From the parrot’s beak: Halloween preview edition

budgie hawk

PHOTO: No budgie breakfast for this Cooper’s hawk, who caused a brief panic for your “beak” editor’s parakeets by flying past the window. – Photo by George Sommers

BUDGIES GET EARLY HALLOWEEN HAWK SCARE:  On the homefront, as I was checking my email one morning last week, a large bird fluttered by the window; causing my two budgies, whose cage is situated by the window; to panic. The Cooper’s hawk repeated the process, apparently having eyed the budgies as a potential breakfast and landed on a backyard lawn chair before giving up and soaring off to greener pastures.

JIVE STALKING:  Wendy N. Grabell of Wheeling, Ill is charged with stalking a Kenosha woman who adopted her parrot, Snoopy; that she gave up to a wildlife refuge where the victim volunteers. The victim said that Grabell has been walking around her property and peering into windows. Grabell was accused of moving patio furniture, taking plants out of pots, keying a car and leaving a hose on; flooding the backyard. After the incidents, the victim installed surveillance cameras. She then received bizarre messages saying the cameras were a bad idea and that she was being watched. An email from “Debbie Kraft” stated: “If you see odd things happening to you, such as tripping and falling or you notice strange happenings going on around your house like Snoopy’s cage moving, objects moving in front of your eyes, car oil spills, etc its because its Snoopy related. YOUR HOUSE IS HAUNTED by Snoopy followers. They removed all cleaning products from your house so you can’t harm Snoopy. THEY ARE OUT TO GET YOU until you return Snoopy to Refuge for Saving Wildlife! If you think Snoopy opened up his own cage to destroy your bed and couch, you are wrong! A padlock will not stop them! They will open up his cage EVERY TIME you leave your house, so he can do much more damage until YOU GET IT! And if you or your boyfriend harm him again, THEY WILL HARM YOU! They are losing patience with you. They told me to tell you, if you keep digging your heels, soon, you will not have heels to dig with!” A warrant is out for Grabell’s arrest. – From and

HOOKBILLS ‘N’ HURRICANES: Just prior to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence’s arrival, a scarlet macaw was riding shotgun on a shopping cart full of bottled water. The Myrtle Beach SC man pushing the cart was interviewed by CNN, who explained that he was not going to evacuate as advised; but rather would stay at home watching TV. — The American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) Disaster Relief Team has been working to help those in the path of Florence to prepare their birds. Post storm, they are standing by to offer additional assistance. 

BIRDS BURGLED:  We’ve heard of cat burglars but… at 2:00 am on 9/11, Adventures in Birds, a pet store in Houston TX, was burglarized. Two men with bolt cutters let themselves on the grounds.  Two macaws were stolen and the gate was left open, tragically allowing Jack the dog to get out and be killed by a motor vehicle.  Videos and photos of the culprits are posted on the store’s Facebook page and AIB is asking for help if anyone can ID them. Also be on the lookout for birds advertised for sale at “too good to be true”  prices; often with misspellings and written without much apparent knowledge about them. – From Facebook posts.

QUOTE O’ THE WEEK: You know you have a bird when the neighbors all think that you live with a cat…and a coyote…and R2D2… and Homer Simpson… and Curly of the Three Stooges… but of course, you live with none of those.

PARTY ON, DUDES:  Vasa parrots’ lovemaking sessions can last for over a half hour, and they are promiscuous in their behavior.  Males do the dirty deed with as many females as possible, feeding the chick-rearing females in return, and females essentially trade food from males (that they would take to feed their chicks) for sex. On dissecting a  male museum specimen it was discovered that the testes were very large. The extended relation is an adaptation to monopolize females  to maximize his chances of becoming a daddy, while keeping other males at bay. – From

DIDJA KNOW  that macaws, have dry, scaly tongue with a bone inside? This acts as an effective tool to help them get into fruits and nuts. See more at

GALAH GALA:  The galah is one of  the few Australian natives to profit from European settlement. Land clearing, the sowing of fertilised crops and pastures and the establishment of dams and tanks has provided it with vastly increased habitat. –  From a Facebook post

HAPPY ENDING: It was social media to the rescue as Noni the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo was reunited with his human family in a small town in Australia after being found five months later and 80 kilometers away.

OOPS: The HBO miniseries “Rome” depicted macaws as pets of the nobility – but the series was set in a time period centuries before the Americas were discovered! When in ancient Rome, do as 21st century American pet owners do, I guess. – Thanks to Angela for the tip.

HELP WANTED: Research assistant. Minimum 6 week stay. Free accomodation provided. Rescue and rehabilitate birds. Resumes to

HOT DATES:  PICK O’ THE WEEK:  9/17: PARROT LITERACY RESEARCH PRESENTATION Dr.Susan Clubb and Jennifer Cunha  lecture about parrot literacy research. 6:00 pm. 5540 PGA Boulevard #108, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. (David Marshall’s real estate office) My Reading Pets: The Learning Adventures of Ellie and Isabelle— 9/15-16: LONG ISLAND PET EXPO IN THE PARK featuring Long Island Parrot Society. 11-6. FREE. Tanner Park in Copiague, NY. — PARROT BEHAVIOR AND TRAINING WORKSHOP with Barbara Heidenreich, Athens, Greece. Contact to reserve a spot  — 9/15: New York Finch & Type Canary Club Annual Show 10:30. FREE.  St. Jude School, 1696 Canarsie Road,Brooklyn, NY — LONG ISLAND PARROT SOCIETY outreach 12-4 p.m. at TOBAY Marina (Ocean Parkway), Supervisor Saladino’s Waterfront Festival. Live music. Ocean Bay, NY–9/16: RAW AVIAN NUTRITION is Jason Crean’s topic 1-4 p.m. $20/15 per add’l. family member. Sugar Creek Bird Farm, Bellbrook, OH – – FOSTER PARROTS 11TH ANNUAL FALL FUNDRAISER EXTRAVAGANZA Fundraiser for the care of the birds and animals at The New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary and Foster Parrots, Ltd. Open house, open wine & beer bar, vegetarian buffet, live music, art show. 12:00. Hope Valley, RI — 9/22-27: EXOTICSCON 2018 veterinarians’ meeting. Atlanta, GA. — 9/22: PENINSULA CAGED BIRD SOCIETY FALL BIRD MART Guest Speaker: Jean Pattison “The African Queen”, raffles, vendors. FREE. 60 Traverse Road, Newport News VA — 9/23: Erie Cage Bird Club Auction  Erie Cage Bird Club. 10 am New Perry Hwt Hse Company, 82181 Oliver Rd., Erie, PA — 9/24-27: IX INTERNATIONAL PARROT CONVENTION around 20 expert speakers, internationally recognized in their fields of work, workshops and  the world’s largest, most diverse collection of parrots. (Sorry, but this event is sold out.) Loro Parque, Tenerife, Spain


FOUNDGrey & white cockatiel in Orange, CA . Text pics to confirm ownership (657) 223-1995.


