The Grey Roost


Pearl the African Congo Grey that came into my life when he was eight years old from a family that was in fear of him attacking their new baby.

I responded to a add on a Parrot Board of a Congo that was in need of a new home and just happened to be located in the same state that I live in. The family had asked Lisa B to help screen people to make sure that Pearl got the best home possible and make sure that a free parrot wasn't sold for profit. I e-mailed the family and got the story on Pearl and the reason they were looking to re-home him and was contacted by Lisa and asked some important questions on how I would care for this parrot and who my Vet was. After about a week I started my quest on bringing Pearl into my home and making the transition as stress free as possible.

I had one day to pick up Pearl or I would loose the chance to adopt him to another person that lived closer than I did. I made the 70 mile trip in the worst Northeast snow storm that we had in a couple of years, 20 inches of snow in just over 14 hours. It took 7 hours round trip in blinding snow and blizzard conditions.

I now was going to experience what life was like being owned by an African Congo Grey and it has been a very interesting experience to say the least. He settled in better than I thought and started to show how extensive his vocabulary was. We kept a pad of note paper close by and wrote down all the words he would say and in about a three week period he had a list of 75 words. The one thing that caught us off guard with Pearl was how he was able to use the sound of a knock at the door to tease our dog TJ. One day while I was sitting at the computer surfing the boards and my wife was watching TV Pearl made the door knock sound and TJ went barking to the front door and when he discovered there wasn't anybody there he returned to the room and when Pearl caught sight of TJ he made the knocking sound again and set TJ in motion again barking. Now when TJ is in the bird room and hears a knocking sound he will look at Pearl and go back to what he was doing.

Social skills are not a strong point of his and he had to be in his cage 24/7 and even with the door open on his cage he wouldn't come out or step up. A few months had gone by and he started to come out of his cage and explore and check out his surroundings and tremble all the time he was out. While he was out and we walked near the cage he would rush back to the inside of his safe haven and really start shaking until we closed the cage door.

Pearls diet also needed adjusting and he accepted this change except for pellets he enjoyed fresh veggies, breads and fruits. I would offer treats to him from my hand and ask him "do you want it" and it didn't take long for him to say this back to me when I offered him food. Now we have a little chat when I offer him food which goes like this..I ask him "do you want it" and he will repeat it back to me and I say "no" and ask him if he wants it again and he now says "no" and takes it from my hand. He eats most of what's offered now and wastes very little and my only parrot that has nothing uneaten in his bowl and because of this I have nicknamed him "Hoover".

I also now have a very hormonal Grey that goes into a dance when he is with me sometimes I have to put him back on his cage until he calms down. Most times all I have to do is scratch his head and his wings go down and out and then starts the dance. I have been working on this problem and making very little progress but I'm sure we will over come this.

I also have an African Timneh Grey named Bailey who is next to Pearl in the bird room that hates me and belongs to my wife. This can be a story for a later date.:)

The Grey is becoming one of the most surrendered parrots in recent years and I ask that if you are considering getting a Grey please adopt because with time and some effort a re-home will make a wonderful companion parrot. I have five parrots that are re-homes and I'm not sorry that I've brought any them into my home.