Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adopt a bird from Best Friends, if you insist.

Our gig today was parrots! We learned things! If you make it to the end of this post, you may learn something, too.*

This pretty boy Pretty boy! Pretty boy! is Skylar. He accepted pistachios from Annie, then bit her. It was a stormy relationship.

Macaws live 80 - 100 years. Adoption of a young bird is not a commitment to take lightly. Skylar is an Amazon and may live 60 - 75 years.


Birds see in the visible (to us) spectrum, and also see UV.

Birds fed a seed diet are like people who eat nothing but McDonald's food. Best Friends sees them come in with liver disease, like the guy who did SuperSize Me. Seeds are very high in fat. These birds in the wild spend 58% of their time flying to look for food. A parrot in captivity flies 0% of his time.

Birds should not be fed ripe fruit. They eat little of it in the wild, and always unripe, because they don't metabolize sugar well.

Parrots are prey animals, and we are predators. They know this, because all our eyes are in the front of us. Sidle up to a bird to seem less like a predator.


Annie does not metabolize bird dander well, so she was mostly outside.


This is Layla, who wiggled and snurffled her way past me. She was a Vick dog, and is now living a fine, licky life.


Sasha is a macaw. Kevin isn't, but they get along well. Sasha will likely outlive Kevin, his kids, and his grandkids.
Here's the plan, see. I'll eat the nut, see. Then we' dirty rat!
If you full-body stroke a bird, you are promising to mate with him.  Keep it above the neck, fella.


Paco (rear) is blind, but Rico is his seeing-eye-bird. They're never far apart, and they use a unique call to find each other.

Alo, an African Grey
A cockatoo will have seven to eleven homes in his life, because they live so long and because they are louder than your Great-Aunt Gladys without her ear trumpet. 

If there's a takeaway, I guess it's to know what you're geting into when you adopt a bird. 
  • Their vet bills are breathtaking. 
  • They will outlive you. If you don't like your bird, you can't just wait him out. 
  • Birds are extremely dander-y. Annie had to leave the house after five minutes, so powerful was her allergic reaction.
  • Birds are flock animals, and the reality of life in a cage stresses them. Counterintuitively, their lifespan in captivity is shorter than in the wild, even though they are prey animals.

All these birds are adoptable from Best Friends. You do need to make a visit to let your new bird friend pick you out. 


*Offer not valid in contiguous 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii, US protectorates, United Arab Emirates, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, or Greenland.

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Desert Diva (Cheryl) said...

I normally would comment about the post, but I'm on my way home and would like to meet up with the "ducks" in Kanab. I'm about 300 miles away in Ely, NV. Just for a night or two and I promise to be on my best behavior. Then I'm going to Show Low to visit some other friends. Could you e-mail me at: and let me know if you'd like visitors?

The Good Luck Duck said...

Email sent!

Teri said...

Pretty birds, love the close-up pic of the feathers. So what do they eat that is healthy for them? Greens?

The Good Luck Duck said...

Annie took all those Amazon shots with her phone. They do eat a scoop of greens 3X weekly, and they eat pellets made of greens, a little seed, and extra nutrients. And a few nuts.

Tesaje said...

Your disclaimer, notwithstanding, I did learn something! They are gorgeous creatures. Bet they like the Best Friends better than homes - because they have other parrots. I didn't know they were so allergenic.

TexCyn said...

I live with a Macaw, he talks & sings & eats & poops. Just like any other bird! And screams & screams & scolds himself. And tells the dogs to be quiet He loves dogs, he wants to feed them by regurgi...well, you get the picture. Now erase that picture. Bye.

Soaring Sun said...

I could not learn things while reading this because the pictures were so fabulous, I had to skip all the writing.

Mike and Terri said...

Those birds are just gorgeous!

Russ Krecklow said...

I wonder what I look like in UV?

Judy and Emma said...

I wonder what anything looks like in UV?

Laura said...

Great photos. I used to breed parrots (macaws and congos) but stopped as it seemed irrisponsible. A parrot is a great pet (as is our Grace) but such a huge commitment. Our parrots always got a mix of fresh vegetables, with a little bit of fruit, some pellets (kibble for parrots) and lots of legumes. Oh and a few nuts. It is no light chore to keep these guys properly fed. And yes, they are messy... oh, and sometimes bite... HARD. But when I hear her say "Oh my goodness" or call me by name it makes it all worth while - she's a hoot (even though she isn't an owl).

I'm really enjoying reading all about your time at BF.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Aw, Laura. Hugs! Yes, I forgot legumes. Kevin called the mixture "chop," and it did have chickpeas in it, too. He showed us bruises from birds losing their balance on his arm and grabbing on. Annie provoked Skylar by looking away from him momentarily, and he bit her. But, they're very engaging, all the same.

Judy and Russ - LOL! Russ, Sasha says your aura is nice. Kind of shifts between Duck yellow and Duck green.

Mike & Terri, they are stunning.

Sue, I'll mime all the info for you. When I get to the part about mating, you'll wish you'd just read it.

Cyn, I didn't know you had a macaw! He's a buddy for life! Are you able to take him out of his cage, or is he a "runner"? And, do the dogs accept?

Mary, I imagine they do like it there. There's a lot of interaction, with other birds and with the bald birds who bring their chop. The BF people are able to quiet the self-destructive behaviors the birds come in with, so it must be fairly stressless. Relatively, anyway.

sierrasue said...

Next time I go to Best Friends I want to volunteer in birds. Never have. Did you meet King O ??? He has his own facebook page. He is a big white bird with a bald head and neck. Very funny bird.

Theresa said...

I had no idea they lived that long. That is such a huge commitment then to see the well being of the bird once you are gone. They are beautiful birds.

Contessa said...

Oh how I miss our parrot. We rescued her in Acapulco several years ago but had to give her up a few years ago when I had my accident. Great post.

Jim and Gayle said...

So interesting about the birds. We always feel sorry for them when we see them in captivity.

Sherry said...

And I thought my 35 year horse commitment was a biggee. Folks better be putting the bird caretaking in their will. Great post!! Looks like you and BF, a mutual admiration society. Keep up the good work.

Donna K said...

Well you certainly are in Parrotdice there with those beautiful birds. It sure does take a commitment though.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Exactly right, Sherry! We met a woman who put her tortoise in her will, since they're as long-lived as parrots. Will do - we love this place.

I know, Gayle. These guys have lots of company. I know I should be promoting adoption, but they have it so good at BF, since they can't be wild and all.

What kind of parrot was she, Contessa? Did she talk? Did she swear in Spanish? :D

It's true, Theresa. One thing about BF birds is that they're always BF birds. So, if one needs a home, it can always come back (and perhaps that's in a written agreement made during adoption).

Sue, I didn't meet King O, but I saw him on the website! I'll look for him on Facebook. He looked so silly on the site, but maybe he's grown out...?

The Good Luck Duck said...


King O rocks the house.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Har, Donna!

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

You are special people to spend time with the beautiful birds.

You'll be even more special if you take one home with you... ;c)

The Good Luck Duck said...

Haha! There's a different name for that kind of special.

Contessa said...

She is a Mexican Red Headed Amazon. We at first thought she was a double yellow but they had dyed her and clipped her wings. In fact it took 2 years for her to grow her wings back. She was just starting to talk when we had to give her away. She had been taken from her nest and brought into the city to sell. Colin rescued her in order to set her free but we brought her home to rehabilitate. Our lives revolved around her. We miss her very very much.

¡Vizcacha! said...

Aw Contessa. :(