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  1. This website is Dedicated to Educating Caregivers about the Physical, Emotional, Psychological, Intellectual and Nutritional Needs of the Parrots in their Lives. 

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DISCLAIMER: 
This is the ONLY official 'Sally Blanchard', "Companion Parrot", "Companion Parrots", etc. website that is related to Sally Blanchard and her information. Any other website using the Sally Blanchard, Companion Parrot, Bongo Marie, Spikey LeBec, and/or Pet Bird Report name is in no way associated with Sally Blanchard. Any information on any other site whether it is parrot information, behavior recommendations or product promotion is neither approved nor sanctioned by Sally Blanchard without written permission.
 

 COMPANION AFRICAN PARROT STORIES

  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! (African grey parrots have their own Story Page)
 

JADE AND THE FIG

By Suzanne Harrison

My Red Belly Parrot, Jade, has been going to work with me for more than 6 years. She has her own play gym set up behind my desk where she can look out the window all day and also supervise what I am doing most of the time. My boss, an optometrist, wasn’t sure at first about having a parrot in the office but the idea sort of grew on him especially after Jade started to work her own brand of goofy magic.


One day my boss brought a basket of fresh figs back from lunch and wondered if Jade would like one. I didn’t know as she had never seen a fresh fig before so I suggested he choose a small one and give it to her. Very carefully, Eliot selected the smallest of the figs and set it gently on the base of Jade’s play gym.


Startled by this strange apparition in the midst of her domain, Jade leaped straight up in the air and ran as fast as she could to hide behind one of the pillars of her play gym. Peeking carefully out from her “hiding” place, she peered at the fig, her pupils pinning, feathers slicked down flat, neck stretched out, wings lifted for flight (never mind that they are clipped and she can’t fly). By this time Eliot and I were trying not to laugh — with little success. But when Jade crept all the way around the back of her playgym to approach the fierce bad fig from its “blind” side, we just gave in a howled.

 
Carefully, Jade stretched out her neck. Ever so delicately, she reached with her beak to test the stem of the fig. It did from another angle. Still the odd fruit sat there, immobile and innocuous (but appearances can be deceiving). Ignoring the unusual behavior of her human companions (who were holding their sides. and bending over while making strange hooting noises), Jade studied the situation. She seemed to be at a stalemate.
 
It was at this point that I tried to convince Jade of the safety of figs. “Look, Jade, it’s a fig,” I explained, “You can eat it!”

I don’t think she believed me.


By now, Eliot and I were getting short of breath and our sides hurt from laughing, so something had to be done. I picked the fig up and, with one swift twist of my hands, “killed” it. Once it was safely “dead,” Jade was able to see its seeds and proceeded to eat it with gusto. Ah, the adventures of a peripatetic professional parrot.
 

 

TOOL USE IN SENEGALS … or what in heaven’s name is she thinking?

By Lynn Traylor

My Senegal Honey’s favorite toy, wings down, is the cap from a tube of Blistex lip ointment. About the 200th time I had to chase her down as she tried to gallop off into the sunset with the entire tube, I decided to scrub out the cap and give it to her to play with. She just loves these things, and will hold it and chew it literally for hours, her eyes glazed over in sheer bliss.

 
I almost hesitate to relate the first indication of tool use. Honey is allowed to be a shoulder bird, because of her remarkably good manners, and frequently sits there with her Blistex cap while I watch TV or read. The problem comes when she has a sudden preen attack. Where to put the cap? She would try balancing it on my shoulder, but as soon as she scratches herself or does the Senegal tail wag, the cap would invariably fall. She would try clutching it in a foot, but she needs one to stand on, and one to scratch with... Holding it in her beak didn’t work, she needs that to preen too. Her frustration was palpable.

Then, one evening, she hit on the answer. She suddenly reached over with her foot, grabbed my nose, pulled it over to her, examined it for a moment, then carefully placed the Blistex cap in one of my nostrils! I, of course, snorted with laughter, dislodging the cap! Amazed, I retrieved it and gave it back to her. She grabbed my nose, rather huffily I might add, and stuffed the cap back in, a lot less gently this time! She then proceeded to preen herself (yes, I sat there with the %$#&i S thing in my nose, just to see what came next), and when finished, reached over, retrieved the cap, and went back to her happy chewing. My nose, in this case, was the tool, a handy Blistex cap holder. She will utilize it whenever I allow, now.


The second instance also centers on the precious Blistex cap. I noticed one night, while she was on her playgym, of course chewing her cap, that she was dropping it in her water dish and then fishing it out. As I watched, she sat on the edge of the water dish, intently studying the cap. She then reached in, grabbed it by the rim, and flipped it quickly upright, so the water in the cap poured into her beak! Her eyes pinned wildly, and she did it again … and again. I watch her drinking with her little “cup” every night now, and I swear it looks like she is doing shots in a bar.


I’ll let you know when she uses her Blistex cap to unravel the mysteries of cold fusion.

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