Parrot swap

Anybody remember the Twilight Bark from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians? The Twilight Bark was an ancient means of communication among dogs that enabled them to spread messages far and wide around the countryside. At Feathered Friends (the bird part of the sanctuary) we suspect a parallel communication network is in place. Read on and you’ll see why.

For a long time, the macaw population at the sanctuary has been pretty stable, both on the new arrivals scene and in the adoption arena. Macaws are quite large birds and require a lot of space, so there hasn’t been much room for more birds of that size. And as for adoptions, well, same thing. They’re big, so macaws are a bigger challenge for adopters than smaller birds. So at Best Friends, there’ve been the same handful of macaws for quite some time.

Here’s where the Sunset Squawk (hey, it needs a name, right?) comes into play. The message must’ve gone something like this: "Psst, we have three new macaws who need to come to Best Friends … can you figure something out?" A woman from Denver, Colorado, who has been working in parrot rescue for many years, needed to place some of her birds after a lifestyle change. She has a new job that keeps her away from home enough that she fears she can’t give her birds the full attention they need.

Thanks to the Sunset Squawk, space opened up so that the three macaws -- two blue and golds, and one green-wing -- from Denver were accepted and came to Best Friends.

Within days of the acceptance of the three new birds, adoption applications started coming in for the current macaws. No connection whatsoever! Two resident blue and gold macaws, Boo and Tarzan, were lined up for adoption in one home and a green-wing macaw, Cayenne, caught the eye of another family. Admittedly, some of this is still up in the air but, in all likelihood, this is how things will work out. After over a year without a macaw adoption, two blue and golds and one green-wing will have been adopted right after two blue and golds and one green-wing came to the sanctuary.

Do you really think humans could plan something like that?

The three new macaws (who’ve just arrived, looking awfully satisfied with themselves for some reason) are settling in great. Rio the green-wing is a smidge nervous by nature, but slowly gaining confidence. The two blue and golds are a bonded pair, which means so long as they have each other they could be bunking on Mars and wouldn’t even notice. Welcome, you three. And thanks for teaching us a thing or two about how to network!

Story by David Dickson

Photos by Molly Wald