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From the parrot's beak: 12/6 edition

Updated on December 5, 2015
Parrot chew toys for dogs now available at a national pet store chain are ruffling some feathers in the parrot owner community. Oh, well; as long as they don't go for the real thing. - Photo by George Sommers
Parrot chew toys for dogs now available at a national pet store chain are ruffling some feathers in the parrot owner community. Oh, well; as long as they don't go for the real thing. - Photo by George Sommers

- Missing macaw mysteries blowback: EDITOR'S NOTE: We asked for a response to the ongoing missing macaw story reported in last week's column. And a response we got - in rather heated terms - from a reader claiming firsthand knowledge of the case.This editor is not endorsing either version as the "correct" one; we are just presenting this counterpoint in the interests of equal time. However, it does seem prudent to get some form of written documentation signed by all parties before transferring a bird for any reason. Phoenix the greenwing macaw was surrendered, but the owner changed her mind, asserts a reader who characterizes the account given by Phoenix's original owner as "a fairy tale". Moreover, "The primary players in this case have never spoken about it in public since the day in 2007 that [this] case was thrown out, the judgement vacated, and oh yes, the judge quickly retired rather than be toasted legally for his ethics violations," she writes in an email to this editor. She adds that Phoenix is alive and well. In the case of Ruby the OTHER formerly missing greenwing macaw, there is some justification for thinking that a home office situation is not an ideal situation for a noisy macaw, and of course that an all sunflower seed diet (as alleged) is inappropriate as well.

- Whatchu talkin' about?: Nigeria is a land of many languages, which poses a problem for pet dealers when they teach their African greys to speak in one of the "wrong" ones.

- Court ruling unappealing to bird owners: Birds have the fundamental right to "live with dignity" and fly in the sky. Putting them in cages for the purpose of pet trade is a "violation of their rights" - per a ruling by the Delhi, India High court earlier this year. the ruling, cheered by animal rights activists and jeered by pet bird owners; is scheduled for a review by India's supreme court. -- And, in more international news: the city of Guelph, Ontario in Canada is considering a proposal to ban certain parrots and other pets ostensibly to prevent issues such as hoarding, smuggling and more.

- Of pirates and parrots: From movies to Halloween costumes, the pairing of pirates with parrots is pretty standard pop culture fare. Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" got the ball rolling with its depiction of Long John Silver and his "pieces of eight" spouting parrot. While there is a dearth of historical evidence for such partnerships, Dan Nosowitz writes, "...pirates traveling to exotic lands had quite a bit of free time, disposable income, and no particular reason to restrict themselves to ordinary European pets like cats and dogs. Monkeys were not uncommon, and the concept of a pet monkey made its way into fiction as well—Captain Barbossa, in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films, has one. But a parrot was more sensible. They don’t eat much, compared to a dog or a monkey, and what they do eat (seeds, fruits, nuts) can be easily stored on board. They’re colorful, and intelligent, and funny, and for a pirate (or a legal sailor) wanting to show off in port, a parrot would do nicely."

- Conservation news: A $5 million plan to protect one of the world's most elusive birds, the night parrot, has been given a boost by the Queensland Government, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing a $400,000 package to help save the bird. With no confirmed sightings for more than 75 years, the bird had been thought to be extinct.But in 2013, naturalist John Young found evidence of a living population in south-west Queensland.

- Parrot joke: A parrot walks into a drug store and buys a chapstick. The clerk says, "Will that be cash or charge?" The parrot says, "Just put it on my bill!"

- Parrotrivia: Bob Denver, best known for playing inept sailor Gilligan, guest stars as an inept genie in "I Dream of Jeannie", where he decides to become an inept photographer (typecasting much?). His "watch the birdie" prop resembles a large cockatoo.

- Point to ponder: "If a parakeet is a tiny parrot, shouldn't a paradigm be worth about three cents?" wonders a young student in the "Frazz" comic strip.

- Rescue me: Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuarybegins a fundraising campaign for an expansion of their facilities.Go to Indiegogo's to support Mission Free Flight.

- RIP: Ellen Mass, Corpus Christi CBC's American Federation for Aviculture rep who passed away last week.

- Now available: the Parrot Bebop Drone ultimate camera.

- Hot dates: 12/4-5: TASC (The Avicultural Society of Chicagoland) Midwest National bird show Fri. 12-7, Sat 9-3, Pheasant Run Resort,4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL

12/4-6: Colorbred Canary Club of Miami Grand Bird Show - German American Social Club, 11919 SW 56th St., Miami, FL 33175 - Fri 12-5, Sat 10:30-5, Sun 8:30-12

12/5-6: Atlanta’s Exotic Bird Fair - North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court, Norcross, GA - Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4

12/5: Bingo for Birds - Lazicki's Bird House and Rescue benefit - multiple door priozes - The Alibi Cafe, 18 Bassett St., Providence, RI

Parrot Toy Angels online auction. Last day! All proceeds go to helping parrots in need. Auction preview: Link to ebay store for bidding:

Parrot University Holiday Open House 10-4 Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville NC

Parrot's Point of View class, 10-12, The Landing, 31 Landing Pl., Alexander, NC

12/6: Avian Health & Medicine class, Parrot University, 2 pm, Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville NC

12/11-12: Florida Canary Fanciers 19th Annual Show - Ramada Gateway Hotel, 7470 Highway 192 W., Kissimmee, FL - Fri 9- 5, Sat 8-6 - 912-344-7196 -

12/12: Bird Mart 9-4. Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 South Main St., Pet birds welcome; nail and wing trimming available. Grapevine TX

Sex & the Single Bird class. 11 a.m. Parrot University. Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville NC

Boredom Busters: Environmental Enrichment Essentials class. Our jobs, as their caretakers, is to make life fun, intriguing, challenging and active! Michelle Underhill has lots of great ideas about how to provide enriched environments. 10-12. Grace Presbyterian Church. 7434 Bath St., Springfield, VA

Parrot 101 class. 2 p.m. Parrot University. Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville NC

12/13: The Contented Companion class. Explore some ideas for meeting our parrots’ many needs, including tips for keeping those bird-brains thinking and engaged. [satisfies Phoenix Landing adoption process requirement] 1-3. Pender Exotics Veterinary Centre, 4001 Legato Rd, Fairfax, VA


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