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Audrey Vitale got Lola, a yellow-naped Amazon parrot, from a breeder in 1988, and life has been a song ever since. Lola belts out tunes at every opportunity. "She loves music and can sing several songs," says Vitale, "and she often mixes up the words. For example, `Happy birthday, E-I-E-I-O.' She thinks she can sing opera, too, but that's pretty bad. Her favorite song is `Lollipop,' with the pop sound at the end." Lola, who's picked up about 85 words, also loves welcoming visitors to the family's Baltimore home by yelling, "Hello, how are you?" or with an excited "Yoo-hoo," and she imitates the sounds of the kitchen mixer, cries with babies, and sneezes when she sees a person with a tissue. When there's not an audience to entertain, she likes watching Nickelodeon and Orioles games (she even cheers with the crowd). Her favorite foods are Arnold Health Nut bread toasted with fat-free cream cheese, and roasted chicken legs. And she loves to perform for Vitale's five children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. "Once Lola gets to know you, she'll show off," says Vitale. Parrots live a long time, and Vitale says that as hilarious as Lola is, those who think about getting a bird like her should think about the long-term commitment. "She is now 25 years old and very healthy," says her happy owner. "She could live 40 years or longer." To have your pet -- including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like -- considered for Collared, email information to -Kim Fernandez
Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun photo
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