I've always liked it when other people would play with my hair or do it for me. But it's really something else when your bird starts preening your hair for you! My parrots will do it every so often. Cressi dislikes hair, it just bothers and irritates her. Bondi, however, will make sure to fix it if she sees it and my toucan, Fiji, loves preening my hair when it's long.
While performing nightly in Saipan, she would sit on the back of my chair as I applied my make up before the show and preen my long locks. It's the funniest feeling from a toucan, as they click and snap and seem to have a harder time with it than parrots. Or perhaps they just aren't as graceful!
When we were traveling upon cruiselines we had bunk beds in our room and I got the top bunk. We would lay a towel down below and Fiji would get to sleep on the safety rail attached to my bunk. She loved it there, as it was her favorite spot to be all the time! Before bed each night, she would hop onto the bed and up my back and begin to preen my hair before we went to sleep. I'd be laying on my stomach reading a book as she would accomplish all this and it always put her in a very playful and loving mood.
Then, when she decided it was time for bed, she would pull the covers off me until I turned out the light. Within seconds, her tail was flipped up and she was fast asleep.
It always amazes me how gentle they are when preening me; it makes me feel so cared for and loved by my birds. Like a true part of the flock!
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.