This is Chloe. She is a white-capped pionus parrot. I bought her I think in 2000, the only one of my parrots I purchased from a breeder as a baby; she came to me weaned and extremely well socialized. And she was a VERY funny baby!

She attached herself to my husband from day 1. When we'd only had her a couple of months my husband had to go out of town for his job for a week. Thinking she would pine terribly and be inconsolable, I prepared for the worst. Instead, she simply shifted her affections to me, and that is where they have stayed ever since, although recently she has started stepping up for Pete and even spending a little time on the back of his chair!

Chloe is my most predictable and stable parrot. She is incredibly gentle with me, I can wrap my hands around her to bring her out of her cage even when she doesn't want to come out, and she will only gently beak my hands to express her displeasure. She isn't cuddly (most pionus parrots aren't) but learned young that a minute or so of physical affection was to be expected each day, and she tolerates it well. She is the girl who I can always count on to do exactly what I expect, and hasn't let me down in a decade or more. This means that I can always anticipate her needs and wants, so she lives the life of a queen - and she IS the queen of the flock!

Chloe is also the most analytical of my parrots. When a new food or toy is offered, she studies and considers it for quite a while, thinking it through, devising a plan of escape if necessary, and trying to understand the intentions of it before she will approach. However, once she does, she never forgets. (In this way she is a lot like the donkey I had for 15 years when I was younger!)

Chloe is the bird that is easiest for me. She is easy to take care of, easy to feed, easy to be around, easy to understand...I can relax around Chloe, and don't have to worry that she's going to get into mischief. She'd just as soon settle down for a nap on my chest as look for anything new or exciting to do. She's my matronly little queen.

This is my Phoebe girl. She and her mate Joey came to me on a breeder loan within a year or 2 after I got Chloe, and from the same breeder. It wasn't long, however, until Phoebe made it clear that she wanted nothing to do with Joey, but would scramble up my arm whenever I opened the door to their cage. After a couple of clear clutches, Joey and Phoebe divorced and he went on to live with another beautiful bronze-winged pionus hen who would actually welcome his advances.

Meanwhile, sweet Phoebe firmly attached herself to me, letting me know in no uncertain terms that she was my pet, and not a breeding hen. Once Joey left and I felt I could handle her without ruining her as a breeder, she quickly assumed the role of loving companion and friend. While not as steady as Chloe, she definitely likes being on or near me over anywhere else.

Back in 2008 I had a stroke. After my release from the hospital I was different. Not only that, but I was unable to handle and play with my birds for several months. And Phoebe started to pluck; in fact over the next few years she plucked herself bald, having feathers only on her head, face, and neck. No physical reason could be found for this, and nothing else had changed. Thankfully in the summer of 2012 she stopped just as quickly as she had started, but as you can see in the photograph, she does have some malformed feathers as the result of follicle damage. Throughout this time, though, she always remained devoted to me, content to spend hours just sitting on my shoulder or the back of my chair.

One especially unfortunate result of her malformed feathers is that she is no longer able to fly. My birds get great pleasure from flying around the house, and she used to be one of the best! These days it breaks my heart when she drops like a rock after attempting flight. And, whereas the poi boys and Phoebe always got along previously, they totally ignored her once she started plucking...and worse yet, Elliot attacked her one day last week when she attempted flight and crashed to the floor; he was on her instantly. I was able to retrieve her within seconds and he didn't do any more harm than to leave a dozen or so of her feathers left on the floor.

You will never see my Chloe girl and Phoebe in the same photo, unless their cages are in close enough proximity to take one. They HATE each other. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that, were they both out of their cages at the same time, one of them would end up mortally wounded. When Phoebe could fly, she would constantly land on Chloe's cage and they'd start fighting through the bars until I intervened. Chloe rarely flew to Phoebe's cage for the purpose of a fight, but if she was near enough to climb, she'd take advantage of it and go after Phoebe through her bars. Both girls will tolerate the other birds landing or climbing on their cages - but not each other. I live in fear that somehow, someday, both of their doors will be open simultaneously and I will end up with only one of my precious pi girls. I totally adore them both!

2/14/2013 10:20:49 am

i believe your birds are so well loved, may they always be a blessing to you Sherry. much love in Christ, laura


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