From the parrot’s beak: danger, Will Robinson edition

parrot puppets

PHOTO: Macaw puppets at a high end grocery store. –Photo by George Sommers

BIRD SEIZURE UPDATE: A complainer called Columbus Humane Society and said something along the lines of…”I don’t see how she can properly take care of 600 birds”,  setting in motion the confiscation of several birds from a prominent bird owner in Ohio recently; despite the opinion of several “in the know” that the birds were well cared for. While “parrot’s beak” has received some information about potential outcomes, which were reported in an earlier edition, a spokesperson wrote in an email to the editor, “Her attorney has told her not to put anything about the case on the net.” Out of respect for all parties in the case, we have removed that information until the case is officially settled.

NO CATS NEED APPLY  as pets if a “pest plan” in the small coastal village of Omaui, New Zealand passes. It’s  part of radical new proposals designed to protect native wildlife. Cat owners will have to neuter, microchip and register their pets with the local authority. After their cat dies, they will not be allowed to get another. The proposals have angered local residents, who accused the council of behaving “like a police state”. While parrots are not specifically mentioned, the flightless kakapo parrot was driven to near extinction  after cats and other non-native invasive animals were introduced to the island nation. – From

EXTINCTION SCORECARD: It’s a mixed bag this week for the status of parrots in the wild. The bad news is, the glaucous macaw, once found in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil before the clearing of its palm grove habitat for farming saw it dwindle to one population in Paraguay and now considered to be one of the first 8 bird species in the 21st century declared extinct by BirdLife International. Oddly enough, the Spix’s macaw was also placed in the extinct category. While this is likely true for wild populations, there are Spix’s in cpativity and efforts are being made to breed and re-introduce the bird into the wild.  On the good news front, the golden conure (aka Queen of Bavaria) is more widespread and abundant than previously thought – with an estimated population up from 2,500 to nearly 11,000 birds. US Fish & Wildlife may consequently downlist the golden conure from endangered to the less critical category of threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but it will remain protected as it still faces risks from deforestation and habitat loss. –From   and

WHO YOU CALLIN’ YELLOW?:  An all red (no yellow markings) scarlet macaw was recently sighted in a zoo, igniting a small debate. Some say older scarlets tend to lose the yellow markings but others claim that there is  a subspecies of the scarlet macaw. that should be officially named by early next year. 

BIRDS BEST IN HER BOOK:  “And so here I am training alligators, giraffe, primates, big cats, deaf and blind dogs, but at the end of the day when it’s time to sit down and relax, give me my birds to sit on my head, my lap, hanging off the back of my pants. They make me laugh. They are the most intricate and complex animals I have ever worked with. They give me butterflies in my stomach and I’ve found nothing else on this earth that makes me feel more fulfilled at the end of the day. I will forever be their advocate for doing better,” says :Lara Joseph of the Animal Training Center LLC.

DIDJA KNOW: Brazil in the early 16th century, was often referred to as Brasilia sive terra papa-gallorum, or the ‘Land of Parrots’.

MY BIRBIE TAKES THE MORNING TRAINING: Hidden in the word PARROT are six core principles of effective, humane behavior management: Power, Approximations, Reinforcement, Repetition, Observable Behavior, and Teaching Opportunities.

AVIAN FLU MAY HAVE SEALED THEIR DOOM: An unusual number of dead seals have turned up on New England’s coastline this summer; with many exhibiting signs of avian flu.  As if great white sharks weren’t already enough of a scourge! The disease is spread largely by wild birds, so certain precautions should be taken with domestic parrots, especially when going outside,  to avoid being infected (see second link). – and

BIRDS BEST IN HER BOOK:  “And so here I am training alligators, giraffe, primates, big cats, deaf and blind dogs, but at the end of the day when it’s time to sit down and relax, give me my birds to sit on my head, my lap, hanging off the back of my pants. They make me laugh. They are the most intricate and complex animals I have ever worked with. They give me butterflies in my stomach and I’ve found nothing else on this earth that makes me feel more fulfilled at the end of the day. I will forever be their advocate for doing better,” says :Lara Joseph of the Animal Training Center LLC.

DIDJA KNOW: Brazil in the early 16th century, was often referred to as Brasilia sive terra papa-gallorum, or the ‘Land of Parrots’.

ANTIPOACHING STRATEGY: Nine parrot species, three of which are found nowhere else, make their home in North Maluku, Indonesia. A surge in poaching has driven dramatic population declines in species already threatened with extinction. Trees once alive with sound and color now stand empty. The biggest targets of this exploitation are the white cockatoo Cacatua alba (endangered), the chattering lory Lorius garralus (vulnerable) – endemic to the region – and the eclectus  Eclectus roratus. Many blame social media, an easy way to advertise on the black market. Last April, Burung Indonesia (BirdLife Partner) organized a meeting to  develop a plan to end the illegal wildlife trade. The conference included national parks, conservation NGOs, crime units and government environment departments. Several actions were agreed on including a shared database of wildlife crime, undertaking a population study of parrots in the region and parrot habitat management techniques. An important conclusion was the need to increase community knowledge and empower communities through the development of sustainable livelihoods. – From

QUOTE O’ THE WEEK: Cracks me up when I’m out with one of my birds on my shoulder and people actually walk up and say “is that real?!” Like, lol, no it’s not real I just like to walk around with a fake stuffed bird on my shoulder….

