I did a lot of research on parrots online and visited the African Grey bird shop and the Gabriel Foundation several times. I started looking for the right adult African Grey to adopt/rescue. A friend suggested I look at a used parrot cage for sale cheap before the ad for the cage and stand posted in the morning. When I arrived there was a 16YO M2 in a nearby dog kennel that was headed to the local animal shelter as soon as I left.
Scooter had been kept alone in a dark room in a small cage with some seeds to eat and one cockatiel toy in the cage. I opened the kennel door and he hesitated before stepping up. I awkwardly began to preen some feathers in his crest, he lifted his wing slightly and I started to scratch. At this point he put his head on my shoulder and announced, "I wanna go home". I made an impulsive decision (I knew better). I was also foolish enough to believe that I might get him home before he escaped the cardboard box she put him in.
I researched M2s online and ordered in bird care books. Day three Scooter nailed my inner thigh, no blood, but one heck of a bruise. I figured something scared him? The next day he found his voice, Scooter threw a raging tantrum so loud the windows rattled.
I went looking for help and found this site. I cried off and on all night. If there is a common behavior problem, Scooter exhibited it to some degree. Statistics on rescued male M2s told me that if I gave up he might not have good options. Itís been three years. Eventually Scooter told me about what he has been through. I understand frustration, but kicking? a two pound bird?? He makes the sound of a small dog being kicked as well. Someone swung a broom or bat at him more than once. He still intermittently argues with himself in two voices. He probably heard it through a wall as most of it is unclear until the man clearly yells "Kill the F#@ing Bird!" then the woman screams, and you hear something thud.
Three years later, Scooter has been nick-named "Bird Brain" by my husband. He's my hormonal autistic toddler.
He has the largest stainless cage I could fit in the house, with lots of large take apart and shred toys. I finally convinced him to eat pellets, but only the green bean and carrot pieces out of Zupreem veggie. He will now eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables if fresh, raw, and chopped into very large chunks. He will try to steal Cool Ranch Doritos if you aren't watching. He has a large stand in the living room and the office. He loves to get out taking to the park and other outings (he has a clear bird carrier and a flight line when we get there). He loves to imitate power tools. We have made a lot of progress. He gets loud regularly but hasnít had an ear shattering screaming fit in months. I havenít been bit in a year (and never bad enough to draw blood.) Right before the hormones kicked in he had grown back in most of his tail feathers and quite a few flight feathers. (SighÖspring.) There are still a few tail feathers left. Maybe by Christmas heíll be mostly feathered again. He leaves enough that he looks normal at first glance.
Scooter (Bird Brain) n Kim
BTW Bird Brain isn't an insult, it's a fact. It helps me remind my husband why he doesn't act like a domesticated pet.