Parrot Education & Adoption Center For more information, click HERE
San Diego Parrot Rehabilitation Society For more information, click HERE San Francisco Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue www.mickaboo.org
Polgara & Rover ...
These buddies have been friends (family) for a very long time and ought to be placed into the same home
Please contact Dru (email below) if you are able to provide these two birds a healthy, loving, forever home, TOGETHER. Amazon & Cockatoo available for adoption
It was twenty-two years ago that my husband and I took the birds from someone we witnessed abusing them – I suspect neither was quite adult at that time; I’ll tell you why in a moment. Polgara is a female, orange-winged Amazon parrot who, by her independent demeanor and territoriality, we suspect was caught in the wild, rather than domestically raised. Rover, the male Umbrella Cockatoo probably was also caught, because he had to be “tamed” by a professional for a week when we first got him in order to get him used to being handled happily by people. This original reluctance might have been in reaction to the guy who abused them – we SAW him putting on welder’s gloves, grabbing Rover, and trying to force-feed him! Anyway, we understand that when male cockatoos reach maturity they have a tendency to become aggressive, and this trait did not appear in him until we had owned him for a number of years – that’s why I think he was not adult at the time we rescued him.
For several years Rover and Polgara shared a cage – 6 feet by 6 feet by 3 feet. Once Rover developed his aggressive streak he actually bit the tip off one of Polgara’s toes – however this has not affected her, other than to make her occasionally uncertain of her balance. She steps more carefully from perch to perch than she might otherwise do, however her overall health is excellent. Once Rover committed this violence we RAN out (quite literally) and bought her a separate cage. They now enjoy an interesting relationship – they are permitted to visit in his large cage for as long as they remain peaceful but they’re never left alone that way – a human is always nearby, because they can go from cuddling and preening to screeching and biting in less than half a minute. Quite the love-hate relationship! They are never permitted to stay together overnight – just in case!
Emotionally, Polgara is very independent and territorial. She will “put up” with my husband handling her, though she is never eager to interact with either of us. She will sometimes respond to voice and hand signals to “wave hello” or “make a wind” (flap her wings) and so forth but she doesn’t respond consistently. She will willingly go up on a stick or, once she is out of her cage she’ll go on a hand – but anyone reaching into her cage is in peril! She has made attempts to speak a word of English but has never actually succeeded.
On the other hand, Rover is an emotional maelstrom. The abuse he took scarred him, making him frightened of anything unknown or unexpected. While he is always an emotional sponge he’s also jittery – even after all this time! One can pet and kiss him, and he’ll reach for us, though at the same time, he is afraid of my hands, which have long fingernails (i.e. talons) that he sometimes sees as threatening. He will NOT go up on a stick – he sincerely believes sticks are for chewing on. He will “jump up” onto my husband’s arm but once taken out of his cage he will almost invariably leap over to Polgara’s. We are able to take him into the bathroom where he enjoys playing with the bird in the mirror but like an overactive child, after a few minutes he gets very excited and needs to be returned to his safe cage. He is uneasy whenever I open the back blinds to into the back yard, and he’ll trumpet vociferously whenever he views the outside world. – I suspect this may be because he doesn’t see a safe “roof” out there.
Both birds are covered at night with sheets of felt, and by morning Rover will happily chew on his cover or pull parts of it into his cage to form a “toy box” which he loves filling with toys and random items. Rover is wonderfully intelligent and enjoys rope toys, strings of material that he can tie into knots and then untie, and strings of plastic shapes, with which he plays “Up/Down” quite happily, pushing the toy up or down as we say the words. He does not share well, however we make a game of this with several of his toys.
He also knows how to open the doors of his cage, which is why we have large locks on every opening! In fact, we used to have combination locks on the doors, and we’re grateful that he never learned to count because, observing that we spun the little black dial to open the lock, he would flip the lock up to face him and spin the little black dial himself! There are four food bowls in Rover’s cage but we use only two of them for food and water. Rover keeps the other two for his own use – one to put food in that he wants to horde for later, and the other to hold toys, bits of newspapers, and miscellaneous things he finds amusing. Rover also loves rope toys of all shapes and sizes, plus anything he can shred; especially tissues or the cardboard roll from paper towels.
