During a recent virtual tour of Graceland, Elvis Presley fans could finally see one of the previously closed-off rooms of The King‘s mansion. They got a sneak peek of a private room where Presley kept some of his pet birds.
The Memphis, Tennessee estate has given tours for years, but numerous sections and rooms are off-limits to visitors. Many of Presley’s fans know of the singer’s love for animals. He had various pets, including Great Danes, horses, monkeys and peacocks. Yet did you know about his other birds or that Graceland had an entire room dedicated to them?
Naturally the room is called the “Bird Room,” and it’s downstairs adjacent to the “Jungle Room.” For years the Bird Room has gone unseen on the regular tour… until now. British media source Express.co.uk took a recent live virtual tour of Graceland. The estate’s expert guide Angie Marchese showed them around via a live stream camera. In addition, she walked them through some of the more private areas of Elvis Presley’s home.
These days, the Bird Room is used for something much less exotic than a room for birds. In fact, it simply holds Graceland’s cleaning supplies and stanchion barriers used for events and photo shoots.
However, decades ago the Bird Room was home to The King’s myna birds. The birds are from the South and Southeast regions of Asia, and are known for talking similar to parrots. As you can imagine, the myna birds made for some amusing stories, which the guide shared on the tour.
Elvis Presley’s Maids Talk and the Myna Birds Get Chatty
While working in the room, Graceland maids would talk about Elvis Presley’s whereabouts. Their hush-hush conversations were often picked up though by the myna birds who would amusingly repeat them for all to hear.
“The myna birds here at Graceland would hear the maids talk a lot about Elvis not being at home. And so the myna birds would often repeat that,” Marchese explained to Express.co.uk. “The funniest story I’ve ever heard about the myna birds is that when they would hear that Elvis wasn’t home, they would say, ‘Elvis isn’t home right now! Elvis isn’t home right now!’”
“But then when Elvis was home, the myna birds would continue to tell people, ‘Elvis isn’t home right now! Elvis isn’t home right now!’ Even though he was home, which was kind of funny,” she added.
Even though Presley loved birds, he backtracked on keeping peacocks at Graceland. He enjoyed the vibrant colored birds and even had stained glass panels of them created for his Music Room. Yet one particular incident forced his hand, and he ended up shipping them off to the Memphis Zoo.
“There were actually some pet peacocks that ran around the property here at Graceland at one point,” Marchese shared. “That was until they started seeing their reflection in [Elvis Presley’s] gold Cadillac and started pecking the paint off the car. Needless to say, the car got a paint job and the peacocks found a new home at the Memphis Zoo.”
The peacocks didn’t stand a chance continuing to reside at Graceland after they ruined The King’s Cadillac. Sounds like it was probably best for all involved.