As some of you may recall, back in Feb. I accepted a 14 yr. old Yellow Naped Amazon. She was a total basket case and for the first few weeks spent all of her time hanging from the top of her cage weaving and screaming non stop. She would not allow anyone to touch her or take treats or eat anything but seeds. This bird was a total nut case.
After 2 or 3 weeks the majority of the screaming stopped, but with frequent relapses. Then she started talking and more of her story started to become clearer to us. She has quite an extensive vocabulary and I am still hearing new things from her past. She was taught that she could never touch a human and could only come out of her cage under very specific circumstances including the color of the clothing that you were wearing. She talked incessantly about other birds dying and about how she cried and wanted to cry ending with that she was given away. I don't know if they tried to give her to someone else or if I was the first one, but I think that I was the first one to be given her. Then most of what she had to say was Mimi's a bad girl or Mimi's being bad or I'm scared.
As more and more of this became clear, I got more and more angry, actually to the point that I almost lost it during one particularly intense session of Mimi's screaming and talking about the dead birds and the birds dying and her wanting to cry. I wanted so bad to put a bullet in these peoples heads. I had almost decided that it would be worth it to me to do this and then out of the blue and for the very first time Mimi said to me " I love you". It stopped me dead in my tracks.
Now she still has relapses and will probably continue to have them for the rest of her life, but she is making so much progress. I made a 6 ft. tall tree perch for her, even though she would not come out of her cage. About 5 weeks ago, she started to come out briefly onto a perch that I put on the inside of her cage door. It is so she can use it with the door closed and when the door is open as well. It allows her some security that she can quickly get back inside when she needs to. She uses it a lot now and hangs out there for the last half hour or so before she goes to sleep. Last month I found a way to trick her into coming out onto this perch and stepping up so that I could put her on her tree perch. At first she sat on this tree and would not move, and it started a new round of screaming for hours.
Fast forward to 3 days ago. She was sitting in her cage in the very back on her sleeping perch, making those happy beak grinding sounds. Then she said very sweetly " I want out". I reached in and she stepped on to my hand just as if she had never done anything different and I carried her to her perch. She has so far continued to step up from inside her cage to come out every time since. I am so happy for her, I lose words, but I am so happy for her.
Her speech has changed to mostly " Mimi's a good girl", " Mimi's being a good girl" , " I looove you" and she has started to whistle a little and she is trying to sing to us when we sing to her. Us singing is not something you would want to hear as it is enough to scare the dead. But it helps her. It has been a difficult journey and we still have a very long way to go but, finally, I can see that the healing process has began.