'Male' parrot puts up a squawk about her eggs
The African Grey parrot owned by Junior and Ginny Grimmett of rural Florence is at it again. She laid several eggs about two weeks ago.
Unlike the first egg-laying episode almost two years ago, when the Grimmetts were surprised to discover that their male bird actually was a female, Zark gave no indication of what was about to occur. Ginny simply discovered her sitting beside an egg on the floor of her cage.
Surprisingly, after Zark returned to her perch, Ginny had no trouble removing the egg from the cage. Two days later, Ginny found another egg and removed it.
By that time, Zark knew what would happen, and when she laid a third egg, she wasn’t ready to give it up so quickly.
Ginny said Zark ruffled her feathers, and held out her wings.
“She gave me this evil look, and I knew if I tried to take the egg, she would bite me,” she said.
She allowed Zark to keep the egg. The bird kept it close and occasionally rolled it around. After a few days, she settled down, and Ginny successfully removed the egg.
“I felt sorry for Zark because the egg wasn’t going to produce anything, and I didn’t want it to get rotten,” she said.
The Grimmetts purchased the parrot when she was six weeks old. Ginny treated her like a baby. She taught her words, and Zark picked up words and phrases on her own.
One time, the parrot fell off her perch and landed on the floor of her cage.
“Whoops! You’re OK,” Ginny told her.
Ever since then, whenever Zark accidentally bumps herself, she says, “Whoops! You’re OK.”
Zark knows the names of the couples’ house cats and calls Junior “Daddy.” They feed her bits of hamburger and chicken. Her favorite food is spaghetti.
Ginny said she sometimes considers getting rid of Zark because taking care of her takes time and she is noisy. She sometimes emits a piercing sound. Junior likes her and wants to keep her.
Zark is 28 years old. Parrots are known to live 60 to 80 years, and Zark could outlive her owners.
“I wonder what will happen to her when we are gone,” Ginny said.
Last modified Dec. 28, 2018