The Grey Roost



It is kind of hard to tell from the photo but Forest is a parrot with special needs. She has severe neurological problems that effect her legs and feet. Her ability to move around is quite compromised. Forest is also a very good example of "how NOT to raise a baby parrot". Forest, as a 9 week old baby, was sold by a bird broker to a large--chain type--petstore. I found her at the petstore when she was four and a half months old. I knew as soon as I saw her that something was "not right" with her. She was kept in an acrylic type cage with slippery plastic perches that she simply couldn't climb onto. The slippery flooring was covered in a layer of pine shavings. So, for over two months, this baby girl basically just stood and tried her best to walk around on pine shavings. She had nothing to climb on, she couldn't exercise her wings and she had only one small plastic toy that she could reach. Her environment was deprived of just about all things necessary for a baby parrot to properly develop.

Her wings were clipped --- well, not just clipped, they were butchered - all 10 of her primaries were severely cut. She was never allowed to safely fledge. Additionally, she was being housed with an older female eclectus who was dominating the food dish. All Forest had available to eat, when she could get to the food dish, were low quality pellets and seed. No fresh foods were offered at all. Forest was emaciated, had developed large calluses and sores on her keel bone from resting on and bumping it onto the cage floor so many times. She was also very sick with severe diarrhea. ( I later found out it was caused by a very nasty bacterial infection).

I just couldn't leave her there at that store. I knew that I would have been leaving her to suffer even more and, perhaps, to die.

In the months that I have had her in my care, she has slowly been nursed back to health, and she has started to learn and experience things that she had not been given an opportunity to experience before. She recently "discovered" that what I have been telling her is true -- that fresh veggies, fruits, and birdie bread really DO taste good! And she thinks warm oatmeal for breakfast is something to get very excited about. She is just starting to learn to play with toys, and she has found that touches, scritches, and beak rubs actually feel quite nice. As she is getting stronger, she is developing more balance and control of her body.

So, getting this picture of her actually playing and having fun has so much meaning for me. It thrills me that she is finally feeling good and can begin to enjoy and experience life to the best of her ability!