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From the parrot's beak: 3/26 edition

Updated on March 25, 2017
... Except if it's half past, or ten of, or.... never mind- Photo by George Sommers
... Except if it's half past, or ten of, or.... never mind- Photo by George Sommers

- Opiate Scourge Hits Parrots: The opiate epidemic isn't just a human issue - now it's an Indian ringneck parakeet issue as well. In the poppy fields of India, workers slice open the flower pods to expose the morphine content. Native ringnecks wait and then glide down to nibble the plants. "Usually, the parrots would make sound when in a group. But these birds have become so smart that they don't make any noise when they swoop on the fields," says opium farmer Sobharam Rathod Video shows them retreating to high branches where they gorge on the plants and sleep for hours - and even fall to their death. Moreover, the doped up birds become easy marks for predators. First reported in 2015, this year it has spread to other regions. Farmers have tried bursting firecrackers, beating tin drums and hurling stones to keep the birds away - but to no avail. - From http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/parrots-flying-high-drugs-annoying-10073428

- Underwater Budgie: Fish swim over and around a parakeet in what appears to be a watertight acrylic bird habitat inside an aquarium, as seen in a Facebook post. An opening in the back allows for maintenance and air for the bird. Assuming this contraption is real and not photoshopped (as some have speculated), we'd have to suspect it's a less than ideal setup for the care and comfort of either bird or fish - and that the novelty would wear off soon enough.

- Of Lion, Parrot, Dog and Turkey: The 2245 parrots bound for Turkey were apparently legit; but not so much the lion cub hidden under a blanket and sports bag, Ukrainian border guards decided. Along with the driver, there were two human passengers and four dogs in the animal transport vehicle.The lion was sent to an Odessa Zoo and the smugglers will be prosecuted. - From https://www.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-border-guards-uncover-lion-085658679.html

- Celeb Parrot MIA: Sirocco the kakapo's transmitter stopped working and is nowhere to be found around the time of his 20th birthday. Sirocco is an ambassador to his species, which like many other New Zealand native birds have become endangered mainly due to introduced predators. He also received some notoriety after a video surfaced of hm attempting to mate with a wildlife photographer's head. New Zealand's Department of Conservation is confident that he's alive and well and just keeping to himself. - From http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/03/sirocco-the-kakapo-goes-missing.html

- That's a Laugh: The kea is known for its intelligence and ability to solve complex puzzles. Now there's thought that New Zealand's iconic parrot has a sense of humor as well. Keas make a warbling sound while playing with other keas. Others join in the "laughter", making them the first known non-mammal to show contagious emotion, joining the ranks of humans, rats, and chimpanzees . Researchers recorded other kea vocalizations and calls from other types of birds in the region and played them back within earshot of wild keas. When those keas heard play calls, they exhibited more and longer play behavior than when they heard the other calls. “In many instances, we saw that the kea were immediately animated to play, but not by joining ongoing play already happening,” Raoul Schwing of Messerli Research Institute in Austria says in an email. “Instead, they spontaneously started to play with the bird next to them, or played solitarily in the air or with an object.” - From http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/laughter-kea-birds-new-zealand-contagious/?google_editors_picks=true

- Didja Know: Native to Australia, the orange-bellied parrot spends the summer breeding in south-west Tasmania, then migrates to Victoria and South Australia for the winter.

- Good Luck to Samantha Melendy and Cali the blue & gold macaw as they audition their unique gymnastic act for "America's Got Talent".

- Night Parrot is Birdwatchers' Holy Grail: Four lucky birdwatchers sighted a wild night parrot in western Australia. It is the first confirmed sighting of a night parrot in Western Australia for nearly a century. There have been rumors of sightings throughout the 2000s, but no evidence. The night parrot thought to be a goner in Australia until three years ago. The group described the parrot as a "fat budgerigar". "I grew up knowing that the bird was extinct and didn't expect to ever see one in my life," says Adrian Boyle from Broome."I just knew it was a fairly small green and yellow parrot that used to live in deserts in spinifex countries that was sort of the unseeable," In fact, they heard a group of the birds before one of the blokes was lucky enough to photograph one. The sighting increases the known range of animals by thousands of kilometres, although the exact location is not being disclosed.- From 23/night-parrot-sighting-in-wa-shocks-birdwatching-world/8377624

- Grey Area: Brazil's adult grey breasted parakeet population is down to 250 and almost all of them dwell in one isolated hilltop forest. Barely 13% of their original habitat remains. Wildlife poachers share the blame for the species' depletion. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Association for the Research and Preservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (Aquasis) are working with landowners to prevent poaching and install nest boxes. In the last five years, the successful nest box program has added 300 chicks to the grey-breasted parakeet population. - From https://abcbirds.org/save-the-grey-breasted-parakeet/

- Quote o' the week: No to a parrot means to wait and try again the moment your human's back is turned.

- Parrot Joke: Little boy sitting next to a bird. Man asks, "Does your bird bite?" Boy says, "No." Man goes to pick up bird and the bird bites him . Man says to boy, "You said your bird wouldn't bite," Boy says,"Its not my bird,"

- Parrotrivia: "MASH"'s Corporal Radar O'Reilly says at one point,“We had a parakeet that ran away from home.”

- Hot Dates: Ongoing- 3/31: Foster Parrots' Annual March Matching Fund Drive. -- 3/25-4/9: Wild Parrots Up Close 2017. Travel guide Steve Brookes leads trips to Bahia in Brazil and the Patanal. contact World Parrot Trust for info. -- 3/25: SoCal Parrot Sanctuary volunteer orientation 1:00-3:30, Hidden Ridge Rd Jamul, CA -- Featherfest 2017 Debbie Goodrich, parrot behavior consultant and Mary Beth Kaeser, owner Horizon Wings raptor rehabilitator center will be bringing a golden eagle and more and speaking at 10:30. Door prizes, Ask the Vet.. $5 under/12 free. 10-5 Elks Club44 Maynard St. Middleton, CT -- Western MA Bird Expo. FREE. 9-3 Ludlow Elks Club. 69 Chapin St. Ludlow, MA -- Fixing Fear Responses and Building Trust with your Parrot; Barbara Heidenreich webinar. Incldes access to a recorded version of the webinar; optional 30 minute Q & A. Limited space, fee required. 12-1:30 CST.-- 4/1,2: Bird Fair Acadiana Bird Club Sat. 9-5, Sun. 9-4. $4/Under 6 FREE. Pls. Pls. Do not b ring birds from home.Lafayette Event Center, 4607 Johnson St., Lafayette LA --4/1: Peninsula Caged Bird Society (PCBS) Exotic Bird Festival raffle table, Dr. Greg Burkett, Avian Certified Veterinarian. New location at the Greet Orthodox Church Hellenic Community Center, 60 Traverse Road, Newport News, Virginia -- Want your parrot show/event/speaker featured here? Email info to georgesommers@yahoo.com










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