Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Name Game

I often get asked many questions about my name, "Einstein". Let me answer them for you!

1st Question: If they think I'm a girl, why am I named Einstein? 
I was only 2 months old when Marcia and Jeff named me. African Grey Parrots are monomorphic. That means both males and females look exactly alike. They didn't know if I was a girl or boy and it didn't matter to them because they liked the name Einstein. When I was 3 months old, they took me to an Avian Veterinarian who looked me over and through vent palpation determined I was a Girl! He was about 90% sure, but asked if we wanted a sex analysis through DNA testing. Since I was not going into a breeding program and was going to be a pet, Marcia and Jeff thought it wasn't necessary.
UPDATE: In January of 2015, at the age of 17 1/2 years I was DNA sexed as a male! Read about the discovery here!

2nd Question: Why "Einstein"?
Einstein the human was a very smart man and African Grey Parrots are known to be very smart, so the name just seemed to "fit". Marcia and Jeff actually thought they were being original! You see, back in 1997 not everyone had a home computer, the Internet was not as fast as it is today. All you had were dial up connections that were as slow as Christmas! It wasn't until a few years later that they discovered many more parrots with the same name!!!!

3rd Question: Are you the parrot from Animal Planet's TV Show, "Pet Stars"?
No. That Parrot is also named Einstein and lives at the Zoo in Knoxville, Tennessee. (This Einstein has been DNA confirmed female.) Einstein was hatched in California in 1987 and lived with a couple until donated to the Zoo in 1992 at age 5. Einstein is a very talented parrot and knows many words on cue! In 2006 she was featured at a TED Conference. In 2007 she performed on the TV show, Animal Planet Pet Stars. More recently, on June 23, 2015 she made an appearance on America's Got Talent TV show. She is now a popular “spokesbird” for the Knoxville Zoo and for Knoxville tourism. 

4th Question: There is another really smart African Grey at a University. Is his name Einstein too?

No, his name is Alex. In May of 2008, a USA Today article referred to Alex as "the Einstein of parrots", and in a PBS documentary, Alan Alda referred to Alex the same way. This has lead to some confusion. Alex was an African Grey Parrot and the subject of a study on parrot intelligence by animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. Sadly, Alex passed away 9/7/2007 at the age of 30 years old. However the Pepperberg study continues:

So, to all you other birdies out there named Einstein, Welcome to the Club!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Shower Time

I have a pretty good time in the shower. Sometimes like it, other times I tolerate it. They tell me it's good for me, so I'm OK with that. Ever since I posted My Shower Videos on YouTube many people have ask about the perch and the sprayer.

Here are pictures that I want to share so other birdies may have a good time in the shower too!

I don't like the name on this thing, it makes me a little nervous! But it works really good and can be found at any home improvement or garden centers. Not too expensive either. (Maybe the one you find and buy will have a different name on it.)

Just fill it up with warm water, pump it up and spray away.

This Sprayer is used just for me! It never, ever, ever gets filled up with anything but pure water!

Here are pictures of the perch. Jeff made this for me. He is pretty handy when it come to building stuff. It's made out of PVC pipe.

Look at Choo!!! You're All WET!!!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"How Many Parrots Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?"

Eclectus: Change a lightbulb? Leave me alone, I'm busy foraging. On second thought, will I get a treat for it?
African Grey: I'm way over qualified for that job and I'm busy inventing a new lighting source but I guess I could at least supervise the stupid Amazon in the next cage.
Parrotlet: Who's scared of the dark? I'm not scared of anything. But to answer your question, just one if it's a parrotlet, I can do anything.
Hey, who called me short stuff!
DY Amazon: Let that arrogant African Grey over there do it if he's so darn smart!
Quaker: Can I rearrange the furniture and the light fixtures first? Don't you people know anything about interior design?
Caique: And why would I want to do that? Lightbulbs look like they would be much more fun to tumble with.
Umbrella Cockatoo: Duh, it only takes one Umbie to change a lightbulb, don't you know we are mechanically inclined?
We can do anything but you gotta watch me, come on now, watch me, watch me.
Cockatiel: I'll do it but only if I can whistle while I work.
Rose Breasted Cockatoo: Let that big brute macaw do it! I'll be so glad when the light's are back on and everyone can clearly see how pretty I am.
Macaw: Darn, I don't know my own strength. Do you have another one?

