Pets Like Me: OLLIE

Meet Ollie: 

Some dogs look at parrots as prey, but I found Ollie the African grey to have impeccable charm, grace and a vocabulary as broad as her beak. Once she started speaking, there was no turning back. I mean, I did ask her to share her story.


Davi: Tell me about yourself.
OLLIE: I’m an African grey parrot and my name is Ollie, short for Olivia Laurel. My name was originally Oliver Laurel, but when my mom discovered I was a female, that quickly changed. African Greys don’t have visual gender differences, so unless a blood test is taken, we remain androgynous.

Do you have any siblings?
I have a little brother, Desmond. He’s a Yorkshire terrier and I don’t care for him much. He’s yappy and hyperactive and he really stinks. And he competes for attention, but I’m not concerned—I will always be mom’s favorite.

Who’s your favorite musician?
I jam out hard to Jimmy Buffett. I’m a parrot-head, duh.

Do you have a favorite snack?
I find peanuts delicious, but must restrict my binges since too much can be harmful.

Do you have any space of your own?
My supersize cage is near the sliding-glass doors, so I can safely watch wildlife all day without risking an unpleasant encounter with birds, cats, raccoons or those pesky squirrels.

Do you have a favorite color?
Red is my signature color—it’s the color of my tail, after all. And, no, I don’t dye my feathers—this red is the real deal.

Where do you go for veterinarian care?
I visit the Exotic Bird Hospital once a year and I’ve been seeing Dr. Stevenson since I was 5 weeks old. She’s super-nice and keeps me calm during my physical, especially when she files my nails and beak—that’s the worst!

What’s a fun thing you like to do?
Hang upside down. Everyone should do that at least once a day.

How old are you?
One should never ask a lady her age, but I’ll share anyway … I’m 22 years young.

It’s been said African greys are very intelligent.
Of course we are. We don’t just mimic, we learn. I can identify my favorite things when I want to, but most of the time I can’t be bothered. I also say “Buh-bye” when mom leaves—it’d be rude not to, right?

Fourth in rank after dogs, cats and fish, birds are America’s favorite pets. An estimated 14 million birds live in captivity across the United States, a great many of them parrots of several varieties. If you’re interested in a pet who has a combination of smarts and a lively temperament, then an African grey parrot might be your new best friend.

African greys are highly skilled at copying the sounds they hear, whether human voices or random household noises, and are deemed among the most intelligent birds. These colorful birds typically live as long as 50 years and some live much longer, closing in on 75. African greys often bond strongly to their owners, and become affectionate, fascinating pets. But it takes a committed family to ensure that the bird lives a happy, healthy life.

Our feathered friends are welcome here anytime!

Davi the dachshund doesn’t have wings, but he flies in his dreams.