WORLD'S ONLY "PEEP" SHOW RATED GEE!
Why should Polly want a cracker when she can have caviar and champagne?
After all, these are delicacies more suited to a star's palate, and beautiful birds can try their wings at stardom simply by flocking around Weldon Middlebrooks. As a producer of exotic bird show known as CHEEP THRILLS, Weldon knows a talented talon when he sees one.
He can take Plain Jane parrots or Mr. Milquetoast Macaws away from the tedium of perch-hopping and seed-spitting and turn them into real troupers. Weldon teaches the birds to ride bicycles and unicycles, rollerskate, solve math & I.Q. problems, and balance free-style on a soccer ball among other show-stopping behaviors. He also alters their egos with new, celebrity-sounding names like Ali McBeak, Albird Einstein, Pablo Peckasso, and Quick Draw Macaw.
When they get their act together, the birds are ready to take their show on the road. They then leave the confines of their basic training (also known as "Birdy Bootcamp") and travel to perform at attractions and venues around the world.
It takes about three months to get his cast smartened up, according to Weldon whose Arlington, Texas home is also known as Cockatoo U. "Birds in some respects are similar to humans. Some learn and progress faster than others," he noted adding that lack of intelligence is so evident that a nerd of a bird can be replaced early in the training process.
According to Weldon, even a bird which has just been sitting around idle for years can be trained to do great things. Since these birds have average lifespans of 50 years, a 12 to 15-year-old specimen is still considered a youngster capable of learning trained behavior.
A rotten disposition does not preclude a bird's entering show business either. Some are just "naturally aggressive and foul-tempered" is Weldon's description. But, this excess energy can be channeled into mastering skills, according to the trainer. Mean birds can turn out to be regular Lawrence Oliviers.
"Generally, any bird can be taught to do anything that it is physically capable of doing," he said- although each usually demonstrates an aptitude for one type of behavior over another. Only two out of five birds of the same type may develop to be good talkers.
"Once the birds learn their routines, they become eager to perform," said the trainer, explaing that the intellectual stimulation wins out over boredom any day.
A Macaw or Cockatoo may never fetch your newspaper or chase the balls that you throw, but on the other hand, it might... Then again, as long as it can play cards, solve math problems or ride a bicycle, who cares?