Name: Figi Byrd
Breed: African Grey Parrot
Likes: Music (my tastes range from Depeche Mode to Vivaldi), dancing, any food I’m not supposed to have. I enjoy playing with my house panther Luna Nyx as well. I expect to be included in whatever humans are doing. I also love to get down off my cage, go walkabout and generally stress out my human.
Dislikes: Being told what to do. People ignoring my sensitivities.
About Figi Byrd: You may have heard about my species, Psittacus erithacus, being one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. My human will tell you that when I deign to speak, it’s always ‘speaking’ and not ‘mimicry’. But I’m nobody’s show pony and trying to get me to talk to you on command is a lesson in futility! I view myself as a partner, not a pet.
I do what I want.
Anyway, my human took me in one night in 2005 after I was found by security in a deserted, unnamed compound closet with no food and water. My previous human had recently passed away, and I was supposed to go back to his family in Saudi Arabia. That didn’t happen, so I found myself in a new home, speaking only French and Arabic and sounding like my previous human. It didn’t take long for me to switch to English and start laughing in my new human’s voice (I also ‘meow’ in both cat and human. I love cats). She has no idea of how old I am. I could be twenty years old, or I could be forty.
I lived with my flock mates Mango, my beloved Nanday conure, and Eartha Katt, my beloved feline, for most of the time since. But both passed away of old age in 2018. Because I went into deep mourning, my human got us a kitten named Luna Nyx and an English budgie named Hedwig. So the flock is full again.
Luna Nyx and I enjoy playing hide and seek, although I boss her around a bit if I want to take over her sleeping spots in boxes. We both LOVE boxes, although I’m big on destroying them.
My very favorite thing in life is when I put myself to bed at night in my special dedicated ‘bedroom’ (carrier cage in a closet—trust me, I love it), my human and I sing ‘Hush Little Birdie’. I really love my human, even if I spend half of my life resisting her!
Fun fact: Famous humans owned by African Greys include King Henry the VIII and Queen Victoria. Not-so-fun fact: We’re endangered.