Thanks to my friend Deb who let me post this! I buy toys and other parrot stuff from her and you should too! Check it out!!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nest Rebuilding

You may have noticed there hasn't been a lot of Blogging the past year. Well, I apologize. My humans, Jeff and Marcia decided last year that they would be making some changes around the nest. Boy, It sure has been hectic!

Last January, Marcia found these huge pieces of stone called, "Granite". They make counter tops out of this stuff! Well, some men came into my kitchen and hauled off the old counter tops. (Nothing was wrong with them either!) But Marcia had been wanting granite ones for about 20 years, so I guess it was time for a change. Then came the new ones. BIG, HUGE, flat pieces of stone! These men were in my kitchen practically the WHOLE Day! (I had to stay in my cage in Marcia's office.) It looks really nice, but I was kind of afraid to walk on the granite at first. It was colder and slippery. But it didn't take me long and I was running all over it!
The next day a man called a plumber came and hooked up the new faucets. He hooked up a big one and a little one. The humans call the little one a filtered water faucet, but I call in my sink perch! It's where I perch when I help Marcia do the dishes. I bet when they bought it they didn't realize it would serve two purposes! They really got their moneys worth... didn't they!
Then, a couple of weeks later some more men came to my kitchen with little square pieces of stone and started putting them on the wall in back of the countertops. They took their time and were here for about a week! Again, I had to stay with Marcia in her office. I didn't mind it so much. I got to come out once in awhile. These guys really liked me and tried to teach me new words in a lauguage called Spanish. It was OK, but I'll stick to English because it's easier for Marcia and Jeff to understand. ;>

When they were finished I had to leave the house! They needed to put something called a sealer all over everything and it had something called High VOC. Marcia learned a lot about "Volatile Organic Compounds" (VOC) during this nest rebuilding. It was best that I leave, so I went to stay with my neighbor who I REALLY like. They live right next door. I only had to stay there for a day. Marcia and Jeff opened all the windows and got the place aired out for me to come home that night.

The place actually looked really nice! Ahhh! Done at last!

OH! NOOOOO! Now Marcia wanted the wall paper taken off and and new paint! Will this ever end??? I hear paint is really stinky and this will take forever because she want the WHOLE HOUSE painted too!!! While they are at it, they (well... Marcia) decided that the carpets needed to go and now would be a good time to put in wood floors. Are they out of their minds!!! I can't live though this kind of upheaval!!! Not to mention all those nasty VOC things! This is going to take weeks! If not months!!!! What is a bird to do!!!

Time to fly the coup!!!!

That's exactly what we did! All 3 of us! We have this wonderful friend, who needed to go out of town on business for several weeks and said he needed a house sitter. Will we needed someplace to sit! We moved lock, stock, and cage over to his nest. He only lives about 15 minutes away, so Marcia could go back and forth to take care of me and supervise work on the house. I like this temporary nest because it had a cool patio and a big swimming pool. It was Summertime by this time and I got to perch in my small cage and watch the squirrels and birds on the patio. (Marcia or Jeff had to be with me, she wouldn't leave me out there alone.)

This was a summer I'll never forget! One time Jeff locked himself out of the house! I was on the perch inside. He decided to go for a swim until Marcia got home, I was a good birdie and stayed perched. Marcia got there and couldn't find Jeff and I was "Home Alone!" Finally, she figured it out. It was so funny! A couple of weeks later Marcia locked herself in the garage! I was on the perch and her laptop was on the kitchen table right next to me. She knew I could fly down and have some fun with her laptop if I wanted and she panicked! Luckily, a man was there working on the garage door opener and he helped her break into the house! From then on they carried house keys with them ALL the time!!!!

I had a great time at the temporary nest, but after about 6 weeks it was time to move back to the new and improved nest. I must say it was an adventure and I thank Marcia, Jeff and our friends for keeping me safe. The nest looks great and I hope we don't have to do this again for a long time!!!!!