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Dear Parrots magazine,

Vasa’s are amazing!

I have a 3½ year-old female Vasa named Dexter who has an extensive vocabulary of human words. Just in the past year or so her talking ability has vastly expanded, the difference is unbelievable! She talks all the time, sometimes picking up long phrases that she has heard, only once or twice.

Dex has also, in the past six months, learnt that names are interchangeable within phrases; smart bird! She will substitute the name of the person whose attention she desires, and now instead of calling the dogs, she calls and whistles for my husband, etc. It’s hilarious, and more often than not, she uses an appropriate phrase for the situation.

Her babyish mumblings are usually a precursor to real human words. Dex tends to mumble things to herself for a while, before actually saying something out loud. Sometimes though, there are long strings of unintelligible syllables, perhaps the bird equivalent to carrying on a conversation? Dex seems to think she’s telling us a story about something, anyway! When done, she laughs hysterically, as if she’s just told a joke. It’s so funny to watch the facial expressions, she is always so serious about whatever it is she’s ‘talking’ about.

Dex just loves to travel. I drive a taxi and go back home and get her every now and then, so she can ride with me late in the shift. She gets soooo excited when she sees the cab pull into the driveway because she knows she is going for a ride. All the regulars love her and she even collects the fares sometimes!

She even rode to New York with us from South Carolina, back in March and thoroughly enjoyed the 13-hour road trip (more than we did). She spent the whole time flicking food at the back of my husband’s head, and laughing insatiably each time something made contact! This bird definitely has a sense of humour and will do anything to get a laugh out of anyone! No-one is a stranger to Dex, she is very entertaining and she knows it, and thrives on it.

Dex will eat anything, except eggs and gooey stuff like bananas and peanut butter, which sticks to her beak and drives her nuts! ‘Steak night’ brings on her entire vocabulary until she gets a bite of her own; Tacos bring on the same insanity. As long as she gets a bite of what we have, everything is good in parrotland. Strawberries are her favourite fruit, and her enthusiasm is such that each strawberry eating session always ends in red beak, red feet and red walls...

I really don’t understand why Vasas aren’t more popular. Maybe they aren’t the prettiest, most colourful parrots in the pet store, but they are definitely guaranteed to be worth their cost in entertainment value. Dex is a comedienne and knows it. You just can’t help but fall in love with Vasas.

Barbara Phipps, South Carolina, USA




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