Hi there! I'm Trinity, a teen with an interest in Greys. I'm really excited to be here, as, although I'm currently petless, I've been toying with the idea of getting another parrot for nearly three years now. At first I really wanted a Grey, but looked into other species, too. After several years of researching and cycling through several species, I have decided that a Grey really just fits the bill for what I would like in a parrot.
In the past, I have owned five fish, four dogs, and a budgie. (Not all at the same time, of course!) I went through the process of rehoming my last dog for a long time a while ago. It was really hard, as I had raised him from eight weeks, but he was a sporting dog to the heart, needed a lot of exercise and a job to do, and we just didn't have a safe area for him to run around in. Mostly for him, I made the difficult choice to give him to a family who had the space and the dedication for a smart, active dog like him. This decision was not made lightly, as I hold a deep love and respect for animals, and am strongly against rehoming unless there is a very good reason, but it would not have been fair to him, me, or any of my family when we did not have the space to keep him active and happy. He was a shelter mix puppy, so it's not like I went out and bought a border collie on impulse, we actually had no idea what the heck he was until he was about four months old. Anyways, I ramble.
I think I am finally ready for another pet, in the next few months, and I figured I may as well join a Grey specific forum if I want to know everything possible about African Greys and their behavior in particular. I'm planning to rescue from Craigslist or a similar site (Very carefully, of course!) instead of purchasing a baby, as I want an adult with an already developed personality, likes, and dislikes, a bird that I know will keep a bond with me. We have a large house with no other pets, and no one in my family is allergic to bird dust. At this point I think they are ready to have a pet in the house again as well. I am still working out the details of what it would take to live with a Grey. I am homeschooled and plan to be up until college, and even with college there are several excellent ones near enough to not require boarding. I'm at home for, on average, 10-12 of the 14 hours a day I'm awake, and, although I have a rather demanding school schedule, I am home for all of it, and a companion to not necessarily be constantly cuddling and petting, but a friend to hang around and talk with, maybe not necessarily with words, during those long hours, would be great.
I do know that Greys tend to be one-person birds, and I'm fine with that. One of the reasons I'm adopting an older bird is to ensure that once I feel a "click", the Grey wouldn't pass me up for one of my family members at adolescence. I wouldn't trust my younger sisters to handle a large parrot without very close supervision, and I doubt my parents will want to do much with it after the first few weeks. Greys appeal to me a lot due to being:
-Smart. I would like an intelligent, interactive companion that would keep surprising me and keep me on my toes.
-Relatively Quiet. My family would never be able to handle the calls of a macaw or cockatoo, but our house is rather quiet, with no noises the bird would be able to learn above our tolerance levels.
-Not Needy. I do know that Greys need a lot of companionship and enrichment, but they aren't needy in terms of being "on you" like a 'Too would. I can't devote hours a day to cuddling with a bird, but I can spend time with the bird, talking with it, just being in the same room as company.
-Talkative. While talking isn't a must, and I would love the Grey nonetheless, I would love to have a bird I can speak with, and even noise mimicking is really cool and entertaining. (I'll probably change my mind the 5,000th time I hear the "doorbell"!)
-Trainable. I love to teach animals, and push the limits of what I can do with positive reinforcement. All of my dogs I trained myself, and even our budgie knew a few tricks! I believe strongly in positive reinforcement, and no animal of mine has ever been hit, yelled at, or even spoken to in a loud voice during training. Although I'm not afraid to break out the "stern but calm mom" voice if I need to grab their attention!
It's so nice to meet you all, and I hope to have a companion of my own soon!