Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fostering, again

Somewhere pigs are flying. We are fostering again. I've briefly written here before about Steve, an african grey parrot that the director of the rescue wanted us to foster.

The rescue where I volunteer is wonderful (I am really lucky to live close to a good one). They have tried everything with him, including laser treatment for his mutilation. His physical and mental state continued to deteriorate. It got to the point where the rescue's vet was recommending either putting him on valium or euthanizing him. I must add here that the rescue has never euthanized a bird for anything other than to ease the suffering of someone who was painfully dying, so that wasn't really an option for him. The fact that the vet thought it an option underlined, to us, the severity of Steve's plight.

Knowing what was in store for him, we couldn't not take him in. We'll give him a shot -- maybe things will go a lot better in a normal home. And if not, at least we tried.You can't see it in these pictures, but he mutilates under his wings. It's so bad that he has huge open wounds -- there is no skin left to attempt any kind of surgery. If he leaves the sores alone, it's possible that his skin will regrow.

He is very scared. Right now, we're leaving his cage door open when we're home and he has the choice about whether he wants to come out or not. Surprisingly, he has chosen to come out most of the time!

Here, he was even resting on one foot, which is something parrots usually only do when they are content.We'll see how things progress, but right now our plan is to allow his wings to grow out and to see if flying will help with his under-wing problem.

When he gets scared, he drops to the ground and then starts running. He is so fast! If there were parrot sprint competitions, he'd do quite well. But when we put our arm down and ask him to step up, he runs over and does so.

The problem? When he's on our arm, he starts making these horrible sounds, like we're torturing him. But, he needs to go on our arm so we can get him back to his cage.

How are the other parrots taking this intruder?

Max seems more curious than anything else. She buzzed him once, but he stood his ground and she lost interest.

Stella is angry, though better today than the first few days. She refused to come into the kitchen (where his cage is), refused to eat her favorite foods, refused to shower with us, etc. This morning, she flew in the kitchen, ate peas, and showered. She'll be fine.

The caiques seem oblivious. I'm not sure they realize anyone new is in the house!

Rocky is generally fine, until Steve starts making his horrible noises. Rocky fancies himself protector of the parrots, so when this happens, Rocky either runs over to attack the human who's carrying Steve back to his cage (if Rocky is out) or freaks out and does his angry screaming (if Rocky is in his cage).

I'll update Steve's progress here. We have great hopes of getting him to the point where he can live a normal life in a good home. From what I can remember, he reminds me a lot of Stella when she first came to us, though you'd never know it by looking at Stella now.


Pamela said...

I'm so sorry Steve's condition has gotten worse, and so glad you can take him in for another chance. Gest of luck to all of you!

The Homeless Parrot said...

I'd lecture you on taking on more than you can handle, but kitten #3 has just arrived and is in isolation in my bathroom so as not to spread her disease. I guess I can't point fingers.

Anonymous said...

Bless you and your family for helping that sweet bird. Best of luck to you all.

Mary said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.

Don't worry, I am lecturing myself and really trying to just foster this time! And there are about 5 more birds at the rescue I want to take home, too.

belovedparrot said...

I just love how you called yours a "normal" home. Still makes me grin.

belovedparrot said...

Can you share any of Steve's history with us? Poor baby. Please give him some scritches for me -- if he's comfortable receiving scritches, of course.

And thank you for fostering him.

Mary said...

BP -- yes, "normal" takes on an entirely different connotation when I use it :)

I gave Steve's story (as far as I know) in a post from 7/6.

He is not a big fan of scritches, but I'll give him a pistachio from you and an air kiss, if those are acceptable substitutes!!! (Max will takes scritches, though!)