Birds are musical creatures, so it makes sense that a musician would feel kindred to them. Laura Bryna, renowned country pop star, has filled her home with feathered, singing creatures who give her love and act as her muses.
"My birds are a huge inspiration to me,” Bryna said. "Whenever I’m practicing or writing a song, they’re always in the room providing a few bells and whistles, and maybe even a drum beat here and there. They have great rhythm.”
Country pop star Laura Bryna has had her birds for almost 15 years.
Bryna grew up in Mount Airy, Maryland. Her 2009 debut album, "Trying to Be Me," established her country chops, but she now divides her time between Nashville and Los Angeles, and shares her life with Tyler, a Congo African grey, Harmony, a Senegal parrot, and Snuggles, a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, all of whom are 15 years old this year.
Bryna has performed on a national tour opening for Clint Black, as well as with Tim McGraw, Sugarland, Emmylou Harris and Taylor Swift, among many others.
Bryna had a variety of pets growing up, both the usual and unusual. She owned dogs, fish, ducks, turkeys, goats and donkeys, but always felt an affinity with her pet birds.
Fifteen years ago, while vacationing in Hawaii, Laura met a man on the beach who allowed tourists to take photos with his exotic birds. When she returned to the mainland, Laura went straight to Todd Marcus’ Birds Exotic store in New Jersey, where she purchased Snuggles, Tyler and Harmony.
"Each of them has their own personality,” Bryna said. "They can have a loving personality if you take the time to get to know them and are not afraid.”
Laura Bryna recently finished a picture book around her three birds. It will be avaliable soon.
Snuggles, the cockatoo, is the diva of Bryna’s trio of birds. She loves being the center of attention and wants to be cuddled all the time. Tyler, the Congo African grey, is a constant talker and know-it-all, Bryna said. She loves to cuddle, and sings and coos when she’s relaxed. Harmony, as Laura puts it, is a "squisher”— he loves to be hugged and is the clown of the group.
"I love my morning greeting as I take off the blankets from their ‘houses,’” Bryna said. "Tyler says, ‘Good morning, babies.’ We sit and have breakfast together, the perfect way to start the day. We also have bath time where the babies can mist themselves in my shower on their shower perches. I also love bedtime when we cuddle in my bed for a while.”
"Birds are like having children,” Bryna continued. "All they want is to love you and for you to love them. They can be mischievous, funny, and cuddly. They are a responsibility and a commitment. If you’re not ready for full-time parenting, then a bird, or any animal for that matter, may not be the right road for you.”
Bryna recently created a picture book about her three birds and is working on an animation project. You can find out more about her at her website here.