My Pet Parrot Stories #3: Beth & Oscar

Have you heard about our monthly publication called “My Pet Parrot Stories? It’s a collection of stories of our customers and their lives with parrots. We believe that every bird has a unique story to tell, and we would love to hear yours!

To participate, simply visit the “My Pet Parrot Stories: Introduction” page, where you can read more and submit your feathered friend’s story. Whether you’ve got a tiny budgie or a large macaw, we want to hear from you. By submitting your story for publishing, you will get up to £50 Parrot Essentials Gift Card to treat your feathered friend. (T&C Apply)

Today, we are meeting Oscar, a spirited 17-month-old African Grey parrot whose beautiful grey feathers and vivid red tail make him a sight to behold. In Beth’s words, their bond is “fun, loving, and sweet,” a perfect description of this duo’s delightful relationship.

Beth and Her Congo African Grey Oscar Sharing a fun moment

The Bond and Oscar’s Arrival in Beth’s Life

“Our bond is fun, loving, and sweet,” Beth says. This connection was instant when Beth met Oscar at a breeder far from home. “We got Oscar from a breeder on the other side of the country, and when we went to get one of the greys, they let the birds make the choice, and Oscar was straight to us.”

It was Oscar who, with an intuitive sense, chose Beth as his human companion. Beth fondly recalls hand-rearing Oscar from the age of 3 months, a period that established the foundation for their inseparable bond.

Parrot Essentials Tip: When choosing a parrot, remember it’s not just you who is choosing a pet; the bird often chooses its owner too. Building a bond with your pet parrot involves daily interaction, understanding their unique personality, and patience.

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Oscar’s Personality and Favourite Things

Oscar has a refined palate: his favourite foods include crispy banana chips and sweet peas. This bird wins over everyone with his charmingly mischievous nature! He loves nothing more than sitting on top of Beth’s head, gently preening her hair, and throwing his small toys at her.

Oscar’s also a bit of a musical genius, a trait typical for African grey parrots. He especially loves to whistle the creepy and catchy tune of the Addams Family theme, showing off his sense of rhythm and his species’ amazing ability to memorize large amounts of tunes, words, and sounds. Spending time with Oscar is a guaranteed endless source of joy!

Oscar’s Unique Expressions of Affection

Oscar isn’t shy about showing his love and always wants to be part of the action. He loves to be included in everything and will become jealous if he’s not allowed to take part in the family snuggles! Give him attention and he’ll reward you by blowing kisses—or even by giving you a real beak kiss.

Oscar, Beth's pet parrot - the Congo African Grey, playing with some of his favourite toys

Challenges, Surprises, and the Impact on Beth’s Life

Taking care of Oscar has been quite a journey, and it came with its fair share of challenges. Beth recalls being taken aback by Oscar’s emotional needs and his constant desire to be included in all family affairs. Parrots are very loving, but they can also be huge handfuls!

Despite the challenges, Beth considers Oscar her rock, and her bird has helped her navigate through tough times with his unconditional love and affectionate gestures. Every time he greets her with a “hi baby” or gives her a sweet kiss, Beth feels loved and appreciated, making her realize that Oscar is not just a pet, but a member of the family.

Parrot Essentials Tip: Be prepared to adapt to your parrot’s emotional needs and behaviours. They can be surprisingly complex and human-like, although it’s also important to remember that they’re still birds and we shouldn’t anthropomorphize them too much. It’s all about learning to think like a parrot!

Advice for Prospective Parrot Owners and Reflections

If you’re thinking about getting a parrot, you’ll want to hear what Beth has to say. Her advice is powerful and heartfelt: “Make the most of the time you get with them as babies and always spare as much time as possible to interact with your birds.” It’s this interaction that will create a deep and loving connection between you and your pet parrot.

Looking back on her own journey, Beth wishes she had known more about the emotional depth and time commitment required for a pet parrot like Oscar. So take it from someone who’s been there—if you’re considering a parrot, be prepared. It can be a real challenge, but it’s also immensely rewarding to be able to form such a close bond and find common ground with an animal that’s so very different from us.

Thinking about getting an African Grey?

Caring for an African Grey like Oscar requires a blend of environmental enrichment, tailored nutrition, and consistent social interaction. A variety of toys, especially those that challenge these smart birds’ problem-solving skills, are vital for cognitive stimulation.

Congo African Greys are known for their exceptional intelligence and need for mental engagement; they thrive in environments that mimic the complexity of their natural habitat. Regular interaction and training sessions not only strengthen your bond but also keep your parrot’s mind active and engaged. These parrots are social creatures that crave interaction, so integrating them into daily family life, with supervised out-of-cage time, is key for their emotional well-being.

Lastly, it’s also highly important to provide a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and formulated pellets to meet your bird’s nutritional needs. Remember, a well-cared-for African Grey is not just a pet but a lifelong companion (they can live for decades!), offering insight into the fascinating but complex world of parrots.

T&C: We will send you a gift card of up to £50 for your story if we decide to publish it on our blog. You must provide a minimum of 3 quality images and answer a set of questions about your life with your companion parrot.

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