Pakshi (Davies) Wilhoit - Hahns Macaw - Born 9/14/2002 ----      (narrated by "Mom")

 

(Update: in 2006 I immigrated to Australia with my husband.  We were not able to bring our American birds with us, due to import restrictions, and had to find homes for everyone.  Pakshi now lives with my good friend Frank and Theresa, who I hear from regularly.  He's doing great, and has even learned to behave himself with other birds!  A trip to the US is planned for 2008 and I'm hoping to stop by and visit Pakshi.)

 

I didn't pick Pakshi - he picked me.

In April of 2003, I was in a local pet store and caught a glimpse of him and his brother.  They were "newly arrived" in the store.  At the time, I thought he was cute, but too big for me and too expensive.

I talked a little to him that day, but not a lot.

I am in that particular store a lot - buying toys, food, and other supplies.  Each time I went in, I stopped and said "hello" to this cute little guy and his brother.

 


I happened to be there the day in late May when his brother was adopted.  I remember seeing his brother caught and put into the transport box for the trip to his new home.  The 2 birds screamed and screamed, each in turn, calling to each other.  It was one of the saddest sounds I've ever heard.

Each time I was in the store after that, I'd stop and say "hello".  He'd run to the side of the display cage and peer closely at me, acting as friendly as I've ever seen a bird act.

I know it seems silly, but I really think he took a liking to me.  And, of course, when an animal clearly likes you, it's terribly charming.

One day I found myself more than slightly curious about him, so I noted the species type and looked it up on the Internet.  I didn't find much there about Hahn's macaws (and almost nothing in my many parrot books), but what I did find made the species seem attractive.

Long story short - he came home with me in July.

About his name: Pakshi was called "Carlos" at the pet store.  That name just didn't appeal to me at all.  So I came up with a list of names and let the bird choose.  When I called him "Pakshi", he would look at me as if to say "yeah?  What?"  When I called him "Carlos", he would look at me disdainfully and promptly turn his back to me (how can you misread THAT body language?).

Pakshi is a Hindi word that means "bird". 
 

He was 9 months old when I adopted him.  I know he'd spent nearly 4 months in the pet store cage without handling.  As a result, he's not as well socialized or cuddly as you might like.  He can be a little "nippy" and is pretty testy if he sees another bird getting too close (he's been known to drive my Catalina away from my shoulder!).  

My husband Stephen has won him over with treats, but Pakshi doesn't step for him easily.

Even so, he's "my boy" and I'm nuts about him.

He does one thing that the others don't - he purrs!  He does it when he's especially content (sitting on my hand, snuggling at my neck).  It's a very soft, low, constant purring sound - very much like a cat's.

Here you see him on the door of his cage... but wait!  Who's that inside?  Forte (young sun conure) who is "cruising for a bruising".  (I snapped this photo FAST and got Forte out of there before Pakshi saw him....)

In the "talking" department, he's not what you'd call a stellar performer.  He does say a few things ("step up", his name) and occasionally will come out with something very clear and VERY context appropriate, but you won't hear him say it again.

One of my favorite talking incidents took place when he and I in the car on our way downtown.  The old disco song "Disco Inferno" was on the radio and Pakshi just loved it!  He started dancing on his perch as soon as the song came on and started singing "Burn baby, burn!" with the music.  I thought I'd split my sides from laughing - but he never did it again - just that one time!  He also loves "The Duke of Earl" and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit".