For those of you unfamiliar with grey cheeks, let me preface this post with the fact that they are so beloved and so hard to find that there are thousands of folks who want one and not enough supply to satisfy the demand. In the 1980’s they were everywhere in pet stores -they were imported by the thousands into the US. In the 1990’s, laws regarding importation of birds for the pet trade changed, so birds are no longer legally imported here. So that leaves the old birds that were left from the 80’s glut, and/or any of their babies. Grey cheeks are notoriously difficult to breed, so when breeders have a successful breeding pair, they do not want to sell their babies since they become more potential breeding stock. These breeders are to be commended; they could command untold sums of money per bird, but rather than sell them as pets, they hope to increase the species numbers here in the US. These birds are also in danger in their natural habitats in South America, so these breeders are actually keeping the species alive in more ways than one.

Now that you have that background, here is Kipper, a grey cheek that my acquaintance Karl feels blessed to have found at a bird store in San Diego. Karl went in to buy food and saw Kipper in the back room. Kipper’s previous owner had passed away and her adult children were afraid of him, so they sold him to the bird store.

Karl says Kipper is capable of putting on a “monster” facade while in his cage, but is in fact the sweetest grey cheek of the 6 he has had. Kipper is probably quite old and so far hasn’t shown any interest in the fruits or vegetables that other Brotos enjoy.

Apparently, Kipper was always a loner and companion for the older lady that owned him. He’s a pretty fearless little guy! And worth a fortune in love given and received.

Thanks to Karl and Angie for allowing Kipper to appear on Quantum Leaps.


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