From the parrot's beak: 4th of July edition
The week in parrot news.
- NOTE TO READERS: As you may have noticed, "From the parrot's beak" has a new home, After 5+ years of consistently being in the top 1/3 read columns in three categories for the former site, that site altered its guidelines, and my feeling is that these changes would have a severe negative impact on the quality informative and entertaining format this column's readers expect and deserve. Thank you for your continued support during this transition.
- CATCH AND RELEASE WITH A CATCH: 18 Amazon parrots that grew up on the streets of Southern California with various injuries: broken bones, head trauma, even electric shock were nursed back to health by SoCal Parrot, a nonprofit naturalized-parrot rescue and rehab facility, of Jamul, California. Last November, the rehabbed birds were released near a stand of trees where 500 or so feral Amazons regularly roost. One hitch: the release is both unprecedented among parrot rehabbers and technically illegal in the eyes of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Thousands of naturalized parrots from 13 species live throughout California, widely considered to be remnants of the exotic avian trade. Accounts of parrots thriving in North America date back to the late 1950s. Despite the illegality, James Gilardi, executive director of the World Parrot Trust, argues that introduced parrots are not disruptive to the environment, saying. “They’re living on, and in, nonnative ornamental and street trees in developed areas, including walnut, fig, palm, and eucalyptus trees (where they nest)." (From "Audubon Magazine".)
- STRESS FREE 4TH FOR BIRDS: While some birds seem unfazed by the loud explosions and bright flashes from July 4th fireworks, The "Bird Channel" offers up a few tips to keep the holiday less scary for more skittish birds. Move your pet bird to a room where the windows can be covered. Provide a tent to hide in. Turn on calm, soothing music to drown out the noise. Consider boarding your bird for at a vet or avian store, away firework displays. If you’re stressed, your pet bird will pick up on it. If your bird is stressed during fireworks, remain calm. If your bird is known for becoming overstressed because of loud noises, speak to your avian veterinarian. They may be able to recommend solutions. Keep your pet inside for safety. If a bird is startled by the sound of fireworks, it might fly away. A stressed pet bird can become irritable and short-tempered, so be understanding.
- GLOBAL WARMING= BIGGER BEAKS: The beaks of four out of five native Australian parrots grew larger between 1871 and 2008. according to a paper published in the "Journal of Biogeographjy" by ecologist Matthew Symonds of Australia's Deakin University. Birds don't sweat, so instead their beak acts as a cooling mechanism. Speculation is that temperatures have warmed in Australia due to global warming, the beaks have responded accordingly.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Cookie, resident Major Mitchell's cockatoo at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, turned 82 on June 30. Cookie was with the zoo when it started, in 1934. He holds the Guinness Book record for oldest living parrot. Major Mitchell 'toos usually live to 40 to 60 years of age in captivity.
- Continuing the power company vs. nesting quakers controversy, TECO (i.e. Tampa, Florida power company) recently removed a quaker nest and 10 eggs from a utility pole. the eggs are being artificially incubated. Critics say the eggs may not hatch and that the nest removal was an extreme and unnecessary action.
- LOST PARROT QUEST: One woman's quest to find her lost parrot. "Pet Gazette" feature story by George Sommers; reprinted from last year due to popular demand and seasonal topicality. http://duxburypetgazette.ma.newsmemory.com/
- DIDJA KNOW: There's a type of fireworks known as Parrot's Prattle, described as "A classic cake with great performance, you will see whistling birds in red and white palms with white flashes and whistles. Also has a great whistling sound effect."
- MUST SEE TV: The amazingly loquacious Disco the parakeet appears in PBS "Nature" program, "Pets – Wild at Heart" this Fall, in October… Finally! Have you seen the Disco-specific trailer? Meanwhile, "Science Magazine" has discovered that parrots' mimicry abilities are due to a recently discovered brain structure. Disco is featured in this article: http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/06/newly-identified-brain-structure-may-explain-why-parrots-are-such-good-
- CONTESTS: You've got a while past the 4th of July, July 19 to be precise, to enter your pet's photo in Pet Supplies Plus' Patriotic Pet Photo contest. Go to their sit or FB page and simply upload photo and add your information.First prize is (sigh) a year's supply of dog food. -- The Hanover (MA) Mall is holding a cutest pet contest. Deadline to send photos is July 30. Go to their FB page for details.
- HOT DATES: 7/3,4: Feathered Sanctuary benefit yard sale (postponed from last week due to weather). 8 a.m.-? 1674 Kirkwood Pike, Kirkwood, PA --7/9-13: "Positive Parrot Training Retreat" May Rd., Dallas, Oregon. Hosted by Cockatoo Downs. Participants may bring their birds for one on one expert coaching. Free flying cockatoos at Cockatoo Downs are also available for training. This intimate gathering is kept small. -- 7/11: Richmond Pet Expo - Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 East Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA - 10-6 - 800-977-3609 x111 -- 1st annual Phoenix Landing Luau. Meet adoptable parrots, from parakeets to macaws. 10-12; Grace Presbyterian Church, 7434 Bath Street, Springfield, VA. -- Things I Wish I Had known parrot care class for the new and experienced alike. . [satisfies Phoenix Landing adoption process requirement]. 10-12; Midway Veterinary Hospital, 1646 S. Military Hwy, Chesapeake, VA. -- 7/12: Ohio Bird Fair - Circleville Volunteer Fire Department, 129 Robbins Station Road, Irwin, PA - 10-4 - (724) 814-4702 -
- FOUND: African grey parrot;. Mentor, Ohio. Call to identify. 440-974-6633. LOST: African grey parrot; Cheltenham, England family has been left distraught after losing their beloved pet parrot.. Contact the Gloucestershire Echo newsdesk on 01242 278082. -- LOST: Amazon parrot 'Chichi' Columbus, Ohio.(614) 805-7017. - LOST: Gold capped conure 'Screech'; Hicksville, NY (516) 385-0238.