On the first day of creation, God created the parrot.
 On the second day, God created man to serve the parrot.
 On the third day, God created all the vegetables and nuts of the earth to serve as potential food for the parrot.
 On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man could labor for the good of the parrot.
 On the fifth day, God created cables and ropes so that the parrot could chew through them.
 On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the parrot healthy and the man broke.
 On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but He had to clean the parrot cages...

A Parrot's Point of View

1) If I like it, it's mine.
2) If it's in my mouth, it's mine.
3) If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4) If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5) If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6) If I'm chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.
7) If it just looks like mine, it's mine.
8) If I saw it first, it's mine.
9) If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10) If it's broken, it's yours.

Parrot Playing Techniques

by Carol and Kenneth Highfill

Parrots have their own unique way of playing and behaving. They amuse us, give us pleasure and sometimes cause great damage. Why they do the things they do are often hard to understand, but they are based upon behaviors in the wild. Here is a humorous look at some of their methods. Perhaps your bird fits into one or more of these categories.

The Thrower
This bird believes that toys were made for him to toss. If he can lift it with his beak, it will be thrown. Metal toys (such as bowls and bells) are best, as they make such delightful noises when they hit the cage bars, bottom grates or the floor. There are 'bottom of the cage' and 'floor tossers' who use a sideways throw and then there are the 'droppers' who have such fun dropping things off their gyms, cage tops and any other above ground object they may be perched on.

Once all the toys have been thrown for a while, then it is time to spend about 15 minutes in tossing the ends of the ropes hanging from the perches. They are so much fun to play with because the ends swing back, making it easier to throw them again.

The Chewer
This bird chews anything made of wood, including 2x4's, window frames, doors, furniture, perches and wooden toys. He will always be ready if the need for a nest arises. Consider putting him to work on a pile of 2x4's. Perhaps you can package and sell the resulting little pieces of wood as bedding and help pay for the cost of keeping your bird.

The Sailor
These birds are fascinated with knots and can't wait to untie them. Whether the knots are keeping their toys together or holding something up makes no difference - they are fair game. Toys made with knots, double knots in various thicknesses of rope or leather, even triple knots are irresistable to these Houdinis. Perhaps they are practicing to go sailing with a pirate.

The Fashion Designer
This type of bird's favorite pastime is making holes in your clothes with his beak. Collars, sleeves, button holes and hems are favorite areas, but all parts of the clothing are fair game. One advantage is that you get a wardrobe which provides air conditioning in the summer. For those humans who are fashion conscious, the lacy design one bird created on the bottom of a pair of denim shorts, rivaled the finest designer creations found at an expensive boutique. Remember that each piece of bird created clothing is an 'original' - not to be found anywhere else.

The Snipper
This bird may also be classified as a 'Neat Freak' who has an aversion to things which are attached to larger objects and which stick out. He is simply doing you a favor by getting rid of these unnecessary and/or unsightly items. Buttons, zippers, jewelry, watch pins, tassels, buttons on TV remotes or other equipment, knobs, switches and drawer handles are just a few items asking to be snipped. Electrical and computer cords are also very enticing. When your bird has accomplished his task, don't be surprised to see him turning to you, expecting to be praised for removing those nasty, protruding things from your possessions.

The Tunneler
If an item has a top which can be opened or if it is something can be burrowed under, then that is what attracts 'The Tunneler'. Getting under blankets to chew holes in the sheets or burrowing under towels and then making holes in them are favorite activities. Try getting an old item which you don't mind being destroyed for your bird to use.

A top opening jewelry box is a great find. After spending time in figuring out how to open the top and getting it to stay open, they will jump inside and begin destroying and throwing out the contents. Boxes containing sewing items, papers or whatever are just places to get into and to have fun. Drawers are another enticing place to play and a bird could accidentally get shut up in one. If you have such a bird, then try making toys for them from old boxes and fill them with safe things they will enjoy playing with.

