Parrots In The Pergola

Sometimes, when the air is cool and the sun is low on the horizon,

I take Rita outside with me to spray water on the plants in the pergola.

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She likes to sit in this corner on this particular chair.

The opposite corner is virtually identical with the same plants,

but when I put her on that chair once, she flew to the floor

and waddled over to her chair.

Sometimes, parrots have preferences just as humans do.

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I began taking Rita outside when she was very young.

She loved being in the trees while I worked in the Secret Garden.

Of course, her flight feathers are clipped.

(Never take a fully-flighted bird outside without a harness.)

As I was spraying the plants, I forgot about Rita and accidentally sprayed her

with the force set for plants … not for parrots.

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She was offended and flew down onto the floor.

Then she glared at me and waddled off under a Sago Palm nearby.

Parrots are not puppies.

They are never truly domesticated.

Parrots can, and often do, decide to become our companions.

Although they adjust to life indoors with us,

we must remember that it is never by choice.

And it is only on their terms with mutual respect.

I had failed to respect her.

Rita-coming-from-Sago-1200

When she was certain that I’d turned off the water,

she emerged from the safety of the palm.

She is always happy when I lift her up into the trees.

She spreads her wings, stretches to her full height, and explores the tree

snapping off any new twigs in her path.

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There is a magical transformation in Rita’s demeanor and body language when she enters the trees.

As if she has gone home again.  She is confident and assured and strangely alert.

Her eyes constantly darting from place to place,

the pupils dilating and pinning with excitement and anticipation.

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One has only to see a parrot sitting among tree leaves

to understand where they belong.

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When Rita is ready to go indoors, she is eager to come to me for the ride.

When she is not ready, she protests

in what would appear to be full-attack mode.

If I didn’t know her, I would believe the show.

Cheeky-in-Fern-Basket-1200

While Rita was enjoying herself in the Wax Myrtle tree,

I decided the time was right to introduce Cheeky to the Garden.

We would begin with a trip to the safety of the pergola.

Since he had learned to trust me, I felt it was safe to trust him.

I set him in a Staghorn Fern basket and stepped away.

Cheeky-on-staghorn-fern-II-1200

Sure enough, he stood there for only a few seconds before he began to explore.

I was a bit surprised that he chose to climb onto the base leaf of the fern.

But, he seemed confident enough so I continued to encourage him.

He watched me and listened.

Cheeky-on-Staghorn-Leaf-1200

Within a couple of minutes he began to explore

with such enthusiasm that his obvious joy made me laugh.

He alternated between investigating and looking back at me as if he wondered what was so funny!

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 I have no idea whether Staghorn Ferns are poisonous for parrots,

but I allowed him to “feel” the texture before I called him to come down from the leaf.

I will research before I allow him to play there again.

Looking-out-of-the-fern-basket-1200

When he climbed down from the leaf and began to look at the bromeliads on the floor below,

I decided it was time to end his frolic in the pergola for the day.

It is far better to correct a mistake before the parrot has made it.

Rita and Cheeky enjoyed their time in the Garden.

And so did I.

NOTE:  If you would like to read about how I am training the baby, let me know.

               If you are interested, I will occasionally post our progress.  I don’t want

               to bore you with photographs of Parrot Kindergarten…  😉

127 Comments on “Parrots In The Pergola

    • Thanks, Charlie! Glad you enjoyed our trip to the pergola. Myy daughter designed the garden for our house several years ago. I love it out there with everything that grows and lives there. Thanks for stopping by to visit and leaving such a nice comment. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Margaret. I enjoy the garden with them as much as they do. I scrolled through your blog earlier and enjoyed the way it is organized to allow scrolling! I’ll come back to read later. I love the birds of Australia. I cannot imagine the joy of living near them. The King Parrot always looks so fat. 😉 I enjoyed Chicki too! What a darling pup!

