Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to get a Parrot to Bark

For years I've had Oscar.  In fact, I've had him since 1986.  He lives in a cage in the back room under the Bougainvillea where he is visited by the pigeons and the iguanas.

The iguanas I would rather just go away and never come back, but the pigeons are friendly enough.

Lettie doesn't like him much, but she hasn't actively gone after him in quite a long time.   I'd found that all I have to do is put Oscar's cage on the floor and open the door.   If Lettie notices, she casts the cage the evil eye and then leaves.  Oscar will then wander around looking for something to do like chew on the sea grass basket in the little end table.  

When Oscar's out, needless to say, he has to be watched.

People keep these birds because they do bond with us, and will try to interact with us.   The spot where the cage is at is one where he can see what's going on in the kitchen and the living room.  If he hears something, he's going to try to figure out what it is and whether he can interact with it.  I get hellos and Urp!s from him all the time when I'm baking.  If I laugh, he laughs back.

Today I finally realized that he barks.  Or at least he tries to bark.

I was watching a video of a man somewhere in Europe on a bike trail that I wish we had around here.   He had a pack of more than 10, probably 20 dogs all running along with him in a giant pack.  I Used to do the same with Lettie when she was able, skating for a couple miles at a slow pace but that did not work out.  I was too fast for her to keep up, and there just was no way she'd do a 30 mile workout with me.

This guy has it down pat though.  Riding gently, taking the dogs for a run, they did what dogs do.  At one point there was a dog that decided that it was time to greet the world with a bark.   That was when I heard a response from the back room. 

Oscar was barking back.

Every morning when I see him, he says to me "Urp" as if to say hello, then literally does say hello.   On the other hand, I didn't know that that noise was his bark.  Yes, he speaks "Dog as a Second Language".  It is a bit slurred, and since it is in his normal register it would be a small breed like a chihuahua.

I have a green feathered chihuaburd living with me.  Right now, he's barking at the laptop video that you see below.

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