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From the parrot's beak: Valentine's edition

Updated on February 13, 2016
All budgies are parakeets but not all parakeets are budgies. This is an eastern rosella parakeet. - Photo by George Sommers
All budgies are parakeets but not all parakeets are budgies. This is an eastern rosella parakeet. - Photo by George Sommers

- Parrots caught up in Mideast chaos: War, terrorism and refugees aren't the only things spilling across Mideast borders. 700 parrots and 294 budgerigars were seized by Turkish police on the Syrian border. A thriving black market trade in domestic birds as well as cigarettes, sugar and other commodities is normally standard fare in the region, but NATO ally Turkey faces increasing pressure from Europe to stem the flow of refugees with the impact on smuggled goods as an additional consequence. Turkish army seizes parrots, budgies on Syria border | Reuters

- Rescue parrots; PTSD vets provide therapyfor each other at Serenity Park in Los Angeles, CA. Caiques, cockatoos and macaws were among 34 specides reperesented as of last summer. Lilly Love, traumatized by the crashing of a Coast Guard helicopter that killed six of her crew mates says, ‘‘They don’t belong in captivity. But they have a real survivor’s mentality. These forgotten great beams of light that have been pushed aside and marginalized. I see the mutual trauma that I suffered and that these birds have suffered, and my heart just wants to go out and nurture and feed and take care of them, and doing that helps me deal with my trauma. All without words.’’ What Does a Parrot Know About PTSD? - The New York Times,

- That left turn at Alba-koikie: A rock drawing from 400-700 years ago of a macaw with one foot up is part of Albuquerque's Petroglyph National Monument. Macaws were not native to the area, but were prized by the local Ansazi people and others for their feathers. Traders from the south brought the birds up in baskets and would even sometimes feed them masticated food from their own mouths. While the feathers were featured in religious ceremonies it is unclear if the birds were kept alive as pets or possibly used in sacrifices. From Sally Blanchard's Companion Parrot Website Glossary -- Many American Indian tribes still use feathers in their ceremonies, and owners of macaws and other large parrots can donate discarded feathers through a number of groups, including Wingwise:The Feather Distribution Project -- Feather Distribution :: Saint Louis Zoo -- The Macaw Feather Project | Cultural Survival

- Psittacine cinema: Best talking parrot in the world! Clover knows 350+ words ... -- Monk Parakeets at nest in New -- HUGE SWARM of BUDGIES in Australia - YouTube -- Best talking parrot in the world! Clover knows 350+ words - YouTube

- Valentine's is for Lovebirds: There are 8 species of lovebirds native to the African continent and one additional species on Madagascar. They are so named for their monogamous lifestyle and long periods of time couples spend together. Alfred Hitchcock fans might remember the male lead in "The Birds" purchasing a pair of lovebirds for his very young sister; while concerned that " I wouldn't want a pair of birds that were... too demonstrative..." This writer has had people observing his budgies preening each other and then asking "Are they lovebirds?" Seriously, have these people ever set foot in a pet shop?

- Valentines/parrotrivia: Captain Stubing buys Vicki a scarlet macaw (in much too small of a cage, parrot lovers will undoubtedly note) for a Christmas present. Gopher is put in charge of the bird until Christmas Day but the bird keeps him awake and repeats Gophers words at just the wrong time.

- Presidents Day Parrotrivia: First First Lady Martha Washington owned a parrot which husband George reportedly despised. Canines have traditionally become top dog among presidential pets in the 21st and 20th centuries, but parrots and other birds were surprisingly common in earlier administrations. Briefly breaking modern the trend were Lyndon Johnson, who along with Lady Bird, kept a couple of lovebirds; and first daughter Caroline Kennedy's parakeet and canaries.

- Conservation corner: Only 2000 swift parrots, native to Tasmania and southeastern Australia, remain. Predation by introduced sugar gliders and an unfortunate tendency for the birds to crash into office windows don't help matters; but the biggest threat appears to be from the logging of local forests. UNESCO is pushing the government for a complete logging ban in certain forested areas; putting environmentalists at loggerheads (sorry) with the logging industry.

- Quote o' the week: (African grey; via FB meme) "I'm not loud, I come equipped with a randomly activated internal amplifier so the hearing impaired so everyone can enjoy my beautifl voice!"

- Obit: World Parrot Refuge founder Wendy Huntbatch passed away last week at age 70, leaving the future of nearly 900 parrots is uncertain. the refuge is located in Coombs, British Columbia in Canada..

- Hot dates: All times EST unless otherwise specified.

2/12-15: The Great Backyard Bird Count Any feral parrots in your neighborhood?

2/13-20: Parrot Toy Angels Valentine Auction Parrot Toy Angels is an all-volunteer organization committed to providing toys, food and other avian supplies to companion birds in difficult situations. You can show your support and get some quality merchandise for your parrot by supporting this auction. Will be held on ebay. Direct link:

2/13-14: Atlanta’s Exotic Bird Fair - North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court, Norcross, GA - Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4

2/13: Parrot 101 class. 2 pm Parrot Univ. Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville NC

Feather picking: the naked truth class with Greg Costanzo, DVM. Phoenix Landing event. Grace Presbyterian Church, 7434 Bath Street. Springfield. VA

2/14: Happy Valentine's Day to lovebirds and all other parrots.

2/19-21: World of Pets Expo - Hampton Roads Convention Center, 1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA - Fri 2-8, Sat 10-7, Sun 10- 6 -

Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo - Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA - Fri 4-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-5 -

2/20-21: The Art and Science of Animal Training Conference. Denton, TX, USA. FeaturingBarbara Heidenreich.event.

2/20: The ABCs of Behavior class. 10 a.m.-12. The Landing. 31 Landing Place. Alexander, NC. Phoenix Landing.

So you want a Talking Bird? class. 11 a.m. Parrot University, Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville NC

2/21: Fun with Food class. 2 p.m Parrot University,Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville NC

2/22-24: Zoo Veterinary Medicine Conference. Leon, Mexico. Featuring Barbara Heidenreich

- Found: Blue & gold macaw; Tamarac, FL. (954) 304-7556 -- Lost: Female African grey parrot 'Olivia'. Palm Springs, CA. Reward offered. (760) 619-6924 -- Lost: African grey 'Chelly', Mineola, NY. reward offered. (917) 686-6742 - Lost: Cinnamon sun conure 'Sadie' Dayton, OH. (937) 510-4863.


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