Isabel Never Told Me
When Isabel Sold Me
An African Grey That...

By Maxilla Evans

Reprinted with permission from the Smokey Mountain Cage Bird Society
  1. A Grey will eat most of half a nectarine and glue the rest to every wire of its cage.
  2. When Grey eats his favorite vegetable, and ear of fresh corn, he flips the outside of most corn kernels out on the rug, and pastes the remainder on the window with Elmer’s glue that Grey himself apparently manufactures form corn juice. (Certainly I learned quite soon to keep my Elmer’s in a locked drawer). The cob is then chopped up and flung to the far corners of the room. Aside: Isabel did tell me that you can’t know the sex of a Grey until one way or another it lays an egg. She is wrong. At eight months it’s obvious this bird’s a male because males make that kind of mess.
  3. Greys believe erasers on pencils should be removed.
  4. Grey is convinced the best way to get owner’s attention is to fly to owner’s shoulder and gently nip owner’s ear, convinced because it works every time, but it also caused ears to swell in protest.
  5. Clipped wings can’t stop Grey flying from owner’s shoulder over a balcony rail, out over the topped trees below, down the mountain and out of sight to a distance of about a city block and landing in thick woods of tall trees. Greys like to hold dialogue with owners and whistle “Bob White” while remaining in tops of tall trees a long time.
  6. Soon, but (and this is important) not immediately, after Grey awakens in the morning, he emphatically ejects the volume equivalent of a cow patty from his rear end. Since this does not, as previously noted, occur immediately upon awakening, it can happen in various places such as when Grey flies out to land in the doorway to the dining room where breakfast hunters will soon be stepping, or on the kitchen counter as Grey waddles about sampling cereal, fruits, toast, eggs, and most enthusiastically, margarine.
  7. Frequently, after said ejection, Grey backs up and appears to try to clean up the bird cow patty by taking the most of it on his feet, and then waddles away, satisfied that Greys make nice house companions if they leave behind as little debris as possible. “Making tracks” has taken on a new meaning!
This is a reprint of an article published in the African Parrot Society
in the Winter 92 (Vol 2 # 3) issue and contributed by Maxilla Evans.
Please do not reprint or redistribute this article in any form without the written consent of the author and the APS.
© 1996 African Parrot Society
Last updated: June 11, 1996
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