Part 1 - How to Create a Great Parrot Lifestyle - And Create a Great Life in General
“What kind of bird do you think I should get?” I answer that question often.
The question reveals a missed step. The inquiring person hasn’t taken a good hard look at their life, their available time, their habits, or tendencies. It’s who we are that really matters when choosing a parrot.
My answer to their question focuses the conversation. “What kind of life do you live now?”
“Well, I wasn’t thinking of it that way. I was thinking I wanted a bird that doesn’t bite, will learn to talk and do tricks, and go places with me!”
“Well, that first bit is impossible.”
You may already have companions in your home. Reflecting on our personal truth with honesty helps to understand the struggles of companion parrots inside the human dynamic. If you are considering adding a new companion to your current flock, this type of lifestyle review is important. Do not romanticize what “it would be like” because it never is. It will be what it is and what you are right now, but with a parrot. If you are a Type A personality prone to control issues and always striving, if you see life as a field to do a career on; Get a houseplant. Companion Parrots aren’t a suitable partner for people who focus only on tomorrow and themselves. Be in the here and now, sharing all with a focus on them and you both, as a flock.
You are who you are and getting a parrot won’t change that. We are all different and have our own ways.
Sometimes, our ways can’t meet the genuine needs of a companion parrot. Realize a parrot does not do well in certain situations with certain personality types. It is no different between people in relationships. The difference between human relationships that don’t work and human-parrot relationships that don’t work is parrots have zero control over what happens to them after the relationship fails. They are at the mercy of the broken relationship and human wanting out. Statistically, the parrot suffers homelessness or being passed around from home to home.
For example, there is a man who owns an African grey. He is a very controlling personality, very certain of his opinion. He shoves his hands under his bird’s belly quickly and demands, Step Up! He moves too fast. Greys do not do well with that at all. Greys are thinkers and tinkerers. They need time to transition and consider what you are considering. This man has a biting problem. And it’s his problem, not the Grey’s. We worked together on his movement and transition habits, for the Grey’s sake. He loves that bird, but not enough to admit his attitude is the problem. Without his changing, there was no room for fixing the issue, his issue.
I think of that companion often to this day. They are both experiencing far less of a relationship than they should be, only because the human in the room isn’t able to be honest with himself.
Knowing thyself is a two-part job.
- You will need to acknowledge what you know.
- You will need to acknowledge what a life inventory reveals. You will discover your true self.
This reflective exercise lets you not only be honest about who you are, but acknowledge the truth of that matter, because you built the evidence.
You’ll be surprised on just how much our companion animals hope we are honest with ourselves first.