Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sound Effects with Feathers-Cindy Koepp

I’ve owned parrots – or perhaps more properly, been owned by parrots – since my 15th birthday. So far, I’ve had 3 cockatiels, 2 pionuses, and my current “turbo-chicken,” an African Grey named Masika D. Greyt.

Parrots who don’t have “issues” take a lot of work. They need their cages cleaned, their food and water changed out, toys to play with, and some TLC from their favorite human. Parrots with “issues” can be an even bigger challenge. With only two exceptions, all my parrots (including Masika) have been rescue babies. I am her 3rd owner since her rescue from a dismal warehouse where she was kept in the dark with no one to chirp at. In fact, I’m really not even sure how old she is. I and her previous owner can account for 30 years, but she’s developing cataracts in one eye, so I suspect she’s a good deal older than that. African Greys can go 80 years or more, so she might have been around on this planet longer than her human.

Parrots are real goofballs, and Masika is no exception. Many people ask me if she can talk, but she’s not much on speech. Sound effects, yes, she is a sound effect machine with feathers. She can do a few short phrases like “Hi there” and “Hello baby!” and her previous owner even heard her belt out “Howdy, pilgrim.”

That’s not all. She can whistle the first few bars of a few tunes, like the opening notes of Doctor Who and Airwolf. One of her favorite tunes is the first few notes of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Her previous owner was a western fan. In addition to tunes, she does beeps: car beeps, fire alarm beeps, microwave beeps, and timer beeps.

Masika is not cuddly. In fact, she only recently decided stepping onto my hand might be safe, as long as I stay still. Sometimes, though, you have to love the critter where they are and help them learn to trust humans again.

In the meantime, her library of sounds is very entertaining.

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1 comment:

  1. Heard most of this, but I always enjoy reading about Masika. How is that pronounced?