Christian has wanted a big bird for a while. He likes the weight and substance of larger parrots and really yearned for a talking bird. I had been doing some research on bird species and characteristics, and came across the Pionus, a South American parrot not commonly sold in the US, but gaining popularity with breeders. They are sweet and shy and possessed of a quiet demeanor and will turn their backs on disliked personages rather than biting them, which is hilarious. I did some research and presented my findings to Christian, who agreed with me that this species had promise. There are two breeders of Maximilian Pionuses and Blue Headed Pionuses in Spokane, but only one store, Denise's Parrot Place on Mercer Island, fortunately, had any in house; one was a year old Bronze Winged, and two were just fledged baby Blue Headeds. We decided to go check them out on Saturday (Christian driving due to gimpy footedness on my part, and I think that standing in that shop contributed to the progress of infection) and met Charlie:
Charlie, whose name will shortly be changed to either Cyril or Chloe, absolutely slaughtered us. I have a weird and tragic fondness for special needs birds, and had a grand passion for a Cockatoo named Lola on Petfinder who was missing a foot. She was adopted before I could get my hands on her, though. I saw that Charlie/Chloe/Cyril was missing a toe, and when I commented on it, the woman helping us rushed to assure us that it was a nest box injury and that he didn't suffer from it or have any difficulty. I don't know why she thought we'd care, unless other people had rejected him based on the missing toe, but it made me love him all the more. He does eat with the three toed foot as the other is more stable for standing on, and I think his beak has grown more than it should because he only chews on one side, but that is very easily remedied by a trip to the vet. I have never seen a bird this sweet or shy, and he quivered in terror for the first hour we held him. This species is very sensitive and can make wheezing sounds when nervous or excited. Good God, could he be more perfect? And, he talks. Already, without any teaching, he says "Step up!" That was the clincher for Christian. We held him and talked to him and fed him and petted him for over an hour, and did all the paperwork to buy him. The store has a strict no same day purchase policy for animals, which I think is fantastic as it eliminates many unwanted pets, so we can't have him until this weekend, but we get to visit him several times this week. I can't wait to see this sweet little face again:
I really think it was fate or God or the universe telling us to buy this bird. He was passed over for a while as he isn't perfect, and the shop workers, who love him very much, were thrilled that he took to us so well. And then, I was flipping through channels yesterday morning, and I turned to the network channels to see if anything other than golf was on, and a pet keeping show caught my eye. I flipped to the description in the guide, and the first word was "Pionus." I screamed for Christian and pointed at the TV, surprised and kind of weirded out. I mean, these are not common pets, and here was a show touting them for how wonderful of birds they are. Sweet, funny, energetic and good natured were the descriptors the show host used. It felt like the universe was vindicating our purchase. So, Saturday sees the newest addition of chickens to the household. And then I swear we'll be done.