As part of our rehabilitation and release program, we recently took in a juvenile macaw who was found in the road by one of our caregiver’s homes. At the moment, we are calling him Memphis. As with standard juvenile rescue situations, we are giving him a bit of affection, which he would usually get from his mother, while still trying to prevent him from getting attached to humans. It can be a tricky balance. He sits on an indoor perch overlooking the property where we can keep an eye on him, and he can still chat with the other birds outside. Interestingly, he can tell the difference between the red and green macaws and the gold and blue ones that look like him, just by their calls, and talks to them accordingly.
Using our donated x-ray equipment, we discovered that Memphis has both a broken wing and a broken right femur. He went to an orthopedist for surgery, and will remain bandaged for several weeks. He seems to be progressing well and will soon (we hope) go back for x-rays to make sure he’s healed properly and then will have to have his surgical hardware removed. We can’t be sure of how Memphis will heal until his rehabilitation begins. If he seems potentially releasable, he’ll be gradually moved into larger spaces, so that we can determine if it will be safe to allow him back into the wild. He will be in a large cage until he builds up some muscle and gains more coordination in his healed leg. After that, Memphis will graduate to a flight cage, where he can safely build up the muscle in his wings. It’s a long process, but we have to be certain that he can care for himself before we send him off into the world.
In this video, Memphis is sitting in a pulsed electromagnetic field crate receiving treatment. We are working with SEMA, the state’s environment authority, on his rehabilitation and hopeful release. In the meantime, he’s spending his time closely examining his bandages (sometimes with his beak) – which are changed regularly – getting some pain relief from medicine, and eating (among other things) bananas, his favorite food.
As you can see here, it seems to be a universal fact that all babies fight sleep.
P.S.: Please ignore the dirt on the backside of the carrier; it’s his medicine, which he sometimes is happier to help us get on the bag than in his mouth. 🙂 And the music is coming from my computer, so it’s louder in the video than it is for him.