Newton the Parrot

Meet Newton the Parrot

When we were initially planning the centre, we envisaged having an office pet – a mascot if you will. We knew we wanted something our students could interact with, but really couldn’t decide what. As a family of animal lovers, we’ve had experience with all kinds of exotic and unusual pets – from birds to lizards, even marine fish and corals. Friends and family describe our house as the zoo!

We narrowed it down to a few options, but then it hit me… an African Grey like ‘Alex’ the famous avian language science experiment. These beautiful parrots are so intelligent that most people call their Grey “Einstein”. Being English we opted for the name “Newton” after my favourite scientist. Pure co-incidence that the centre is located in Sturminster Newton too!

We adopted a 10 year old (initially believed to be 5/6 years old) African Grey in June 2018 from a couple in Devon that loved the bird very much, but could no longer spend the time needed with him. He’s a caged bird with very little handling and training, so there are challenges to overcome, but we’re making huge progress! While he knows and even says his previous name of “Sid”, we began calling him Newton from day one with us, firstly about 50% of the time and now around 95% of the time.

Newton will be trained daily in various areas, including behaviour, speech, tricks and foraging (he’s a bit lazy at the moment). He comes to the centre most days and has already started appearing in our videos. We hope to eventually be able to do small parrot demonstrations.

About African Greys

The Congo African Greys are medium sized parrots with white and grey feather and red tail feathers. They live to be about 25 years old in the wild and 40-60 in captivity. Populations are decreasing rapidly and as a result, they are now on the endangered species list. A recent study has shown that populations have decreased 90-99% since 1992.

Does Newton Talk?

We get this question a lot, so we’ll do our best to update this section frequently with the things he says/does.

He says:

  • Hello
  • Ello Darling
  • Wanna Coffee?
  • Wings
  • Kudos (the name of our dog)
  • Cuddles
  • Kiss Kiss
  • Give it to Sid
  • For Sid
  • Alexa
  • Oops
  • Ouch
  • See ya!
  • Tickles
  • Toodles
  • Wooo
  • I love you
  • Potatoes


  • Siri noises
  • Car alarm
  • Smoke alarm
  • Atom Club’s Door Entry Sound
  • Neighbours van reversing
  • Phone ring
  • Growling at the dog when he’s naughtly
  • McDonalds theme tune
  • Good bad and the ugly theme
  • Star Wars theme (working on it)
  • Various songs made up by him
  • Training clicker sound
  • Cluck
  • Laughing
  • Evil Laugh
  • Machine Gun
  • Wolf Whistle
  • Ambulance
  • Something dropping


  • Target trained
  • Wings (well sometimes)
  • Dance (working on it)
  • Toilet trained (working on it)
  • Step Up (95% of the time)
  • Fly to me

Newton the Parrot News

We’ll be posting frequently about Newton’s progress, travels, tricks and sayings – come back often:

Atom Club is no longer trading - Check out our friends at Dorset Tech who have taken over the centre