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December 2008

World Parrot Mission News

December 2008, From Jenifer Dermer, Executive Director

Happy Holidays to you and yours. The above photo depicts a display of affection that two of our birds constantly show. Birdie love, as I like to call it, is affectionate and infinite. An animal that mates for life has an extremely strong bond to its mate and family. During this holiday season and the entire year, I wish you “birdie love” – the kind that lasts a lifetime!

Things are getting so exciting here at the World Parrot Mission! The back yard at our store (Captain’s Imports) is now being cleared of pottery and other items so that when our aviary is delivered it will be only a matter of putting the aviary together and watching the new wing feathers grow in on our birds as I teach them to finally fly. For me, this is the culmination of many, many years of work and fundraising that is finally paying off for the birds we have rescued.

Those of you who have participated in our raffles, bought items at our store, and/or sent us donations are all in-part responsible for this wonderful event. I can’t thank you enough and hope that you will come and visit the birds in their new space once it is constructed. I will resume production of an educational program that will delight and enlighten our visitors.

I have been told by many professional trainers that it’s almost impossible to teach an old bird to fly, but I’ve got the motivation and I think the birds will determine the rest. It sort of reminds me of the surgeon telling me after I fell off the ladder and shattered my wrist, that I would never be able to play tennis again. I said, “watch me.” I am back to playing at least twice a week, and many times, more.

Our little Sephora, (Ducorps Cockatoo) is already growing in her feathers and will be the first to fly because she was allowed to fly as a baby in the bird store, but clipped as soon as she became her first owner’s pet. The owner was told that this was a “special” parrot that wouldn’t scream or demand much – HA! Very quickly the owner realized that this little crying bird wasn’t happy. The owner came to me for help and ended up relinquishing the parrot realizing that her extremely busy lifestyle wasn’t conducive to having a parrot in her home. You simply can’t leave a parrot home by itself all day and all night and expect it to be happy when you finally do arrive and have a little time to take the bird out of its cage.

Little Sephora has had a noticeable change in personality from just allowing her to get a little “lift” with the feathers that have grown in. She now takes short flights from one perch to another or to my hand. She has also allowed me to start holding and touching her, something that has taken years due to an accident. When I first adopted Sephora, I didn’t realize that she could fly, and she did; right to my neighbor’s roof. She sat up there and cried for me, but wouldn’t come to me. It was getting dark and stormy. In desperation, I tried grabbing her while baiting her with peanuts. What a mistake! My husband eventually did so, but at the expense of her trust in either of us. Her turnaround in allowing me to finally pet her and kiss her is one that has been a long time coming.

The aviary will become an attraction that will teach the general public that parrots need to fly, something I’ve been saying for over 20 years. The experience of having little Nandy, the Nanday Conure that was hit by a car, was amazing. I never clipped his wings and for two years he would come to me whenever I called. He eventually flew back to his waiting parents and still circles when I see him in the sky and call to him.

I’m expecting 2009 to be a great year. I hope it is for you, too! Thanks again for reading this. I will let you know when the aviary is up and ready for you to visit! Thanks again, also, for your support and caring about these little guys that need us so much… until next time. Jenifer

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