There are days with my Butter Bean I can't quite put into words. Her adoration, and complete commitment for me is humbling and mind boggling. Working from home I can receive countless hours of her companionship. She leaves me only to eat and do parrot business, and then comes right back to sit on my shoulder and purr. And laugh for no apparent reason. And preen me and herself. And flip over and distract me from my work for 15 minutes to go back to eat and return for more proximity. Felix is at my side on his tent, as always. Kirby is waiting above my head, on the cabinet, for his turn of personal time. When Butters flys off, Kirby immediately replaces her on my shoulder. Snickers is to my left. Just perched on the edge of my desk. Happy for the location. I have a pile of parrot poop on the floor to prove it. The Horde spends their time between every missing parrot's cage eating the good stuff.
It is impossible to be a mean person and share your life with a happy companion parrot. Seriously. You can write that down. If you walk into a home and meet a friendly, healthy, happy companion parrot, the human in the room is A-Okay. Because you can not fool a parrot. You can't lie to them, bribe them, nor create a false sense of security with a companion parrot. Because they are companions. They are not pets. They are not "aviary birds", they are not breeders, they are not talkers, they are not a star of a video on the internet. They are companions fully capable of understanding intent, actions, and emotions and they know when we are lying. And most importantly, they know when they are being ignored.
There is no such thing as Auto Pilot and companion parrots. Having a parrot in the house, or a whole flock requires a new mindset. You wake up every morning fully aware of the coming expectations. There is no filling a food bowl, then opening the back door to let the parrot out, like a dog. You can't loose track of your parrot like you might a cat. A companion parrot is a full time relationship that requires consistent thought, creative interplay and inventive new ideas. A companion parrot will give to you what you first invest in them. Which is why I know a house full of happy healthy parrots means the humans in there are great, too.
I know when I'm having a bad day, or creating a bad mood for myself. I know when my attitude is going south. My companions get edgy, they get grouchy and nippy. Felix, on the other hand, will look me straight in the eye and tell me "It's all right." Not in a comforting tone, but rather as a command. He certainly doesn't have time for my bad attitude. Companion parrots are the barometer to a household.
The current routines of perching and flocking in our home has been built over the last three years around my work writing a book, working on these social media pages, and creating a website. They know I'll be working on this computer for 3 hours straight at a time and they can be be close, but quiet. And they all do so without much trouble at all. Although Kirby tends to jump over on Dad's monitors, nudging his personal attention seeking with behavior that we both know is incorrect.
If you are just beginning a journey with your companion parrot, or you are considering finding your first companion, I can not clearly explain the depth and breadth of what your companion parrot lifestyle can be. But I can say it is infinite in love and joy. The potential for being a better person, the potential for affecting others that may visit, the potential for epiphany moments, healing touches, and calmed nerves are just far too numerous. The potential for deep committed love between you and your companion is startling. I am still overwhelmed at times with moments of trust from ours.
I hope you find the depth with your companions. I hope you'll take the time, and allow trust to grow through moments of games, shared food, or quiet conversation. There is an amazing level of happy with a parrot.
It's a good day. I am trying to be a better person. And I can tell if I am, just by looking into Butters' eyes and listening to her say hello.