By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.
Hercules, a green-winged macaw, was a brother (of another clutch) of Linda's late macaw, Murphy.
I have been speaking with the lady who has around 11 birds. Health and financial issues are making it difficult for her to care for so many parrots. She is also going through a divorce at 60 years old and has no one to help her. So, my friend Kay, Tina and I went to visit to see some of the birds that need re-homing.
I had mixed feelings about going because, as I learned through our phone conversations, that one of her macaws, a green wing named Hercules, although not from the same clutch, was hatched from the same parents as my now deceased Murphy.
I lost Murphy to kidney disease at the age of 14. She showed no symptoms until about a week before she died. She spent that last week in the vet’s hospital, where they did all they could do to save her to no avail. Losing her left a big hole in my heart.
The first room we entered when we walked into the home was wall-to-wall cages with macaws, Amazons, a timneh grey and a sun conure. An adjoining room had a cage with two 7-year-old hybrid Moluccan/umbrella cockatoos that she said she hand-fed from the day they were hatched.
I met Hercules the green wing face to face. I would have brought him home in a minute. I know a lot of people think that all birds look alike at a glance but, once you get to know them, you can see the subtle differences. Like the bigger-than-usual feet with long toes, the thick, black wiggly tongue or just that unique “look” that they have in their eye! When Hercules’ eyes met mine, there was no doubt in my mind he was Murphy's brother from another clutch!
But he is not one the parrots that the lady she needs to re home at this time.
I let her know how I felt; if there comes a time when she feels she can't care for him. She promised to let me know if/when that time comes.
On to the other birds now:
They were all such nice, calm, seemingly friendly birds that Kay decided she would take the two ‘toos and the timneh grey. But we didn't come prepared. Although Kay drives a truck, with the three of us; there wasn't enough room. Tina solved this problem.
Kay took Tina to get her husband's work van, while I stayed behind to clean the bottoms of the cages so we could put them with the birds in the back of the van. The owner shed some tears. It was a happy/sad situation. But she did the right thing for the sake of the birds.
Kay's husband, Dave, enjoys parrots, too, so they will fit in with her happy flock.
In the end, we all can be assured that we did the right thing.
But after meeting Hercules that “hole-in-my-heart feeling” I had for so long after losing Murphy is back.
The same year I lost Murphy I also lost my sweet 5-year-old scarlet macaw, Mitzi, to a sudden heart attack doubling the size of that hole in my heart!
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