How has your parrot enriched your life?

I wanted to hear others’ responses… how has having a feathered family member brought joy into your life?

I’ve always loved animals and from a young age read everything I possibly could about most animals except birds, mainly because the library only had 1 book on budgies. I think because of that I wasn’t particuarly bothered by them, I didn’t know anyone that even had a bird as a pet but I was constantly pestering my parents for a dog, cat, hamster, gerbils, horse… in fact pretty much everything lol. I was always told no so I was always disappointed lol. Finally I got my wish when a hamster stayed when his owners went away and then told me they couldnt take him back after this animals came streaming through my door from the unwanted to the abused. One day someone turned up with a budgie and I thought “ok, whats one more?” and so the budgie came to live with us, I have to confess that she didn’t have much of a life to start with, I didn’t know anything worth knowing about them if I’m honest, only what was in the very basic my first budgie type book. She ate seed, came out once a day for half an hour- an hour, had only a few toys and I didn’t bother training her beyond hand taming her. I did what it said in the book and that was about all I did, poor thing. Luckily I soon realised that there was alot more to these little creatures and quickly upgraded her cage, got her some company (a neglected cockatiel), more toys and more out time. I set out on a mission to learn a bit more but apart from managing to persuade a petshop to get a couple more basic care type books in I couldn’t really find much. Several more rescues/rehomes came into my life and I learned bits from muddling through until the internet came into my life. There still wasn’t much info about but bit by bit through experience and the odd snippet of new information I was starting to see a much bigger picture.So i have to say that probably the biggest way they have enriched my life is getting me learning. they have taught me far more than any other pet I have ever had, they have got me asking more questions about how to give them the best. They have taught me patience more than any other animal.They give me a sense of achievement in seeing their progress and improving their lives the best I can.Of course they are company and they are entertaining with it but now I know what it is to love without having any expectations back.I could go on but this has already turned into one hell of an essay lol.

Ive leaned alot about myself.I discovered what a bird person Ive truly become.My happiest times are spent with my birds or anything that pertains to them.I wish I had discovered this earlier in my life and I would have made some different choices in my life.Like where I live ,what I do for a job and being able to make some sort of meaningful contribution [still working on that] to the thing I feel the strongest about.I feel lucky they allow me to give them the affection [which I love] like kiss their faces and rub their tummys.I know thats not a given thing with birds.

i agree with terri: my birds have taught me a lot about myself too, esp. showing me what a bird-person I’ve become, and how deeply I care about them. just their presence in my life enriches it so much - its hard to put into words! they fill my world with feathers and fluff and all that good stuff - see, theyve got me making rhymes!

Jacko has for me, been my greatest teacher, friend and purpose for me. I owe her my life. It’s for that gift and for the fact that I love her that I do what I do. I’m a bit of a self-destructive, anxious, emotional idiot and its taken me a long while to learn to breathe and count to ten. Life with a parrot will teach you do that I’ve had to learn to master my own fear/anxiety, pay attention to my subtle thoughts and keep myself level-headed and calm because if not I’d set her off and then things would get messy.She keeps me out of trouble (and from running myself ragged/destroying myself) simply because she needs me to take care of her. That’s more than any contract or crisis centre could offer me. Plus I know she’d miss me and that it would hurt her if I wasn’t there—and I refuse to let anyone suffer loss/hurt like I have and especially because of me (particularly doing something stupid). She teaches me a lot about relating to others, healthy relationships and also about love and acceptance. About how to communicate and respect, how to achieve win-win scenarios and sacrifices, but also about not feeling guilty about time for me/putting myself first. Likewise about the joy in NOT always thinking about me me me. Furthermore, when I’m at my worst…and I haven’t left the house in a couple days or can’t get out of bed for long…and I feel ashamed and weak and like the world hates my guts…its the landing of parrot feet on my pillow and the bump of beak on my face that teaches me that some do truly love me regardless and I’m not as bad as I think myself to be. That I don’t need to be a paranoid, lonely and angry soul. The feel of feathers under my fingers or brushed up against my face helps me ground myself again and combat the dissociation and depersonalization I feel, helps me feel real again.On a lighter note, she brings me so much joy and laughter. She’s such a goofy, cheeky and affectionate soul (with me anyway ). It makes me so satisfied and happy plus gives me hope to see her overcoming her past and growing beyond what happened to her and what she was and how happy she is becoming. With her I feel a sense of family, and connection. To someone like me, that’s a beautiful gift. Some days we drive each other absolutely crazy, but I’d trade being slapped in the face by grey wings before a beak-grinding parrot lands on my shoulder and starts pulling on my earrings for attention for absolutely nothing in world. Never. I think as well she gives me a lot of wisdom and allows me a lot of growth. I’m only a baby in the sense of the world and cosmos at 21, but I feel I have come a long way thanks to my turkey-girl.

GreenWing wrote:I wanted to hear others’ responses… how has having a feathered family member brought joy into your life?From the time I was a sixth grader, I’ve always liked birds, and my very first bird was one of several parakeets that I had. My parakeets, my (late) Noble Macaw named McGee, and my current parrot, an almost 3 y/o Congo African Grey Parrot named Aziza, have all enriched my life, in that they’ve been wonderful companions that provide much laughter, joy and smiles, are good to talk about with friends and family, and have brought much joy to family members, friends and neighbors who’ve met them. Like other pets, parrots are so like and so part of the family that they’re missed when they’re gone. At one point, I went for roughly 17 years without a pet, due to an extremely busy school schedule, plus I lived for several years in a building where the landlord didn’t allow pets. Shortly after moving into my present place of residence, which is a pet-friendly place, however, I obtained my (late) Noble Macaw, McGee, who passed at the age of 20, and realized how much companionship, joy and love that pets provide. Currently, with Aziza, hearing her beeps, clucks, clicks, chirps and whistles, as well as hearing her talk (yes, she does say words, folks!) provides some additional cheer, especially when I come home from having been somewhere.