Felix R. LaFollett. African Grey Parrot, Influencer, Writer, Presidential Candidate. He's judgey, so judgey.

How to Understand your Parrot's Personality

How to Understand your Parrot's Personality

When we brought Felix home ten years ago, we had no idea what we were getting into. Not the parrot part, we were already knee deep in the parrot lifestyle. We were not knee deep into the personality part. Specifically, the personality of a Felix. Greys, Congo or Timneh, are a special kind of federal judgey. Opinionated, devoted to revealing our mistakes, driven to see us succeed for his benefit. Felix wakes in the morning eager to take inventory of all our confused and lay it bare in front of us. Fartsounds, beeps, calls, back-up-the-trucks, ambulance wails, repetitive one-word declarations interspersed with one whistle designed to peel paint and crack brain stems. Savage bell ringing for service. He loves us so.

Greys are just this side of smarter than us. There's no getting around a grey's eyeballing. They are black belts in Side Eye. So much so I wrote a book titled, Directions for the Confused. I was hoping to help us all. The Eye of Disdain alone can leave a mark.

I called Felix, Franklin, for three months. Because I believed the store owner holding him for consignment ransom, rather than Felix. Every morning and every evening at bedtime he would say, "Good Morning, FEeeeeLIX!" and "ByeBye, FEeeeeeLIX!" He'd say these words with the Eye of Ridiculous, waiting for me to catch up. I didn't. For three months I answered back, "Hi, Franklin!" Or, "Goodnight, Franklin." The day I got my head on straight he about blew a buttfeather.

Conversations turned to food quickly. "Ever had some popcorn?" He looked at me questioning my sanity.

"Yes, Felix. Do you want some popcorn?"

"I want some apple. Ever hav'some apple?"

Yes, Felix. Do you want some apple?"

"Everhadsom' yapplepopcorn?"

An example of a Grey being a pre-school teacher not wanting to overwhelm the student. It took a few weeks, but through trial and fartsounds I finally understood he wanted popcorn mixed with applesauce. Never popcorn alone, unless there's broccoli not touching, but near it, presented stalk side up, never floret up. Additionally, apples can be served alone but only chopped in small squares, no skin, and they cannot touch any other food. Unless its cantaloupe cut in thin square slices. But that can't be in the same bowl as the broccoli. He will die. He's almost died so many times.

Grey parrots do not hand out participation awards. Show up, keep up, or don't step up. Because a grey parrot knows when you're phoning it in, and they aren't going to step up for that, either.

In hopes of helping us all, again, I've curated a Felix's Favorite Things Collection. Read the page description. You'll find links to his exclusive branded products of toys, foods, and gifts. After this introduction and Felix Product Links, you'll find his store items to scroll through. All the things it took me ten years to understand. I'll add thingys when he's decided something has become a favorite, I have no idea when this will happen. I've only graduated Felix PreSchool for the Confused recently. Felix Kindergarten for the Still Confused starts in the Fall.
Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


  • Kathy I am so proud to see you are still sharing the good word on parrots. I always admired and respected your opinion. I have not been around for a couple of years now due to health issues but was so happy to see you are still working to help the feathered angels <3

    Deborah Denee on

  • Kathy I’ve been so busy with life lately I’ve neglected my reading. It was recently bird friends reached out to me for advice for the second time in a year on their sick bird. After seeing the vet he told them “Google” had low calcium from laying eggs. I had told them before to take the sleep hut out when she had laid eggs last spring! Anything that promotes nesting females will lay eggs. Long story short my avian vet a few years back when my pineapple conure was calcium deficient told me to crush egg.shells (dried out in oven or microwave or boiled egg shells) and sprinkle over the food in the bowl. Well they did take out the sleep hut and give her crushed egg shells and she has stopped laying eggs and fully recovered!! I’ve had birds non stop for 31 years and I’ve seen a lot but I don’t know everything!!! Reading your article on plucking made me realize if I’m going to be depended on for advice from other people I can’t stop learning!! I’ve always loved your Felix and your Flockcall articles. I won’t miss anymore ♥️

    Kay Puckett on

  • Kathy
    Hello from CT. Always enjoy reading your articles about your birds antics. Cooper is composing his own songs. It’s a melody in his own mixed up words rambling along. If you like I can send you a video.

    All the best

    Mike Ferraiolo / CT Parrot Society on

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