06 September 2014

How to lose a parrot and find it three days later!

This is Wong Dai our orange winged amazon parrot.   We think he is a she but we are not sure. I bought Wong Dai in 1999 when she was a very young and angry bird.   It took me at least a year before I was able to get her to trust me and not bite lumps out of me but since then she has turned into a sweet and adorable pet.   She loves to have her head scratched and tickled and fussed over.   As time has gone on, Wong Dai's family has grown with her.   Her arch enemies are Mango the macaw who lives in the cage next to her and Matthew! Noone knows why she dislikes Matthew but she has done ever since he was a baby.  

Up until last week Wong Dai had never uttered anything other than ear splitting screams and she has made it very clear that Matthew's fingers are fair game if they ever come within biting range.   This has now all changed.   For the past five years, Wong Dai and all the other parrots have lived up in their cages on our rooftop.   A place where they can make as much noise as they want.    They have plenty of fresh air, sunlight, shade and loads of things to keep them occupied.   They have survived typhoons, tropical rain storms and the winter chills.   Never once have their cage doors been blown open and never once have they escaped. BUT, .somehow, last weekend Wong Dai went missing.   The cage door was found open and the bird had literally flown the nest.   We searched and searched and searched.   We woke up before dawn hoping she would call out as normal but we could not find her nor hear her.   Her green feathers we presumed made her almost invisible in the trees and her silence we took to mean she was miles away or dead, killed by a snake or mobbed by other birds.

The boys were distraught and although they cried innocence we suspect they were involved somehow as it was their responsibility to feed the birds and they were the last ones to open the cages to do so.

Nevertheless in the late afternoon on the third day Nuch carried some washing up to the roof to hang out to dry and thought she could hear Wong Dai calling.   We all rushed up to look but could not hear anything.    I searched the internet and used my laptop up on the roof to play a recording of an orange winged amazon's call.   After twenty minutes, we could hear her calling back and eventually we spotted her down on the floor just a few yards away from the house.

With the aid of one of the boy's fishing nets we managed to scoop her up and plonk her back in her cage.   She had lost a fair amount of weight and was dehydrated but otherwise seemed uninjured.   We made sure she was firmly locked back in her cage and left her to rest.   Thankfully, she is now back to her normal self and more.    Whenever Matthew says hello to her, she replies with hello too.   And whenever Matthew puts his hand towards her, she moves towards him and lets him pet her.

So there you have it.   If you want to get a parrot hand tame and talking.... all you have to do is let it see that the grass may not always be greener on the other side.

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