By Katy Gill
This parrot with a larger than life personality shows his depth of intelligence by counting, greeting his owner with a hand shake and a “How do you do” – even singing, dancing, and mimicking the sounds of his fellow pet dog.
Barney, an the 8-year-old African grey parrot, has been recorded in his most comfortable surroundings dancing to his favourite bands by his owner, Katie Bullimore, 17, a full-time English literature student.
Based in Sheffield, UK, the bird has even picked up the local lingo, greeting people with an “You alright, love?”
After watching a video of a talking parrot when she was 9-years-old, Katie begged her parents for such a pet that would speak to her.
In only a short amount of time, Barney became vocal and more confident – also very cheeky, biting Katie on the ears and scaring her.
It wasn’t until last year, when Katie decided to claim him back from her brother, that a friendship formed with the comedic bird.
Katie said: “It’s common for parrots – and especially African greys to bite.
“However, as a child, that scared me and after being bitten on the ear a few weeks after we received him, I gave the responsibility to my brother.
“Last year, I decided to give him a chance again and after some patience and perseverance, we’re best friends!
“When guests come round to visit, they are usually terrified.
“Barney can somehow sense this and lands on them straight away.
“It can go one of two ways: he tests the waters and will bite them to see how they react, but if they are comfortable and confident, he is more interested in their actions and personality.
“We give him full roam of the house because cages just seem too small for such an intelligent animal.
“When Barney is hanging out with me and doing silly things, I just see it as having another friend in the room – usually if it’s a new trick, I will fall into hysterical laughing.”