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Living with a Clown and a Scholar

Living with a Clown and a Scholar

David Dawes

Like many bird-keepers, we started our avian experience with a budgerigar, then a delightful Celestial Parrotlet with a fearless, inquisitive nature and a big attitude. Having been bitten by the ‘bird bug’, we acquired a male Golden Mantled Rosella who was a very active and energetic bird. But he had a strong dislike for my wife and two daughters and would often act aggressively towards them, launching himself at them just for walking past his cage.

After seven years, our Rosella passed over ‘the rainbow bridge’ and we went a long time without any avian companions at all. During this time, we regularly visited Lanzarote on holiday where we always found time to visit ‘Binka’ and ‘Harry’, an African Grey and Orange-winged Amazon, who spend their days outside a sea front restaurant charming the passing holiday makers.

It was Binka with his magnificent plumage and crimson red tail, remarkable personality and intellectual ways, which first won me over to ‘greys’ and the craving to own one myself. But despite this love for them, we decided to wait until both our daughters had grown up. This allowed me time to research their requirements and realised the high level of care, their demanding nature, and dietary requirements together with emotional and psychological needs was a lifetime commitment.

Late in 2006 my wife, Suzanne, spotted an African Grey which, she said, had a ‘character’ behind its eyes and that this was the parrot for us, and as our daughters were now 17 and 19 years old it seemed to be the right time to be able to dedicate the time he needed.

So Bobby came into our lives at 18 weeks old, with those deep black eyes that they have at that age, and soon settled in. His character and big personality started to show through, with all the normal African Grey traits of being nervous, intelligent and sensitive.

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