Here at BIRD TALK, we’re starting work on the July 2010 issue! We’re asking for funny Senegal stories for this issue — unfortunately, I don’t have a Senegal, but I have a close cousin, a Meyer’s parrot named Garth (formally known as Woody). What is my funny story? He, like many Pois (short for the genus Poicephalus), is really good at mimicking sounds — even sounds he hasn’t heard in a while.
Over the weekend, I decided I wanted to take a nap in the middle of the day, but Garth wasn’t having any of that. He started chirping and squeaking and singing and generally doing everything but let me sleep. Then he pulled out the Pionus noises, which, before that day, I had never heard. He’s only met one Pionus, Editorial Director Melissa Kauffman’s blue-headed Pionus Deacon, but apparently they were together long enough for Garth to pick up the sounds. He is now the proud mimicker of several distinct sounds: fire alarm, microwave beep, car beep, blue jay, cockatiel, lovebird and, of course, Pionus. (Little stinker.)