A bird’s feathers are one of their most beautiful and defining features. We can tell them apart based on how their feathers make them appear. To a bird, losing their feathers would be like a human losing their face. It’s devastating.
Not only that but without their feathers birds have a difficult time caring for themselves as they should, and they face a multitude of potential health problems.
Right after Rhea was born, she developed a viral infection that caused her to lose all her feathers forever. Sadly, they will never grow back. She was heartbroken, of course, but on top of that, she was in danger. There is no way she would have survived long without them.
According to The Cornell Lab, “Each feather on a bird’s body is a finely tuned structure that serves an important role in the bird’s activities. Feathers help birds fly, but they also help them show off, blend in, stay warm, and keep dry.”
Then, because Rhea was a wild animal and survival of the fittest is a factor, her family kicked her out of the nest. She would have infected the rest of her family if she had stayed with them. Poor Rhea was sick and now, suddenly, all alone in the world as well.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH RHEA?
Rhea suffers from an illness called the PBFD virus.
“PBFD-infected birds are more likely to show other signs of illness because the PBFD virus weakens the bird’s ability to fight infections,” according to the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital. “The disease also had a general immunosuppressive effect on the bird, clearing the path for secondary viral and bacterial infections which are usually the cause of death, not the PBFD virus itself.”
Added to that, birds infected with PBFD must forever stay separated from other birds because they continue to shed the virus through its feathers and feces. So, Rhea was in a lot of trouble, and things weren’t looking good for the poor girl.
Until her new mom found her, that is. An incredible and kind stranger happened along and took Rhea into what has become her forever home.
Now, Rhea is feeling better than ever! She loves it in her new home. She sings all the time, and she adores hanging out on her mom’s shoulder. She likes meeting new people and hiding in tiny spaces, as well.
Oh, and did I mention there are hats? Rhea has her own shows on YouTube, and nowadays she has many fans. Sometimes those fans send her little gifts, like the hat you see in the photo below.
Thanks to Rhea’s mom, she gets to spend her life in a happy forever home, loved and warm in her little hat.