Talkative parrot Booger Bear keeps family entertained

Watch talkative parrot Booger Bear perform his songs.
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Booger Bear, a 10-year-old Yellow Nape Amazon parrot can sing and talk.  Kamille Bostick/Staff
Kamille Bostick/Staff
Booger Bear, a 10-year-old Yellow Nape Amazon parrot can sing and talk.

It could just have been a cheap parlor trick, with the parrot saying "Polly want a cracker," but for Lynn Reed and her family, Booger Bear is no side show; he's the main event.

A yellow nape Amazon, Booger Bear can meow, whistle and sing Popeye the Sailor Man; Row, Row, Row Your Boat and his own ode to himself, Booger Bear.

Now nearly 10 years old, Booger Bear belonged to Mrs. Reed's daughter, who helped him hatch out of his egg when she was a teenager. Mrs. Reed said her daughter, now 26, felt it would be too traumatic to take him out of the only home he has known - a home he has filled with song and the unexpected.

With more than 100 words in his vocabulary, Booger Bear never falls short of being simply dazzling, Mrs. Reed said.

Once, they heard him making a swishing sound that none of them had taught him, yet it seemed vaguely familiar.

"We heard it and we were like, 'What is he doing?'" she said.

It turns out he was mimicking the sound of a toothbrush in action.

"My daughter used to take him in the bathroom with her while she brushed her teeth, and he just picked it up," Mrs. Reed said with a chuckle.

"You never know what they pick up."

For parrots and other mimicking birds like Booger Bear, there is no telling just how far they can go with copying the sounds they hear around them.

"Some things you just can't explain about birds. They do things - they communicate in amazing ways," Mrs. Reed said, "especially for the size of their brains."

The Reeds' other parrot, Gloria, an Eclectus, can sound just like the telephone ringing. She chirps the mechanical sound in a way that's spot on.

In the case of Booger Bear, whose brilliant green, red, purple and yellow feathers make him as beautiful to look at as he is intriguing to listen to, the hear-and-say is a constant source of delight.

He seems to know it, too.

"Booger Bear is happy-go-lucky," Mrs. Reed said. "He's a big green ham. He loves to perform. He's silly."

He has gone to schools and camps where he's an instant hit.

"Children just absolutely love him. They are fascinated that they can do all this and are so cuddly.

"He's just amazing,. People come over here all the time just to see him. I say, if he knew how to open the door, then I wouldn't need to be here."

She is there, though, and Booger Bear keeps the family entertained.

"He's a total joy," Mrs. Reed said.

"He's so much fun. I'll never have an empty nest because the birds are here."

PERFORMING PETS

THE PET: Booger Bear, a yellow nape Amazon parrot

THE HUMANS: The Reed family, Augusta

WHAT HE DOES: Sings Popeye the Sailor Man and Row, Row, Row Your Boat, calls the cat and has 100-word-plus vocabulary

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maryann854
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maryann854 08/24/07 - 08:00 am
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I also have a Yellow Nape, he

I also have a Yellow Nape, he is 22 yoa and he sings Old McDonald had a farm ..These birds are wonderful .

sweetpea
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sweetpea 08/24/07 - 08:22 am
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I have an Eclectus parrot who

I have an Eclectus parrot who absolutely keeps us entertained.
He sings his version of "My Girl" (which is "My Bird"), he barks like the dog. He will ask the dog - "You Gotta Go?" He mimicks a cough, sneeze, and a burp, and he clears his throat before he begins singing. He will tell one of our other birds to "Shut Up".
He pretends he talks on the phone (which is a deeper tone than his regular voice). He will ask us "What are ya doing?" and responds to questions with a yes or no answer.
I could go on and on. He is simply amazing and we love him very much

dasclay
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dasclay 08/24/07 - 10:57 am
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Those are nice, I always

Those are nice, I always wanted to get one for my mother, she has always wanted one. Whats there life span, and cost, and how much time do you have to spend with them? And are they Okay alone?

lbailey@cbdmarketing.com
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lbailey@cbdmarketing.com 08/24/07 - 04:48 pm
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Research, research, research.

Research, research, research. Your mom should volunteer at a parrot shelter/sanctuary first so not only will see she what she's getting into, but learn how to care for a parrot.Hopefully, if you decide to go through with this, you'll adopt a needy parrot.

I live in Chicago and volunteered at a shelter for 4 years before I took the plunge and adopted. I'm pretty sure your area has someone who has a reputable parrot shelter.

sweetpea
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sweetpea 08/24/07 - 04:58 pm
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A parrots life span can be

A parrots life span can be around 100 yrs (depending on breed).
I agree with lbailey. Research the breed you are most likely to get. Hand fed birds are the best pets. But any bird can be a good pet. It just depends on personality. Birds do like a lot of attention and if you want it to talk well, you must talk to it alot.
They love interaction and cuddling. There is a place locally who rescues animals and they have parrots sometimes. I found out about them through Pet Safari in Daniel Village. They may be able to direct you. Also, check the Iwanta for birds. They always have some listed along with the cages...usually very reasonable.
They can be messy animals though.

