Randy the Red

by Donald Jones
(Hanford, CA)

I have a Red headed Mexican parrot, I've owned this bird for many a year since I was 8 or 9 (34 today). I'm not even sure how old he is (and I do believe it's a "he" because he loves to flirt with women). Randy has been my constant companion since I got him from a friend whom I met on a camping trip. Since the day I got him his personality has ranged from sweet and lovable (99% of the time) to down right "don't touch me or I'll slice your finger off".

Randy is mostly a "one person bird" although he does seem to be drawn to women so I can only guess his sex is male; while I am the exception he won't let any other man touch him.

99% of the time he's as sweet and lovable as any other furry pet. He loves to get his head scratched and I can even stroke the back of his head and down his back. He will draw the line at his tail, which I tease him with some of the time.

Randy can be (for lack of a better term) "extremely" loud, mostly in the evening. But he more than makes up for it when he's talkative; his vocabulary is small ("hello" "good morning" and good bird") but he can be vocal and communicative without squawking my ear off.

And I'm sure most of your reader have never encountered this type of behavior, but Randy has a foot fetish for some strange reason. Take off you shoes and pull off your socks and he loves to go to town on your toes; rubbing his beak and becoming extremely talkative. Do any other Mexicans have this strange behavior? I can only indulge him because he seems happiest when nibbling on my big toe.

Comments for Randy the Red

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May 04, 2011
My bird does the same!!
by: Anonymous

I always wondered the same thing! My Grey is obsessed with my feet too!! Its almost like whenever she is perched on the cage and sees toes, she comes scrambling down and just loves to playfully touch them and talk and make noises. So I am as baffled as you... Silly birds!!

May 04, 2011
Randy the Red
by: Linda

Randy sounds like quite the character. I've had the Redheads, and they can develop a large vocabulary or just stick to a few words. They can sing too a lot like the Double Yellowheads and Napes just not as well.

What you said about not touching his tail rings true for Amazons. Amazons will let you know when they want you to stop petting. I had one who would gently encircle one of my fingers with her beak and just look me in the eyes. That was the signal that she'd had enough petting, and to insist on more ended up in a nasty bite. At least she did warn me first.

As for the feet issue. Unless you have just washed your feet, don't let him do that because feet sweat and can be bacteria laden. Birds have no gram negative bacteria in their bodies, and get infections when gram negative bacteria is introduced to an overwhelming point. Birds have only gram positive bacteria and will do fine with a little of the negative, just so long as negative does not outweigh positive. Wash feet before bird plays with them, and be ready for a nice little nip at some point. Wash hands too before playing with bird.

You are right about sex, because males like women best and only tolerate men. The fact that he actually loves you and allows you to play with him speaks for your kindness and love for him. I'm sure you also do the feeding, watering and cleaning too which makes many points with the birds.

I love the Redheads as they are so funny, naturally loving and zany. When he starts screaming in the evening, try singing him a simple song like Over the Rainbow or some other little ditty. It is normal for some birds to greet the day and say goodnight with some healthy screams, and the singing may give him another, better outlet for his hello and goodbye to the sun. Birds learn words and songs spoken or sung with enthusiasm and emotion. That's why they learn cuss words quickly because they usually hear these when we are upset and very emotional. My bad was unintentioanlly teaching a Scarlet Macaw a few cuss words when I was mad about someone or something. The first time I heard one of them repeated at a high decibal level, I almost fainted because it was to a customer in our bird store! Luckily, the Macaw could not speak clearly, and when they asked what the pretty bird had said, I told them he said he loved them! I was careful after that about what I said to whom and what.

Thanks for writing,

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