Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BeeGee's Adoption Story

BeeGee is as colorful as her toys.

Pet's name:
Adopted by: Wendy Morse
From: The Bailey Foundation

The adoption story of BeeGee the macaw originally appeared on Wendy's website, Bags of a Feather

BeeGee came to live with us in August of 2007 after a long trip to Philadelphia to bring her home to start her new life with us. We adopted her from a wonderful rescue outside the city called the Bailey Foundation. Jeff Levine and his wife Pat [who have since retired] have run the rescue as a labor of love since 2004 and have given over their home and their lives to taking in parrots of all kinds and finding them new homes.

We had never taken care of a big parrot before and were both a bit intimidated by that big, black beak! We knew very little of her past life, other than she was thought to be around 30 years old, and had been confiscated in a police raid on a crack house in Philadelphia, and was taken in by a police officer involved in the raid. After a year or so went by, he realized that he could not devote the necessary time to BeeGee, and relinquished her to the Bailey Foundation. She was thought to be a male because of her impressive size. She was a wild-caught bird and had an import band on one foot. She also had a reddish-purple bruised spot on that same foot, which might have been from her capture in the jungle all those years ago.

When she arrived at our home, she went to the vet for a complete work-up and was found to be very healthy—and a female. So BeeGee was nicknamed the "Beautiful Girl." She spent a good part of the first few weeks staring out the window at the woods and trees and stream in front of our house. Her expression was one of astonishment. I wondered if she was thinking of the jungle. After a few days with us, I bent over to pick up something off the floor in front of her cage, and I swear I heard her say “pretty bird” when I bent over and pointed my behind in her direction! I have never heard it again in the three and a half years since.

She has become a very friendly parrot and will come down from the top of her cage every day for "cuddlies." She will step on my arm with one claw and hang onto the cage with the other, and gets lots of scritches and loving. Once every few days, she will be brave enough to let go and step on me with both feet. I do not force her to do anything unless she is in imminent danger or we have to go for a vet visit. She is very happy to hang out all day, chew anything wooden into little toothpicks, and interacts with both Pete and me.

BeeGee started plucking her breast feathers last summer, and she was given a complete check-up and clean bill of health that it was not related to any physical cause. We tried a vest "protector" a few days ago, and it was reduced to a very expensive "rag" within minutes. She did NOT want that thing on her, and chewed off the fringe immediately:

BeeGee is very vocal, but not much of a screamer, unless there is something like a black bear outside. At that point, the windows are in danger of shattering as the decibel level is cranked up to maximum volumes. She mostly says "Hello" in hundreds of different tones of voice, and also "What?" If the "flock" is not within her sight, she will call out "Hello, hello, hello?" until somebody responds.

She loves to eat, and especially loves walnuts and pistachios. She digs into her bean-and-veggie mix with great appetite every evening. She also gets treats left from our dinner, and pasta is her favorite thing of all. She also has developed a taste for steak and filet mignon—spoiled girl!

We have no idea how old BeeGee really is, but I think of every day as a precious  gift. We are extremely lucky to have found her, and she has found her forever home here.

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