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Hello, and welcome to Ryen's World!  A place where everybody says "hello" many more times per day than is necessary, where there's plenty of corn on the cob to go around, and where most everybody is a pushover if you just nip them in the right places :-)
And, this is the little king himself.  Ryen is a Congo African grey.  Grey's were always my 'dream bird'... everybody has one, you know.  Not greys, dream birds.  When I researching my first bird (a budgie) I decided that greys were the bird I would get, if I ever had the money and resources.  Not that I ever seriously thought that I'd have an extra $1,000 or so for a pet bird, especially at 11 years old ;-) 

So I waited.  By 14 it was actually within the realm of possibility... not that I thought I'd have an extra $1,000, but we were to the point where if I DID have an extra $1,000, I might actually spend it on a bird.

Baby Ryen, at 4 weeks old
I never did have a thousand bucks.  But after much saving, and then spending ("grey money" helped by my first pair of breeding birds), and thinking and planning, at 15 I managed to get my friend - very good friend, let me stress here - to loan $600 to me.  That bought me a three and a half week old ball of fuzz with huge feet.  I was in love :-)
In the photo, I believe Ryen is the one on the right.  They're about 4 weeks old at that point.  The other grey is Ryen's "sister", Tabby, whom my friend also bought with the intention of reselling her - we certainly didn't make much, perhaps $50 after other expenses were factored in, but we got the experiance of raising a baby grey, being able to compare personalities, and getting to place Tabby in a wonderful, loving home.  Where she was later found to be male, but what the heck, she'll always be Ryen's sister to me!
Ryen is certainly everything I'd hoped for in a grey.  He is not one-persony, though he prefers me (and my aunt, whom I think he has a crush on!), he adores everyone else in the family and makes friends quickly with anyone who: a) doesn't push themselves on them, and b) feeds him.  Making neat noises and having an interesting voice also helps immensely!  He talks quite a bit; he was typical grey in that he learned "hello" and various sound effects by the time he was around six months old, but didn't really get going until he was about a year.  But, he really got going!  His favorites are names, and he knows everyone in the family's, including Buddy's and Allie's (Allie's he learned within the first week of her being here), and knows who they apply to, and uses them correctly, though he calls all men "Willie"!  Among other things, he also knows "I love you" (as in, "Lara?... I love you!"), "How are you?", "No!", "Quit!", "Shut up!", "Buddy, shut up!", "Buddy, no!", "Get in the cage!", "Hi Ryen!", "Awwww...", "Boo!", "C'mere, c'mere Ryen, up", "Thank you", "Hi parrot!", "Want some", "Want out" (which he uses, correctly, with particular frequency!), "Wanna bath", "Good morning!", "Good night", as well as many, many sound effects ranging from a pop can opening to the doves cooing to the computer beeping... to an unlovely flatulent sound that he uses as an all-purpose greeting.  All of his words he learned in context and uses correctly, more or less, to the point of yelling at Buddy when he's being loud!  He will verbally request being let out of the cage, being picked up, given a bath, or given some hand-feeding formula... which at over 2 years old he still adores.  My Ryen is one smart bird!
I would say that his main downside has nothing to do with your "typical" grey downsides (shyness, not talking in front of strangers etc.) but rather, he can be somewhat aggressive at times!  This isn't at all a major problem... he just knows who he can push around ;-)  It isn't me, though I've learned that he has his moods, but the rest of my family has suffered the occasional nip for attention or food!  I think it adds to his charm, but I know a few people who might disagree... :-)  But all in all, he's a pretty darn well-adjusted bird who loves people, toys, food, Buddy, the dog, going outdoors and visiting family... not necessarily in that order!
Basically, Ryen's my baby, he always will be even if he lives to 60.  He knows it, I know, we're both happy.  It works well that way!


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