Meet Blondie, An Adorable Bird From Venezuela That Is Living With PBF Disease But Still Enjoying His Life

As we know, Mother Nature is full of surprises that we are yet to discover. Whether they are positive or not so much, we believe that they make life more interesting nonetheless. One of those surprises is the protagonist of this story – Blondie, an adorable lovebird from Venezuela.

Blondie is a lovely bird that not only attracts attention with his playfulness and curious mind, but also – and maybe even more so – because of the fact that he is almost bald. The lovebird lost nearly all of his feathers and the ability to fly due to the rare psittacine beak and feather disease (PBF), which is a virus that attacks a bird’s immune system. Despite that, Blondie still seems to be full of life and cheer thanks to his loving human Bella Escobar who takes care of him every day.

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Meet Blondie, an adorable lovebird from Venezuela

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

Bored Panda got in touch with Blondie’s human, Bella Escobar, to get to know more about the bird and his life.

Bella shared with us that she got Blondie as a gift from her dad’s friend who used to raise birds. The lovebird was about 3 weeks old when he arrived at their home. “He was just a baby so he was very tiny.” The family named the bird Blondie because of his feathers when he had them. According to Bella, they were really yellow and bright. “At first, we thought about naming him Cody, but my mom suggested naming him Blondie and I really think it suits him a lot (even though he no longer has feathers.”

As you might have noticed, Blondie is bald. That is the result of the very rare psittacin beak and feather disease (PBF)

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

Blondie is 6 years old now. A lovebird’s life span is usually 10 years. However, according to Bella, when a bird has a very serious PBF disease, it shortens its life span because its beak gets really weak to the point where it can’t eat properly.

He wasn’t always like that. Blondie used to have beautiful orange and yellow feathers

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

According to Bella, Blondie used to love to fly around. “I remember his favorite place was a lamp in our house. He’s very playful, he would chase us while flying. He is also a very curious bird, he liked to fly to newly discovered places and explore.”

However, when Blondie turned one, his family started to notice that the bird was losing feathers on his legs

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

As the days passed, the bird lost even more feathers, which resulted in almost complete baldness and an inability to fly

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

The vets told Bella that it was probably stressful. However, after some research, the girl found out that Blondie had the PBF disease, which attacks a bird’s feathers and beak

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

“We went to the vet with Blondie, they did an exam to see if he had any parasites but it turned negative. The vets told us that it was probably stressful. We didn’t believe it, though, it didn’t make any sense, because how could Blondie take the feathers off of his head? I started to do some research, and that’s when I found out that he had PBF disease. This disease affects the beak and the feathers and can be transmitted from bird to bird. We suspect that the mother had the disease and it got passed to Blondie.

This disease doesn’t have a cure, but there are some cases where birds recovered their feathers. Unfortunately, that is not so common.”

It took about 6 – 9 months for Blondie to become almost completely bald

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

Because of Blondie’s condition, there are some precautions that Bella needs to take. As the bird’s skin is exposed, Bella has to moisturize it with coconut oil. Due to the lack of feathers, Blondie gets really cold, so Bella gave him a plushie where he can take naps and stay warm. He also has a heating pad in his cage that warms him up when he sleeps.

According to Bella, it was difficult for Blondie to not be able to do things he loved. He fell into a depressive state

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

Because of the feather loss, Blondie became sleepy and indifferent. He never wanted to do anything. The bird’s family wanted to help him, so they showed him different places he never got to see, toys, and other stuff for him to have fun with. And thankfully, it worked. Blondie is happier than ever!

But with hard work and resilience, she showed Blondie other options for him to do the same things he loved and it worked!

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

Now Blondie is happier than ever!

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

Bella shared that she loves living with Blondie. According to the owner, he’s grumpy but he has his charm. “He’s stubborn, really funny, curious, and very loud. Whether you’re cooking, studying, etc. he will always be next to you trying to see what you’re doing and playing with whatever he has in front of him. When I bring friends over, they always seem to be excited about Blondie and frightened at the same time. Some people say that he looks like a dinosaur.

Blondie hates new people coming to our house, he’s very grumpy like I said before. He doesn’t do well with first impressions so when people come over, they get repelled by Blondie, because he’s ready to attack them.”

“I love living with Blondie. I’m really happy that he has overcome so many challenges and is still here being the amazing and beautiful bird he was when he had feathers”

Image credits: blondiethelovebird

“Living and taking care of an animal with special needs can be difficult, but working along with your animal to know them fully, what they like and what they don’t like is key to understanding them and their behavior. Blondie is amazing, and I’m really proud of him.”

Here are some of the reactions of Blondie’s Instagram followers


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