This one is especially dear to my heart. Rory was my baby, more so than any other animal we’ve had in the rescue, and we lost him far too soon. I fed and raised him from a hatchling into adult and had a wonderful relationship with him. Rory came to us at just five days old. A family down in Rigby previously acquired a breeding pair of Military Macaws. The pair had a clutch of eggs, but when the babies hatched the parents did not feed and care for them properly. We were originally contacted in regards to Rory’s “older brother.” At three weeks old, the poor baby bird was deformed, barely had any feathers, and didn’t have the strength to lift his own head. We cared for him for a little while, but at the veterinarian’s advice let him be put down. Several other eggs hatched, but the babies all died within a few days.
And then came Rory. One of the last eggs to hatch, he received enough care to make it the first few days before he was discovered by the family (hey, it’s scary reaching into the nest of two large macaws) and removed for more direct care. They gave him to us to feed and raise, originally just until he was full grown but later decided to donate him to the rescue. I remember staying up all night long, having to prepare his mush and feeding him. For the first few days he didn’t trust me, but after that he learned how to use the feeding syringe and would “ask” for it. Even when he was an adult, he still loved to take drinks of water from a syringe or straw.
My philosophy with raising Rory was to let anyone and everyone hold and touch him. I think too many people are too cautious of their big birds and in the process of trying to protect people from getting hurt they end up teaching their birds not to trust strangers. And my strategy worked. Rory grew up to be the friendliest and most open macaw I’d ever met. He loved to be snuggled tight against one’s chest and scratched nice and slow on the back of his neck. He also loved being scratched under his wing, and would lift up his arm to invite you to reach in. He never learned to talk much. The only thing he said consistently and clearly was “Hi Rory” whenever he got excited, such as when I put food into his food dish.