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  1. How brilliant. i don’t think i would ever get bored of parrot kindergarten. We keep talking about having a parrot, the dogs are used to having birds around so I think it would be OK but they are so dreadfully expensive to buy .. your garden is beautiful, you must live somewhere tropical.. we are in illinois.. not tropical!! have a glorious day c

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  2. Thanks for sharing your beautiful bird friends, George. Your photos and narrative are so captivating, and I feel that I’m right there with you and Rita and little Cheeky. 🙂 I’d love to follow you by email so that I don’t miss any posts, but I don’t see such a button on your blog.

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    • Hi, Sylvia! I’m glad you enjoyed our visit to the garden. Rita always loves it and baby Cheeky is learning the ropes around here. The email follow form is at the bottom of the page. Thanks for dropping by to visit us! 🙂 I always enjoy your travels and, as you said, I always feel as if I’m right there sharing the adventure with you.

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  3. HI George!
    These photos are spectacular!! How are you?
    How have you been? Why aren’t you on facebook anymore?
    I hope everything is going well, and hope not to lose contact with you.
    Hugs!

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    • Hi, Pablo! Good to see you! I spend too much time looking at photographs and reading stuff on FB! Are you posting to WP anymore? I am fine. Just cannot fit everything in these days. gweaver@suddenlink.net is my email. Glad you liked my babies… Where is my parrot post??? 🙂 Will send a message. Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Thanks, Sue. Rita always loves her time in the trees. I’m working on little Cheeky who has gotten almost too self-confident for his own good. He makes me laugh. There is always something going on with these guys. Thank you for stopping in. Miss you too. 🙂

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  4. What a fascinating parrot world you inhabit, George. When you were talking about Rita’s delight in being in the trees, I wondered whether you might think it unkind to keep them in captivity? I suppose it depends what they are used to. Rita is obviously very happy to keep you company (except when you misbehave 🙂 )

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    • Hi, Jo! Do I think it unkind to keep birds? Well, yes and no. It is horribly cruel to capture parrots in the wild for sale. Rita is a Double Yellow-Head Amazon (Amazona oratrix). They are endangered in the wild, but plentiful in captivity (through breeding for pets). Both Rita and Cheeky were bred in captivity and never knew any other life. If captive parrots are well-treated and are in an environment that is designed to meet their needs both in environmental stimulation, light, exercise and a balanced diet, they live for a very long time and enjoy their human companionship. Unfortunately, birds that are caged without proper care and human interaction, do not thrive. Rita is not caged except at night to sleep. Cheeky is caged for a good deal of the time, but he has a large cage with many toys, and a UV light, and he is near my desk so that I interact with him all day. Birds that have to be caged should spend at least four hours every day outside of their cages. Cheeky would hang out on me all day! Unfortunately, many birds end up being traded from home to home and being abused in the process. Parrot keeping is not for everybody and it requires as much commitment as caring for a child. I happen to love parrots. But, I do not “collect” them. People often take on more parrots than they can adequately care for.

      Thanks for stopping by to chat, Jo! 🙂

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    • Ah, my Rita! She is a fine girl, and she is happy. If she becomes slightly unhappy, she discusses it with me relentlessly until the problem gets fixed! And, Cheeky is a sweetheart. He sleeps in his hut every night. Thank you again for telling me about the fuzzy! 🙂 I saw your beautiful Bou laughing! Thanks for stopping in!

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      • The birds must be happy at all costs. 🙂 Bou discusses things as well, I feel like sometimes she just needs to get things off her chest lol

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  5. What a great post George. You photography skills are really excellent and the narrative is cute and sassy. Rita and Cheeky are quite the pair, and I totally enjoyed this post. Thanks you.

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  6. Oh, your exquisite photos and tender tales of Rita and Cheeky bring to mind my precious Reggie. What is it about parrots? They are like no other companion that I’ve ever lived with. With parrots, it’s always a delicate dance that we do with them…and they with us.

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    • Hi, Lorna! Yes, there are no other companions like parrots. They are very much like humans. I have enjoyed Rita more than I ever thought I would, and she has been as difficult as any two-year-old! Now, at probably 15, she’s a sedate lady mostly. We know each other after twelve years together. And, that little rascal, Cheeky, is a delight! Thanks, Lorna!

