Blue And Gold Macaw Rose Breasted Cockatoos also called Galahs Moluccan Cockatoos

Alfonse

We woke up one morning after a very warm previous day to find it had taken a sudden northwesterly turn and the wind was bringing in a sudden bitter cold rain and temperatures were rapidly dropping outside.

This was a very unexpected cold front coming in and we were quite unprepared for it. Most of our plastic visqueen and other material covering had all been taken down the previous week from our aviary, and other free standing single cages. So in the rain we proceeded to prepare as best we could for the even colder night to come.

All the while the rain poured in and whipped in the wind this way and that. Often I felt sleet hit my jacket and the rain was freezing in my hair as I climbed the ladder over and over, until I had covered almost every cage. Mud and ice were every where a really yucky mix, my husband and I were filthy or should I say I was. Some how I always managed to get more dirt or mud on myself than most. As I got to the last cage where we kept a single Blue & Gold Macaw named "Alfonse," I decided just to bring him in the house, as he had been in our house as a long term pet any way. I knew there would be little or no stress on him by doing this. Alfonse was thrilled to come into the house of course any new change thrilled him.

This too we were unprepared for so my husband decided we would put him on a tee stand until we could bring in a cage for him to stay in. His cage outside was 6 foot by 6 foot by 9 foot and besides being heavy would not have made it through the door.

I was so cold and muddy I decided to take my shower now before the pipes may freeze. Knowing my husband would be returning from the feed shed with a cage shortly, I left Alfonse on the tee stand and headed for the shower.

Alfonse having ideas of his own decided to shimmy down the tee stand to the floor. At first he stayed in a reasonable area, but this didn't last. My husband came in with the cage and spotted our Blue & Gold roaming the house, but because this particular macaw never really destroyed anything in our house and was really good about behaving my husband didn't give it another thought and went on to take his shower.

Alfonse soon waddled into our kitchen after sampling a hand full of dog food as he moved on to our old refrigerator, which didn't have a very good seal on it. Which we had planned to have changed, needless to say Alfonse had it open in no time! He is good at opening pocket doors too, which are throughout our home. As you might imagine he has been all over our house and knows where everything is right down to the birdie toy box, where all the extra toys are kept.

I'm now coming out of the shower figuring my husband has placed Alfonse in the cage already, because I saw the vacant tee stand. I also heard what I thought to be the usual sounds of my husband raiding the refrigerator.

Well it was being raided, just not by whom I pictured as I rounded the corner to the kitchen. There on the floor Alfonse sat with an open coke can pouring down three shelves to the floor, ketchup squirting every where from the pierced beak holes in the side of the bottle and a half chewed ketchup cap laying on the floor in the puddle of coke next to his tail. He had my only Tupperware (you know you get invited by friends to a Tupperware party and then feel obligated to buy, even though you know Rubbermaid is cheaper and just as good), the top was sliced in half and he was clutching the bowl as though it were gold! Well, to him it was because it contained his beloved macaroni and cheese. Or I should say the part that remained in the bowl, since most of it was all over him, the floor, the wall (I'm thankful he is not tall), lower cabinet knobs and doors.

I just wanted to cry I was so tired and worn from covering cages that I didn't need this! What was I thinking I certainly know better than to do this, thankfully Alfonse didn't get into worse trouble. With no one to blame but myself I began to clean the mess, and the bird. Alfonse looking up at me said: "Um good, want some?" I think he thought he needed to share, in that moment he was making it very hard to be mad at him, I was just glad he was all right despite my negligence. So I picked him up and brought the tee stand into the kitchen to put him on to finish his beloved macaroni and cheese. Yes, he shared a lot of it with my floor, as I cleaned he dropped. This time I was keeping him in viewing range while cleaning the rest of the mess. Incidentally baby wipes work wonders on messy bird faces and bodies. I can look back and laugh at the whole episode now, as it was funny and turned out well, and by the way that refrigerator is gone!

Besides all the other hazards like electrical cords and such this is the very reason I cringe when people tell me there going to keep there bird on a tee stand with no cage, please think of the birds safety first. Provide him with safe quarters, especially when you are not watching him, or not home and don't assume he'll stay where you put him.

Short Story By Lisa Sweet ©2000 - Current All Rights Reserved By Sweet Acre Bird Farm
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