Polgara is very straight-forward. She is a fussy eater at times; especially when in heat. She enjoys toys with jingle-bells in them, plus shredding toys and sometimes small rope toys, and small plastic shape-chains. She doesn’t play an awful lot though. She observes, and likes cuddling with and preening Rover. She has a decided preference for classical music and will sometimes sing along (her own version, of course). She will sit patiently on a t-stand for outings, though once she gets bored she’ll fly onto anything that takes her interest, so she can’t be left out of her cage without supervision.
Both birds will chew on ANYTHING within reach – including furniture, walls, ceiling plaster, ceramic tiles – you name it! Both birds also LOVE baths which we provide by spraying them with a mister. They can never get enough – and once our wrists have given out and we stop the bath, Rover is certain to dance in his water bowl to finish the job.
They are both very flock-oriented and observe the usual bird-rules…especially the one about eating being a flock activity!! Once suppertime comes around they stand impatiently at the food bowl, and if I’m not already in the kitchen preparing something they can be very vocally insistent about telling me to get in there and start cooking!
Beside the usual bird food they’re fed in the morning (I’ll describe that soon) they EXPECT to be given a portion of whatever the humans are eating (the obvious exceptions aside, of course. Not only avocado but we never let them have kim-chee either, since our African Grey (he’s a whole separate story) had an allergic reaction to kim-chee quite a number of years ago).
They both love pizza, all pastas, mashed potatoes (they prefer this with green peas mixed in). For fruits, they both love DRIED kiwi (we get this from Nuts Online – an excellent source of wonderful nuts, seeds, and dried fruits etc – I encourage you to take a look!). Banana chips are also a favorite and sure to be dipped into the water to get the taste going. They will occasionally eat apples but they don’t prefer them. Neither likes berries or cherries or grapes. Watermelon meets with approval, though no other melons that I’ve offered.
For their regular morning diet I give them a combination of Kaytee Exact Rainbow mixture (for large birds), plus some banana chips, nuts (peanuts in the shell, walnuts, pecans or pistachios in the shell. Neither prefers almonds or cashews), one Nutri-berry, and a portion of any leftover veggie or starch from the previous night’s supper if available. I also give them fresh carrots which both of them love, plus any other fresh vegetable I have on hand (celery, red or yellow pepper, etc). For a treat I intermittently give them safflower seeds and I save the sunflower seeds for special treats. Rover also enjoys monkey biscuits but only one per day or he tends to throw them out of his cage.
The health of both birds is very excellent – please consult Dr. Janet Berens in Woodland Hills for verification of this or the history of these birds. In fact, if anyone is seeking a wonderful bird vet, I cannot recommend Dr. Berens highly enough! She is very knowledgeable and caring, as well as having the most beautiful pair of green eyes I have ever seen!
Both my husband and I would be available to answer any and all questions about these birds, as we only want what is best for them but can no longer give them the attention and care they need and deserve. As I sit here I’m about six feet from the big cage where Rover presently has his left wing over Polgara (he’s very left-winged, like most psitticines) and they’re having a nice cuddle/preen. I feel badly about having to send them to a new home after all this time but what must be, must be.
While they themselves would doubtless be happiest if they were able to stay together, I believe Polgara would have no trouble adapting to any new home. She’s always been independent and self-contained, as long as she has her own cage. Rover would take separation harder but I believe that with a lot of reassurance and attention he would affix his attention and affection to a new caregiver, and eventually adapt to a new environment.
We would give over the birds with their cages, toys, covers, and the smaller carriers in which they travel when taken to the vet.
Once more, a million thanks for your efforts on behalf of both the humans and the birds in my family!!