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From the parrot's beak: March 12 edition

Updated on March 11, 2017
That's cocka-"boo" to you. -Photo by George Sommers
That's cocka-"boo" to you. -Photo by George Sommers

- Bikes, Birds and Bad Ideas: A a man riding with a motor scooter with his pet cockatoo in Key West at one point left bird and bike unattended near traffic and the bird was handled by strangers, Lara Joseph of the Animal Behavior Center LLC, on vacation at the time observed and had a chat with the biker, giving him, a few tips and referring him to her live streams.The tale is reminiscent of a news story a year or two ago where another Floridian left his bird Spyke outside and while he went into a bar and - surprise- the bird was stolen. Spyke was eventually returned but you can't always count on a happy ending. Yet another bird, a Moluccan cockatoo, was snatched off the rail at an outside cafe. A social media poster mentioned a a cockatoo used as a photo prop for tourists on the Santa Monica pier. The bird seemed stressed and dehydrated. Last but not least, one Bikers' Weekend in Laconia, New Hampshire; this editor saw a man riding his motorcycle with an Amazon in back. When asked if he wasn't afraid the bird would fall off. "Oh, he's already fallen off three times," was the reply.

...- Grey Matter: Dr. Irene Pepperberg is convinced that parrots are capable of playing "mind games". "Both Griffin and Alex (we think Griffin learned from Alex) sometimes show us that they are finished with sessions by giving us all the wrong answers and carefully avoiding the correct ones—something that they could not do just by chance—it’s just not statistically possible! Griffin, who knows his colors, might refuse to label a green cup, calling it “yellow”, “orange”, “rose”, and “blue”—and then repeating all the erroneous color labels. We were able to use those data to suggest a level of intentionality and possibly consciousness in grey parrots," she says. Moreover, "Recently Griffin really outdid himself. We are doing a study on choice, and usually he gets to choose between a nut (clearly a treat) or a dried berry (he likes, but not as much), or between the nut or a raw carrot (which he hates).The choices are presented in small metal cups and he really likes these sessions because he always ends up with some kind of treat. Unfortunately for him, one morning— his choice was between one or two carrot pieces. He looked in one cup and then the other, grabbed a cup, banged it furiously on the tray—and then threw first one cup and then the other cup at the poor student presenting the choice. Fortunately, the student was able to duck. I’m guessing neither the student nor Griffin is looking forward to the rest of these control trials!" - From a Lafeber article written by Irene Pepperberg

- Chillin' in Illin.: All psittacine birds entering Illinois must be accompanied by an entry permit and an official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.. -

- Parrotrivia: Radio sleuth Wally "The Fox" Benton (Red Skelton) forgoes his honeymoon to help his wife's old friend solve a murder and hunt for Civil War gold in the 1942 movie "Whistling in Dixie" also starring Ann Rutherford. A deserted and apparently haunted Confederate fort he is at the center of the investigation - but (spoiler alert) the ghost turns out to be a mischievious cockatoo. - Thanks to ACHS alumni classmate George C.

- Rhode Island Rescue Parrots Catch a (Spring) Break: Forgoing the traditional beers and bikinis, twelve students from Virginia Commonwealth University opted to volunteer at Rhode Island Parrot Rescue for their spring break. The students not only sacrificed their vacation time, but also paid for the trip out of their own pockets. "This is the best experience ever," said Wyatt while giving resident African grey Casey a bath. The help came at an opportune time. A shortage of volunteers and extra birds from the recent Weston Parrot Seizure have regular volunteers stretched thin. "The students have been an absolute blessing to have here," Said Corrie Butler, the rescue's facility manager. "They are so enthusiastic about helping. They even get excited about cleaning. Many of them have never been around birds before and they are learning so much and enjoying themselves. A minute doesn't go by that I don't see one of them with a big smile from ear to ear." - From an email to the editor from RI Parrot Rescue

- Wearin' of the Green: Parrots come in a rainbow variety of colors, but St. Patrick's Day green is well represented including most Amazons, many conures, some macaws, ringnecks, parrotlets, etc.; not to mention the original wild budgerigars. And if you were looking for a parrot to represent the orange, white and green of the Irish flag, an ideal candidate would be a white bellied caique.

