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From the parrot's beak: June 4 edition

Updated on June 3, 2017
Coming off a rainy, cool, cloudy spring; residents of the northeastern US are ready for a little of this. - Photo by George Sommers
Coming off a rainy, cool, cloudy spring; residents of the northeastern US are ready for a little of this. - Photo by George Sommers

- Quakers in Trouble: "PSEG [New Jersey's Public Service Energy Group] killed at least 6 baby Quakers today. 27 babies were delivered to Dan Radzik [of Lonely Grey Rescue in Ridgewood, NJ] without any notification. 3 of them are so young that they probably will not make it either. One of the deceased birds was just about to fledge": unconfirmed claims made by some social media posters. The non-native Quaker, or monk, parrots have adapted and become common "exotic invasives" in much of the USA. The birds tend to build massive communal nests - unfortunately often making use of the cross wires near power transformers. Power companies cite the nests as fire hazards and tend to remove them. although PSEG states on its Facebook page, "The nests atop our transformers and wires were affecting power at Englewood Hospital. We took every precaution to carefully rescue as many of the birds and eggs as possible." Groups like Lonley Grey Rescue and Marcd Johnson's Foster Parrots have been working to develop alternative nesting platforms for the quakers to reduce the nest displacement. - From PSEG website and various Facebook posts.

- Ancient History: Parrot descriptions from from thousands of years ago: Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 10, 58): "The parrot, which comes from India, is a green bird with a red circlet around its neck. It can be taught to speak; it greets its master and repeats words said to it. Its head and beak are very hard. While being taught to speak it must be beaten on the head with an iron rod; its head is so hard that it will not feel lesser blows. Its feet are weak, so when it lands from flying it does so on its beak, and supports itself thus." Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:24): "The parrot comes from the coasts of India. It is green with a purple collar and tongue that is broader than that of other birds. It can speak articulated words, so that if you did not see it you would think it was a person speaking. By nature it greets people by saying "Ave"; from this came the saying "I a parrot will learn to say the names of others from you, but I learned on my own to say 'Hail Caesar'." We certainly take exception to Pliny's training instructions! - From

- Parrotrivia: We learn that Tyrone Hornye (Arte Johnson) has a pet parrot when he invites Gladys Orphmby (Ruth Buzzi) to share a cup of tea at his place on a classic "Rowan & Martin's Laugh In".

- Photo finish: Talk about perfect timing. A photo circulating on social media shows a seagull snagging a French fry from the beak of a cockatoo who had just snagged the fry from his human companion.

- Hording Horror: Forty five birds are among dozens of exotic animals confiscated from a seemingly abandoned pet store in Kentucky. News outlets report that the Franklin County Humane Society removed the animals from Backwoods Pets in Frankfort on Saturday. Franklin County Humane Society Shelter Manager Nancy Benton says a store customer reported that the door was locked with animals inside without food or water. The shelter is temporarily housing some of the animals along with other Humane Society partners and Petco. Sheriff Pat Melton says the store is under investigation, and criminal charges could be filed. - From

- In A Word: Pride of lions, herd of sheep... but what's a group of parrots called? (Besides a flock.) It is a pandemonium or company. - Thanks to Jonathan Gourd

- Movin' on Up: With 38 parrots and cockatoos in nearly every room of her house, Kim Hannah feels it's time to move her flock, aka Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee, to larger quarters namely a five-acre property,with a small home already there and space to build a 40-by-70 foot building for the exotic birds. A capital campaign is underway “It’s overwhelming, across the nation, across the board,” Hannah said of the number of exotic bird surrenders. “I want to be able to continue to help the Middle Tennessee area in a larger capacity than what I’m doing now … because there is a growing number of (exotic birds) being relinquished in Tennessee.” - From

- Big Goodbye for BG Bird Gardens: The popular Palm Desert, CA attraction is closing and the property is up for sale; leaving 68 birds in need of a new home. For more info, call (760) 834-7019.

- The Paranoid Parrot Owner: Lesson for this morning - if you're going to have your nosy macaw sitting on your bathroom counter while getting ready for the day, be prepared for him to make some under-the-beak snide comments about aging and skin sagging. I know; I heard him... - From a Facebook post

- Banned in Boston among other places. Forget illegal immigrants. Are you harboring a fugitive parrot? Better check those local laws before you bring one home. Some of the current laws restricting pet bird ownership are the focus of the page 8 "Pet Gazette" feature story by George Sommers. See

- That's not Funny, it's Sick: Often birds will hide sickness as a natural defense, but sometimes there are signs including: red, inflamed or runny cere or eyes; reduced appetite; open-mouthed breathing; dirty feathers; tail bobbing and changes in vocalization. - From a Facebook post.

- Quote o' the Week: What's it like to own a parrot? I have a feather in a glass of water in our bedroom nowhere near our feathered babies.

- ParroTV: Corellas, budgerigars, red tailed black cockatoos and more are featured on the BBC series “Hidden Habitats”; “Australia's Red Centre” episode.

- Didja Know: Comedian Will Ferrell of “Saturday Night Live” fame has a huge collection of exotic birds and once appeared on the “Conan O'Brien Show” with a sulfur crested cockatoo on his shoulder.

- Hot Dates: 6/3-4: North County Humane Society Annual Yard Sale. Proceeds pay medical bills at Lloyds Animal Medical Center for animals under Norfolk County Humane Society care. (Yes, they help with rescue parrots, too.) If you have items to donate call (781) 844-6172. Tax deduction letter will be given for donations. 9-4. 167 Neponset St Canton, MA. -- 6/3: Wild Parrot Safari. You can actually see wild (technically naturalized) parrots in the "wilderness" of New York City. Steve Baldwin leads a casual walking tour where feral Quaker parrots live and construct their massive nests. 2901 Camps Rd.,Hilllel Gate, Brooklyn, NY. Call (646) 361-2879 for more info -- Zootrition presentation with Jason Crean. 12-3. 725 North New Jersey St., Indianapolis, IN.Want your parrot oriented show/speaker/event featured here? Email


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