So today my "baby" parrot has been in my life for 13 years. I always count the day I adopted my guys as their "bird-day." (Jazz was adopted on May 12, 1991, so I guess today is also his bird-day and a half...LOL). Anyway, while he still acts like a 3-5 year old human child, and always will, I cannot imagine my life without him or Jazz, and feel blessed they are generally very long lived (Jazz's life span is 40-45 years, and he is 17, and Jem's is 75-80 and is only 13; I definitely have to find someone to leave him with that I trust and know will love him as I have).
I recall fondly the day on November 12, 1995 I attended the Way Out West bird show in Phoenix, Arizona. It is such a neat show! I have only still been the one time. My parents plan to go this year on November 23, 2008, and I have a feeling they may get a bird to add to their family since three of their four little birds all passed this year. I hope they do. Dad is thinking he wants a clown parrot like my Goffins, which is what my Jazz is. :)
I had gone to the show having in mind maybe adding to my parrot family with some kind of a mccaw. I came around a corner, and there was this most beautiful peach-colored Moluccan cockatoo displaying (crest up, wings out, and showing off). He was SO sweet and his beauty truly took my breath away! At just three months old, he was not yet weaned onto parrot food. He was still being fed three times a day with warmed formula through a syringe. He was magestic--that is the word! He was there with another cockatoo (a lesser sulphur crested, I do believe), and they were preening each other in between acting all clownish and being beautiful!
After seeing him, I tried to keep an open mind, but really didn't see much of anything else. I wandered around the show, bought some toys and stuff at great prices for Jazz, and then before we left, I asked my dad if we could go say good-bye to the cockatoo I could not forget. We did, and I asked if he had been sold yet, thinking for sure he would be. The owner said no, and my dad looked at me and said, "We're going home with that bird, aren't we?" Well we did, and we had to come back later that same day to get a bigger cage for him (also obtained at a wonderful price). While Jem cost $1,350 (the same parrot in a pet stores would cost $2,000 or more), he is priceless to me.
He had my heart from day one. He didn't even know how to go up and down the cage, and also from thay first day he was in my life, he "jabbered" like he still does. He also loved to snuggle from the onset, and he often runs under my bedspread to burrow; I call him my "lump." Being with my feathered boys is truly the best part of my day, and when I am most content just "to be."
My parents had to have him live with them for about a month as they fed him the formula until he was weaned onto solid parrot foods. They then drove hum up to me in Utah, and he travels with me and Jazz a few times a year. While we have our moments (he sometimes has a bit of a temper and is very demanding and I always try to reason with both my guys, to no avail), I know he isn't for everybody, but he's perfect for me. I love to expose him to many people and children, and try and educate them all about the wonders of this amazing, yet still undomesticated in many ways, parrot!!! He has exceeded and them some, all my expectations. I love him and Jazz with all of my heart and soul, and feel blessed to be their "parront." They are..humanesque.
HAPPY 13th JEMINI!!!