Derbian Parakeet Sam

A Derbyan Parrot is Happy to be Home

By Mary Dodd Brashear

“Derbyan parrots are pretty birds, but they aren’t smart.”

This is what I heard the woman say as she kept the African grey and sold me the Derbyan parrot. I didn’t expect smartness, so Sam became part of my bird family of Timneh greys and Hawkheads.

The 4th of July proved to be a great event in Sam’s life. A firecracker was thrown into our yard which panicked all the birds, as well as me. Sam screamed and flew into a  sliding screen door. He managed to wedge the door open, hop across the yard, and fly at a low level down the block. Even though his primary wing feathers were trimmed, he was able to get a lift from his long tail feathers. I was unable to keep up with him and lost him in the night. The next day I placed an ad in the paper saying “Rare Derbyan parrot lost. His name is Sam. Reward. Call Mary (phone #)” I also posted sheets with his description on poles in a 2-mile radius of the house. 

I only received one call in answer to the ad, 2 days later. The woman asked me to describe my bird. I told her he was very rare, with a red-orange beak, purple face and black mustache, purple chest, and brilliant green back and wings. I said he might say his name, Sam, and my name, Mary. She laughed and said that she wished she could keep the bird, but that this must really be my bird. Sam had waddled into their house by way of glass sliding doors, jumped up onto her couch, and said, “Hi, I’m Sam, Where's Mary.” 

When the woman brought him over, Sam leaped onto my shoulder, stretched his beak out to talk, and said: “Mary, I Love You.” I cried and was so happy to see him again. Sam has been talking in full phrases ever since. He tells me he is “Smart Sam!”




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