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From the parrot's beak: July 1 edition

Updated on July 1, 2017
Don't blame me; I'm not a sulphur crested! - Photo by George Sommers
Don't blame me; I'm not a sulphur crested! - Photo by George Sommers

- New Parrot Species Discovered (or maybe not) With a scream like a hawk and an outgoing nature, not to mention bright blue wings and flame red foreheads; you'd think these parrots would be hard to miss. In an era where some parrot species have gone extinct and some are teetering on the edge, the blue-winged Amazon became known to science just a few years ago. Most recent "new" parrot species are subspecies later promoted to full species status, often as a result of DNA tests. Miguel Gómez Garza, of the Autonomous University of Nueva León, discovred the new parrot in Mexico's Yucatan's forests in 2014. Some authorities are saying not so fast, the blue-winged Amazon is genetically similar to the white-fronted Amazon. "...relatively small genetic differences should not be overrated," says Pawel Mackiewicz, a geneticist at Poland's University of Wrocław. - From http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/new-species-parrots-yucatan-mexico/ and thanks, Cinde!

- Who You Callin' Chicken?: A man in Fryeburg, Maine built an ornate custom coop for his pet hens. He calls them "red neck parrots" because they are the only parrots a redneck can afford. - From a Facebook post.

- Music to my Ears: Male palm cockatoos are rock stars—it's mainly for chicks. Palmies are the only animals other than humans known to use a custom-made tool to tap out a percussive beat; i.e. music, a new study says.Chimpanzees and other animals will drum on sticks and logs, but don’t make their own instruments. Robert Heinsohn, a conservation biologist at Australia National University, first witnessed the behavior in northern Australia in 1997. “The cockatoo was clutching what looked like a stick and banging it on the trunk, and every so often he would pause, erect his amazing crest, and let out either a piping whistle or a harsh screech,” says Heinsohn. He and colleagues found the sounds were highly predictable, like human music, and moreover each male had a unique style. About 70 percent of the time males started drumming when they were around females—. While male palm cockatoos make the tunes, they don't dance. Perhaps Snowfball could be brought in to bust some moves with these boys.-- From http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/cockatoos-drumming-music-birds-australia/

- Parrotrivia: On "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In" Dick Martin shows straight man Dan Rowan a yellow headed Amazon who only replies "Hi" to all of his questions (i.e.:, "Hello" and "What's the opposite of low?") After Rowan berates him as a fraud, the parrot eloquently disses Martin for asking "stupid questions".

- Point to Ponder: "When the avian community rises up and demands a person forfeit their birds because 'they don't like the way they are kept', that a large percentage of the birds die upon confiscation due to stress, mishandling, inexperienced law enforcement and more? Perhaps the avian community could start to rise up and HELP people that get overwhelmed or are not up to their standards! "! -- Facebook post from AFA official

- It's a Duster, Buster: Feather duster parakeets (budgies) result from.an undesirable, accidental mutation. These parakeets have a life span of no more than a year They need to be hand fed and monitored to ensure they eat and drink enough due to the feathers being so dense. They have a hard time finding their food because the feathers grow so thick around their eyes which ironically depletes their nutrients to keep up with the feather growth and they literally starve. - From a Facebook post

- Bright colors are one of the things people find captivating about parrots but getting one to match your living room drapes is a bad idea. "True Colors" is George Sommers' page 8 story in the July '17 "Pet Gazette". http://duxburypetgazette.ma.newsmemory.com/

- Hoarding Update: The parrots confiscated from the Weston, CT hoarding situation are available for adoption. The Weston case is a strange and sad one in which a former pet shop owner often called upon for his expertise was found hoarding several birds in unfavorable conditions. South Wilton Vet has 7 lineolated parakeets ready for adoption in groups of 2 or more. Call South Wilton at (203) 762-2002 if interested. Rhode Island Parrot Rescue has many birds from Weston available for adoption now also. - Thanks to Amy H.

- Service with a smile: Mary Le Compte watched a bird change her teenage son Jacob Macintosh. The two visited Parrot Planet in East Sacramento where they purchased Sam, the greenwing macaw. Jacob, 16, is diagnosed with autism and disorganized schizophrenia along with several other conditions. "He never used to talk to people. He would just kind of ramble back and forth and stuff," Mary Le Compte explains. "As soon as he got Sam, he started outwardly communicating with people and being able to look them in the face." Now, Jacob shares his knowledge of parrots with no hesitation. "Green macaws are basically endangered out in the wild but not in captivity, and basically they live longer in captivity than out in the wild," he says. Macintosh's mom says Sam also alerts the family if her son forgets to take his medication. "It's why his psychiatrist wrote (Sam) up as 'medical necessity,' and (the bird) is able to do specific tasks," Le Compte said, adding the psychiatrist said Sam is "a 'service' instead of an 'emotional support' animal." - From http://www.abc10.com/news/local/service-parrot-changes-davis-teens-life/452358945

