Ducky the sun conure: A novel spokes-bird

Sun conures are an attention getting parrot, and Goldie’s friend Ducky is no exception. Ducky is a 3-year sun conure that has a job no less. Ducky is spokes-bird for Novel Publicity, an author promotion and novel publicity firm run by Emlyn Chand.

Ducky, a male sun conure, is from a breeder in Detroit and came to live with  Emlyn when he was 5 months old after living with a someone that didn’t have enough time for him.

I recently had the good fortune to ask Ducky’s significant other, Emlyn Chand, a few questions about Ducky and the job that the amusing sun conure performs for the company.

Q: Can Ducky fly?

A: Sort of. He is currently flighted since he needs this ability for the video work he does (yes, he is a model-actor). I find that if I let him stay flighted for too long, he uses this as an excuse to attack my husband, AKA his arch nemesis. Also I like to be able to take him outside in the summer, but he needs to be clipped for that. Last August, he caught a gust of wind and flew onto our neighbor’s roof. He was flying around in a panic for several hours before we were able to get him back. Since he’s so used to being clipped, he didn’t know how to land. Poor thing!

Q: Does Ducky talk?

A: Ducky doesn’t speak English, but he talks! His name is Ducky, because of the quacking noise he and other Conures make. I think the fact that such a beautiful and regal looking bird makes such a funny noise proves that God has a sense of humor. Ducky has a handful of noises including quacking, screaming, the bubble noise, the really super happy noise, and the I want what you’re eating noise. He also sings.

Q: What does Ducky eat?

A: Ducky eats Zupreem. He’s a huge fan of the yogurt-covered mango treats—I mean he would probably kill for those things. He also likes apples, Back to Nature crackers, and sunflower seeds. He wants to eat whatever I’m eating too and is quite adept at thieving food. I’ve caught him eating some very odd non-edible things as well, like soap, glass, cough drop wrappers, and of course, clothes.

Q:  Does Ducky misbehave? If so what does mom do? 

A:  Ducky is a diva. Sometimes he gets in these inexplicable angry moods and will just scream and scream. These occur a few times a month. I’ve found that if I put him in his carrier cage on my desk while I work, he’ll keep quiet. The problem is that I can’t let him on my shoulder when he acts like that—I don’t reward bad behavior—and now he’s found a way to get out of the carrier cage in about thirty seconds flat. I’ve even tried adding ties and locks to the cage and he still gets out! Another way he misbehaves is in his protection of me. He hates my husband with a fervent passion. He also dislikes my brothers and most strangers. He tolerates some people but seems to think almost everybody is a threat to my safety. I understand he’s trying to protect me, so I don’t get too angry with him about it.

Q: Why was Ducky picked to be spokes-bird?

A: How could I not choose my beloved avian companion as the spokes-bird for my new company? You know how lovable and loyal these little creatures are. People often don’t believe me, when I say that he’s more loyal than my Golden Retriever, but he is. No one will love you like a Conure. Since I do the work for my company with Ducky on my shoulder or perched atop a book that I am reviewing for a client, it’s only natural that he be a big part of the business. He also serves as something of a metaphor for the writer’s spirit—colorful, bold, loves to feel the wind at his wings and look down on the world beneath him, but also easily held back by the combination of a cruel human and a pair of wing-clipping scissors.

Q: Does Ducky want to write a book?

A: I’m actually working toward the publication of a children’s picture book about a heroic parakeet. It’s the first in a series of many fictional books starring birds. Later on in the series, I’d like to write a book about Ducky—the parrot with a job. It will actually be a pumped-up version of reality. Ducky does work! He poses for photos and shoots videos. You can even read his team bio on my company website.

Q: Does Ducky have a favorite book?

A: Ducky most appreciates books for their perchability. The thicker, the better. With that in mind, he really likes Anna Karenina, Ulysses, Lord of the Rings, and Les Miserables. I also think he would really enjoy Sun Tzu’s Art of War (for obvious reasons) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, because the parrot kills his master’s husband. I think Ducky fantasizes about this day-in and day-out.

Q: What does Ducky do for fun when he isn’t working? Toys?

A: Ducky’s entire existence revolves around food and me, preferably both at the same time. He’s lucky in that I work from home full time, which means he’s able to perch on my shoulder for almost the entire day. He has tons of toys in his cage, but he’d much rather be out of it. Other birds live in the aviary with him (a cockatiel and three parakeets), but they rarely interact. The Aussies just don’t like him! I guess Ducky’s favorite activity outside of eating and cuddling is dancing. He’s really quite talented. He enjoys Frank Sinatra and Lady Gaga above all else. He also has a very unique four-move choreographed bit for Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.

Great links featuring Ducky the sun conure:

Ducky does a really good impression of gum-chewing.

Another video which is a montage of Ducky’s green screen exploits.

See how we use him in the branding of our book trailers (at the end).

Q: What tips do you have for other sun conure owners?

A: Let’s see. Be patient! Conures want to please their people, but it also takes time to earn their trust. They can be temperamental like small children. Don’t expect your sun conure to be sweet and loving with everybody; it’s much more likely he’ll be a one-person bird. Don’t take your bird out of the cage too soon after waking him up—morning poop is colossal, you don’t want to get that on your shirt. Conures love taking showers; buy a suctioned perch and take him in the shower with you every day, otherwise he’ll bathe in his water dish and then he’ll stink. Play music for your bird; they love it!

Goldie’s owner thinks that Ducky is indeed an inspiration to all sun conure owners on just what a bird can accomplish with love and creativity. Goldie wishes Ducky the sun conure much success in the future.

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