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Small But Pretty Amazing!

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Almost two years ago, Will adopted a four-month-old green-cheeked conure named Claire. This is their story.

Have you always been a bird lover?

I've always loved birds and I've never had one. I've always wanted one.

Is she your first pet as an adult?

She's totally my first pet as an adult. I'm so wired for animals that I always had this - "It wouldn’t be practical to get a pet" mindset. And then, I met her and like the dominos began to fall. I didn't even take her the first night. I went home to think about it and went back to get her the next day.

What made you decide to finally get a bird?

The trigger was when I was in a pet store with my mom and started taking down the free pamphlets on caring for a bird. That’s when I started looking into it, reading books, going to pet stores, going to bird-specific stores. I read a book called “Of Parrots and People”. It talks all about how many parrots are bred and get bought, and then, end up in shelters. They don’t know what they were getting into – their emotional needs.

That’s when I realized I wanted to adopt. I didn’t want to contribute to the cycle of birds being raised and ending up in shelters. I wanted to take a bird that was needing a home.

Why did you choose a green-cheeked conure?

This husband and wife, Barry and Gail have this wonderful shelter called Feathered Friends; they told me a green cheek will be good for me because they are among the quietest of parrots. That’s when I started pursuing green cheeks.

When I went and met her at this family out in Far Rockaway Park, she was just so sweet. She just crawled up my shoulder and nibbled my ear so gently. Everything about her seemed like she was well behaved, friendly, acclimated to humans. Her cage is the biggest cage I could possibly give her, which is much bigger than they recommend. She has a very spacious cage.

How's Claire with a stranger or a visitor?

If I sit on the couch with her which is our realm, and a visitor comes along, she's done  both: never going near them or walking to the back of the couch and finally going to them, or flying to their head if she sees a new texture or hair color. Like my sister-in-law is a redhead, the bird just flew to her hair every five minutes.

What words would you pick to describe Claire?

Spunky, loving, pal, determined, amazing.

She really knows what she wants. Despite that impulse in her, I've taught her how to stay, to not come and work on my teeth. When I'm fixing her dinner, she'll stay on top of the refrigerator and I've given her the word stay. Even though she's determined to do what she wants to do, she's capable of learning. I think she wants to please me - it's that flock thing. She likes the reward and she knows that it makes me happy. She likes the praise.

It's amazing that she's malleable and intelligent to restrain herself. Two years in June, I am realizing - what an amazing experience it is. This completely separate creature who is 1/1000th times the size of me, the fact that she's so game to be in a relationship with you, it's really rewarding.

A bird comes to you, to interact with you, to be cuddled by you. It's so much more surprising than a dog. There's a dog who weighs 80 pounds coming to you, and it's domestic. Of course, the dog knows it’s going to get pet. But when a bird wants all that, craves that interaction - kinda' pretty amazing!


Do you have an amazing feathered friend? Let us know by using the comment box below.

Name: Claire
Breed: Green-Cheeked Conure
Age: 2 Years and 2 Months Old  (@time of posting)
Gender: Female
Location:   Chelsea

Date Posted:  

April 24, 2015

NYC Loves Pets



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