- Didja Know: Airlines that allow birds on board are Alaska, Continental, Delta, United, Northwest, US Air and America West. Contact individual airlines for details.

- The Poopdeck: "OK so I have 3 budgies I love them to death but they poop on me a lot. Lol I really want a McCaw [sic] so just wondering how many of you have macaws and how often do they poop on you?" asks a Facebook poster. Some replies: My pearl (m2) poops and it's not small poops and she aims her but tords [sic].me every time and gets me all the time.i change my shirt about 5 times every day .what can I say but shit.happens.when you have birds Budgies poop more often but itty bitty poo, Macaws poop less often but cow patty size My B&G almost never gets poop on me. Just everywhere else.

- Quote o' the Week: I made the mistake of sneezing in my bedroom. The birds now know that I'm awake and Morning Scream Fest has begun.

- Reunited and it Feels so Good: An older woman spotted a man preparing to dump six white bellied caiques from a truck he had stolen into a dumpster.She asked if she could have them. They were placed in 2 separate homes, that knew how to handfeed and they were returned to the original owner. Still missing in the wake of the Lakeland, FL caper are some cockatiels, and there is n o word on the fate of the truck. - Dunedin Birds and More Facebook post.

- Hot Dates: Ongoing- 3/31: Foster Parrots' Annual March Matching Fund Drive. All donations dated in the month of March will be matched up to $20,000. Go to website or FB page for info. -- 3/10-12: Long Island Pet Expo Fri. 4-9, Sat. 1-7, Sunday 10-5. Adult $10 online/$12 at door. Three day pass $18. Child $4 online/$5 at door. 3 and under FREE. Friday is Family Night 12 and under FREE. Suffolk Community College Health and Exposition Center 1001 Crooked Hill Road (Exit 53 off LIE. Wicks Road) Brentwood, Long Island, NY -- 3/12: How she taught her cockatoo to read! Guest speaker Jennifer Cunha on how she taught her Goffin's cockatoo, Ellie, to read! (Judge for yourself.) Ellie may be attending the meeting for (hopefully) a live demonstration, but please. leave your birds home. RSVP required; $5 donation requested. Parrot Society of the Palm Beaches meeting 10:30 am at the Rainforest Clinic, 3319 E Rd, Loxahatchee, FL -- 3/12: 19th Annual Bird Mart 9-4. Hourly raffles. $4. Under 12 FREE. Hernando County Fairgrounds 6426 Broad Street (US 41) Brooksville Florida -- Exotic Bird and Animal Expo. 9-3. Pls. leave pets at home. VACOS Community Ctr., 6270 Elder Creek Rd., Sacramento, CA -- 3/13: Little Rhody Pigeon Fanciers and Rhode Island Homer Club Buy/Sell/Swap. 60 Colvin St. Attleboro, MA/ Pawtucket, RI --3/14: "The Fun, Joy, and Reward of Clicker Training for Your Parrot and You."is the topic for speaker Anthony DiBella. 6:30. He'll bring an untrained or partially trained bird and actually train the bird at the regularly scheduled The Parrot Club Meeting. Veteran's Memorial Clubhouse, 100 Sunset Ridge Road, East Hartford, CT -- 3/15: "The Sky Riders", a 10 minute documentary film about colorful parrots in the blue sky opensat the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. More on this documentary in nedxt weeks "Beak".== 3/18: Smoky Mt. Cage Bird Society Show 9-5 Door prize Under 12; over 65 FREECollett St. Rec. Ctr. 300 Collett St. Moorganton, NC. Door prize Under 12; over 65 FREE.-- 3/19: Treasure Coast Exotic Bird Club Exotic Bird -20th annual Exotic Bird Expo: Wing & Nail Trimming w/Visual exam by Dr. Susan Club, avian veterinarian talks, performance by Charlene Brennan's Show Birdz. 9-4. $5.00/Under 10 FREE. Martin County Fairgrounds 2612 SE Dixie Hwy. Stuart, FL.--Want your parrot show/event/speaker featured here? Email info to

- Found: Amazon parrot. Bedford Hills, NY. Unknown age or sex.(914) 864-1414 -- Lost: African grey 'Peanut' Monroe Township. NJ Reward offered. (732) 675-8838/533-3497.


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