By Mary Daniels
Tribune staff reporter
June 10, 2007
Rich Weiner's life is for the birds. So is his house. But he can't imagine having it any other way, he says.
From the outside, Weiner's Northbrook home looks like any nice, bilevel suburban house. But step inside and it is unlike any other interior the visitor has ever seen. The walls are lined, dining room, living room, kitchen, with large stainless steel cage after cage. Each is occupied by a parrot: African greys, umbrella cockatoos, the occasional oddball macaw.
But you are soon charmed by the singular sensation of having 70 birds, from atop their cages, or their doors, politely tell you "hello" as you walk by. Some begin to squawk, starting off a chain reaction until the noise level pierces the brain like an auditory ice pick. The cockatoos slowly lift their feathered crests, like gentlemen their hats as you pass. (Weiner says it can mean anything from excitement to aggression.)