Wende and Sami’s Story

Wende and Sami going home

 

We met Wende years ago, when she adopted Sami (Samula) the Double Yellow-headed Amazon parrot from us. She has a smile that lights up her face and to witness the relationship she has with Sami is truly something special. This story we have to share with you is one that has resonated and touched many hearts this year, and we were honored to be a part of it.

Wende is the lead vocalist of Denver’s long-time Queen City Jazz Band and has been in a number of films and theater productions. Her voice has been compared to past jazz greats such as Billie Holliday and she has a heart of gold.

Last year, through a series of unexpected life events and bad luck, Wende fell on hard times and became homeless. She came to us and asked for help in caring for Sami until she could get back on her feet and bring her home. While Wende was unable to pay for Sami’s care financially, she did repay us in other ways… when she came to visit Sami, she would also sing and perform for the hundreds of rescued birds at The Gabriel Foundation. Those of you who know and love parrots will understand what a gift this was – they love music!

During one of Wende’s visits to The Birdbrain (our Denver location), we personally had a chance to see just how much the birds loved her… especially Sami. We took a quick video (watch below), posted it on Facebook and almost right away it started to go viral. Once you watch it, you’ll understand why.

Soon afterward, this story began to take on a life of its own. We were contacted by a Denver television news station who had learned of Wende and Sami’s story, and wanted to do a story of their own! We were beyond excited and hopeful that it would lead to the break that Wende so badly needed. They filmed and interviewed Wende (and a few of us!) with the birds and the story aired in mid-July: Homeless jazz musician finds solace singing with parrot. The next thing you know, some national news media channels had picked up and published the story:

Not only that, but a grassroots campaign began to raise funds for Wende and Sami, in hopes of giving them a chance to be back home together. The Gabriel Foundation put together a GoFundMe page for them (raising nearly $4000!) and donated a cage and food for Sami. The very happy news we have to share is that at the end of all this, they are now home together again.

Moral of the story: never doubt that you can make a difference. Whether by donating, volunteering, or even just sharing a feel-good story by word of mouth, you can help us to continue to help people like Wende and their birds who are often left homeless too.

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Consequences are environmental events that occur after a behavior. They are the result of an action and provide feedback to us. With that feedback, behaviors will either continue, increase or decrease. In other words, consequences provide us with learning experiences. For our purposes when working with animals we observe those consequences that immediately follow a behavior in order to know the function of a behavior and then we can work on a plan to change that behavior.

This week let's broaden that a bit to consider long-term consequences such as the shape of a bird's beak. Various beak shapes evolved through consequences according to each species diet. Feathers started out as scales and evolved to what we see today. Feathers are not only useful for locomotion but also for thermoregulation and protection.

This week I saw two interesting articles that involve consequences. One explaining why bird eggs have so many different shapes. What scientists found is that the shape of an egg depends on how much a bird species flies. Who knew!

www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/science/bird-eggs-shapes-flight.html?emc=eta1

The second article I ran into showed house finches gathering cigarette butts to put in their nests as a pest repellent. By adding these they were not bothered by parasites. More learning due to consequences! Although the long-term consequence may not be favorable.

tinyurl.com/ya52zlfo

Enjoy!
... See MoreSee Less

Consequences are environmental events that occur after a behavior. They are the result of an action and provide feedback to us. With that feedback, behaviors will either continue, increase or decrease. In other words, consequences provide us with learning experiences.  For our purposes when working with animals we observe those consequences that immediately follow a behavior in order to know the function of a behavior and then we can work on a plan to change that behavior. 

This week lets broaden that a bit to consider long-term consequences such as the shape of a birds beak. Various beak shapes evolved through consequences according to each species diet. Feathers started out as scales and evolved to what we see today. Feathers are not only useful for locomotion but also for thermoregulation and protection. 

This week I saw two interesting articles that involve consequences. One explaining why bird eggs have so many different shapes. What scientists found is that the shape of an egg depends on how much a bird species flies. Who knew! 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/science/bird-eggs-shapes-flight.html?emc=eta1

The second article I ran into showed house finches gathering cigarette butts to put in their nests as a pest repellent. By adding these they were not bothered by parasites. More learning due to consequences! Although the long-term consequence may not be favorable. 

https://tinyurl.com/ya52zlfo 

Enjoy!

Comment on Facebook

Wow, both very interesting information, and things I didn t know, so them for sharing. On the subject of beaks, I have experienced some long term consequences of a bad diet, previous to me (Of course 😉). I took in my male ekkie, Mylo when he was 4 years old. He turns 9 on his next gotcha day of Sept. 19th. I am still having to trim his beak every few months or so because on his first vet check, within the first couple days I had him, he had some "troubling liver numbers" so went back at the 6 month Mark and again at the 1 year and by the one year mark my vet was totally astonished. She said if she had not seen him herself that first time I brought him in she wouldn't have believed it was the same bird. Big boost for the way I care for my birds and how I was taught, but most importantly he has shown awesome liver #'s and everything else since his 6 month check. However, his beak and nails are still growing a bit fast. They have certainly slowed down over the years, I use to trim monthly and now can go anywhere from 4-6 months between trimming. So, that just goes to show #1 how damaging a bad diet can be, even only after a few years, #2 how long it truly takes to right itself within the body, as he has had good #' s for going on 4 years now but still showing a small bit of evidence of the trauma. Here's a recent picture of him preening while sitting in the window, keeping an eye on all possible dangers for the flock. Yes, he is the lookout and sounds quite the call if he sees anything he doesn't like 😘😚

Curious about what the pictured parrot is eating...

3 days ago

The Gabriel Foundation

We're so excited that nearly all of our cockatiels have been adopted! Tyler and Jackie recently adopted cockatiels Whitebird and Greybird. These two not-so-creatively-named cuties came to us about two years ago and finally found a family to love them. We wish everyone in the family all the best and many happy years together!

(Note: Whitebird and Greybird are shown here in their travel cage)
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Were so excited that nearly all of our cockatiels have been adopted!  Tyler and Jackie recently adopted cockatiels Whitebird and Greybird.  These two not-so-creatively-named cuties came to us about two years ago and finally found a family to love them.  We wish everyone in the family all the best and many happy years together!  

(Note: Whitebird and Greybird are shown here in their travel cage)

Comment on Facebook

That's great hope they will be getting a bigger cage.

So glad they have a new home! Well done! <3

Fantastic!!!!

Yay!!!

way to go TGF... 😍

I want one

wonderful news!

Yay!

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