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From the parrot's beak: July 10 edition

Updated on July 9, 2016
This news is amazin' says the Amazon. - Photo by George Sommers
This news is amazin' says the Amazon. - Photo by George Sommers

- Video Fids: Quaker parrots play video games like squawking at a scary enemy to frighten it away in order to earn a treat at the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center. Motion and sounds from a digital tablet attract the birds' attention. Researchers believe the distraction will cut down on negative behaviors such as feather plucking. "It's very difficult for your average owner to provide a whole lot of mental stimulation for them. Often, when the birds are at home during the day without being interactive, getting exercise and mental stimulation, they're much more likely be the avian equivalent of a 'couch potato,' which we call a 'perch potato, '" says Donald Brightsmith, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M. It's hoped that the technology will eventually be applied to other animals in domestic situations. Even better, they don't need a bunch of quarters.

- Sweet Pea the budgie in "The Secret Lives of Pets" is in a strictly supporting role, and well down the list of credits at that. Unlike the other pets, he (she?) doesn't speak human, but to the film makers' credit does have a very parakeet-like chatter and is realistically green and yellow colored. He does have a couple of memorable scenes including one in which he turns on a large screen TV and flies into a fan's current, imagining himself accompanying jet fighters through a canyon. The story centers around two lost dogs and their pet friends' (including Sweet Pea) efforts to find them.

- Holiday Tragedy: A sad reminder that pet birds and fireworks don't generally mix well comes from the manager of the Woof Meow pet store in Derry, NH. "There were people setting off very large fireworks all around us last night and even with our safety lights and the large light on outside the bird room. Sometime last night the corella got spooked; thrashed and broke its leg in the bottom of the cage and then passed after."

- But does it Include Bubblegum?: A series of collectible "cage bird" cards were issued in 1926 as an advertising promotion for the Caperns parrot food company, founded in Great Britain in 1879 by Mr. F. Capern.

- Hoarding Horror: Some 245 exotic birds; including African grey parrots, macaws, cockatoos, conures, Amazon parrots and parakeets were seized from a home in Damascus, Oregon. A kinkajpou - a raccoon-like mammal - was also taken. A representative from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife who visited the location says, “Everything was wrong: crowded cages, no perches, no fresh drinking water, some with no food, cages haven’t been cleaned … no evidence of common care.” It's a sad but increasingly common situation that could be written about every week by just changing the location and tinkering with a few details.

- Psittacine cinema: Riley the Amazing Talking Parrot - Best Bits - YouTube -- Best Macaw Movie - YouTube

- Celebrity Cockatoos News: A British film crew will be crossing the pond shortly to film the phenomenal Snowball the cockatoo, a Youtube dancing sensation and his trainer, Irena Schulz for the upcoming documentary "Animal Symphony". Dr Ani Patel, a scientist whose studies on Snowball indicate that parrots do indeed dance is also being interviewed.-- King O, A Ducorps cockatoo, is also a celebrity in his own right via a series of videos and as an ambassador for the Parrot Garden in Kanab, Utah. With his vulture-like plucked head and loud scream, he seemed like an unlikely candidate for adoption and resided at the sanctuary for six years. However, his charming personality, extensive vocabulary and smooth dancing moves did win someone over, and he has been adopted.

- Orange is the New Black Out:There are less than 50 orange bellied parrots left in the wild. The species breeds in Tasmania and winters on the coast of southern Australia. Global warming and the consequent loss of winter habitat may be to blame.

- Parrotrivia: Referring to verbal sparring partner Aunt Esther, Fred Sanford of "Sanford and Son" once said, "Polly-Esther - that's you. Half woman, half parrot!"

- Quote o' the Week: Seriously I swear I was normal like 6 parrots ago. - Facebook meme.

- Hot dates: 7/9-10: Tim Vogle's Southeastern Exotic Bird Fair - Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, 2405 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA - 9-4 pm both days

7/9: Rhode Island Parrot Rescue Third Annual Open House.12:30-4:30.. 2141 West Shore Road Warwick, RI -- Creating Motivation and Identifying Reinforcers in Animal Training. Computer webinar with Barbara Heidenreich 12-1:30 CST. -- Parrot 101 class. 2 pm Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC --13th Annual Phoenix Landing Luau and Adoption event. 10-12. Grace Presbyterian Church, 7434 Bath St. Springfield, VA.

7/10: Fun with Food class. 2 pm Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC -- The ABCs of Behavior Phoenix Landing class. Hope Advanced Veterinary Center, 1 Taft Ct., Rockville, MD. 10-12. -- Things I Wish I'd Known Phoenix Landing class.12-2. AniMall Cary Towne Center Mall, 1105Walnut St. Suite H8808.

7/14: Catskill Exotic Bird club 29th Anniversary Dinner. Guest speaker: American Federation for Aviculture's Concetta Ferragamo, trivia contest, silent auction, Willy's Restaurant 3695 State Rte. 42 Monticello, NY.

7/16-17: Richmond Pet Expo. Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N 3rd St, Richmond, VA - Sat 10-6, Sun 11-4

7/16: Smoky Mt. Cage Bird Society Feathered Festival Bird Mart. 10-5. Hickory Metro Convention Center 1960-A 13th Avenue Drive, SE -- Parrot University Volunteer Orientation. 1 pm. 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC -- Did You Know? A Gathering of Parrot Care Information class. Satisfies Phoenix Landing adoption requirement. 10-13. The landing, 31 Landing Place, Alexander, NC -- Advanced Concepts in Animal Training and Their Practical Application, Your Computer webinar. 12:00 – 1:30 PM CST -- Building a Positive Relationship with your Parrot class. 10-12. Midway Veterinary Hospital, 1646 S. Military Hwy, Chesapeake, Va.

7/17: Ohio Bird Fair - Circleville Volunteer Fire Department, 129 Robbins Station Road, Irwin, PA - 10-4

- Lost: Blue quaker parrot, 'Marty'. Sayville, NY (631) 942 6979. -- Lost: African grey 'Harley' Clayton, CA. Reward offered. (925) 698-0686.-- Found: Blue and white budgie, Ontario, Canada (450) 567-8765 -- Lost: Lutino cockatiel 'Lola' Salem, OR (360) 353-8262 -- Lost: Dusky conure 'Faith' West Islip, NY (631) 792-2934 or


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