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Macaw Gone Bad

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I am moved to post about my 21-year-old chestnut-fronted macaw, Charlie, tonight, because I got a little glimpse into his parroty mind today. For six months or more, Charlie has absolutely refused to go into his big cage, which has always been his refuge and safe place. He's sat stolidly on his perch stand outside the cage, even sleeping there. I had to move his pellet dish to the perch stand, and I began serving him his hot breakfast and fresh fruit inside the cage just to get him to go in long enough to eat it. Studying him, I finally decided that his reticence had to do with the big braided rope Booda perch high inside the cage. He refused to go anywhere near it, and he acted like he was on hot coals when he was in the cage, rushing through his meal and retreating to the perch stand.

Charlie likes to chew those rope perches, which is fine, good for his beak. What' s not fine is when he chews clear through them and they dump him to the floor of the cage. He really, really hates that moment, when Daffy Duck saws through the limb he's sitting on. Whomp! Unbeknownst to me, he'd chewed almost through the back of this perch, and he knew it was about to give way. So he stopped going in the cage, perhaps thinking, as parrots do, that the perch had a life of its own and might just let fly at any moment.

This morning, I decided to replace the perch on general and hygienic principles, since it was serviceable but looking awfully ratty. In replacing it I discovered the chewed place. Ah. And as I took it out of the cage, Charlie rushed it, flapping his wings and screaming savagely as he bit it. Take that, you perch monster!! AWK!! AWK!! Stab!

I put the nice new Booda perch in his cage and left for town. And when I came back there he was in his old spot, all huddled down, happy as a clam on the new perch.

I could almost feel him thinking, "Took ya awhile, Dummy!" I truly felt like a moron. Poor Chuckles. He has probably been sending me pictures of a new perch for six months, and I was too thick to pick up on it. It's so good to see him roosting in comfort high in his cage again.

(His door is always open, so it's not really a confining cage; it's just a safe place for him to hang out).

Speaking of Charlie, I got a cellaphone bill awhile ago that was huge. Just huge. Ack! And discovered that I'd not paid last month's bill. I hadn't paid it because it had gone missing. Now where could that bill have gone?

I have no idea, JZ.

So Charlie. What is that confetti all around you?

Beats me, Mommy. What confetti?

THAT confetti, Charlie Macaw.

 Oh THAT. That's my newest installation. It's called Missed Month. It's about forgetfulness and sloth and living in squalor. It's my statement about the human condition. Do you like it?

Love it, Chuck. I'm taking the late fee out of your allowance. Think roasted peanuts will fit in the envelope?


What a great story. I'm going to have to pay more attention to my cockatiels act like they don't like something. Although, I've learned the hard way they love my shoes. The pictures are too cute!

Wonderful! Had a bunch of chuckles again.


What's so funny about this is it's not a joke. You know exactly what to say on his behalf. Year after year, the bird brain gets smarter and wiser. I wonder if Charlie laughs behind our backs? I'll bet he does...

I adore him. I'm drawn to sarcasm, too.

I love this post, Julie!



LOVE IT! And the looks on Charlie's face...priceless.
What a bird--no, really!

like it's not bad enough that you've created a bunch of readers addicted to Chet fixes; and now they'll be needing their Charlie fixes as well!

Best laugh I've had in ages - pictures/captions beyond wonderful.

How I love that tatty parrotboy of yours. My Pocket bird is so vanilla by comparison.


my blue and gold is afraid of certain new toys and anything long like a snake.


All I have to say about this is yellow flyswatter.

I agree with cyberthrush, another animal to get addicted too.

Around his head looks as soft as velvety green moss. It makes me want to run my finger over it. Does it feel that soft?

wv: bugwe. "Like"

Posted by holly-the-person December 8, 2010 at 7:27 AM

Oh yes, Holly, soft as moss, but what's really luscious are those cheeks--the skin soft and warm as doeskin. I smooch them loudly several times each day and he makes a very loud kissing sound at the same time! We've decided that's why macaws have bare cheeks.

He's such a delightful bird! I love reading about him. Roger and I just had such a good laugh, imagining this conversation you had with him. Perhaps we could send Charlie some of our bills to chew upon.

I bet the phone company would forgive the late fee if you told them the story...

oh, sigh, hug Charlie for me (carefully). I used to have a conure, and had to give him away. I still feel terribly guilty about it, though he has a great home and I get to see him once every year or two (and he remembers me). but I still have a pang in my heart. come on Julie, what's a little torn phone bill (plus late charges, fines, penalties, etc).
- The Equestrian Vagabond

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