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    • Thank you, Adrian. I’m happy that you enjoyed our play in the garden. I do enjoy my parrot companions. Rita is an old friend after twelve years and Cheeky is a real delight. I never thought I’d have another parrot, but I am glad he is with us. Parrots are for people who have time to spend with them. I feel sad when I think of all the parrots who live basically alone in cages without much human interaction. Thanks for the visit, Adrian!
      🙂

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  7. The photos are LOVELY! And so is Rita! I enjoyed this post a whole lot! You have stated your garden experience in such interesting manner, and with all those colorful and amazing photography, that I was bound to leave a comment and let you know how much fun I had. =)
    – Maria.

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    • I’m happy that you enjoyed our visit to the garden. I love being out there with the parrots. It was baby Cheeky’s first trip so he was funny and made me laugh. Thanks for stopping by to visit and for your kind comment! 🙂

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    • What? Not profound? Chuckle… I thought I’d give you professional guys a break from the serious stuff with a folksy glimpse of my parrot friends.

      Thanks, Joshi! 🙂

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Jared. I always enjoy my long-time companion, Rita, of course. Now, it’s fun to watch little Cheeky learn new things. Parrots are wonderful creatures. 🙂

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  8. I love learning about your babies and a trip through your beautiful garden is always a treat! Bring on some Parrot Kindergarten!

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    • Haha! I’ll try to entertain you with photos of crazy Cheeky’s schoolin’. 😉 Glad you enjoyed our time out of doors. Rita always loves it and I Cheeks will to once he gets the idea that he’s actually outside! As I watched him the other day, I realized that he had no idea. Funny Cheeks!

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    • Hey, Suzanne, I really do like the gravatar! And it’s entirely appropriate for you since your adventures with the squirrels are legendary on WP! If I had to move from my hermit house, I’d move to your house. I could spend the remainder of my life just sitting there taking in life in the woods. What a wonderful place to live! Thanks, Suzanne.

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      • Awwwwww…Thanks George!
        It’s so funny that you mentioned your “hermit’ house…and by the way, I love, love, love your garden…I’ve been feeling very much like a hermit today….I feel a little guilty about it sometimes….I’ll tell the woods and the wildlife hello for you! 🙂

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  9. I have always loved a stroll in your beautiful garden George. Your delightful parrots are an added bonus 🙂 Can’t get over how ‘human’ Cheeky’s eyes seem!

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    • Ha ha. Madhu! It’s fortunate that you like it since that’s just about as far as I venture from my hermit house these days. Chuckle… Chuckle…
      If I feel the urge to wander, I only have to click on The Urge to Wander, and I’m there. No long flights, no hiking required. I’m standing right in the middle of the most interesting stuff in the world that I’d ever want to see. I was in Germany for six months once, and I have to tell you… It looks a helluva’ lot better in the photographs! 🙂

      The bare-eyed parrots always have that human-eye look. Rita’s eyes are actually more expressive than Cheeky’s because they alternately dilate and pin according to her reaction to whatever is going on. Thanks for stopping in to chat!

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  10. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to share the garden delights with your feathered friends, I know because there’s nothing more relaxing than watching them play in the leaves, under the branches, dustbathing in the garden beds, of course, I’m talking about watching my chickens freeranging in the yard, they all have such quirky personalities. Rita and Cheeky are living the dream I think, at your place.

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    • Oh, how I would love to have chickens. The Silkies are my very favorites! I have a friend who has them and I have eggs from them sometimes. I kept a little egg in the refrigerator for a couple of years until it “mummified”. The inside bounces around like a rock when you shake it now. I love that little egg! I fell in love with chickens at my grandparents’ farm when I was a child and helped my grandmother throw out shelled corn for them from what they called the “grainery”. It was a shed where the shelled corn and grains were stored for the chickens. She filled her apron with corn and spread it around to my delight and the chickens delight! I can’t have a chicken because of the community zoning regulations, but I would love it. I’m glad you like visiting with us. Thank you for stopping by to chat! 🙂

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  11. Sounds like parrots and cats share some personality traits. Creatures! Beautiful images. Love the water droplets glistening on Rita’s feathers.

