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African Grey Parrot Centre ™ Blog

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African Grey Parrot Centre ™ Blog

Isabella Tells Us Why She Likes The Nice Weather

June 11th, 2011

Leather ChairThe weather has been gorgeous for the last few days; I have been enjoying sunning myself on the windowsill. I have been loving the fact that the kitchen windowsill gets really toasty. My owner saw me enjoying the sun and she noticed that I was getting a bit dehydrated and she very thoughtfully put a bowl of water next to me so that I could take a bath. She has also organised a basket of toys and a bowl of food for me so that I have everything I need. They are boring pellets and not tasty pomegranate and grapes but I suppose I can’t have everything can I?

There is nothing more fun than splashing around in my water; shaking myself in the sun; then dispatching all my toys to the floor for my owner to collect and put back in the basket. She loves that game, she is always right there and eager to play. The most fun is watching her dash across the kitchen when I drag my water bowl to the edge of the sill; I haven’t yet managed to tip it onto the floor, but one day.

The only downside of the sunny weather has been the number of visitors. It feels like every five minutes there is a ring at the doorbell and my sunbathing is disturbed by dog barking and I have to be put back in my palace so that my owner can answer the door. I really object to being manhandled just because she wants to see other people. I make my feelings known by being extra loud when they are there. They always ask if I can talk and stick their faces really close to my palace. Of course I can talk but I choose not to talk to them. They have no respect, why should I honour them by letting them hear my magnificent voice? The funniest is my male owner’s Mother who sticks her face in front of my palace and coos at me in some funny language, ‘Bonjour perroquet mignon’ she says, very strange; it’s French apparently. It always leaves me feeling a little insulted somehow. I’m trying to train the dogs to attack on command but they are resisting all my efforts, despite me screaming at them like a drill sergeant. They really are the most stupid creatures.

I have been getting more adventurous around the house and I know my owner is delighted at my new found bravery. There are a few shelves that I haven’t ventured onto before and they are proving really fun. My owner has thoughtfully put loads of things up there that are really fun to play with and toss to the floor. I have also discovered the cutlery rack. I never knew cutlery could be such fun, it makes a great noise when tossed to the floor and my owner seems to love this game as well. As for the leather chair……I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun. That nice soft tasty leather, the designer really should be given a parrot toy maker award. It is so perfect. Unfortunately my owner seems to think that I should spread the fun and won’t let me spend too long on my chair. She won’t listen to me and I’ve had to resort to a few nips to help get my point across.

Right, there was an interesting looking draw that I was keen to explore and I think she’s left it open. I’m off to have a good nosey, don’t think it can be any more fun than the chair but we’ll see.

Isabella Weighs Up The Pros And Cons Of A Companion

May 29th, 2011

There has been very worrying talk this week about a possible companion for me. Not a good turn of events. I rule the roost here and I don’t think that I want to share my position with anyone. If it was to happen there would have very strict criteria about who I was prepared to share my home with. I will not accept anyone who refuses to see me as the leader of the flock and doesn’t immediately subjugate, I don’t want anyone who will try and take over. I also don’t want anyone who is a more accomplished talker than me. I realise that I am still getting to grips with some of the words and phrases that I want to say and I don’t need anyone else pointing out my failings. I will be a very accomplished talker in time but everyone has to start somewhere.

And then there is appearance. As I have had the chance to tell you in the past I am very proud of my beautiful feathers. I spend a lot of time making sure that every one is in just the right position. My female owner was looking at some pictures of birds that had no feathers and their cages were very messy, disgusting really. That shows a lack of care about personal appearance and I just don’t know if I could tolerate that. My owner keeps my cage spic and span, I love her dearly for it, and if she is having to pick up after someone who has less care than me she might not have enough time to attend to me.I don’t even like to think about the potential treat crisis that could develop if she had less time for me.

The most worrying thing is that I am not allowed to join in with any of the discussions and when I try to have a say I am ignored. I will have to think of another way to make my feelings known. It is only right that as the head of the household I should have the deciding vote about what happens here.

