We narrowed it down to a few options, but then it hit me… an African Grey like ‘Alex’ the famous avian language science experiment. These beautiful parrots are so intelligent that most people call their Grey “Einstein”. Being English we opted for the name “Newton” after my favourite scientist. Pure co-incidence that the centre is located in Sturminster Newton too!
We adopted a 10 year old (initially believed to be 5/6 years old) African Grey in June 2018 from a couple in Devon that loved the bird very much, but could no longer spend the time needed with him. He’s a caged bird with very little handling and training, so there are challenges to overcome, but we’re making huge progress! While he knows and even occasionally says his previous name of “Sid”, we began calling him Newton from day one with us and he quickly learned to respond to it. Granted, he learned to say our dog’s name, but not his own!
Newton is trained daily in various areas, including behaviour, speech, tricks and foraging (he’s still a bit lazy but getting better). He comes to the centre most days and has already started appearing in our videos. Last summer we let him put on some parrot demonstrations for our students and he did beautifully. He wasn’t a very confident flyer at all when we first adopted him, but a year on and he’s an expert!
We get this question a lot, so we’ll do our best to update this section frequently with the things he says/does.