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March 19, 2021
Madaline Delucco

Magic Bean's Eyes of Distress

I vaguely remember having birds growing up, I recall having a Cockatiel named Zarro who was really mean and he used to try and bite all the time.

Fast forward to 2021, I am a veterinary assistant at Flagler Humane Society. Our animal services officer had been called by an owner stating that they had a Quaker Parrot in great distress. They didn’t have the knowledge nor the financial resources to take care of the bird’s medical needs. So our officer brought the bird, Magic Bean, to the shelter where I was the first to greet him.

When he came in, it brought back so many memories of when I used to try to become friends with Zarro the cockatiel. Magic Bean gave me these eyes of distress, discomfort and fear. What was strange is that he didn't bite me or act violently. We made complete eye contact and I knew I needed to help him. I ended up creating an immediate bond with this parrot. He had balding all over, an overgrown beak and an upper respiratory infection.

Our veterinarians took a quick peak but suggested that we take Magic Bean to a veterinarian who specialized in avian medicine. So we called Pine Lakes Animal Hospital. Magic Bean received a full exam, three antibiotics, and cream for his itchy skin.

I took Magic Bean home to become his foster parent. He needed extra TLC and medical care. I have two pitbulls who instantly fell in love with the bird, but the bird chases & bullies them (yes, the little bird bullies two pitbulls).

Magic Bean (or Bean as I have shortened it to) follows me everywhere I go. He is out of his cage all day, and goes in his cage at night to sleep. I don't want him to feel like he is trapped. He knows how to kiss, and makes smooch/kiss sounds, licks your hands like a kiss. He enjoys flying around my entire house. His vocabulary so far is simply "Pretty bird".

About a month into fostering Bean, I came home from work one night tired and super hungry. While quickly eating dinner, I swallowed a bite of pasta too fast and I starting choking. After coughing for a few minutes I was okay and didn’t think much of it.

That same night around 9PM, I put Bean back into his cage and noticed he was coughing and wheezing. With his history of upper respiratory infections I was quite concerned. I filmed a roughly 25 second video of Bean and kept my eye on him for the night. The following day Bean was out of his cage, playing and flying around the house. I put him in his cage before bed and he started to cough and wheeze again.

I knew he was probably sick again so I made an appointment with Pine Lakes Animal Hospital the next morning. I explained to them the issues going on with Bean. During the exam, Dr. Kristen saw the video, checked Bean's physical appearance and listened closely to Bean’s chest with her stethoscope. As she was listening to his lungs, she said “I don't hear anything, she laughed and said that she was pretty sure that Bean must have been mimicking me the night that I had choked. I was in shock but super happy that Bean was in great health.

I was also happy that I’m not a swearer as Bean would imitate that too, which could be embarrassing.

Needless to say, I am no longer Magic Bean’s foster Mom. I’m his real Mom. I adopted him and he adopted me. I literally love this little dude.
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