, almost 'dainty' (except for the carrot on her face!), that while I will always be sad over my Pi experiment that didn't work, I'm glad I got her. Little Jill is quite a little girl. She's pretty cool. And I hope she's happy, relaxed and content here.

I was so impressed by the 'Throw-away bird' story, because Meyers parrots are unremarkable in appearance, tiny little birds that perhaps people wouldn't notice in a pet shop, especially if surrounded by more colorful birds. I certainly wouldn't have noticed her. Or maybe I would have; who knows? In many ways, Jill is more like a Good Room-mate. Where she used to live at before, she was in a room with a lot of other birds; she kept mainly to herself while all the others were squawking and screeching. She seems to be just fine with me; she can sleep with the TV and Lights on low; in the daytime, she's content to be on my shoulder with nothing else going on. In turn, that makes ME slow down a little bit. How about that..."bird therapy".

They say that humans mistakenly attach human feelings and emotions to birds, which is probably true. Perhaps the 'throwaway bird' didn't feel all those emotions within, as is written in the bird story I've been alluding to (You really should read it; it's good.). And maybe animals don't 'love' us, because they can't. They're animals, after all. But I know these little creatures need security, need to be cared for, and in their own way, appear grateful to us for caring for them. And it's amazing how a little 6-inch-long bird can develop an attachment to a human being; to them, we must look like Big Monstrous Blobs. But, I've heard it said that when you have a single bird, you become the "other bird". All I know is she seems to need me, and I'm glad I got her.
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The Meyers Parrot is a quiet little bird, not very demanding, and is a good pet for apartment-dwellers or those who have Senior Citizen neighbors who constantly have their hearing aids turned up to maximum volume. Meyers' aren't good talkers; some can learn a few words, but I figure if mine is 5 years old and doesn't talk, she probably won't. That's okay. All she has to do is Be A Bird.

7 Comments:

Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Okay, I've finished reading the story and your post and my eyes are all teared up. That's the way I am. Birds, dogs, cats or whatever - and their people. The most solid and satisfying of relationships. And don't believe for one minute a bird can't love. Why do you think geese mate for life? Dogs too. One look into my boys eyes and what I see is love.

Sorry for sounding so maudlin. It's the way I am - and there's some of the best of it in you too!

1:13 PM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Hi, Ms. Dogwalker...some might say it's just the 'forces of nature' which cause geese to mate for life; indeed, all the actions of an animal can be explained away by referring to animal behavior books that refer to 'protection, security, survival of the fittest', etc. I think that the thing we call 'Love' is comprised of security, companionship and nurturing, which seems to be what animals base their actions on. I don't pretend to know much of anything about love, but taking care of something, and having it give back are nice indeed.

Little Jill gets all mixed up when I put her in the cage in the evening, probably 'cos I can't crawl in the cage with her. So I sit with her for an hour or two; by that time, nature takes over and she's virtually catatonic until morning. I sure wish Human Beings could get to sleep that easily!

6:59 PM  
Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

C'mon, my friend, don't over analyze. Sometimes the romantic notion of relationships, be it geese, you and your bird or me and my dog are the best of the best. Yeah, it's different than what Hub and I have for one another on a human level, but it doesn't take away from being needed, needing and finding the fulfillment of both that I have with pooch. So there!

8:00 PM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

That's a nice thought. Love as a simple thing? Novel concept...

8:22 PM  
Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

Sighhhhhh..... what a lovely story.... just goes to show how some and misunderstand others..... be it birds or humans....

and I do believe that birds can love, my chickens love me :) as much as I love them...

Did I tell anyone that I fell in love with a lop earred bunny today whilst in the big pet shop getting guinea pig food for the guinea pigs we are looking after whilst black patrick is on holiday, also his chickens.....

Anyways, he didnt leave enough food so I nipped in the shop to get some and this little lop was looking at me.... he was beautiful...... I had a little lop called HOVIS, I had him for 9 years and every morning I would let him out of his big cage into the garden and he, just like our chickens now, would come into the kitchen LOL and if whenever I was around he would sit on my feet LOL.... I cried and cried and sobbed when Hovis died.... and no other bunny has caught my heart, until TODAY...... so now Im pricing up nice cages LOL.... and if that same bunny is still there during the week :).... well, who knows.....

ps..... the guinea pigs we are feeding for black patrick while he is on holiday had babies last Monday :)..... so I could always get one of those to keep the bunny company, IF, I get him.....

sorry, waffling on and on as usual...

x

3:20 PM  
Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

and misunderstand = CAN misunderstand

x

3:21 PM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Hey, Marma...when I was a kid, we had a bunch of bunnies...including one all-black bunny...I didn't have a name for him; I just referred to him as "The Great Bunny"...and he was amazingly good-natured. I also got to hold a little baby goose once...awwwww...but then I remembered how big and obnoxious geese can be. At least my parrot won't get any bigger. And my parrot really is a Good Little Girl.

8:28 PM  

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