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Friday, April 24, 2009
We’re Back Home

By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.

hyacinth macaw with Linda
Photos courtesy of Linda Costello
Ziggy, a 7-month-old hyacinth macaw I got to hold, was very sweet.

blue-and-gold macaw with sitter
If you have good bird friends and/or sitters, it is possible to take that long, overdue vacation!

We got back from our vacation on April 12, and we had a good time. All went great at home with the birds. My friends took good care of them and reassured me with phone calls that all was going well. Tina, one of my birdsitters, sent me a picture of her holding Phinny, one of my African greys. When I got home, I found a birthday card with a DJ’s gift card inside Tina left me. DJ’s is a tropical decorated restaurant famous for delicious ribs, so the fun continues!

My daughter, Valerie, took a picture of me at Chief's Bird Cabin in Florida with its 7-month-old hyacinth macaw, Ziggy.

Ziggy was a doll — so cuddly. I carried him around for probably over an hour. He was so sweet. Now, I really want one! A hyacinth is the most expensive macaw, ranging in price from around $7,000 to $15,000, so it will remain a pipe dream. But we all need something to dream about, right?
We were at a festival at Lake Eola, Florida, when I saw a man walking by with a Moluccan cockatoo on his shoulder. After talking and enjoying his cockatoo’s antics, he led us to an area where members of a parrot club called “Parrots in the Park” were gathered around a picnic table enjoying the sunshine and festivities with their parrots. I was told that they hold their regular monthly meetings there, but this time they were simply there to enjoy the festival.

I needed a “bird fix,” as I was already missing my birds at home so much. Well, this sure fit the bill (no pun intended). The people and birds couldn't have been friendlier. I held a female Eclectus, an umbrella cockatoo, a blue-and-gold macaw and a sun conure. There were also blue-fronted Amazons and other parrots. All their birds had their wing feathers trimmed. Valerie and I took a lot of photos.

I would love to belong to a bird club like theirs, but I would be afraid of having a bird outside, even if its wing feathers were trimmed. We have come so far in the bird world. We now have things that are intended to be used for the safety of our birds, like harnesses and flight suits. I definitely recommend that people work with getting their birds accustomed to one of these so that they can enjoy spending time outside. Being out and about is good for socialization exercises, and makes for a happy, healthy bird, too.

All in all, we had a fantastic vacation with family, including a casino cruise ship ride out in the Atlantic Ocean.

As we left home, I dreaded the 12 long days that I would be away from my parrots. But in the whirlwind of activities keeping me busy each day, it was time to head for the plane ride home again before I knew it!

So, from one over-protective bird owner to another: yes, if you have good bird friends and/or sitters, it is possible to take that long, overdue vacation!

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We’re Back Home

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Reader Comments
Charles, I really appreciate your offer of a club T-shirt but I don't have your email addy.
You could email me by contacting BIRD TALK at
I enjoyed meeting & talking to you & the other club members when I was in Florida.
Linda, Toronto, OH
Posted: 10/13/2009 11:01:11 AM
Great article Linda, hopefully it will help those that are hestitant to take a vacation and leave their birds for a few weeks. The birds do great with birdie educated bird sitters. Now start planning your next vacation. :)

Wilma, Upper Tantallon, NS
Posted: 5/5/2009 12:31:21 PM
I'm glad that you enjoyed our club. Most of the birds you met at the park were on their 2nd or 3rd owners. Zeus, the Umbrella that you met, is a rescue, and he helps me shave every morning. E-mail me with your address and we'll send you a club T-Shirt.
Charles, Orlando, FL
Posted: 5/2/2009 6:30:27 AM
Very nice article. I do business with Chief's' so it was nice to hear from someone who had been to the store and got to see the babies up close and personally. I am looking forward to meeting the owner shortly as she is buying a couple of my baby Lesser Jardines.
Margie, Pompano Beach, FL
Posted: 4/26/2009 8:51:16 AM
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