Tuesday, August 23, 2011


When we got back last weekend, all was as expected, at least at first.  Rocky, Beeps, and Calypso were threatening and aggressive, Basil would not stop talking excitedly, and Brian and the greys were extra loving and wanted to be near us constantly.  In fact, Stella was a little too loving, as she started regurgitating whenever either of us would get close to her.  That should have been a warning.

The greys happily ate some of our dinner (note Max's foot up in the air -- she really wanted to be near us!):
Later, I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom.  Stella gets a bit nesty on the bathroom floor, and we usually remove her as soon as she enters.  This time, I was a little distracted (and perhaps a bit out of practice) so I watched as first Stella and then Max walked in.  Before I knew it, Stella had jumped on Max and the two of them were rolling around on the floor, fighting.  This had never happened before -- usually one will fly away when the other gets aggressive.

I intervened as soon as I could, but not before Max had bitten Stella above the eye while defending herself:
Luckily, no serious damage was done, and the bathroom floor is now completely off-limits to Stella.  Max was unhurt, and with any luck Stella learned a lesson about the consequences of her actions, but I doubt it.

Here she is, eating, with her damaged eye:
She'll heal up quickly; in the meantime, the greys are acting as though this never happened.


phonelady said...

Do you think you will have to take her to the avian ? I know that i fear this with my birds getting too close to each other . I know they would have no qualms attacking each other end of story . I hope it is healing well and no avian visit is needed .

Anonymous said...


This has nothing to do with this particular post, but I have been reading your blog for a while now and was hoping to get your opinion on something. There is a BCC at a box pet store near me, 2 and a half, terrified and with an overgrown beak. I find myself with this issue often, but its getting more difficult. The last thing I want to do is support a place like this, but I hate thinking of that poor little thing in there. I know someone hoping for a BCC who would be a wonderful home. Does your rescue ever deal with this? Is it more important to discourage stores from carrying parrots than to get this guy into a good home?

Mary said...

PL -- at this point, it does not look as though she will have to go to the vet, but we are watching her closely and will go if there is any change in her behavior or if her wound heals improperly. Thanks for the well wishes :)

Anonymous -- this is a tricky subject, and one on which I wavered for a long time before finally landing where I am today. Also, this is why I no longer go into any pet stores that sell animals as it is hard to test my resolve. I'm glad the internet is around!!!

The thing is, if you purchase the BCC, you are, in effect, rewarding the pet store AND giving them enough money to replace that bird with 2-3 more, meaning ultimately, more suffering. You can't save everyone (though I'd like to try!)

I have spoken with several former pet store employees who told me their bosses would purposely keep animals in poor conditions to pull on the heartstrings of people like you and me and make more money that way.

(This makes no sense to me as I'd think you'd make more money by treating your parrot right and encouraging the purchaser to return and buy toys, perches, food, etc.)

I will write a longer post, inspired by you, in the next few weeks.

Ultimately, I think the best course of action is not to support pet stores that mistreat their animals in any way. Check petfinder -- there may be a BCC in your area looking for a home that your friend could adopt.

The one possible exception is if this is a one-off thing -- the store usually doesn't have birds but has one on consignment, for example. I still think it's better to try to support a rescue, but at least then you know your money is not going to enable more suffering by the bird(s) that will be brought in to replace the one you bought.

My last time in a pet store that sold animals is when we bought the lizards. We'd overheard the clerks saying they would be released outside (to their certain deaths) if they didn't sell by the day the store was closing. Though it made me sick to give those jerks any money, the fact that the store was going out of business so I knew they wouldn't be using my money to purchase more animals to mistreat made it palatable to me. I'm still not sure I made the right choice.

Anyway, sorry you're in this position. It makes me so sad to think of all the avian suffering that is taking place and knowing that there's not much I can do about it, which is why I try to minimize my exposure to it in the first place :( Good luck as you make your decision.