A basketball-playing parrot in southern New Brunswick is scoring points with audiences.

Caillou occasionally puts on shows for seniors and children in the area, performing a wide-range of tricks — everything from putting a ball into a mini basketball net and rolling over like a dog, to skateboarding and picking up coins and putting them in a piggy bank.

"They, you know, hoot and holler and applaud and things for every act and it seems like he really enjoys that," said Caillou’s owner, Wally Collet.


Caillou the performing parrot likes to play basketball. (Courtesy of Wally Collet)

"He just seems to soak it all up."

Caillou also talks, said Collet.

"When I’m at the computer he’ll say ‘What are you doing?’ And somebody comes in the office and he’ll say ‘Who is it?’ And then he’ll say ‘Get out of here.’ Then he’ll say ‘See ya.’"

It all started as a hobby for Collet, a retired RCMP officer and minister, who used to breed birds.

Collet started training Caillou a few years ago in his Quispamsis basement, using props he cobbled together using some of his grandchildren’s old toys and seeds for treats.

"It’s a lot of fun and satisfaction. And it’s skill involved in it too," he said.

It usually takes Caillou about 30 minutes to learn a new trick, and about an hour to get it down pat, said Collet.

Rolling over took the longest, he said.

"I think it took me probably a couple of hours to get him to do that and he does it quite well and he likes to do it too."


Riding a firetruck is just one of the 18 tricks Caillou performs. (CBC)

"Caillou the Show Bird" and "Wonderful Wally" have built up a repertoire of 18 tricks so far.

No easy feat, considering Caillou can be temperamental.

He was "in a mood" on Friday when CBC News visited. In fact, the Green-cheeked Conure hid for about an hour.

"They are supposed to have the intelligence equivalent to a two-year-old child," said Collet.

"If you catch him on a day like today, forget it, he’s not going to do anything," he said.

Still, his feathered friend did not disappoint and demonstrated a few of his talents, having learned that the show must go on.

Caillou's most recent public performance was at the Apohaqui Winter Fair. He doesn’t have any other gigs booked, but is available for hire.