Malmesbury budgie sings along to Shirley Bassey
SUPERSTAR songstress Shirley Bassey has a new fan in Malmesbury.
Every time he hears “Hey Big Spender” a young budgie who has just taken up residence at Gin and Geraniums bursts into song.
Owner Lizz Baxter discovered her little feathered friend’s musical tastes one day as she was working on a flower arrangement.
“I bought him with a view to him keeping me company. I spend a lot of time working on my own and if I’m working on funeral pieces I often work into the night.”
As usual she switched on her laptop to play some music, selecting Shirley Bassey’s greatest hits. Immediately her tiny companion started twittering away at the top of his voice.
“I put a bit of Barbara Streisand on after the Shirley Bassey and he was completely silent for half an hour,” she said. “He just loves a bit of Shirl.
“My husband wouldn’t believe me until he witnessed it.”
The bird, who has not yet been given a name, reacts to all the Tiger Bay star’s songs, but Big Spender is his favourite.
Lizz has never owned a bird before but did some research before she bought the little companion and discovered that it was easier to teach young male budgies to speak, especially if they were kept on their own.
“One of my customers who knows about birds says he will start imitating the ‘phone ringtone soon and I’ll be picking it up. I’m not sure what I’ve let myself in for,” she said ruefully.
She is running a contest to come up with a good name for the budgie. “I’m not very good at naming pets at the best of times,” she explained. “I have a dog called Baxter. He’s Baxter Baxter.”
The competition runs until September 21 and the prize for the winner is a bottle of gin or a hand-tied bouquet, or chocolates if the winner is a child.