I laughed so hard while reading about Barney who likes to boss around dogs and by the time I finished reading and discussing about the second Barney behaving like a foul-mouthed flipping bird I was in tears. Parrots are more fun than a lovable dog and way better than a scratching cat. Both Barney's have company in K who has an equally colourful and mischievious personality to match, maybe even a devlish streak at times.
Just watching K taking great pleasure in pestering C (a German Shepherd) to come a play with him right after C has gobbled a heavy lunch was a treat. C would flop down for siesta but that was when K wanted to play. As I replay the picture of K nudging the dog's nose, who'd quickly cover the exposed sensitive area, and in frustration K would aim for the eye, it always makes me smile. Then C would quietly turn or move away to change the position and this is when things get interesting. Not having made any headway with diplomatic means K would waddle over to the sleeping dog and sharply nip at the dogs tail and immediately flap his wings and start screeching loudly, tricking us mortals into scurrying into the room thinking he was in danger of becoming the dogs lunch. Doh...hardly, all we found was the dog rolled into a ball with his tail tucked under him and face tucked under both his paws for safety, peacefully sleeping and watching K waddle across the room, muttering under his breath (very loudly), his indignation at being rebuffed and ignored by a mere dog was side-splitting. *grin*.
Hmpf, now that the secret (that parrots are great exhibitionists and usually behave like a 2-3 year old human child) is out, lets see why its so destructive for them to be left alone at home. Being social they like people, attention and lots and lots of attention or talking, etc... In terms of mischief they are at the forefront and K came up with some really annoying tricks. His favorite was to imitate the phone ring. No, not just any phone ring, he knew which tune would summon which member of the house. The ISD call and the cell ring would get the master of the house on his toes and an STD the mistress of the house and the kids for locals calls.... he had got that down pat and boy oh boy, was he good or what :-) Each time he was at our place he would do the same whenever he was left alone in the room. Yup he hates being ignored and will do anything to get our attention.
When in the room, he'd better not be ignored by us humans, else he would be muttering something loudly under his breath interspersed with "kJ, baaabyy" (the emphasis on the vowel was particularly strong) which is supposed to be a reminder (or reprimand?) that we are ignoring the baby (him). He takes great pleasure in pulling a fast one on people around him by imitating the lift doors closing/opening sound and he's been trying to pass his skills on to another companion with not much success. I'd like to see if he still retains that smart touch since KJ was very sensitive and like Barney reacted differently to different people. He could tell the difference between an Alphonso mango and the rest and used to waddle closer if we enter the room with an "Aapus", which means "gimme some aapus".
Once we had a 2 year old kid visiting us and never having seen a bird this close, the scared KID would cry loudly upon glancing in K's direction. Strangely that affected K a lot and whenever KID was around he would go silent and not mutter even under his breath. He could obviously sense the feelings from the crying and stress reactions. Amazing !! After a few days, he'd managed to win KID over who got to the level of being ready to share fruits with K, but he still played safe and kept his mischief to a minimum so as to not overwhelm KID into tears. That was so touching and unexpected from a bird. Nobody had taught him that and he does not have other clan birds for company to learn such skills from the wild either.
Many times my friend, who wanted to record his voice would keep a small portable recorder a few feet away from him but 'NO'. He simply refused to give her the sound samples and IIRC, we had spent the whole weekend trying to figure out how to get those sound bytes out of him. No luck... and trying to teach K to appreciate the nuances of Carnatic music was another failure. He loved it but maybe it was too much too soon...but the next time I visit DEL or MUM I plan to experiment again. That should be some fun
Another interaction I recall is with a neighbours long-tailed parrot as kid of 8 years. He was KK and around 5-6 years old but by gosh he just hated kids. Friday was the most awaited day of the week as I could hop over to the neighbours and say hi to KK, even if he hated the sight of kids and would start screeching very loudly to express his disapproval. But I was besotted with watching him for hours and was not going to give up. So after a whole year (52 weeks + 3 hours each Fri, Sat and Sunday) he grudgingly stopped the noise and drama over my visits. I'm so in love with each birds quirky personalities :P