‘I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away’ sang Nelly Furtado. But she wasn’t talking about Amazon green parrot Bud, who couldn’t fly due to her size.
Bud was a big fan of crisps, able to detect a packet being opened from four miles away, according to Chloe Shorten, who adopted the 22-year-old bird last year.
When Chloe – who works for RSPCA’s Mid Norfolk and Suffolk branch – first met Bud when her owner brought him in for rehoming in March last year.
‘Bud arrived just a few days before lockdown hit as she’d become too much for her owners and they could no longer take care of her,’ she said.
‘Parrots are incredibly intelligent birds and need quite specialist care – and we certainly had our hands full when she arrived!
‘She was also extremely overweight, weighing in at a hefty 620g – more than 200g heavier than she should have been.’
Chloe says that when Bud tried to fly she would ‘literally drop to the floor’ because she couldn’t lift herself up properly. It was then that she realised crisps might be the problem.
‘She has the hearing of a bat and can detect a packet of crisps being opened from four miles away so it’s no surprise she was overweight.
‘Crisps were strictly banned from our house so she couldn’t get hold of any!’
Once the crisp ban was imposed, Bud’s weight dropped and she’s now able to soar around like nature intended.
Chloe says that Bud is ‘really chatty’ and welcomes people to the room with a loud ‘hellooooo’.
She continues: ‘She is such a funny character and she brightens our days, particularly during this difficult time as she loves to sing.
‘She loves my husband and likes to serenade him with her rendition of the Addams Family theme tune!’
Apparently she’s also a cheeky bird, and confuses delivery drivers by shouting ‘BYE!’ at them when they arrive, and wolf-whistling people while Chloe is on a video call.
‘She’s learned how to laugh and often chuckles when my husband bangs his head or if someone says something funny; it’s amazing how she can react as if on cue,’ says Chloe.
The RSPCA worker, who also has three dogs and three cats, went on: ‘Parrots aren’t for the faint-hearted.
‘They’re a lot of work and live for a long time so it’s incredibly important that people do their research before taking one on.
‘They are, however, great fun and incredibly rewarding. We feel very lucky that we can give her a forever home and we’ll hopefully have many more years with her and her hilarious antics.’
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