Sunday, December 31, 2006
Parrots are like Toddlers Sometimes
One member of our family is a Congo African Grey parrot named Gandalf. He's been part of our family for about ten years. We got him when he was a baby and not even totally weaned. He considers me to be a competitor for C's affections, so I don't think he's as friendly to me as he is to C, but that's how it goes.

African Greys are very smart parrots with distinct personalities and Gandalf is no exception. And they are also exceptional talkers and immitators. Thus the first similarity to toddlers - they ALWAYS learn things you don't want them to - the chime of the alarm system, the ring of the phone, the sound of me scolding C (*blush*), the whistle of bottlerockets, the coughing of a sick person, etc.

Now while we were at C's parents' for Chistmas, we boarded Gandalf with his breeder. Parrots (and birds in general) don't do well alone - they need daily care and attention. Gandalf always gets spoiled and well treated at his breeder's so I don't ever have to worry about him.

But another of the similarities to toddlers comes into play whenever we pick him up after boarding. We always get a report on how his behavior has been and anything the breeder or his staff has noticed. Just like picking your toddler up from daycare.

Apparently this time he was teaching the other parrots in the boarding room to meow like a cat and he's somehow learned the Vonage "Yoohoo" jingle tune!

Now, those who don't know might attribute the meowing to the feline members of our household. But you would be wrong. Gandalf actually learned to meow courtesy of one of our best friends, R, who thought it would be hilarious. Over the course of only a few hours, R managed to teach him to meow. He's not stopped since. Sigh.

The cats, however, are Not Amused. Gandalf must have an awful accent or be constantly repeating the feline version of pig latin or something. They turn their backs and give him the tail in disgust.

But the Vonage tune baffled us. He's not near the TV and *I* don't sing/hum/whistle that little jingle bit at all. Then we heard the probable culprit - M. He was walking aroung loudly humming it and when we asked him if he taught it to Gandalf all we got was a simpering giggle and a look of guilt. Bingo.

So our parrot has been teaching the other parrots Bad Things :) We are bad parrot parents....


  1. LOL! That's so funny.

  2. LOLLOLLOL -- Maura that is priceless.

  3. OMG! How funny is that Maura? Sorry to laugh but it is.

  4. LOL

  5. Too funny. I can even see M doing that as a funny.


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