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The interview with Nellie from the World Parrot Post of 12/15/2000
WPP: Nellie, what a great honor to have you here despite your time schedule surely is full of dates...
Nellie: Oh no, it's me who feels honored, because it does not often happen to a cockatoo to be asked for an interview by such a renowned news magazine.
WPP: People say that you live a withdrawn life even though you are a real star. Why do you hide yourself from the public so much?
Nellie: (ruffles her crest) It's not that easy being a famous bird. Many so-called bird lovers would like to extend their private parrot collections. To them, I am just another rare piece they'd like to own. One of my closest friends suddenly vanished a few years ago. Nobody knew where he was until he was recently found by the police. A Brazilian kidnapped him and other birds for such a private collection. Since the day the police released the birds, this Brazilian was known as a man who fought for bird protection - it's amazing how one can mistake! In truth he took part in the cruel kidnapping of protected rare birds. I fear becoming the victim of a similar crime. Therefore I avoid showing myself too much in the public.
WPP: Did you sign the exclusive contract with the webmaster of the internet project "Birds Online", because it's only necessary to show yourself to the public in a virtual way?
Nellie: Yes, that's the fact. My co-operation with Gaby Schulemann-Maier, the webmaster of Birds Online, in first was limited to being a model for the illustrations of the web pages. In the meantime we have become close friends, and I started giving her some advices for her texts about keeping or nourishing birds in a way that's good for us. This kind of journalistic work pleases me a lot, because I feel that I have an influence on how people treat their pet birds.
WPP: One of the illustrations in Birds Online shows you with a baby Sulphur-crested Red-shoed Cockatoo. Could you imagine having own chicks after working with this young bird?
Nellie: Actually, I don't want to have my own chicks, it's not the right time since I am just five years old now. It is more important to me to support Gaby's web project at the moment. Each day, many questions from readers arrive in our mailboxes, and I just want to have the time for replying without being hurried by chicks. But I must confess that working with young Elemir was pleasant. She is a lovely and intelligent young lady. In her everyday life, this four months old lassie doesn't need diapers any more; she just wore them for the photo shooting.
WPP: OK, no chicks at the moment, but what about a husband? We heard you are dating the actor of the cock "Rocky" from the movie "Chicken Run"...
Nellie: (laughs) It's unbelievable how people are talking after they have seen you wit a man at a birdhouse once or twice! No, this actor and me, we are just friends. At the set of the movie he fell in love with the actress who played the hen Ginger. They have become a happy couple! In addition to that it would be highly complicated if a Sulphur-crested Red-shoed Cockatoo and house chicken would try to lead a relationship. It's not that easy coupling different bird species with each other. We all have our own characters, mentalities and often the languages seem to be incompatible, too.
WPP: Do you have the time for hobbies besides your work for Birds Online?
Nellie: Oh yes, I love to read a lot, meet with friends, listen to music - so I like things most birds usually do. One of my biggest passions is traveling foreign countries. Gaby often took me with her on her tours through the world, and together we encountered many exotic bird species. She also made me familiar to dancing; we both prefer Latin dances like Salsa, Mambo and also Tango.
WPP: What was your most impressive encounter with a wild bird in nature?
Nellie: That was on Bird Island, an island of the Inner Seychelles. For hours, I was walking this lonely beach without meeting any other tourist. Around me, there were lots of birds flying around while looking for food for their chicks. Then I found a Fairy Tern perched in one of the bushes close to the beach. When I approached to her, she watched me curiously and came closer, too. Unfortunately, I didn't understand her language and she couldn't speak mine. You know, terns speak a weird dialect... In the end she was that close to me that she could nibble on my sun glasses with her long black and blue beak. Surely I will never forget this experience because it showed me how we can communicate with each other without using words if we are willing to do so.
WPP: We want to thank you for this interview and we wish you all the best for your future.
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