Chewie – Hahn’s Macaw and my Oldest Child

Chewie is one of the 3 ‘mini-Macaws”. he’s a little jewel and one of the funniest to watch going a bout his day.
A little background – My bird room was my sun-room; it’s 24′ by 18′ and windows line 3 sides. The 4th side is all open to the living room. I put up wooden blinds to filter the light, but more to keep the birds from being startled by outside critters, birds, and my neighbors. Chewie’s cage doors are never shut. He has no interest in flying though he is fully feathered, his wings un-clipped. He can climb and crawl around his cage at will, though he never ventures to the floor or to any of his neighbors cages.
His favorite activity is to climb to the top of his cage (quite high up) and watch the outside world between the small gap between blinds. I’ve sat and watched Chewie from the living room for hours, fuss and talk at whatever happens to be in front of the window – from lizards to the neighbors cat, to the lawn man.
The funniest to watch/listen to is when the neighbors cat is walking the fence. Chewie repeats endlessly “here kitty, kitty, kitty – come here, come here, its okay, whatchadoing?” I try to stifle my laughter so he doesn’t realize I’m watching him, but sometimes its just overwhelming. When he does realize I’m watching him, the content changes to “whaaaaat?” “Hi Chew Chew – Peek-a-boo.” Actually “Peek-A-Boo” is the ‘rooms’ favorite contact call. Once Chewie starts it, the whole room will repeat it over and over, and over – in 12 different ‘voices’. 9 times out of 10, their day starts with round after round of “Peek-A-Boo”.
I hand raised Chewie – I’m Mom. He won’t tolerate anyone else but me; he’s bitten other’s in my household quite badly. Amazingly in his 13 years he’s never bitten me. And before you think that’s normal – its not. Being bitten at some point – even by a bird that adores you, is a fact of life. At some point (usually) its because you inadvertently ignore or miss a body language signal, and you get bit. It comes with the territory. Of course how you handle it determines how frequently it happens, or even if its ever repeated. A good example is Max, one of my Yellow Streak Lories who will bite the ever-lovin crap out of me, if while I’m holding him, my attention wanders even for a second.
Even though Hahn’s Macaws are not listed real high on the list for extraordinary talkers; Chewie’s vocabulary is pretty impressive. He very softly says “good morning” only in the morning – he does not say this at any other time of the day. The same can’t be said of “nite-nite”. It seems to be a favorite phrase, and at times is repeated so much, I almost regret teaching it to him. A small list of his vocabulary includes “come here; whatcha doin?; knock it off; what’s your problem?; awwww its okay; kiss-kiss (followed by the kiss-kiss noise); hi chew-chew; chew-chew-chewy; Bubba-Boy (my roommates nickname for my dog Patches); Suie quit; Suie hush; the wolf whistle; the microwave and my old phone. Chewie also barks like a dog, though it does sound more like a Chihuahua than a Mastiff. Chewie meows like the cat, coughs and sneezes like me, and thankfully has only one swear word – “shit”, which he unfortunately picked up from me since its my favorite phrase when I screw up. I have to laugh though, as there have been times when I’ve dropped something in the bird-room and Chewie says it before I can. Chewie has been an absolutely wonderful addition to my family. Big Macaw attitude in an itty bitty bird…..

Thanks for visiting………………………

“Friend Good!” ~Frankenstein

2 Responses

  1. thanks for posting, love the close up pictures. looks like you have a really great relationship with Chewie 🙂

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