Being a foster ''parront'' at Brainy Birds - Parrot training and rescue facility.
| My time with Hannah Banana
At Brainy Birds-Parrot training and rescue facility
My journey begun just a few months ago when I first started volunteering at Brainy Birds, I fell in-love with every single creature I met there. I couldn't get enough of them, so Dee (founder of Brainy Birds) and I decided fostering would be a wonderful learning experience for me, would also be great for the birds who might need some one-on-one time. I was thrilled!... but clearly I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.
2 Weeks before our journey begun, Hannah arrived at the rescue centre after her owner decided to move but couldn't (or wouldn't) take Hannah along with her. She passed her health checks and soon she was on her way to me, needless to say, I was stoked!
I did however make the biggest mistake early on, I overestimated myself. Which is seriously like the worst thing you can do when dealing with parrots...
Getting her settled.
We brought her back home, set her cage in place, offered some food and fresh water...turned around and saw my sweet little Toeksie having a hissy fit (a very rare occurrence for her). She was being a bit territorial with the new noisy arrival, so I took Toeksie into the living room to finish a movie and rewarded her every time she did not react to Hannah's impressive vocalisations.
The following days revolved around getting Hannah onto a healthy diet and of course getting her to accept my presence, it was during those first few days that I discovered my secret weapon.
That's right. That cute little ball of feathers brought out the love in Hannah and for the first time, she approached me waiting for her treats.
It wasn't long before the joy turned into frustration.
Soon I started discovering more and more feathers on the bottom of her cage, which of course explained the obsessive preening. She spent most of her time preening in her little corner, toys would help but only when they are actually in the cage! (She was terrified of them).
I moved her cage next to Toeksie's cage which had a more relaxing effect on her, but the plucking didn't stop there. It wasn't long before she started removing flight and tail feathers, after that I was finally allowed to place the new toys in her cage. My frustration was obviously getting worse, but that only made me try harder in keeping her busy. Adding more and more foraging opportunities to her cage, plus the chance to rip through all the foliage from our mulberry and bottle brush tree, brought life back to the party! She would spend half of her day making sure every single leave was shredded, within a few days she started venturing outside hoping to sneak a treat or two.
On the road to recovery.
So as planned, she went back to Brainy Birds today 11/01/2014.
Everything is quiet...so very, very quiet. It feels wrong. On the drive back home I thought about everything that happened during that short time she spent with me. I kept thinking about every mistake I made, everything I should've done, should've tried. However, even though I feel horrid, obsessing over everything I should've done won't do Hannah any favours and certainly not Toeksie.
I will try my best to learn from every mistake I make, after all, my journey just begun! Don't get me wrong, I loved spending time with Hannah and I learned so much through this experience. She responded to me when I called her name, called after me when I left the room (probably learned that from loud mouth Toeksie), loved her veggies, was great at foraging and started understanding that the ''click'' = treat.
As for Hannah...well it will be a long road to recovery. Her absolute fear towards humans make me wonder exactly what her previous life was like. But she has a new life now, she will never have to experience abuse, fear and isolation ever again. This is it, she will just have to deal with it! ;)
Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with the cutest thing known to man.