This is the second part of the story about how Arwin, a Crimson Wing parrot parakeet, came to Pandemonium Aviaries. Arwin died earlier this month. To commemorate her life and explain why her death means so much to me, I'd like to share the full story of how she came to Pandemonium Aviaries and what she taught me...
The search for a Friend for Arwin (Part 2)
By: Michele Raffin
The months dragged on and Arwin remained by herself. During this time she and I got to know each other. Every time I entered her aviary, she would fly to perch on my shoulder. She didn’t like to be petted; if I even raised my hand to touch her she would fly off. However, she enjoyed being close to me while I filled her bowl with the expensive pellets that preferred to seed. She also loved all fruit and most vegetables. She was a satisfying bird to feed, eager to try something new and consistently leaving a clean plate as long as I cut her food into perfect I inch squares.
I looked forward to seeing her each morning and felt guilty when I had to leave after giving her food. She also seemed to enjoy our visits and was reluctant to leave my shoulder when our short time together was over. I occasionally made calls seeking a Crimson Wing Parakeet on her behalf, but I finally gave up hope of finding her a friend from a breeder. I resolved that I would start to call zoos to see if any one had an extra Crimson Wing, but first I would need certification to allow me to buy from them. Obtaining the certification would take time.
I tried placing Arwin in aviaries with other birds. She tolerated these moves, but was not happy. She’d sit by herself while the other birds would congregate in groups. Since most of my birds are not tame, I could no longer spend time with Arwin. She’d fly at the wire and look at me with sad eyes when I was finished placing food dishes down and instead of opening the door to visit with her, I’d turn to walk away.
Aviary space is valuable. I seldom keep a bird alone unless the bird is sick or very aggressive. However, I finally decided that Arwin would have a single. At least this way she and I could spend a few minutes together. If I hadn’t promised her previous owner that I would keep Arwin for life, I would have tried to find another home for her. This sweet bird deserved more attention that I could provide.
When I would complain to my mother that I was finding a particular project really difficult she’d counsel me that the “The harder you work, the luckily you’ll get.” This turned out to be the case in my search for a friend for Arwin. I was picking up seed from a cooperative when I ran into a breeder whom I knew only by reputation “Heard you’re looking for a Crimson Wing,” he said. “I have a wild caught male that I’d love to pair with a female. You’d do me a favor by taking him off my hands,” he said to me.
“Can I come right now to pick him up; how much do you want for him; is he in good health?” The questions spurted out of me as fast as I could spit them out.
“No need to pay anything. Glad to know he’s going to end up in a good home,” my new friend told me. “He deserves to be with one of his own kind. He’s been alone for a while.”
“Whoopee!” I shouted. “She’s been alone for a long time, too. I bet they have a lot in common. He’s going to love Arwin.”
That evening, in addition to bringing home 2 tons of seed, I had with me the perfect mate for my beautiful Crimson Wing.
To be continued...