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From the Parrot's Beak: Ides of March edition

Updated on March 12, 2016
If I hide under this paper, they'll open the door to look for me- and I'll be like, SO outta here! - Photo by George Sommers
If I hide under this paper, they'll open the door to look for me- and I'll be like, SO outta here! - Photo by George Sommers

- Cops closing in on parrot killer: Police are looking for tips leading to the killer of at least five parrots in the Ocean Beach and Point Loma neighborhoods of San Diego, California this year. The feral cherry head or mitred conures are the same type popularized in the documentary film, "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill". The victims were shot by a BB or pellet gun. A juvenile living in a neighborhood where three parrots were killed may be a person of interest to the police, according to.SoCal Parrot, a parrot rescue organization.

- Scuttle the cuttle?: A cuttlebone is almost always among the recommended accessories for the complete parakeet cage. The "bones" are actually the internal shell of cuttlefish. And cuttlefish, actually mollusks. with their other worldly looks- like a flattened, swimming octopus - are popular public aquarium exhibits. Budgies and other birds use cuttlebones to clean off their beaks and may ingest pieces as a source of calcium. But are cuttlebones mandatory? Most cuttlefish would likely beg to differ. Pat Sund bones us up on the subject as well as some other surprsing uses.,

- Quaker persecution: Mary Dyer was hanged from a tree in Boston Common for being a Quaker. Centuries later, and a little further south, University of Connecticut researchers are looking to thwart quaker, or monk, parrots from building nests on a favored location- utility poles - which power companies maintain can potentially cause power outages. “Block their route along the lines, and you’ll keep the birds from building nests in the first place,” says lead author Kevin Burgio, a Ph.D. student in ecology and evolutionary biology, in the online journal PeerJ. “They can’t land on the pole itself,” Burgio says, “because they need their beaks to climb up or down to where the line attaches to the pole, and they’re using their beaks to hold the sticks. So when they’re starting to nest, they land on the line and walk to the pole instead.” Burgio and co-author Margaret Rubega are working with Midsun Group Inc., a manufacturer of utility equipment, to develop a device that blocks monk parakeets. access to utility poles. Perhaps a Donald Trump-like wall?

- One day in a multiparrot household: A conure couple showing affection (breeding season, you get the picture) triggers Vino (macaw #1) to say, "Hey knock it off!" and Amaretto (macaw #2) to join in with "Stop it!" Peachella the Moluccan cockatoo provides musical accompaniment, dancing and singing "La, la, la, la..." while Goofy the green cheeked conure hops along to the tunes. Martini (macaw #3) cheers it all on, saying, "Yaaaaay" and Limoncello the Amazon pipes in with, "Hi, Mama! Good job." (We'll just leave that one alone.) The canary sings, and the conures carry on, oblivious to the rest of the flock. "Never a dull moment," says flock tender Concetta Ferragamo.

- I could just barf: Bringing up partially digested food, aka puking; may not mean your bird is sick. It's well known that that is how mother birds feed their chicks; and mates will do it for each other when one partner can't leave the eggs or young. However, some species; particularly macaws and caiques will upchuck on specific people as a show of affection. For more information, see Sally Blanchard's

- Psittacine cinema: 92 Year Old Cockatoo Arthur Cebu Philippines - YouTube

- Happy Bird Day: Larger macaws and cockatoos sometimes reach or come close to living 100 years. For smaller birds, it's not quite the same. Bobby, a grey male cockatiel, may hold the record for that species at a reportedly age 42. Bobby became blind at only 22 years, but had a "seeing-eye bird"named Attia, a male plumhead parakeet who led Bobby to food and water and flew in front of him when flying to break his fall if about to crash-land. (Thanks to Linda Rubin.)

- Pollytics '16: A topical Facebook meme depicts a pair of parakeets, labelled (and misspelled "parrokeets" and with the punchline "Pair of cheats" below featuring pictures of Hillary Clinton and Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Some think the DNC has "rigged" the rules in order to ensure a Clinton nomination.

- Toy Story: A smart alternative to a live pet bird for a child that,.after the novelty wears off, becomes neglected or worse is the Cleverkeet Little Live Pet. Cleverkeet is an interactive toy that sings, perches, "eats", swings and even rides around in a little car.

- What's in a name?: The scientific name for the crimson rosella is platycercus elegans meaning "many colored" from its Latin and Greek roots; appropriate as the rosella sports a rainbow of colors. Platies, on the other hand; are popular aquarium fish that come in a number of colors. and if you're wondering how platypuses fit in, their common name derives from a similar, but different Greek word meaning "flat footed". and, for that matter, should it be "platypi"?

- Quote o' the week: (A bird's perspective; from a Facebook meme) Just because I can't wag my tail, meow or cuddle doesn't mean I can't feel deep emotions or process complex thoughts. I am sentient. I am someone not something.

- Bird photo contest: The Facebook page International Celebration of Birds is firing up a series of one week contests. Each winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Caitechand other prizes that will be announced, however they can only be offered to winners in the US. All photographs and videos should be your own or you should have permission to enter them. Categories include: Most adorable baby bird, Best talking bird video, Best singing bird video, Best dancing bird video, Best bird trick video, Most touching human/bird relationship video and Best wild bird photograph

- Match fundraiser for Foster Parrots & The New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary. Your tax-deductible donation is worth double. #‎Parrots‬ ‪#‎ExoticWildlife‬ ‪#‎Fundraiser‬

- Avian Biology Classroom Module 3 featuring Puerto Rican parrots and more is now available to all those wishing to learn more about birds!

- Hot Dates: (All times EST unless otherwise noted.)

3/12: The Wisdom of Wild Parrots- special event - 4 pm Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC

3/13: Bird Gardens of Naples group trip. for Palm Beaches members (nonmembers welcome, too.) Early morning deprture for 11 a.m. guided tour of nonprofit parrot sanctuary. Hernando Exotic Bird Club 18th Annual Bird Mart - Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 N. Broad St., Brooksville, FL - 9-4 - Parrot training and behavior workshop with Barbara Heidenreich. 10-5. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Parrot 101 class 2 pm Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC -- Disco the parakeet appears on the UK's "Budgies Make You Laugh Out Loud" on channel 5 at 7pm (Brit time).

3/18-20: Super Pet Expo - Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA - Fri 4-8, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-5 pm

3/19-20: Smoky Mountain Cage Bird Society Show. Sat. 9-5; Sun. 9-4. Door prize. Under 12/over 65 FREE. Collett St. Reecreation Center, 300 Collett St., Morganton, NC.

3/19: Connecticut Parrot Society Featherfest: 9th annual show. Featuring speakers avian nutritionist Jason Crean and raptor rehabilitator Mary Beth Kaiser. 10-5. Elks Club. 44 Maynard St., Middletown, CT. Fun with Food Class 2 pm. Parrot University. 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC The Contented Companion class. Phoenix Landing. Fairfax, VA. SEAVS

3/20: Positive Reinforcement class. 2 pm. Parrot University. 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC Treasure Coast Exotic Bird Club 19th Annual Exotic Bird Expo - Martin County Fairgrounds, 2612 SE Dixie Hwy, Stuart, FL - 9-4

3/23; 3/24: Train Your Parrot to Step Up live webinar with Barbara Heidenreich. 7-8:30 CST (both nights). Participants receive recorded version for later use.


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