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From the parrot's beak: good grief edition

Updated on July 9, 2017
Three scurvy scalawags and their parrot pal.
Three scurvy scalawags and their parrot pal.

- Cheap Vs. Cheep: Pet birds are being poisoned by heavy metals in cheap imported toys and cages sold in discount dollar stores. The Daily Telegraph found new bird cages for sale in dollar shops priced as low as $21. Vets are noting an increase in the number of birds such as cockatiels that are falling ill from ingesting lead, zinc and other heavy metals Homebush’s Animal Referral Hospital in Australia has seen a rise in birds suffering from depression, seizures and neurological problems. Avian specialist vet Jayne Weller said the birds found the lead in some of the toys sweet, and shiny objects were attractive to them. Dr Weller said poisoned birds at first appeared lethargic and then the usually social creatures became ­depressed and refuse to eat, or have diarrhea and vomiting." The clear message is going cheap may have deadly consequences for your pet.- From

- Pirated Material: What is it with pirates and parrots? Oddly, there's scant historical evidence to suggest that pirates commonly kept parrots, although as travelers to exotic lands, it's quite possible. The first reference to pirates keeping parrots appears to be in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, "Treasure Island". Continuing the theme, on Sunday Captain Jack (we suspect there are copyright issues involved in giving out his last name) and the Pirates of the Rogues’ Armada invaded Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA. There was a special presentation on hyacinth macaws in addition to pirate-themed crafts and activities..

- Where in the World is Barbara Heidenreich: One of our favorite globe trotting animal behaviorists, Barbara Hedenreich, along with Hillary Hankey of Avian Behavior International will be preparing 35 birds for a free flight bird presentation at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE. "This has even meant a brief return to the bird show stage for me on occasion. It really is like riding a bike. I started my animal training career doing bird shows in the early 90's," says Ms. Heidenreich. What is unique about this bird show is some challenging of the traditional approaches to bird presentations when it comes to motivating birds, behavior goals and the overall approach. One highlight is macaws that do giant free form loops in and around the theater for up to 6 minutes before they return to the amphitheater.

- Double Tragedy: Meenu the parrot was killed by a cat in Madurai City in India on June 23. The bird's 82 year old owner was unable to bear the pain of her pet's untimely departure. The elderly woman went into depression and hours later was found in an unconscious state. According to the police, she had consumed pesticide to kill herself. Her relatives rushed her to Government Rajaji Hospital. Despite being in a semi-conscious state, the woman kept asking about Meenu.

- Didja Know: hy bird leg bands are used on parrots. There are a number of reasons why identification of a bird is important. These include proof of ownership, governmental requirements, identification of a lost or stolen bird, and for tracking a bird for breeding purposes. I show in the video how. - From

- Jailbirds Help Endangered Birds: Indira Lacerna-Widmann has enlisted some unlikely assistance in her quest to help the endangered Philippine cockatoo -prisoners in a local jail, including former smugglers. She the opportunity will help them adjust to life after prison as well as potentially open up new career paths for them. - From

- ParroTV: The syndicated "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures" recently showcased bird trainer Joe Carvalho along with his Amazon parrot singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning", Martha the sulfur crested cockatoo roller skating, his fee flying scarlet macaws and others. Carvalho says of talking birds, "It starts out as mimicking but they learn to associate."

- Toy Plush Parrot now being offered by "National Geographic".

- Quote o' the Week: Yes, it is necessary for me to poop on the clean paper you just changed 25 seconds ago. No, I can't be expected to quiet edown one second so you can think. Your headache is of no concern to my birdie affairs.

- Obit: Sad to report the recent passing of Phil Feret. Phil was an SPBE (Society of Parrot Breeders and Exhibitors) member and judge for many years.

- Hot Dates: 7/9: Pick o' the Week: Pirates 'n' Parrots at Stone Zoo. Captain Jack and the Pirates of the Rogues’ Armada invade Stone Zoo.L earn about their history under the instruction of Captain Jack and his crew. There will also be special animal encounters and zookeeper chats including a hyacinth macaw presentation at 1:30 Pirate-themed crafts and activities will be offered throughout the day. Guests are invitred to come dressed up in their finest pirate duds. Aaaargh. 11- 3, Stone Zoo; Stoneham, MA See related story above. -- 7/11: Amazon's third-annual Prime Day featuring deals exclusively for Prime members Shop at and Amazon will donate to Long Island Parrot Society of New York. -- 7/22, 23: Tri State Budgerigar Society Show. E. Brunswick, NJ --Want your parrot oriented show/speaker/event featured here? Email

- Please note earlier editions of this column listed some out of date speaking engagements with Jason Crean, taken from a Facebook post. Upcoming events with Mr. Crean will be noted in future editions.

- Stolen:Baby turquoise green cheek conure from New Jersey Exotic Birds. This bird needs to be returned (no questions asked) no later than Sunday 7/2/17 or a CD of the 4 male suspects who came into the store will be released to Saddle Brook PD and all news channels and criminal actions will be taken. If anyone has info on these men please private message NJ Exotic Birds or call (973)-340-1567. Information will be kept confidential. -- .Spotted: Cockatiel, grey and yellow.. Bay Shore, NY Can't quite catch it but it lets you get close. Band on leg. Go to Denise Cuiffo's Facebook page fopr info. -- Lost: Male eclectus 'Cody'. People friendly. Brooklyn, NY. (718) 877-9018.

- Have an Issue Missing Issues?: Past editions of "From the parrot's beak", along with current "Pet Gazette" feature articles by this writer can be found on the Pet Bird Owners Facebook page. Please join the group!

- A-tha-tha-that's All, Folks!: "See also" links on this page are provided by Hubpages and may not be directly related to editorial content.


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