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  12. Lovely photos. It’s nice that your parrots can enjoy being outdoors,I always feel a little sorry for birds locked away inside all the time. In London this weekend we saw parakeets flying free in the parks, apparently there are over 6000 of them in London’s parks living wild and no one is quite sure how they got there. I loved seeing them 🙂

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    • Hi, Marie! I read about the sudden explosion in the parakeet population in Britain. That’s very interesting since they should’t have been able to reproduce in such numbers considering the climate. I would like to see them in the parks flying freely too. What a sight!

      Yes, Rita has always loved being outside and Cheeky seemed to enjoy his introduction to the out of doors. Rita spends a great deal of her time on her Java tree on the screened porch which is as close to living outside as she will ever be. Thank you for dropping in for a chat. 🙂

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  13. Your descriptions of Rita and Cheeky’s reactions to the pergola are born out so well in your wonderful shots, George. They look genuinely happy to be there with you. I loved reading this post.

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    • Thank you, Richard. I’m happy to hear that I was able to photograph them in ways that helped me to tell you about them. They are both incredible creatures who bring me real happiness. I am happy to be with them and I think they enjoy our activities. Cheeky is a baby, but he is making rapid progress toward learning how to live with humans. I am proud of that 56 grams of pure delight! 🙂

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  14. What a beautiful parrot, George. I have a neighbour who keeps a parrot and I often see the kids carrying him/her around in a cage talking to it. But that is nowhere near this pretty creature.

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    • Hi, Celestine! It’s good to see that smile! 🙂 Little Cheeky is a pretty thing. He’s just so tiny. Now, I am concerned about his low weight. That’s a switch for me. Usually, I’m trying to put my animals on a weight-LOSS diet. With Cheeky, I’m counting the grains and nuts to be sure he eats them! He eats a basic pellet diet, but he needs grains, a few nuts, and seeds. He doesn’t understand that fruits and veggies are food. We’re working on it, though. In Asia, I see birds in cages all over. People take their prized birds to bird parks and hang the cages outside. I have no idea what kind of birds they keep, but they’re surely very small. I don’t like to cage a bird (with the cage door closed). I much prefer to train the bird to stay on a play stand or on his cage. That may not be practical for Cheeky, but I am working on it. I have to research Conure behavior. So far, he’s just a baby who is learning basic live-with-humans behavior. I took him on my shoulder to get my coffee this morning. His first real trip in the car. He did very well. He’s a charming little fellow. You should have a Conure. They are delightful! 🙂

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    • Hi, Narelle. I’m glad you enjoyed Miss Rita in the trees. Cheeky is going to enjoy being outside too as he learns about his environment. I enjoyed your essay on Anna Karenina. I really don’t know how I’ve missed your posts. I will un-follow and follow again. Thank you for stopping by to chat. 🙂

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  15. Oh my goodness, I love it! I grew up having parakeets and cockatiels, and my mother has an African Gray parrot who she cares for as one would a baby. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Zalnymia. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. African Greys are fantastic parrots. Alex made them famous, you know. I bought a beautiful Grey with Rita when I was in the feed store that day. I gave her to an adult child of a friend of mine. He and his wife love Zora so much that they chose a house with her in mind when they moved. Actually, she was the reason for the move after they had their second child and ran smooth out of room. She is still one of the prettiest Greys I’ve ever seen. She just did not appeal to me. Rita, on the other hand, was ferociously difficult and bit me for months before we became friends. She is far more independent than the Greys, though, and that is why I was drawn to her. I understand how your mom feels about her Grey! Thanks for visiting and taking the time to chat. 🙂

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      • Hehe, some birds have such amazing personalities! Some of my birds were purchased from breeders or in a store, but a lot I acquired because I had friends or relatives who couldn’t keep them anymore (due to young children, or the acquisition of cats, or the fact that they took more care than expected…). Every single bird I have ever owned or cared for for an extended period of time, has had its own personality, and the variety within them is what had me coming back to them over and over as pets. I had some who would learn the music I rehearsed and sing along, others who would have certain rituals when I’d walk in the door, or when someone came to visit. They’re such fun animals!

