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| As most readers know, I love hearing stories about parrots and I love to tell them! I will add more stories to this section of the website. If you have a great parrot story, I would love to read it!
|A WALK AROUND THE BLOCK
by Shari Beaudoin
Okay, time to embarrass ourselves. Last fall as I was taking a walk I passed a neighbor who was having a garage sale. I am really not the type of person who usually visits garage sales mainly because I don’t have the time. Anyway, as I was walking by I noticed a children's fold up stroller for sale in the driveway. You know the kind that folds up like an umbrella. I decided to purchase the stroller and then take it apart and redesign it for my parrots. I took off the baby seat, and the back cart and replaced it with a Comfy Perch across the handles and one down lower. I continued to work on it until it was exactly what I wanted. I can still remember the look on my husband’s face, when each of our birds were getting practice rides around the driveway. This was not quite as priceless as his face when I left with my Macaw for a walk around the block. Mateo, my macaw, was saying “Night-Night” in his deepest voice as we left (very loudly I might add). He generally says this when he is “DONE” with something. I kept going telling him he was okay and what a good time we were having. I was imagining at this time my husband somewhere in the house looking up the number for the nearest Loonie Bin
Interestingly enough, by the time we came home many children (who my Hyacinth loves) had stopped to talk to him. As we rounded the corner towards home his “NIGHT-NIGHT” in his loud deep voice had turned into “Hi-How Are Ya?”,”Peek-A-Boo Pretty Bird”, “I Love You”, and his rendition of God Bless America where he just belts out “GOOOOOOOOOD” in opera and stops cold. All of this being in his cutest little girl voice. At any rate, he was now thinking that this stroll was a really neat thing
To end this story, I happened to have the birds out on their stands last Halloween to greet the trick or treaters. One little gfirl came to the door and after seeing the birds, said “Oh you’re the lady that bought my stroller for your birds, which one of them was it for?”
The End for now, but the weather is warming in Minnesota!!
Do You Wanna Do Your Trick?
By Sally Blanchard
|I Get A Kick Out Of You
by Coleen Cranston
My Blue and Gold Macaw, Debue, has a special toy (The Perma Play Birdy Man Senior) that he likes to beat up. One day he and Birdy Man were having a go at it. Debue was growling, screaming and carrying on with great gusto. I peeked around the door and saw him hanging upside down banging at the swinging toy with his beak and one foot. It is on a chain and as he swatted at it with his beak, Birdy Man swung away from him and then back and "kicked" him in the face. Debue lifted his head us and quite indignantly and sternly scolded the to, "Owww!...Stop that!... Baad Bird!"
|TAIL PULLING GAME
by Sally Blanchard
Years ago I visited a breeder who placed blankets on the floor for her babies to play. Various people sat around the blankets to play with the various types of baby parrots. I was quite amused to see 4 babies (Green-wings and Scarlets) harass a baby Hyacinth. They surrounded him and as he tried to walk away, they grabbed his tail with their beaks. There was no doubt that this was intentional play. The Hyacinth would escape and run after one of the other macaws only to have his tailed grabbed again. He was strong enough to keep moving with one bird grabbing his tail but when two had a hold of him, he stopped in his tracks. He was not the least bit intimidated and would actually position himself to keep the game going. Certainly this sort of mixed macaw play situation would not occur in the wild in the same way but it must have been a variation of some play behavior that happens naturally.
MY MOTHER MEETS A HYACINTH
Over the years I have met hundreds of parrots and remember many of them fondly. I often wonder what happened to these wonderful birds and fervently hope they still have happy homes. The majority of them were well-loved, and that nurturing affection encouraged some wonderful personalities — each parrot was a delight in one way or another. Sometimes it is the situation that was most memorable. From time to time I will share a few of my memories about these special birds and when I met them.
My mother had visited me over 25 years ago when my Double-yellow Head, Paco, was a baby. Other than that, she hadn’t had been around parrots much. After I moved back to California, I often drove down to southern California to visit her and usually took Spike, my Caique, with me. From the very beginning, she was afraid of him and he knew it so he started stalking her every chance he got. She clearly didn’t trust any parrot larger than a Budgie.
During one of her visits with me, I took her down to Capitola (near Santa Cruz) to visit Martha Hammer, a friend who bred parrots. At that time, Martha was raising two Hyacinth Macaws. The oldest had reached that wonderful toddler stage where he wanted to investigate everything and every body. My mother was sitting on the couch when the big blue bappy spied her. With a unique combination of a waddle, a hop, and a gallop he headed straight for her. When she saw him coming, she let out a stifled little scream as if she knew he would devour her. He stopped right in front of her, and carefully looked at her first with one eye and, then moving his head, with the other eye. Then, despite her negative body language, he climbed up on her lap and then onto her arm. He made a soft nasal sounding "wagel" gronk as if to say, "see I’m not that bad." He sat with her for some time and she finally relaxed. This was several years ago and my mother lived with me until she died just before her 93rd birthday. Even though she lived with six parrots (including her nemesis Spike), one of my mother’s favorite parrot stories was always about the big beautiful blue bird who came over to make friends with her. Her second favorite story was about getting to pet a penguin named Bart at the Penguin Encounter at Sea World.
