Quiet as a rabbit?

A raucous parrot becomes a welcomed member of a silent community.
By Best Friends Animal Society

Rabbits may be many things: cute, cuddly, affectionate, intelligent - but noisy they ain’t! They’d make great librarians. A new visitor over at the Best Friends Bunny House, however, would quite frankly get himself thrown out of most libraries in a heartbeat. Not that he’d care one stitch. As popular as Jack the great-billed parrot has become, he’d find a more appreciative crowd in no time.

Jack came to Best Friends all the way from Alaska. He had a rough go of things years back. By the time his family had rescued him, he was so fed up with life that he’d pulled out all his feathers from the neck down. They took great care of him, though. He felt loved. He even became fast friends with the family dog. Before long, Jack’s feathers grew in again. Yet, just as things were sailing along, a storm started rolling in. The dog in the family, Jack’s best pal in the world, passed away. Not long after, one of the members in Jack’s family came down with cancer.

Birds, like all animals, are sensitive creatures. Jack could tell something was wrong, not to mention he was missing his friend. He regressed to feather picking. Sad to say, Jack is now back to square one with no feathers below the neck. His family hated to see him upset, but they were unable to meet his needs any longer.

In yet another unfair turn of events, Jack himself also seemed to be coming down with something. He tested a faint positive for a contagious disease among parrots (beak and feather disease). Poor guy! What this meant for Jack was that he had nowhere to stay after his quarantine period. But then an interesting solution came along.

Jack moved in as an office bird over at the Bunny House! Turns out none of the caregivers at rabbits have birds in their homes and none of them have a need to visit the Parrot Garden very often. So it was a safe place for him to hang out. And even though his stay there was supposed to be somewhat temporary, the rabbit staffers have no intentions of giving him back, even with a clean bill of health! And Jack is quite content with this new arrangement, happily being the only resident who sports wings.

The Bunny House staff love this guy. And Jack really seems happy in the new digs. He has a whole roomful of people who just adore him. Really, why wouldn’t they? He loves to jabber the day away, throwing out phrases like, "Hi Jacky Jack" or "Look at you" He’s even learned to say, "Rabbit."

Remember, now, rabbits are among the quietest pets you can have. (Probably second only to a pet rock.) Having a jibber-jabber parrot around the joint is like setting up a drum set during a high school SAT exam. What an unbelievably fun ruckus! And what a ham! He loves to dance and show off for his new pals.

Here’s hoping the tests come back negative. But however they fall, he’s going to have the undivided attention from a group of dedicated parrot converts until he finds a family once again. Not a bad turn of events.

Story by David Dickson

Photos by Sarah Ause

Love birds and want to learn more? Please check out the Best Friends bird library.