Jannarama
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Jannarama 08/24/07 - 06:10 pm
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OH, what a thrill to see

OH, what a thrill to see Booger Bear perform!! I have had the pleasure of meeting Booger Bear in person, and this was back in 2002 when he was STILL trying to learn the last word of "Row Your Boat" My daughters and I know Ms. Reed via a homeschooling group, and we became good friends! Booger Bear is definitely an awesome bird! Confused the cat, "here kitty kitty kitty...puss puss puss!" Just a riot with their cat looking around the living room!

Thank you for the video! AWESOME! :-)

dworth1
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dworth1 08/25/07 - 07:59 pm
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that bird is really cute and

that bird is really cute and funny. how much do they cost.

KATHRYNTHIGPEN
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KATHRYNTHIGPEN 08/26/07 - 08:06 pm
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We just watched Booger Bear

We just watched Booger Bear and he was wonderful. He reminded us so much of our deceased aunts "Miss Polly" who is a double yellow head amazon. Only "Miss Polly" turned out to be a "Mr Polly" after my cousin had him sexed after he came to live with her. These birds never leave you lacking for entertainment do they? And their vocabulary is endless. I've often heard that African Greys are the best talkers but I can not believe any bird could put too much over on these amazons. Example: Booger Bear !!
Thank you so much for sharing him with us.

o2grok
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o2grok 08/27/07 - 09:03 am
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Wow. That's about the most

Wow. That's about the most annoying noise I've ever heard in my life.

heartablazing69
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heartablazing69 08/27/07 - 05:36 pm
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WE had two cockatiels which

WE had two cockatiels which actually cannot speak, but can mimick sounds by whisteling. They knew the Andy Griffin show theme song. Also would mimick the phone ringing, sneezing and where also able to say "here kitty kitty". We used to sit the birds on the window sill with the cat onthe outside sill and the birds would torment the cat.Yes they are fun to have but do need a lot of attention. Due to a job change and not being able to spend as much time with them I gave them up for adoption. I was able to tell that not spending time with them made them seem depressed. So if anyone plans to own one be prepared to spend a lot of quality time with them. I also learned making a recording of yourself speaking or singing and playing it while out makes them learn. Play classical music which they seem to like.

ondeabedell
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ondeabedell 08/29/07 - 01:48 pm
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I have a double yellow head

I have a double yellow head Amazon who is the love of my life. We are so close he fusses when I leave the room. He is about 9 years old (still have his cracked egg shell he came from). At one time he spoke wonderfully, would say anything. Most of his talking was very appropriate because of his learning process. My husband passed away and he stopped talking. He is talking a bit more now, hope it comes back in time. The greatest things about him are his love, attentiveness, kisses, I ask for a hug and he will lean tightly next to my neck, he is potty trained on demand, just recently trained him to use the commode, sings opera, loves the cat dearly - they will snuggle, walks to bedroom mid-morning to take a nap, also to go to bed at night if no one is home to take him, before going to bed at night he likes to kiss and beep-beep the nose of everyone (my husband, the dog, 2 cats and myself), we go to his bedroom and play a bit with him usually lying on his back until he gets tired. Most interesting and attention-getting of all is when I take him to the vet for trimmings I usually take him along with the cat in a small cat cage to the vet. They both seem to love the togetherness.

whatwat
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whatwat 09/04/07 - 03:21 pm
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cool!!!!

cool!!!!

law
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law 09/09/07 - 04:51 am
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I wouldn't start with the

I wouldn't start with the cockatie, afterall that is a lifetime commitment as well, If you are going to do it, I say go all the way

melinye
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melinye 09/15/07 - 11:20 am
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I have two Blue font female

I have two Blue font female amazons who are between 7-8 years old. They always greet me with "Hey girl" and little mummblings as if you are on the phone. Short words from nowhere etc. I can't keep them in the same cage as they both think they are the Queen of the house. One talks more than the other one. I truly am blessed with my girls.

DonnieJoe
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DonnieJoe 01/24/10 - 08:41 am
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A little Good News for a

A little Good News for a change ! Thanks AC

corgimom
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corgimom 01/24/10 - 11:14 am
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My father got a gray Amazon

My father got a gray Amazon parrot named Lucy. Parrots tend to pick one person to bond to, and they can be very mean. That hard beak can BITE. They need lots of attention and companionship, they SCREAM when they are annoyed, and they are not for everyone. Lucy used to live with someone who loved Whitney Houston- she would do that line "the greatest LOOOOOVEEEEEEE of all" and we'd lose it every time. She can bark, do the phone, call the dogs, and she gets stuck on E-I-E-I-E-I of Old McDonald- it's like listening to a scratched record. But she's a lot of fun, too. Just stay away from her beak.

Bongo.Congo
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Bongo.Congo 01/24/10 - 01:18 pm
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Looks like he's fry up really

Looks like he's fry up really nice...for a snack.....

MomInRC
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MomInRC 01/24/10 - 01:24 pm
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