We have three dogs and a parrot. The parrot is a Congo African Grey. Her name is Sammie or Sammie Girl or Samantha – she refers to herself by all three names, as do we. My dream is to someday spend a lot more time camping and take the pets with us. It is actually sort of an absurd idea with a menagerie this size, but maybe they can take turns coming with us.
For those of you that don’t know a lot about parrots, they have very long life spans, which is why camping with Sammie is much more of a reality. Captive bred African Greys can live 50 years. Sammie Girl turned 15 a couple of months ago, so she will be with us for quite some time.
The logistics with her are not that hard; she has several cages. For car rides she has a small one – think the size of a cat carrier. She then has a mid-size cage that would fit in the camper. It comes with its own stand, so could be transported outside on nice days. She likes to take in the fresh air and nature while being kept safe from predatory birds and animals. Her food consists of a pellet diet along with pretty much what we are eating and a good mix of fresh veggies and some fruit.
So what are the potential problems? Let me go back to the rule book. If we are in an Army Corp campground Rule 327.11(g) states: “Wild or exotic pets and animals (including but not limited to cougars, lions, bears, bobcats, wolves, and snakes), or any pets or animals displaying vicious or aggressive behavior or otherwise posing a threat to public safety or deemed a public nuisance are prohibited.” She is technically a wild animal, although bred in captivity, hand raised (rehomed to me at one year of age; all of our pets are rescues) she is, I suppose wild. She is definitely considered an exotic. She can and will bite you if you stick your fingers in her cage and annoy her. If you have any common sense at all she is fine, although sometimes after a visit to the vet she bites me just for good measure. I can’t really blame her.
And she would be in her outdoor cage. I would also love to get a back pack so she could hike with us. The bird harness cracks me up, but I feel certain that would result in my blood being shed.
A nuisance?? She could be considered that. For instance, right now she has said “Hey Google” turning on our Google Home for about the 20th time this morning. Google now talks to her, asks her if she wants to play a game, or bake cookies. Google calls her Stephanie, and Sammie can get Google to turn on the news.
Sammie also swears. She will drop the F-bomb on you or on one of the dogs. She might yell out “whore!” on occasion and one of her favorites is “F&*$ S#&t.” She also burps, farts, clears her throat and coughs and makes the sound of sirens and the smoke detector. So, nuisance? Perhaps. I, of course, find her hilarious as do most people who meet her. She can also make the sounds of many wild birds – Bobwhite, Cardinals, hawks – anything that has spent time in our yard. She can sound exactly like them. Camping would open up a whole new world of sounds to her.
So now – to travel with a parrot or not…
Happy Travels – now Get Out & Go!!
Jen & Sammie Girl