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.
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.
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.