This Mom’s Pet Bird Was Dying, Until She Did This


When a beloved parrot gets injured, his human companion finds an unorthodox way to save his life.

Never underestimate how devastating it can be to see a beloved pet get injured. Photo via Pixabay.


Editor’s note: I read this touching story by Hilary Jacobson, author of Mother Food, on Facebook and asked her if I could share it on this blog. You may want to grab a handkerchief before you start reading.


My beloved parrot was dying, and then I did this

By Hilary Jacobson, special to


This last week has been tough.


My beautiful parrot had an accident and we thought we were going to lose her.


It brought home to me how much a pet becomes a member of family.


She would have recovered from the injury, but she was stunned and in pain, and therefore wasn’t eating or drinking.


The second day after the accident I was sitting near her, feeling such sadness because I couldn’t figure out how to force-hydrate her. Maybe she sensed my concern. She gathered all her strength and courage and flew to my shoulder and nestled against my cheek.


I remembered: She has sometimes wanted to eat and drink from my lips… a very bird-thing, I believe. It seems instinctive to her.


Hilary Jacobson saved her beloved parent Dulci's life by singing to him and feeding him like a mother bird would. Photo via Hilary Jacobson.

Hilary Jacobson saved her beloved parent Dulci’s life by singing and feeding her like a mother bird would. Photo via Hilary Jacobson.


So taking a sip of cherry juice, I allowed a drop or two to rest on my lips. She saw it and licked it up.


And so we began, drop for drop, to hydrate her.


Soon she accepted teeny tiny pieces of red pepper and tomato from my lips. I sang to her, and she seemed to love that, too. All these familiar, personal things we do mean so much when an injury is involved. That day, I fed her two hours. The next morning, and the day after, she repeated the process, each time for about 90 minutes. Later those days, she would accept larger bites, but the day always began with this return to infant-mother comfort, on my shoulder, from my lips.


Now, a week later, she is fully mobile, fully singing and happy, fully being her normal self. She still likes to sit on my shoulder and nuzzle up against my cheek in the morning. I sometimes jokingly call this “Attachment Parroting,” and it just takes me deep inside the emotional bonds that make life rich and real.


hilary-hypno-3-4-14-at-3-17-pm-2-version-2-289x300Hilary Jacobson is a certified clinical hypnotherapist and author of Mother Food: A breastfeeding diet guide with lactogenic foods and herbs.




Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an investigative journalist and book author. She earned her B.A. from Cornell University, her M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from Emory. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. She is also a frequent contributor to Jefferson Public Radio.Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning investigative and science journalist, Fulbright grantee, and a former contributing editor at 
Mothering magazine. The author/editor of seven nonfiction books and a sought-after speaker, she has been researching and writing about issues related to health and wellness for over ten years.


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Categories: health and wellness.


  1. James M Muellner

    Thank you for sharing. Being a farm boy I often did not feel as sympathetic as I do now. It takes time to do that and often in our fast moving world we forget that. Wonderful story. Love Jim

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