14 Sep 2014
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Birds of a Feather

We found Hilliard Williams and his parrot, Kumari, perched outside Sean Casey Animal Rescue.

Birds of a Feather

If you say "hello" to Kumari, she might say it back—but only if you're lucky.

If Kumari doesn't return your salutations, it's not because she's being rude. As a 15-year-old African Grey parrot, she has the intelligence of a 6-year-old child, and the temperament of a 2-year-old, said her owner Hilliard Williams, who adopted Kumari from Sean Casey Animal Rescue last year.

Kumari has a handful of phrases at her disposal, including "How are you?," "I love you," and "Wake up!" But like most two-year olds, she's finicky about when she chooses to engage in conversation.

"She'll only talk when she's in the mood," Williams told a group of gawking kids outside Sean Casey's outpost on East 3rd St. on Wednesday.

Parrots may not be the most obedient pets, but as far as Williams is concerned, they're the best.

"There's nothing—nothing—like it," he said, adding that his relationship with Kumari is so intimate that she cleans the corners of his eyes with her beak. "You have to be a parrot owner to appreciate the difference." 

Williams, who adopted Kumari from Sean Casey last year after she was found left on the side of a road in the Bronx, said he prefers parrots as pets for their distinct personalities.

"She has likes and dislikes. If she likes something, she shows it," he said. "If she doesn’t like it, she let’s me know."

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