I have been contemplating adding another bird to my flock for a long time, but by telling myself “you can’t force these things, when the right bird comes along you’ll know it” I’ve been able to successfully delay a new addition for the last eighteen months.
And then, I saw Sunny listed in the volunteer newsletter. After giving Lydia approximately thirty seconds’ notice, I zoomed down to the shelter and picked her up, ostensibly to foster. I took her to my avian vet, Dr Jenny, at the excellent Animal House a couple days after bringing her home, and with a clean bill of health I introduced her to Bean, Wilson, and Birdy.
Birds are a lot like people (and not just because they walk upright, have a rich social structure, and can solve complex problems); sometimes it’s love at first sight, and sometimes it can take awhile for them to warm up to each other. We’re still in the warming up phase with Sunny and Birdy (my green cheek conure), but as Sunny gets more comfortable with her surroundings she gets better at enforcing her boundaries (because Birdy can be rather overwhelming in her forthright conure-ness). And Sunny is at a bit of a disadvantage because she has wonky arthritic feet and weak flight muscles, so she’s not as maneuverable as the other birds.
But in the two weeks I’ve had Sunny in the house, she’s gotten a new cage with wonky foot-friendly perches, has tripled her flight distance, and will actively seek out head scritches whenever she’s near me. We hit a big milestone the other day when she flew all the way across the room to land [somewhat ungracefully] on my shoulder.
So I’m happy to announce that Sunny is officially a foster failure, because sometimes birds and people fall in love at first sight, too. 🙂