All in all I am not in favour of the idea of someone to share my cage with. It has taken me a long time to train my owners to behave in a way that I think befits my station and I don’t need some upstart coming in and ruining it. It’s how to get my point across that is troubling me. My owner has been known to get ideas into her head and the next minute I am faced with a new toy straight out of the box and in my cage. Or a bright pink harness that I am expected to wear. It just won’t do at all. We normally manage to get past it but this time I think that a more direct approach is needed. I have decided that I will have a non silent protest, as soon as she mentions it I will scream my loudest. Give it a few days and she should get the message.

I’m off to practice. Lets see who’s will breaks first.

Isabella On How Her Cage Should Be Cleaned And Her Holiday Home

May 14th, 2011

Red Pepper

I had to endure a major cage clean this week. My owner pulls out the cage, cleans behind it, sweeps up all the bits, sprays my perches, sweeps up all the feathers. All this is just as it should be. I deserve a clean cage and I’m obviously not going to do it myself, that’s what my owner is for. I do have a few complaints about how it’s done. She moves thing around and cleans up all the bits of cardboard, those have been carefully shredded and I was planning to investigate them again later. I made my feelings known with a few well timed nips but she didn’t seem to get the message. My perches have been adjusted and my foraging pot with those boring pellets has moved. Well I’ll show her, I just won’t eat any of the pellets until she moves it back. A few toys have disappeared as well and she has added a few new ones. I will be ignoring those to. She has to learn that she can’t just do whatever she likes without any consultation.

I was able to spend the weekend at my holiday retreat this weekend. It isn’t as palatial as my palace but it’s nice to get away and get a change of scenery. There is a huge front room and it’s very empty so my voice echos beautifully. I can really get up a good volume there. It gives me a chance to practice my words and phrases and hear them at full volume.

I also get to have a proper shower in the bathroom. I’m not allowed in the bathroom at home because the window is always open and the door is shut but at my holiday home there’s no windows so I can get in with all the steam and give my feathers a good ruffle and preen. My owner likes long showers so there is lots of steam to play in. I sit really close to the water so that I get as mush steam as possible into my feathers. They always look so much better after they’ve been steamed and I love the heat.
The space to fly round in is great too, there are no obstacles to crash into and a nice big area so I can practice my flying scream combo without fear of crashing!

The quality of the treats is not as good at my holiday home. There is no fridge so no nice crispy, juicy veggies. I have to put up with warm mash, which has it’s place but is no substitute for a nice fresh juicy red pepper. Although the break was nice I was glad to get back to my palace on Sunday night. Everything was just where I left it and I do like to be covered at night. It may surprise you too hear it but I need my beauty sleep and there is no cover at my holiday home so I can’t sleep properly.

When its time to come home I get put back into my travel box. I really don’t like it, it’s very small and quite dark, I can see and smell the outside through the door but I can’t get to it. I have been making my feelings about the outside known for weeks and it is just an insult that she takes me outside in a box and won’t let me fly.

All in all it’s always nice to be home after you’ve been away.

Isabella Makes Her Feelings About being Left For The Weekend Known

May 1st, 2011

booksMy routine has been thrown off this week. My female owner has been away and my male owner clearly doesn’t think that my schedule is important. I have been woken up later, fed later and the quality of the treats has taken a definite downturn since she left. I made my feelings known on several occasions with a few rounds of screaming but that didn’t seem to get any reaction. Very disappointing. I was not to be defeated though and I stuck with the screaming hoping that my walnuts would reappear. So far no joy but I am very stubborn so we’ll see.

Towards the end of the week my male owner went away as well. I felt very abandoned but I was determined to make the best of it. Since the dogs are not as sophisticated as me and need someone to let them out every few hours there was someone staying. I decided that I would show my dissatisfaction with my owners by chatting through my new words with her. I haven’t practiced these on anyone else so I was a bit wary of how it would go but I think they all got a good reception although the noises they were making almost sounded like they were in pain, howling they were. I even managed to get the smaller dog to come over to the cage. I was very pleased with myself, I didn’t get a walnut but guests aren’t aware of my normal routine so I suppose that they can be forgiven. I laughed when I heard her telling my owners about all my words and phrases. It will be a while before I have forgiven them enough to give them the honour of hearing them.

My female human is still insistent that she wants me to wear that hideous pink harness. I am still not sure that being tied down is a good idea let alone tied down in pink. Suppose that I need to get away quickly and, lets face it, leads are for the more stupid animals and small children. So far beneath me. I’m really not sure what danger she thinks is going to befall me and I deserve the opportunity to sore through the skies. She hasn’t done very much to convince me that it is a good idea and now that I’ve been abandoned all weekend I don’t think I’m in the mood to make concessions. We’ll see, I don’t intend to be rushed into anything. I have also discovered a new game which seems to infuriate my female owner. My favourite chair is right next to the bookcase and those books make a satisfying noise when they fall to the floor. I can sometimes dislodge a whole row before she comes to stop me. I think that lumbering man is secretly impressed with my taste in books, little does he know I’m just throwing away the ones that smell of him! I’ve never managed more than a row but that is definitely a challenge for next week. Maybe I can perch on top of the bookcase and do the whole top row? I particularly like the books with the red or orange covers. They remind me of my favourite vegetables, peppers. I just don’t understand the fuss. Surely something as bright and colourful as a book was designed to be an appealing and attractive toy.

Right better dash. I saw the shopping being unloaded and spotted a pomegranate. I’m off to get a bit before it’s put away.

Royal Wedding Vows – For Richer For Poorer

April 29th, 2011

Royal Wedding FlagWhat has the Royal Wedding Vows got to do with parrots I hear you ask, just bear with me and you will see. I thought given all the buzz around the Royal Wedding it was a topical thing to write about whilst trying to get a point across.

So as the title suggests in my opinion one of the most important part of a wedding is the vows, whether it be done in front of a few witnesses at a registration office or a large scale audience at Westminster Abbey the fact is we all have to say our vows in one form or the other, to make our bond a permanent one, and to show those that are witnesses that you are willing to sacrifice everything and anything to be there for the special person in your life, I won’t bore you with the whole vows as they vary so much according to religion, preference and whatever else, but the bit of the vows that sticks in most people’s minds is:

To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.

So if you haven’t guessed where I’m heading with this already then it’s more obvious than you think, like my parrot tattoos post a few weeks back this is all about parrot ownership and just like in marriage where impulse weddings tend not to work and usually (but not in all cases) ends in divorce, parrot ownership is pretty much the same, if you don’t do your homework and prepare yourself for a lifetime commitment, remember, “Till Death Do Us Part” then you may find you have taken on more than you can handle, or certainly than you are prepared for.

This is why we setup the parrot rescue service to help those that may not be able to deal with the lifetime marriage after all, I’m not saying 100% of the rescues we take on-board are due to people being unprepared but there’s definitely a flavour of this we see quite regularly.

Our mission is actually not to have to rescue any parrots at all, after all this costs us money personally, what with travelling costs, vet bills, ongoing food bills, cages/toys and whatever else, for which we rely totally on donation to fund, this is a big part of the reason we put this site together, we wanted to create a resource to help people understand all the things that they need to know in order to be a parrot owner, I truely believe we have helped many people and hope to keep growing to the point where we are a household name for anyone that is thinking of parrot ownership and help many more, ultimately more happy parrot owners = more happy parrots that can’t be a bad thing, we thank all those who have and continue to contribute to helping us realise that dream.

So in summary, before taking on a parrot, like our dear Royals Kate and Wills think of those vows and make sure you really are prepared for a lifetime commitment no matter what happens, and overall you will be glad to be a parrot owner, just as we hope our two most recent Royals will be forever unlike some of those that preceded them.

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