I went to interview Oscar again. It’s always a pleasure to go visit Oscar, but it’s a real pain in the keester having to do what I have to do after I visit her. Oscar is a lovely little cockatoo who is fun, enjoyable, engaging and a great dancer. Oscar also has PBFD. I’m always a little nervous about it before I go.

PBFD is a fatal disease that is just heartbreaking because they just can’t find a treatment for it. Ross Perry in Australia is working on it as well as other Avian Vets and scientists. But we’re still waiting for a cure.

Anyway, BIRD TALK wanted me to do an update on how Oscar is doing and in order to do that, I had to return. In this:

I shot this reflected image of myself down at the pool.

PBFD is an extremely durable virus and in order to keep from picking the damned thing up and transferring it to my Greys, I had to go to extreme measures in order to prevent the virus from spreading to them. Wearing a non-breathable Haz-Mat suit (including attached booties and hood) when it’s ninety degrees out isn’t fun. But when you go visit Oscar and you have birds, I highly recommend it.

Not my most attractive look…

I know it’s a little odd suiting up like this just to visit a cockatoo, but I wasn’t about to take any chances. Just the thought of bringing PBFD home to my guys chills me. But being the bone-headed writer I am, I did what I needed to do in order to get the job done.

After all, I’d done it before and knew the protocol I had to follow, but it’s still a little scary and exhausting trying to make sure you’re not hauling any of the circovirus around your birds.

But in retrospect, I’m glad I did it…both times. I got to meet a delightful bird who has beaten the odds and still is surviving 14 years after her rescue. And I got some really nice shots of Oscar.

You can read about it in the October issue of BIRD TALK magazine.

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