Kirby, the African Grey, came into our lives as a baby. I was beyond excited about getting this parrot since the only bird I had ever owned was a parakeet. My research, when trying to decide which bird was right for our family, revolved mostly around size and ability to talk….not necessarily the best way to research but I was intrigued at the idea of a talking bird.
For weeks I bottle fed our new feathered baby and he was thriving! I was so excited because I truly had zero experience caring for a bird like this. Looking back on it, I have no idea how the bird survived but somehow he did. Our #1 goal was to get him to say a couple of words….little did we know he would end up with the vocabulary of a 3 year old! 🙂
We placed Kirby’s cage in the kitchen so that he would see and hear people talking frequently. We also left a radio or TV on at all times when we were at work and the kids were at school to keep him company. After a few months, he began whistling a bit, saying Hello once in a while and screaming when his food or treats didn’t come fast enough to suit him! 🙂
My husband was typically the one to make coffee in the morning and he always talked to Kirby first thing, often saying something like ‘Good morning Kirby, are you not talking today’. Once particular morning, as he began making coffee and before Kirby’s cage cover had been removed, my husband was busy with his morning coffee routine when he heard load and clear ‘Are you not talking today?’ Talk about being stopped in your tracks! LOL!!! From that day forward, Kirby’s vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds. His intelligence never ceased to amaze us and his antics never ceased to entertain us.
The mimicking ability that Kirby had was nothing short of phenomenal. He could make a ringing sound identical to our land line phone…yes, this was before cell phones. He quickly learned that if he made a ringing phone sound when we walked outside, we would come back into the house thinking we had a call. It was both comical and irritating! 🙂
If you’ve ever considered a parrot for a pet, I can tell you they are GREAT! They are funny, intelligent and entertaining. I can also tell you that they are CHALLENGING and not for everyone. They are messy, temperamental, loud and demanding. So…do some research before you go out and purchase that beautiful bird that you think is going to be your best friend. Make sure you know what you’re getting into and prepare yourself by reading everything you can find and, more importantly, talking with everyone you can find who has owned a bird like the one your considering.
More to come on Kirby’s Antics! 🙂