Sunday, May 24, 2009
Australia has a wide & varied assortment of the parrot family, loud, raucous & brilliantly colored I think they have the most gorgeous exotic plumes of all birds.
I'd like you to meet Lily, the Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.
Above is how Lily should look, but Lily suffers from a fatal & untreatable illness called Beak and Feather disease. It is airborne & highly contagious & affects many of the parrot species, including the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.
Here are a couple interesting PBS youtube videos on these fascinating birds & their survival in even the harsh climate areas of Australia.
My soft- hearted niece rescued Lily years ago from the middle of the road when she was just a normal-looking fledgling who had been evicted from the nest. It wasn't until sometime later when Lily began to lose her feathers that the vet diagnosed Lily's disease. In the wild Lily would have perished as a fledgling but she lives happily in a large screened -in porch in the lush Hunter Valley region of New South Wales. These parrots have a normal life -span of around 15 years.
By day Lily enjoys the surrounding bush & the sounds of all the local avians outside her safe perch & at night she comes indoors. Lily is fed a diet of fresh fruit & veges daily & a mush that is mixed up for her nightly. She is sweet,vocal & happy & very attached to her rescuer.
I find it simply amazing that this little creature has survived so long, she has beaten all the odds thanks to the careful attentions of my niece. Incidentally, no one is sure if Lily is actually "Lily" or perhaps "Lawrence", both genders of these birds appear the same.
The good news is that Australian researchers have been testing vaccines & they hope to be able to release into the wild, birds who have been treated & are now immune from this deadly disease.
On one of my daily walks in this beautiful area I came across these characters- they reminded me of Farmlady & her goats & these two were talking to me so of course I talked back & they came right up to the fence to say hello so I had to take their picture!
I suspect that the black & white one is "with child", she had an awfully fat tummy-either that or she had eaten a very large something- or- other, as goats are prone to do!