I was at Sentosa over the weekend and managed to catch the bird show quite by chance. From a distance away I kept hearing this repeated sound made by some creature. When I got closer, I realised it was coming from the parrot enclosure. One very mischievous greenwing macaw by the name of rocky was calling out nonstop, while his other feathered friends were similarly perched nearby, nonchalant.

Parrots have never been on my favourite animal list. But after today, I’m a fan! First of all, these birds were really beautiful. Their feathers were of bright and vivid colours. The greenwing macaws had red crowns and bodies of royal blue and green. They also appeared to be very playful and mischievous, and seemed rather intelligent.

During the show, the parrots performed various tricks such as raising a flag, competing in basketball, playing hoops, and matching colourful wooden blocks of different shapes to the correct placement.

They even seemed able to do math! Children in the audience called out two numbers (less than 10) to which the macaw did an addition. I was really impressed! It must have taken a lot of training for the bird to be able to recognise the numbers written on the white board, and then remember the correct answers.

I mean, there are 45 different combinations of the 10 numbers. So the parrot has to remember all 45 combinations and their answers. Or 90, if the left and right positions of the numbers are taken into account. Am I getting anything wrong here? Because it seems the parrots are really intelligent!

The last part of the show was dedicated to wildlife conservation. The animal trainers said that in South America where these colourful macaws came from, trees are being logged down so fast, an entire rainforest the size of Sentosa can disappear in a matter of hours. Do they really go that quickly? I’m a little skeptical.

Anyway, I really liked this segment of the show. It was really cute seeing the blue and gold macaw pick up the little pieces of garbage with his beak, walking across the table, and then stepping on the lever of the tiny dustbin to throw the garbage in.

One thing I noted is that the props used are all very colourful, like the feathers on their bodies. No wonder the birds like them. Gee, I have seen similar bird shows when I was a kid. But I certainly don’t remember enjoying them as much as I did today!