Adopting with an Open Mind
by David Cornelius
Growing up I was always fascinated with parrots. Their ability to talk and sing, do tricks, mimic the sounds and noises around them and most importantly, their beautiful feathers; full of color and life. Growing up our neighbor had an extremely friendly African Grey parrot. He sang, mimicked the door bell, danced, and never bit or attacked any kids around him. I knew then and there that an African Grey Parrot was what I had to have when I grew up, and no other parrot was going to do. When I first came to MDPR to adopt a parrot, an African Grey is what I reached out and expressed interest in. But there were currently no African Grey Parrots available so we first decided to adopt our Cockatiel “Ralphie.”
A few months later, my partner and I attended a toy making workshop and there was Jazzy (AKA Pazazz) who continued to fly to my shoulder and didn’t want to leave. She spent most of the toy making class happy and content on my shoulder. Jazzy is a Gold-capped Conure who went through some lifestyle changes she couldn’t handle and unfortunately feather-plucked herself bald. I was totally baffled as to how this sweet, loving, precious bird hadn’t been adopted. But then it hit me. She hasn’t been adopted because she is bald. I myself was guilty of judging Jazzy when I first saw her on the website. She was bald and looked like a mini Thanksgiving Turkey…..who would want to adopt Poultry? Besides, I never wanted a Conure, especially a bald Conure. I wanted an African Grey.
Needless to say, we ended up adopting Jazzy and it has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. Jazzy is such a good parrot. She doesn’t scream uncontrollably, she has never bitten, she doesn’t chew and destroy things in the house and she hasn’t feather plucked since we adopted her. She loves socializing and flying to shoulders of all of those who come in the house, and she is perfectly content perched on my shoulder watching TV. She gives kisses and even cuddles in my shirt and sleeps. We couldn’t have asked for a better parrot to add to our flock.
The best advice I can give to those of you interested in adopting is to keep an open mind. Come to MDPR’s adoption events and spend time with the parrots available. You may have your heart set on an African grey, but you never know what adorable little creature is going to enter your heart and change your life forever.
David Cornelius is a adopter, volunteer and foster home for MDPR.