Clive, the owner of Chippy the Pirate also takes in birds as boarders. Recently, we went to California for 9 days and left our Greenwing Macaw, Blue and Gold Macaw, and Swainson's Toucan with Clive for the duration. For our birds, it seemed like they had gone away to camp. Clive put the Macaws together in a large King's Cage with toys to keep them occupied and made sure that our Toucan had his favorite treat - blueberries. Clive really loves and cares for birds, and I think our birds enjoyed being with him more than they like being with us. Once we got the flock back home, they were not stressed at all. They were back to their kisses and pecks. It was the first time in 3 years that we were able to go on a vacation. Previously, we lost a bird when a sitter sprayed a cleaner into our Mynah's cage. Now, we don't have to worry about leaving our flock behind. Nothing beats the experience and knowledge and love that Clive has for birds.
Best Pet Store - 2007
Chippy the Pirate
Readers' Choice: PetSmart (various locations)
To get voted Best Pet Store, a place has gotta have pizzazz! It needs spunk, it needs that certain something that really puts it over the edge, it needs (drum roll here) "Parrotphernalia." Yes, that's right. Chippy the Pirate is as authentic to Florida as margarita lunch breaks, because at Chippy the Pirate, you can pick up any number of new, shoulder-clutching sidekicks and more dangly-rope pecking toys than even the most well-versed avian enthusiast could have predicted exists. Tiny suitcase-shaped cages are nested captives inside of giant bell-shaped ones and are then hung together from the ceiling or stored on shelves, snacks for the peckish that resemble trail mix or breakfast cereal wait patiently in their bins, and far in the back, hatchlings in incubators warm themselves in front of tiny light bulbs. While walking laps through the shop, browsers get more catcalls than are worthy of a New York construction site; but here, the flirtatious whistlers in question are the dozen or so parrots, each one lookin' for a little love. A braver shopper extends a forearm offering to a massive African grey and waits nervously as the creature wraps one, then two, talon-tipped feet around the makeshift perch. Others find themselves bobbing their heads along with the bebopping cockatiels and look as though they're sharing an iPod. Still others have discovered the endearing traits of the caique parrots, who cheerfully roll on their backs until someone scratches their bellies, then casually pick the pockets of the would-be adopter. It's so easy, in fact, to become enamored of the personality-rich companions that the shop's employees often have to double as the voice of reason. As far as their birds are concerned, impulse purchasing is discouraged. "If properly cared for," one girl explains, "many parrots will outlive their humans, and it isn't uncommon to include them in a will." So if you're ready to commit ("Polly wanna legacy?") or just prefer to visit this pet shop has exactly what it takes to ruffle your feathers.