Some people like to have the tv or radio on all the time, to help them relax or feel less alone. They are missing the best way to actually not be alone and have nearly constant background noise. Get a parrot, especially a conure, and you will have a fun companion and much less silence. And those are only two of the benefits!
My first conure was a sun, being rehomed with cage absolutely free. Just a short drive north of my home. I talked my husband in to making the drive, and we met Zazu. (I know. Who would give a South American bird a name from a African bird character? Lots of people, it seems.) Zazu had been the companion of a woman who did not outlive her bird. The woman’s husband didn’t take the conure out of his cage much at all for a year, and wisely decided to rehome him. I did the finger through the cage test, and got bit. This was to set the tone for my relationship with him.
On the ride home, with his cage laid down in the back of our car, Zazu hung on the forward facing bars and watched the traffic. He didn’t say too much, but Mike and I both talked to him. Za apparently chose his favorite human during that trip. Once we got home and set him upright, I took him out of the cage and talked to him and let him settle in. And got bit.
Mike, however, could pick Za up, pet him, give kisses, and so on. How ungrateful can a bird be? Za also started to screech at the cockatiels, the finches, and anyone who walked by outside. Of course, the other flock members answered him back, screech for screech. Oddly enough, I enjoyed the sounds so much, I could actually nap on the couch with all that noise going on.
About a year later, I found a sweet female sun at a bird mart, and we bonded quickly. Sunny (I know, what a boring name!) is super-friendly and came home with me. Zazu had no complaints about his new cage-mate, and I briefly thought about having sweet little baby .conures some day.
Sunny talks a little bit. When she sees a dog, she will bark. When a plane goes overhead, she ducks and squawks. When I am on the phone, if she is on my shoulder, she will say “Bye-bye!” until I hang up. She also makes a call that to me sounds like Turkey Pot Pie. But most of the time, she makes the same noises as Zazu does.
Word spread through the local bird community that Mike and I would take in hook bills, as long as they weren’t too big. I knew I didn’t have the time to give a cockatoo, or a macaw. We were contacted by a woman who had found an orange-front conure in her yard, and kept him for about a year. He was good with her, but attacked anyone else who dared to come into the house. He was named Beeby for bad bird, but I think of him as beautiful bird. His feathers have the best sheen and iridescence on any of our other flock members.
Beeby was friendly with me, but would through himself off the cage to attack Mike. We decided to take him in to get his wings clipped. We had heard, and believed, that if you clip the bird’s wing feathers yourself, the bird will associate you with the loss of flight, and it will be bad for the relationship. Beeby never heard that. He knew we were the ones who stuffed him in the carrier and turned him over to the brave wing and nail clipping people. When we got him home, he started attacking everyone.
Meanwhile at the bird club, I was taking care of a huge collection of hookbills and other birds, and in payment was given a sweet, hand-fed green check conure. We named her Esmeralda, Esme for short, and thought, what the heck, let’s see how she and Beeby get along!
There was magic in the air and violins playing, apparently. The two are inseparable, and Esme really keeps Beeby in line. She will push him away from us when he tried to attack, and will bit him or squawk if he doesn’t move fast enough. When not threatening us, Beeby loves to cuddle up with Esme and preen and be preened. Who knew?
Esme is one of the quietest conures in the house, but Beeby, while something of a screamer, also talks at length in a little, gravelly cartoon voice. No matter how aggressive and crazy he becomes, I will always keep him and love him because of that voice.
Dani came to us because her original owner no longer had enough time to be with her, and as she is a special needs bird (seriously splay-legged, cannot perch) she wanted Dani to go to a good home. We love Dani a whole bunch. I will write more about her ways another time, but Dani is the alarm bird. Her cage is right by the front door and the front window. When someone comes up the walk, Dani sounds the alarm! When a cat jumps on the outside window shelf, Dani sounds the alarm! When a car drives down the street, Dani sounds the alarm! When a leaf blows across the yard, Dani sounds the alarm! When the flag outside the front door waves in the breeze, you guessed it, Dani sounds the alarm!
About a year ago, a friend from the bird club rehomed a pair of sun conures to me. It just happened to be on my birthday, and I was thrilled. Had I thought about how much noise four sun conures could make, I doubt it would have changed my mind about taking them. George and Bella, whom I renamed Gracie-Bell, are sweet and semi-tame. George wants to be a pet, Gracie-Bell wants to be a vampire. We tired to put them in the same cage with Sunny and Zazu, but quickly found out it wasn’t working. A year later, during out time, they all ended up in the same cage at the end of the day. I closed the door, and that was that. The four now happily co-exist in one cage, with two water bowls, two feeding stations, and two nice, high perches.
There are times when the house is quiet. Almost always at night, after the lights are out. Birds sleep through the night on most occasions, with only occasional night frights or bad dreams. Sometimes it’s relatively quiet when the fresh food dishes have been put in the cages. But no matter what, the noise or the silence is a reflection of a happy home for hookbills,.