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From the parrot's beak: July 22 edition

Updated on July 22, 2017
Goldwinger and Snowflake enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. = Photo by George Sommers
Goldwinger and Snowflake enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. = Photo by George Sommers

- Emotional Support Birds- Unsung Saviors: In 2011, “service animal” was re-defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act to include only certain trained dogs and miniature horses. "Emotional support" animals fall into murky legal territory. Birds that assist in therapy or emotional support to a disabled individual are “emotional support animals.” Parrots are known to be empathetic sensing stress before these surface. A bi-polar man's African grey would encourage him to “calm down!” when rage was coming on. He carried her in a cage fitted with straps like a backpack. Rescue parrots often exhibit mistrust similar to the feelings of veterans with post traumatic stress disorder and some programs draw on these experiences to help both vets and birds. Many birds are used in therapy, prison rehabilitation and nursing homes. On a Wing & A Prayer is a program started by Gifted Wings Ministry, a Tulsa, Oklahoma non-profit organization that brings birds into many different community facilities. Cofounder Maureen Horton-Leger recalled one woman with dementia who yelled and cried, but when she held a bird, her first lucid words in years were that her children had a bird growing up. Another woman, who did not speak, feed herself or clean herself, began to speak again in order to argue that she should be allowed to keep the bird she was holding. I - From and

- Dissing his Parrot was the last straw for a 52 year old Scotsman who allegedly retaliated against his 27 year old former wife (yes, you read that right) by posting photos of her in various stages of undress on social media. The couple had acrimonious talks over the return of his possessions, including his pet parrot. In a taped conversation played at Inverness Sheriff Court, David Robertson was heard to complain about the bird being left alone and his estranged wife setting a 5pm deadline for him to collect it from her home. The trial is ongoing. - From

- Parrot Turns Stool Pigeon: Bud the African grey parrot apparently swayed the jury hearing a murder case. A Sand Lake, MI jury deliberated the case of Glenna Durama, charged with murdering her husband. The case got widespread attention after it was learned the only witness to the shooting was the couple's pet parrot. Family members say the bird started repeating what they believe were Martin Duram's last words. Martin Duram's ex-wife, Christina Keller, has said that after the slaying Bud repeated "don't (expletive) shoot" in Martin Duram's voice. Keller took ownership of the bird after Martin Duram's death. - From

- Parrots are People according to proposed Massachusetts House Bill H2290 bill which would give any animal that lives in a home person-hood, changing the status of pets from property to something more and the status of owners to “guardians.” . Many pet owners object, saying basically this means the state is the owner and can dictate how the animals are cared for and they can be confiscated with more ease. A hearing was held on July 18. - From

- Hold the Onion: An African grey parrot was reportedly disappointed to discover that the other birds in his new aviary are a bunch of idiots. “They seemed cool when I got here, but the more I talk to them, the more I realize they’re all morons,” said the 33-year-old bird, adding that he found it impossible to relate to the cockatoos and parakeets who “sit there squawking at their own stupid reflections in the mirror all g*****n day.” (Or so reports "The Onion" known for its satirical, albeit "fake" news). -

- Heck with the Necks say some who want to cull the growing number of naturalized (see Mailbag) Indian ringneck parakeets living in Great Britain. Now an online petition is circulating to halt the cull, to be forwarded to Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party. Parakeet supporters say the birds, which are native to Asia; are concentrated mainly in the city and therefore present little threat to agriculture.

- Quote o' the Day: Schon so viel Liebe am Morgen! Mein Lieblings moment ist definitiv als der Eierkocher piept und er versucht den Ton zu imitieren! ? Translation from the (presumably) German: So much love and cuddling! :) They love wet hair! Already so much love in the morning! My loved one's moment is definitely as the egg beeps and he's trying to imitate the sound!

- Hooray for a Heroine: Anne McDonald, owner of Kitsilano's Night Owl Bird Hospital, received the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association's Humane Award in Charlottetown, P.E.I., on July 13 at the CVMA's annual meeting. After the death of World Parrot Refuge founder Wendy Huntbatch and when money to run the Vancouver based refuge ran out, McDonald and the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary went to work to help the birds, many of which were in ill health. They found a a building scheduled for demolition that was made usable for 586 birds, partly through donations from Lush and PetSmart Canada. "It's been really expensive and just a huge amount of work," McDonald said. "We have spent over $700,000 in medical care for them all." The rescue partners have been adopting out the parrots since last year, with 170 birds still needing homes. Anyone interested in adopting a parrot should visit the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary website. - From

- Mailbag: Your posts are always so informative! However... the conures of Telegraph Hill (along with the other flocks throughout southern California) are technically not feral, but naturalized. Since the parrots were still less than 1 or 2 generations away from being wild, and not domesticated (like dogs or cats), they were technically an introduced species. Over time, at least for our southern CA flocks, their numbers have sustained and they are not considered an invasive species. We prefer the term "naturalized" to best convey their existence here. Keep up the cute posts! - writes So Cal page Administrator. Editor's response: Busted! We have fallen into the lazy habit of using the term "feral" as it is more familiar to people, although "naturalized" is a different nuance and technically more accurate. And wildlife rehabilitator Angela C. has brought this up in the past. We will endeavor in the future to use the more appropriate terminology.

- Hot Dates: 7/22,23: '17 Tristate Budgerigar Society Show. Middlesex County 4H Center, 645 Cranbury Road (Route 535) East Brunswick, NJ -- 7/23: Lara Joseph live stream video teaching about parrots


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