PSITTACINE CINEMA: Budgie loves stuffed Sweet Pea budgie toy:

NEW HOME WANTED  for female black headed caique (Massachusetts). The owner passed away. Email for details.

HOT DATES: 9/5-8: AVICULTURAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA 13TH ANNUAL EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE Workshops; several speakers including Tony Silva. Hosted by the Sacramento Zoo. 321 Bercut Dr., Sacramento, CA — 9/8,9: HEART OF TENNESSEE AVICULTURE SOCIETY BIRD FAIR 9-4. MTSU Livestock Center, 1720 Greenland Dr., Murfreesboro, TN. — PARROT WIZARD MICHAEL SAZHIN speaks (Sat. & Sun.)  at Todd Marcus bird store’s 35th anniversary sale. Delran, NJ  —
9/9: JENNIFER BUDROCK speaks about about special needs parrots and small bird behavior. Support Bird Gardens of Naples at Parrot Society of the Palm Beaches monthly meeting. Special guest Cody the Magic Lovebird. 10:30 a.m. Rainforest Clinic For Birds & Exotics, Loxahatchee, FL — 9/10: AVIAN REHABILITATION CENTER YEAR END FUNDRAISER. Featuring Jason Crean. San Diego, CA — 9/15-16: PARROT BEHAVIOR AND TRAINING WORKSHOP with Barbara Heidenreich, Athens, Greece. Contact to reserve a spot  — 9/16: RAW AVIAN NUTRITION is Jason Crean’s topic 1-4 p.m. $20/15 per add’l. family member. Sugar Creek Bird Farm, Bellbrook, OH – – FOSTER PARROTS 11TH ANNUAL FALL FUNDRAISER EXTRAVAGANZA 12:00 in  Hope Valley, Rhode Island “an unforgettable day of fun, food and festivities as we raise critical funding for the care of the birds and animals at The New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary, and the continuation of all the work of Foster Parrots, Ltd! ” Open house, open wine & beer bar, vegetarian buffet, live music, art show. Hope Valley, RI
LOST: Bare eyed cockatoo ‘Madame’ Duncan, Vancouver Island, Canada
(250) 479-0911 / (250) 213-1420 or




From the parrot’s beak: Labor Day edition


PHOTO: Hyacinth macaws are now on the Endangered Species List as a threatened species. This lucky rescue bird gets to go to work with his owner at a pet boutique in Hyannis, Cape Cod, MA. – Photo by George Sommers

MORE BORDER CROSSING MEXICANS: Escaped and released pet parrots have established themselves as naturalized parts of the landscape in parts of the USA, but now scientists have determined that red crowned Amazons have been crossing the border into southern Texas and California on their own.  These parrots have been added to the Endangered Species list in Texas and they have declared the red-crowned Amazon to be naturally occurring. All the populations in Texas are now protected by law. There is concern in the scientific community about the potential effects that a proposed border wall might have on such cross border wildlife populations. – For more go to

LANEY RICKMAN TRIBUTE:  Post from Asociación Civil Armonía – “The blue-throated macaw is #birdoftheweek of our partner American Bird Conservancy with delightful news to share about the species: We created a new reserve to protect the largest nesting population of this rare macaw. Our new reserve is named after Laney Rickman in recognition for her dedication to saving blue-throated macaws in the wild. The creation of Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Reserve was made possible through the support of American Bird Conservancy, International Conservation Fund of Canada, IUCN Netherlands, World Land Trust and through the support of generous donors.” ~ From The Bird Endowment Click for more info ➡️

HIS BARK IS WORSE THAN HIS BITE:  A young girl coming out of school was talking to a boy about her budgies. The boy said “Budgies are boring”….. She wasn’t happy  and said, “Not as boring as your face” . She sure told him. So she got home to tell  her (appropriately named ) pet Lucifer and  he gave her a wee bite on her face. She’s still friends with him but not the little boy!! – From a Facebook post

DIDJA KNOW: Most birds possess no penis: which goes a long way toward explaining why it’s often impossible to visually tell the sex of most parrot species, except for a few that have distinguishing secondary sexual characteristics. Sperm are simply transferred from the male’s cloaca to the female’s everted cloaca.

AFTER MIDNIGHT on August 21, Corrie Butler; Rhode Island Parrot Rescue manager, was shocked to find a frightened blue and gold macaw clinging to the railing on the deck of her apartment above the rescue facility. “There was no note, no carrier,” said Butler. “Just the macaw, alone in the dark. A neighbor, Chuck Olsen, witnessed an SUV pull up, saw a woman get out and walk to the side of the building. Thinking it was someone who lived there, he went back into his house.” The macaw, named “Midnight”, is believed to be female and is quarantined while waiting for RIPR’s avian vet, Anne Bourke of Northeast Bird Clinic. After testing and quarantine Midnight will be available for adoption. “We have heard of this happening at cat and dog rescues, but this is the first time we have had a bird dropped off with no carrier at RIPR,” said Butler.  “I am thankful I found the bird before something happened to her. This is just one more important example of why our rescue is needed in our community.” RIPR has been working to get back on its feet since an emergency intake of 117 birds from an animal cruelty seizure in Weston Connecticut in 2016. Donations have tapered off, and the remaining birds from that intake are either unsocialized pairs, which are difficult to adopt, or lorikeets which require a more expensive diet of nectar. “We survive exclusively on fundraising, donations from supporters, and adoption fees,” explained Erica Collins, RIPR’s media and marketing coordinator.  “Any extra strain on finances challenges our ability to remain open.” Donations to assist with the RIPR Emergency Vet Fund can be sent via PayPal at ( , through the website at under the donate tab or via check made out to RIPR and sent to 2141 West Shore Road, Warwick ( , (http://) RI 02889.

HI YO SILVER!: “Silver” is the 7-month (opaline/blue mutation or “silver”) blue and gold macaw. She is bred and owned by Thailand’s Wichai, and she’s training for freeflight. Silver’s parentage is explained here:

GOOD POINT:  “Catskill bird club… couldn’t they come up with a better name?” muses reader Jean-pierre in a letter to this editor.

