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.