There’s So Much More To A Macaw


I heard through the WordPress cyber-grapevine that yesterday was Draw a Bird Day. (I wonder sometimes how many days designated for this or that there are in the course of a year – and how they come into being. It seems there’s almost no activity that doesn’t have its own special day.) Anyway I went up to the museum a few days ago where I sketched this macaw because of an article I read last week on parrots and healing post traumatic stress – and after having learnt such surprising things recently about crows, this fascinated me even more.

I’ve always known that parrots are sensitive and highly intelligent but I was deeply moved by this piece from the New York Times titled What Do Parrots Know About PTSD, and I’ll never think about parrots in the same way again. (It’s a longish read, but if you do skip any of it, whatever you do don’t miss the final paragraph).

There’s so much we have to learn from other living creatures, so much we can give to each other if we are attentive, respectful, compassionate. As I sketched this macaw I wished I knew more about it; I don’t even know if it’s a male or a female – and what sort of a life did he or she have? Who did she live with? Who cared for her? Who loved her and who did she love?

It seems I always come away from a drawing with more questions than answers.


9 thoughts on “There’s So Much More To A Macaw

  1. So very very lovely! My parents had a parrot who was quite partial to my father. After his death, the bird grieved and was never quite his chirpy, nagging self. He lingered for about a year and the died- his ashes are with my parents. It was another example to me of how pets do respond to love and loss, which again makes us all the luckier to have them in our lives-I so look forward to seeing your art!

    1. Thanks for another interesting comment! I love parrots and would have loved to have one as a companion but I was always aware of the lifetime bonding thing and worried about that. Ater reading the NYT article on parrots and PTSD I realised how they probably shouldn’t be kept as pets as unlike cats and dogs they are essentially wild animals that have never been bred into domestication and they need to bond with other parrots. We have so much to learn from these fascinating and beautiful creatures. I loved your story about your parents and their parrot!

  2. That is a wonderful drawing, so full of vibrant life, but I especially liked your thoughts about who this parrot was, because they do have lives, don’t they? 🙂 and they deserve respect.

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