My Well-adjusted Scarlet
by Bill Schulte
Friends were visiting last night and Fred, our Scarlet Macaw was on the couch with us. They were speechless when she climbed down to the floor, walked over to her cage, climbed inside, and went to the bathroom. To top it off, she returned to my side. While walking past the visitors, she stopped for a moment, looked directly at them, said a confident "Hello" and resumed her position on the sofa arm beside me. She is a huge Scarlet at 1050 grams but she is very gentle.
MEETING MY FIRST HYACINTH
By Sally Blanchard
My First Bird
had moved in with Merlyn because her home had been damaged in a serious fire.
Merlyn had several small parrot family birds and other pets and Helen
contributed two large Dobermans to the growing pet family. Although she was not
planning on getting a parrot, Helen had some readily available cash because of
the fire insurance payment. She was in no hurry to move back to her house — probably
because of the trauma of the fire.
It was Sunday
afternoon and cages large enough for a bird this size were not readily
available in the area. Helen would have to wait for a few weeks before she
could get one that was adequate for her new macaw. First thing Monday morning
she went out and purchased a roll of chicken wire and some wood. That afternoon
they built an enclosure that took up almost half of the living room. I visited
them and the Hyacinth seemed quite relieved to have all that space to move
Since that time I have seen hundreds of Hyacinth Macaws — many of the ones I have seen are half the size of this imported bird. She remains the largest and most memorable Hyacinth I have ever seen!!
"WHAT THE HECK IS THAT!?!"
by Sally Blanchard
One of my favorite Saturday Night
Live skits (from the early days before the show got so sarcaustic) was
one where 4 or 5
of the male comedians stood on a
porch and acted as if they were watching something of significance go by on the
street. Their expressions were those of exaggerated shock and awe with a great
deal of puzzlement. One comedian started with something like, “What the heck is
that?” The second man replied, “I dunno, what is it?” Another one replied in a
more exaggerated voice, “Geez, you got me, what on earth is that thing?” This
went on for some time as they watched this imaginary thing go by from the right
to the left of the screen.
A Showering Experience
By Sally Blanchard
(Illustration by Jeff Riebe)
Several years ago I did a consultation with a
couple who had a Green-winged macaw. The macaw was beginning to pluck his
feathers especially on his back where he was being petted all the time.
Sometimes without realizing it, people have greasy or dirty hands or nicotine on
their fingers which can contribute to their parrot’s feather destructive
behavior. (One cockatoo stopped picking his shoulder area when his owner
stopped eating potato chips at the same time he petted the bird.)
Duchess Malachite Bratbird and the Remotes
By Nancyjane Bailey
Given the quantity of poop in the nearby hail,
Mal must have been enjoying freedom for several hours. She had unscrewed every
bolt on her cage. The acorn nuts that once held her playgym atop her cage were
unscrewed and tossed away. (One was lost forever.) The bolts that had been
mated to the acorn nuts were scattered into the hall. Several toys and perches
were discarded at the bottom of her cage. The wing nuts that once held them in
place had been tossed across the room. Of course her food dish was dumped and
her water bottle was on the floor beneath her cage. Somehow it had remained
SADIE, SADIE, ONE SPECIAL LADY!
Sadie, the noble macaw, was sitting on the edge of the laundry basket. As the water
poured into the washer, she hopped onto the machine. Watching the water swirl
around and around, she shook her head and muttered, “Oh no no, Oh God, Oh
S--t!” Where this little bundle of energy picked up this dialogue, I will never
know. Hahns and noble macaws were part of my life and heart for many years.
They are the most in-your-face birds I have ever met. They have an opinion
about everything. Sadie used to love to go to the bank and go through the drive-in
window. She counted, “One, two, three, four” as the teller was making the
afternoon, Gucci said. “Nuck, nuck, nuck, nuck, NUCK, Tequila!” What a
surprise. What an insult to my singing. I praised Gucci and made over him big
time. So, he practiced for the rest of the day.
By Sherri Latzke
When I first glanced into the room all I saw was the cage. Pushing the door open revealed a sight that that made me gasp. There he was perched on the back of what used to be my antique oak chair. He was busy redesigning it into Macaw—sized toothpicks and creating pseudo contemporary carvings out of the larger chunks. His artistry had also been expressed in his idea of how custom steel mini-blinds should really fit a window. Yes, indeed, there they were hanging by a proverbial thread like some kind of twisted metal sculpture that given the right gallery would probably be worth a fortune. And Harley, you got it, looked as pleased as punch with himself and let me know with an exaggerated “Hellooooooo!!!!’. All I could do was croak, “Oh my gosh – what have you done?!?” “Oh what the Heck”, he chuckled. He looked so adorable I couldn’t help apologizing for sounding so upset with him when it was really my fault. I never should have left him out alone, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
Never one to miss an opportunity, he gave me a level look and said in his most serious macaw, ‘Ya Bum.” (He’s not one to sugar coat it) Always quick to quick to forgive, he added a long, exaggerate smooching sound and crooned, ‘Gimme Kiss’. Who could resist? Glancing around the room again at the electrical cords and the multitude of other accidents waiting to happen, I realized how lucky we both were that he hadn’t met with disaster. I made a solemn promise to never, EVER leave my beautiful, lovable, rascal ‘home alone’ again.
THE NOBLE PRINCE AND THE PILLOW
NUTS TO YOU, GOLIATH!
By Judy Doyle