The Foot Fiend
There is something special about feet and shoes to a bird. They are often an open invitation for a running attack. Watching a bird jump down to the floor and then run pigeon-toed across the floor at full speed ahead to get to a human's feet is something you will never forget. And when it arrives at its goal, let that person beware. Bare toes can be bitten. Shoelaces and lace tips can be snipped. Shoes can be attacked with a vengeance. Alas for those wearing expensive Nike's, unless they welcome holes in their shoes. Keeping an extra supply of shoelaces is also recommended if you have a 'Foot Fiend' as a pet.

The Jewelry Freak
Is anything more appealing than shiny things? Jewelry Freaks just love to grab a pair of eyeglasses and either tear them apart or throw them to the ground. Metal watchbands and watch crystals are also favorite items for larger birds to snap and crack, while smaller birds seem to enjoy biting off watch stems. Other favorite items are earrings, neckchains, bracelets and hair adornments. The shinier the more appealing.

The Architect
Architects are masters at redesigning their cages. Perches are meant to be chewed. Bowls and dishes are there to be loosened from their holders and tossed. If there are any bolts in reach, they are fun to unscrew. And if these bolts are holding toys, perches or cage frames in place, then that is even better. These things make such fun noises when they fall. Locks are wonderful items to open and some parrots are even better than locksmiths. Another favorite of Architects are electrical cords, especially those attached to cage lights. What fun to snip these cords into smaller pieces.

A Bird's-Eye View of Proper Eating Etiquette

Birds have methods of eating which are all their own and are designed to befuddle their owners. Somehow they must have a way of communicating them to each other, since many birds use these techniques with their humans. Here are some common eating and drinking rules of etiquette,  strictly from a birds point of view.


The Foot Strainer
Place one foot on the side of the food bowl, using the other foot as a utensil. Grab a footful of food and lift. Smaller seeds and pieces of food will fall to the floor, making a funny noise. Eat the one or two pieces which remain in the foot. Repeat until the bowl is empty.

The Dainty Selector
Approach the fresh dish of food. Daintily select pieces of food and gently drop to the floor of the cage until only a few desired pieces of food remain in the bowl. Proceed to eat. When done, call for more food.

The Dieter
One at a time, hold each piece of fruit, veggie or pasta in the foot.  Take one bite and drop the remainder on the floor. This ensures that there will be room for treats and other delicacies later.

The Dried Fruit Gourmet
Choose pieces of dried fruit. Carefully place them in the water bowl.  Return later, after they have plumped up. Then remove from the bowl, taste and drop on the floor.

The Shoveler
Approach a full dish of food. Bury the beak in the bowl and with a quick snap of the neck, sweep the food sideways out of the dish. Use short quick strokes to cover most of the cage bottom with pretty patterns of food. If feeling energetic, shovel harder to decorate the walls and floor outside of the cage. This method helps convince the pet owner that a different kind of food is preferred.

The 20-Foot Fling
Dip the foot in a food dish and grab a large footfull of goodies. Close the foot into a ball around the items, raise the foot and throw as far as possible. This technique not only gets to the walls and floors, but reaches much of the furniture as well.

The Grate Houdini
From time to time drop morsels of favorite foods on the cage floor. Let them remain there while they age to the proper potency. When ready, climb down to the cage floor and sample the delicacies. Many pet owners have placed grates in the bottom of the cage. To thwart this maneuver, just stretch a leg through the grate to get at the prize. Most birds have legs long enough to reach the tray below the grate. If the owner changes the cage papers daily, begin dropping pieces of food just after the change so that the food has at least a few hours to ripen.

The Butter or Sauce Scraper
This maneuver is to foil the human who coats a piece of undesirable food with butter, sauce or something else that birds really love. Just hold the piece of food in the foot and use the beak to skim off the good tasting part, leaving the unwanted portion untouched.

Pack a Lunch
Tuck seeds, pellets or other choice items among the feathers and under the wings. It messes up the human's measurements of how much is eaten and puzzles them when they give you a shower.


