Some people dedicate their lives to helping animals in need, others are thrust into the role of rescuer simply by being in the right place at the right time. This is the story of a kind and caring man named Howard and a plucky little Blue Crowned Conure named “Bird”, whose paths inextricably crossed in sunny Zephyr Hills Florida.
Earlier this year, Howard was engaged in yard work when he observed that a hawk circling above was suddenly being chased away by the raucous calls of a mob of Blue Jays that were most likely intent on protecting their nest. As Howard edged closer to see what all the commotion was about, he spied a smallish, distressed parrot huddled against the trunk of a tree, helpless and struggling to free itself from its entanglement in a trove of vines. Little did this parrot know that today was about to get much better, I dare say perhaps a lucky day in hindsight, as Howard didn’t even need to leave Bird alone for a minute with what were now highly agitated Blue Jays as he was already wearing protective gardening gloves.
Howard spoke soothingly and sighed with relief as Bird allowed himself to be freed from the vines. As the frightened and bedraggled parrot gazed at the man that had just rescued him, Howard immediately noticed that his new friend was injured and simply setting him free was not an option.
These auspicious circumstances started a several months journey wherein Howard and his partner nursed Bird back to health with hand fed meals and lots of love and cuddles. As Howard explains, Bird adjusted quickly, but much to his partners chagrin, Bird quite simply decided that he preferred a bond with Howard, although he would engage with this other “human” if Howard wasn’t within eyesight!
When Bird was fully healed, Howard started his quest to find a forever home for Bird that would allow him to live in as close a parrot-natural environment as possible. Howard and his partner visited FEBS and knew instantly when they spied the Conure aviaries, alive with small flocks of chattering birds—some taking their play quite seriously and others preening one another—that sanctuary life reimagined was going to be Birds home.
So, in a heartbeat, Bird became part of the FEBS family. He “flew” through both his quarantine period (where he underwent his avian flock testing) and acclimation process where he was under the watchful eye of our Bird Mother. Both Bird and Bird Mother came to the same conclusion that a Conure Aviary was indeed the best fit for Bird. And because Bird is truly a lucky bird, immediately upon being placed in his new digs he started foraging on bottle palm fronds recycled from the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Thank you to Howard and his partner for showing us that every time a person goes out of their way to save an animal in need, lending a hand to creatures unable to help themselves, it is truly a cause for celebration.