Smart Bird – Bad Bird

Joleen believes it’s a cleverly hatched plan.

Jess and Aldo love to watch YouTube videos of other parrots on my laptop. Jess likes to help me write.

I’ve had my share of pets throughout the years: dogs, cats, a hamster, horned toads, turtles, parakeets, and two parrots. The parrots, Jess and Aldo, have been with my wife and I the longest. It’s going on 33 years. Out of all our pets these guys are up there in the intelligence department.

We, or I should say I, came by Aldo after a visit to a pet store. I was looking at birds with a friend when a lady walked up asking if I wanted a parrot. I told her I’d have to see it.

Jeff and I made arrangements to stop by the gal’s place on our way home. Aldo is a Red Lored Amazon parrot of medium size. He seemed to immediately take to me which was good. The woman had placed Aldo on my shoulder and he sat there perfectly content. Six hundred dollars later the accomplished actor was in a cage on the way to my place. Evidently he wanted out of her home quite badly as there were no shed tears.

Once inside the door, I showed Joleen how docile Aldo was. I sat him on my right shoulder and he immediately pierced the lower lobe. Blood flowed and I shrieked.

Joleen was able to rescue the angry bird before I could get my hands on him. Since that day he’s been her parrot. He’ll let me feed him and clean his cage but that’s about all. If I try to hold him he goes into angry bird mode. I’ve been pinched enough times to no longer attempt such. Whenever Aldo has to venture out of his pen I use a long wood pole or have Joleen do it.

Jess is strictly my pet. He’s a Yellow Nape Amazon also of medium size. I came by Jess after my friend Jeff could no longer keep the bird. Jeff’s wife developed bad asthma being exposed to his parrot dander. Some folks are that way. Our dog veterinarian can’t be around birds. Thankfully her husband isn’t, thus he tends to the avian species.

Jess will chase Joleen if he’s taken out of his cage and placed on the floor. It’s comical! She knows enough to not place tasty fingers inside his domain. He’s also the talker out of the bunch. One of his favorite lines is,

“Smart bad – Bad bird!”

I taught him that. It’s especially funny when Joleen walks by his cage and he makes an attempt to scurry over and bite her. It’s amusing to me but perhaps not so much to her.

Aldo has only been able to mimic one word since we got him. On occasion he’ll utter,


Jess on the other hand has a full bird vocabulary. Some of the things he says come from when Jeff and Laura owned him:

“I live at 9940 Springhill Drive”. That’s where they live.

“Aloha!” Jeff told me that someone taught Jess that word while they were in Hawaii on vacation.

“Hello Jeffie!” That’s what he calls me. I’m glad he doesn’t use the Mikey word instead.

“Laura!” He calls Joleen that and she always corrects him. For 33 years the two have been doing that gig.

Jess is smart enough to sing. His favorite tune is,

“You are my Sunshine.”

He especially likes to emphasize the lyrics,

“When skies are gray.”

I believe he’s referring to Alaska weather. The skies are rarely gray here in Arizona.

When he mimics our children’s names, Gunnar and Miranda, it sounds like,


I started coughing one morning because of a cold. Jess quickly picked up on it. That was several years ago and he’s still mocking me. Dr. Lange has yet to ask Jess when he goes in to get nails trimmed,

“Do you smoke?”

There’s a good possibility these guys will outlive us. Some parrots hang in there ‘til 100.

I’m not sure what’ll happen then. We’ve talked about finding them a new home with younger owners. Soon after that discussion it seems Aldo picked up on Jess’s cough. Joleen believes it’s a cleverly hatched plan.

How likely is it for anyone to want these guys if they begin hacking in unison?

Jess looks this way whenever Joleen enters the room.

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

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