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"JJ" and "Sofie" Senegals


When Jack (formerly known as JJ) came to our attention he lived in a very stressful home where he was yelled at and constantly teased. His cage was hit by the family kids who thought it was such fun to scare the bird, and the adults didn't stop the abuse. Jack had been imported and was not a handfed tame Senegal. He would bite and bite hard, and in his terror, he drew blood with his bites. In his mind, humans were very bad things. They hunted him and caught him in his native wild, transported him roughly to an alien world of cold hard cages and delivered him to humans who terrorized him. A witness to the ongoing abuse asked if we would take him if she could get him. It didn't take her long to get him because after all he wasn't a very nice bird. So in 1986 Jack came to live with us. He was totally terrified of everything.

A few years later we purchased a little female Senegal who had been attacked by other Senegals in a breeding flight cage. She was left to die by the breeder, she didn't die, but she wasn't "right" either so she was no good as a breeder in his opinion. We never hesitated and Sophie began her long recovery to health under our care. Her head constantly tilted to one side and she was always losing her balance, but special perches and caging kept her from injuring herself. It was almost 3 years before she could fly again but eventually, her balance returned and she only tilted her head now and then to view us at that particular angle and not because she had to. Our Avian Veterinarian had felt she suffered brain damage and might never recover as she had many head injuries extending from the top of her head over her eyes, sinuses and into her nares and beak area. But our Sophie defied the odds. Although Sophie is also an imported Senegal, she is a sweet gentle bird and she has helped Jack's fear of humans become manageable for him. They share a cage and Jack is the light of Sophie's world. We believe Jack has quite a soft spot for Sophie as well. To this day Jack still exhibits great fear when approached and freezes where he stands as if holding his breath, but he no longer thrashes himself against his cage bars trying to flee the tormentor.

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