Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pretty (smart) birds

Police in Japan rescued an African grey parrot two weeks ago from a roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for his owners. After a few days with the vet, the parrot became chatty. "I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs. Believable story! Our own family's African grey parrot, Frankie, is also a well-versed conversationalist. He speaks both English and Italian and actually says things he has learned when the time is right. For example, when the phone rings, he says "Hello," and carries on a pretend (mumbled) conversation until he feels the call has been long enough, then says, "Thanks for calling. Bye-bye, now!" When the doorbell rings, Frankie somehow knows who's outside even though he can't see them. He'll say, "Who's there, Julie?" when it's me. Frankie is an adventurous eater - he likes just about everything we eat. Favorites are chicken leg bones and biscotti, which he dunks in his water dish. Often, he gets messy with his food. He'll pick up clawfulls of seeds and throw them. Then he says, "Stop that! I'm going to spank your butt!" Photo: corsi photo (Of Frankie tasting shrimp for the first time.)

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