We have many exotic and domesticated birds at the rescue, hundreds actually. Most are lifers and fly around in large aviaries.
Recently, this little cockateil was found sitting on the floor of her aviary and seemed to be unable to fly, so was brought indoors for a little tlc. This bird is 15 years old and she was diagnosed as having arthritic wings.
Since being indoors, Charlie has become incredibly irritated and has taken to biting and shrieking at everyone. Most workers now dread opening her cage as she flies into a rage and becomes a bundle of fury, hurling herself at unsuspecting hands. Blood has been drawn, I kid you not. Even funnier, is how staff came to fear her, a tiny scrap of fluff.
Something had to be done!
So, three days were spent whispering to Charlie. I got her, completely. How those wings must ache. She would repeatedly stretch them back and forth in an effort to get comfortable, despite her meds.
At first, when I tutted quietly to her, all the while knowing how my hip ached, she ignored me. Then she gradually crept closer and closer to the bars of her cage, until she was right next to my face. By the end of day two she began to quietly tut back at me, and, she stopped screeching at the staff and seemed much calmer while having her cage cleaned.
On day three, after a long to and fro tutting session, Charlie did something rather odd….
she took a long, slow, deliberate, deep bow and dropped her head.
Oh…..you’d like me to groom you?
I opened the cage and gently probed around her neck feathers with my little finger, and she LOVED it. Amazing what a little bird tutting/whispering can do eh?
This has now become the new routine and she has even allowed another member of staff to groom her too. Along with grooming, she also enjoys a little light wing- massage….bless, I could do with a little of that too!
Obviously Charlie was lonely and had far too much time to dwell on her aching wings. She’s now become a model member of society. Hopefully, as the days grow warmer her aches and pains, just like mine, will ease, and she can go back to her friends. Meanwhile, my new role involves mastering the art of bird grooming, Charlie glares at me if I’m a little too rough or miss the hot spots!
A grumpy hedgehog having a bath to rid it of ringworm, I’d prefer bird grooming, it aint easy drying a hedgehog!
In other news, the mud track gets muddier….
and, the fritillaria are out, how I love the white ones.
The cherry trees are blooming, and are smothered with honey bees. Spring is here, I even saw my first butterfly!