Two nights ago, I kind of got mired into a situation and I did the only thing I knew to do. I ran with it. I got a private message from a wonderful woman who doesn’t live too far from me about a blue and gold macaw belonging to an elderly couple living in Miami. They do not drive anymore and through an odd series of circumstances, ended up with their son’s macaw who is now at least 25 years old. These people are friends with her husband’s family and knew that she at one time had birds. So they contacted her through her husband. They decided that they couldn’t care for the bird anymore and wanted to relinquish the bird. Sound decision. Unfortunately it was a decision that should have been made years ago, but let’s not play Monday Morning Quarterback.
Unfortunately, this couple knows next to nothing about caring for parrots and the bird was living out in the middle of their back yard. Out in the open. On a perch. Subsisting on an all-seed diet. Plucked to hell. And probably terrified. If I were her I would be too. Hawks, dogs, cats roaming around.
Okay, everyone can now relax and quietly shut their mouths. I know jaws were dropping everywhere. Mine did too when I first heard of this.
If you know anything about the Miami area, you realize that the East Coast of South Florida is the northernmost outpost of the Caribbean. And with that comes the ways and cultures of many of the people who come from other countries. One of these is that many people in this area do not speak English. This includes the couple. They are of Cuban descent I believe and were very nervous about anyone coming to their house that they didn’t know. And if my shady memory is correct, let’s just put it this way: They have a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. Are we clear here?
I found out her actual name, but in the interest of privacy to all involved, I decided to rename this macaw Scout due to the fact that she’s spent years camped out in the back yard. And I think with her new life, she should have a new name. I hope the name sticks because I think it’s a great name for this bird. It’s also in honor of the Harper Lee’s character, Scout in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout was a scrappy little girl with a lot of heart. I think this is a very fitting name for this Macaw.
One other thing occurred to me: Scout probably doesn’t understand a word of English. Shit.
I put a
scream , umm, a post on Facebook to Florida Parrot Rescue and specifically to Chris and Lorry Burgr. I needed help here. No way was I going to be able to handle this one on my own. I didn’t have enough experience and would not know how to set up the situation for a successful outcome. Well, Chris, Lorry and FPR came through. The cavalry rode in and we’re in the midst of setting up a “swoop and save” and a “pony express” style run to get Scout out of her backyard camping situation, in to see a Vet and on to a foster home that has already been set up.
This brings me to another point here. The family that has offered to take Scout has multiple birds with a lot of expertise and experience. Scout is going to a good foster home. They were kind enough to take Scout in due to the horrendous situation she is in and the urgent need.
However, FPR simply doesn’t have enough foster homes to care for their birds and they have a 16 week waiting list of birds that are being given up. They need foster homes now and they need a LOT of them. I want you to think about this very carefully. While I realize many of you have birds already and that all of you do not live in this area, I would like for you to consider fostering a bird.
I am asking that you search your heart and see if you can foster just one budgie or cockatiel for your closest rescue. Just one. I’m not requesting you take on some cockatoo with behavior issues or a green wing macaw that needs a cage the size of a garage. I’m asking you to consider fostering a cockatiel, or a quiet little pair of budgies, lovebirds, parrotlets or finches. This is not a permanent situation. It is only until they find a home for the little dudes.
If only for a little while, you are opening your home and your hearts to the needs of a little tiny bird that only wants to feel safe, a bit of attention and get some tasty nutritious food and a toy or two. They don’t take up much space and their cost for upkeep is minimal. And you know how to provide this already.
This is a non-permanant, low-cost and wonderful way of helping your favorite rescue. Florida Parrot Rescue has scads of wonderful little guys that would love to take a small place in a corner of your room and a little place in your heart. And I know that Phoenix Landing and scads of other rescues would be so thankful and grateful that you are helping give these little guys a shot. It’s such a kind way of helping these rescues out.
If you would like to help FPR with fostering one of their little birds, they would be eternally grateful. You can find the foster application at Florida Parrot Rescue right here: FPR FOSTER APPLICATION
Just think of it this way: A way of helping Scout is by helping a little bird or two that need your help. By fostering these little guys for FPR, you are clearing the way for other birds like Scout to get the help they desperately need. If you take one or two little birds on, this shortens the waiting list and birds like Scout can get into the system and on their way to a better life.
I thank you so much.