Pet of the Day

May 5, 2001

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Shiori, the Pet of the Day
Name: Shiori
Age: Four and one half years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Solomon Islands Eclectus Parrot
Home: Riverton, Wyoming, USA
   I have fallen so much in love with this bird that I created a website and email list just about her and her friends. These birds are truly amazing creatures. Besides their unusual and breathtaking beauty, they have so much intelligence and personality! Many of them are quite the clowns, but Miss Shiori is more of the supermodel type. She is a bit vain and spends a lot of time admiring herself. Of course, who could blame her?

    Miss Shiori is a cuddlebug! She likes to sit on my chest and snuggle up close to my face and neck and go to sleep with her beak planted firmly next to my nose. This is her favorite place to be, especially when there is a thunderstorm, which she is afraid of. Other than storms and the sight and sound of airplanes overhead, she is completely fearless. Right now she is sitting on an infertile egg and I can hear her in there singing softly to her egg. She makes up little cooing songs. She has a vocabulary of about 50 words, but she hardly ever talks except to call me Mama. I think she doesn't talk much because she gets everything she wants without having to ask for it. ;))) She can wave hello, and she likes to swing upside down from my hand; the faster I swing her, the better she likes it. She also will lay on her back in my hand. I have a picture of her doing this on our website. (Most Eclectus do not care for that trick!)

    She loves mirrors and will sit in front of them for hours, looking at herself this way and that. I tell her to kiss the birdy in the mirror and she does. I am quite sure she knows it is her, as she preens and stretches in front of it and looks just like a supermodel admiring her beauty. She likes musical toys. Her favorite is one that, when you press the kitty, he meows Row Row Row Your Boat. She plays that over and over again. I have gone through a lot of batteries in that toy! She also likes cloth ponytail holders. She shakes them and growls at them just like a dog would do with a toy. She doesn't scream, bite or pluck. I try to encourage her to chew since it is good for her beak, but she just isn't interested. She won't play with toys made for her size bird, she ignores them. She likes the very small and dainty toys made for parakeets!!!! She will play with them and mouth them, but she never tears them up (so ladylike)! She can entertain herself endlessly but when I pick her up, she is very affectionate and gives lots of kisses.

    She is an only bird, but when she visits my friends who have birds, she just adores them! I think she wishes I would get her a feathered friend and maybe someday I will. In the meantime, I bring her to work with me and she sits and watches all the funny humans running around. Eclectus are the great observers of the parrot world! Shiori likes to have her back and under her wings petted, but always in the direction the feathers grow. She very much enjoys her showers. She takes one with me two or three times a week. She waits on the shower bar until I am all cleaned up, then gets on my hand and flaps and dunks her head under the shower spray (lukewarm water, soft spray) and in general gets very excited and sopping wet. Afterwards, I cuddle her in a towel for awhile until she starts to doze off, then I put her in front of a warm lamp and let her preen herself dry.

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