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          • Old age. An accident involving a cat knocking over a cage containing two birds, both breaking their necks in the cage’s collapse. Fleeing the house when someone unexpectedly walked in while the bird was loose. Things happen. I never owned any of the really long-lived birds, but my mom had had her Gray for, I think, eight or nine years now. Unfortunately, unlike every other bird I’ve ever met, this one hates me, and bites, hard, every chance he gets. But usually, I’m the one who can coax birds to alight on a finger, even when their owners can’t, which is why I always ended up carrying for them.

            Now, I’m married, and we have two cats, and my husband isn’t crazy about the notion of having birds as pets. And ever since pet-sitting a cat for a week got two off my parakeets killed, I’ve been loathe to mix the two species. 😦

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            • Yep, your luck with cats and birds isn’t too great. Anabelle caught Cheeky for me soon after he arrived. She often “herds” the animals for me, but this time she stepped on Cheeky and bruised his knee. He limped for a few days, but the vet said he was fine. It was scary though since Cheeky is so very tiny. Now, he understands that he must stand very still and wait for me to pick him up. Inevitably, a bird is going to end up on the floor or in some precarious situation. Since cats are likely to be attracted to birds, I think you are wise not to mix the two. 🙂

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  16. Oh, George, this is a marvelous post. The photographs are wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Rita’s and Cheeky’s adventures in the garden. I loved seeing regal Rita on her chair and in the trees, her eyes sharp to the sounds and movements around her. She has such a dignified expression and posture. Your observations say so much about your understanding and respect for her.

    Your description of Cheeky’s exploration of the Staghorn Fern delighted me. What an absolute baby he is. I would love to have known what went through his head when you first set him in the basket.

    It sounds like he responds to voice commands, when you tell him to do something, such as getting down from the Fern? You don’t have to physically encourage him to move?

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed it , Lemony. Sometimes, I have to gently touch him to indicate that he has to move in one direction or another especially if he isn’t familiar with what we are doing. Normally, I put my hand at the place where I want him to come, tap my finger to get his attention, and tell him to “come on”. He is learning that very quickly. I would never have taken him outside and set him in that planter if he hadn’t begun to trust me and to understand what I want him to do. If I had done that before he gained confidence in himself and trusted me, he would have been terribly frightened and would have flailed about in such a panic that he likely would have fallen. The experience would have been stressful for him. That’s the mistake that people make with birds. They really have to trust you to protect them. I have spent a lot of time walking around with Cheeky on my shoulder or hanging onto my shirt front. He has become familiar with the house and the porch and with different surface textures so that he isn’t frightened when he sees new things now. If he falls, he stands very still for me to pick him up. That’s essential to his safety. At first, he just ran about panicked. That’s dangerous. After he learned how I pick him up, he understood that he must stand still. It’s all just common sense. Allowing him to be physically close to me has made the difference with him since he is so young. He even had to learn his name. It’s fun to work with him because he had not developed bad habits or been traumatized. Yes, he is a baby. Pink feet and all. He only weighs 56 grams! Too tiny to pet without knocking him over.

      I’ll post again when I can get myself together. I want to illustrate how I teach him in the hope that it might help people who ever consider taking a parrot for a companion. 🙂

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  17. Bore me with Cheeky’s progress and your attentions to him? How could that be? Please do keep us all informed. I have told you that Joanna used to raise Canaries and is always eager to hear of others who have birds. I put my foot down when, a few years ago, she asked about the possibility of perhaps taking on an indoor-bird once again. We’ve got 4 indoor cats and an indoor/outdoor dog … that’s enough chaos inside for me. Nice photos documenting an engaging pair of birds. Keep ’em coming, especially the descriptions of your efforts in support of avian education. D

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    • Tell Joanna that Dean objected when I brought Rita home too. So vehemently, if fact, that I moved for a week into Mother’s house (She was gone by then and we used it for a guest house.) across the patio with Rita in tow. Finally, I installed Rita on her huge Java tree behind Dean’s sofa in front of the TV where he always watched his races when he was at home. She would climb down onto the sofa and peck him, but they finally formed a truce that lasted until his death. He plied her with shared snacks.

