New member
Mar 5, 2024
None - Work at a pet store that offers them for sale.
Hi there, you can call me Paleo. (any pronouns are fine)

So, about me:
I'm almost 40 and I'm 4ft 11in tall. I've almost always been the shortest person in my social group, and even more so when I was a child. I have 4 older brothers, and one of them has had a very interesting array of girlfriends over the years. One of them, when I was perhaps 3 or 4 had a Scarlet Macaw. Now why in the world she thought it was a great idea to hand a child of that age, who was only around the height of an average 2 year old, this full grown macaw I'll never know. But I wound up being unable to properly support this macaw on my arm, nearly dropped it, and wound up with a permanent scar on my arm from where it bit me. And I do mean bite! I probably needed stitches, but Mom worked in the hospital and patched me up using some sort of nifty bandage method that worked just as well.
So, this experience left my young little mind with a bit of a terror reaction for pretty much all of my life whenever I see a bird that has the "Parrot beak". I have no issues with other kinds of birds, and have approached and petted falcons, crows, owls, even buzzards (knew a zoo keeper for a while). But that parrot beak? I've been known to break down crying, while completely frozen in fear, just for having a small little Lorikeet on me. HOWEVER -- I find nearly all species of parrot to be utterly beautiful! I've been wanting to get over this fear for quite a while, and I've been doing a lot of exposure therapy (watching videos is a major one for me, as even watching a parrot on TV/Youtube could previously get my fear response going.) I have advanced to the point where I can be in an aviary with free flying parrots and not fully panic; I'm not super comfortable as I can't keep an eye on that many of them, but I also don't have the instant must run away reaction either.
As of the end of January I started a new job at a local, but chain, pet store guessed it...offers a few different parrot species for sale. Budgies are the noisy ones, and they want nothing to do with anyone when you go to clean their cage. They all drop quite and perch highest, and farthest, as they can away from you. Fine with me. Though one did manage to pinch my fingers quite hard the other day; it decided to try and flee the cage instead and it's foot caught in a stray thread on my shirt and I was trying to free it. It didn't care for this. But I can't blame it, it was scared, I was scared, it was probably in some pain. But at least I know how to hold around the body to keep the wings from beating in my face and causing it to hurt itself.
Then we /had/ a Blue Quaker when I first started and nobody, not even the manager who enjoys birds a lot, wanted to handle Blue. Well, save for one employee, but I think Blue had bonded with her perhaps? I'm not sure. What I was certain of was that Blue was cage aggressive. He'd lunge at the sides if you even got within 3ft of it. But the laugh...ugh.... I know parrots can mimic, some much better than others, but this guy must have heard some evil cackle from someone who came into the store once cause Blue would just give this low, slow, intentionally creepy laugh when you weren't looking at him and the store music was off. Freaked me right the hell out the first time and I didn't trust him. However, when he was out, and away, from his cage he was pretty ok. Wasn't actively reaching out with puffed feathers and open hissing beak anyway. I never held him, and the person who bought him apparently has a small flock and wanted to work with him. Yay!
Now we have a Black Cap Conure to replace a Green Cheek Conure that I didn't get to see or meet for more than few days before it was bought. Blackie, I call him Nibbler, is small enough to not trigger me to panic, and is in general a pretty nice bird if I'm being honest. I've been working on my fear like I said, and I've been able to get Nibbler out of his cage several times during the day lately (though I do get a little nervous when he goes to step up because he will use his beak to steady himself, but I know what it is and remind myself of that and to not flick my hand away) The other day he was seeming to have a blast when I let my hair down; burrowing under it and circling my neck several times before grabbing onto a chunk of it and swinging upside down before just resting, on his back, in the bend of my elbow. Even paused his antics to let me scritch/rub his head for a solid 2 min. (Pin feather? I couldn't find one so maybe he was just enjoying it for the sake of a head rub).
But, that's my intro anyway. I'm here to learn more, and sometimes ask follow up questions to things as I try to get further along and be comfortable when someone inevitably shows up with a Macaw on their shoulder (or worse in my mind a Hyacinth or Black Palm Cockatoo. -shudders~ )
My educational background is in Paleontology, but I have also been a hairdresser as a profession. The Paleontology, if you can't tell by the username, is my passion. Reminding myself that parrots are still technically dinosaurs helps a lot on the fear, weirdly.
OH! I should mention I live in Florida, not by choice but the weather is nice, and a fair amount of bird owners do either keep them outside on their porches with large cages --startling the hell out of me when I'd deliver packages with Amazon or food-- or just have their birds with them when they are out and about, sort of like people with small dogs.


Well-known member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Mar 20, 2017
Everett, WA
Bumble - Pacific (or Celestial) Parrotlet hatched 02/19/17
Hi! Sounds like you're doing a great job overcoming your fear. That little black cap may want to be your birdie. Beware, they will steal your heart!


Well-known member
May 29, 2015
New Jersey
Max (23yo) Blue and Gold Macaw,
PRIMOR (8yo) Red Lored Amazon,
ABBA (33yo) Red Lored Amazon - RIP
tell us about paleontology... your passion.

Also, those birds you work with are going to see you are the perfect candidate for a human companion!

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