Charlie the Blue and Gold Macaw is very poorly and needs your help. Charlie was rescued by Birdline Parrot Rescue from a warehouse where he was sadly housed in a retail cage with no daylight, toys or adequate perches.
When he came to Birdline he was underweight, his feathers were in poor condition and he was fearful of humans. He would cower at the back of the cage when his foster mum came into the room and it took over two years for her to gain his trust. Now he is a happy lively bird who will sit on his Mum’s shoulder, give her kisses on the lips complete with big smoochy sound effects and loves to sing and dance. Because he’s such an amazing character he has become a birdline ambassador and has even appeared on German TV promoting the work of rescues in the Covid pandemic.
The lifespan of a Blue and Gold macaw in captivity should be over 70 years of age. At 22, Charlie is still a young bird. However due to his poor treatment in his early years, his health has been critically harmed, and unless he receives medical intervention, he will not live to see old age.
Charlie was fed a poor-quality diet. Many cheap seed mixes use monkey nuts as fillers, but they should never be given to parrots as they may contain mould spores, which can infect bird’s lungs – resulting in a respiratory condition called Aspergillosis. Aspergillus spores attach to a bird’s air sacs and spread through the respiratory system. White nodules form on the lung tissue and over time these can erode, allowing the disease to spread to other organs as the spores enter the bloodstream. It can also affect the central nervous system, leading to symptoms such as tremors and paralysis.
Aspergillosis is known as a silent killer because the fungus can incubate for a long time in the body, and by the time symptoms are apparent, the condition is often in the more advanced stages. As the condition can take so long to develop, uninformed owners often continue to feed toxic nuts to their birds, not realising the damaging effects they are having on their birds’ health. Obviously Charlie is now on a much healthier diet with a range of vegetables, fruit and pulses as well as a good quality seed mix.
Over the past year Charlie has unfortunately started to exhibit signs of advanced Aspergillus infection. Suffering asthma-like symptoms, he has acute attacks where his breathing becomes laboured, he pants, and bobs his tail, brings up phlegm and his voice sounds raspy. When he’s in this state he is given nebuliser and oxygen therapy. If left untreated, Charlie could go into respiratory distress and die. Charlie has become resistant to standard antifungal drugs and now requires a drug called Voriconazole, which costs an eye watering £799.45 per 45g prescription. Charlie has maxed out his insurance cover and may require up to a year’s worth of medication. He will also require further vet appointments and swab tests in order to monitor his condition.
If you meet him you will see a thirst for life despite the many years of neglect that he has suffered and he deserves every chance we can provide to improve his health and beat this illness. Charlie no longer has a cage, nor will he ever be shut away again. He is free to roam about the bird room with some feathered friends where he loves to swing on ropes, play, sing and dance along with the occasional swear word thrown in!
Other humans have sadly failed Charlie, but you can make a real difference to his life now. Our target for one year’s veterinary treatment for Charlie is £5000. Please consider donating, every penny towards his care is greatly appreciated.
PRIZE DRAW !!!!!
We’ve had some generous gifts donated to Birdline to help support Charlie from animal lovers Jane Fallon and Ricky Gervais and an anonymous donor. If you donate between 1st November – 13th November you could be one of four lucky people who will win one of the following fabulous prizes.
- A signed copy of Jane Fallon’s latest book Just Got Real
- A signed photo of Ricky Gervais from the Afterlife tour
- Infinite by Forever Advanced Skincare System (includes Cleanser, Firming Serum, Firming Complex and Restoring Creme).
To enter – just remember to tick the prize draw box on the donation form underneath your contact details.