      I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. I will post about how I teach Cheeky to live with humans in the hope that it might be helpful to anybody who is considering taking a parrot for a companion.

      Thanks, Farmer. 🙂

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  18. George I could never tire of ANY of your stories, especially boy tales, and parrot tales. You make everyone feel as though they’re part of your family!

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    • Boy tales and parrot tales I have aplenty. I was petting Che Che today and wishing that I had a way to photograph his activities too. He lives in his 3-story condo where it is hard to get a fix on him. Besides, he’s so fast that I’d never capture him doing anything except eating. He is just too cute though. I’m happy to know that you feel at home here, Elisa! That makes me smile. Sometimes, I wonder why anybody would want to read a folksy blog about an old woman and her animals. But, then, I forget about it in my enthusiasm. Chuckle… Like an old granny with a wallet full of pictures of a new grandchild that I’d have fled from all of my life … including the present. At any rate, I am sure I’ll continue to be unable to resist piling on the photos of my menagerie. Thanks, Elisa!

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      • I know how you feel regarding Che Che. Everywhere I turn there are adorable photographs of adorable dogs doing adorable things. My two pups pull that thing that I used to do as a teenager when my Mother tried to encourage me to let her buy me an outfit that I hated. I’d use my body language to make it look as unattractive as possible. And zero eye contact. Of course she was on to me. Don’t give up on Che, he’s a ham ready for the spotlight…he just don’t know it yet. 🙂

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        • Haha! I really chuckled at the image of you trying to look as awful in the outfit as possible. Che does his cute stuff until he sees the camera, and then he runs around looking foolish. I’ll get him one day though. He is such a sweet little guy. 🙂

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          • My daughter did, and still DOES the same thing and she’s pushing 20. To think we’ve all got a little bit of parrot in us…and vice versa! Love that little Che.

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  19. Thoroughly enjoyed your post, George. You have an affinity for understanding these birds. They are adorable and I could never be bored reading about your and their adventures. Looks like you have made yourself a little bit of paradise there.

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    • Thanks, Judy! Rita has always loved the garden here and at our old house. Cheeky will realize that he is outside soon. I know this was his first experience out of doors. Yes, we do enjoy our garden and the pergola. Rita also loves spending time on her Java tree on the screened porch. She is able to feel the breeze and feel as if she is a part of life outside. Parrots are not difficult to understand. Far less so than humans… 😉
      Thank you for visiting with us, Judy!

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  20. I can see that you really respect Rita and Cheeky and take pleasure in taking them outdoors where they are truly at home. We share our world with our feathered and furred friends but often forget that they need some freedom but still need our protection and support. What a lovely place for the three of you to enjoy together! Your bromeliads look great.

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    • Hi, Jo Nell. Rita taught me about parrots. What I learned is that they require courtesy and consideration. As we all do. They are wonderful companions, but they require the same respect that they give. And they are considerate if we are. Otherwise, you’ve got a contest of wills that humans never win. 😉 We do enjoy our time outside. Rita loves it and Cheeky will discover that he is outside sooner or later. He has no previous experience of being outside so he doesn’t yet understand. I am enjoying his learning experiences as much as he is. And he is becoming more confident and skilled every day. What fun! 🙂

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    • Hi, Kenn. I just read your book. I hadn’t realized that you’d written a book until I saw it a few days ago. I chuckled my way through “the whole thing”. I think it’s safe to assume that Ms. Qualified hasn’t shown her face. In my 71 years, I certainly never met her. 😉 The book was written with intelligence, wit and charm. And reasonableness. I enjoyed it. Thanks for the visit with my friends. I really do enjoy them too. And Little Cheeky has charmed me totally, I’m afraid.

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      • Thank you so very much, George–I’m flattered that you took the time to read my book, and even more flattered that you enjoyed it. Your posts reveal you to be quite the gifted storyteller, so your praise is all the more humbling. I’ll make sure you get a personal copy of the next book (a novel–completely different from the first book), but it’s still got a long way to go, so it’ll be a while. In the meantime, yes, please keep writing about Cheeky and Rita and whatever else you’d like to share–you are a pleasure to read!

