My parrot, Barney, alongside the parrot from Jan Steen’s ‘The Effects of Intemperance’ (who is being given a sip of wine: a beaker full of the warm south, as Keats would say). Barney turned up at the local pet-shop, an exile from his first home, and in need of a new owner. He is reportedly six or seven, and, yes, he talks: a bird-brained tape of his first household ‘Get out the way!’ ‘Come on!’ and the like, and in his repertoire of noises, their telephone and the growling of their dog, his old enemy.
In early modern terms he appears to be:
“VII. Aldrovandus his ash-coloured or bluish Parrot.
This according to Aldrovandus is ten inches long: Of the bigness of a tame Pigeon, or the common green Parrot. The Bill is black: The Nosthrils near to one another, in the upper part of the Bill next to the Head; which part is covered with a naked white skin [we afterwards observed the same figure and situation of the Nosthrils in all other Parrots.] The whole body is of an uniform colour, viz. a dark cinereous: Yet the lower part of the Back and Belly and the Rump are paler than the rest of the body, and almost white. The Tail is red of a Vermilion colour, very short, and scarce reaching further than the ends of the Wings. The region of the Eyes [sides of the head round the Eyes] is white and bare of feathers. The feathers of the Head and Neck are shorter than the others. They say that all of this kind are brought from Mina, an
In my pho
“The Feet are of a singular fashion, for they have not three Toes standing forward and one backward, but two each way, like Woodpeckers. Jo. Faber, in his Expositions of Nardi Antonio Recchi his Animals found in
It is the happiness of the parrot to be, like small children or drunks, the regular source of a fund of anecdote:
“They do not only imitate mans voice, but in wit excell all other birds, as Aldrovandus proves by many Histories and examples. I shall not think much to set down one very pleasant story, which Gesner saith was told him by a certain friend, of a Parrot, which fell out of King Henry VIII. his Palace at Westminster into the River of Thames that runs by, and then very seasonably remembring the words it had often heard some whether in danger or in jest use, cried out amain, A Boat, a Boat, for twenty pound. A certain experienced Boatman made thither presently, took up the Bird, and restored it to the King, to whom he knew it belonged, hoping for as great a reward as the Bird had promised. The King agreed with the Boatman that he should have as the Bird being asked anew should say: And the Bird answers, Give the Knave a Groat.
CHAP. V. * Clusius his Discourse and Accoun
t of Parro ts.
The Noble Philip Marnixius of S
As we all like
“But that the price of those birds there was very great; so that they were not rated at less than eight or ten German Dollars. Linscotius writes, that the Portugues had often made trial to bring over of them to
“He (Clusius) adds fur
and here’s Ruby,