If you haven’t read Hector Part 1, it’s just a little background on my history with birds. The important thing to know is that my husband talked me out of rescuing a little Lovebird because he knew it would just fuel my fire for a bigger parrot. He figured we should skip the little parrot part and just get the bird I actually wanted. I appreciated that!
The other important thing to know is that Hector is a girl. Both sexes of African Greys look the same, so the only way to tell the difference is with a blood test, or if the bird lays eggs. Hector was named before she laid her first egg, but she’s quite proud of her name, and didn’t want it changed.
Silly me thought it would be hard finding the right bird to add to our house. I start doing some research on bird rescues to see what was out there. My husband thought he was being funny and posted to Twitter about his decision to talk me out of a Lovebird and into an African Grey. The post was something about how he thought he might regret the decision, but it seemed like the right choice at the time. Be careful what you wish for!
The universe has a funny way of reacting to things some times, and the husband’s Tweet lead to a friend joking about how we should adopt the old Ambrosia Software parrot, Hector. Next thing you know, the guy that took Hector in when Ambrosia no longer wanted an office parrot was reaching out to my husband. John Magnus Champlin, from Ambrosia, had been working with Hector for a few years, and gave her a great start on moving from being an office ornament to actually figuring out how to be a pet. While John loved and cared for Hector, he also felt that he wasn’t a “bird guy” and hoped to find her a forever home someday.
My husband Dave runs The Mac Observer, Inc., a website about all things Apple. John loved the idea that Hector could move to another Tech home after being the Ambrosia mascot. So at 21 years old, Hector moved from New York to New Hampshire and became the new mascot for The Mac Observer.
John is a super caring guy, and insisted on driving Hector to us to help ease her transition. On the drive, John stopped for gas. It was a nice day, so he took Hector’s carrier out of the car for a little air. John says, “If I remember right they recognized the Ambrosia logo stickers and some other Apple related thing on my car and it spawned a conversation. They didn’t realize I was associated with the company. When they saw the bird and realized it was actually *the* Captain Hector it blew some minds.”
And Hector made her way to New Hampshire. She loves my husband, she loves my son, me? she tolerates. I’m the one who researches parrot diet, makes her homemade food with organic grains and fresh veggies, buys her toys, cleans her cage, and gives her the most attention, but she loves the boys. It’s OK, she mostly doesn’t bite me, and I love her.
When Hector first came to us, she rarely wanted to leave her cage although she would climb up on top to hang out and liked having her cage door open. She was super nervous about anything new. If I bought a new toy, I had to hang it across the room for a couple of days, then slowly bring it closer to her cage. After a week, I could usually hang the new toy on the outside of her cage and then move it in after another couple of days. She is not a bird that likes change.
After five years with us, I’m happy to report that Hector is much more comfortable here, finally! She doesn’t really fly even though she could, but she loves to climb down from her cage and stroll around the house. She chases the cats and looks for anything cardboard to chew up. While she has always talked and whistled, she is talking more than ever lately. I think she has finally realized that we are her forever people and she doesn’t have to move again. Maybe she’ll even learn to like me some day!