Birds of a feather may flock together, but when a bird contracts a virus called Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) it loses all of its feathers and has to be kept away from other birds. For a little lovebird named Rhea it could have been a disaster but she has parlayed this dreadful fate into a life of love, laughter, fame, and a closet full of sweaters.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via The Sun

Last year Rhea was rescued by the Back Bay Veterinary Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts. She couldn't go to the West Coast with her owner and PBFD is so contagious to other birds she needed a very special home with no other birds in it. So the clinic posted her plight on their Facebook page. It wouldn't be long before Isabella Eisenmann fell in love with the photo of the little bird and adopted her.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie and Isabella Eisenmann

Image via The Sun

With Rhea safely ensconced in both her home and her heart, Eisenmann began posting incredibly cute photos of the naked little birdie on Instagram. Rhea's incredible spirit and personality came shining through.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Instagram

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie and her Wardrobe

Image via Facebook

At first the responses to the bald bird were quite negative about Rhea's bald body, but ultimately the world began falling in love with her bright smile, positive attitude, and adorable energy. She now has many thousands of fans following her and spreading the love. She even has a line of t-shirts available on Amazon.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via The Sun

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie Doing her Donald Trump Impression

Image via Bored Panda

"I really wanted people to learn to accept her, and most importantly I wanted those who are different to accept themselves, just like Rhea accepts and loves herself," Eisenmann explained. Eisenmann has a brother with disabilities so helping those in need, even the featherless ones, is important to her. Apparently seeing beauty outside of the middle of the bell curve is also important.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via The Sun

While losing all her feathers does seem terrible, she actually has a fairly mild form of the PBFD. For many birds the disease also causes them to lose their beaks and claws. She also doesn't let the condition slow her down.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via The Sun

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Pinterest

Rhea is extremely social and, even though she has a luxurious cage condo, she has the run of the house during the day. Without feathers she is unable to fly but she makes use of her beak and legs to explore the world. She also still makes attempts to fly and is not shy about sharing her singing voice. This never ceases to amaze Eisenmann.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Pinterest

Without feathers Rhea gets cold quite easily and people from all over the world have knitted, crocheted, and sewn  sweaters for her. They vary widely in shape and form. It is highly unlikely that a single bird in history has ever possessed such a large wardrobe.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Pinterest

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Super Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Pinterest

Rhea was able to wear a Patriots jersey during the Super Bowl (with built in padding). She can also dress as her own superhero. Naturally her wardrobe also includes a nice selection of costumes for Halloween.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Pinterest

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Pinterest

Being dressed in one of her many sweaters gives Rhea a cozy feeling. It even calms her down. No wonder out mothers were always telling us to take a sweater whenever we left the house. Her wardrobe also includes dresses, ponchos, capes, and even a tiny "feather" boa.

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Pinterest

Rhea the Naked Birdie
Rhea the Naked Birdie

Image via Bored Panda

"I have been reached out to by many people from all over the world who have birds with PBFD. Reading their stories and knowing there are other people out there that also gave birdies a second chance gives me hope," Eisenmann commented about her experiences with Rhea on social media.

Move over Grumpy Cat, there is a naked bird in the online neighborhood and she's perky.

Sources: Stuff, The Sun, Bored Panda

 

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