African Grey Parrot

My dad said to me while i held a baby budgie Son when you grow up there is only one bird to have and Congo African Grey Parrot they are the best talkers, most intelligent emotional sensitive bird there is. Most experiments with birds are conducted using the CAG the term used for the parrot.

The CAG is the most abandoned bird, left or given away because people don’t realise how long they live and how much attention they need, the interaction they thrive on and the company they need. The time you give anything will reward in so much pleasure for the bird and you. But sadly the human race thinks that because someone else has got one, a dog, cat bird, Mouse, Rat, Snake, Monkey and many more that people have bought more of a novelty item for there friends to admire or laugh at.

The Human need comes first the the animal that doesn’t have a choice in it is second.

With 8000 feathers Black Grey Red and White, living up to 70 years of age they are so clever my Bella our ACG has amazed me of how intelligent they are. I really thought i had heard the best talkers in my 63 years, but our Bella at 29 months is a Gem. I will explain later in this article of how clever she is. But more about how my boyhood dream came to be.

Back in 2017 i went with my wife Ruth to stay with our mate Sarah who lived on the Isle of Mull. On arrival we were met by Sarah and then Bertie her African Grey Parrot, he was 17 then and what a character. Sarah went to work next morning and when she had gone the phone rang, Ruth went done 3 times to it but there was no one there. When Sarah came in she told us it was Bertie doing the phone. We stayed for a week and i kept looking at Bertie and looking in admiration at him.

Over the next year and another visit we came back and i started my research into everything about the CAG and when we ere happy that we could give a demanding pet a great life started looking for breeders. I found a breeder and after speaking with him asking him all the important information we arrange for a visit breeder and his wife were well known with 35 years breeding and known for his work rearing parrots.

They brought our 10 week old baby CAG in and we held it for the first time.

Ruth with Bella for the first time.

We collected Bella 2 weeks later, and after brought her back to our static van in the country. The most important part of any life is the beginning and the CAG is no different. So i introduced Bella to all aspects of life from children visiting, pets noises, journeys in the cars and most things in daily life. Bella was very relaxed and settled in. Coming out of the cage 3 times a day. Her diet is amazing from every green veg you can buy, fruit a special Avarian Seed and loves everything from Cheese, toast, pasta, rice and anything she can share with me.

There a Flock bird so from seeing us she quickly knows that Ruth and me are her flock. We were told that when we sit down for tea Bella would eat hers, it happened first night we sat down she started to eat hers.

With me doing wood carving i looked in to safe wood and found that Rowan and Silver Birch were safe for CAG as perches and toys. This was great and i made her a lovely stand for her to sit on out of Silver Birch.

Over the next year Bella settled in well, she got used to her new surroundings and seem to bond with me a little bit more than Ruth. But overtime has become just as fond as Ruth. She started her first whistle about 4-month old. They start to say their first words about 12 months old. And the week before her first birthday Bella said her first words. We couldn’t believe it 7 days before 4th was supposed to talk she did

The day she spoke I started to write down in a book all the words better had said on a Sunday we would start new set of words or phrases or rhymes. It became apparent to me the after about 5-days Bella would start to put together the words or the sentences. And from a year old up to Christmas she had said or put together 135 different sentences.

The family were amazed when started to tell Bella all the family names children and adults and after about 2 weeks she could say all the words of all the children and all the grandchildren. What people don’t realise about the African grey is there ability to not only take off the person but speak in their tone and their accent. When people her Bella for the first time they say she just sounds like me.

Bella makes us laugh everyday putting sentences together even laughing when we laugh answering to when we ask her a question. In the morning Ruth will say what do you want for breakfast Bella, and she replays Beans, sprouts, sweetcorn, pasta rice. .

Bella peeping looking what I am doing in the kitchen.

I have come across parrots in my time budgies mynah birds. But I have never heard a bird talk like Bella. Not just the talking but how alert she is if I leave the room around bedtime and go in the bedroom I just hear you going to bed dad.

Bella is now on 250 different phrases.

The Story will continue.

Written by

I am 63 years old and and since a boy have had an interest in wildlife and in particular birds. I help my Dad with the rearing of young finches and other birds. I had many small birds as pets and as i got older and joined the Military i purchsed my first Camera, and fold out Kodak. Over a 22 year period i enjoyed many countries outside the uk and observed many species of birds. When i left the military in 2000, i bought my first digital camera a Canon 450D with a Tamron 70-300 and started my journey on capturing images of birds and animals. I quickly learned that there was a lot more to getting a good image of a bird, so i started to research the best settings for my camera in order to capture a better image. Over a 12 month period i realised that needed to invest in a better camera and lens and after research bought a Canon 50D and a 100-400 Lens. It was 2013 when i really got to grips with the setup and came across a lovely Short Eared Owl. From that meeting i started to concentrate on Owls as they fasinated me. From Canon to Olympus i recently jumped ship again to Sony. The variety of birds i have captured over a 10 year period is vast and at present i have a wildlife hide in lancashire where most of my images are captured.

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