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I hate people who know nothing about birds unless they own one like everybody should know some things about parrots like I got stopped in the shop today somebody asked me how many have i got and i said 2 and she said to her friend ahh see you have to have two because if you have only 1 they die and I was like (you know) and people were asking me will he not fly away.(people think all birds do is fly of course they relax and sit on your shoulder too.Also I got little buttons to attach to Rockos flightsuit so the stitches dont keep falling apart all the time.
 

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Hmm thinking about it .. I've met no fellow bird people in my every day life. If anyone I speak to has a bird it is usually, surprise surprise, an African grey, who of course swears (oh so funny). Actually I come across more people who are stupidly scared of birds. Thank goodness for the internet and forums..

So I'm not surprised about the silly comments you've had from people!
 

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Hmm thinking about it .. I've met no fellow bird people in my every day life. If anyone I speak to has a bird it is usually, surprise surprise, an African grey, who of course swears (oh so funny). Actually I come across more people who are stupidly scared of birds. Thank goodness for the internet and forums..

So I'm not surprised about the silly comments you've had from people!
I know they know nothing about parrots and say things that are not true.
 

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I was talking to someone the other day about how birds are viewed by the general public as kind of scary and unclean. I think public panic about psittacosis is a really good example of this -- anytime there's an outbreak where a person gets infected, there's this huge uproar about how it's a national health risk and all the birds should be euthanized. No mention of how psittacosis is actually very treatable and no more a risk to humans than other sick humans who could give them the flu or any number of bacterial infections. You also don't hear any public outcry to euthanize a bunch of dogs or cats just because you can get sick if you're bitten or scratched by one.
 

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What I probably hate the most is when people think that cockatiels just swing in their cage and give you no love or affection... GRRRR
 

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And the very first question "Does it talk?" IT is a HE, and there is more to loving a bird than if it can talk. I never ask dog owners if 'it' can do tricks.
 

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And the very first question "Does it talk?" IT is a HE, and there is more to loving a bird than if it can talk. I never ask dog owners if 'it' can do tricks.
Ah, yes. I have even heard of bird owners who gave up their birds or put them in their backyard because they didn't talk or do tricks. Absolutely disgusting.
I once told someone who had asked me if my boy talks that I learned his language instead of asking him to learn mine... :)
This also reminds me of a fairy tale called "The Nightingale"... :(
 

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Oh god, the dreaded "do they talk" question. Why the heck would I want my bird to talk, it's not like they can have a conversation with you, they'd just be mimicking words that they had no understanding of...most people don't think of birds as pets, or really even like living things. Birds are just there and somewhat novel and entertaining (for about 5 minutes) if they can say words. It really makes me mad!
 

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Oh god, the dreaded "do they talk" question. Why the heck would I want my bird to talk, it's not like they can have a conversation with you, they'd just be mimicking words that they had no understanding of...most people don't think of birds as pets, or really even like living things. Birds are just there and somewhat novel and entertaining (for about 5 minutes) if they can say words. It really makes me mad!
I once had a colleague (who I didn't really like to begin with, but that's beside the point) come into my office and randomly start a conversation with "but why would you want birds as pets? I mean, they can't feel any attachment to you like my dogs can." I then spent a good 20 minutes trying to explain to him that yes, my birds can and DO feel attachment and affection for me, only to have him finally conclude with "I just don't think I could have a pet that people eat." I pointed out that people eat dogs in multiple countries. Then he started backpedaling with "oh no, I upset you and I didn't mean to do that!!" Well then what was your purpose in telling me that my pets don't love me? <_<
 

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My favorite is when you introduce your bird to other people and they ask if they can hold him, and once he's on their finger they hold him at arms length away, lol
 

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I once had a colleague (who I didn't really like to begin with, but that's beside the point) come into my office and randomly start a conversation with "but why would you want birds as pets? I mean, they can't feel any attachment to you like my dogs can." I then spent a good 20 minutes trying to explain to him that yes, my birds can and DO feel attachment and affection for me, only to have him finally conclude with "I just don't think I could have a pet that people eat." I pointed out that people eat dogs in multiple countries. Then he started backpedaling with "oh no, I upset you and I didn't mean to do that!!" Well then what was your purpose in telling me that my pets don't love me? <_<
What a jerk. I've literally never understood why people feel the need to talk about things they know nothing about. Honestly, is it that hard to just keep your mouth shut unless you actually have some knowledge on the subject? You definitely handled that conversation way better than I would have!
 

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Oh god, the dreaded "do they talk" question. Why the heck would I want my bird to talk, it's not like they can have a conversation with you, they'd just be mimicking words that they had no understanding of...most people don't think of birds as pets, or really even like living things. Birds are just there and somewhat novel and entertaining (for about 5 minutes) if they can say words. It really makes me mad!
Parrots can have conversations with you and do understand if you teach them what each word means.its called cognitive speech.
 

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What a jerk. I've literally never understood why people feel the need to talk about things they know nothing about. Honestly, is it that hard to just keep your mouth shut unless you actually have some knowledge on the subject? You definitely handled that conversation way better than I would have!
I have an excellent poker face courtesy of many psychiatry clinical rotations. ;) And I honestly don't mind educating people who know nothing about birds, it's the ones who come in prejudging the situation and then shutting me down when I try to correct them that I find obnoxious.
 

