This is Sassy, a male B&G macaw who is one of a group of macaws that came into TGF’s offsite care over 18 months ago. He is one of a large group of macaws that had been rescued over the years by a person dedicated to improving the lives of these former unwanted, breeder birds macaws. More than half of these birds have visible cloacal papillomas. Due to owner illness, all of the birds were placed into our offsite location in FL.
Our multi-section aviary there is huge, with communal areas, walk-overs and separate aviaries where the macaws had the opportunity to pick their own friends. The birds’ care, husbandry, housing and nutrition is overseen by a veterinarian diplomated in avian medicine, with a long history in aviculture, flock behavior, conservation and veterinary medicine. The husbandry staff provides for the daily physical care and cleaning of the flock. The landscaping surrounding the aviaries is tropical and lush. The birds have ponds in their view, and egrets come in to feed during the day. The birds have the safety of wood boxes during inclement/hurricane weather to keep them safe, warm and dry. The aviaries are nestled in the unique FL pines and protected from direct sunlight. The area is tranquil.
Since their move to FL, these birds’ lives and behaviors gradually changed from shyness and fear, to a flock with dynamic relationships. Sassy shared the flight with his friend Izzy, and a pair of Greenwing macaws – each of which had been paired with their friend for at least 15 years. Then some of the bird relationships quickly changed when the two Greenwing macaws became aggressive and territorial. It was too late for Sassy whose beak had been permanently damaged when he was attacked by the Greenwings while his friend Teddy was mortally wounded by the time that human help arrived summoned by the birds’ frantic calls.
Sassy underwent beak repair to reshape the remaining keratin. This beak will not grow again as the damage affected the growth plate. After several weeks in the FL vet clinic hospital, Sassy gained weight, confidence and trust with the vet and vet staff there. Changes for Sassy’s life include a modified diet that is soft and nutritious. We make a mixture of grains, quinoa, sweet potato, and finely chopped greens. He readily eats this breakfast mash. In the afternoon, he gets pellets, nuts out of shell, fruit and veggies that he can consume without difficulty.
Other than his unusual appearance as a result of this traumatic injury, Sassy’s a handsome and robust bird. He is ready to be in a home with a friend or family that will provide his special diet, keep him happy and enriched and give him a chance to live in a home. Sassy still needs a macaw sized cage. He fully enjoys time outside and his damaged beak does nothing to prevent him from sounding and behaving like a real macaw.