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          • By the way, I interrupted my reading of Dan Balz’s book, “Collision 2012”, to read it. Now, that’s something else for me. I have to admit that I would not have read the book in this lifetime if you hadn’t written it. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and couldn’t believe that I read the whole thing. It’s just that you write so damn well. I kept looking for an excuse to put it down, but each page was a well-conceived and written as the last. I look forward to the next one! 🙂

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  21. Your parrot photos are so colorful… the background setting with all the greenery makes for an inviting series of parrotgarten. I love the narrative, of course. Cheeky has really established himself in your household!

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    • Yep, Cheeks lives here now, for sure. He is learning really fast. I am pleased with his progress. And, he’s fun too. I’m glad you like my photos. It isn’t hard to get “colorful” out of doors with parrots! 😉 Thanks, Ray.

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    • Hi! I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures of the birds. Rita always loves to be outside in the trees. And I think Cheeky will realize as he gets older that he’s actually outside. I am sure this was his first outdoor experience. Thanks for joining us in the garden!

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  22. Fun! This was like a field trip. Next time I wanna’ go too.
    I’m all for education. So – I say yes to posting on the baby’s progress – with photos – of course 😉

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  23. Wow. I don’t know much about them parrots other than they can mimic certain sounds and are meant to be in the wild but you obviously do. And this post is so calming and makes you remember about real things, you know, the ones that matter. Have a good day. 🙂

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    • Ah, the real things. Yes, animals have a way of reminding us of what is important in our lives. Humans have kept parrots for thousands of years and they do adjust to life with us. Of course, I agree that they should be in their natural environment. Perhaps, we should be too. 😉 Thanks for the visit. I’m glad you enjoyed my little description of the visit to the garden. Please do visit us again.

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    • HI, Victor! I think I am going to sell you on the idea of a bird sooner or later. Parrots are wonderful companion birds. Their intelligence astounds me even after all of these years with Rita. I will post about my training of Cheeky to live with humans. Since he was so young when I got him, he had no bad habits and is very impressionable. He is doing well and learning quickly as I expected. And, yes, they are happy, I suppose. Human companionship will have to do since neither could survive in the wild. 🙂

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    • Thank you very much, Mary. Life is simple around here. After many years in the business, I am relishing the quiet, simple life with my animal menagerie! I appreciate the visit and your kind comment.

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  24. These are great photographs, of course. I am so impressed with the lush plant growth in the pergola; it really looks fabulous. I know Rita and Cheeky had such a fun time outdoors…I’d like to see that.

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    • The pergola looks just like it did when you were here, I think. Maybe the staghorn ferns are bigger. Yeah, Rita always enjoys being outside and little Cheeky enjoyed his time too, I think. I don’t know if he actually understood that he was outside since I doubt he’s ever been outside before. He is so very tiny that I can’t imagine putting him in a tree! He weighs 56 grams. Rita weighs 604 grams. He’s too tiny to pet! I hope you’ll visit soon.

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  25. With photos like these I’m sure you would never bore anyone… with write ups like this certainly no boredom there… so you go ahead and post on training the young with lots of photos… we will enjoy it I can assure you…

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    • Oh, you are always too sweet, Rob. I do love my companion parrots! And they are a great deal of fun besides being royal pains in the butt. I enjoy how much they enjoy things. I will post about my adventures with training Cheeky. It might be useful to somebody who is thinking of acquiring a parrot. Thank you, Rob.

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  26. your parrots are so beautiful, and fortunate to have a garden to explore while someone keeps an eye out for them and thinks of what they might like to explore… lovely story thanks George 🙂

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    • Thank you very much. I will tell them how cute they are. 🙂 As if Rita didn’t already call herself, “Pretty Girl”, with a wolf whistle thrown in! Yes, I am glad I have a protected place for them to enjoy being outside. We do have the occasional hawk passing through, but I am very careful to ‘hide” the parrots. I just learned from your blog that people really do make marmalade from Seville oranges! I wrote a post about pilfering one from a local mosque only to discover the bitter taste! 🙂 Your marmalade looked absolutely wonderful in the jars.

