Yodit is a 4 year old Red Bellied Parrot that I also got from Scott at Old World Aviaries, back in May 2009. I got her because she had been missing an eye since birth, and one of the other birds in the nursery bit one of her toes off because she’s missing half of her field of vision and is kind of a fearless little beastie. Scott knew how much I love Red Bellieds and had talked about getting one some day, so he asked me if I’d take her. So of course I did!
I named her Yodit because Red Bellieds are from Ethiopia, and Yodit was the name of the famed Queen of Sheba (Sheba = Ethiopia). And since my Yodit is a little diva princess, I couldn’t think of a more suitable name.
And diva she is. She lets you know in no uncertain terms how she feels about what you are asking her to do, and you are only allowed to touch her at her express request. Fortunately for us mortals, she enjoys being touched quite a bit, and is great with everyone, even small children. For this reason, she quickly became my lesson/ambassador bird, whom I would take with me when teaching classes and workshops, and when giving talks to children’s groups.
Before she could become an ambassa-bird, though, she had to learn good manners. Being a Red Belly, she has a tendency towards excitement-nipping, so I taught her a variety of behaviors that are incompatible with nipping, such as standing up tall, turning around, flying to a station on cue, waving, and dancing. Like all my birds, she also learned to accept nail trims, to drink liquid from a syringe, and to load into a carrier. After acquiring these crucial skills (and rather quickly, I might add!), she took her role as lesson bird very seriously and has become an excellent teacher for students both young and old.
She is also an aerial acrobat of the highest order, with flying skills I didn’t think possible in parrots. This certainly contributes to her high self-esteem, but fortunately she’s also very good natured about recalling.
She only ever bothered to learn two human phrases: “Yo-o-dit!” and “I love you!” Presumably, she’s speaking to herself.
Yodit’s favorite things are flying, flying, and flying. She also enjoys reducing plastic toys to rubble and occasionally deigning to be kissed and petted by us mortals.