Every person who shares a home with any hookbill companion knows these creatures have a split personality. Some may hide the evil side for months at a time. But they all have that little devil urging them to be bad.
For instance, I have a rosy Bourke parakeet named Ethel. She is a very smart and very sweet bird. You would not think she had a bad side. She survived two mates and a couple chicks, so she knows that life is not always a rosy garden. Still, she acts out now and then. She lives with the indoor cockatiel group, a band of five elderly or disabled birds. They all come from the same continent so they do get along very well.
Usually, they get 2 hours of out time when the cage door is left open. They do not have to go fly around the bird room or interact with the conures in there. They have the choice to stay in or go. Ethel almost always flies out of the cage. Then she rests on top, watching the other birds do their thing. When she sees me come in to put everyone back, she scoots into the cage. That is if her good side is predominant. Sometimes she stays on top and looks at me. So I give her another five or ten minutes, then return. Again, 85% of the time she is back in the cage by the time I return.
But when the devil comes out to play, Ethel will not go back into the cage for any reason. I have to chase her around the room with a net. Catching her is no fun and she won’t come out of the cage for a day or two after that. Then she is back to being a good parrot.
My little lovebird Fin used to be a good parrot, even sleeping in my hand on cold mornings and cuddling under my shirt. Then she fell in love and got all hormonal on me. She only bites now and is not the least bit interested in coming to sit with me.
I bet some of you thought Maynard would be heading the list on this topic. Yes, he can be a really bad parrot. He no longer gets floor time except in the bedroom where he is the least destructive. Every cabinet door, every wood thing at two feet high, every book or DVD case left unprotected shows signs of his work. I thought about having an art exhibit titled “Things My Parrot Chewed On”. Now he gets to go outside or on his play stand. He’s taking it better than I thought he would.
His good side includes the silly things he says, his timing in response to my conversations, and his adorable cuteness when playing with toys. He also loves to be scratched and cuddled to some extent. But recently he learned something that proved he is a very bad parrot.
My cat Oreo was very sick. She spent her last day meowing and needing to be held and comforted. At one point I thought there was a cat outside calling to her. But no. Maynard learned how to meow exactly like Oreo. Very bad, indeed.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.