Parrot Beaks: Really Good Tools for Shredding Memos.

1526282_10201443059829486_1823720812_nTrue story.

This picture was  staged, I  have to admit. I gave Dapple a memo as I was trying to catch a bird-shaming picture. That venture didn’t work out too great. She promptly took the note and shredded it, carefully placing  whatever little pieces she could get off of it in the food bowl behind  her. Any other time, she’s fine to carry around a note in her beak. In fact, on my desk is a box of memo notes. She’ll take one at  a time really carefully, and waltz over to the edge of my desk and drop it off, turning  her head sideways to watch it float to the ground. I sigh, and pick it up. Every time. Rinse and repeat.

WP_001399My desk — second favorite perch is my monitor.
First favorite perch is me.

She really doesn’t make the best homework helper. I call her a semi-velcro bird. If she is out of the cage, she has to be sitting on or near me. I don’t like when any of the birds sit on my head while I’m busy, though. So instead, Dapple takes to rearranging my office supplies for me. She’ll pluck pens out of my coffee  cup holder and chew the caps beyond recognition. She’ll replace the pens with her stick of millet, especially if it is all gone. I think it’s her version of protest. Oh — and forget paper. If there was any animal to which the excuse “my pet ate my homework” would apply, it would be a parrot. I try not to use my notebooks that  I have to bring to class when parrots are present, due to the efficiency of beaks. I use scrap paper, and then transfer or type up my notes or assignments.

Sometimes, I’m forced to put my laptop on and play some netflix for the birds, because they literally won’t stay out of my hair while I’m working. This is another thing we as parronts (that is, parents of parrots) have to accept. They are trouble makers. But they are trouble makers that love you. From the second you bring them into your house, your life is birds, 100% of the time.


Some folks don’t understand this. They buy their bird and when it wants literally ALL the attention — and won’t stop screaming otherwise — these folks rehome their pets. This is the reality of the situation. I didn’t know what I was getting  into when I adopted my cockatiels. True story. But now, I’m responsible as if they were children. I’m okay with that, and I have the resources to manage. So if you find yourself wishing you had a pet bird, try volunteering for a bird rescue first. Do some research about the state of the parrot trade today. Try cleaning bird poop out of your hair after such time spent volunteering. Try doing your homework with parrots scouting the desk for nesting materials. Try to take a nap when the birds are serenading you with the song of their people. Anyone who befriends me can borrow my living room to test any of these things, I assure you. But really be absolutely sure you can handle this responsibility. The bigger the bird, the bigger the mess, and the louder they scream. Just so you know.

All that aside — on a more positive note: I do have a my other birds, and they are excellent, well-behaved homework buddies — not very clingy. I feed them and turn on ELO (I blame my dad for this — though I do love the band, the birds like them more because Dad would  play his records on the stereo in the living room often), and they sing, dance and munch whilst sitting on their parrot stand without a fuss. Some parrots are more suited for a student’s lifestyle than others.

1897891_10201551737746366_1181910862_nThis is Gimli, whose favorite song is Rockaria! by ELO…
you know, because there are no songs about millet.

I’m going to try and figure out how to add a video for you guys of bird-dancing shenanigans. I think it’s one of the most awesome things to witness, such little creatures with their own taste in music. They really are wonderful, beautiful creatures. I advocate for anyone who knows for sure they can handle this kind of crazy to adopt a bird. But definitely, the lesson I have learned is to roll with all the punches no matter what.



6 thoughts on “Parrot Beaks: Really Good Tools for Shredding Memos.

  1. I literally lol’d at this post, because one of my cockatiels was doing exactly the same paper/velcro stuff while I was reading it. I’m just glad that parrot poop is primarily vegetable matter, so it doesn’t smell in small quantities.

    • Exactly, and it makes it fairly easy to clean off of fabrics, providing they haven’t gone overboard on drinking water OR munching fresh fruits and veggies. (: Glad these comedians of mine made you laugh!

  2. I had the opportunity to bird sit the 4 parakeets this blog is based on, for several months. I became quite partial to Gimli because he is so animated when he dances to “My Kind of Music”, mostly classic rock and 80’s music such as ELO and others. I don’t care what people say or think they know about birds and that they aren’t smart and can’t be partial to certain songs or remember the tunes because they have such tiny brains. Well, to all the naysayers out there, I have news for you! Parakeets (especially MY Gimli) are highly intelligent and I will consider it a major compliment if someone were ever to call me a birdbrain! Love me some tiny birdies!! ❤

  3. Dapple’s game with the memo notes makes me think of a dog who takes your shoe. You get up, get your shoe, bring it back over, and the dog takes it again. Of course, with a bird, you can’t really put the memo cards up high so they can’t reach because they can just fly up and get them. I like how you describe how she distracts you from your homework, chewing pen caps and eating homework. Have you ever gotten in trouble before from not having your homework, or maybe having to redo an assignment because of her? Maybe you could add in the conversations you had with the birds. I know some of them don’t talk back, but I know you would still be talking to them. You have a great descriptive, comedic tone with your writing, and I think adding in your conversation with them would add to that. I like that this post was contributed to Dapple, and I think that’s a good idea to do for each post, or if it is on a certain topic, like beak destruction, describe how each parrot uses their beak. It would help get a sense of each bird’s character: the trouble maker vs the suck-up. I can’t wait to see the video of them dancing and singing-It’s like you have your own stereo as the birds serenade you.

    • Sometimes the song of their people is a little obnoxious (: There are pros and cons to being a bird parent. I haven’t gotten in trouble from the birds eating my homework — I’ve just had to last-minute print new copies or rewrite assignments so far since the ‘tiels have been home. When it was just two parakeets in the dorm, there wasn’t as much trouble with ruined paper so much as their unyielding need to me involved in absolutely everything that ever went on in the room.(
      I will definitely post about our conversations. I talk to all of them like humans, and while they don’t all make noise to respond, all of them will react to my voice. Most of the time in a hilarious manner.

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