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From the parrot's beak: November 29 edition

Updated on November 28, 2015
Partying parrot is part of decor in Mexican restaurant. - Photo by George Sommers
Partying parrot is part of decor in Mexican restaurant. - Photo by George Sommers

- Mysterious missing macaw case #1: Solved. Ruby the greenwing macaw has returned. Just over a year ago, the family she had lived with since she was a chick decided her noise levels were becoming a hindrance to the husband who worked from home. A woman known as the "parrot whisperer" was recommended by an employee of the Parrot Jungle, a tourist attraction. Here the tale becomes murky. The family says per verbal agreement, the bird was to be returned in 24 hours. The "parrot whisperer", who is specifically named by the wife in several social media venues; claims the bird was given up for adoption; and moreover was being fed an inappropriate all sunflower seed diet. The child in the family was heartbroken over the loss of the pet to which the "parrot whisperer" allegedly replied in an interview, "Buy another small bird and the child will forget all about Ruby. You buy a child a little bird and they're over it, I know how little children are." A court ruled that Ruby was still the family's "property"; but when they went to retrieve the bird, they were told by the alleged parrotnapper that Ruby was given to a woman in North Miami. Knocks on the door by police and local media went unanswered, but a neighbor said the woman no longer had any birds. Meanwhile, the "parrot whisperer" apparently packed her bags and left the state. A reward for Ruby's safe return was offered, and it was speculated that Ruby could be anywhere from Salt Lake City to Miami. Further accusations were made that the "parrot whisperer" was running a "bird flipping" operation. Per Utah court order, police entered the accused's apartment in Salt Lake City, seized Ruby and had her sent back to the family. (NOTE: An appeal made to the accused party to privately contact the editor of this column with her side of the story. No reply was made.)

- Mysterious missing macaw case #2: Unsolved. In a bizarre near mirror image scenario, an Ohio woman maintains that her greenwing macaw named Phoenix was supposed to be taken to a bird specialist in Jacksonville, Florida to be quarantined for an unnamed condition - but Phoenix was taken instead to South Carolina. The owner demanded return of the bird, and called in the police. The "bird specialist" in turn demanded a a claim and delivery receipt, but the owner feared that she would be sent a different bird. A court ordered the "bird specialist" to make a cash settlement, which the owner found unsatisfactory; so she went to a higher court, but Phoenix was not in the judge’s jurisdiction per the attorney representing the accused. At this writing, Phoenix has not been returned, his whereabouts are unknown and a large reward has been offered for his safe return. (NOTE: The editor of this column would welcome a response from the accused party; or information which can aid in his return assuming the accuser's story holds up; please write in confidence to

-Parrot costars in new film: Kirk Douglas gave a parrot to Dalton Trumbo, a screen writer for "Spartacus" and other films. Blacklisted for his political beliefs, the screen writer is the subject of a new film starring Bryan Cranston. Although the parrot actor in "Trumbo" had a penchant for chewing on Cranston's glasses, wig, etc.; the actor apparently bonded with the bird.

- Joyous no Hell: A cartoon depicts a man crammed into a bird cage in heaven with St. Peter informing him that he was originally scheduled for Hell, but his pet cockatoo suggested this instead. Indignant response from a reader: "My cockatoos will remember much freedom, playing on the beach, meeting lots of children and new people, visiting the aging, the infirm, nursery school kids, scouts, and people everywhere we go. They will remember lots of toys, good food, travel, and lots and lots of love. They will remember my sincere commitment and caring and they will remember the security of being with me for the rest of my life. I'm not too worried!"

- Psittacine cinema: Just in time for the new "Star Wars"- R2D2 Budgie - YouTube -- And Disco has to add his two cents Talking Bird, Confused Human - YouTube

- What's in a (scientific) name?: The scientific name for a budgerigar, or parakeet, is Melopsittacus undulatus which translates as "wavy song parrot" The "wavy" part could refer to their flight or the typical budgie wing pattern.

- Bad conservation news:There's been a 99% decline in the number of wild African grey parrots in Ghana, according to some scientists. Deforestation and the pet trade are being blamed. -- And in Australia, 90% of the known occupied western ground parrot habitat was burned in recent fires at Cape Arid National Park. There are some patches of potential habitat to the east of the fires that remained unburnt. No birds were found in this area during recent surveys, but it is possible some may have been able to escape to these refuges.

- Curses, foiled: A new "non-stick" foil is on the market; which, like non-stick pans, apparently can cause toxic fumes potentially deadly to birds.

- Parrot joke: A man goes to an auction and bids on a parrot. He really wants this bird, so he keeps bidding, but getting outbid, so he bids higher and higher. Finally, after he bids way more than he intended, he wins. As he pays, he says to the auctioneer, "I sure hope this parrot can talk. I would hate to have paid this much, only to find out he can't." "Don't worry", says the auctioneer, "He can talk. Who do you think kept bidding against you?"

- Polly-tics '16: "Marco Rubio, Big Sugar's Parrot" is the headline for an article written by Alan Farago, president of Friends of the Everglades, in yet another example of politicians being compared unfavorably to parrots.

- Tired of shelling out big bucks for parrot toys?: Pat Sund tells us how, you can make toys out of odds and ends you have in the house.…/Eight-Common-Household-Items-You-C…

- Next best to free: "Whether you work in a rescue or sanctuary, foster parrots or have adopted a parrot into your home it is sometimes difficult to break through or overcome behavior problems with a parrot with an unfortunate or unknown history," says internationally renowned animal behaviorist Barbara Heidenreich; who also acknowledges that many of these organizations and individuals operate on a shoestring budget. She is now offering her one hour fifty minute Training Rescued and Re-homed Parrots webinar, normally priced at $19.95, for as little as $1, or whatever you choose to pay.…/free-training-rescued-and…

- Hot dates:11/28-12/5: Parrot Toy Angels online auction. Stock up on holiday gifts including some cool toys and supplies for the parrot in your life; and goodies like jewelry and tote bags for the (human) parrot lovers in your life. Parrot Toy Angels is an all-volunteer group in the US, Canada and parts worldwide that provides toys, food and other avian supplies to companion birds in need due to life-altering changes, natural disasters or simply an organization’s lack of funding. All proceeds go to helping the birds. Auction preview: Link to ebay store for bidding:

11/29-12/5: Travel to Costa Rica With The Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Additional information - 800-711-7970 -

12/1: "Giving Tuesday- a good time to remember your favorite bird rescue or sanctuary.

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 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


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