Yes, this story began with Chico, the Senegal parrot but it doesn’t end there. I thought Chico was an one off, well it turns out, I’m about to find out different. I continued to go to the mall to spend time with the little African Grey that is perched on my shoulder in the above picture. All seemed well and she was getting to know us. I would go there every day on my lunch break, after work and on the weekend to spend time in the nursery with her.
This one was a little girl but as the universe would have it, she wasn’t meant to be mine. I remember this like it was yesterday. Early Saturday morning, my phone rang and I got the worse news ever. The employee had entered Pj Pets to find my African Grey dead, lying on the bottom of her cage. WHY??? I dropped the phone and started crying. At this point she had already become a part of me, making sounds that were definitely going to be words and interacting with everyone who approached her. She was my girl and I was all ready for her. Her cage was set up with toys and food bags were waiting to be opened. I was excited even though we lost Chico, we still had her. Well, I guess that just wasn’t meant to be the case. When she died, I thought my life with birds was a DEFINITE NO as how could 2 birds both be ill and not be able to live with me? PJ Pets gave me their condolences and although they didn’t know what happened, they said if I could find another grey at one of their other locations, they would have it sent to that location so I can get time with it. I needed a few days before deciding what to do. The deciding factor was I had bought toys from other stores and they were not allowing me to return them so I needed a bird to use them. About a week later, I started on my journey to try and find another grey to replace the one I had already bonded with.
I went to a few PJ Pets’ locations and only one in Scarborough town centre had another grey but something was wrong. Yes, I was still a newbie to parrot ownership but my senses were going off. I contacted Sherway regarding the grey in town centre and they did the transfer. When I observed her in the nursery I had the same conerns. I had expressed my concern to them prior to the transfer and they dismissed me saying, that’s a common behavior for Greys.
This little grey spent 90% of the time shaking her head. Having a grey for many years now I can say yes shaking their head like they are shaking something off or saying no is common but not so often as this grey was doing. I made the same proposal as I did with Chico: have the bird checked out by your vet, if it’s healthy I’ll pay the bill. What do you think happened next??
I got the phone call… They couldn’t sell the Grey to me, it had a liver issue. I have no idea what happens to birds that they deem unsaleable. I was thankful that I paid attention to signs and never let myself build another bond to this latest grey. I got to return the cage but was still left with toys and food. One of the co-workers who I had become very close with told me about a breeder with a Galah Cockatoo. He had gotten a few of his macaws from her and highly recommended her. A Galah Cockatoo is beautiful… Maybe I wasn’t meant to have a Grey, maybe a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo is what I needed. I took her information to contact her but I still deep down wanted my grey so I started looking into breeders. The parrot shop I had bought toys from advised me of a few breeders who had Greys. This is how I made the transition from store buying to breeder shopping.