“Birds are my passion,” says Joanna Burger, “but parrots are my weakness.” Fifteen years ago, when se adopted a neglected, orphaned thirty-six year old parrot named Tiko, she entered on of the most complex relationships of her life.
Sullen and hostile when he entered Dr. Burger’s home, Tiko gradually warmed as she carefully persuaded him of her good intentions. Eventually he courted her, building nests inside household furniture during mating season and trying to coax her into them. He nursed her vigilantly through a bout with Lyme disease, regularly preening each strand of hair on the pillow as she slept. For a while he even fought her husband for her attentions, but eventually theirs became a relationship of deep mutual trust.
The Parrot Who Owns Me is also the story of the science of birds, and of parrots in particular (America’s third most commonly owned pet, after cats and dogs). Woven into the narrative are insights and fascinating revelations from Joanna Burger’s work — not only about parrots, but about what it means to be human.
By turns delightful, hilarious, touching, and enlightening, The Parrot Who Owns Me introduces us to an unforgettable bird and his human companion, whose friendships tells us much about ourselves.