A noisy cockatoo, plus Pet Expo 2010
Today’s post is just a bunch of miscellaneous musings on parrots. I recently took a few of my parrots – Lucy, Peggy, and Ripley – to the Edmonton Pet Expo. We help out with the parrot club information table, which I think is one of the more popular tables there, along with the reptile society’s table. A lot of people ask me if any of my birds talk and I think that’s the most common question I get, next to, “Can I hold them?” None of my personal birds are great talkers, although Ripley sure tries sometimes. However, some of my parrots are great screechers! Here are a couple of videos of Mitri, my Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, sounding off:
At about two and eleven seconds in, you can hear my Jenday Conure (Peggy) and at about 24 seconds in, Ripley the Red-lored Amazon sounds off in the distance.
Mitri’s not angry or upset in either video. He just likes to have a good screech off on occasion. Since quite a few parrots find themselves in need of a new home due to their owner’s inability to tolerate their noise, I tend to warn most potential parrot owners about the noise parrots can make. It’s not something everyone wants to put up with.
I have noticed that what is and isn’t tolerable does seem to be subjective. At Pet Expo, Peggy (a Jenday Conure) would sometimes screech at people. Reactions ranged from, “Well, that’s not so bad!” to people thinking that Peggy’s screech was one of the worst sounds ever produced. Sun and Jenday Conures have reputations for being ridiculously noisy birds and they really are quite shrill and loud. Some people who’ve visited my house think Peggy’s just adorable and think they want a Jenday of their own until she opens her mouth. However, Peggy’s screeches barely register in my brain and I just accept them as part of the background noise. She’s also downright quiet compared to Mitri. Oddly enough, I’m generally a quiet person that enjoys peace and my house is usually quiet. If the radio’s on, it’s usually classical music or soft jazz. This keeps the animals fairly mellow, although if they make noise, it doesn’t upset me. Animal noises just don’t bug me that much.
Peggy is missing a foot so at Pet Expo I have to explain to a lot of people what happened. People tend to feel sorry for her and her accident was unfortunate, but I think she’s adapted very well. She can perch on large, wide perches just fine and is very comfortable perching on shoulders. I don’t allow large, volatile birds on my shoulder but Peggy is quite predictable and I trust she won’t bite my face while she’s up there. Plus, if she did, it’s not something I’d get upset with her over.
Lucy is probably my friendliest, most docile parrot and she often will go to strangers and perch on their fingers. This year she was more interested in her food dish, which was fine. If she doesn’t want to go to someone, she’ll just refuse, rather than bite.
Here’s Ripley, my Red-lored Amazon. She’s very, very calm in public unless someone tries to touch her. As I explain it to people, she really should be approached like she’s another person. Most people don’t mind talking to strange people, but nearly everyone would get upset if a stranger just walked up to them and grabbed their feet or hair or whatever and Ripley feels the same way. She will “step-up” to some men, but for the most part, she’s not that comfortable with strangers touching her.
Of course, every bird is an individual and this lovely female Green-wing Macaw just loves attention and will stand on the arm of any friendly person. She’s very popular at Pet Expo and lots of people take pictures of their friends or family members holding her.
I don’t bring Mitri to Pet Expo since he’s very highly strung and can be volatile. If sometime tries to pick him up when he doesn’t want that, he will bite hard with little warning. This is unlike Ripley, who will scream and squeal a lot before resorting to nipping someone.
However, the Moluccan Cockatoo in the picture above was amazingly calm. He’d let anyone scratch his head and he stayed on his perch the whole time and relished the attention. Mitri loves head scratches too and will let strangers scratch his head but sitting still on a perch just isn’t his thing.
Here’s a nice African Grey Parrot that was there. He seemed pretty calm about everything and did well.
Greys seem to have a reputation for being very shy and neurotic. Indeed, I have come across some greys that fit that description well. However, there are lots of African Greys in the parrot club I’m in that are very well-adjusted, are calm in public, and are quite friendly. It seems to me that if an African Grey was well-socialized as a youngster, given lots of toys, and introduced to plenty of friendly people then it has a good chance of becoming a well-adjusted adult.
I’m going to end this post with this cute photo of Chiku! my current foster bird:
She loves climbing up on that paper holder.