What We Have Here is a Failure To Communicate

Companions of larger parrots will understand immediately. Your parrot knows what is going on, and only wants to find a way to communicate to you when you miss things. We humans can be really dumb when it comes to talking.

For instance last night, worn out from a day of doing stuff, I failed to turn off the light over the canary cage in the dining room. Maynard’s cage is just past the dining room in the office. Most nights when Mike and I retire, the big parrots settle down first. But Maynard tried to get my attention to the light. He kept calling his Jerry Lewis-like “Hello? Heeeeelllllooooo!” I told him to go to sleep, and he answered in a spate of words that just didn’t translate. Some time around midnight, Mike got up and realized I’d left the light on.

Why didn’t I go see what Maynard wanted? Well, in the past, there hasn’t been anything out of order. I will have to give him a little more credit now. Last night was pretty odd. The male button quails were making a strange call that made Mike go out with a flashlight to see if anything was wrong with them. Nope. Nothing going on there. And quail aren’t parrots, but still. They were trying to say something. Mostly, “Hey, we need us some hens! How about it?”

A couple days ago, Maynard decided to help peel the old paint off the bathroom wall. Except we weren’t exactly expecting to apply new paint anytime soon. So I have had to keep that door closed. He also will go down the hall all by himself and play with my shoes. (I don’t know if all Double Yellow-headed Amazon Parrots have foot fetishes, but he certainly does.) His idea of playing is to take bites out of the rubbery soles and toss the shoes around. He also has removed all the aglets on my laces. To prevent that, I have blocked the hallway with a small table laying on its side. I have a tv tray upside down against the linen cupboard. Amazingly, he doesn’t go far into the living room where the other bird cages are with the fallen sunflower seeds.

Every afternoon I take at least an hour to sit with Maynard and play, or let him chew on a toy, or whatever he’s in the mood for. He seemed miffed that he was not allowed to go wherever he wanted in the house. I guess he thought I didn’t know about it, because he kept climbing up on the ottoman, walking up my legs, climbing on the back of the chair, shouting his whole verbal repository, then reversing directions to go look at the blocked hallway.

Sometimes, however, he does try to communicate something I do not know. When Maynard first came to live with me, his out time mostly involved sitting on a t-perch next to me. I would give him bits of my meals, toys to play with or throw, and when he allowed it, head scritches. Then he started climbing down from the perch. It’s tall enough that he shouldn’t be able to do that. But he did it.

Because Maynard hates Mike and will attack him if he sees him, we have to block off the area in the office where Mike’s desk is. And we have to be sure Mike remembers when Maynard is out on the floor. Now most of the time, Maynard’s out time is floor time. Lately, he’s been trying to climb up my trash can. Seems he misses our shared perch time. I almost get it when he tries to tell me that, but sometimes it takes a bite to my ankle. Good thing I love him.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

One thought on “What We Have Here is a Failure To Communicate

  1. Our African Gray doesn’t have a shoe fetish, but she absolutely has a foot fetish. She loves
    To rub her beak on our bare toes. But when she feels feisty, her mood will turn and she’ll bite our feet. Good thing we love her!😘

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