Bird adoption, sanctuary, rescue, and care education services for parrots and other captive exotic 'pet' birds. Based in Minneapolis - St. Paul (Twin Cities) area of Minnesota and serving Midwest.



1360 University Ave W #347  St. Paul, MN 55104  

Phone: (651) 275-0568  Fax: (651) 275-0457  


  Captive Bird Rescue, Adoption, Sanctuary & Care Education Gimme Shelter! 


Home > Help Us > Gimme Shelter! > Issue 2: September 2003 > Cosmo

Cosmo - Blue and Gold Macaw (Photo © 2003 Tina McCormick)Cosmo

In May 2003, MAARS was contacted by a retired parrot broker suffering from a life-threatening medical condition about the surrender of two birds. He had become a supporter of MAARS and its philosophies due to his disillusionment with the parrot trade. Although he had been very conscientious in his business and provided screening, education, and advice to new parrot caretakers, he stopped raising and selling baby parrots after a few of the birds he'd sold were displaced from their original homes within only a couple of years.

Cosmo is a young Blue and Gold Macaw who arrived at The Landing in June 2003 missing most of his feathers. He had been destroying his feathers by chewing through the shaft close to the skin since he was less than a year old. He had no tail, no flight feathers, and only a few feathers on his back, breast, abdomen, and legs. We have worked with many, many featherless birds and had little hope that Cosmo would ever recover from this behavior.

After the mandatory quarantine period during which incoming birds are examined, weighed, tested for infectious disease, and transitioned to the MAARS diet, Cosmo moved into the Big Bird Room at The Landing. Within just a few weeks, the MAARS staff and Volunteers began to whisper to each other about the new feathers poking out of Cosmo's skin — we didn't dare draw his attention to this surprising development!

Cosmo is a somewhat nervous bird who often tries to intimidate people at first, but he can also be extremely loving and playful once he is comfortable around someone. Today, he has a tail and a few flight feathers and is allowing feather-growth on other parts of his body as well! It is possible that the environment at The Landing is responsible for this turnaround. But Cosmo's behavior has changed little and he has always lived amongst other birds.

One day recently, Cosmo ate a small amount of treats that contained brightly colored pellets and he started attacking and chewing at his legs. From this incident it seems most likely that he is extremely sensitive or allergic to the coloring in the pellets and seed that he had been eating all of his life. The regular diet served at The Landing is nearly completely free of coloring and other additives and Cosmo will be transitioned to an organic pellet diet over the next few weeks. Hopefully, his feather-chewing days have ended for good!

Join the MAARS Flock Today…and Be the Wind Beneath Their Wings!

The MAARS Annual Membership Program gives you and our other loyal MAARS Supporting Flock Members the opportunity to help MAARS on an ongoing, sustaining basis. Your annual financial contribution will allow us to continue to provide and expand our valuable rescue, intake, care, veterinary and behavioral evaluation and treatment, adoption, sanctuary, outreach, and educational services for the displaced captive birds who we meet and the people whose lives they touch.

With so little, you can do so much to change the lives of birds like Cosmo. On average, it takes $1.00 per day to care for each MAARS bird. Every small donation makes a big difference, and big donations help even more. Your participation in the MAARS Annual Membership Program will help save and improve the lives of hundreds of parrots and other displaced captive birds.

Please join MAARS today! Give them shelter! Ease their pain! Stop the cycle! And know that you made one corner of the world a better place for another living creature!

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Mail a check or money order made out to "MAARS" to: MAARS, 1360 University Ave W #347, St. Paul, MN 55104.

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Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services, Inc., is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Federal ID# 41-1944074) and is registered with the Office of the Secretary of State and the Office of the Attorney General of Minnesota as a charitable organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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