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From the parrot's beak: Jan. 8 edition

Updated on January 7, 2017
Who ate all the Froot Loops? (See related story) - Photo by George Sommers
Who ate all the Froot Loops? (See related story) - Photo by George Sommers

- Don't You Understand English?: Alex, the celebrated African grey who demonstrably "knew what he was talking about", had a vocabulary of 150 words, including "banana". When he asked for one and was offered a nut instead he'd stare silently or ask again for a banana and then throw the nut back at the researcher.

- The Pope and the Parrot: Early in his new career, Pope Francis posed for a picture with a parrot; taking after his namesake patron saint of animals. Somewhat embarrassingly, it was later revealed the parrot's owner was a male stripper. A newer picture currently circulating on social media shows Pope Francis in full regalia sitting on his papal chair with a cockatoo on his arm. This time, the bird owner was a clown who offered Francis the gift of a balloon flower.

- Birds Vs. Bees - Round 2: A ongoing conflict of Africanized honey bees invading and taking over the tree hollows favored for nesting by some parrots was noted in last week's "Parrot's beak". Turns out bees can also do some good for parrots. Bee pollen comes highly recommended by some experts as a source of protein and other nutritional supplements. It is available at health foods and online. A small amount of granulated pollen should be sprinkled on fresh produce.

- Warning: You may want to "regift" if you were the holiday recipient of a gizmo known as an Air Fryer. As with Teflon coated nonstick pans, when in use it gives off fumes apparently deadly to pet birds. One Facebook poster reports the tragic death of 4 of her ringneck parrots after using one.

- It Just Might be a Luna Bird You're Looking for: Luna the sun conure went missing from his family's house in Revere, MA some time ago; breaking the heart of his owner, an autistic child. The family believes a resident of nearby Lynn found Luna in a tree. They are offering a reward and promise that no questions will be asked. (857) 756-2134 or

- Ootfray Ooplay: Looking for something really exotic? A local pet shop now has a toucan available, Of course, for the asking price you could also get a pretty decent used car, or two semi-clunkers.

- Picky, Picky, Picky: Feather picking is not uncommon in pet birds. Some of the physical reasons for this heart breaking condition were listed in a previous edition. However, there could be behavioral causes as well- some of which may require some changes on your part. Behavior reasons a bird may feather pick include fighting in the home, antagonist (human or other animal), cage too small and/or lack of time outside of the cage overcrowding/too many birds in a given area, not enough enrichment (includes but is not limited to stimulation of all senses), little control over consequences, unchanging photoperiod, being in an area where people or animals suddenly appear, unchanging temperatures (especially between night and day), stomping over head.

- Parrotrivia: Iago the parrot is the sidekick to the villain Jafar in the original Disney "Aladdin" film. In sequels and the TV series, he switches sides and allies with the good guys. He is voiced by "love him or hate him" comedian Gilbert Gottfried. Iago is apparently modeled after a scarlet macaw and shares his name with another red parrot who appeared in the Tintin adventure, "The Castafiroe Emerald."

- From the Parrot Dictionary: Pollygon - Runaway Parrot-- Pollyunsaturated Parrot in a raincoat

- Quote o'the Week: Dearest neighbors please do not call the police. It's not domestic violence or a wild party. It's my parrot that just learned to sing and dance.

- Hot Dates: 1/7: Talk to the animals, or learn how to with spiritual medium Patti Anastasia and her Animal Communication Workshop. Just in case you're wondering what your parrot is thinking besides fork over some more of those sunflower seeds. FREE. 10-11. Or, attend a fee required Advanced Animal Communication Workshop 1/10, 17 and/or 24. 630-8. Anastasia's Health Happenings, Boston North Technology Park, 110 Haverhill Road, Bldg C, Suite 348, Amesbury, MA -- Franklin Park Zoo celebrates National Bird Day with dozens of species of birds including parrots. Zookeeper encounters, guests invited to ask questions about winged creatures, crafts and activities for kids, and an education station all about birds. 10:30-2. 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston, MA -- Parrot 101 class. 2 pm. Parrot University Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C, Pineville, NC

1/8: Oracle Workshop to benefit Nevins Farm: Learn to read, and what's in the cards for you. Many birds and animals live at this Mass. Society for the Protection of Animals Sanctuary. Advance registration and a fee required, call for info. 10-1. MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA -- Natural History class. 2 pm Parrot University Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C, Pineville, NC

1/13-15: Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo-Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA -Fri 4-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-5 pm

1/14: Foster Parrots Open House in honor of National Bird Day. FREE. Information tables, including a Training & Behavior Table manned by Sheila Blanchette of Nevins Farm.There will be appetizers, desserts, beverages, coffee and tea available and guests will be welcome to tour the facility at their leisure.1-4 pm. 87 Woodville Alton Rd., Hope Valley, RI -- Rainforest Parrot Seminars presented by Kaytee Products, features a full day with world renowned avian experts Dr Susan Clubb DVM and Barbara Heidenreich, trainer and behaviorist. Lectures, Q&A, training demonstrations and more. A box lunch will be included. Fee and advance registration required.9-6. Palms West Presbyterian Church, 13689 Okeechobee Blvd, Loxahatchee, Florida -- Avian Health & Wellness Parrot University class -2 pm Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C


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