Performing Parrot Sings, Soars at Dallas Zoo

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DALLAS – Some might say the Dallas Zoo is for the birds; and that’s true five days a week during Soar: A Festival of Flight. If you check it out, you’ll see kids gasping and cheering as birds scoop, compete, perform tricks and even sing, like Quito –she’s a bit of a celebrity.

“She is a Double Yellow-headed Amazon parrot. She`s about 18-years-old, and she has been all over the place. She`s been on TV shows, she been on road shows, all over the country,” Quito’s trainer, Bobby Brett said.

Quito even does tiger impressions. But the stage veteran wasn’t always so pitch perfect. For Quito, Old MacDonald once sounded more like Yoda than opera.

“She came to us knowing the full song, she just knew it in bits and pieces and she was saying them back out of order.”

Through cues and positive reinforcement, the performing parrot learned to sing the song perfectly. Though it doesn’t mean she always wants to belt out her tune.

“Like a lot of people, she has days where she doesn’t want to do a whole lot. Like you have your certain days where you just want to lay out on the couch, and do nothing,” Brett said.

Well, looks like Quito loves the attention, and her singing show isn’t just an act. It’s for a good cause to raise money and awareness for the conservation of parrots.

But before you run out and try to buy your own talking parrot, be warned –they don’t all sing.

They can live up to 50 years, and even if they do sing and talk, after years of the same words, ‘Polly wanting a cracker,’ may leave its owner wanting aspirin and ear muffs.

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