The Parrot Who Owns Me
The Story of a Relationship
By Joanna Burger
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780375760259, 272pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2002
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Seventeen years ago, when she adopted a neglected, orphaned thirty-year-old parrot named Tiko, the internationally renowned ornithologist Joanna Burger entered one of the most complex relationships of her life. Sullen and hostile when he entered Dr. Burger’s home, Tiko gradually warmed up, courting her during mating season, nursing her vigilantly through a bout with Lyme disease, and for a while even fighting her husband for her attentions. In time theirs was a relationship of deep mutual trust.
The Parrot Who Owns Me is Joanna and Tiko’s story, as well as the story of the science of birds, and of parrots in particular. Woven into the narrative are insights and fascinating revelations from Dr. Burger’s work—not only about parrots, but also about what it means to be human.
Joanna Burger, a distinguished professor of Biology at Rutgers, has authored two academic books on bird behavior, and has written five books for lay readers, two of which she co-authored with her husband, Muchal Gochfeld, a professor of environmental and community medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. They live in Somerset, New Jersey.
“[A] brilliantly observed memoir . . . an unusually thoughtful book . . . Bottom line: A literary coo.” —People
“[Burger] sweeps readers into the fascinating world of avian biology, behavior, ecology and conservation.” —Newsday
“One of the warmest, funniest and weirdest memoirs of the year . . . This book is a must-have for bird-lovers and a fun read for everyone else.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)