by Shelly Lane
Quaker Parrots are amazing talkers and can say the most clever things sometimes. Here are some more stories of my birds of times when they have said something that is particularly appropriate to the situation. Why not add a comment to this page with one of your own stories? I know you have a good one!
Note: Seven years ago or so, I wrote a series of articles that appeared in the Quaker Parakeet Society’s quarterly newsletter. This is the third of those articles.
Recently one of my Quakers said something so very appropriate that he had me once again deep in thought over how easily these birds pick up our language. It was one of those situations where I did not directly teach him these two phrases, especially not together in the way he used them. Instead, his intellect and language skills allowed him to put the two phrases together in a way that was very meaningful.
Gator has always been very good with names and in fact knows my name and the names of my husband, the dog and the other pet birds. However, he has never learned the names of our pet/breeder Quakers, probably because he has much less contact with them. These 2 pairs spend most of their time in a spare bedroom that we have set up for them.
On this particular afternoon, the Quakers in the “bird room” were being especially vocal. Gator learned the phrase “Be quiet” a couple years ago, taught to him by an exchange student who lived with us for 4 months who had never been around pet birds before. He often uses the phrase appropriately, especially when the dog barks, telling her, “Amber. Be quiet!” So I wasn’t too surprised to hear him say, “Be quiet!” in response to the noise coming from the spare bedroom.
As the birds in the other room got louder, so did Gator in his efforts to tell them to quiet down. Then I noticed he was inserting other words between his “Be Quiet’s.” I strained to catch the other words above the noise, when I realized he was adding the words “Quaker” and “Quaker bird”. It went something like, “Be quiet! Quaker, be quiet…. Be quiet, Quaker….. Quaker bird, be quiet!”
I had no idea that Gator had labeled the birds in the other room as “Quaker birds.” I contained myself as long as I could before I burst out laughing. Gator laughed with me, and soon the other birds joined in. Then Gator chimed in with, “You’re silly!” As we chuckled a little more, I reminded myself yet again to watch what I say around these clever little devils.