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From the parrot's beak: that darned groundhog edition

Updated on February 4, 2017
More news to amuse and amaze in this week's "beak".- Photo by George Sommers
More news to amuse and amaze in this week's "beak".- Photo by George Sommers

- Trump's Great Wall Fallout: Lots of reader questions and some criticism on last week's border wall/red crowned parrot item. Some questioned how the fence would impact parrots, and why couldn't they just fly over it? This information was not covered because it was not included in the US Fish & Wildlife report on which the article was based. Reader Carol speculates: "It may be destroying their habitat. You can't construct a wall without disturbing the landscape, removing trees, etc." The wall might also obstruct parrots from seeing or hearing potential cross border mates, thus reducing the gene pool. David noted that the similar looking red lored Amazon was used in the photo, and that red loreds are in relatively good shape population wise as opposed to the threatened red crowned. Finally, there was this from Jeane: "Please keep your political BS off this page. Put on your Big Boy Boxers. This [parrot oriented Facebook] page is about Birds." The information, which is in fact specifically about a parrot species, was taken from a list generated by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and was reported without editorial comment. And I wear tighty whities.

- When White House Meets Bird House: There hasn't been a pet bird in the White House for close to a half century- although at one time, presidential parrots were quite popular. Pres. Trump is one of a handful of petless presidents, although he's not without some parrot associations. See George Sommers' feature story, Page 8 of the Feb. '17 "Pet Gazette".

- Parrot Fashion Report; Nicole Kidman caused a stir at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet wearing a kelly green Gucci gown with what appear to be parrots on her shoulder pads.Parrot lovers may have liked it, but one viewer compared her to the Green Power Ranger.

- He Fought the Law, and He Won: Todd McLendon, of Loxahatchee Groves FL was (somewhat) luckier then American Federation for Aviculture's Lew "Buddy" Waskey, who lost a legal battle to keep all of his pet macaws and allow them to fly free in his hometown..Three years ago McLendon was fighting a triple front war against the town council, a suing neighbor and the Palm Beach County appraiser over the roughly 500 cockatoos, macaws and other exotic birds he raises on his 5-acre spread. Last March, he was elected to the town council. In December, a jury dismissed the neighbor’s claims that the squawking birds were destroying the peaceful tranquility of the rural community of 3,000 residents. Finally less than two weeks ago, in a decision that could have broad implications, the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that raising wild birds is an agricultural pursuit. Nevertheless, McLendon did not get off "scot free". He spent nearly $70,000 defending himself against the suit and another roughly $30,000 fighting the former Property Appraiser.

- My Oh Mayan: For the last couple of years, volunteers at Tak A'lik Ab'aj Archeological Park in Southern Guatemala have been counting yellow-naped parrots in hopes of developing conservation plans to protect them. They do this alongside protecting the memory of the Olmec and Mayan culture as found in the ruins of the city all around them.

- Parrotrivia: A YouTube video of Jimmy Buffett's “One Particular Harbor” features images of blue & gold macaws, an Indian ringneck parakeet, lovebirds, a green winged macaw and rainbow lorikeets among other tropical critters. Jimmy Buffett's often colorfully clad fans are often called "Parrot heads". No word yet on whether Nicole Kidman has attended one of his concerts in her SAG dress.

- Won't Somebody Find Me: Freddie Mercury, the 4 year old blue & gold macaw - not the late rock star, took off from his Delaware home as his companion human was getting a carpet delivered. Freddie survived a hawk attack, a major nor'easter wind and rain storm and the cold winter weather during the 10 day ordeal. He also fended off capture attempts which included Ron's Tree Service's donated time, bucket truck and men; and reports on WDEL radio. Owner Vic Rash tried to lure his beloved bird with some of his favorite things--pistachios, Nutter Butters, and pizza. Friends and strangers came forward to help, but to no avail. Finally, WDEL received a tip from a listener that the bird may've landed in an area about 15 miles from his home, across the state line in Pennsylvania. WDEL connected Rash to police, and together, they were able to successfully capture the bird.

- Didja know: That the feral parrots of California have been studied by the, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California for the last 35/40 years.

- About that Groundhog: Patagonian conures have the unusual habit of living in underground burrows. No word on if they are used as weather prognosticators.

- Hot Dates; 2/4: Solutions for Parrot Behavior Problems Related to Hormones. Barbara Heidenreich webinar 12-1:30 CST.

2/10-12: Super Pet Expo-NJ Convention & Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ -Fri 3-8, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-5 pm

2/11: Build A Better Birdie Body class, Phoenix Landing, Springfield, VA

2/12: The ABC's of Behavior class with Ann brooks. PHoenix LAndeing Rockville,MD


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