Photos Courtesy Betsy Lott, Mollywood Avian Sanctuary
We have been fortunate that none of our parrots have ever lost a beak in an accident or animal attack. Unfortunately we know people with parrots that have lost beaks. It's not a pretty situation. In the past, options for rehabilitation have been limited. But now, with new materials and new reconstructive techniques, we are starting to see prosthetic beaks as a viable alternative.
Buddy needed a new beak. Since he couldn't grow one, a new beak needed to be constructed for him! The architect of Buddy's new acrylic beak is avian veterinarian Dr. Bridget Ferguson with Animal Health Care Center of Renton, Washington.
"Kind of a hoaky homemade thing that didn’t exactly go as planned. It was some wax lined drinking cups (overgown Dixie) that we cut and spiraled. The thing sticking up with the blue tip was something we used to keep Buddy's nare open so the compound didn’t fill in. When the mold came off, we were like, 'Uh oh.' Not exactly what we were hoping for but thank god for dremels. We dremeled the holy heck out of it."
In a future blog post we will investigate the evolving science and engineering behind prosthetic parrot beaks. Stay tuned!