parrot as family

Bernie, wanting still more

Yesterday I made one of my regular visits to the wonderful avian shop called 33rd & Bird to pick up supplies for the third member of the family. As usual, I hung out with their hundreds of birds for a good part of an hour.

Our own friend, Sweetpea, is a beautiful, tiny green parakeet who flew into our apartment out of the cold two and a half years ago. He sits near one or both of us much or most of the day, and he provides enormous good cheer and good company. We do our best to return it.

I've always loved birds, but this little creature has given me an enormous respect for all of their kind, and above all for the parrot species.

Each time I visit this shop (which raises many of the parrots itself) after checking out the young birds still in their homely pinfeathers, I look around for Bernie. In the picture above he had just gotten a good scratching on the back of his head, the only spot on his body he can't access with his remarkably-flexible neck. He was looking for still more, and I'm sure he soon got it. He bends his head down for anyone who comes near. He's gorgeous, and extraordinarily affectionate, as all Moluccan Cockattoos are said to be. He's not for sale: good for me and all the people who come to the shop, and probably very good for Bernie. He has a huge family exactly where he is.

Oh yes, for anyone thinking about living with a bird, while Barry and I got ours free, you'll need at least $9.95 to go home with a parakeet from most shops. I'd recommend 33rd and Bird, whatever they ask. They respect all of their tenants and the wishes of all of their customers equally, regardless of how much money is involved, but if you really want to spend more, possibly thousands more, and you're ready to commit to fully sharing your life and perhaps that of your heirs, you can adopt a larger bird. Just remember that you may never be alone again. There's a reason some people walk around everywhere with birds on their shoulders; they really, really need interaction. I mean that it's the birds who need the attention, although I admit I once thought it was the other way around.

parakeet chicks, can't say they're pretty yet, but they sure are lovable

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Published on March 25, 2005 1:06 AM.

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