lcatraz - the wonder bird. Alcatraz belongs to a breed of parrots blessed with many amazing traits - well developed communications skills among them. Not only does she express herself humanly, that is speak words - in both English and Polish - she actually uses the words in context a majority of the time. She was my first experience with a pet that can speak my human language - and it is an amazing encounter! She greets me with hello whenever I walk through the door and generally reserves telling me "I love you" for bedtime and when I return from business trips. And relative to telecommunications, she and her species have been demonstrating the principles of wireless communications much longer than we humans (more on this in the future).



lcatraz is a wonder bird because she has suffered tremendous physical hardships and has overcome them all! Alcatraz came to me with only one functioning leg. She had suffered an accident with her previous owners and the leg was never set correctly. At most she could use it to lean on. She knew only the confines of the space in her cage, but was extremely inquisitive about exploring new potentials. She soon had mastery of the house and would fly from room to room in search of companionship or interesting observations.

lcatraz, with her one working leg - has had that good leg broken four times. The first time, she broke her good leg , it was in two places.

Her original owner kept insisting that she be "put down" as her quality of life would suffer too greatly - but between my belief that the owner should be "put down" first, and the most wonderful, intelligent and humane doctor, Alactraz was spared - and healed very well - going back to a quality of life she had been enjoying before the breaks - roosting on her perch, sitting on top of doors, and causing mischief under foot and over head!

lcatraz had to endure about five weeks of bondage to heal - she was an invalid, unable to take care of herself in any basic way. But with the help of an excellent nurse, Helen, and lots of attention, she came out fine. She soon learned how to work around the bandaged limb, and to enjoy herself - like discovering the pleasures of fresh peas.

The second time Alcatraz broke her "good" leg, was when she was practicing her impression of a fireman sliding down a firepole - she used to slide down the cage bars into her front door - and managed to cause a spiral break on one of the recent fractures. Amazing as she is, Alcatraz laid the first of two eggs while under anesthesia having her leg set!

This time the excellent nurse, Helen, was nursing her husband (Eugene) in Detroit, so Alcatraz had to travel with me to work in Chicago- to conduct LIDO training. She found United airline's first class service full of wonderful edibles, snoozed during the limo ride to the client's campus, and amused herself by occasionally performing a "fly by" over LIDO's entertained class.

But this time, life on the perch became and issue, and Alcatraz learned to become a ground dweller. Being incredibly inquisitive, Alcatraz keeps herself entertained with many toys. She absolutely knows what a gift is, and once it has been introduced into her home, even if she initially hates it, it is hers - and do not try to touch it!!! Alcatraz also spends a good deal of time with interior design. Being one of nature's more imaginative nest builders, she uses her feathers, pieces of paper and ribbon, tiny toys, and balls to constantly redecorate the interior of her home.

Not only does Alcatraz keep her house clean - she actually calls for a trip to the outhouse - she insists on frequent baths and blow drys! She so much likes to bathe, that we are compelled to leave a bowl of water for her on the counter so she can splash about. Once in her quest for cleanliness, she took a bath in a bowl of cream of mushroom soup!

About 9 months after her second broken leg, in a horrible accident, Alcatraz's wing was fractured in multiple places. Again, bondage, this time a figure eight bandage. Not enough to stop her from wanting to enjoy her morning coffee.

With about a year of self imposed physical therapy, today Alcatraz once again flies, enjoys short bouts of "toro" (her bullfight impression) and loves to "play ball" - with two balls at a time!

Major international travel is little beyond Alcatraz's scope, so she summons a very special friend to take care of her. Alcatraz and Eugene start each morning with a breakfast meeting (probably reviewing the days sports programming).

But after a long day of playing ball, decorating house, rearranging toys, watching TV, and partaking of all meals and snack times, Alcatraz loves nothing more than to climb into bed for a little relaxing time, lying on her back with her feet up in the air.


Alcatraz welcomes any qualified opinions or suggestions on how she might regain the use of her other leg - anyone with parrot prostheses? Please write to

About Alcatraz / Alcatraz & Friends / Alcatraz's Virtual Bird Park
Dear Alcatraz / Meet Alcatraz