Butters. We named her after the sweetest most innocent personality we could think of, Leopold "Butters" Stotch of the Southpark animated series. Granted nothing about Southpark is innocent but Leopold. And over the years as Leopold grows up around his peers he learns to become his true self which can at times, be quite a handful. But not often and when he does get out of line, he quickly regrets it and seeks solace and forgiveness. He is a good soul.
So is our Butters. She's been a good girl these past 7 and half years. We brought Butters home pinny and quite young. We weaned her over 13 months, as in the wild a young macaw can take a year for such a progress. And quite frankly I am a huge fan of abundance weaning. And truth be told, those who know me know I'm a big fan of abundance love. Butters and I created a friendship and love that first year and some. She's my big blue chicken made of Velcro.
She needs my head at dusk for an hour to roost before bed. She needs my shoulder for late morning. She needs to pull my eyeglasses wonky while on my shoulder, because she loves me.
I'll straighten out my glasses every 2 minutes after every silly tug. She's just letting me know she's there, and still most important. She'll flap her wings after every tug with a chuckle.
She needs to look out the window with me. Perched on my right hand (never left) searching for the elusive and evil slimy dinner plate named, turtle. She sneezes with me, every single time I sneeze. I never sneeze alone because of Butters. She sings with my guitar, acoustic or electric. She sings with me while I play my guitar. She is so humble she dare not speak her own name, but does call out Snickers and Kirby's.
Butters is a big Bolivian blue and gold. She's small in stature but stout. She is truly my big blue chicken. When she was very young, she would spend her time on her play blanket on the floor next to me while I worked on the computer. This was before Felix. She learned what a toy was on that blanket. She learned how to stand on her two feet on that blanket. She slept at night in her big see-through Tupperware box. We would feed her dinner, hold her and cuddle till she fell asleep. And then place her in her box (no lid please, mom has to hear all her sounds, for safety concerns don't you know) and then carefully place her on a wide, low shelf in the master walk-in closet, with the door open. There she could sleep in absolute dark and we were only a few feet away. I remember waking up to hear a baby macaw talk gibberish in the middle of the night. Her voice has been sweet as cotton candy since day one.
We have rescued, adopted, purchased, and fostered parrots. We've brought them home pinny and young, and full of themselves older. I've taken an uncertain rescue and turned him into a Felix. Or maybe, a Felix turned an uncertain rescuer into a trainee. I'm still not sure. Old world, new world we have them both.
I can say with no doubt or hesitation, it isn't the species or the age that defines the relationship you will have with a companion parrot. It is the time you invest to discover the truth of who your companion is as an individual. It isn't their age. It isn't their size. It isn't where they came from to find you. It is communication. Honest, fair, sincere communication that leaves room for messes, mistakes and options.
Butterbean is my big blue Bolivian chicken. I have no idea how I got so lucky.