Clover, a Congo African Grey parrot shows off some of her 350 word vocabulary. This was Clover’s winning entry in the “professional” division of the Kaytee International “Best Talking Parrot” competition in 2011.

For those of you that enjoy this video and hope to get a parrot, I caution you that besides the cute talking, Clover spends 6+ hours a day clicking, honking, whistling, car alarms, shrieking, clucking, and begging for junk food, more nuts, more fruit, more showers, etc.

Parrots are messy, poopy, destructive, bitey and throw sticky food everywhere. Because of Clover, I spent over an hour a day vacuuming and doing other cleaning. Parrots like African Greys create up to a tablespoon of “dust” in their feathers every day. Despite my perpetual cleaning, dust from Clover’s feathers got into my 1-year-old laptop and destroyed it.

Parrots need almost non-stop interaction and care during the day. Parrots the size of Clover also need about $500-1000 in toys and “gear” every year just to keep them occupied for a few minutes of the day.

Don’t get one if you do not have almost limitless money. Besides the purchase price (medium-large parrots are typically over $1000 in the U.S.) and a large cage ($500-$2000), parrots are extremely expensive to maintain. They need an endless supply of new toys…organic food…fresh food supplements… large cage… play stands… $300 typical annual vet appointment (if there is nothing wrong), etc. Please visit this site:…, and click on all the links before getting a parrot.I wish I had found that site before getting Clover!

If your dream is to have a 3 year old, biting, screaming, destructive child in the room with you for the next 35 years, by all means get a parrot. But please adopt it from rescue. Some estimates show that 1 MILLION parrots are currently in rescues in the USA awaiting homes. These were all birds that people got as babies thinking they would raise it “their way” and it would be great. Note that it was not, and they ended up giving it away. Adult rescue parrots are often easier to train than babies and more grateful to adopters too. Thanks!

P.S. I got Clover while living in Istanbul and had her from 2008-2012. I filled out tons of applications to bring her back to the U.S. when I returned home, but one permit was denied. In the end, she stayed behind in Istanbul with a wonderful young couple who also have another female African Grey. She has continued her life of free-flying indoors, and being out of her cage most of the day with owners who work at home.