Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Lacey, Washington Of: Congo African Grey "Cressi"
I just spend a wonderful seven days vacationing in Key Largo, Florida. While there, I went to eat at the Key Largo Conch House 2-3 times! In the entry way of the restaurant, there is a big white cage. This is Romeo's cage, a 4 year old Congo African Grey parrot. Now, I was really excited to meet Romeo since the last time I was in Key Largo, the cage was empty. His owners take him home every night from the restaurant and I was there too late. This time, though, I came for lunch! Romeo reminded me so much of my own grey, Cressi, who is only 6 months old. He was sitting happily content and all poofy when his owners came near or any sort of familiar face. He was a bit shy but not scared - he just didn't want to show off his talking abilities around me yet.
I was so happy to see someone else had a grey that was not entirely plucked or insanely phobic of strangers. His cage placement was perfect for him and he was outside on the porch as well, in the shade but still catching the light breeze and the soft sunshine. He had gone through his fresh veggies and fruit for the day as I saw bits and pieces left in his dish. Another thing I was thrilled about - he wasn't a seed eating bird! In fact, Laura (his owner) went on to tell me his favorite dishes from the restaurant. This African Grey not only eats well but eats full blown beautiful looking meals! I think Cressi would be envious to find out she wasn't getting a variety of cooks making her meals every day! Romeo really had it made.
Anyone who wanted into the cute little restaurant had to walk by him and almost every single time, they stopped to say hello to Romeo. He was constantly getting interaction from all sorts of people and was always visually stimulated by his environment. His wings were also another thing to be proud of - when I looked at them I actually thought he was fully flighted but Laura said he's just barely clipped so he can still fly pretty well but it doesn't look bad, either. I loved that his wings weren't just snipped to bits like most.
The Conch House is family owned by Laura and her husband Ted, along with their two kids. We met them all and it was the daughter who talked the family into getting the bird in the first place when she was around 15 years old. She is now heading off to college and mom gets to keep Romeo in the mean time and the two have grown quite attached but Romeo was open to anyone as he gets properly socialized every day. This was one African Grey that was not in any way a one person bird or had any problems whatsoever.
I've never seen such a content grey before. And I was so happy to meet him and his wonderful owners. Romeo's owners are a great example of people who truly did their research before buying this bird. They knew it would live over 60 years and they knew it couldn't live on pellets or worse, seed, for all its life. They really read up and they've done an amazing job at giving this bird a proper and healthy home. If Cressi liked older men, I think she'd be interested in Romeo!
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.