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From the parrot's beak: 12/11 edition

Updated on December 10, 2016
Parrots are featured in the Postal Service's line of PETS stamps. - Photo by George Sommers
Parrots are featured in the Postal Service's line of PETS stamps. - Photo by George Sommers

- Not Snoopy, the WWI Flying Ace: A goggle wearing parrotlet assisted in a Stanford University study of how flapping wings help birds fly. Researchers used cameras to record a parrotlet flying through a laser and found that the way the air moves is different from what was thought. Flying through a laser could blind the bird, so the scientists made 3D-printed laser goggles for the bird. The lenses came from the full-size goggles that the scientists use themselves. Next, they trained the bird to fly between perches in a wind tunnel while wearing the goggles.They found that the little “air tornadoes” broke down after only about three wingbeats, which isn’t what formulas would have predicted. This pattern has been noted in airliners but never in birds.

- Orange is the New Blue : Two orange characters (and, no, one of them isn't the new president elect) have been doing their part to help preserve blue throated macaws. Polly and Piper, a pair of sun conures, collect bills from visitors to Southwick Zoo in Mendon, MA as part of a bird show and the proceeds go toward the zoo's Earth Limited program, which in turn benefits Nivo Adoptivo, where 2 blue throated macaw chicks have fledged.

- Lego my Sunflower Seed: Fourth and fifth graders researched and learned about the residents of Foster Parrots/New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary in Hope Valley, Rhode Island after choosing parrots as their ambassador animal for their first Lego League Competition. The students are from Our Lady of Mercy Middle School's Robotics Class in East Greenwich

- Parrotrivia: Opie's pet parakeet Dickie is featured in the very first "Andy Griffith Show"; but is rarely (if ever) seen after that.

-- Welcome Back: The continental USA's formerly native Carolina parakeet is extinct. Thick billed parrots, no longer exist in Arizona and New Mexico, where they once ranged; despite some reintroduction efforts although they are hanging on in Mexico. The GOOD news: on November 30, 2016, the Puerto Rican Parrot Interagency Team reintroduced 31 Puerto Rican parrots into the wild at the Maricao Commonwealth Forest. This action marks a pivotal milestone in their recovery by extending the species distribution to three new sites: El Yunque National Forest, Rio Abajo Commonwealth Forest and the Maricao Commonwealth Forest.

- Weekend at Birdies': "My guests for the weekend: a Mexican redhead, an African grey and a lady eclectus. So far, I've only been bitten once, which means they sort of like me," reports a bird sitter.

- Quote o' the week:I don't always eat so messy but when I do I always rub my beak all over your clean shirt.

- The Movies: It's not likely to be a Christmas blockbuster, but parrot fans will likely flock to "The Macaw Project", a 26 minute documentary online about the efforts of. Peruvian rainforest biologists, ecotourists and locals to preserve scarlet macaws in the Amazonian rainforest of Peru.

- Not so Rainy Forest: Meanwhile, the Red-fronted Macaw Reserve and Lodge with the Quechua indigenous communities is having drought issues. The Mizque River valley watershed is drying to the point now that water is not available for several months each year. The reserve must raise $20,000 dollars to build a deep-well for the community of San Carlos, the Red-fronted Macaw Reserve, and to construct a native tree nursery in order to ensure that water is available while the Mizque River is dry, so approximately 250 people will survive through the extended dry season, and natural fruiting plants remain in the area for the macaws.

- American Hoarder Story: This time, in Wilson, NY; where 3 dozen birds including Amazons and cockatiels were among 300 animals -many dead - were kept in squalid, tiny living quarters. The animals were confiscated and are now at the Niagara Falls SPCA.

- Christmas Presence: Get some great gifts for the bird or bird lover in your life and help out some parrots in need at the same time. Get your bids on for the Parrot Toy Angels auction, now in progress. -- A matching pool of $2017 provides a fun incentive to become involved in the lives of the birds and animals at The New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary, and to be instrumental in supporting the work of Foster Parrots.

- Hot Dates: 12/10&17: Santa Claus poses with pets for photos at Petco. Proceeds go to homeless animals. Busy as he is, we imagine he'll be appearing at many other pet venues in the next few weeks as well.-- 12/10: Holiday Open House, Positive Reinforcement - 11 am. Parrot University - Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C, Pineville, NC -- 20th Annual 2016 Florida Canary Fanciers Show - Ramada Gateway Hotel, 7470 Highway 192 W., Kissimmee, FL 34747 - 8-5 -- Gregory Costanzo, DVM: Guest speaker for Phoenix Landing; Springfield, VA

12/11: No Place Like Home class, Phoenix Landing - Fairfax, VA -- Fun with Food - 2 pm, Parrot University Classes - Pineville Towne Market, 321 South Polk St., Suite 2C

12/16: Bonka Bird Toys Road Trip with Parrot society of the Palm Beaches.Receive huge savings on HUGE selection of toys for all sizes of birds. Leave the Wellington area at 12:30 pm. 4 spots available in carpool. Holiday lunch at the nearby Greek Islands Taverna, Fort Lauderdale. FL

12/17-18: Atlanta Pet Expo - Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, Atlanta, GA- Sat 10-5 pm, Sun 11-4

12/17: The Contented Companion, Phoenix Landing Educational Seminar. Alexander, NC -- Toy Making - 11 am, Volunteer Orientation- 1 pm, Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC

12/18: Parrot 101 -2 pm, Parrot University, 321 South Polk St, Pineville NC


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