Cockatoos, Cockatiels, Parakeets Say the Darndest Things!

Animal anitics - some of my talking parrots' stories

My pets are like family to me, and the clients that hire me to help them with their pet's behavior problems certainly feel the same way. I am lucky to work with people everyday who are devoted to their animals and go far above and beyond your average owner who just gets rid of an animal when it becomes a problem.

My critters are CONSTANTLY amusing me, which might make me wonder if I am too easily amused? Probably not, though, I'll share a few examples why.

I adopted a rescue female eclectus hen from Chicago when she was nearly 30 years old. She was lucky in that I am only her third owner; one of my rescue Cockatoos came to me when he was nine, I was his 11th owner, and that is not unusual.

I had had Clare for only one day when I was packing her up to drive up to Minnesota to adopt Whimmer, my umbrella cockatoo. I had met him while volunteering in a rescue parrot shelter in Minneapolis. This shelter, ironically, existed in a place called Saint Louis Park. I had previously driven there to adopt a parrotlet for my little rescue cockatiel, since her parrotlet friend had finally succumbed to her cardiomyopathy.

This trip should normally be around an 11-hour drive, but I am famous for getting lost, so for me it is nearer to a 14-hour drive, and I was running late. My phone rang, and I looked to see that it was a friend who is impossible to get away from, so I let the phone continue to ring.

Clare has several voices that she uses (including mine, which is always eerie). She used all her voices in many ways to say "Hello". I was ignoring it, trying to get my packing done, when she cleared her voice loudly, looked me in the eye, and slowly but firmly demanded - and I quote -  "ANSWER ... the GOD DAMN ... phooooonnnne."

After shock was followed by laughter, I gave her a little grammar lesson and she no longer swears.

One if my cockatoos is a bird killer, so Whimmer and Clare spend time upstairs with me on a series of perches and branches that I hung from the ceiling. That way they are safe from the other bird.

Whimmer was standing there one day and I walked underneath him. He looked down and said to me: "Hey, you!" I looked up and replied: "What, Whimmer?" He swung upside down by his feet and advised me cheerfully: "GO! Put a bra on."

What?!? I don't know where he got that from, as he would never have heard it in this house!

Do any of you have parrots? I was diagnosed with a very severe lung issue and only have my four pet parrots right now. When I was doing rescue, at one time I had 72 birds in this house - which is counting tiny things like finches, cockatiels, parakeets etc - but it took me over two hours on each end of my day to care for them. It was exhausting, but the need is so SO great that I was compelled to help in every way that I could. This soapbox rides on the coat tails of my pet store thoughts, as most of the birds that are in rescue end up there because impulsive and unknowledgeable people buy them not realizing what incredibly complex, needy creatures that they are.

But they can be hysterical, I have many more stories, I'll start a diary if people are interested, and I'd love to hear about any reader's parrots, how they are doing, what they are saying, and more.

Dorene, off to snuggle some birds

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