Talking Parrots Can’t Keep Your Secrets

Pepi, he's all innocence in the shower!

You can’t have secrets when you have parrots. Even when you think they can’t hear you or aren’t listening, you have to be careful about what you say. I’ve learned this the hard way more than once.

I was a bridesmaid at a wedding about a year ago. The bride and groom had been living together for a while, so it was one of those situations where they didn’t need household themed gifts; just money to pay for the honeymoon and their own house. So being somewhat crafty, I decided to make a wishing well for the couple to display at the reception. The idea was that people could drop money in the well instead of buying a gift. 

The only problem was that my paper mâché bricks were taking too long to dry. It had been weeks and they still weren’t ready to put together. I was out of time. The birds were safely outside, so I decided to make use of my mother’s microwave. As it turns out, paper mâché bricks explode and catch fire when you put them in the microwave. As it also turns out, this isn’t due to a brick being defective because even if you try it again – they still catch fire. Oops.

If my mother found out what I’d done to her microwave, I’m not sure exactly what her method of killing me would be, but it wouldn’t be pretty. So I carefully cleaned up and made sure there were no traces of what I’d done. I disposed of the scorched fire blanket and spent ages with bleach removing any traces of my accident – or so I’d thought.

Pepi - ready to talk! 

Mum came home and asked me what I’d done that day. The answer was a nonchalant: “Nothing much”.

My eclectus Pepi decided to join the conversation at that point by loudly roaring: “Beep Beep Beep CRAP!!!!!

I froze, the little rotter must have heard me, even though he’d been outside.
“That’s funny, he sounds just like the microwave!” said mum. “I wonder why he picked that up?”
“No idea,” I said quickly, giving Pepi my best “Be Quiet!!!” glare.

Fortunately, mum never worked it out (and you guys aren’t going to explain it to her – are you?) That said, it’s a year later and Pepi still roars: “Beep Beep Beep CRAP!!!!” every chance he gets. It wouldn’t shock me if he were privately hoping that mum would work it out. Sometimes, it’s very hard not to throttle him.

The not so innocent stink eye that you get if you interrupt an eclectus who is enjoying eating...

Considering this past experience, it shouldn’t have surprised me when mum started nagging me about the safety of my driving the other day. She was angry. She was telling me how dangerous it is to speed and that I should know better. Her sister had died in a car accident and I should have learned from that. Instead, she said she knew I had sped the entire way to the vet the other day. How dare I? It hadn’t even been an emergency – just a checkup!!!

I was annoyed, hot and tired. Not a good combination for me. I snapped. I yelled right back at her (also not a good idea in front of parrots by the way). I’m not a child. I know how to drive and I do not speed. I certainly hadn’t sped to the vet or coming back from the vet. I’d had my navigator attached to the windscreen and it was set to alert me if my speed crept up above the limit by even the tiniest margin. It made a trumpet fanfare noise every time, so that I noticed and could reduce my speed. I knew it was working because I remembered it making the noise. I informed her that her nagging was becoming too much and what would make her think I’d been speeding anyway????

Musk Lorikeets excel at sound effects

I paused for breath, ready to yell again and then I heard it: a perfect trumpet fanfare coming loudly from Otto my musk lorikeet. He had picked up a new favorite noise from the vet trip and was using it to convince mum that I had been speeding.

“I can’t believe you’d believe the parrot over me!” I said crossly.
Of course, it was at this point that Pepi decided to join the argument.
“Time you went to the home!” he yelled happily, while mum turned progressively redder in anger.

I guess he has overheard one too many arguments where I’ve threatened to commit my mother to a nursing home for being senile. Meanwhile, mum is still yelling at me for teaching him that. Imagine if her boss visits and Pepi says that to him! It could almost be as bad as when he said: “You’re old!!!” to my age-sensitive aunt at Christmas! Apparently I need to teach my birds some manners. Hmmmm.
Like I said, there’s no secrets around parrots.

If you’re interested in teaching your parrot to talk, check out the Talking on Cue Parrot Course!

Mel Vincent works as an animal rehabilitator out of Australia.


Eva Ruoss

My amazon. Lucy is still young and has a imited vocabulary, shes only 2 but she will sit on her perch and YUP!! !right, right right,and when your right your wrong, I am sure as she gets older she will say alot more.and she says this over over, it’s very funny, and I love her to death!!!!!

Eva Ruoss
Dianna Larson

It can get comical at my house with a Military Macaw, a Blue & Gold Macaw, and various other birds…along with three dogs. My Chihuahua, Hershey is a rescue and he has become very territorial since coming here. Now every time someone knocks at my front door, they are greeted by the Military yelling out “hello! Come in”, in what sounds like my voice. Well, of course the person at the door will come into my house…only to be bitten by Hershey. This is promptly followed by the Military laughing like crazy (in my voice) and the Blue & Gold joining in and my GCC yelling out “thank you…thank you, you”. Of course now I have made up a huge sign, warning everybody about the Chihuahua, and I have to keep my front door locked at all times too now. And if any of the other birds get too loud, the Military will tell them to “shut up”, as he has told me a couple of times when I was talking to one of my dogs or if I am on the phone. And if the Military hears the F-bomb, he comes out very loudly with “get the soap”. He also likes to get my Shih-Tzu into trouble by calling her into the bird room, where she is NOT allowed. He’s such a comedian, and it seems like never ending laughter because of the antics of my birds and my dogs. I’ve also had an Amazon who called everybody a “LIAR” and who would tell me to “shut the f***ing lights off” if I had a light on in my house after dark. So much fun, so little time!…lol

Dianna Larson

Wow! You should ignore your birds when ever they say something you don’t want them to.


ohh my what a read, hilarious!!! mine still says my ex’s names,,, and certain things only i know,,,,LOL


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