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From the parrot's beak: April 3 edition

Updated on April 2, 2016
Aaaah, think I'll pass on that Florida vacation. - Photo by George Sommers
Aaaah, think I'll pass on that Florida vacation. - Photo by George Sommers

- Hooked bills: Parrots can become addicts, if exposed to metamphetamines, as if it's not bad enough that people fall into the trap.The fumes emanating from a meth lab are enough to get a hookbill hooked, and the problem is surprisingly not all that rare. A sheriff raid on a Louisiana meth lab netted a conure who rather than become a jail bird, was turned over to the Heckhaven Sanctuary in Lake Charles. Owner Suzy Heck has to put the avian addicts through detox.. "The birds go through withdrawal and it's horrible," she says. "They're suffering so much, it's like they're trying to kill themselves. The parrots fly at the sides of their cages, wild eyed, and then get up on their perches only to fall right off again. Or they act depressed, sitting in the corner of the cage, staring at their feet. You can't see sweat on a bird, but when you think of what people go through I think it's similar—one minute they're sleeping a lot and the next they're crying out and beating their heads against a wall."

- More parrot murders: this time in Florida: A mated pair of feral blue and gold macaws were shot dead in Coral Gables, FL. The feral birds were found beneath the palm tree they roosted in. Their chicks apparently survived the attack. A BB or pellet gun was the likely weapon, similar to the one used in the recent killing of several feral conures in California, although there's no apparent connection between the two crimes. While macaws are not native to Florida, they are protected under "Bird Sanctuary Laws" and police are asking anyone with information to come forward to CrimeStoppers. Several individuals, including a woman whose bird feeder was regularly visited by the macaws; are offering a reward for tips leading to finding and convicting the killer.

-Psittacine cinema; Reporter Shrieks As Parrot Lands On Her Shoulder Live On TV

- Parrotrivia: Major Roger Healey tries to con Major Tony Nelson into use of his house while Tony is gone for a while; promising to feed his parakeet. When Tony demurs that he has no such pet, Rog produces a cage with Seymour the parakeet in a classic "I Dream of Jeannie" episode.

- Pollytics '16: Bernie Sanders reaped mega mediacoverage when a aparrow landed on his speaking podium. It was great fodder for editorial cartoonists as well, with more than one depicting an envious Hillary Clinton using a caged pet bird as a prop; and of course Donald Trump "flipping the bird".

- Why Do Parrots Talk? Because they can, literally. But also because as social creatures they learn the "language" of their flock soon after fledging. As the flock members that they get stuck with - us - parrots are driven to learn people talk. For more:

- Quote o' the week: ”My birds are the reason I wake up early in the morning.. Really freaking early. Every. Single. Morning.

- Kaka-contest: The kakapo is featured in a "Rare and Ready to Be Saved" contest designed to promote conservation by the TakePart advocacy site. The iconic New Zealand parrot even has star billing as the top left photo in the site's collage of "contestants". Kakapos are pitted against Tasmanian devils and bog turtles in the 'terrifically tiny category” but with some of them weighing in at 9 pounds, "tiny" may be somewhat of a misnomer. Contest runs 3/21-4/5

- Hot dates: All times EST unless otherwise specified:

4/2: Avian Behavior Consultant, Sheila Blanchette on decoding avian behavior, positive reinforcement and improving the quality of human-avian life. FREE.1–3 pm. MSPCA Nevins Farm Training Room, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA -- Rhode Island Bird Expo VFW Post 602 55 Overland Ave. Pawtucket RI FREE -- Peninsula Caged Bird Society Spring Festival - The Columbian Center, 100 Columbus Way, Newport News, VA - 9-5 pm Apr 3 Manchester, NH - Abnormal Avian Behavior Phoenix Landing class with Leslie Sinn, DVM. 10-12. Grace Presbyterian Church, 7434 Bath St., Springfield, VA

4/3: The Great Cocky Count annual citizen surveyof black-cockatoos of Western Australia. Starts 30 minutes before sunset.…/southwest-b…/great-cocky-count-swbc -- Birds of a Feather Spring Expo - All Dogs Gym, 505 Sheffield Road, Manchester, NH - 9-4 pm -- No Place Like Home Phoenix Landing class. Providing the good life for your bird. [satisfies PL adoption process requirement]. 1-3 pm. Hope Advanced Veterinary Center, 1 Taft Court, Rockville, MD. -- Avian Health and Medicine Parrot University class. 2 pm. 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC -- did you k now? parrot care class; PHoenix Landing.12-2. AniMall Cary Towne Center Mal, 1105 Walnut St, Ste. 8808 [satisfies Phoenix Landing adoption process requirement]. ​

4/9: Parrot 101 class. 2 pm. Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC -- Western MA Bird Expo 2016 9-3. Ludlow Elks Club, 69 Chapin St., Ludlow, MA

4/10: Fun with Food class. Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC

4/12: African honeymoon photos with lots of magnificent animals and birds! 7 pm The Parrot Club Veteran's Memorial Clubhouse 100 Sunset Ridge Road East Hartford, CT

- Lost: African grey Bellevue WA Reward offered (704) 739-0416


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