Bird Watching In Aisle 5

I went to the grocery store yesterday to pick up milk. On my way out, I did a double-take before exiting the store. Were those parrots on the floral/balloon bundle display rack? Indeed! Yes, perched on the plant rack were a male and female Eclectus, next to a pair of African grey parrots, which were next to a lovebird pair. They were made of gypsum (I believe, although I’m no materials expert), and each stood about 5 inches tall. I never pegged the local grocer as a place to shop for anything other than food or drink, and so I found this eclectic manufactured flock an odd curiosity.

Since they were perched right next to the “Happy Birthday” and “Congratulations” balloons, I assumed these parrot plantings served as last-minute gifts.” I am equally fascinated whenever I come across parrot motif in nonparrot home. I always ask if the person ever owned a parrot. Sometimes it’s because they liked the colorful macaw-look-alike painted on the vase or the glass green parrot drink stirs. I suppose it’s no different than the house down the street with the tiger statues on the front porch or the dolphin motif at my doctor’s office; these are obviously animals people don’t share their homes with, but there is an appreciation nonetheless. I wish each of the plant sculptors I spied at the grocery store came with info about the parrot. I wonder if the person buying the Eclectus pair knows that the female is red and the male is green, or if the person knows that African grey parrots are considered the best mimic in the parrot family.

I can’t help but get excited when I see parrot paraphernalia when I’m out and about, and I’m not alone. While at the Association of Avian Veterinarians conference in Savannah, Georgia earlier this month, everyone was talking about the “Blue Parrot” store next to the conference site. The sign was a beautiful rendition of a blue-headed Amazon parrot, and I couldn’t wait for a break between the presentations so I could check the store out. I paused to admire the sign and then walked … straight into a generic T-shirt/Souvenir shop.  Not a single parrot relic in sight; just a sea of “I Got Spooked In Savannah” T-shirts (Savannah is supposedly a very haunted city) and a plethora of beer-themed T-shirts. I asked the counter girl if they had a T-shirt with the “Blue Parrot” logo on it, but, sadly they didn’t. I asked if anyone else pointed out the beautiful sign and did she know that it was a blue-headed Amazon parrot. She said “Actually, a lot of people have pointed that out this week.” Rest assure, wherever there is parrot, there is a parrot person excited by the find.

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