26-year-old Congo grey parrot, stressed by the pandemic, close to a new home

Candi Willey, a volunteer with the Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education in Fargo, gives 26-year-old Congo grey parrot Jake a beak rub. Tanner Robinson / WDAY
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WEST FARGO — From lovebirds to macaws, many birds at the Center for Aviation Adoption, Rescue and Education had everything to squawk about Sunday, Aug. 2.

Candi Willey, a volunteer at the rescue, takes care of the pack of parrots, including 26-year-old Jake, who's a Congo grey.

"We're hoping the other greys don't learn some of his foul language, but yeah, he's been doing pretty good," Willey said.


Jake's previous owner got laid off from his job because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to him being home more often instead of consistently leaving for work and coming back.

When the shelter took Jake in a few months ago, he had plucked off most of his feathers.

Willey believes the habit most likely came from the drastic change in routine.

"Some of these (parrots) can do that to themselves; it just depends on the bird," she said. "Diet and things like that can play into it, but (for Jake), it was about the change."

Although Jake is still adjusting to the changes around him, he's gotten a good chunk of his feathers back, and Willey said he could get even more if he's put in a more consistent environment.

"Sometimes if they start this (habit), it can be hard to break, but since he's only been doing it for a few months, we might be able to turn it around," she said.

A few days ago, two words of good news came to the center and Jake: adoption pending.

With the new owner planning on coming Wednesday, Aug. 5, Willey hopes this happy ending for Jake could lead to more for other parrots at the rescue.


"When you put in all the time that we do for these guys, the best part is when you get a home for them," she said.

If you'd like to help out the rescue's cause and adopt a parrot, click here.

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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