Vibrant jungle colors vie with soft pastels in A Parrot’s Cove, home to a large variety of exotic birds and just about everything they need.
Owner Andrea Bornheimer dates her passion for these highly intelligent birds to 1997 when she got her first bird—a cockatiel she still has.
“She interacted with me so well that in six months, I had six birds," Bornheimer said.
Birds were a primary focus when Bornheimer agreed to move to the Greater Houston area when her husband was offered a job transfer from their home in New York’s Catskills.
“I told him we could move if I could do what I really wanted to do, and that was to work with birds,” she said.
In 1999, Bornheimer began by selling birds at Andrea’s Parrot Place, a location in Trader’s Village. After several moves, Bornheimer brought A Parrot’s Cove to its current location at 9222 FM 1960 in the Cy-Fair area last July.
Selling at prices from $229 for a green-cheeked conure to $2,200 for a Moluccan cockatoo, the birds Bornheimer handles are all hand-raised, starting from when they are hatched.
“If you let their parents raise them, the birds will just be wild,” she explained. “They have to be handraised. They have to interact with humans from the time they’re hatched until they go to what we hope is their forever home. Then they’ll interact with people, be better talkers and develop their personalities.”
A Parrot’s Cove offers a wide variety of toys and cages for birds.[/caption]
Settled into the shop for the time being is Bornheimer’s personal pet, Dakota, a green-winged macaw who sometimes perches on a manzanita stand outside her cage.
“No one ever told me about the pluses and minuses of each bird when I was first buying my own,” Bornheimer said. “We do try to help people find the right bird.”
Bornheimer said she pays attention to the customer’s budget. Bird prices fluctuate with each breeding season.
Rosie, a rose-breasted cockatoo, is one of many birds for sale.[/caption]
“We try to work within people's budgets, but we never know what each breeding season will bring,” she said. “Birds breed in the spring, and last year was a terrible breeding season.”
Bornheimer does not consider herself a breeder; rather, she buys most of her bird babies from established breeders she has vetted. She and her staff do the handraising, she said.
“I like to get them when they're two to three weeks old,” she said. “They’re usually about 14 weeks old when I think they’re socialized enough to go to a home.”
Because Bornheimer believes toys are essential to the health and happiness of birds, A Parrot’s Cove carries a wide variety of toys, treats, perches and food.
Not all birds are created equal, Bornheimer said.
“They’re kind of like people,” she said. “We try to educate people to let them know what each bird’s idiosyncrasies are, so each person gets the right fit with each bird. These are very intelligent, affectionate animals.”
9222 FM 1960, Houston
Hours: Mon., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tue.-Fri., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.