AND ANOTHER POINT TO PONDER: Does anyone else feel like their bird is cursing our souls to eternal damnation when they chant random crap under their breath, or is that just me? – From a Facebook post

IF IT’S FREE IT’S FOR ME:  A free parrot nutrition guide is now available from World Parrot Trust .

WHAT’S IN A NAME?:  NObody names their parrot Polly anymore. So what do they name them? See George Sommers’  Page 10 feature story in

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HELP WANTED: If your idea of a dream job is working with parrots, this could be your chance. Flying Colors Aviary has a job position available for a live on site parrot keeper. $14.50 per hour, housing, and medical insurance included. Housing is private, not shared and includes a washer and dryer. Employee is responsible for their utilities. Looking for nonsmoking employee to help care for large private aviary located on Whidbey Island in Washington State. The primary job function will be to provide for the safety and well-being of approximately 120 parrots. 5 day week, 8 hour day, work with other parrot caretakers; occasional shift substitution. Email cover letter and resume to — Birds off Broadway, a full service birds-only shop in West Palm Beach FL, is currently seeking a bird lover for a part time position. Responsibilities include cleaning shop and cages, educating and waiting on customers, feeding, watering, and handling a variety of birds. Basic computer skills for point of sale system required. Recent hand-feeding experience preferred, but not required.Schedule includes every Sunday from 9:30-4 pm with the potential to work a week day as needed. Email interest to: or call Jay at (561) 628-8501.
9-4. MTSU Livestock Center., 1720 Greenland Dr., Murfreesboro, TN. — 9/9: JENNIFER BUDROCK speaks about about special needs parrots and small bird behavior.
Come out to support Bird Gardens of Naples at Parrot Society of the Palm Beaches monthly meeting. Special guest Cody the Magic Lovebird. 10:30 a.m. Rainforest Clinic For Birds & Exotics, Loxahatchee, FL
FOUND: Grey cockatiel; Loxahatchee, FL. In good shape, likely not lost for very long. Very friendly,. Call (508) 648-7702

From the parrot’s beak: 8/26 edition

loon toos

PHOTO: Parrot imagery can pop up in the most unexpected places; such as this artwork in a snack bar atop the Loon Mountain ski resort in New Hampshire. – Photo by George Sommers

HOARD OR HOAX: To say the least, not everyone thought the confiscation of 600 birds – from budgies to cockatoos – from a Clintonville, Ohio home as reported in this column last week was justifiable. “The seizure is another attempt by the Humane Society  of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, American Society for the Protection of Animals triumvirate to take our animals away,” says one prominent Birds Of  A Feather (NH parrot club) member. Talk at the recently ended American Federation for Aviculture conference was reportedly that avian breeder/exhibitor Susan Stieve got a raw deal; that the birds were kept in good condition. “What is so disturbing about this is that it could have happened to any one of us. This is why I am pushing that we get state Endangered Species Act laws changed. All it takes is one busy body and your birds can be history,” says an AFA legal eagle.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: After a two year absence, the Birds Of A Feather annual fall show/mart moves back to All Dogs Gym in Manchester, NH. As a cost cutting move, the event was held for the last two years in a school in the rural and somewhat remote town of Auburn. However, the plan backfired as public attendance was low and some vendors expressed disappointment with the venue. Whether people re-adjust to the previous agenda or perhaps this reflects a seemingly irreversible and disturbing nationwide trend of diminishing participation in bird clubs and shows remains to be seen.

HAWAII HURRICANE: Last week’s extremely rare and dangerous hurricane in the island state had the Honolulu mayor announcing 20 Oahu pet shelter friendly shelters.  All pets must be fully contained, and you must bring your own food, water and supplies. Also listed are neighbor-isle shelters. For more, go to

IRMA GOSH: Speaking of hurricanes, in fall of ’17, Hurricane Irma passed over the southern Bahamas., severely impacting the island of Great Inagua, home of the largest population of Bahama parrots. After Irma, there was great concern for the parrot and the American flamingo populations. The Bahama parrot, currently listed as a sub-species of the Cuban parrot, has three populations on three islands in the Bahamas: Great Abaco, Great Inagua and New Providence. Based on survey data, it seems the parrots have weathered the storm as an estimated 8,832 parrots dwell in central and southern Abaco. The population appears to be stable and doing well – thanks to the management efforts of the wardens working for the Bahamas National Trust, a non-governmental organization that manages the national park systems.  Current threats to the parrot population include feral cats and fire.  People often light fires to clear the underbrush so that they can hunt wild hogs, another invasive animal found in the pinelands. – From

WHERE FOR ART THOU?”: Emile Friant’s “Birds of a Feather” painting features  a modernly (but not quite fully) dressed woman  surrounded by budgies, a cockatoo and a blue & gold macaw.

LET US PREY: Many people worry about hawks killing their parrots. Most buteo do not hunt flighted birds as they are not skilled at it. They eat animals on the ground like squirrels and chickens. Not to say that there aren’t other dangers from above.  Falcons, accipiter hawks, golden eagles and owls are more dangerous.  The black hawk eagle can take down large macaws like greenwing and adult hyacinths. And those are just the potential aerial attackers! Precautions should always be taken when bringing birds outside.

QUOTE O’ THE WEEK: (from a parrot’s perspective) Everything happens for a reason. So when I bite you, remember; I had a reason.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS FOR BLACK ‘ TOOS: Over 175 volunteers from BirdLife Australia participated in the annual count of endangered south-eastern red-tailed black-cockatoo on May 5 across the cockatoo’s range in South East of South Australia and South West Victoria. Including  two sightings of red-tails recorded on days either side of the count the final tally stands at 839 birds – slightly more than the 810 recorded last year. “Red-tails are notoriously difficult to find,” Bronwyn Perryman, Project Coordinator for the Recovery Program, said. “Although total numbers are down, it’s unlikely the population has suffered a mass decline since our biggest count of over 1500 birds back in 2015. Breeding success is strongly linked to stringybark food availability, with more successful breeding in years of plentiful food,” explained Bronwyn. Unfortunately, the last good breeding event was more than 10 years ago.  – From ttps://

MIXED MARRIAGE: A hyacinth macaw (anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) formed a couple with a red macaw (ara chloropterus). Neiva Guedes, founder and president of the blue macaw project; says, ” Red macaw making preening and looks like it’s feeding the blue macaw. The between two different species is quite common in captivity. However, in nature it is not very common, especially in the pantanal where species have been monitored for almost 30 years. I’ve seen red macaw in a bunch of blue macaw, but I’ve never seen the cross between these two species in free life. ” One AFA expert adds, “They are two different genes and if they reproduce the chicks will not be fertile. The red macaw seems to have yellow on its wings in the first picture. If that is the case it is a hybrid. I did not see any scarlets in the Pantanal. What I cannot help but wonder is if the hyacinth is a baby. The parents may have died or been forced from their nest and they may have laid an egg that was incubated by the red macaw (whatever species it is).”

