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The Parrot Who Owns Me

Before I happened to notice a tiny reference to a book called “The Parrot Who Owns Me” in one of those scarily on-target “sponsored links” riding the margins of my customer page, I had never heard of Dr. Joanna Burger.

I certainly didn’t know she was one of the foremost ornithologists in the world.

Pearl and I were much more interested in the picture of the large green parrot on the cover of her book.

“The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship” by Dr. Joanna Berger with Tiko

As the story begins (and not unlike with “Wesley the Owl,” a similar story of adoption which places a bird in difficult circumstances into the care of a knowledgeable human companion), Dr. Berger’s training in bird behavior is helping her 30-year old newly relocated parrot companion to grieve the loss of his to-that-point lifelong owner (parrots often survive elderly owners), regain his health, and integrate into a loving new family.

Similarly to Wesley as well, in time, lacking a bird companion to mate with, Tiko quite naturally selected Joanna, alternately luring her into “nests” he constructed around their house and attacking her human husband, the uber-tolerant fellow ornithologist Dr. Michael Gochfeld.

Tiko showing his jealous streak.

When not terrorizing Michael or waiting for Joanna to return home from her day at work, Tiko often used his innate intelligence and creativity to find companionship wherever he could.

Tiko, with his surrogate “flock”. Owls, of course, don’t flock in the wild, but green parrots do. Tiko quite naturally took the role of alpha male.

I’m not sure who had the idea first, but clearly it is a good one!

Ms. I’m-So-Pretty and her court.

Read “The Parrot Who Owns Me.”

p.s. Tiko is still alive and thriving today at 49 years old!


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