By Bird Club member Kim Riley-Brooks
Hello My Name is "Riley" once known to the club as "YC" until my new owner decided to adopt me. You see I'm a special guy that needs a lot of love. I have to be by myself no chirping friends, because I suffer with a disease they call in the avian medical field "PAPILLOMATOSIS". Take time to learn about this, as my new mom got to see first hand of what happens when I have an attack. It was rough on her to. She has a lot of love for me. Well went to the Avian vet only to find out that my mom's worries were for a reason, my disease had flared back up. Meaning that I had to undergo surgery to have it removed and blood test to see how my organs are doing. Still waiting on the results. I made it through the surgery and I'm happy to be home and being spoiled by my mom. YUMMY!! I NEED TO TAKE A BREAK FOR MY ORANGE!! I will turn it over to her now.
Hi, my name is Kim, the proud owner of my guy Riley. He is a 7 year old Yellow Crowned Amazon parrot for which I'm thankful for The Alaska Bird Club. I contacted Cindy (Adopt-A-Bird) one evening after seeing YC on the web page for adoption.
I made my first visit and it was LOVE at first sight. After a few visits, I took my mom to see him. That's when it happened, he bit me!! HOT FLASH CITY, LET ME TELL YA!!! He had bonded with my mom and I tried to take him from her. I learned a lesson #1– let the person who has him, hand him to someone else.
Going home I was having second thoughts. Once I got home I decided "NO BIRD WAS GOING TO GET THE BEST OF ME." So I set up another visit and looked at him and said I'm BACKKKK, and he replied "HELLOOOOOO." I think I went back about 4 more times and decided that I could not leave him in the place where he was. The cage had not been cleaned in the weeks that I had been there for my visits. It was heart wrenching!!! So I called Cindy and told her I could not make anymore visits unless I was bringing him home, it was too hard. Deep down I believe that it was the best day for both of us when I brought him home.
I knew he had a disease, but didn't really research it. Like I have to date.
He is a great bird; personality is awesome, wins the hearts of everyone he meets. Riley has his words that are all his. One evening I was singing the song "I'm Not Lisa". He got on his perch and started dancing then out it came, "LIIIISAAAAA" right where he needed to sing it. I captured this on video. One of many special moments that he has shared with me.
He cries like a baby, sings, dances, talks, whistles, and he loves to cuddle with me. He even coos to me.
Another experience with him was when I got home after having surgery I had a green robe on the color of Riley. He was on me when I heard this gagging sound. I put him on his perch, called Diane, and sent her pictures. I was freaking out and she laughed, and said, "Ah Honey, HE'S IN LOVE", and had bonded with me. Must be true because my son tried to get him of his perch and Riley was in the attack mode.
Riley will say "Hello" and if you don't answer him he will get louder and louder with the big "HELLOOOOO!!!" He knows lots of words, too many to list. The newest being in a low low voice, "I LOVE YOU," my heart melted when I heard him.
Going into the Labor Day Weekend, I got to see first hand, about his disease. He was sitting on his perch, when the symptoms showed up. When I saw the blood, I was on the phone with CINDY, DIANE, and the ER VET. They said that the Avian Vet would be in at 7:00 pm so I loaded up Riley and arrived at the ER to only find out that the vet was not an Avian Vet. I told her that I was in the dark other than it was the disease that he has. The vet carried him into the back and minutes went by, and they brought him back into me. Gave me meds to give him and said to get him into the Avian Vet on Tuesday; they were helpful.
It was very frustrating to have a sick bird and no Avian Vet on hand. It makes you feel helpless. My heart was heavy, as I knew he was sick and not feeling well. To see what he was going through was very hard. Diane showed up as we were leaving. Cindy called and Leanne e-mailed me. I'm thankful for them being so concerned and to know that there are other animal lovers out there. Today he is feeling back to himself, but I still have to take him into the Avian Vet. Riley is loved very much!!
I can't forget about his first bath. I finally got to see what I had heard so much about - the Amazon bird bath dance. He loves them. The way that he umbrellas himself with is wings is an awesome thing to see.
We have become, friends with the kids in the neighborhood. I purchased a Feather Teather, and after about a month of trying to get it on him, he finally gave into the fact that mom was not going to back down. So know on sunny days we go for walks. He's quite liked by the adults in the neighborhood also.
He whistles, talks, and sings as we take our walks. They see me at Carrs and they ask, "Where is the bird?" and "How is the bird?" Kind of a cute thing. Riley and I even discovered a Blue and Gold Macaw on our walks. But because of his disease we just walk by, admiring the Macaw from outside.
Riley is quite loud in the morning, with a raven scream I call it. Then he talks and whistles most of the day. At night when he is on his tree stand, he turns his back from us and chatters in a deep unknown voice. That's my sign he is ready for bed. He usually sleeps a good 10 to 12 hours, and then he is ready for another day.
I have learned that it is very wise to get your birds into an Avian vet yearly. Dr. Doty is Riley's vet and she had concerns that she hadn't seen Riley in the past year. I was unaware and told her that I only adopted him in March and I'm learning. She was very helpful. I had many questions and she took the time to answer them.
"Riley" and I thank-you for letting us share our story with you. Sorry we couldn't come to meet you, but after reading you should understand.
COMMON NAME: AMAZON - YELLOW CROWNED
SCIENTIFIC NAME: AMAZONA - OCHROCEPHALA
ORIGIN OF RANGE: SOUTH AMERICA
SIZE: MATURE BIRDS - 13.5 INCHES
AVERAGE LIFE SPAN: 60 -80 YEARS
DIET: SEEDS, NUTS, FRUITS, AND VEGGIES
Editor's Note: For more information about the Papillomatosis Disease, read the Winged Wisdom online article Papillomatosis Disease located on the Birds N Ways website: http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww55eiv.htm