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Bloomington's Charlie Bird To Be Immortalized In Upcoming Children's Book

Charlie Bird is a 39-year-old green winged macaw sitting on a musician's shoulder.

(WFIU/WTIU News)

Charlie Bird has been living with Joe Porowski for the last 18 years, and you have probably seen them biking around town together.

Charlie is a 39-year-old green-winged macaw, who previously lived in Bedford. Porowski said Charlie’s original owner did not have provisions set up for him after he died.

“Charlie somehow got to Bloomington with a man that I was working with," Porowski said. "After a couple of years it didn’t work out between the two of them. And when Charlie started plucking his feathers is when I decided to take him myself.” 

In 2018, Charlie almost died due to an avian virus, but received life-saving support from a specialist in Louisville. Now, he takes two daily medications, and the care for the remainder of his life is estimated at over $25,000.

Given Charlie is expected to live another 40 years, Porowski is writing a children’s picture book to help cover his lifetime of medical bills.

The book is called “Charlie Bird Loves Bloomington,” and it features Charlie and Porowski doing their favorite activities around town — whether it’s biking the B-line trail or dancing at the famers market. In fact, Charlie’s done them all without ever trying to fly away. 

“He seems to love it," Porowski said. "We have probably gone at least 1,000 miles around Bloomington. And that lead to riding a sled, riding a paddle board, kayaking, hiking. All the things we do, he comes along with me."

Bloomington locals Sarah Milward and Winnie King are writing the book, which is set for release in August. 

“Charlie is a big show-off," Porowski said. "He’s the biggest ham in the world, and the fact that we have an audience around us almost anywhere we go just simply delights him.”

The book is funded by a kickstart campaign, which currently has 138 backers. The original goal was $2,700, but more than $5,000 has already been raised in less than a month.

Porowski said additional copies of the book will be available in bike shops and bookstores around Bloomington this fall.

For more information visit charliebirdbtown.com.

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