Tiko is a 30-year-old, Red-lored Amazon parrot who lives with Burger (Biology/Rutgers Univ.) and her husband in their New Jersey home. The author describes their life together in an easy voice, one that is gently lyrical for the most part, although it shifts uncomfortably into scientific jargon at times (e.g., "male nest-showing," "pair-bond maintenance," "courtship feeding"). But more than a scientific work, this is a user's manual on what to expect (and how she and her husband learned to cope) when living with a parrot. They need contact more than any dog, they have wicked mood shifts, are curious to a fault, and highly protective. Burger spends a fair amount of time discussing Tiko's amorous advances toward her during the breeding season—which lasts up to half the year. She also turns her trained biologist's eye on the bird, evaluating his adaptability, his memory, his use of tools (he would use a quill to scratch and itch on his back), and his propensity for whistling duets with her husband.
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