I’m aware that the subject gives away the punch line, so to speak, but you’ll have to suffer through the story anyways. :) I also have a gazillion other pictures to post, but this one jumps the gun.
Summer of 2008, I brought home a baby scarlet macaw named Schrodinger, who was my delight and joy. He had a number of health problems when he was quite young which were a sign of things to come.
September of 2012, he died unexpectedly of kidney failure. It was possibly the hardest thing that I’ve ever experienced. I mourned for a long time, went through phases where I was sure I wanted another macaw immediately to try to make it better, and then sure that I never wanted another macaw, ever.
In the past year, seeing Artichoke and Anisette so happy together (and they deserve an update too), I’ve really re-affirmed my belief that knowledgeable parrot owners can have pet parrots who enjoy interacting with humans and who also live with and interact with other parrots.
And so, we had been talking absently about one day bringing home another macaw as a companion for us and also for Theo. I decided over a year ago that, for our household, another scarlet may not be a good idea, and that our next large macaw would probably be a rehomed greenwing. They aren’t that frequently rehomed around here, and I wanted a parrot who had only moderately bad habits, not awful ones.
On Christmas day, on a whim based on someone else rehoming a macaw on facebook, I ended up searching kijiji.
Less than an hour before I searched, someone who lives 15 minutes from my house posted a five year old greenwing macaw. We spoke that night, and we went to visit the next day to get an idea of what sort of parrot she was.
What sort of parrot is she? Well, she came home today, so that gives you an idea.
Tlalli (Pronunciation found here) was originally named Amy. We are her third owners, at the age of five. She is supposedly a DNA sexed female, but without paperwork.
Her last owner had her for a year, and loved her immensely, but lacked a great deal of the required knowledge to own a parrot, much less a large macaw. She was starting some really ugly habits that would have ended up badly in the not terribly distant future, including lunging at hands and climbing down to chase people who were intimidated by her.
She’s also begun to destroy the feathers on her wings and chest, which you can see in the pictures. She has a mild scissor beak as well, which may not be helping much.
Her diet was sub-par at best (parrot mix, mostly sunflower seeds and peanuts), and she had essentially zero toys, and likely no baths.
And yet, she’s ridiculously sweet tempered. She wasn’t sure how she felt about us at her house, but even there she stopped lunging almost immediately when it didn’t work (and we didn’t press her to do anything). We’re definitely in the honeymoon period of being in a new place, but she’s stepped up for everyone, had us and our friends scratch her head, and constantly and joyfully interacts vocally with just about anyone. She says ‘cracker’, ‘bye bye’, ‘hi’, ‘peek-a-boo’, ‘come here’, and undoubtedly more things, and many of the words are accompanied with gestures or sounds.
We brought her home and immediately threw her in the shower, which she enjoyed immensely. She also played with some toys today, took blueberries from everyone here, and mostly ate pellets during the day. She’s still destroying her feathers, but I imagine that will go on for a while, particularly considering her tatteredness.
We’ll make a vet appointment to get her checked out once the holidays are over, and she’ll continue to learn good parrot behaviours, get lots of baths, and figure out how best to interact in this household.
It’ll be a ton of fun.
So, all the words out of the way, meet Tlalli, my best and only Christmas present this year. :)
Or, y’know, Nemo, who was SO overwrought with joy at this new toy. Yes, I know how to introduce them, and no one was at risk (nor will be).
Okay, this is Tlalli, all wet still.
All tattered now, but just wait!
You can see her works (this picture is mostly for me for reference for the future).
Dryer, and looking a touch less rumpled.
And finally, her most entertaining trick: