Parrot Playing

June 7, 2010

Parrots are intelligent creatures, some breeds more so than others. The African Grey is considered one of the top minds in the bird world, with the supposed intelligence level of a 5-year-old human, but the emotional level of a 2-year-old.

This translates to one very curious little creature with a knack for getting into things. And I don’t know about all African Greys, but ours is very, VERY persistent once she gets an idea in her head.

For instance, yesterday evening she and The Farmer were working up to a duet. He’d do a little trill sort of sound, and she’d answer him. She even followed him into the bedroom when he went to retire, trilling all the way. I put her back on her cage, and continued working on the computer. Next thing I knew, I heard her at the end of the hall in front of the bedroom door, trilling at The Farmer. She still wanted to play!

Every time I’d put her back on the cage, she’d wait until I wasn’t looking, then she’d climb down off her cage and boogie down the hall… I finally just locked her up. (You’re in the jailhouse now!)

To keep her occupied, she has several play areas in the house. I mean, face it, keeping her in or on her cage 24/7 would be like keeping a 5-year-old in a play pen or crib all the time. So I change things up so hopefully she doesn’t get bored.

Here she is on one of her play areas. . .

Parrots need to chew when they play!

I used to buy toys for her, but she mostly ignores them in favor of chewing on cardboard and phone books.  (And occasionally, something she is NOT supposed to be chewing on!)

Although she has designated play areas, sometimes she makes up her own…

So what would happen if the dishwasher was shut and turned on?

I found her on the dishwasher after I’d walked to another room to get something, and came back to find her off her cage.  When I couldn’t find her, I just asked, “Where are you?”  In this case she answered with a “Hello, hello!” and I found her.  She also sometimes knocks on a nearby wall or cabinet to let you know where she is.

Every once in a while she’s a real stinker and won’t answer.  Generally, she’s hiding under the couch then, so I know where to find her.

And she’s also smart enough to know when I’m getting aggravated when she’s persisting in being a bad bird, and like a little kid, will wait until you’re ready to do bodily harm, then do something funny or say, “I loooooovveeee you.”

Silly bird.

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