What an AMAZING story, I enjoyed reading it very much. Thank you for sharing.This story starts back in May 2013 when we decided our scarlet macaw Maui needed to have a procedure done called imping. Maui was clipped as a weanling and never flew, for almost two years all attempts to regrow his left wing feathers had failed. Having only one wing feathered he fell quite often and always broke another left wing or tail feather. Sometimes it was worse and he would bruise his face or break the tip of his beak, we were really worried one of these falls would be his last as he even split his keel open several times. Imping is where donor feathers are glued into the birds existing broken feathers allowing the bird full use of the wing. We only hoped Maui's falling issues were related to his unbalanced wings and searched for a vet to do the procedure. Early in June we found a vet that would do it and scheduled an appointment right away. The only thing standing in our way was the vet had never done a macaw and had no feathers for this procedure.
A very special gift......
Maui received a generous amount of feathers from his friends, included was a very special gift from Hankmacaw. Mary Lynn donated left side wing and tail feathers from her beloved Greenwings Hank and Jasper. I was overwhelmed by this gift as Hank passed away in November 2012. I remember she wrote "even if you don't use them, I will pretend you did so that Hank may finally fly". I was touched by her words and when I held Hanks feathers in my hand I shed tears. In that moment I knew this story would be shared and what would become of these feathers.
Maui's imping appointment was flawless. He had eleven new feathers on his left wing and included was one feather from Hank. We later called it his "magic feather" as once this feather was in place he never fell again. Maui flew for the first time in late June. I cried knowing this was also Hank's first flight. I truly believe that Hank was watching over Maui through all of this as every flight Maui took was well thought out and executed perfectly. That is not Maui's personality.
I knew my feather project would include both the tail feathers Mary Lynn sent and also, once molted, the magic feather from Maui's wing. I had six tail feathers but only from the left side. To complete my project I needed both right and left greenwing tail feathers and my Rosie was not a good match in size. Our second special gift came from Macawpower58. Becky loved the project idea and sent tons of feathers from her greenwing Chaos to help me complete the right side. Between Hank, Jasper, Chaos and Rosie we now had the perfect set to send out.The set was sent out to A Painted Sparrow. Jaime's custom artwork is amazing and she took such special care with these feathers.
While the tail set was being completed Maui gave us our third special gift. He was sitting on the play gym playing when we noticed a feather drop to the floor, a moment later he followed the feather and fell from the gym. He bruised his cheek from the fall and we were shocked wondering what had happened. Only then did we notice it was his magic feather that he had dropped. Maybe that was Hank giving Maui a final thought. Telling him "your on your own now kid" and reminding him that his wings are his own. That was the first and last time Maui has fell since the imping.
Mary Lynn, this is your feather portrait being done.............
Mary Lynn, please do not thank me as it is I who thanks you. One can only imagine how difficult it would be to give away one of the only pieces of Hank you had left to hold onto. Having lost a feathered friend myself I used my own thoughts and feelings for your project and I'm sure Becky did as well. Your feather portrait contains feathers from Hank, Jasper, Chaos and Rosie. Chaos and Rosie chew their feather quills and I can't speak for Chaos but Rosie does not apologize. You will notice on Hank's single painted feather the quill looks strange. That is Maui's magic feather and you are seeing the bamboo rod still in place holding the two feathers together. Included in your package are your remaining feathers minus one and a few extras from Chaos and Rosie that match the set. Becky and I were having fun deciding how to set up this picture and I'm sure we will be showing you our photos and ideas in case you ever decide to change the picture around.
I hope this keeps Hanks memory close to you and you feel happiness when you look upon it. My special gift from you is now right back where it belongs.
But, This is not where our story ends......
I still had remaining feathers from doing this project. I knew in my heart more could come of this story and I set my mind to make it so. Becky had sent me a generous amount of beautiful wing and tail feathers from Chaos, I think the longest greenwing tail feathers I have ever seen. As we did not need more feathers then we had, we decided together to sell them and gift the money to a birdie in need. Knowing how much help I received from Bigblues and WingedVictory when joining the forums, I emailed JR asking if she could think of a birdie that could use a special gift. Annamacaws Kita came to her mind. Dianne helps so many birds in need and Keety-Bug has been in my thoughts so many times I was more than happy to send her a donation in Kita's name.
The last gift in this story was given to a birdie named Canasta. I was contacted by a women asking about imping for her recently injured macaw. Canasta and her flock mates were in an outdoor aviary during a storm. Tragically a tree fell on the shelter portion of the aviary and Canasta was hit. Luckily bumps, bruises, missing and broken feathers were all the injuries she sustained but her vet thought imping would help her to fly again. Canasta had the procedure only days after receiving the feathers. I am told she took back to flying the very same day. This gift was from Chaos, Korbel and my last feather from Hank.
Now that we are nearing the end of this story.... who deserves the thanks....
Mary Lynn started the gift giving in this story, I merely continued it. I continued it because Gary and JR showed me this same kindness and compassion when I was in need and I knew that was the kind of person I wanted to be. This project would not have been completed without Becky. Not only for the feathers but for going over every single detail with me to make sure it was perfect. Karen Dianne and all the members that have these birds that pour love into our hearts made this happen. I think it's the birds that make us better people. When I stop and think who deserves the thanks, I think It's the birds. The birds that we live with, love on, cry to and grieve for.
These are special gifts from the birds we love to the birds we love.
May this story inspire you and may Hank's memory stay close to your heart the next time you help someone in need. Acts of kindness are not easily gifted as most often they are returned to you.
In Loving memory of ....
Hank Greg & Gimli
I don't think any of us mind when it gets bumped up from the dark. The original post didn't survive well through an upgrade and I was asked to repost and sticky it. A Very Special Gift.......
I still feel the same as the day I wrote it. The members involved in this story are ever so dear to me. I had a lot to learn when I joined this forum. This group held my hand through my very worst.
@Big Blues @WingedVictory @Annamacaw ( Even when they are not posting here I assure you they are helping people with their birds somewhere ) @macawpower58 @Karen ... Still, forever thank you. @Hankmacaw You have saved so many of my birds and so many more on this forum. I never need a reason to remind you that I love you.
Oh, and just because I'm remembering an old forum right now.. I'll add two fabulous names to this "ever so dear to me" group.