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Dec 8, 2014

Parrot survivors of 2014

IB parrot x-ray
IB parrot x-ray

2014 has been an incredible year for SoCal Parrot.  We have accomplished more this year than in any other.  I have much to report about the release of our healthy parrots that occurred a few weeks ago but I want to focus on a few of our parrots that are amazing survivors.

First, an update on the Red-Crowned parrot that came to us from Ocean Beach that had been shot with a BB.  As we feared, the BB lodged in his shoulder has caused permanent damage and he will never fly again.  However, he is doing great with our permanent Red-Crown flock.  He is currently living in what we call "the bird room".  It is an enclosed an insulated room where no one is locked in a cage and all of the parrots are free to roam and perch.  There are a few in this room who can fly and this room is big enough to do that, it's 15'x45'.  This little guy will live his life here at our sanctuary with his own kind.  Someday he will be able join the larger flock in our outside flight.  Although he can't fly, there are several other parrots in the flight who cannot fly that he can befriend.

We had hoped that our Ocean Beach parrot would be the only one we received that had been shot but that wasn't the case.  We received a call from a concerned resident of Imperial Beach about a Double Yellow Amazon the was on the ground, couldn't fly and was bleeding.  By the time we arrived the Department of Animal Services was about to take the parrot back to their facility for euthanization.  Since we have agreements in place with DAS, they handed the parrot over to us.  This was a very large parrot in comparison to the Red-Crowns we are used to handling.  After our initial exam, it was obvious that this parrot had lost a lot of blood and was dehydrated from multiple punctures.  After she visited our avian vet, it was obvious what had happened.  The x-ray revealed she had been shot by two different guns, one shot a round BB and the other shot a pointed lead pellet.  Both projectiles and fragments were removed in a very succesful surgery.  If these projectiles had not been removed, they would have slowly poisoned her.  The pellet first went through her wing, shatttering her wrist, then lodged in her chest.  The BB was lodged in her neck.  Miraculously, the BB had actually perforated her throat.  I am constantly amazed how strong these birds are.  She is also in "the bird room" recovering from the surgery and has decided to become friends with "The Queen".  The Queen is a 35+ year old Double Yellow Amazon that we purchased from a pet store last year.  The Queen was used as breeder bird her whole life and was scared of humans.  She had been at this partiular pet store for over a year in a bottom cage in a corner all by herself.  She is also doing amazing since she has been able to join a flock.

The last story I'd like to share with you is about little Irie.  Irie is a baby Mitred Conure that came to us from La Jolla.  He was found on the ground but could not fly.  Our exam revealed Irie to be a completely health conure that had been very well taken care of, as in his parents must have been feeding him very well.  We do not handle young birds like this with the hope that they will not be imprinted by humans.  After a few days of observtion, it became apparent that something wasn't quite right.  This parrot had learned to get around, interact with other conures, as well as find food and water in its cage.  We were amazed to find out this parrot was totally blind.  As heartbreaking as this was, we were amazed at how Irie used his other senses to know what was going on around him.  He is a sweetheart that loves to be cuddled.  In his cage he knows exactly where his food and water can be found and knows when he has fresh food and water.  He perches and plays with his toys just like any other parrot, you wouldn't know he was blind unless you were told.  Little Irie is an obvious addition to our permanent flock.

In our next report, I'l fill you in on how we tracked down the night roost of a 475+ member flock of Amazons and had our first release of 26 parrots back to the wild where they came from.

IB parrot initial exam
IB parrot initial exam
IB parrot in cage
IB parrot in cage
Irie cuddling
Irie cuddling
Irie sleeping
Irie sleeping
Curious Amazon in the bird room
Curious Amazon in the bird room

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Sep 5, 2014

Baby Season 2014

Parrot with broken beak.
Parrot with broken beak.

Everyone at SoCal Parrot would like to thank you for supporting us with our first fundraising effort with GlobalGiving.  100% of donations go directly to the care of our wild parrots.  2014 has been a busy year for SCP.  So far we have taken in 31 parrots this year.  Breeding season for our parrots begins in March.  We start seeing babies come in from May to August as well as fledglings that have gotten themselves into trouble while learning to fly. Please read below about what had been going on at SCP.

Our first two babies of the year came in 3 days apart in the second week of May.  They both came in naked, without feathers.  Both of these babies were found on the ground so they somehow fell out of their nests but survived the fall.  Since parrots are usually raised with their brothers or sisters, we have found that baby parrots thrive much more when they are raised with at least one other parrot of a similar age.  Once we receive the first baby of the season, we are always waiting for the second to arrive so they can be raised together.  Both of these babies survived and are thriving. They both put on weight and muscle as their feathers developed.  Within two months they had moved on to our "bird room" where they learn to fly and socialize with the other parrots we have taken in this year and members of our permanent flock.  They are both in our flight with our other parrots that will be returned to the wild this year.  They were both accepted into the flock as if they had always been there.  It's always amazing to see how accepting parrots are when new and unknown parrots are introduced to the flock.  Humans could learn a lot from our parrots.

A fledgling Lilac-Crowned Amazon, a parrot that is still learning to fly, came to us from Irvine (2 hour away) with a broken beak.  There was a visible crack half way up its beak on its' right side.  The parrots beak was bruised and was still bleeding.  He obviously flew into something while still learning how to use his wings.  When parrots have injuries like this, all they need is time and a steady supply of soft food.  It is injuries like these that parrots at our sanctuary will survive every time but is life threatening in the wild.  This parrot is doing great and is flying with much more control.  The only indication of his past is a slightly bent but fully healed beak.

Every year we get at least one parrot in that the public tries to take care of. People find parrots on the ground and think they are doing what is best for the bird by trying to feed it.  The problem is that most people don't know how to hand raise a parrot and they don't know the symptoms of a sick or injured parrot.  A member of the public turned in an Amazon to us that they had found three days earlier.  They were told by their friend who was a "parrot expert" to feed the parrot peanut butter and Pedialite.  Once in our care, it became apparent that this bird was having trouble maintaining its' weight.  After a visit to our veterinarian, this parrot has been under intensive care and is being watched very closely.  This parrot is still not healthy enough to join our flock but is doing much better and is adding weight while it builds strength.

Our last story is about a Red-Crowned Amazon that came to us from Ocean Beach.  It was found in the bushes along a busy street and was unable to fly.  This bird was very dirty and emaciated, meaning it has been on the ground for some time.  This parrot was taken directly to our veterinarian where we learned what was wrong.  The x-rays showed that a BB was buried in its' shoulder which caused the loss of flight.  The injury was not new since it had already started to heal but it was determined that an surgery to remove the BB would only cause more damage.  Unless we have a miracle recovery, it appears that this parrot will join our permanent flock to live out its' life and help train future babies that come in how to be wild.

As you know, the Red-Crowned Amazons that we rescue are an endangered species.  The Lilac-Crowned Amazon, which has a smaller population in California in comparison to the Red-Crowns, was just listed as an endangered species as well in July of this year.  Both of these species' native range are in Mexico where continued habitat loss and abductions for the pet trade are taking its' toll on both of their populations.  There is no indication that either of these causes will be reduced any time soon.  

Thanks again for all of your support!  If you happen to live in Southern California, please join us at our sanctuary for our annual fundraiser, Picnic with the Parrots.  We are celebrating eco-diversity this year so you will be able to see our parrots as well as many other animals and other animal organizations.  This event will be on Sunday, October 26th. 

Parrot with BB injury.
Parrot with BB injury.
X-ray showing BB.
X-ray showing BB.

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