OBITUARY FOR A LOST BIRD
BY STEVE PANZENHAGEN
If you are feeling a little sensitive right now, then don't read this article now. I am really pissed off at someone and I don't know who it is. This fool didn't check the wings on their bird and it escaped. It was a champion for such a little fellow. He was a fighter who tried his best but didn't get a chance. He lived for eight days after the cat got him and all that time he would hobble on his broken leg and complain about having to take his medicine. He was one of the prettier birds I've known and probably could have won prizes in any competition. He earned a place in our hearts for the way he fought. If this was your bird, then I'm sorry for you. I really don't think you know what you lost. You didn't report your bird missing, to us. You didn't take the time to take proper precautions to prevent escape and you lost what was once a beautiful being who gave us so much in such a little time, that I'm astounded at how much I'm affected by his death. I've learned to keep my distance in these matters but this was an exceptional bird. Was it yours? Did you check their wings today? I hope so. This is the second dead bird this month. I am sick of excuses. I do bird rescue because I know accidents happen, but when you lose your bird as you are bringing it in to be clipped or when I hear some idiot say "My bird would never leave me," I just want to scream.
If your bird needs to be clipped, do not carry it on your shoulder to the pet store or vet to be clipped. Put it in your travel cage or a box or whatever you are supposed to have around for emergency transport of your bird. I don't want to hear that you don't know what your bird's band number is. It should be written down on a record and kept in a safe place, along with other important info about your bird. Like its birth date and any other identifying marks that it has, that will not change. (Special red feather in its tail or forward outside toe of left foot is bent sideways, for example) Which leg is the band on? I have actually talked to people who didn't know what kind of bird they owned! Please don't let this be you or I'm not going to like you. Period!
Hold your bird on your hand and lift it high over your head, then lower it quickly so it flaps its wings. This will give you an excellent profile view of its wings. After gaining some experience with this technique, you will be able to feel how much "lift" your bird (or any bird) has to fly with. It is a good idea to know how many feathers are supposed to be cut by actual count. This is usually ten to twelve feathers per wing in a mid sized bird of 300-500 grams. What do you mean; you don't know the weight of your bird? Don't you know that is the first sign of sickness for your bird to start losing weight? I try to remember to weigh my birds weekly. (Thursday night at 10PM) Stop by the club info table and pick up the flyer on "Recovering Lost birds" There are a lot of good tips on how to be prepared ahead of time. I highly recommend checking it out.
I know I've ranted on here, but I'm tired and we need help. We need foster homes when there are a lot of rescues that we can't find owners to. We need rescue people all over Long Island to help answer calls. (We'll train you.) We need more people to help at the table during the meetings. We need people to answer the phone and return calls to those seeking help. We need help in putting out this newsletter. We need you to be active participants in the club. We are dedicated to helping Parrot Owners, members and non-members. With their questions and problems regarding their birds. It is not difficult. It is not hard. It's actually usually very fun. IT IS THAT WE NEED YOU! We want to know you and your bird and we want you to join us in doing something that can be very rewarding. We are a premier bird club in the Untied States offering a wide variety of goods and services to our members. We would not be a premier club if it weren't for our volunteering members. Please, think of something you can do and go for it. I apologize for carrying on earlier but I had to vent this out so I can continue. Please think about what I've said and try to find some way you can help YOUR CLUB.
Editors Note: Steve was a member who was the head of Parrot Rescue for Parrot Fanciers' Club several years ago and currently resides in Florida. As I was reviewing this literature that is sent out to all who ask for club information, I realize that things have not changed since he was an active member. People still forget to clip their birds' wings and bird clubs still need assistance to carry on their volunteer work.
Authors Note: It's been quite a few years since this was written and reading it again I still feel the angst of that night. That little bird taught us that if a bird has been bitten by another animal it must receive an antibiotic shot to have any chance of recovery. Oral antibiotics are not enough! God Bless his hearty, hardy soul.
SALLY & STEVE
YOUR EXPERTISE & KNOWLEDGE ARE MISSED MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER REALIZE.
GO TO WWW.PARROTCLUBS.COM FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THE PARROT FANCIERS CLUB OR CALL 631-956-0015. MEETINGS ARE THE 1ST THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH AT THE MASONIC TEMPLE AT 14 AVON PLACE IN AMITYVILLE FORM 6-9PM. HEALTHY CLIPPED BIRDS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND MEETINGS.