When Husband forced me to see the Flights of Wonder bird show at Animal Kingdom, there was a character in the performance that claimed to have F.O.B. (Fear Of Birds). I immediately connected with this character.

I love animals. I even like birds. In fact, I had a pet bird when I was little. It was a cockatiel named Spikey. Maybe, Spikey is where my bird issues began. I LOVED animals as a child. I wanted to be a veterinarian, live on a farm, and rescue every animal I came across. Also, I wanted to hold and snuggle every animal, including Spikey.

Birds, however, do not enjoy snuggling, or even being pet. I found it very difficult to interact with Spikey. I took it personally, and never understood what Spikey had against me and my cuddling ways.

I had issues with parrots too. The pet store in my hometown was my favorite place in the mall. They had hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits out for people to hold and cuddle anytime! I often stayed in the store snuggling these rodents while my Mom racked up the sales items at JCPenny.

My favorite snuggle partners were the bunnies, which were also the most challenging. You see, two giant parrots guarded the bunny container. These parrots sat on top of perches above the bunny home, and angrily squawked and pecked at anyone who reached their hand towards the bunnies, namely, me.

Getting a bunny out was like going shopping with Husband. He screeches at me, tries to knock the item out of my hand, but I still get what I want in the end.

The parrots never physically hurt me, but they scarred me, emotionally.

Costa Rica is known for having some really beautiful birds. While traveling through Costa Rica we stopped at several places that kept birds in a bird type sanctuary or in a rescue facility. The first place we visited with birds is called the Peace Lodge. I chose to keep my distance from the birds, but Husband had different plans.

He decided the best way to get over my fear is to enter the Toucan house. Can’t you see the excitement on my face?

Again, why do I cover my ears?

My Mom-in-law happily allowed one on her arm. So, Husband tells the worker that I too would love a toucan on my arm.

SO brave

Even as we walked around the grounds and Zoey spotted a pretty bird in a faraway tree, you can see the fear in my eyes as I curl my hand towards my face… It could attack at any moment!

I know this fear is irrational, but I still chose to spend my time with the butterflies instead. I think that’s a good start to working my way up to birds.

“here butterflies, here little butterflies”

By day four I had a real break through. We visited the Animal Wildlife Rescue and Reserve in La Fortuna where we got to volunteer and meet and pet lots of wild animals. At the end of the tour we were allowed to feed the animals after preparing their food. I REALLY did not want to miss out on any aspect of this, so after skipping the first 10 birdcages, I finally entered one.

Yay me!

I’m not the only one who conquered a fear. Zoey and Mom-in-law went zip-lining (although Zoey has done it before, and Mom-in-law only did the beginning..). Still counts.

Yay Zoey!

AND Peter, Dad-in-law, and myself did the Tarzan swing! The Tarzan swing is a terrifying free fall where the rope catches you at the end and you wind up swinging up as high as the tree tops, just like Tarzan. Attached is my video. Spoiler alert: I scream like a fool.

Our entire trip was thrilling. I don’t think I’ll be adopting a bird anytime soon, but maybe I’ll actually look at them next time I visit a zoo.


10 Replies to “F.O.B.”

  1. As a wee lad, going to the bus-stop was one of my least favorite things to do. Every day as I walked to the stop sign to wait for the bus-driver (who was also pretty scary) the sound of the birds would get louder and louder. By the time I was actually standing at the sign, the birds would be screaming, circling in the air by the hundreds sometimes. Once I learned that the birds weren’t just screeching, but talking to each other, my fear of them doubled. I couldn’t stop wondering what they were saying, even though they were probably just talking about where to find worms and soft things they can carry in their beaks.

    After being around our friend Jay for so many years I have come to realize the truth. Birds are nothing to be afraid of. Alligators are what you should be afraid of. Truly terrifying creatures.

    1. hahaha. Wrong! Alligators want nothing to do with humans. Birds are tricky, they have wings and can talk. Just be glad alligators don’t fly.

        1. omg Steve! ewwwwww! and oowwww! those are terrible stories…BUT, the last one listed there WAS in 2007! I don’t think you have anything to worry about in Franklin, I don’t see any alligator attacks listed there. However, there are A LOT of birds…

  2. I’m guessing Peter doesn’t remember me taking him to my Aunt & Uncles to see George their talking parrot. He was 2 and started to cry when the bird started talking! That bird is still alive they live a long time. Why didn’t Peter tape Mark on the Tarzan swing? Great photos. PS…I just saw on TV that NYC has the best fireworks! Please tape/photo some if you get to see them. Have a good 4th.

    1. I’ll have to ask Peter about that! And, he did film Mark…Mark’s is HILARIOUS!!! I will have to put up that video too. He was really scared, and it shows. We are definitely going to try and see the fireworks, so hopefully I’ll be able to share lots about them!

  3. First and foremost Butterflies > Birds…I am not absolutely terrified of them but I also don’t like to be too close to them either. We went to a fireworks show at Doornbos yesterday and the duck population has really grown over there…well they were all over the place. I swear a few of them were giving me the stare down and even started running towards me. Me no likey! Oh and that Tarzan swing..yup my palms started getting sweaty just by watching that video..yups I have problems ha ha! Congrats to you on facing your fear 🙂

    1. haha yes I always think of you going repelling in situations like that! once they attach you to the tarzan swing they basically push you over the edge..good thing too. I don’t think I could have jumped myself!

  4. […] bird lady from Mary Poppins. I tried my best to convince Husband to give her his toppin’s (I obviously wasn’t about to go over there), but he had no interest in feeding the […]

  5. […] not stranger to zip-lines. We’ve zipped through the islands of Okinawa, the rain forests of Costa Rica, the towers in Franklin’s Adventure Tower and the ski slopes of Nemacolin. I thoroughly […]

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