The Artist
For birds with an artistic flair and a good sense of color. Break off a piece of dyed wood from a favorite toy and place in the water dish. From time to time, return to the dish and mix. When the water has turned a satisfactory color, call for the pet owner to admire the creation and replace the water. Begin a new artistic work.

The Dunker
Carefully select a choice piece of food from the food dish. Items like pellets, cheerios or birdie bread are best. Dip in the water bowl until thoroughly soaked. Sample the moist delicacy and decide that it doesn't taste as good as expected. Leave the item in the water bowl and start complaining about the messy water.

The Water Bottle Trick
For those birds lucky enough to have a water bottle. Select the proper size seed and wedge it into the water bottle tip. This keeps the water bottle mechanism open and creates a nice waterfall effect. Experienced birds can also use the beak or a toe to achieve the same effect.


The Plate Stomp
Explore the various foods available on the table, before making a selection. Just approach each bowl or plate and walk through it, making sure to pass through each item on the plate. Foods with sauces and dressings are especially great. They stick to the feet and allow the flavors to mix with other food items. The messy feet also discourage the pet owner from picking a bird up from the table.

The Shoulder Trick
Select a piece of food which has a sauce (such as pasta) or a juicy item (such as a piece of tomato). Holding the food in the beak, as fast as possible climb up the arm of a human to the shoulder. Proceed to eat the messy food, dropping sauce or juice on the human's clothes. When done, drop the remainder and wipe the beak on a still clean portion of the item of clothing. A true expert bird can perfect the 'Squeegie Trick'. Hold a piece of pasta with sauce in the foot and bite off the end. Pull the pasta through the foot to get another bit, while at the same time forcing the sauce to come off on the foot. Place this foot on the human's shoulder when it has become sufficiently covered with sauce. Climb down the arm to get another piece of food.

The Floor Caper
After selecting items from a dinner plate, take a few bites and fling the remainder to the floor. To throw the food further, fling the food from a human's shoulder. If the human becomes annoyed, placate it by offering it a bit of the food or saying something cute and looking innocent.

Eat to Get a Hug
Grab all the garlic you can find - garlic bread, salad dressing, etc. Then give the human a kiss. The human will give you hugs and scratches - anything to avoid getting another odorous, garlic breathe kiss. Also effective is the 'Pepper Kiss'. A kiss after eating hot red peppers or jalopeños will definitely get a human's attention.

Why Don't Birds Have Saliva?

Becauth their featherth would thtick to their mouth!

Priest Buys a Parrot

A priest is buying a parrot to keep him company.   "Are you sure he doesn't scream, yell, or swear?" asked the priest.   "Oh absolutely. He's a very religious parrot," the storekeeper assures him.   "Do you see those ribbons on his legs? When you pull the red ribbon on the right leg, he recites the Lord's Prayer, and when you pull the blue ribbon on the left leg he recites the Hail Mary."   "Wonderful!" says the priest, "I will take him -he will be perfect for my home." At home the priest shows him off to his housekeeper and explains what a wonderful religious parrot he is and what the ribbons are for....she is most impressed and then asks "what happens if you pull both ribbons?"   The parrot screeches, "I fall on my ass.  I fall on my ass   I fall on my ass......!!!!"

A Man Inherits a Parrot

A man inherits a parrot from a relative who passes away. Upon its arrival, the man learns that the parrot was originally owned by a sailor, and has the bad language to match.

The man's mother comes by, and the parrot cusses so much, his mother passes out. His girlfriend hears the parrot, and dumps him. The priest comes by to exorcise the parrot, and that doesn't even work. He's lost his family, he's lost his friends, he's about to have a nervous breakdown. One day he's finally had it with the bird, and throws him in the freezer.

The parrot cusses even worse than ever, and then suddenly gets quiet. After a while, the man gets worried and goes to check. The parrot
 looks at him, and says: "Dear sir. I am terribly sorry for my language as of late. I realize now that it was unacceptable, and I promise that in the future, I shall conduct myself in an appropriate manner. But first, I must ask. . . what did the chicken do?"

