Dawn Wilbur is one of the kindest, most compassionate people I know. She loves parrots and is passionate about their wellbeing. She is a friend to my son-in-law and became my friend through our common love for these wonderful companions.

Dawn rescued Taz, a pineapple conure, from a pet shop. Yes, I said rescued, because he sat day after day in a glass cage with people starring at him and poking at him. Dawn saw the unhappiness in his eyes and decided to take him from that chaotic environment. He was happy and well taken care of in her home. But she found more birds to rescue and asked if I wanted him. So, Taz came to live with us.

Dawn has a wealth of knowledge about parrots and is a mentor to novice bird parronts. Occasionally, she finds another home for a bird if there is a special bond with another person. She posted this piece about “just a bird” on Facebook a few days ago, and said I could pass it on to our readers.

From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a bird,” or, “that’s a lot of money for just a bird.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a bird.”

Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a bird.” Sometimes many hours pass, and my only company is “just a bird,” but I do not feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments are brought about by “just a bird,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a bird” gives me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think its “just a bird,” then you probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.” “Just a bird” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a bird” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of “just a bird” I rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

So, for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a bird” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a bird” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a bird” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a human.” So, the next time you hear the phrase “just a bird,” just smile, because they “just don’t understand.”


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