Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo?
if you’re seeking Eau Claire’s (possibly) oldest feathered resident, visit Tropic Waters Pet Center
author & photographer by Nate Cooksey
Comfortably housed between chattering lovebirds and a skeptical-looking Grey Parrot nicknamed “The Professor,” a gentle bird from another time sits and enjoys sporadic bursts of attention from the daily visitors to his domain. His name is Romeo and Tropic Waters Pet Center on Eau Claire’s south side has been his home for the last 20 years. A mainstay of the store, Romeo loves to greet people, and he usually lives up to his namesake, stealing the hearts of all who encounter him.
He usually lives up to his namesake, stealing the hearts of all who encounter him.
As a green yellow-crowned Amazon, Romeo may not possess the flashy looks of a bright red or blue parrot of the Caribbean, but his breed tends to be more gentle and affectionate than its more famous counterparts. And Romeo is famous in his own right, as visitors to Tropic Waters seem to love the aging mimic. There isn’t a specific record to confirm it, but his name tag claims he’s somewhere near 100 years old.
While we doubt the Guinness Book of World Records will be knocking on his cage anytime soon (this kind of parrot isn’t known to grow quite that old), Romeo certainly has the demeanor of a bird that’s been around for many, many years.
Despite his big beak and striking colors, Romeo’s gentle personality is something you immediately notice, and even when his cage door is opened, he seems to want nothing more than a soft touch to the head and a little affection.
Romeo’s days of flight may be long past, and vision difficulties may make him appear less welcoming, but fear not: He’ll probably say hello at least once while you’re in his presence.
If you find yourself out and about, stop in to see Romeo, one of Eau Claire’s very oldest avian residents.
Tropic Waters Pet Center is at 3015 E. Hamilton Ave. in Eau Claire. Regular hours at 10am-8pm Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm Saturday, and 10am-5pm Sunday. Learn more at tropicwaterspets.com.