- Cockatoo Gangs: Partyboy, a troublemaker with a blond mohawk gate crashes barbecues and parties . He leads one of the cockatoo gangs of Sydney, Australia — dubbed the Cockychero in honor of the notorious human Coman-chero gang — whose shenanigans have been noted. They raid the rubbish bins and break into homes in search of cashews among other mischief. Six years ago the Royal Botanic Gardens embarked on a a project called Wingtagsplan to tag over 100 sulphur-crested cockatoos. Partyboy is famous for disturbing the peace with raucous screeching when he’s unhappy and bobbing menacingly during Sunday afternoon barbecues until given a beer nut. Other troublemakers include Guava, suspected of leading a gang that has learned how to open wheelie bins. Lawrence and Houdini knock on office-tower windows demanding treats. Frequenting multimillion-dollar mansions are Shakespeare and Cockastu, while Pinky and Brain have been seen near the yachts of Rushcutters Bay. Jack and his gang have figured out the duck ponds are a source of soft-touch kids willing to hand over their snacks. “Some go a bit rogue, and chew people’s homes, but it’s often because they’ve received food in the same spot in the past and they are simply trying to find a solution to the shortage, ” says Royal Botanic Gardens’ wildlife ecologist Dr John Martin. “For every cashew a cockatoo finds, he is probably being given another five from other homes he is visiting,” Mr Martin said. While not advocating the feeding of wild birds, Mr Martin said he understood people enjoy the interaction. He said a healthier option was to offer lettuce, although warned it could simply be “refused” - From a "Daily Telegraph" post .

- Did Everything Come Out OK?: Peter went across the hall from the bird room into the bathroom just now... came out... and Mongo yelled something he's only said before when we clean the bird room or vacuum the house: "Is that BETTER!!?" - From a Facebook post.

- Farewell to Winston, a blue and gold macaw and key player in the World of Flight Bird Show at Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Winston got spooked and flew away from his perch and across a street, where he was struck by a car, according to a statement from the zoo. The elderly driver did not stop. “We’re just so devastated,” said Steve Chindgren, founder of the bird show. Winston was a rescue bird given to the zoo about eight years ago, but it’s unclear how old he was. By bizarre coincidence; African Lanner falcon Max accidentally landed in the zoo’s wolf enclosure, where he was killed by wolves last month. Max was another fixture of World of Flight “They’ve been absolute flukes – that’s the only word for it,” Chindgren said of the two deaths. “ - From http://fox13now.com/2017/06/27/beloved-hogle-zoo-macaw-winston-dies/

- Didja Know: Parrots typically lay 2 to 8 eggs at a time. The eggs incubate from 18 to 30 days while the parents take turns sitting on them. Parrot chicks are born with just a thin layer of fine feathers called down. The chicks are blind for the first 2 weeks of their lives. At 3 weeks, their adult feathers begin to come in. Chicks don’t reach full maturity until they are 1 to 4 years old, depending on the species. - From the healthypets archives

- Long Goodbye: Lucky Lou and Coco have been friends ever since they they met at a refuge n Vancouver, Canada. Lucky Lou had lung cancer. Morrison often had to take Lucky Lou to the bird hospital for special care. But Coco would cry, especially at night, when her friend wasn’t there, so Morrison learned that Coco needed to visit her friend frequently when she was away. But finally, Lucky Lou’s little body couldn’t survive any longer. And it was time to say goodbye. Last week, after months of tender care and comfort, Coco slowly approached her friend’s body, wrapped up in a blanket with a sprig of flowers. Coco stood there looking over her friend for a long time. Then she looked up at Morrison as if trying to understand. “It’s OK, honey,” Morrison told her. Finally, Coco leaned down as if to kiss her friend’s motionless face. “Watching Coco say goodbye to Lucky Lou reaffirmed my belief that animals feel deeply,” Morrison told The Dodo. “I am thankful and honored that I was able to witness the tender goodbye between two friends who found comfort and safety in my home. I will never forget it.” - From https://www.thedodo.com/in-the-wild/rescued-parrot-mourns-friend

- Help Wanted: The Bird Gardens of Naples,a parrot sanctuary, is deserving and in need of donations. Visit their site for info.

- Who's Got the Button?: A new American Federation for Aviculture/Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species button is now available, featuring a picture of a green winged macaw. -- AFA's· Super 8 Raffle is on with a lkot of nifty prizes. Consult their site for more info.

- Hot Dates: 6/24-7/1: Parrot Toy Auction: Get some cool stuff for your parrot or yourself and help out needy parrots by bidding! Go to the Parrot toy Angels site for more info.-- 7/1,2: Northwest Bird Expo. Speakers include Lara Joseph, Jason Crean, Alicia Maclaughlin , Karen Becker, Patricia Sund and Bonnie Zimmerman from the Indonesian Parrot Project. Sat. 10-6; Sun. 10-3:30 $10/over 12; $5 under 12, FREE 55+ & 5-. Community Center at Merrill Gardens, Burien, WA. Please leave your pet bird at home and there will be no sales of birds. 7/4: 4th of July! Make sure your birds are i a secure area where they won't be frightened by fireworks.


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      mplo28 

      14 months ago

      Is the parrot in the photograph above a rose-breasted cockatoo (galah)? Just curious.

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