ASK ME ABOUT MY CONSTANT NEED FOR ATTENTION reads the T-shirt of a man with a large parrot on his shoulder while blowing wearing a balloon hat and blowing bubbles through a pipe. – A “Bizarro” comic.

TV NOTES: A hyacinth macaw sits nearby Jack Hanna at many of his “base camp” shots on Hanna’s syndicated program. Hyacinths were recently classified as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act — Jake the blue & gold macaw perches on the back of a sofa as his owners discuss the merits of Ameritrade in a commercial.

BID EARLY, BID OFTEN:  All proceeds from the Summer online auction will go directly to the support and care of the Birds of The Oasis Sanctuary, located in Arizona. Gracie Grey’s Awesome Online Auction features mostly parrot figurines. When you adopt these, there’s no mess or additional cost to feed or buy toys; just an occasionally dusting will do. To adopt one or more, the “rehoming fee” is your winning bid. Other bird themed auction items include books, art, clothing, jewelry and housewares. Two of the sanctuary’s supporters will match the auction goal of $3500. – For more info, go to

HAVE AN ISSUE MISSING ISSUES?: Current and past issues of “From the parrot’s beak” can be found on the Facebook page,  Pet Bird Owners – along with G. Sommers original monthly feature stories for the “Pet Gazette”.Come and follow and join!

HOT DATES: 8/25, 26: EAST RIDGE TN EXOTIC BIRD FAIR,  SAt. 9-4; Sun. 10-4. 323 Camp Jordan Pkwy., Chatanooga, TN.  — 8/25: RHODE ISLAND PARROT RESCUE YARD SALE BENEFITfantastic day locating fabulous finds and spectacular treasures. All proceeds go directly to the parrots in the care of RIPR. 8-noon. 2141 West Shore Rd., Warwick, RI.  Rain date Aug. 26 — 8/26: EXOTIC BIRD MART Kern County Fairgrounds 1142 South P St. Bakersfield, CA  (Bldg #1)

FOUND: Cockatiel. Nottingham, England. This beautiful, very friendly bird was handed into the Burton Joyce practice this morning as it decided to land on a painter’s shoulder.  Contact: Orchard Lodge Newark Rd., Southwell, Nottingham, United Kingdom NG25 0ES, +44 1636 812133/ Minster Veterinary Centre… 082418


From the parrot’s beak: parrots in trouble edition

squawking too

PHOTO: Where’s my “parrot’s beak”? Oh, right; on the front of my face. – Photo by George Sommers

EDITOR’S NOTE: YOUR “parrot’s beak” is a bit early this week as the editor is off for a few days of vacation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Goldwinger and Skygirl have to stay home (awwww) but have some extra crispy mini honey/seed treats to tide them over.

STUCK IN THE MUD HOLE WITH YOU: A Belleville, Illinois man got stuck in waist-deep mud when his parrot flew from his shoulder and to the center of a dredged lake at Bicentennial Park. Fire crews were called to the scene after a bystander heard the man calling for help. Belleville Fire Chief Tom Pour said. “He was probably several hundred feet out into the mud with the parrot on his back. It was challenging because you couldn’t just walk out there and hoist him out. It was like quicksand.” Firefighters laid multiple ladders down on drier parts of the lake to create a bridge of sorts. Pour said the man bikes around with the parrot on his shoulder often, but this was the first time they’d run into a problem like this. “It was a pretty unusual thing,” he said. – From

THE UNGRATEFUL MACAW:  A parrot who got stuck on a roof told firefighters trying to rescue her to ‘f**k off’. Jessie, a blue & gold macaw, spent three days on a roof in London. London Fire Brigade was called to help after the RSPCA and her owner were unable to coax her down. The owner told the firefighter to say ‘I love you’ to get her to co-operate, but the affection was met with verbal abuse. Jessie and her unnamed owner also speak Turkish and Greek, so the crew also tried ‘telling her to “come” in both those languages. Fortunately for Jessie’s sake, the firefighters were not offended but quite amused. After she was finished hurling expletives it became clear Jessie wasn’t injured  – she simply flew off onto another roof, a tree and then towards her owner.  The LFB has called on the public not to dial 999 when a pet becomes trapped. Officers have been called to rescue an iguana from a roof, a kitten wedged in a bongo drum and a chimp trapped in a chimney.  A spokesperson said: ‘As with this incident, the RSPCA should be contacted  if they see an animal stuck or in distress. If the RSPCA requires our assistance, they will call us and we are happy to assist with our specialist equipment.’ – From

PARROTRIVIA: Bugs Bunny tries hiding from pirate Yosemite Sam, but Yosemite’s stool pigeon parrot keeps following and saying, “He’s in there, he’s in there.” Bugs offers the bird “Polly wanna cracker?” and hands him a firecracker in a classic Warner Bros. cartoon.

