Pet of the Day

April 6, 2006

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Vlam, the Pet of the Day
Name: Vlam
Age: Six years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Redsided Eclectus Parrot
Home: South Africa
   Vlam is Afrikaans for Flame. I'm her third owner and we simply love each other to bits. Her second owner inherited her, and although this person dearly loved her, she had a history of biting. After looking for another home for a long time, as a lot of people wanted her but the owner did not fully trust anybody, I was privileged enough to get her. As the lady gave her to me with a very heavy heart, she arranged for her mother to hand the bird to me, as she didn't want to be present for obvious reasons.

    It was love at first sight for both of us as she promptly jumped onto my shoulder, gazing intently at me, and the elderly lady commented that this bird really likes me. On attempting to put her back in her cage upon leaving, she bit me. And that was the last time ever. I can tease her and ruffle her feathers; she'll just growl, but never bites. I've had her now for eight months and although she does not trust strangers, she has stopped biting without warning. To the annoyance of my other bird-keeping friends, I take extreme care with her diet as Eclectus' are more affected by what they eat than other parrots. She did speak a few phrases when I got her but subsequently stopped, although she makes all sorts of funny noises on occasion, during conversation or while we are driving. But in general she's very quiet, apart from emitting a high-pitched screech when I move out of sight. She loves taking a shower and has her own blow drier. She sits still while I trim her nails with a nail file, and cooperates well enough for me to trim her wings single-handedly. She loves going outdoors, digging and scratching on the lawn like a chicken and going places with me. Of course she attracts a lot of attention from the girls, but passes none on to me, her dad. My advice to potential parrot owners: think before you get one. They demand a lot of attention and are messy and sometimes destructive. I always say to people, it's a wife and child in one concentrated package, but it's worth it. I love you Vlam!

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