No Swearing at My House

It occurs to me that I haven’t really said much about him. In the upper left corner, see the tiny photo? That’s my pet, Woodstock, an african grey parrot. Or as we like to say, a freakin’ gay parrot. We also refer to him as jungle pigeon or red butt. He is two and a half years old. We got him when he was 15 weeks old, just after coming back from Woodstock ’99. Hence the name.

They’re really smart. This species is purported to be the most intelligent of all parrots, with the potential to reach the cognitive level of a five year old. No kidding. They don’t just mimic; many people report carrying on contextual conversations with their grey. Since mine is still just a ‘toddler’ it’s mostly mimicry at this stage, but he does sometimes ask for things he wants. “Can I take a shower?” He is hilarious, we laugh at his antics daily. He also never shuts up.

Things he says: hello, I love you, I’m/be a good boy/bird, you okay?, gimme a kiss, get me a (big) beer, wanna watch TV?, (can I) take a shower, c’mere (come here), Whiskey (the dog) and others I can’t remember just now. He loves the dog and is always yelling for her… it’s a good thing she’s deaf.

Noises he makes: barks, meows, snorts like a pig, crows like a rooster, howls like a coyote, blows raspberries, makes kissing noises (really l-o-n-g smoooooches), whistles (assorted, even the entire first phrase of The Irish Washerwoman!), the bomb noise (whistle complete with explosion at the end), a sinister laugh, imitates water dripping, imitates the answering machine beep, imitates noises from the Diablo computer game.

What’s amazing is the way he strings all this stuff together. You try not to crack up when you’re lying in bed and you hear “Whiskey!” *woof-woof* “C’mere Whiskey, gimme a kiss!” *smoooooch* noise, then “Get me a beer, a big beer. Wanna watch TV?” Then my girlfriend will call to him “Woodstock, gimme a kiss!” He blows her a raspberry and snorts like a pig. Heh, heh, heh.


  1. African greys are the smartest, coolest, funniest birds ever. I taught one I was birdsitting to say, "now you be the boy." Heh.

  2. my step-mum’s african grey, tsuku does the bomb noise too!<br>there’s a scientist who’s studied all about the african greys. here’s her book she wrote. tsuku’s already over 30. great pet.

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