HYACINTH MACAWS OFFICIALLY “THREATENED”: Hyacinth macaws are now on the Endangered Species List as a threatened species. The USFW made the determination due to population declines resulting from deforestation, hunting and predation. Although Federal law does not impose these restrictions, in 27 states plus a few municipalities it is now illegal to own, possess, transport, buy and sell (within the state) any hyacinth macaw. United States Fish & Wildlife is finalizing a species-specific ruling so interstate commerce is still permitted.  The hyacinth is the largest bird in the parrot family as measured by length. Approximately 6,500 hyacinth macaws remain in the wild, down from estimates ranging up to 3 million. At one time, hyacinths were widely distributed, occupying large areas of central Brazil, and smaller parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. Today, the species is limited to the Pará, Gerais and Pantanal regions of Brazil and marginally in Bolivia and Paraguay. Native forests have been replaced by crops and cattle ranching and the hyacinth’s specialized diet makes it particularly vulnerable.  The U.S. domestic pet trade is not a threat to the species in the wild as imports of parrots into the U.S. are already tightly controlled by the Wild Bird Conservation Act. Additionally, the species is globally protected in trade by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Because of the 4(d) rule, the listing will not affect import and export of certain captive-bred hyacinth macaws or domestic commercial activity across state lines provided that such trade is in compliance with the WBCA or CITES procedures. To learn more about the Endangered Species program’s Branch of Foreign Species, visit:…/what-we-…/international-activities.html .

HOARD HOUSE: Another week; another parrot hoarding horror story. Several humane agents entered a home in Columbus, Ohio. The investigation began after a public complaint was filed over concerns of animal neglect. The home contained over 600 parakeets, cockatiels, finches, macaws, African grey parrots, Amazon parrots and cockatoos. All were in extremely poor and overcrowded conditions, some in poor health.  The ASPCA and Columbus Humane say they are working closely with local prosecutors to ensure the best outcome for these animals. The Facebook group The Parrot Posse is sending items to help. Tax deductible contributions can go to Their paypal account is: and Facebook postings

DIDJA KNOW: Male Indian and African Ringnecks, when mature (at about 18 months) have a neck ring, females have no ring. 

BUT SERIOUSLY:  “My biggest fears as a bird owner of 28 years…..that someone will break into my home and steal [or] kill my birds; that during a picnic, someone will feed something to the birds that is either toxic or not healthy. That a young nephew or niece will harm my birds out of spite or knowing that they are precious to me. That I die before my birds or I and/or my husband and I perish in an accident and no one knows to go to the house to take over the care of the birds. That I pass on before my husband and he does not know to find a bird sanctuary for the remainder of the birds’ lives. I love those little creatures so much,” reads a recent Facebook post; very valid points every bird owner or would be should ponder.

INSURANCE REASSURANCE: Ever wonder if it’s worthwhile to get your pet insurance for your parrot? Some “routine care” coverage, with no deductibles are listed as Physical Exam/Office Call – $25, Parasite Test/Fecal Exam $10, Parasite Treatment $20, Beak/Nail/Wing Trim – $7 @, CBC – $20, Culture – $45, Panel or Titer $40. Total benefits: $181. We won’t say the company’s name, but a man from there is at your parrot’s side.

QUOTE O’ THE WEEK: I don’t care what people think about me. Except parrots. I want parrots to like me.

WORD UP: Can’t help but being amused at some of the foreign bird sales language translated to English. “Cocktails” apparently refers to cockatiels and “required”; we’re guessing means “wanted”.

WHERE SVENGOOLIE AND PARROT COLLIDE: It had to happen eventually. While rubber chickens are usually the bird of choice tossed at schlock miester Svengoolie, last weekend a parrot joke was told. Svengoolie appears weekly on MeTV as host of a (usually cheesy) horror movie. The joke was the one about the parrot warning a house burglar that “Jesus is coming.” The burglar scoffs until a Rottweiler – named Jesus – comes charging into the room.

OOPS, WE GOOFED: It happens once in a while. due to a (lack of) editing issue, a previous edition reported the Foster Parrots fundraiser would be held on 8/16. It is actually 9/16, so if you were planning to go, you haven’t missed it! More details in upcoming issue.

HOT DATES: 8/16-18: AMERICAN FEDERATION OF AVICULTURE’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE  High flying speakers include many names familiar to readers of this column- and some not so much – such as Rick Jordan, Jason Crean, Robin Shewokis, Hagen Company’s Josee Birmingham, Adrienne Mock and Jamie Whittaker. Raffles, vendors, workshops and field trips to the San Antonio Zoo’s Lory Landing and the San Antonio Aquarium are among the activities. There will also be a donation match for the late and beloved member of the parrot community Laney S. Rickman’s Memorial Fund for Blue Throated Macaws. San Antonio, TX. — 8/18,19: EXOTIC PET SHOW 9-4. Tennessee Fairgrounds, 800 Highland Ave., Jackson, TN — 8/18: CLEAR THE SHELTERS nationwide pet adoption drive on to help find loving homes for animals in need. Hundreds of shelters paticipating with help from NBC and Telemundo owned stations. Dogs and cats may get most of the focus, but birds are often turned in to these shelters, too. — 8/26: EXOTIC BIRD MART Kern County Fairgrounds 1142 South P St. Bakersfield, CA  (Bldg #1)

From the parrot’s beak: 8/12 edition

keet in hand

PHOTO: They may come in small packages, but budgies are as smart and trainable as the big guys. – Photo by George Sommers

GOING, GOING…:  ZuPreem  is halting production of Embrace and Embrace Plus hand feeding formula for baby parrots, apparently as a result of declining sales.  “Today another product is discontinued demonstrating the slow demise of our industry: aviculture. I suspect we will be losing a lot of products, cages, etc.,” laments one high ranking American Federation for Aviculture official.

THEY FOUGHT THE LAW AND…. THEY WON:  Jim and Cindy Tome’s Quaker parakeet, Baby, was confiscated when their veterinarian ratted on them for possessing a species that is illegal in Pennsylvania. The Tomes were terrified that Baby would be euthanized.  Due to the efforts of The Quaker Parakeet Society and The American Federation of Aviculture, the Tomes were given a temporary permit to possess Baby and transport him out of Pennsylvania. He is now living in a state where Quakers are legal. Another Quaker, Gizmo, was also confiscated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission in 2013 but returned to owner Faith Good in 2014 as ordered by a judge.  Baby’s Story…/pa-game-commission-takes-bab…/82742626/ Gizmo’s Story…/Confisca…/stories/201402200036

THE SHOW MUST GO ON. EXCEPT IF THERE’S A HAWK: A red tailed hawk guarding her nest near the bird show stage has caused some of Southwick Zoo’s smaller birds to be on high alert. Conure stars Polly and Piper are especially sensitive to the distraction, so zoo staff has been diligent in deciding whether or not to bring them out for training/shows in an attempt to limit stress or fear responses in the arena. Personnel for the zoo, located in Mendon, MA; report, “Yesterday, we didn’t see or hear the hawk all day, so we ended up having a wonderful, productive recall session in the arena for our summer camp group! Our media team was there to capture the action.”

