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AfricanGreys.com • View topic - Newbie question

Newbie question

Welcome to the Grey Play Round Table African grey Question and Answer Board. Maggie Wright, author of the Barron's Grey pet manual and creator of the Grey Play Round Table African grey newsletter/magazine, and Lisa Bono, African grey behavior expert, will be the two moderators to answer your questions. Please check out the areas that have already been dealt with... and submit your new questions.


Due to the incredibly high volume of SPAM, the board has been set up so that you cannot submit a question. Instead, please send me your question at merlin@AfricanGreys.com and I will post it for you. Then, both Lisa and I will post responses. Sorry for the inconvenience.

PLEASE send me your questions... we REALLY want to help you!!! merlin@AfricanGreys.com.


Wishing you GREY'T Blessings!
Maggie Wright

Moderator: merlin

Newbie question

Postby merlin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:00 am

After admiring and talking myself into and out of African Greys for the past 30 years, I am getting closer to making the decision before I get any older. I am 50. This last weekend we stopped in to a Pet Store a few hours from home so my daughters could check out fish for their aquariums. This place has Macaws, Conures Cockatiels etc. and one lone African Grey. The birds are in a room within a room- fairly large and clean. They sit on perches that are on tables that have plexiglass “walls” about 18 inches high.

The young guy who worked there was letting folks touch the birds he was handling, but he never went towards the Grey. After watching a woman put her arm out to an Amazon and the bird went to her, I figured why not. So I put my finger out and the Grey stepped right on me, following the lead of the lady with the Amazon I tried to pet his breast and he proceeded to give me one wail of a nip. Fortunately I have callouses on my hands and it was ok. The bird had had its feathers ruffled prior to me having it step up. As soon as it got on my finger the feathers relaxed. Another guy wanted to try and I let him- the bird went to him but never stopped looking at me, feathers again ruffled.

The guy was nervous too. I had him put it back on the perch. The grey went willingly to the perch. I tried again and the same thing happened. It stepped on me and gave me a nip and the feathers settled back down. He would not return to the perch when I tried to have him step off. When he eventually did step down I went to the other end of his area and he proceeded to watch me. My wife and daughters were talking to him right where he was. I spoke to him form where I was, and he very deliberately made his way among his perches to the branch closest to me and watched me from the side. I put my finger up and off he stepped and again gave me a very hard twisting nip. And down went the feathers.

I let my 23 years old daughter hold him and he was relaxed with her, but he followed me with his eyes. I even walked out of sight and then spoke and he shifted his whole position to find me.

Every time I would put him on the perch it was not easy to get him off, and the feathers immediately ruffled. The guy at the store said he, the employee, had been there for 1.5 years- the bird had been there I believe he said for 2 years. In all that time the bird had not let the guy pick him up. Although it would play like it was going to let him pick it up and then bite him hard. Now this guy was holding all the other birds- they clearly were comfortable with him. He was giving them affection and kisses.

My question for you is what was going on there? Was this an instant connection? I felt like that bird was trying to communicate something to me. I was not prepared to feel that way or to get so much from his eyes. Am I reading too much into it? I am feeling bad for the little fellow and it bothered me to leave him there all ruffled up, when I knew he relaxed when I held him.

I am still learning and am not prepared to bring a bird home before I increase my knowledge. I would appreciate your input into what was going on there. I am very tempted to drive down there next weekend to see if he recognizes me or if it was a fluke.


I have thought this out, and my 23 year old daughter likes parrots as well and she says if the bird outlives me she will care for it.

Thanks for taking the time and thanks for your website.


Peter
merlin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Re: Newbie question

Postby merlin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:01 am

Hi Peter,
Your note has touched my heart!!! Yes!!! It seems there is a connection between you and this beautiful guy. Please go back and keep going back often until you decide whether you want him or to move on. I always tell people to choose the bird that chooses you, and it will be right.

He gave you a nip when you touched the breast because that is a personal place. Greys are private and generally, only the mate is allowed to touch special places, like the back, under wings and breast. Otherwise, it is best to only rub his head when you don't know him well.

Please read my book on greys. You can get it here: www.AfricanGreys.com

Please keep me posted. Let me know what you decide to do. Personally, I think you should bring him home. If you need to have a few consultations, I can do that with you.
Blessings,
Maggie-
merlin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am


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