Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Will trade love for chicken legs

This summer I became the mother of a beautiful 16 yr old harlequin Macaw, Harley.

Within a week, my arms looked like I'd had a cutting relapse, and I had a baseball sized bruise with a hole in the center, courtesy of my new feathered friend.

Hmmm... Tenacious as I am, I don't like being around anything that makes me flinch when it moves.

I'm a glutton for punishment I guess, because rather than return demon bird, I decided to keep trying. I went another route this time though. Instead of expecting Harley to understand that I am a good mama, I showed him I was. I took my time.

Ahhhhh it was a chicken leg that changed things. Disgusting I know! Demon possessed cannibal bird loves nothing more than crunching up a chicken leg. Ewww....

He did not like me, preferred to bite me than be near me, but ohhhhhh mama had chicken, so he came a little closer.

Over the next few weeks I came to him over and over again with treats, pistachios, peanuts, strawberries, bananas...and each time, he would take it from my hand and move away. "thank you for your peace offering human, now be off with you..."

The process was ridiculously SLOOOOWWWWW and frustrating. Every time I would think I had made progress I'd reach toward him and get the snot bit out of me. (side note here, the very same beak that was snappin those chicken legs was grabbin hold of my hand...yikes)

Very very slowly we made progress. He started getting on my arm. He quit trying to bum rush me when I walked into his room. Boy that bird had mama tap dancing!

I am so thankful to say that today Harley loves his Mama, or perhaps he just loves her chicken legs ;0)

He yells for me every time I leave the room "come here" "give me a kiss" He is so gentle I can hold a pistachio between my lips (keep in mind how small those are!!!!!) and he will very carefully take it out and eat it.

It blows me away to think that only months ago I would have lost an eye even attempting something like that, after all, you realize parrots are the reason pirates only have one eye?

It amazes me at how God teaches me thru my animals.

Over the past few days I have been so ridiculously frustrated at a couple of relationships in my life. They are unpredictable, painful, at times, even dangerous (emotionally anyway). I want to run away. What I must do, what God is asking me to do, is slow down. Step back, watch carefully, find a way inside...in Him all things are possible.


  1. So I should go slowly and feed my 16 yr old son people legs and in a few months he'll be better? Cannibalism. Who knew? *grin*

    Really do wish it was as "easy" wih people. Glad you have a new feathered friend.


  2. hehe you made me laugh this morning! I wish it were that easy with humans. I'd be the cooking master if it were!
    Thank you for always reading and commenting, it means a lot to me!

  3. I like the new look. Hey, why am I not on your blog roll? *pout*

    I wished we lived closer so we could run over with some Neosporin and real hugs for each other's owies. We're both such rescuers.

    Guess you'll just have to continue to use your most excellent imagination to experience the virtual hug I'm sending you now!

    Mary in TX

  4. Hey I fixed the blog roll! I'm blogger retarded!

  5. I have three parrots at home, and all were re-homed. My toughest case, a Severe Macaw, had been mistreated and was a terrible fear biter. Although she's not as big as a Harlequin, taking her bites was NO fun at all.

    I'm glad you made progress with your bird. I've wanted a Harlequin for as long as I've known about them. They are big and beautiful.

    My birds like chicken too. And eggs. And fish. And meat.

    Don't let anybody tell you parrots are vegetarians. Although they all have their individual preferences, mine will eat just about anything I put down in front of them.

  6. Harlequins are most beautiful and so smart and lovey. My Harley loves nothing better than a chicken wing! He "ummm"s and "oh mys" over a hot dog. There is actually a cookbook that teaches you to cook for you and your parrot and you both get healthy.
    I know about bad bites. There is a previous post about Harley biting me. He took a piece out of my arm. I passed straight out!
    Thank God we have passed those days!
    Thanks for reading and commenting I really appreciate it!

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  8. your patience with animals amazes me!!

  9. Animals, kiddos, it all blends together after awhile Carlyn hehehe! I love your photo addiction and seeing how your beautiful family grows and changes! Keep taking pictures!!!

  10. it would be soo sooo soooo awesome if our kids could learn to trust (and love...but don't need to push that) with something as simple and yet so complex as...food or a chicken bone.


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