Stories about my Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot Gizmo.
|Owning a parrot can sometimes have its moments. For eleven years I owned a canary winged parakeet named Watson. Not knowing how to deal with the heartfelt devastation of unexpectedly losing my best friend one morning I decided to get out and just browse the pet stores. All I wanted to do was to visit other birds. After visiting every pet store in my area, I walked into the last one around closing time. I went directly to the small animals. As I walked into the room I heard, "Hello! Hello! I can talk!" I was being greeted by a six-month-old Yellow Naped Amazon. When the store clerk put her on my shoulder she refused to get off, that sealed the deal! Because of the noises, she made on the way home she reminded me of the Gremlin, Gizmo. So, that's what I named her.
At six months old, the only things she could say were "Hello" and "I can Talk" That didn't last long! Less than a week after bringing her home, I was doing homework while she sat in the door of her cage, when I heard, "Pah...Pah...Pah...Peanut!" I was elated, immediately going and getting her a peanut. That elicited numerous squeals and sounds of happiness like, "Oh! That's how that works!"
Several days later, I was cleaning in the bedroom and I heard the telephone ring. When I ran into the room to answer the phone, it suddenly stopped ringing. I thought, "Fine! I don't want to talk to you either!" and went back to my cleaning. Again, the phone starting ringing and again, I went running to answer the phone. As soon as I entered the room, it stopped ringing! I thought, "If you want to talk to me at least give me a chance to get to the phone." Feeling a bit irritated, I went back to my cleaning, when once again, the phone started ringing. I went running to the phone and just as I entered the room, it stopped ringing. Only this time, I realized it was my parrot ringing, not the phone!
Well, this was just the start of an ever-increasing vocabulary of sounds and words. At the time, I worked midnights and got home at around 8 am. Having a pair of lovebirds across the room from my parrot, sometimes getting to sleep was difficult. Lovebirds can be noisy. One morning I was just settling into bed when I heard Gizmo calling to the male lovebird, "Come here! Come on Binkly, Step up! Come here Binkly". I could hear Binkly getting excited and running back and forth in his cage. Gizmo's teasing quickly changed to, "Shut Up! Just Shut Up! Shut Up!" and obediently he did! I had no idea this was going on.
The cursing started right after that. She added several curses to the shut up phrase. At the time, my neighbor's parents who were getting a divorce moved in next door. One summer day, I heard yelling and screaming outside. When I looked out the two were in my yard fighting. I took Gizmo over and set her on the chair in front of the open window. Quietly, I said, "Shut Up" That started her yelling at the top of her voice at them out the window, "Shut Up! I said Shut Up!" with her sorted mixture of curses in between. Both of them stopped and turned to see a Parrot in the window telling them to shut up.
Gizmo picked up a phrase I have no idea where she got it from. Every time she started yelling it, I expected the police to show up at my door. Sometimes for as long as half an hour she will sit and yell, "Help! Help! Stop! No! Owe! Stop! Help! Help!" I finally had to tell my neighbors it's my parrot, I am not in distress or need help.
Today, Gizmo is 23 years old. I stopped counting at how many words she knew when she was less than a year old and knew over 100 words. The interesting fact is she makes up her own sentences with the words she knows and they make perfect sense. She knows what they mean and how to use them, sometimes all too well.