I’m totally swearing off downsizing. The more I talk about it, the more birds come into my life. Honestly, I wish that worked with money. Or book sales. I know words have power but mine seem to attract the opposite of what I say.
I got a Facebook message from a friend who raises exotic birds as well as some beautiful smaller parrots. He had a small sun conure, about six months old, that he thought I would be the perfect person to take in. The little guy was underweight and had feet issues. He can perch, but his feet turn in like he’s pigeon-toed.
Of course, my loving husband said I could take him in because special needs parrots are always welcome in our home. We’ve never regretted toeless Bo Dangles or Blind Io. We made plans to drive to Brandon’s house and meet the sun conure.
We, of course, brought our dog, Tilda, and hit a bird store in the area first. The birds there were in tiny cages, so I just didn’t feel good about buying any and encouraging them. They don’t have a lot of room in the store, but they could have reduced the types of birds they have, maybe.
On to meet the sun conure. I had decided, since we do not know if this bird is a male or female, to name it Citron. And call it Tron for short. Because we are nerds. I started calling him Tron from the moment I met him. He is beautiful.
Touring Brandon’s house was a treat as well. He has a pair of canary wing parakeets that are both male and are bonded. He has a beautiful scarlet macaw and an amazing hornbill he has hand raised. My favorite was Max, an African grey whom he raised and sold in perfect condition, then was given the bird back with a broken leg and some fear issues. Through tireless work and patience, Max is now much better and healed inside and out.
Because Tron can’t step up well, Brandon reached into his cage and picked him up, hand over his wings and back. Not a big deal. He came to me and to Mike, didn’t bite, was sweet and loveable. We’ll take him as if there was ever any doubt.
We went directly home and hustled to get a cage set up for him. At his former residence, he had a wide cage that was only maybe 12 inches tall. I put him in the cage that Maynard came with, two feet or more tall, a foot and a half on all four sides. I used ladders and wide perches and started with the food and water on the floor. The bird sat on the floor at first, so I put in a towel for his comfort.
Because he is so small, Brandon and I agreed he should continue to get one hand feed at night. He even gave me a bunch of formula to use. Even though I use a different food than Brandon did, the hand feeding helped bridge the changeover. And Tron did love it.
What he didn’t love was me picking him up the way Brandon had. He also seemed to miss his first human parent. He didn’t know if he should like me or not. But as long as I fed him, he wasn’t too upset. He’d sit with me on my crooked elbow and chew on scabs or skin tags. Just like Sunny used to do! I grew so confident in our growing bond that I had him out for a short while on New Year’s Eve to meet our guests. He did very well. But seemed happy to go back into his cage.
The next day I tried to get him out and he fluttered to the floor. Yikes! We have a couple mouse traps, the ones that go SNAP! under his cage. I grabbed him, panicked, which of course he picked up on. He tried to move away. In desperation, I snagged his tail feathers and pulled him out from under the cage.
Tron let me know he didn’t care for that kind of handling by giving me a good bite. He didn’t break the skin but I said ow. I gave him scritches and told him he was a good bird. He settled down a little bit but didn’t really relax. I fed him and put him back in his cage.
Since then, he hasn’t come willingly out of the cage. The traps are gone so I can relax if he does jump out. Last night after feeding him, I put him up on the top of his cage which has a play area. He had a great time, as far as I can tell, hopping around, climbing down the ladder then back up. Finally, he settled down by his light and dozed off. I hated to wake him to return him to his cage.
The sun once more glows in my house and comes with a rule to be patient, be safe, and be everything this little bird needs. My thanks to Brandon for this gift continue always. And thank you for reading. I’ll be back next Sunday.