BEST OF SHOW: THE JUDGE SHOULD HAVE SEEN GYPSY 5 MINUTES BEFORE By Sally Blanchard One Georgeos Lory???Many years ago when I lived in the mid-west, I attended a bird show. At the last minute, before I left with my other birds, I looked at my Red Lory, Gypsy, and thought how gorgeous she was. I had bought Gypsy and a Chattering Lory for a terrible bird shop as a rescue several months before. They were feeding nothing but sunflower seed. I immediately set about to improve their diet and tame them. The Chattering Lory showed no indication that he wanted to be tame and I found someone who was setting up Lories to breed and he went to her once I had him on a good diet. My intention with Gypsy was to have her temporarily, improve her life, and then find her a good home but she tamed down immediately and was a real character.By the time I arrived at the bird show, Gypsy, being a “typical” active Lory had rolled around in the bottom of the cage getting her tail and wings caught in the grate of the small cage. He feathers were soiled and raggedy looking. She looked horrible.
Still a Chance?About that time, a friend came in with a show cage that was really too small for his parrot but would work perfectly for Gypsy. We traded cages. I realized that if I could get Gypsy cleaned up, I might still be able to pet her in the show. I took her into the ladies room which was crowded with fancy women in fancy dresses who were attending a wedding in the hotel. I immediately gently placed her under the faucet. This high energy, excitable Lory actually loved to get under running water. To increase the complication, this was one of those faucets that I had to keep turning on to keep it running. Then I had one dripping wet “wound up” Lory and a group of fancy ladies looking at me like I was crazy.
With great caution, I held her under the electric blow dryer moving her around until her feathers were dry always making sure she didn't get too hot. I also had to convince my “audience of non-bird people” that she loved it (which she did) and that I wasn't torturing her.
At the last possible moment, I rushed in and placed Gypsy in her waiting cage on the judging table. When the hookbill judge walked over, Gypsy was still strutting from her bath and her feathers were perfect! Evidently, the judge agreed with me. Gypsy was awarded the Best of Show award. She beat out the first caique I had ever seen who was second place and very adorable. Gypsy won over about 100 other parrot-family birds (including my young DYHA Paco who was gorgeous!) and acted as if she knew it.