Update from Rio's new mom Erica - November 29, 2010: I have to say, I’m still a bit shocked that my feathered flock now includes an Amazon! I’ve always considered myself much more of a cockatoo person.
I’m not entirely sure how Rio and I ended up becoming buddies, especially since I very rarely work in the “small room” at the Refuge. When Rio first arrived at the shelter, I remember being amazed at how small he was. I’d never seen such a tiny Amazon. I timidly tried to pet him and he responded by trying to bite me. hat pretty much put an end to my interaction with Rio.
Quite some time later, I was working in the “small room” and all the other volunteers had left for the evening. While working on Rio’s cage, I was struck by how animated and active he was. I have no idea why, but for some reason, I decided to let him out to play on top of his cage. I figured he was small enough to towel if I had a hard time returning him to his cage.
As soon as his door was open, Rio popped out and immediately started trying to regurgitate for me! As I continued to talk to him, he put his foot up in the air, as if he wanted to step up. I took a deep breath and offered my hand, expecting to be rewarded with a big chomp. Much to my surprise however, Rio put his foot on my finger and just held on, still pumping his head up and down. By the time Rio went back into his cage that night, I considered our interaction a positive one and started spending more and more time with him.
It took a while, but Rio eventually started stepping up for me and after even more time, allowed me to touch his beak and eventually, pet his head. I developed quite a soft spot for this little guy and eventually, with some encouragement from Karen, decided to foster him. Aside from my occasional trips out of town, during which I needed to board Rio, he’s never come back to live at the Refuge.
I officially adopted him on October 3rd and I couldn’t be happier! Rio fits in very well at my house.
He loves attention and hanging out with me but is also content to hang out on or in his cage, playing with toys or talking.
Prior to fostering Rio, I didn’t realize that Rio talks. I don’t know if he didn’t talk at the Refuge or it was just too loud to hear him, but was shocked to hear “Hi Rio” one day after having him at my house for a couple of weeks. Since then, I’ve heard a lot of other phrases from him, his favorites being “Hi buddy!” and “Give me a kiss”, followed by several kissing noises.
He’s a joy to have around and I look forward to many, many more years with my “little green chicken”!
Rio was easily the smallest Amazon at the Rescue. He is brightly colored, beautifully feathered and very expressive. When Rio came to the Refuge, he was very timid, but as soon as he felt more at home, he started to 'prrr' and communicate very expressively with everyone who wants to listen and talk to him. He is a typical Amazon, liking some and disliking others.