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From the parrot's beak: Martin Luther King weekend edition

Updated on January 14, 2017
Enjoy the long weekend! - Photo by George Sommers
Enjoy the long weekend! - Photo by George Sommers

- Pets to Pests to Potential Repopulaters: Sulfur crested cockatoos are endangered in their native Indonesia. - but not in Hong Kong, where a feral population thrives, thanks to escaped/released pets. These "exotic invasives" compete with native birds for resources. "Introduced species are usually considered a problem,” says Luke Gibson of the University of Hong Kong; who along with Ding Li Yong of the Australian National University have an intriguing proposal. Gibson continues, “In these cases we consider them to be an opportunity to help buffer declining populations in their native ranges.” Moreover, supplementing species in their native ranges with feral animals may be easier than introducing captive-bred animals, "Captivity tends to diminish the ability of species to survive in the wild," says ecologist David Wilcove. In fact, the cockatoo is only one of 49 identified birds, mammals and reptiles that could benefit from such a program. One potential pitfall: the causes for the animals becoming scarce in the first place whether poaching, loss of habitat, etc.

- Martin Luther King Tie In: Truman the Cape Parrot relates in a cartoon how his ancestors, like Martin Luther King's; were taken from their African homeland to live in captivity. Truman is the pet of Michael "Parrot Wizard" Sazhin; also owner of Youtube sensation Kili. Kili is a Senegal, another African parrot species; along with African greys, lovebirds, vasa parrots, and poicephalus parrots. -- MLK weekend is aka "Pardi-Gras" in New Orleans; a tradition started in 1997 by Jimmy Buffett's "parrot head" fans to celebrate his music and lifestyle.

- Parrot Posse to the Rescue: Scam or error; money set aside for 52 parrots and other exotic birds at the Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary in Lecompton, KS was sent for toys which never arrived. Toys are needed for stimulation and enrichment of captive birds' lives. Efforts to get the ordered toys, or at least the money back have proven fruitless. However, boxes of toys started arriving from unexpected sources. Seems that an artist friend of the sanctuary's owner notified a Facebook group known as the Parrot Posse. Over the past few years, Parrot Posse has raised over $175,000, mostly in small donations, for captive parrots who need it. The group has also donated $350,000 worth of toys, food and other supplies, as well as veterinary care. "When we hear of a problem we think we can help, we investigate it further: We do not just jump onboard every time we hear a sad story, because there are fakes and frauds out there, and need will always exceed our ability to help," the group says.

- Didja Know: Almost a third of the world's 330 parrot species are threatened.

- Wake Up and Go to Sleep: Me: "Good Morning." Paco the parrot: "Whatever." "Someone woke up on the wrong side of the perch this morning. I opened his house door, he pulled it closed. Is it bad that I felt the same way when I woke up this morning?"- report from a parrot owning/social poster.

-Quote o' the Week: I feel sorry for people who don't have birds. I hear they need alarm clocks to wake up m in the morning!

- Who Let the Dog Out?: The family dog was mean to them, so a trio of parakeets; one blue, one white and one green were surrendered to the Mass. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals facility in Barnstable, MA. They are a male and two females- talk about "Three's Company"! Yours for the taking along with a spacious, fully furnished cage. There are also some finches available.

- Hot Dates: 1/13-15: Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo-Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA -Fri 4-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-5 pm

1/14: Foster Parrots Open House in honor of National Bird Day. FREE. Information tables, including a Training & Behavior Table manned by Sheila Blanchette of Nevins Farm.There will be appetizers, desserts, beverages, coffee and tea available and guests will be welcome to tour the facility at their leisure.1-4 pm. 87 Woodville Alton Rd., Hope Valley, RI -- Rainforest Parrot Seminars presented by Kaytee, featuring avian experts Dr Susan Clubb DVM and Barbara Heidenreich, trainer and behaviorist. Lectures, Q&A, training demos and more. Box lunch included. Fee/advance registration required.9-6. Palms West Presbyterian Church, 13689 Okeechobee Blvd, Loxahatchee, Florida -- Avian Health & Wellness Parrot University class -2 pm Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C

1/17, 24: Talk to the animals, or learn how to with spiritual medium Patti Anastasia and her Advanced Animal Communication Workshop. Just in case you're wondering what your parrot is thinking besides fork over some more of those sunflower seeds. Fee required 630-8. Anastasia's Health Happenings, Boston North Technology Park, 110 Haverhill Road, Bldg C, Suite 348, Amesbury, MA

1/21-22: Tim Vogle's Southeastern Exotic Bird Fair - Atlanta State Farmers Market, 16 Forest Pkwy, Forest Park, GA - Sat 9-4, Sun 9-4

1/21: Things I Wish I’d Known class Phoenix Landing, Fairfax, VA -- Parrot University
Volunteer Orientation 1 pm, Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C, Pineville, NC -- ABCs of Behavior class Phoenix Landing, Alexander, NC

1/22: Parrot 101 class - 2 pm Parrot University, Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C, Pineville, NC

- Lost: African grey. Mineola, NY. It is thought this bird is in someone's possession. Reward offered. (917) 686-6742.


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