Accidents Happen - Parrot First Aid and Accidents
- Accidents happen when people are busy trying.
- The only people who don’t have accidents are those not trying.
- Accidents do not mean you weren’t trying your best.
One Saturday evening, we had an accident. We came home after eating out. Dusk was setting in as the sun was checking out. Happy, full, and feeling confident in our lives. Full of energy when our birds were winding down their energy. We came into the bedroom with big hellos that were too fast and not personal enough to equalize our birds’ emotional state and our energy. I let Kirby (Indian ringneck parakeet) and the cockatiels out of their cages for their evening of flight without macaws. I headed upstairs to change clothes. Snickers and Butters stuck in their cages still. Stuck and overstimulated, Snickers would have to wait longer for his dad. Snickers doesn’t wait well.
I listened to five exhilarated birds fly freely. We overstimulated and failed to equalize our flock before leaving. This is a lesson inside the accident.
Specifically, we left the most sensitive to stimulation (Snickers) and failed to equalize him. That was the human in the room’s mistake. Finishing my bird wardrobe change out, I heard a cockatiel outcry. Not good. It was Benny, our 3-year-old twin male. He had lighted on top of Snickers’ cage, as he has done 1000 times before. But with Snickers overstimulated and frustrated with the extended wait for dad, Snickers took a bite on Benny’s right foot.
Here lies the next lesson in our journey of our accident.
Benny and Louie, twins, hatched under the watchful stare of a macaw. Their first sight was a big blue chicken looking down at them with interest. Benny and Louie have no fear of macaws. Stella and Winston, too, have little fear. They witnessed Butters and Snickers grow up. It’s a balanced act of acknowledgment and territorial agreements that has held true and easy for years now. Even now, I stand confident in our mixed flock and rules. Because the lesson isn’t not mixing the birds. The lesson is how important it is for the human in the room to pay attention to what our communication brings into the flock. We polluted the balance in the room, not the birds.
Look for all the lessons inside an accident. Not the excuse.
Living well with parrots isn’t complicated. It is demanding. Parrots require the human to be self-aware and flock aware at all times. You autopilot this stuff, and somebody will have an accident. Bites from parrots, or accidents like Benny’s, all have the same epicentre. Ground Zero is the human in the room.
Here’s one last truth found inside our Benny Accident.
Parrots living inside love, calm, and empathy are resilient and downright tough.
None of us gets all of this right all the time. Anyone that says they are is hiding their truths. Which is sad. Because our sincere truths will make all the difference for our birds. And ourselves.
You can read how Benny’s story finishes here. Spoiler alert, it’s a happy ending.