Frequently Asked Questions…


I get a lot of the same questions when Harley and I are in public.  The one that I get the most is:

“Is this your bird?” 

I often wonder how many people are running around with a bird on their arm that doesn’t belong to them.  I can see if you are a dog walker and you have a few dogs with you but a bird?  I get this one all the time.

The next question I get most fequently is:

“Does he or will he bite?”  This is right after they have tried to pet him.  I ususally have to quickly but gently move him away and tell them the rules. 

I give the speech that he can bite.  He does bite.  He rarely bites me anymore but the color of your shirt, the look in your eye, the speed at which you approach can all be factors in whether you or I get bit.  Usually the person that has drawn the response has moved far enough away but since I am right there I get the brunt of his aggression.

So I explain for this bird he only likes to have the top of his head petted.  Most don’t dare to go there since it is too close to the beak.  Others will be brave.  He ususally is ok as long as the person is not to aggressive or too shy.

Still others will try to pet a wing or the tail.  The tail is a big no no.  Not only is it seemingly uncomfortable to get touched there most animals don’t like being approached from behind.  When you do it triggers all sorts of fear responses including biting.
The other questions I get are:

How old is he?

How long have you had him?

How did he get so tame?
Harley is 6 and half yours old.  I have had him for 3.5 years.  How did he get so tame?  Well that takes a lengthy answer….
At first we didn’t like each other.  Over the course of at least a year we grew closer.  I had to throw everything I knew about companion animals out the window.  I only knew of cats and dogs who frequently seek you out.  Harley was more than happy to live without me.
I tell everyone to read all they can about the specific bird they want.  Talk to everyone they can about the specific bird they want.  Do these two things BEFORE you bring the bird home.  That will save a lot of heartache in the initial months of bringing birdy home.
Also I never shied away from taking this bird anywhere I could.  We go outside everyday.  We have a car ride every week and we frequently got to parks and the like.  This works two fold.  It socializes Harley and he is less and less afraid of new things.
Please don’t go taking your bird outside only to have him fly away and never be found again.  It can be dangerous to do so.  Harley has been attacked by the local hawks but make it out alive and unscathed.
If you plan on going outside do so safely.  Use and aviary, a cage, or a tether.
If you have any questions about Harley or bird ownership in general please don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment.


7 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions…

  1. My most frequently asked questions are how old are they (which I rarely know the answer to, because most of my birds are rescues) and “Are they real?!” which makes me wonder if parents no longer take kids to zoos, or what? (Steve had a rude answer – he would sometimes say – No, you put the batteries in right there! – and point to the vent! LOL) My funniest question by far was the grown woman who asked if Lucy was dyed! (The lady herself clearly was. LOL) This was in Marin County, where many of the women running around have been “enhanced” in various ways. 😉 It was difficult to keep a straight face, while answering that one!

    • I get a variation on those questions too. “Is it real?” Is def in my top 10 FAQ. People are strange. I especially love the ones that practically force their frightened kids to take a pic with Harley. I try to remain patient and suffer through these same questions

  2. Beautiful photos… I have a parrot feather from a friend, they’re such amazing creatures. I’ve heard that, due to their long years / life expectancy, people should will them to trusted loved ones. Do you think many owners do this? I’ve seen so many lonely, intelligent birds in sanctuaries — previously owned. I’ve always wondered why they can’t adopt them out.

    • This is something I worry about ever so slightly. I hope nothing bad happens to me today or tomorrow. Hopefully I have many years of good health left but you never know. Unfortunately I don’t think I have a family member that can take care of my bird should I no longer be able to. I think a lot of bird owners fail to make the proper arrangements as well. I hope that is by some reason I can’t take care of Harley properly that wherever he ends up they take better care of him than I do. You never know. I really hope a family member can take care of him but I understand the commitment and most are not prepared for that. Most are not prepared for a few bites as you get to know each other and often that is the deal breaker. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • I am not sure if I missed this comment but thanks for the kind words and thanks for taking the time to comment. It think it is pretty cool to have a bird as a pet. Especially one as cool as Harley. Take care

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