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Newlywed Guy Livid After Brother Spoils His Parrot With Toys While Petsitting During Honeymoon

African Grey parrot with toy
Andrei Kozenkov/Getty Images

Redditor JacobXRIA was asked by his brother to watch his pet African Grey parrot.

When the Original Poster (OP) saw that the bird didn’t have any toys to stimulate him, he went out and bought him some.

When the OP’s brother returned from his trip, he got mad seeing the toys and the new bond his bird shared with his brother.

The OP turned to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for advice.

He asked:

“AITA for telling my brother it is not my fault his parrot likes me more than him?”

He went on to explain.

“My brother has an African Grey. He’s asked me to take care of her for one month while he and my SIL went on their honeymoon. When he dropped her off, I asked ‘Where are her toys?’”

“He said ‘I never bought any toys for her. Waste of money.’”

“I thought that the bird might be bored so I bought her some toys from a pet shop.”

“They might be the reason she started allowing me to pet her or it might be something else that made us grow closer during that time.”

“When my brother came back and saw how cuddly she got with me, he got upset since she’s not that affectionate with him and said that I ‘bribed her with toys’ to make her like me more than him.”

“I told him that if it’s the toys then it’s not my fault he didn’t get her any, which upset him further. Only realized I was kinda mean with that jab afterwards.”

“Am I the a**hole?”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“NTA. It’s disgustingly AH of your brother to not enrich the environment of such an intelligent bird like that. They’re smarter than dogs.”

“There are iPad style communication and entertainment systems you can get for them now. They can even video call their favourite people” – Arse_______

“NTA. Shocking — the bird liked the person that actually paid attention to her, played with her, pet her!”

“Your brother could do the same, and indeed it’s not your fault that he hasn’t” – fallingintopolkadots

“‘bribed her with toys’ ?”

“Bruh, that sounds ridicules. It’s an animal, obviously it’d go to one that’s being more nice to it, lol.”

“Absolutely NTA” – weeb_79881

“NTA Parrots, esp. African grey, are highly sensitive and intelligent birds. They get bored easily, if you don’t interact with them and don’t give them puzzles or toys.”

“Sounds like you would be a better pet owner than your brother.” – 000-Hotaru_Tomoe

“NTA – you didn’t bribe her, you just cared for her properly, as your brother should have been doing from the start.”

“Parrots, especially African Greys, are extremely clever and intelligent and need a lot of mental/ environmental stimulation, otherwise they get extremely bored.”

“They can also live for 40-60 years, so was he not gonna buy her any toys for this whole time? Jeez, what a miserable life.”

“Sounds like she hasn’t had much attention from your brother, and is just responding positively to the person who is providing it.”

“He doesn’t sound like a particularly caring or responsible pet owner since their intelligence is pretty well documented. Is it his pet, or SIL? I’d argue she’s better off with you.” – Naive-Duck5878


“You showed the Parrot affection and attention, it showed affection back. How does he not understand this?”

“Also, what’s he doing with a pet if he’s not doing these kind of things with it?” – iamwrongthink


“You did what anyone with a heart would do – provide that adorable dang bird with environmental enrichment!”

“Sounds like he needs to do more research on what it means to be a bird owner.”

“Does he have any other pets?”

“If he has kids, is it a waste of money to provide them with toys??” – catduck-meow


“as someone who’s always wanted an african grey and has owned many other birds and parrots, birds need something to do!”

“they need toys and to stretch their wings and to be out of their cage more often than they’re in it.”

“they’re incredibly intelligent birds and will destroy everything (including themselves) if they’re not being cared for properly.”

“your brother does not deserve that beautiful creature.”

“he is neglectful and i hope he either rehomes the bird to someone who will actually take care of it, or steps up and becomes a better caretaker” – angrey3737

“NTA, it’s not that you were harsh, it’s that you weren’t harsher. Parrots are a long term pet, not a novelty. That poor girl.”

“I’m a cat person and even I know birds need affection and enrichment.”

“They can get depressed and anxious just like us. Neglected birds have been known to rip/damage their feathers, scream, regurgitate their food and become aggressive.”

“They can carry that trauma for a long time.”

“I say that to say this:”


“NTA. African greys are as smart as a four-year-old human. Honestly, keeping them the way your brother does is cruel.” – PillbugPerson2

“NTA. African Greys like who they like. Your brother could have got her toys and you not, and she still might prefer you.”

“My friends had an African Grey, and I was his favourite human, despite only going round a few times a year. He’d click at me, copy my laugh and rubbed his head against my finger.”

“My friend, who inherited him from his mum, used to get upset because he’d try to bite everyone else, he’d be ‘I’m the one to feed him, and he goes for me’.”

“All I can put it down to is that I was the only one who wasn’t scared of being bitten by him, and I’d spend a good few minutes of each visit talking to him and loving him.”

“He died last month, and I’m devastated.”- simply_clare

“NTA parrots are intelligent birds and are actually a pet you have to leave in a will. So for your brother to not want her to have toys because what he thought it was a waste of money?”

“Sure hope he don’t have kids because then he would have to waste money buying toys for them to learn stuff with”  – SweetTurtle93


“Not buying toys and trying to enrich a parrots life is pretty much animal abuse. It’s like not walking a dog or putting a hamster in a small cage: They survive, but don’t thrive. *“

“Your brother is butthurt that he was obviously wrong and he is a horrible pet owner. Don’t feel sorry for him. It was his job to make sure his pet is happy.”  – KMN208


“A person should NOT have an animal if they can’t or won’t properly care for and provide for that animal, no matter what kind of animal it is.”

“That poor bird, days on end, in a cage, with NOTHING to do. Glad you corrected that problem, you just made that bird’s life so much better.” – emptynest_nana

“NTA So your brother wasn’t doing the bear f****** minimum for this animal that is extremely intelligent and needs as much attention and objects as a human child does.”

“And wonders why I said child doesn’t like him yeah no definitely not that a****** your brother DTH” – Neither_Wafer_6344

“NTA, it’s kind of a miracle she’s not plucked herself bald living with your brother, it’s a very common stress/boredom response from parrots.”

“They’re VERY smart birds that need a lot of stimulation. I’m not sure what your brother is thinking, owning such a creature as a pet but not being willing to interact with her.” – SwordTaster

“NTa. It’s not the toys, the toys are a symptom.”

“The cause is that your brother is an inconsiderate pet owner and you are not, as proven by identifying a problem within 10 seconds of meeting the bird”

“You probably acted in a way that afforded you more trust in a month than your brother in a lifetime.” – z-w-throwaway

“NTA. African grey parrots are super smart.”

“And they have definite opinions. They, and only they, pick with whom they want to bond. Period.”

“(To my distress my African grey picked my dad who visited twice a year and wanted zip to do with the bird.)”

“That aside, I love that you got the bird toys and interacted with her. Sounds like she’d had a shortage of both. Your brother is a moron.” – johnssister

The OP went on the update his post.

“I talked to my brother and showed him the comments here and a few articles outlining how African Greys need a lot of stimulation to be healthy.”

“He was surprised to find out that his pet might start plucking out her own feathers and harming herself out of boredom and depression.”

“Admitted that he wasn’t ready to deal with high maintenance bird, before saying I can keep her. So I have a bird now!”

We’re delighted to see a happy ending to the tale! We wish the parrot and its new owner happy and enriched lives.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)