Gary Rinsem

The Andy Show

Compliments of Andy Bird

Why do they all have the same last name?

More intelligent by far than the average cockatoo. More intelligent by far than any other non-human I've met before. I'm learning a great deal listening to Andy. He speaks in riddles. His pensive voice compares to a group of gangsters in a booth at an Italian restaurant, all talking in secret, barely audible. Andy mumbles for hours about wonders only he can imagine.

When excited, Andy is clearly heard. When happy he laughs loudly. When frustrated... just leave till he calms. Acknowledgement of screaming will only encourage it.

With 12 rescued parrots in the house and more come and gone, Andy is unique even among cockatoos. I've spent the years since I was 7... looking for every bit of knowledge and comprehension I can acquire about intelligence. I have spent 42 years studying and years ago gave up expecting to find true intelligence beyond humans. Andy Delighted me today.

Walking past Andy in the family room, I casually asked if he wanted to go out to lunch. Excitement was instant as he sprung to action. Rushing to his cage, Andy began throwing toys out the door onto the floor. One at a time he hauled those toys across the room to make a pile by the door. Ashamed to say, I hardly noticed, at least I didn't give Andy's actions any serious thought. I should have recognized the incredible event.

Susan takes too long to get ready. What the hell, she's not even putting on makeup or changing clothes, yet it takes thirty minutes. Andy got frustrated pacing circles around that pile of toys. Screaming began. Time to go and I leaned down, offering my arm I said "Step up." Andy, instead of jumping aboard, stood fast and just stared at me. I finally kneeled before him for a chat to find the reason for an out of character response from Andy. He threw a toy at me.

Building the pile of toys showed comprehension far beyond anything I've hoped to see outside of humanity. Andy was predicting and planning for the future. As incredible as that is it must not be put in the shadows by his second bit of.. even greater display of comprehension.

In frustration, Andy, by tossing a toy at me... proved several things. He understood my mind and the fact that I wasn't understanding his mind. He proved his analytical skills by finding a way of getting through to me. I immediately put his chosen toys in my coat pocket and Andy happily stepped up.

My understanding of a hundred birds is the same. They are very intelligent. Far more intelligent than known. Now I know, one is many times the smarts of all the others. I owe Andy so much for teaching me this. From now on we're going have a different relationship. It won't take long. I'll finally be able to help him deal with frustration.