Birdie Christmas Carols

To the tune of "We Three Kings"

We three 'tiels of Mickaboo are
Bearing joy instead of scars.
We're so happy in our new home!
Now we're no longer alone!

Oh - oh -

Birds of wonder
Birds of light
Birds with royal beauty bright.
Homeward leaning, we're still preening,
And singing for joy with all our might!

 To the tune of "Deck the Halls"
 Deck the halls with sprays of millet
 Fa la la la la, la la la la

When there's an empty food dish, fill it!
 Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our birdie porridge
 Fa la la la la la, la la la

Hide our food, for it we'll forage!
 Fa la la la la, la la la la.

To the Tune of "Jingle Bells"
Jingle birds, jingle birds, jingle all the way!  Oh what fun to sing so loud we scare the neighbors away - hey!
Jingle birds, jingle birds, jingle all the way!  Oh what fun it is to add to the noise in the house each day!

It's too quiet in here.  We need to make some noise!  We'll sing it very clear.  And share the season's joys!  You don't have to cover your ears,  We'll always sing with poise,  We'll out-sing all our peers,  And then we'll get more toys!

Oh Jingle birds, jingle birds, jingle all the way!  Oh what fun to sing so loud we scare the neighbors away - hey!
Jingle birds, jingle birds, jingle all the way!  Oh what fun it is to add to the noise in the house each day!

To the tune of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"*
We wish we could have more goodies, We wish we could have more goodies, We wish we could have more goodies, The kind that we like!

The yams and the greens,    
The corn on the cob,   
The apples! 
The carrots!   
The fruit shish-ka-bobs!

We wish we could have more goodies.
We wish we could have more goodies,
We wish we could have more goodies,
The kind that we like!

The baked birdie bread,   
The strawberries too,   
The Avicakes and pellets,   
We eat better than you!

We wish we could have more goodies,
We wish we could have more goodies,
We wish we could have more goodies,

The kind that we like!

To the tune of "O Christmas Tree"

O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo, We're grateful that we came to you.

O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo, We're thankful that you love us too.

We came from shelters, closets too  Garages and dark lonely rooms.  O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,  We're grateful that you saw us through.
O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo, We're grateful that we came to you.  O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo, We're thankful that you love us too.

You took us in, you kept us warm.  Fed us good food, kept us from harm.  O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,  We're grateful that you saw us through.

O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,We're grateful that we came to you.  O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,We're thankful that you love us too.
When we were sick, you took us to  The greatest vets.  They knew what to do.    O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,    We're grateful that you saw us through.

O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,We're grateful that we came to you.  O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,We're thankful that you love us too.
And now we wait to find a home,    A place of love we'll call our own.    O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,    We're grateful that you saw us through.

O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo,  We're grateful that we came to you.  O Mickaboo, O Mickaboo, We're thankful that you love us too

Do Not Talk to My Parrot

Mrs. Day's dishwasher quit working so she calls a repairman. Since she has to go to work the next day, she tells him,

"I'll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dish-washer, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you the check.  Oh, by the way, don't worry about my bulldog; he won't bother you.  But, whatever you do, DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot!"

When the repairman arrives at Mrs. Day's apartment the next day, he discovers the biggest and meanest looking bulldog he has ever seen. But just as she said, the dog just lies there on the carpet watching the repairman go about his business.

The Parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling, cursing, and name-calling. Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled, "Shut up, you stupid ugly bird!"

To which the parrot replied, "Get him, Spike!"

Parrot-Related Quotes

She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.
-Mark Twain

The bird of paradise alights only in the hand that does not grasp.
 - John Berry

I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.
 - Emily Dickinson

I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.
 - Charles Lindbergh

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.
 - ee cummings

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains?
 - Rose Kennedy

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
 - Chinese Proverb

I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!
 - Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

I think when you go on trial they should have a parrot there that says guilty or not guilty for you, as a sort of courtesy.
 - Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.
 - Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.
 - Aesop