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From the parrot's beak: 9/27 edition

Updated on September 26, 2015
Well, now there's a bird of a different color. - Photo by George Sommers
Well, now there's a bird of a different color. - Photo by George Sommers

- Prodigal parrot returns: A blue and gold macaw took the freeflight portion of the "Animals on Safari" show literally, flying away from its Columbus Zoo home as recently reported in this column. A photographer walking her dog about three miles away noted an unusual bird flying overhead and landing on a roof and snapped a photo, later posting the pic on Facebook. People messaged her about the zoo's missing macaw; she phoned the zoo and zoo staff were able to interrupt the unscheduled flight and recover their bird.

- Heads up: Ancient Mayans played a game resembling basketball. Lining the courts in what is now Copan, Honduras were a series of stone carved heads of scarlet macaws, whom the natives considered sacred. Now, appropriately; a feeding station and release aviary has been placed by the ancient site in an effort to restore the national bird to an area where it had almost disappeared. The breeding takes place among the tropical gardens of Macaw Mountain, a privately funded venture in a former coffee plantation.

- Papal parrot flashback: The blessing of a parrot was one of the earliest photos we saw of Francis as Pope. Like his namesake saint; he is apparently a big lover of animals. We found out later, alas; that the parrot belonged to a male stripper. Still, we suspect Francis would have been cool with it, even if he knew.

- Where's the kaboom?: Introduced mammals like the stoat, or weasel, have been decimating the populations of many of New Zealand's flightless birds. In an effort to preserve them, the Department of Conservation has installed numerous box-like stoat traps. Keas (which are NOT flightless) have been filmed triggering these traps by stripping twigs and inserting them into gaps in these traps. Apparently they like the loud bang that happens when the trap is set off. -- Another tool using bird is the hyacinth macaw. Although they have enormous beaks, hyacinths have been observed using a piece of wood as a wedge to open and get at nuts.

- Psitttacine cinema: Funny Parrot Videos 2015 - Ultimate Parrot Compilation ... - YouTube -- Beautiful birds and Disco the Parakeet - Part 1 - Fox Rochester ... --Beautiful birds and Disco the Parakeet - Part 3 - Fox Rochester ... -- Beautiful birds and Disco the Parakeet - Part 4 - Fox Rochester ... (could not find Part 2- sorry!) -- Parrot training workshop: http://ow.ly/SCRKF

- New York minute: Quaker parrots are establishing a population on Manhattan Island. The exact location is being kept under wraps as nests have been vandalized and a sophisticated operation has even been poaching the birds after media disclosure of previously discovered nesting locations in Brooklyn, NY and in New Jersey. -- A widely circulated photo of a rat dragging a slice of pizza was shortly followed up by a photo of a pair of Big Apple feral quakers enjoying a slice as well, with the leftovers eagerly snapped up by a sparrow. Even the critters know there's nothing like New York City pizza!

- Eggsactly: Allegedly fertile parrot eggs offered for shipment/sale were recently advertised, but the ad was pulled. Many experts say such eggs would very likely not be viable as a result of shipping.

- Smuggler's blues: After a year plus investigation. Senegal police nabbed Aziz Sall, who was responsible for smuggling of several hundreds of thousands of African grey parrots along with five accomplices. They were plotting to sell Timneh grey parrots with CITES permits from Mali, obvious forgeries as there is no living population of this species in Mali. Smugglers wrapped the birds in paper or stuffed them into plastic bottles. Other birds confiscated included 109 Timneh greys, 600 rose-ringed parakeets and 80 Senegals. World Parrot Trust hopes to rehabilitate and release the birds back into the wild.

- Parrotrivia: A mad scientist rescues the castaways in a classic "Gilligan's Island", only to bring them to his laboratory where he is experimenting with switching animals brains around. A cherry headed conure sitting on the scientist's shoulder roars like a lion, although a brain switch may not have been needed to accomplish this!

- Good (for a change) conservation news: Scientists transported 25 endangered Puerto Rican parrots to one of its largest forests in a bid to save the USA's last native parrot species. The arrival represents a local and federal effort to establish a third population of a bird that saw its numbers dwindle to 13 in the early '70s. Two breeding centers collectively boast nearly 400 parrots now, and another 108 parrots are believed to exist in the wild thanks to a conservation program that has released 35 parrots released so far this year. "At one time, it was among the 10 most endangered bird species in the world," says Tony Tooke, southern regional director for the U.S. Forest Service. -- Milestone for the Hyacinth Macaw Project....Projeto Arara Azul. The first hyacinth macaw nest was discovered in Campo Grande, Brazil .... the location of the upcoming Parrots International Symposium. Now, three large macaws can be seen within the city itself (hyacinth, green-wing, blue & gold macaws) as well as scores of other parrots. -- Meanwhile, 9/15/15 was a historic day for the Blue Macaw Project, marking the 1st macaw nest in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul.

