How To Stuff Your Parrot on Thanksgiving

This amusing essay is making the rounds on the intertubes (as usual) this year, so I had to share it with you.

Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Hot rolls and Butter
Relish tray
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Hot Coffee
Get up early in the morning and have a cup of coffee. It’s going to be a long day, so place your parrot on a perch nearby to keep you company while you prepare the meal.
Remove parrot from kitchen counter and return him to perch.
Prepare stuffing, and remove parrot from edge of stuffing bowl and return him to perch.
Stuff turkey and place it in the roasting pan, and remove parrot from edge of pan and return him to perch. Have another cup of coffee to steady your nerves. Remove parrot’s head from turkey cavity and return him to perch, and re-stuff the turkey.
Prepare relish tray, and remember to make twice as much so that you’ll have a regular size serving after the parrot has eaten his fill. Remove parrot from kitchen counter and return him to perch.
Prepare cranberry sauce, discard berries accidentally flung to the floor by parrot. Peel potatoes, remove parrot from edge of potato bowl and return him to perch.
Arrange sweet potatoes in a pan and cover with brown sugar and mini marshmallows. Remove parrot from edge of pan and return him to perch. Replace missing marshmallows.
Brew another pot of coffee. While it is brewing, clean up the torn coffee filter. Pry coffee bean from parrot beak. Have another cup of coffee & remove parrot from kitchen counter and return him to perch.
When time to serve the meal:
Place roasted turkey on a large platter, and cover beak marks with strategically placed sprigs of parsley.
Put mashed potatoes into serving bowl, re-whip at last minute to conceal beak
marks and claw prints.
Place pan of sweet potatoes on sideboard, forget presentation as there’s no
way to hide the areas of missing marshmallows.
Put rolls in decorative basket, remove parrot from side of basket and return
him to perch.
Remove beaked rolls, serve what’s left. Set butter out on the counter to soften — think better of this strategy and return it to the refrigerator.
Wipe down counter to remove mashed potato claw tracks. Remove parrot from
kitchen counter and return him to perch.
Cut the pie into serving slices. Wipe whipped cream off parrot’s beak and place large dollops of remaining whipped cream on pie slices.
Whole slices are then served to guests, beaked-out portions should be reserved for hostess.
Place parrot inside cage and lock the door.
Sit down to a nice relaxing dinner with your family — accompanied by plaintive cries of “WANT DINNER!” from the other room.


About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
This entry was posted in Humor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to How To Stuff Your Parrot on Thanksgiving

  1. David Harmon says:

    Hmm… I remember seeing this, or a close variation, as “How to stuff a Lorie”….

  2. wow, you are very good. i rewrote and published that in 2005 from the original essay that you see above.

  3. llewelly says:


    but …. what happens to a parrot if it eats a coffee bean?
    Most mammals that size would be likely to die from the caffeine in the bean, but what about a parrot?

  4. Too true, and hilarious as well.
    My feathered fiends remained in their cages and got turkey catered to them. You will believe they descended from dinosaurs when you see them tuck into a piece of turkey meat or crack into a turkey bone.

  5. ericnh says:

    Too funny. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who had that experience yesterday. My brother-in-law called our bird a cannibal for eating turkey. Should’ve reminded him of the dino connection.

  6. lewelly — if a parrot eats a coffee bean, they will become ill, and possibly die (depending upon their body size and the size of the coffee bean and its caffeine content).
    ericnh — actually, a parrot eating a turkey is no more a cannibal than is a human eating a cow — arguably, turkeys are more distantly related to parrots than humans are to cows.