We’re all familiar with the story of “The Ugly Duckling,” but if it’s been a while, here’s a refresher.
Hans Christian Andersen’s tale involves an ugly, misfit duckling who struggles to fit in with his brothers and sisters.
He is excluded and ostracized for his appearance until he learns that he was never a duckling at all, then turns into a beautiful swan.
Of course, the tale isn’t just fiction: it was inspired by the fact that many of the most beautiful birds on Earth start out as ugly hatchlings.
Swans might be the most famous example, but many truly stunning birds begin life as naked little creatures without any physical beauty to speak of.
That certainly applies to one newly adopted parrot hatchling. When his family adopted him, he was pink and freshly hatched.
But after a few months of love and attention, he was totally unrecognizable!
Imgur user Cascadia1977 shared the evolution of her beautiful baby parrot Apollo with the internet.
She titled it “The Ugly Duckling – Tropical Style. The journey to gorgeous.”
Apollo is a starlight macaw, but he still has a ways to go before he lives up to that beautiful breed name!
As you can see, there is something endearing and Big Bird-like about this little guy, but his slimy-looking body isn’t exactly begging to be cuddled with.
In this image, he is 3 to 5 days old, his eyes haven’t opened yet and his first feathers are just starting to poke through.
Apollo definitely doesn’t weigh more than he looks, coming in at a tiny 138 grams.
For reference, that’s just a little bit heavier than a stick of butter.
Here, you can see the dark specks on his skin where his feathers are coming in.
According to Cute Little Birdies Aviary, the little macaw is 13 to 15 days old here. He is definitely starting to look more like a bird than a newborn.
The owner captioned this image: “Yup, still working on getting this cute thing down, not there yet.”
Apollo’s pin feathers (the first feathers to appear in a baby bird) are almost filled in. Pretty soon he’ll have real plumage!
A few days later, you’ll begin to notice that his eyes are completely open and that he is starting to look like a real live bird.
The caption read: “OK, closer to cute.”
The pin feathers are beginning to fluff out and get downy.
This beautiful shot was taken when Apollo was about 20 to 23 days old. Again, he is starting to look grown up, and his expression says that he knows it.
His gray baby down is slowly transforming into a brilliant rainbow of adult feathers.
Here he is so close to being all grown up. It is also clear that he enjoys a comfy blanket. Don’t we all?
The caption explains: “Ha! Hiding all my pin-feathered and bald spots. I look adorable.” It’s true.
He still has just a few naked spots to fill in, then he’ll have all his plumage!
Finally, here we can see the gorgeous end result.
Of course, he isn’t posing for an ideal beauty shot, but “glamour” just doesn’t seem to be a part of Apollo’s personality.
The caption reads: “I look even more adorable when I roll around, play and try to look adorable.” I have to agree with that!
Journey to gorgeous complete!
Be sure to SHARE this amazing evolution with your friends on Facebook!