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Dear Parrots magazine,

Toning down

I have recently taken over an Orange-winged Amazon from an elderly couple who can no longer look after it as one of them will be going into a care home. Although I have not had a parrot before, I am aware that they are known for their talking ability, but in this particular case, this bird called Elmo comes out with expletives! This has caused a bit of a problem for us as we have an elderly neighbour that often pops in for a coffee and a bit embarrassing when I see the look of horror on her face when Elmo starts up.

What I can’t understand is where he got these swear words from as his previous owners were quite elderly and appear to be quite decent people and so cannot understand where he picked them up. As a result, I have been repeating simple phrases like “Hello Elmo” and parts of nursery rhymes in an attempt to dissuade him from these other words. I am sure other people may well come across a similar problem and I think by constantly repeating one or two phrases (not too many different ones), this type of problem could be resolved. I have to say that some of the things he comes out with does cause some amusement with some of my other friends, but hopefully he will now tone it down.

Janet Bridges, by email




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