By Sybil Erden, Founder – May 18,2007
I returned to the office late one evening during the winter, 2007. Paul Teza, Benson Shelter’s director, had left a message for me. They had a foundling bird turned in, a “parakeet” he thought. Were we interested? By the time I called him back, he realized the bird was bigger than a parakeet (5″) and “might be a Macaw…” (30″.) I chuckled and asked him to describe the bird, relating its size to a pigeon or dove. From the description, I suspected we were dealing with an Amazon, a mid-sized green bird. I would meet Paul at the Shelter in the morning.’, ‘
The little bird is a type of Amazon called a Lilac Crown Amazon, about the size of a white wing dove. Her wing feathers were cut so short that she would not have been able to fly from a table-top onto the floor without injury. The little bird was found walking around the parking lot of the Donut Shop on Ocotillo, north of I-10, early in the morning when the previous night had been down to 20 degrees. The owner of the Donut Shop found the bird and called the Shelter. While waiting, she kindly gave the bird food and water.
We took the bird back to The Oasis Sanctuary, and held the bird for the time mandated by law, at which time she became ours. We kept her in quarantine, isolated from other birds. The Sanctuary spent over $300 on medical testing to insure her health and, thereby insuring the health of other Oasis birds she would come into contact with. One of our visiting Board members, Pat Rudikoff, fell in love with her at first sight and named the foundling “Beauty.”
It became obvious that this bird was not at all tame or human-bonded. She was terrified any time a human came near her, even with food or treats.
When her test results came back, Beauty was found to be in perfect health. We placed Beauty outdoors in a small aviary with another small Amazon, a Mexican Redhead Amazon named Ernest.
More than 6 months after Beauty has come to live at The Oasis Sanctuary, she still is terrified of people, even though her friend Ernest always comes to the front of the aviary to “chat” with us.
The feathers on one wing are growing back slowly. None are growing in on the other, shortest wing. We fear she may have been permanently damaged by someone who did not know how to properly trim a bird’s flight feathers.
Beauty and Ernst are content together and Beauty, like all the other birds at The Oasis, has found a safe and loving “Forever Home” with us.
Editor’s Note: Beauty crossed the Rainbow Bridge April 8, 2010. She will remain forever in our hearts.