I‘m of the belief that either you’re a “Grey” person or you’re not. Some “Grey” people like Greys and other species. And some, like me, really prefer just Greys. There is something about them that simply enchants me. I like other species of birds, but African Greys attract me like a magnet. I didn’t know I was that way until I began working with other birds. I’ve worked with numerous species, but so far I’ve either boarded or rehabbed and rehomed Cockatiels, Quakers, a Solomon Islands Eclectus, lovebirds, and other Greys. Not much really, but enough to know what I like.
I find Greys to have more expression, personality, and “soul”, if you will. They seem more 3-dimensional to me and I find I can read them far easier than other species. They have a quiet dignity that I admire and a nobility about them that I respect. I don’t find them aloof. Rather, I find them introspective and thoughtful.
I’ve read a lot about them through the hundreds and hundreds of articles and books by almost all of the leading writers in the field.
One thing became clear to me while reading their work: Raising a companion bird is not so much a science, or a pastime as it is an art. It is a creative work always in progress and it changes every minute. There are two participants in this work of art, the human and the bird, and sometimes the collaborators don’t always agree. But this is where it becomes a work of art. Both participants must come up with a viable solution or one of them loses out in the experience. The experience is the art, as well as the outcome, and both of the participants change as time passes. It is a fluid, moving entity.
Working that all out is a daily discipline and it takes a lot of time and thoughtful effort to get it right. And the more we learn, the better we get at it.
March 18, 2011 at 9:11 am
Your love of birds really comes through. I am sucker for almost ANY bird. Mine have completely and forever woven their feathered selves into the fabric of my life.
Art, yes, with all the metaphors and levels of meanings that art implies. Parrots are complex, richly social and engage us body, emotions, psyche and mind in their interactions.
My parrots have truly made me more humane and therefore more human. Anyone who has held a completely trusting parrot in their hands knows infinitely more about the responsibilities and joys of having such trust.
March 18, 2011 at 9:18 am
My relationship with my parrots is ever changing. They learn from me and I learn from them and while life with parrots can be challenging it is also very rewarding. I think Greys are wonderful but Macaws will always be the parrots for me. You just can’t beat that macaw sense of humor!!
March 18, 2011 at 9:26 am
Wow what a nice “love letter” for lack of a better word to grey parrots either in your house and in the world. I totally agree. My grey girl can be the most aggravating bird in the house and also the loving at other times. But I would not trade her for a million dollars.
March 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm
I have my exceptional “Goya” African Grey for 20 years now. I am the only person in his life so his vocabularie is outstanding. We talk back and forth in context. He is my perfect companion. So intelligent it scares me sometimes. Not a feather missing either ( unless he molts). Food, light ,play and love makes the difference.
March 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm
Oh my Patricia! Yes, what a wonderful love letter to your 3 greys; Parker, Pepper and Nyla. I have had the pleasure of having Parker visit my home on a couple of occasions and can tell you all that he is magnificent. When you look at him you can see the obvious intelligence…
Personally I felt intimidated with the thought of caring for an African Grey at that time. I have learned much since and my opportunity for a large bird came with a Solomon Island Eclectus named “Scarlet” a year ago. Like Kelly said, I have learned so much…
I love Terre’s closing thought:
“My parrots have truly made me more humane and therefore more human. Anyone who has held a completely trusting parrot in their hands knows infinitely more about the responsibilities and joys of having such trust.”
March 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm
Well, OF COUSE I agree! But Mom does too. She always says that it’s as if someone is really IN there. Thinking and planning and deciding. And of course I’m not even in the same league as the Ficus Twins. ; >
March 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm
I have always loved greys, but didn’t know how much until I actually owned one. I love all birds and have an appreciation for them, as I can see you do also, but greys are intertwined into the very fabric of my soul. I love their eyes and how expressive they are. I love everything about them. My timneh is a second hand parrot, so to speak, but I feel like I have known him all my life. He is also a feather picker and only has downy feathers on his body, but he is still stunningly beautiful to me. Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us Patricia. Your openness to share your love of greys (and birds in general) is a blessing to us all.