There are some things you need to know about having a parrot.
They live long lives. I’ve had Oscar since 1986.
They learn a lot of subtle things. Oscar knows that I keep a bag of Pecans in the shell on the counter in the kitchen near the preparation for my coffee and my iced tea. He learned that if he says hello enough, I will pay attention. Two plus two being what they are, he realized that I’m a soft touch and if he gets “cute” enough, he can nag me for those pecans in the morning.
They can be very loud. We have a “Parrot Safe Volume” that we can play music at in the house. Music is anything that makes a sound. If it gets louder in the house than the Parrot Safe Volume, Oscar will accompany it. If I want to listen to music without having that accompaniment, I use headphones. If you have a spare pair of really good noise cancelling headphones, you will know what I mean when I say that they can be a true blessing in disguise.
Parrots are curious creatures. All of the above is a part of why people keep them. They really do work their way into your life in a way that few other creatures can. When I stood up and grabbed the camera, “Hello” came from the cage. However, armed with a few words and sound effects, Oscar knows how to get his point across with inflection just like any other person, feathered, furred, or not. The hello is not mere parroting. He will sound like a little teenager who wants attention by saying “Hell-LOW!”. When he wants to say goodnight, he will make a whistle like a smoke detector we had in our house in Philadelphia back in the 1990s. A Single Pure Tone when the light goes out is enough. He will do that when it is time for bed, and he will do it when I walk out of the door to take Rack for his morning walk before sunrise.
So I was not surprised at all when I heard that “Hell-LOW!” from the cage this morning when I grabbed the camera to go out back and grab a few choice pictures. As I got closer to the cage, he said it again, and kept saying it as I adjusted the date forward to be correct.
Fine, Oscar, you get your time on the internet. The next time someone accuses me of “merely parroting” something, I will thank them. It means I’m paying extra attention and want to make sure that I get what they are saying.
Now just press the button and take my picture, I’m ready for my close up.