Ken Globus

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The  Little Ringneck

 

By Ken Globus

 

I think both the saddest and happiest moments of the workshops in Anchorage, Alaska were provided by the same bird: a very troubled little, female Indian Ringneck.  This was a very sad case.  The Ringneck was believed to have had a history of abuse and neglect.  One thing of which the owner was sure was that the bird lived in a state of extreme agitation and constant, intense fear. 

Every time the woman, or anyone, even approached the Ringneck's cage, she would explode with fear and thrash around, banging her wings on the sides of the cage.  No matter what the woman tried to do with patience and love, she was unable to calm that poor bird.  Its wings were beat up; some wounds were scabbed over and were repeatedly re-injured.  You could even see her injured blood feathers that had been repeatedly injured, broken or chewed and never been allowed to fully grow in.  

What to do?  Even bringing her to the workshop was risky.   When the woman showed up, before even handling her, the little Ringneck had already thrashed around and re-opened  a wound on her wing caused by a broken blood feather.  Fortunately, there was a vet on hand to observe the workshop and he sutured the wound. 

 

Last Chance To Save a Broken Spirit

 

But I was left with a difficult decision:  should I work with the Little Ringneck and risk re-opening the wound or should I just leave her alone?  First, I decided to leave her, but then it started eating at me.  How could I give up without trying?  That bird was headed downhill and I really believed this might be its last chance to turn around its life.  So, I decided to at least take the first steps and find out how  she would respond to some hands on.  If there were any signs of problems, I could back off. 

 I used some direct touching techniques and she responded immediately.  I worked with her for all of about fifteen minutes.  That's all it took.  In minutes I had that bird sitting calmly on my hand, doing step-ups and allowing scratches.  It was incredible. 

In the end, I was able to tug at its neck feathers with my lips and kiss its head.  People were in tears.  So was I.   When we put her back in the cage, it was like a different bird, sitting calmly and preening as people approached her.  No more thrashing around at the sight of humans.  Of all the birds in the workshop, in many workshops, this Little Ringneck was the most moving and I'll never forget it.