Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Cruise Ship Hanging from Me: Congo African Grey "Cressi"
Yes, my African Grey parrot could pretty much pass for a monkey the way she plays on me. She hangs from anything she can grasp; clothes, hair, hands, shoes, anything. And I don't mind - most of the time - as it's hilarious and entertaining for me to watch her get into her playful mood and have a good time. But I've never known a more playful gray parrot!
Photo by Dave Location: Cruise Ship Hanging From Me: African Grey "Cressi"
She's very vocal when in these moods, as you can tell because her beak is open and the moods are very random! I will just be merely hanging out with her when all the sudden she drops her body weight forward and flips upside down on either my hand or hoodie - or all the sudden she will start to feel around with her foot until she gets a firm grasp into my hair - then I know it's coming!
But it's very unpredictable to detect her playful moods but when they come on, they are very fun. The biggest thing about this that I want to stress is:
It's fun! Not only is it fun for Cressi, it's fun for me. Even though it isn't always as fun for me as it is for her (hanging from my hair sometimes hurts a bit more than it should!) it's important to tough it up and let your bird know it's good and healthy and fun for everyone when he or she is in a good and playful mood. You always want to encourage play!
It's her unique way of playing so embrace it with your own parrot. All parrots have a different idea of what it means to play, just like we do. Some of us consider skiing fun, others consider it hard work and no fun at all. Parrots are just as unique in their likes and dislikes so embrace your bird's unique qualities and encourage them to act on them.
For more on parrot play, check out my blog post The Different Ways Parrots Play!
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.