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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!

by Sally Blanchard

Many years ago, I lived with a wonderful cockatiel named Rosie. He was definitely a COCKatiel, but there was no stigma for such a macho male to have the name Rosie because at the time one of the bruiser football pla
yers had the same first name. I purchased Rosie as a hand-fed baby but it didn't take me long to realize that  hand-fed didn't mean hand tame. Even though Rosie was not always easy to handle, he delighted in coming
out to sit on my shoulder. As with all my birds, bedtime was always special with lots of attention as I covered the cages. When I traveled, Rosie went to stay with a good friend of mine. Her neighbor visited her and was quite taken with my handsome 'tiel. She leaned close to his cage and told him what a handsome bird he was. His reply was, "I love you, you're pretty." Then he added, "Do you want to go to bed?" This little guy was not the least bit bashful and wasted no time with any subtle pickup lines. Of course, this was actually a combination of one of his favorite expressions and what I said when we did our bedtime ritual. Over a decade later, it was still one of the favorite stories of that neighborhood.


by Sally Blanchard

(The painting of me and Mickey to the right was done by my father.)

When I was in the 4th grade we bought a budgerigar (commonly and mistakenly called a parakeet). As I recall, Mickey quickly took over the household. I loved Mickey. He was my best buddy and I spent a great deal of time playing and working with him. Mickey chattered endlessly. He would chirp, sing and whistle constantly with an occasional verbal gem thrown in for fun. He became an excellent talker and even picked up expressions from television. At the time, one of our favorite television shows was Bums and Allen. One day, out of nowhere, he announced to my mother, "You're in a jam, Gracie".

One time when my grandmother was visiting, Mickey landed on her shoulder as she was going out the front door and said "Shut the door stupid, the bird's out!". Luckily, he stayed put as she quickly hurried back into the house. Mickey loved to admire himself in our antique wall mirrors so much that my father painted green leaves around the bottom of all of the hanging mirrors. This way the little narcissist couldn't see himself and left the mirrors alone.

Mickey usually "helped" me with my homework. As I would write down the words on paper, he would busily try to eat them or he would try to play wrestle with the pencil. I doubt that my teacher would have accepted my excuse for not getting my homework done if I told her that my budgie ate the words as I wrote them down.

When Mickey was out of his cage he was an equal opportunity dive bomber, buzzing everyone regardless of who they were. Because of my father's job, my parents had frequent dinner parties. My brother and I were usually allowed to visit with the guests for a while before we went to bed.

I clearly remember one evening when Mickey got out and flew around the room. One woman went hysterical as if he was going to torture her, kill her and then possess her soul. She screamed and screeched, threw her arms around and tried to swat him out of the air. I think Mickey took this as a challenge and it took quite a comedy of errors for us all to try and capture him and return him to his cage. My brother, Roger (in photo with Mickey) and I were jumping over the furniture and bouncing off the couch. It was great fun for the three of us — Mickey seemed to love the chase too!

Once my father caught him, the woman insisted that the fearsome flyer be placed completely out of sight or her husband would have to take her home immediately. I just couldn't understand and probably still can't why anyone would have such an overwhelmingly phobic reaction to my terrific little guy. This was even before Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" single-handedly created a whole generation of "aviphobes". I guess some people still believe that flying birds and bats are the same and are instruments of great evil. How sad. Even bats are usually gentle, harmless creatures trying to live their own lives and do not deserve their negative reputation. In truth, Mickey was totally innocent—just out for a fun time!

by Janet Dickerson
Several years ago, I owned a tame talkative pet budgie named Billy. At this lime, a few of the women who lived in my apartment building hired a fortune teller and invited me to come to their party. I decided not to pay to have my fortune told but after a couple of readings, the fortune teller suddenly singled me out and told me that she had to speak with me. She went on to tell me that I had suffered through some bad experiences in my childhood and that I had been uncertain in love. At that point, she could have been guessing. The generalizations could have applied to almost anyone. Alter several other revelations, I was quite impressed. All of the things that she had told me were true but the most startling revelation was when she said “You have a kind and gentle nature and have the gift to communicate with animals. You own a bird and I am instructed to tell you to continue with your special gift.” Wow! After the session, I hurried back to my apartment to tell my room mate, Anne, how AMAZING this fortune teller was. She had even known that I owned a bird! Anne looked closely at me and quickly burst my bubble of awe when she said. “Janet, did you know that you have bird poop all over the back of your shirt!?”


By Lynn Dickens

My cockatiel, Sydney, learned how to mimic a ringing telephone perfectly, even pausing between rings for just the right amount of time. Twice I have answered the phone to hear only a dial tone. Soon my Quaker, Kermit, began to answer the phone and we would hear, “ring” (pause) “ring”, and then “hello”. The two of them thought this was great fun and spent some time each evening ringing and 'hellowing' with each other. One evening, after a particularly long performance, my good natured husband said. “Can’t we take that bird off the hook?!?”

PEACHES: The Gambling Lovebird

By Jane Hallander

Once a month, my mother Clara likes to drive up to Reno or Lake Tahoe for a day of recreational gambling. She always plays the slot machines, often winning back expenses and a little more. Preparations for the monthly trip involve separating quarters and dimes from one large pile into separate containers, one for the dimes and one for quarters.

Her strikingly cute peach-faced lovebird, Peaches, sat through many coin separation sessions until one day she could take no more. Peaches marched up to the pile of coins, picked up a dime and deposited it in the correct container. Not stopping with just one coin, she proceeded to work her way through the rest of the coin pile, pulling out dimes and putting them in the dime container, as my mother looked on in amazement.
While this in itself is no mean feat for a lovebird, the dime container is tall enough that Peaches can only drop dimes in the box by standing on the tips of her zvgodactyl toes and stretching her neck as far as she can.
Now, every mouth Peaches eagerly separates dimes from quarters, placing the dimes in their special box. I think she hopes to claim a share of any gambling winnings.



We had new software at the PBR that scanned text to place in our word processing program so we don’t have to type so much. When the software doesn’t recognize a word, it substitutes a word that is similar. For example, the word avian was always changed to Asian until we added it to the dictionary. I am really happy that I caught that one because sometime when the program substituted Asian for avian, it made the sentence very politically incorrect. One time, a smudge change a description of a person from generous to onerous - not the compliment I had intended! Hopefully, we caught all such errors. Imagine my surprise, when I was editing a parrotlet article and read that the rare Sclater’s Parrotlet females were somewhat lighter than the male with yellow under pants.

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