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NY Post
New York Post
22 Apr 2023


NextImg:Polly want a sitter! UWS woman looking for rare parrot watcher

Polly want a sitter.

Upper West Sider Maggie Malone is looking for a rare bird to watch her “playful” 31-year-old Senegal parrot Urby at her 75th Street digs while she flies the coop for 10 days in July.

Malone may be waiting until the cows come home to find that eagle-eyed caregiver because some may find the pay — $20 for each day’s 90-minute visit — chicken feed.

Kitty In NY charges $55 an hour to watch your furball, according to its website and the Folks at Pet Nanny NYC fetch $30 an hour to walk/visit your pooch.

“Neither of my usual sitters is available anymore,” chirped Malone, 81, who noted her “pretty, loving” but “intense” bird “ideally, should be left out of her cage morning and evening and given fresh food and water.”

Angry birds need not apply. Malone is looking for a “mellow” caretaker.

“Senegal parrots are emotionally like a 3-year-old child and Urby likes to eat with you,” Malone explained, adding, “and she’s very choosy.”

Unlike many New Yorkers, Urby isn’t fond of bagels and pizza.

When not feasting on pellets and Avi Cakes, she dines on grapes, apples, and bananas.

Maggie Malone is looking for a rare bird to watch her “playful” 31-year-old Senegal parrot Urby.
Helayne Seidman

Urby

Urby “doesn’t like any competition. She wants attention at all times,” according to her owner, Maggie Malone.
Helayne Seidman

Urby and Maggie share a moment

When not feasting on pellets and Avi Cakes, Urby dines on grapes, apples, and bananas.
Helayne Seidman

And Urby needs a laser-focused sitter.

“She doesn’t like any competition. She wants attention at all times. She likes the neighbors. One neighbor sings with her,” the retired researcher said, pointing out, however, that Urby is no songbird. “She can’t sing. She’s a parrot, so she tries, but she mostly chats.”

Urby likes to say her own name, Malone’s name, and “Pretty Baby.” When she wants to move to another room in the apartment, she squawks, “Where to?”

Urby with a snack

Urby enjoys an afternoon peanut snack.
Helayne Seidman

Added Malone: “When she wants me to leave and just let her be, she says, ‘Sleepy!'”

The birds flock most commonly in countries in West Africa and are said to be “a gregarious species, continuously chattering with a range of whistling and squawking calls,” according to beautyofbirds.com.

They are also considered farm pests, often feeding on crops, the site says.

They live up to 30 years in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity, according to the bird site.

Malone plays with Urby

“Senegal parrots are emotionally like a 3-year-old child,” Malone explained.
Helayne Seidman

Malone bought Urby in 1992.

The Upper West Sider, who is heading to a family reunion in Claremont, Ca. in July, is looking for peace of mind while she’s away.

“It’s best to have someone experienced with birds. It’s not like just watching a cat or a dog. You have to be invested to do this right,” she said.

The feisty octogenarian forewarned all avian applicants: “She’s very friendly…but if you stop focusing on her, she is liable to reach over with her beak.”