Happy Mother's Day from Birds of Paradise
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms everywhere!
And a very special Mother’s Day shout-out to Debbie Huckaby and all our amazing volunteers who are mom’s 365 days a year to all our feathered residents. And of course Happy Mother’s Day to all the non-feathered parrot Mom’s around the world. All you moms deserve a yummy breakfast in bed with lots of fresh fruits, veggies and nuts in the shell 😉
Caring for a parrot is no small task. It’s hard work requiring a lot of dedication and consistency to raise and care for them. At BOPS, our feathered children are our heart and soul and give a whole new meaning to unconditional love, and we, like other parrot moms, give that love right back to them every single day.
We know that a human parrot mom’s love is unconditional, and science continues to show us that this love and care does not discriminate across species lines.
Consider wild parrots that practice amazing parental devotion until their babies can become independent. Just like humans, parrots moms spend a great deal of time taking care of their babies and keeping them as safe as possible.
For wild parrots, the foray into parenthood typically starts in the Spring when mother parrot is ready to lay her eggs. She will do so with incredible dedication and patience, but father parrot plays his part as well as he protects and feeds her while she tends to her eggs and incubation.
When the eggs begin to hatch, mom’s focus quickly shifts to constant care for her young, keeping them safe, warm and fed. She waits patiently until her chicks are fully feathered and don’t need her unabridged attention and then shifts some of her attention back to her mate.
As her chicks continue to grow, the family begins to outgrow the once cozy nest that has now become too small. This is a queue for mom that it’s time to start sharing some of the feeding responsibilities with dad who must bond with the chicks to fully transition to his role of primary "family" provider.
When it's time for the chicks to fly, mom and dad collaborate by lessening feedings and cajoling them out of the nest. They know that their babies have instinctually learned their vocalizations and can identify them over the fray of other parrots in the vicinity—that their chicks are well prepared and yet understandably apprehensive.
When the big day arrives, and the first chick spreads its wings and flies, there’s an air of excitement mixed with some trepidation for mom and dad. They know that there is still much training ahead as their chicks must gain the strength to fly with the flock and learn how to master their beaks and feet.
When there are multiple chicks in a nest, this process is repeated and mom must hide her chicks until they have fully learned to fly, leaving them unattended, as she and dad forage for food for them. But it’s ok, although mom knows her babies can get into mischief, she trusts them to use their natural instincts.
And just like humans, the care provided by mom continues until the babies can fly, feed themselves and safely join the flock—which naturally accepts them.
So, we say it once more, Happy Mother’s Day to non-feathered and feathered mom’s everywhere. Be kind and gentle to yourself on this well-deserved day of appreciation.