Hannah Comes Home to Herself

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Cockatoo and Amazon parrot couple
Sugar (left) and Hannah (right) watch us eating, expecting tender morsels.

After my husband and I worked from home full-time this past year, I marveled at the changes in our pets. It has been a joy to watch our pets grow and become happier! I’ll feature some of our other pets soon, but today, I want to focus on Hannah.

parrots eating
Parrots get the munchies!

Hannah has been a problematic rescue, taking many years to unwind and relax. Although Amazon parrots are known to be good speakers, Hannah has a limited vocabulary. I attribute this to the fact that she was a breeder bird rather than a companion for her formative years. The breeder surrendered her after a vicious attack by a newly assigned mate left her terrified of other birds. Hannah worked her way through the rescue system, eventually coming to our house.

parrots at sunset
Hannah and Sugar are enjoying the sunset together here. The customary screeching should start in a few minutes, as the color deepens a little.

She speaks a few words/sounds – a maniacal “hello,” a cat’s meow, a wolf whistle, and an ear-piercing scream. That was about it. We have held space for her for over ten years and watched her loosen up. She and Sugar became friends and they flock together, which we never expected. They are rescues from different owners, are different breeds, different ages (Sugar is about 30 years older than Hannah), and vastly different temperaments. They love to herald the sunrise and sunset, which is typical for parrots and a pastime she and Sugar share. It mainly involves screeching, so it isn’t a habit my husband and I enjoy, but it is common in parrot culture for some breeds.

Sugar and Hannah look like they are ready for mischief, standing on the cat’s perch.

During this year, with us home more, I have made a concerted effort to greet Hannah with a smile, a kind word, and a scritch every time I entered her room or passed by her cage. This happens far more than before, and I have seen a gradual change in her. She has softened toward me and now anticipates the scritch, lowering her head and moving it so that I scritch all her favorite spots on her head.

parrots and books
Sugar and Hannah are climbing around on my TBR piles.

Even more exciting  – she has learned new sounds! Early on weekend mornings, we can lay in bed and listen to her make contented little noises, much like a pigeon or a chicken. These little clucks come at a time I’d like to roll over and sleep some more, but It’s nonetheless a welcome change to our ears. These are not bird sounds that she has heard from other parrots in our home. We have neither pigeons nor chickens near us, so I wonder how she learned this sound. Somehow, I hope that this sound is natural for her and flows from a feeling of contentment.

parrots and dog
Sugar and Hannah perch on the arm of a chair while River gazes adoringly at them. Sugar often drops food to her, so River just loves him! In the background is John, a cockatiel, caged for his own protection. He is no match for the dogs and cats.


  1. Beautiful pictures! The books make a wonderful balance and color in the picture. I am so glad the birds are doing so well. I can hardly remember a time when you didn’t have these birds. They have been blessed. I am sure they know it.

    Love you

    Liked by 1 person


    ‘Mee-yow sweet Hannah
    Yore as wunderful as a banana…..
    Wee love how you grown
    with Love that is sown!
    Hannah an Sugar yore grate twogether…
    thru thick an thin an all weather!
    Wee wish youss’ THE best
    At play an at rest….
    Sweet Hannah purrty Bird
    Yore THE BEST! WERD!”

    c 2021 BellaDharma an LadyMew

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed this post. Lovely to see them in a post of their own and knowing a bit more about them.
    I find these birds adorable and fascinating to watch.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Adorable isn’t the word I would use! I think they consider themselves to be small dragons, fierce! You must be aware of the beak at all times. To be sure the cats avoid him, Sugar sits on my shoulder when I’m petting the cat. When he sees his chance, he reaches down and nips the cat’s tail. The cat screams, Runs, and generally avoids him from then on. Very clever for a prey animal and a little aggressive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know why I came up as anom before with my previous comment, as always logged into WordPress. But I had to refresh pahe a few times before leaving this comment, so you seen my name this time.

        With them being as they are, I bet the cats are very wary of them.
        I can imagine their beaks causing a nasty injury, if given the chance.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, the beaks are wicked instruments. But in the end, a cat could be a formidable enemy. Any cat saliva going into the bird’s bloodstream will kill the bird.


  4. I am most happy with the work you do! Thanks a lot! As an animal lover, nothing can be more pleasurable than knowing a poor soul has been saved!
    Thanks one again,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Birds are a long game, to be sure. It has taken Sugar a good three years to becomes even a little sociable. Hannah is taking much longer due to the type of abuse she received (and perhaps less resilient). It is gratifying, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I cannot tell you how good this post makes me feel! I have such A soft spot for animals of any kind. I love that you have brought Hannah around. I feel like we had to do the same with my rescue dog, Bailey. And when you see them able to trust after much love, there is no more rewarding feeling. I was also super happy to see Paul Selig’s books in your stack! I devour those. I’ve already pre-ordered the next one :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a feel-good post. It’s wonderful that Hannah is finally feeling more trusting and happy. There definitely have been some good results from the lockdowns and being at home so much more. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Hannah was pretty difficult when we first got her, so it is a relief to see further progress in her becoming a normal bird. Sugar sugar is a help, but he wants to be mates and Hannah wants to be friends, so there is a lot of tension there. This latest step forward seems positive to us. The screaming is down, contentment is up!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t think it happens very often. When Sugar wants to sit too close, Hannah lifts her foot and pushes him back! She will have none of that! Sugar compulsively over-groomed his previous mate, so we know he has poor boundaries. Hannah holds firm and won’t let him groom her. He comes to me for grooming because Hannah won’t. Preeningvl is a big deal for birds. It’s an odd flock we have/are.

          Liked by 1 person

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