Sweet Mabel

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A note to my Lovely Severe Macaw Mabel..

One of the great things about travel by airplane is that it gives you so much time to just sit and be. Sit without doing. Sit and think. Think about things you'd normally push to the curb because everyday life is just so busy. So I sit here on my flight to Miami and I write to my severe macaw Mabel.

My sweet Mabel, I owe you a heartfelt appology. When I first brought you home in October 2010, I sincerely never imagined that I'd feel the way that I do about you today. I misjudged you, for this I am very sorry. You are a true delight and I am happy to declare that I adore you. Yes, even the stuff that drives me a bit nutty (like when you decide that it's fun to unscrew everybirdie's perches from the outside). Of all my 3 parrots, you are the one that makes me giggle the most. They say laughter and smiling is great medicine. I'd say you are exactly what the doctor ordered. One of the reasons why I felt compelled to bring you home was because I felt bad for you. I felt sorry for your poorly state and I felt guilty that the human race had let you down. I felt a mixture of pity, sadness and dread. I felt guilt that all captive parrots are doomed to a life of playing the lottery. What I mean by this is that they have no control of what type of home they end up in or whether they even end up in a home at all. They have no control of their fate. Sort of reminds me of russian roulette. I felt pity because I had first met you in 2008 and had not given you a second glance when I was at the petshop to visit my Emma african grey. I couldn't have cared less about mini macaws and feeling of dread was mostly because I was also convinced that I had no business mingling with ANY type of macaw. As luck would have it, imagine my utter horror when I discovered my thoughts were consumed with feeling sorry for a SEVERE MACAW!!?? The one species of mini macaw that did not have the most attractive reputation as a companion parrot?!! When we both arrived home that day I felt relief for you and for me I felt nausea mixed with MAJOR panic. I remember thinking that purchasing you was the most impulsive and reckless thing I could have done. I wanted to run for the hills and found myself wishing someone had throttled my neck and  talked me out of bringing you home.

So what did I do? I made a mental note to keep you on a very short leash. If you made my life difficult in ANY way, I'd have to find a more appropriate home for you. I was prepared, on the alert and hyper cautious with you. I didn't trust you and suspected you were going to turn the switch on me at any given moment and pull some HORRIBLE psycho/aggressive severe macaw behaviour on me. I was going to keep you at arm's distance and that I did for SEVERAL months. Part of me would like to believe that your severe macaw intelligence foiled my plans but honesty will make me admit  that I was SO wrong. You didn't make my life hard at all. Having a 3rd parrot had proven to be quite the balancing act for me but that had nothing to do with you. If anything, you've been pretty wonderful. You've been such a great eater since day one. YOu are so appreciative of every toy that I offer you and you have mastered everything that I have set out to teach you. To my great surprise, one of the many things that I REALLY enjoy about you is how tactile you are. Previously, I used to think that the norm with ALL parrots is limited physical contact. With you, that's not tolerated. YOu want daily doses of full body contact and the more the better if possible. I must say that I am quite content to oblige because it feels so good for me too. I really don't know how severe macaws as a species have achieved such negative publicity. I can only guess that unequipped humans are at the source of the problem. There is really nothing like being loved by a severe macaw and I feel extremely lucky. My sweet Mabel, Thank YOU for your foresight that day, thank YOU for choosing me that day. Love this photo of you!


  1. Mabel's adorable. I'm so glad that the two of you ended up in love!