Friday, May 22, 2009


Miss Milly Molly Mandy!

As you can see, she is a green Indian Ringneck Parakeet, female. Since we have even traced her to the petstore she was originally sold from, I even know her age! She was born in August 2006, making her almost 3 years old. Although I did not realize it when I decided I would take her on as a foster, she was a real rescue.

First, the history I learned from the petstore:
She was originally sold to a family to be a pet for their daughter, and stayed there until she was almost 2, when her noise level, along with the daughter's growing lack of interest in her, led to her being taken back to the petstore. As it is a good local petstore, they take their parrots back. In early April, another family came in, and bought Milly Molly Mandy for their daughter. What these people failed to communicate to the petstore was that they wanted a cuddly, fluffy friend for their daughter. Not how I would describe Milly Molly Mandy!

Now, fast forward to when a kind family member went to pick her up for me. They drove up to what looked for all the world to be a deserted house, with peeling paint, no lights, and a lawn that had gone to seed. Occasionally, looks are not deceiving, as the house was deserted. After waiting there for quite a while, the family drove up. Apparently, the electricity had been shut off, and the family had moved in with friends and/or relatives an unspecified amount of time ago. They left Milly Molly Mandy in the house, with the windows open 8"-12", with no screen, to let the heat out (nice, but it also let in everything else, I am sure.) She also had an empty food dish, and a dried up water dish. Not a good combination. She was completely terrified of everything that was happening, and I cannot blame her a bit for that. The real reason (ignoring the fact they did not have money to keep her) the family decided to get rid of her was that she was extremely aggressive. As the 8 year old boy was sure to point out when he yelled from the car, "She'll bite your finger off!"

She has been here about two weeks now. I am really shocked at how amazingly she has done. In the beginning, she was terrified of anyone touching her cage, but that quickly went away once she learned I was not going to touch the cage more than necessary to give her food and water. Although she has very severe separation anxiety, she now shows almost no fear of anything else. Her fear of hands is also greatly diminished. The biting is certainly not an issue, as it rarely is with parrots if they are not being forced into something they dislike or feel uncomfortable with. After the two day wait (I never let new parrots out of their cage until they have been here a full two days, however tame they are) she not only came out of her cage, but soon learned to climb across a ladder from her cage to reach a nearby bed.

You may be wondering if Milly Molly Mandy is too long a name for such a little parakeet. I assure you, it is not. She not only earns these three names many times over, but many others. She is a non-stop whirlwind, here, there, and everywhere, and always getting into something. She loves toys, and is not at all afraid of new ones, she relishes them, and quickly goes to work destroying them. She does not stay chewing for long, though, soon deciding that a different toy is better, or that she wants to eat, flap her wings while yelling at the top of her lungs, chatter happily to the world, or just in general run and climb all over. This is why I decided to name her after a favorite children's book character I remember, Milly Molly Mandy (and the book by the same name), a little girl that is always having adventures, and often getting in trouble.

Although I get great enjoyment out of watching Milly Molly Mandy play, and out of playing with her, I have to admit her beak is a bit indiscriminate. When on the bed, she will run hither and yon, playing not only with the multitude of toys I put out on the bed, but also with me. She soon lost all fear of climbing up and down me, to chew on my shirt, pants, hair and hair tie, along with any skin, moles, cartilage, and bones she happens to come across. Not biting, just playing, but it does hurt just the same. I try to convince her to stay on the bed and play, but that is impossible. I tried wearing a very exciting bird toy necklace I made just for her, and while she loved that, and playing with it, it just encouraged her to stay on me, and continue to chew on anything she could. Normally, I am not a huge fan of having parrots on my shoulder, but then again, I normally don't have to deal with parrots that won't get off my shoulder (head, back, knee, stomach.)

Despite this fearlessness of me, she obviously has never learned to step-up. In fact, my arms and hands are the one part of me she does not climb on on the bed. Occasionally she will step-up, for a treat, but we are still working on that. She is food and toy motivated, but has a very short attention span (read: 1-5 seconds) that cuts in to the amount of time she will try to get a specific item. Still, she has made amazing progress, and does happily climb onto a ladder, even if she does not get on arms yet. Knowing how the last family tried to get her to step-up, I would say she is doing amazing, and am not about to complain!

Overall, I think she is so confident I have decided to list her this weekend. By the time she goes to her new home, she will be out of quarantine (it takes a while) and I hate to keep parrots in a foster situation longer than absolutely necessary. As long as the new family is prepared to handle her antics and excitement, and accept her at whatever level of tameness she is ready to give them, I think she is very much ready for a permanent home!

And finally, a few shots for your enjoyment (and they were hard to get! I am not sure if the problem is that she is fearful of the camera, simply doesn't like having her picture taken like many women, or immediately is seized with a desire to tear the camera to pieces and is unable to do anything but think about how to get it. I am inclined to suspect the latter.)

Mmm, what do we have here??

If you don't mind, I think I will take a better look.

Jack pot!
(Don't worry, I got it away from her
before she took more than a few bites)

Yum! Special Food!

This is the look. The I-have-got-to-get-that,
looks-like-so-much-chewing-fun look.
I have many pictures with this look, so it is
fortunate it is a cute look!


The adventures of Chryso's flock said...

What a beautiful and cheeky looking bird! It warms my heart to know that she will finally find a permnant home that is willing to accept her for what she is - and where she will accept them too.
Thank you for giving her another chance at a good life. I am honoured to have encountered a soul as caring as yours, with such compassion for our feathered companions.

Meg said...

Thank you!

She hasn't gotten a permanent home yet, but I am certainly hoping to find her one!

Mary said...

What a great entry -- this really made me smile. She was so lucky to have found her way to you. Great action shots of her!

Yet again a story of how amazingly resilient parrots can be.

Good luck in finding a home for her!

Susie Collins said...

This bird is so beautiful, Meg. That look! What a treasure. I am constantly amazed at how birds are both fragile and tough at the same time. Your posts always remind me about the power of resiliency, the power of life and love.