Sunday, November 30, 2008

World Bird Santuary

About 10 years ago, Bill's brother asked if we would keep their pet conure, Bob, for an extended period of time. He and his wife had recently had a baby and didn't have the time to properly socialize Bob. Bob was attractive, smart, and came with interesting skill set so we agreed.

The honeymoon period with Bob was great. His squawking was lovable, his tricks were funny and novel, and his obsessive pacing along on his perch was mesmerizing. Eventually, though, I got frustrated with the poop, the feathers, the seeds, and the countless number of Bill's shirts that were in need of repair (Bob could unbutton and button your shirt but he, unfortunately, would create new "button holes" with his beak creating a shirt that looked liked it had been visited by some hungry moths). And as much as those things bothered me, I might have been able to tolerate them had Bob not turned on me.

Bob would appear in rooms that he wasn't in when I walked in. He would chase me around the house, wings fully extended, trying to land on my head, shoulder, or wherever. Bob even bit me, drawing blood, when I routinely went to offer him a finger off the perch. But, the incident that sent Bob packing was when he decided to not to back off of cleaning the tartar/foodstuff off of my teeth. Bob did this activity a lot. He'd force his head into your mouth and begin to scrape your teeth with his beak. It was an intimatidating skill at first but most of our friends got used to it and thought it was funny. I never did. Well, on this day, Bob pushed his head in my mouth and wouldn't budge. I had that odd feeling that this was going to end badly. When I finally had the courage to try and remove him, Bob bit me on the lip, held fast, and tugged and pulled my lip away from my mouth. Then blood. Lots of blood. Goodbye Bob.

While things didn't work out between Bob and I, I still do consider myself to be somewhat of a bird enthusiast. As the seasons change, I enjoy birdwatching and bird-listening, whether it's on a trail or in my backyard. Seeing the beauty of a common bird or one that is harder to spot like a kestrel can be an amazing thing. Which is why I totally respect what the folks at the World Bird Sanctuary are doing in trying to rehabilitate injured birds and provide homes for those that cannot go back in the wild. I go there as often as I can to view the birds and give my support to the birds because, let's face it, we owe them. Afterall, we've destroyed a lot of their natural habitats for our own perogatives. Anyway, you should go. It's a quite drive. Plus, you can drive through Lone Elk Park and see the bison and elk herds.

1 comment:

Kathy G said...

I used to go to the World Bird Sanctuary quite a bit when my boys were young; it's not too far from my house. However, I haven't been there in quite some time.

I was surprised to learn a couple of years ago there are three bird sanctuaries in the area; the one you visited, which is for raptors. There's another one in Overland for songbirds, and a third for waterfowl.