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Living with Ollie by Ros Paterson

Parrots magazine October 2011

“Have you heard the call of an Orange-winged Amazon? I certainly couldn’t live with it.” “What if they don’t get on?” “Think of the extra work.” “My advice is not to.” Not only did I have my own insecurities about potentially rehoming an Orange-winged Amazon, I had the concerns of my experienced parrot friends to remind me this was not a decision to take lightly.

At the time I shared a home with Kobe the Blue-headed Pionus (see his story in Issue 132). Four year old Kobe describes himself as, “a funny old thing”. He loves to ham it up, the more I laugh the sillier his antics become and there’s nothing more infectious than when he starts giggling too. Kobe had been an only bird for exactly twelve months after the sad loss of his friend and mentor, Boo the English Budgie (see his story in Issue 109). It took a while for us both to adjust and I felt increasingly guilty at leaving Kobe alone on the two days I work away from home. I wondered if Kobe might like another avian companion, but I also wondered if I could cope with two again.

One May evening, I sat down at my computer and logged on to a parrot forum. A topic immediately caught my eye. It was a plea for help or suggestions for Ollie the Orange-winged Amazon. I was weeks late in reading this particular thread and as Ollie’s story unfolded my heart went out to him. People were quick to offer him a home and it would always fall through – perhaps because of unknown vet bills.

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