- Celebirdy: Ruapuke, the kakapo was the surprise star at a $195-a-head charity ball held at Queenstown, New Zealand's Walter Peak to benefit the Department of Conservation's kakapo recovery program. The 17 month old managed to hatch successfully from a cracked egg that was literally held together by tape.

- Contest: How about a hard slog through mud, uphill, off track and through dense bush - in order to spot a rare, endangered kakapo on New Zealand's Codfish Island? To celebrate 25 years of supporting the Kākāpō Recovery Programme, New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter is sponsoring this once in a lifetime competition. "This is where I went to work with the chicks. This is very special. The public can't visit this land. Not only are there kakapo, but there are also kakariki, kaka, yellow eyed penguins and more!," gushes internationally know animal behaviorist Barbara Heidenreich.

- Whatchu talkin' about?: Zoologist Frank Indiviglio makes the case that parrots often DO know what they're talking about: http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatbirdblog/2011/06/10/do-parrots-understand-what-they-say-yes-according-to-a-new-study/#.VYnjqflVikr frank I parrots

- Obit: Gary 'Arab' Aburn passed away 9/815, 70 years; ranger with the New Zealand Department of Conservation, played pivotal role in the re-discovery and protection of the critically endangered kakapo. In April 1980 he caught the first female Kakapo in 70 or more years, verifying there was still a population of these birds.

- Hot dates: 9/26: NY Finch & Type Canary Club Annual Show - St. Jude’s Church, 1696 Canarsie Road, Brooklyn, NY - 10-5 -- 4th Annual Sonora Exotic Animal & Bird Expo. Gold Country Avicultural Society. Mother Lode Fairgrounds. Sonora CA 9-4 -- No Place Like Home From parakeets to macaws, we are offering them a place to call home. This class will address what each of these means to a bird, and give you some ideas about how to continue providing the good life for your bird. [also satisfies Phoenix Landing adoption process requirement]. 10-12. Stahl Exotic Animal veterinary Services. 4105 Rust Rd. Fairfax, VA. -- Nutrition for Parrots: Mashes and Casseroles:healthy diets for parrots. 11-1 Pender Coiunt Library 75 Library Dr. Hampstead NC --9/27: Parrot nutritionist Jason Crean interviewed by Lara Joseph of the Animal Behavior Center. 7:30 on Blab. -- Bird Mart 9-5 Amin Shrine Pavillion 2001 Suntide Rd. corpus Christi, TX -- So you Want a Talking Bird?: class 3 pm 321 South Polk St. Pineville, NC --10/3-4: Seattle Parrot Expo Featuring Dr.Irena Pepperberg and Avian Ambassador Sid Price. FREE. Tukwila Community Ctr. 12424 42nd S. Ave., Seattle, WA -- Animal Behavior, Training & Health Seminar with Lara Joseph at the Animal Behavior Center. Speakers, vendors, training, and networking. Ohio --10/6: Hartford Pet Expo. XL Center, 1 Civic Plaza, Hartford CT 10-6. -- The Wisdom of Wild Parrots w Frank Rutowski DVM. 10-12, Grace Presbyterian Church 7434 Bath St. Springfield, VA -- 10/4: A Parrot's Point of View class. 1-3 AniMall, Cary Towne Center Mall, 1105 Walnut St. Ste. 103 Cary, NC (satisfies Phoenix Landing adoptiom requirement.)

- Found: Parrot, Blacklick, Ohio. Contact (614) 289-8640. -- Lost: Congo African grey 'Chai-walla', Pacific Beach, CA 8 Months Old/ Still being handfed Fully flighted, responds to bells and kissing noises. Reward offered. Reply by email: vj9wd-5230722892@comm.craigslist.org. -- Found: Pet bird, NYC, NY. Contact kdgt9-5233541542@comm.craigslist.org, and provide picture and description to confirm ownership.-- Found: Parakeet NYC, NY. text: (917) 846-5501 or reply by email: hzkhg-5232936529@comm.craigslist.org -- Found: blue parakeet. NYC, NY. Now at Petco 805 Columbus Ave. -- Lost: Amazon parrot 'Webber'. Los Angeles CA. Reward. (717) 303-9446

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