(By future Bird Club member Elaine Bales)
My interest in parrots as pets was something that caught me by surprise. Actually, I had already
purchased a 55 gallon aquarium and was looking for a book on setting up a natural marine life aquarium
at the bookstore, when I happened upon an oversized book on Parrots of the World, and elected to skim it.
When I saw the beauty and splendor of the Eclectus breed, it was love at first sight on seeing this
striking pair of dimorphic birds. I then purchased a different book that was exclusively written about
the Eclectus species.
What really amazed me was the feather structure of the species, which didn't resemble the common
feathers I had seen in other birds, both wild and domestic. Rather it was the fur-like quality that
I found stupendous. The fact that for those of us with allergies could tolerate having an Eclectus,
compelled me to buy my first parrot, the Solomon Island Eclectus I named Gulliver.
The reason I named him Gulliver was because I had ordered him through a breeder in Louisiana, and
when I went to pick him up at the airport and removed him from his crate, he was horrified at the long
journey and immediately bit me when I took him out. He was scared to death and it was the first and
only bite he has ever given me in 2 years. So, I named him Gulliver after the book "Gulliver's Travels",
because he traveled so far to reach me and has brought so much sunshine into my life.
Gulliver has a fascination with playing with cups filled with orange juice. He searches them out,
turns them over and then throws them off the coffee table. He prefers the corning ware cups and doesn't
seem to care for the plastic cups. He will play with them for hours and hours and it is his favorite toy.
He also likes to play with musical toys and his favorite is his Elmo play telephone. It sings a tune "Na
na na na, na na na na Elmo's world". He also loves to watch cartoons and his favorites are "The Flintstones"
and "Ariel The Mermaid". He is a happy-go-lucky guy that is always in a good mood and anxiously greets me
every morning for a birdie hug and a kiss on his little beakie. I call him Gulliver Goodfellow, because he
is such a good guy i.e. loyal, devoted and full of surprises. Gulliver isn't demanding and can sit quietly
and play with his gal pal, Tango Rose, a female Eclectus hen, about 4 months younger than himself. Although
Tango Rose pounces on him from time to time, he takes it in stride.
He loves to hang upside down on his swing and when I catch him doing this I sing the "Batman theme song"
for him. Gulliver just loves to have me sing songs to him. Gulliver is a country western birdie guy and
loves to do the birdie two-step to the tune of "Achey Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Syrus. He didn't take after
me in the music department, because I am a fan of the oldies but goodies of the 1960's to the 1980's.
The new aquarium I had purchased was never set-up and was sold so I could buy a big cage for my baby bird.
It was a decision that I will never regret, for Gulliver has proven to be a life-long friend and companion
that will bring me warmth, laughter and happiness all the days of my life.
Elaine Bales is a local real estate broker and owns Assist-2-Sell Real Estate. She has been married to Marc,
a hydrologist for 20 years. She enjoys wildlife photography, reading ancient history and decorative painting.
She lives with her family Lady the Golden Retriever, Chopper the Chessie, Kiwi a male Vos and Tango Rose a female
Eclectus in East Anchorage. The family veterinarian is Jackie Fredickson with Alaska Pet Care, and because of
this great lady, who specializes in avian care, her Kiwi vos is still with us today.