One day, we overslept in the morning after a long lasting night festivity. Back to this time of this story, we lived in a studio, so our bed was next to the cage of our little gray parrot of Gabon: Bilbo.
We had not removed Bilbo's night blanket as usual from his cage.
It was past 9am. The parrot begins to stir in his cage ... Asleep, we heard nothing. He then woke us up with a small call and, in his clear voice, he asked:
"Someone there ?"
Awaked, we made silent to wait for his reaction... But already, the very fine hearing of Bilbo had perceived our small stifled laughs.
"Someone there ?" As no answer came, he shouted: "Light!"
And there, as our laughs could no longer be masked, he screams: "Light, shit!"
This is one of many stories from Bilbo, our beloved little gray parrot.
This post, however, is not dedicated to Bilbo's stories, all astonishing and comical, but to his taming.
Because Bilbo, when he arrived home, was already an adult parrot.
And wild, very wild.
In his cage, a human glance could make him scream out and as soon as we approached his cage, he was jerking crazy in all directions... It was quite impressive. It must be said that he was snatched from his Africa, suffered a transport in scandalous conditions to arrive in France, half-alive half-dead. When we rescued him, Bilbo had only one reaction: panic as soon as he was approached.
So I took the reading of the Little Prince to give me courage ... My "fox" to tame was not going to be easy to handle.
First week: Little by little, day after day, I approached closer to his cage, talking softly, and even singing. At the end of the third day, he finally accepts my promiscuity. I take the opportunity to stay as often as possible near his cage in my daily activities. At the end of the week, I was able to clean his cage and change his food without the bird becoming crazy.
Second week: Bilbo has a terror of human hands. So, I hide them as much as possible when I talk to him. I decided to let him out of his cage this second week, to give him real confidence. I take care to close all the windows and I put the cage on the ground. I remove the base of the cage and put it upside down, which provides a full opening up. Bilbo, like all parrots, starts climbing up the rungs to be upright and free to go out. His eyes are wide open, astonished at his sudden freedom.
However, he does not dare leave the bars of his cage upside down. I leave the room to let him alone ... After half an hour, he still stick to his cage upside down. I put it back in place and he reiterates his cage, happy to be safe.
Third week: I decide for a first physical contact with Bilbo. Through the bars, I handed him a peanut. Obviously, great panic as soon as my hand approaches. I hold firm: I hold my peanut for half an hour without moving. Bilbo gets used to it and, miraculously, at the end of all this time that seemed endless, he timidly touches the peanut without taking it! I know I've won something ... End of the third week, in addition to the cage upside down exercise, Bilbo accepted a peanut from my hand and ate it! (peanut, not my hand :-)
Fourth week: Finally, a month has passed ... I decide for a first exit by the normal door of the cage, and a direct contact with me. With great patience, I introduce a broomstick into the cage by the normal opening and at the same time hand him a peanut. I had to kneel: It took another half an hour for him to start moving and put a paw on the handle broom! Another ten minutes and he is shyly out of his cage! From there, I knew it was won!
The following month: Release of the cage with the broomstick, then, on the ground, exercises with the broomstick and little by little, my arm then finally my hand replaced the broomstick ... Bilbo has FINALLY accepted to perch on my arm, to let me caress him! Victory!
But .... surprise : I who have gave so much to tame it, as soon as it was done and Bilbo has accepted human contact, "he" fell literally in love with my husband!
In fact, by this behavior, we discovered that Bilbo was not a "he" but a "she". It did not take her less than a month to learn to speak and, nestled in the crook of my husband's neck, she cuddled him by whispering, "Kabi, I love you" (My husband's name is Fabrice, and as the pronunciation is not simple, Bilbo renamed it "Kabi".
No need to say that the link between them two grew unbreakable... Bilbo only lived perched on Fabrice's shoulder. Love is so strong...
Thank you for reading !