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Parrots can have conversations with you and do understand if you teach them what each word means.its called cognitive speech.
They can't have "conversations", they might learn that when they see an apple to say "apple" or when you come home to say "hello, whatcha doing?" But you can't have exchanges with them in which they fully understand the content. It's still just mimicking even if they have learnt the situations where the words are relevant. I don't really find that particularly interesting.
Then again, I heard of a normal grey that could tell you the colours of things which was impressive, and supposedly he asked a question entirely of his own making! He asked "what colour am I?" (Or so I've heard) and they told him grey. I mean, that's awesome, but it's not usual.
 

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They can't have "conversations", they might learn that when they see an apple to say "apple" or when you come home to say "hello, whatcha doing?" But you can't have exchanges with them in which they fully understand the content. It's still just mimicking even if they have learnt the situations where the words are relevant. I don't really find that particularly interesting.
Then again, I heard of a normal grey that could tell you the colours of things which was impressive, and supposedly he asked a question entirely of his own making! He asked "what colour am I?" (Or so I've heard) and they told him grey. I mean, that's awesome, but it's not usual.
There actually is a good amount of evidence that large parrots have cognitive abilities, including language, similar to a human toddler. So in that sense they do understand some things, but it's on a very limited level, and there's no evidence to support that kind of intelligence in 'tiels. You're definitely never going to have a conversation on an adult level with any kind of parrot, though. If anything, I think the cognitive abilities of the larger birds make them even more of a challenge -- think about having having a companion with the intelligence of a human child and zero self-control for 50+ years! (I almost decided to study avian linguistics and cognition as a career. Sometimes I regret that I didn't, although the ability to treat human patients is definitely much more marketable.)
 

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There actually is a good amount of evidence that large parrots have cognitive abilities, including language, similar to a human toddler. So in that sense they do understand some things, but it's on a very limited level, and there's no evidence to support that kind of intelligence in 'tiels. You're definitely never going to have a conversation on an adult level with any kind of parrot, though. If anything, I think the cognitive abilities of the larger birds make them even more of a challenge -- think about having having a companion with the intelligence of a human child and zero self-control for 50+ years! (I almost decided to study avian linguistics and cognition as a career. Sometimes I regret that I didn't, although the ability to treat human patients is definitely much more marketable.)
Yeah, I mean it's not likely to happen with your cockatiel! I know they sometimes understand some things, that's what I was trying to say with the African grey part, but it's of little significance to me honestly. I don't care if they talk or not, I don't care if they understand or not, you know? We appreciate our birds and love them regardless of those things and it really irks me when people buy them simply because they expect them to talk and expect them to understand and when they don't they're like "well what did I buy you for?"
I've read a bit about it, the bigger birds who have the intelligence of a small human child. It's interesting. But yeah, I was talking more about your average cockatiel usually not being quite at that point.
 

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They do understand certain words, but a "conversation" is an exchange, and I agree with tasheanne that it won't happen. You can communicate, but not converse with them. I actually talk to my boy all the time, but it's just because I only have him around. :)
He understands certain words. He also understands feelings, sometimes astonishingly well. He understands (and forgives!) my moods better than everybody else.
PS: Someone once told me that his cockatiel screamed when he was about to go out because he understood he was going out, but if he said "I will be back soon" he calmed down...
 

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They do understand certain words, but a "conversation" is an exchange, and I agree with tasheanne that it won't happen. You can communicate, but not converse with them. I actually talk to my boy all the time, but it's just because I only have him around. :)
Thank you, I think I was wording it all badly lol. I need another coffee before I can form cohesive sentences!
 

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It's worse in the vet field, if that makes any sense. We don't deal with birds often, and when we do, almost no one knows what they're doing. Even just trimming nails I had to show others how to do it. The biggest response I've gotten for birds is that people are afraid of them.

And let's be honest, most see them as throw away pets. The comment "it's just a bird" is repeated A LOT. There's a lot I could tell you about that bird. But that's how it is with ANY animal people know nothing about. My father-in-law has only birds. When we moved to Texas, he told my husband that our husky wouldn't survive in the heat and that she would die if we took her here. I was like "uh no, her coat insulates against the cold AND the heat, she'll be fine." She sunbathes daily. It's all about education and sadly birds are not as common as we would like to think.

Also, if you walk around a store like Petsmart, you'll see that they claim a bird (i.e. tiel or budgie) is good for a 7 yr old. I'm sorry, my 7 yr old brother had a hard time remembering to feed his fish and his rabbit, why would he be responsible enough for a bird?
 

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I was talking to someone the other day about how birds are viewed by the general public as kind of scary and unclean. I think public panic about psittacosis is a really good example of this -- anytime there's an outbreak where a person gets infected, there's this huge uproar about how it's a national health risk and all the birds should be euthanized. No mention of how psittacosis is actually very treatable and no more a risk to humans than other sick humans who could give them the flu or any number of bacterial infections. You also don't hear any public outcry to euthanize a bunch of dogs or cats just because you can get sick if you're bitten or scratched by one.
Exactly.

People tend to panic about pigeons living in the city as if they're a plague. I would get funny looks if I spoke up and said I used to have a pet pigeon and he was a very cuddly, gentle and loveable companion. But I just say nothing because no amount of explaining seems to convince people.
 
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