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Dear Parrots magazine,

Be on your guard

I would just like to put people on their guard when buying birds. My neighbour, next door but two, has always been interested in parrots and every time he comes to see me, always goes on about my birds.


It got to a point about two months ago when he said he would like to have a go at breeding and took an interest in Senegals as they are not too large and appear to be an ideal species to start with.


He did do a lot of research and eventually found someone who was selling a proven pair at a good price. This seller was about a hundred and fifty miles away, which meant a long journey to collect them. He was asking me what he should do and I was a little concerned that the seller had only a mobile number and said he didn’t want unknown people coming to his house because of security. However, I was still not convinced as this seller did not answer certain questions in the way I would have thought.

But my neighbour seemed very keen to buy this pair and contacted the seller again to arrange collection. What happened next did not surprise me. The seller offered to meet my neighbour at a service station on the M40 motorway because of the long journey. But despite my trying to put him off from doing this, he arranged to meet at this place.

There was little I could do but did go with him to meet this seller. Once at the service station, we had to wait nearly an hour before this chap turned up with the birds. I thought he looked a bit dodgy and the birds were not in very good condition despite being described as ‘excellent’.

I did my best to put off the sale at which point, the seller came on with the hard sell, which put me off even more - he even offered to reduce the price. I was not at all happy with this and told my neighbour in no uncertain terms, to refuse to buy. Thank goodness he took my advice and we left with the seller throwing abuse at us and accusing us of wasting his time.

On returning back home and a long chat, my neighbour thanked me for, what he suspected, would have been a very unhappy experience.

The moral of this escapade is, not to buy from a stranger at a motorway service station, or anywhere else away from the seller’s premises as there would be no come back if things went wrong.

Mary Goddard, Hampshire




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