New Addition

I recently went to Avalon Aviary near Black Vatican City, to help out Fleur in her search for a bird of her own. She's looking for a small Poicephalus, like a Red Belly, Senegal, or Meyers. They showed her the Red Bellies they had on hand, and they were very tame and quite cute. I asked if they had any Meyers, and the staff said they did, but they were not tame, and one was missing all of her toes (sadly, a not uncommon injury among small territorial birds).

When an aviary worker says "not tame" what they generally mean is "evil, with a taste for human blood." I asked them to bring out the amputee anyway, figuring that Fleur could at least see what a Meyers looks like, even if she couldn't handle it. They agreed, and went to fetch Carmen.

I have met many birds over the years, and some have reacted very strongly to me (both positively and negatively) but I have never seen a bird behave like Carmen. For her, it was clearly love at first sight with me. She had flown to the floor to get away from her handler, so I picked her up, fully expecting to bleed for it. Not only did she not bite me, she immediately began tilting her head and making small clicking noises, while her pupils were dilating and contracting rapidly. She was interacting with me the way many birds do with the person to whom they are bonded. A few minutes later I turned her over and she rested comfortably on her back in my hand, like we had been buddies for years. A few minutes after that, G-Fresh asked me if I was going to take Carmen home...

The odd thing about Miss Carmen is that she is very much a sexist. She will step up for any male, but if you're female and you try to handle her, you're going to bleed. She will take treats from a woman, but warily, and she will sometimes actually rush across the room to bite a woman. Since we met her, she has bled G-Fresh, Little Tattooed Girl, and Jesse (LTG's sister). To prove that it's not just the women of the Flock that she hates, she drew blood on Suzanne, the owner of the aviary. In fact, when I went to pick her up, the aviary staff (all female) wouldn't take a chance. "I'll just let you get her out," she said as she opened the carrier. Naturally, she was as tame as a baby for me, and they were amazed.

Her toe injury happened when she was a baby and her owners dumped her, bleeding to death, on the doorstep of a vet's office. The vet did what could be done for her, but the toes were lost. She is quite nimble with her remaining stumps, however. I'd say that she is perfectly capable, as long as she has flat perching surfaces with good traction - like the Pope's Crocs. She lived at that vet's office for years (where she learned a lot of great animal impressions - her cat meow is quite realistic) and then came to live at Avalon Aviary for several years more. The aviary staff had hoped that she could breed, but because of her handicap she is not able to hang out with the boy birds - if they were to knock her off a perch with an egg on board it could kill her. So now, at the ripe old age of 12 or so, she has come to roost with us at Flock Hall.

9 comments:

Benjamin said...

:)

WNG said...

It's getting to be a regular zoo out there! Congrats!!!

Mandy said...

You have a new baby, but did Tessa get one too?

His Sinfulness said...

No bird for Tessa yet, but she is on the waiting list for a Red Belly... probably in the Fall! :)

Modig_Bjorn said...

Can one deduct bird-babies on their taxes?

His Sinfulness said...

Modig,
I wish! The costs really add up; housing, food, vet bills - and with Carmen, the band-aids! :)

Mayren said...

awww Carmen's story is beautiful Linus!
Congrats on your new household addition. I'm sure Tessa's baby will come one day.

Tammy said...

Careful Linus... it is becoming more apparent to all that you have a real, living, beating heart in your chest... I am impressed all over again with what a good guy you are, even when you try to hide the fact...
Nice!!!

His Sinfulness said...

Ignore that comment - I am His Sinfulness, the Black Pope! All similarities between me and a kind, generous person are purely coincidental...

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