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    • Thank you for the visit! I’m happy that you liked my pictures of Rita and Cheeky. They are fine companions. It’s always great to see your beautiful Gravatar and to visit your blog to savor the beautiful colors, fabrics and style there.

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  27. I love your birds! They really do look as though they are enjoying themselves. We had a galah when we were growing up. My mother got hay fever regularly and “Cocky” used to sneeze along with her and then laugh.

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    • Oh, how I would love a Galah! I call them rose-breasted cockatoos. They are among the most beautiful birds in the parrot world. I knew a family who had one once. He talked so very much like a human. And his conversation was intuitive. They are wonderful birds. I’m glad you liked the photos of my little guys in the garden. Rita has always loved being outside. Cheeky has no experience with the outside, but he will realize instinctively where he is. Thank you for visiting with us! 🙂

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  28. Not boring at all. And I am happy for Rita that she has such a good friend in you, and that you’re willing to learn her wishes. I guess that things will be easier with Cheeky, because of his youth, and because of the example of Rita. Wish you all good days, and enjoyable adventures. I loved this post.

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    • Thank you, Shimon. I do enjoy my feathered companions. Little Cheeky is making rapid progress although he is so very tiny that I have a bit of trouble realizing how small he really is. Everything must be Lilliputian-size for him! I actually count the grains and nuts that I add to his pellet diet. Rita pays little attention to him although he enjoys her company, and I’m sure he watches what she does and says. Keeping a companion parrot is a great pleasure and a serious obligation. I’m always happy that you like my posts. I will be charting Cheeky’s progress here in the interest of helping anyone who might consider having a parrot friend. 🙂

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  29. Lovely post, George, as they always are. Your sweet little birds are beautiful and cheeky looks very sweet. I have not the slightest idea anything about parrot raising so love to read your stories about kindergarten! Take care of you. XO

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    • Thank you, Adelaide. I’m happy that you enjoyed their frolic in the garden. Yes, Cheeky is a sweetheart little thing. He is so very tiny that I can hardly pet him without knocking him over. At 56 grams, he’s small even for his species. (Rita weighs 604 grams.) I am happy to work with him and delighted by his progress. I will try to introduce parrot keeping and training in some future posts. Thanks very much for your encouragement! I hope you are well these days. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Nia. I’m glad you enjoyed the birds’ frolic in the garden. I’ve seen some really wonderful photographs on your blog lately. You’re very good, you know! 🙂 You’d love a parrot, and you are precisely the personality for one!

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    • Ah, thank you, Naomi. You always make me feel good about my posts whatever they are. I tried one of the HDR filters for the first photo. I don’t usually like the effect, but I settled on it here. Sometimes, I think I only talk about flowers and birds! Oh, well. That’s what I see every day. And I do enjoy my little menagerie. I think I got you back in my reader. I have to check. I always love seeing you here! I really do! 🙂

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    • Hello, Peach! Thank you. I’m glad you liked the pictures of my parrots. I just visited your blog and was impressed with your photos of the little hummingbird. They present an unique look at a baby hummer. I loved them. Your other bird photographs are equally good. I have to come back to see more. I didn’t get far enough to look at the food. I am too hungry now to just look at food! 🙂

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      • Thank you!! How you get such rich colors for your photos? The first photo reminds me of movies about some French colonies in the South East Asia… But that’s just me.:-) My food is more on vegetables and something easy to make. My culinary skill is not very sophisticated. 😦

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  30. Lovely post George… I love the image of Rita after you accidentally sprayed water on her 🙂 Your birds seem to behave like human.

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    • Thanks, DJ. All parrots who are bonded to humans, who respect and communicate with them, behave very much like humans. When you get to know a parrot, you understand what he is saying to you by his body language, tone of voice, and actually by what he says. When Rita calls, “Granny, come here!”, what she wants is pretty much unmistakable… Chuckle. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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