DON’T LET THE KIDS READ THIS ONE:  Dear Miss Lonelyhearts:  I started seeing this lovely woman who is a free-spirited, vocal lovemaker. Unfortunately, my clever parrot overheard a couple of our recent uninhibited sessions together. After I took my lady home last time, my bird finally let loose with an imitation of my new woman “in the throes,” repeating one phrase over and over.  My lady was here for breakfast and heard the bird loudly say “Oh My Gaaaawd!!!” It could be mistaken for a religious exclamation, but the emphasis on the last word sounded sexual. “Is she imitating me?” my friend asked slowly. I told her she was the only woman I had been seeing since I got the bird. I don’t know when the rest of the words and sounds are going to come out. What can I do?— New Bird ManDear Bird Man: To minimize the damage when it comes — and it will — you’ll have to say: “Well, that’s it, this bird has spoiled me for any other woman, now she’s imprinted on you!” Good luck with that and do let us know how it goes when your bird comes out with the rest of what she’s been practising.  – From

IT’S THE BIG ONE, ELIZABETH: Spring sees many local bird clubs hosting bird shows but three of the heaviest hitters occur between mid-August and mid-October. The annual American Federation For Aviculture Conference is next week – see HOT DATES for more. COMING UP in October is Parrot Palooza at Bird Paradise and the Long Island Parrot Society Expo.


DIDJA KNOW:  The Antipodes parakeet, which is the largest of the kākāriki family and endemic to subantarctic Antipodes Island is known to prey on seabirds and scavenge carcasses. Instead of living in trees, these birds nest underground and hop amongst windswept tussocks. You can meet these beautiful birds at the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary:

QUOTE O’ THE WEEK: To be an effective parront you need patience, tenacity, insight, commitment and a thorough knowledge of parrots – if that doesn’t work, bribe them with treats.

HE HAS MET THE ENEMY:  A parrot owning woman bought a hand-held mini vac to pull up the birdie crumbs that always seem to appear on the sofa. As soon as she turned it on Paulie; recognizing the danger, swooped down and bit her hand until she dropped the vacuum.  Then the bird descended on it in a screaming fury and, screeching and snarling, pecked it to death before it could kill. She was very brave and protective. – From a Facebook post

WHERE FOR ART THOU?: Parrots resembling  extinct Carolina parakeets swirl around a goldfish bowl in a stained glass depiction by Louis Comfort Tiffany currently on display at New York City’s Museum of Fine Arts.

BIRDS JUST WANNA HAVE FUNDS: Tickets are now available for Foster Parrots’ 11th Annual Fall Fundraiser Extravaganza.  Sun., 8/16  12:00–  in  Hope Valley, Rhode Island “Join us for an unforgettable day of fun, food and festivities as we raise critical funding for the care of the birds and animals at The New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary, and the continuation of all the work of Foster Parrots, Ltd! ” reads the press release. Foster Parrots is a controversial topic to many bird owners for its publicly stated positions discouraging pet bird ownership.

TV NOTES: A commercial for CNN’s “History of Comedy” opens with a parrot cage with a bunch of blue feathers swirling around.

SURVEY SAYS: Avian Bornavirus and Proventricular Dilation Disease (PDD) Survey

HOT DATES: 8/12: EXOTIC BIRD EXPO 9-3:30. $5/ Under 12 FREE. Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 West Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL —  8/16-18: AMERICAN FEDERATION OF AVICULTURE’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE  High flying speakers include many names familiar to readers of this column- and some not so much – such as Rick Jordan, Jason Crean, Robin Shewokis, Hagen Company’s Josee Birmingham, Adrienne Mock and Jamie Whittaker. Raffles, vendors, workshops and field trips to the San Antonio Zoo’s Lory Landing and the San Antonio Aquarium are among the activities. There will also be a donation match for the late and beloved member of the parrot community Laney S. Rickman’s Memorial Fund for Blue Throated Macaws. San Antonio, TX. — 8/18,19: EXOTIC PET SHOW 9-4. Tennessee Fairgrounds, 800 Highland Ave., Jackson, TN — 8/18: CLEAR THE SHELTERS nationwide pet adoption drive on to help find loving homes for animals in need. Hundreds of shelters paticipating with help from NBC and Telemundo owned stations. Dogs and cats may get most of the focus, but birds are often turned in to these shelters, too.

FOUND: Black mask lovebird, Brentwood, NY.  (631) 234-4419

From the parrot’s beak: back to the future edition

bird show

PHOTO: A parrot would focuses on a slide of a parrot during a parrot show presentation. – Photo by George Sommers

DON’T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE A REFUGEE  but the alternative was remaining in the civil war between the FSLN-led government of Nicaragua and the contras from 1981-1990. Coincidentally, that was when the parrot owning hobby was really taking off in America and Europe and it was still legal to import them. Honduran Santiago Lacuth says once scarlet macaws were as numerous as the common red-lored Amazon. This gave natives of the region a means to obtain cash, as normally they lived off of what they farmed, fished and hunted. They were motivated to take all the macaws they could, and if they couldn’t climb a tree, they cut or burned them down. But (shades of current events in the USA) refugees fleeing the Nicaragua war took much of the blame. “Refugees came by the hundreds to live here and they, too, took all of the wildlife. There were no fish, no birds, and the trees were coming down,” says Lacuth. Fortunately, the trees and parrots are slowly coming back to Honduras with the aid of  community protection efforts and fewer countries allowing their importation. – From and Wikipedia

DO BIRDS FART?:  Dr. Laura Rickson, Ph.D in ornithology, writes in her blog, “While studying them, I spent many, many hours in extremely close quarters with nighthawks, paying an inordinate amount of attention to sounds and smells, and never once detected anything resembling a fart.”  She continues, “Mammalian intestines are very long, digestion slow, and fecal contents can remain in the intestines for quite a while. Gases erupting from any point in mammalian intestines can build up before they reach the end, and are going to pass through a bunch of malodorous stuff along the way, picking up additional odors. Birds get rid of any gases as quickly as they do the other material in their guts, and so there really isn’t time for huge buildups [that we] recoil from.​​​” There are any number of parrots that can imitate a fart – verbally. – From a Facebook post.

THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF ELLIE, ISABELLE AND JENNIFER: Those 2 ‘too students of Jennifer Cunha continue to amaze. Now, in addition to reading  storybooks- Isabelle appears to show empathy with the protagonist of one, exs Cunha. “The gist of today’s story is this: Barney (her pretend elephant) lives outside. In the winter, it’s cold, and he feels sad. His friend Maggie lives in a house and is warm. She lets Barney come inside with her. He feels warm and happy!” After reading this story, “Isabelle then talked about how it made her feel!” explains Cunha. These developments have naturally caused Cunha to ponder, “Then: what can they understand and discuss about our world, about their feelings? Can they learn time perception? Do they reason? Could they understand simple philosophy? Math? Music?” We say, don’t get ‘too excited – yet, anyway.  After all, she’s only reading a simple kids’ book. It’s not like “The Collected Works of Shakespeare” or something. – From My Reading Pets: The Learning Adventures of Ellie and Isabelle

THE KRAZY PARROTS OF NEW ZEALAND and their most unparrotlike behavior; George Sommers’ Page 8 feature  story in the August “Pet Gazette”.

HOW MANY IS TOO MANY?: Apparently, 65 is  too many exotic birds according to some stool pigeon who dropped a dime on Sophus Kelly. (Do people say that anymore?) So the “Bird Man of Main Street” is moving out of his Vancouver home. Kelly says Animal Control Officers have been “prowling” around his house and have given him until Aug. 16 to reduce his flock to the legal maximum of 12 before they started fining him. Kelly does have several supporters in the neighborhood, with many even petitioning on his behalf.  I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Kelly said. “But I won’t be getting rid of a single one of my birds.” From

DISCO LIVES: Disco, that pop culture prattling parakeet of YouTube fame has sadly left this mortal coil.  But his spirit lives on on the screen, including a new documentary being filmed for a European audience. Owner Judy reports, “In order to provide the necessary clips to the producer – the original footage with no subtitles – I had to go through numerous bits and pieces so I could send the correct ones. I had to watch and listen to my baby bird. You know what? It felt odd but… good.” Disco also appears in the “Nature” series “The Secret Lives of Pets” which is regularly re-broadcast.

DIDJA KNOW: There are only an estimated 400 great green macaws left in Costa Rica and possibly as few as 2000 left in the world

THEY’RE HEEEEEERE and may be sticking around for a while. Defying the decks stacked against established, never mind start up; print publications, the new revised “Bird Talk” has come out for a second round. Topics in this issue include budgies, Amazons and conservation in Indonesia.

HOT DATES: 8/4: KIKO’S TOY CHEST GRAND RE-OPENING. Speakers Concetta Ferragamo, Melanie Allen, Jason Crean and Robin Shewokis. Also appearing Susan Hilliard and feathered friends from Flying Colors Aviary. 10 a.m. 6404 Waller Rd. E., Tacoma, WA. —  PARROT BEHAVIOR & TRAINING WORKSHOP with Barbara Heidenreich. Full day event. Pinecrest Community Church, 7165 N. Delbert Rd., Parker, CO. — 8/5: AVIAN NUTRITION is guest speaker Jason Crean’s topic at Illini Bird Fanciers Club, Springfield, IL — EXOTIC BIRD MART American Sports Center, 755 N 114th Ave. Avondale, AZ — 8/16-18: American Federation of Aviculture’s Annual Conference. Topics: Avian Nutrition (Thurs) & Avian Genetics (Saturday), San Antonio, TX 






From the parrot’s beak: July 29 edition

summer parrots

PHOTO: Parrots and Hawaiian shirts are sure signs of summer. Someone cue the Jimmy Buffett tunes! – Photo by George Sommers

COMBO DEALS: It may be a sign that the bird hobby is on the wane, or at least community participation in it is. Case in point: Northwest Bird Festival, held annually in Washington;  has morphed this year into the Northwest Animal & Nature Festival. Earlier this year, the Birds Of A Feather spring mart included the participation of New Hampshire’s aquarium club. Moreover, there is an increasing incidence of alliances among bird, reptile, dog, etc. groups when national or state legislation concerning pets comes up.

MYSTERY GALAH DEATHS: Some 115 galah cockatoos (so far) have been discovered dead and dying in parts of south Australia. Autopsies have revealed that it is not due to “grain gorging” which the birds apparently engage in when grain carting begins. There is some speculation that poisoning may be the cause, and residents are warned to keep pet dogs and cats away from the dead birds.  if you have any information please contact Animal Rescue and Care 8892 2279 or 0408 922279 – From a Facebook post.

DIDJA KNOW: Parakeets have sensors in their wing tips which can detect air currents, enabling them to avoid turbulent air and take advantage of rising air currents. Also, their ability to see ultraviolet light is part of the mating ritual. The male’s head plumage takes on a hue to impress the ladies. – From PBS “Nature”‘s “The Secret Lives of Pets”.

QUOTE O’ THE WEEK: (definition)  Parrot: A tie dyed chicken who screams actual words at you.

HOARDER STORY: It seems like one of those horror movies with endless sequels. This time, a woman from Venice, Florida initially arrested for drunk driving; requested that someone look after her animals. When personnel responded to 6684 Pineapple Place, they located 34 exotic birds flying freely around the residence. Several were underweight, suffered signs of self-mutilation and lacked access to food or water. Several were living under deteriorated kitchen cabinets and others were confined to cages. The home was covered in dirt, debris and animal waste and there were several insects including flies, mosquitoes and roaches throughout. The birds were taken to a veterinarian who confirmed the animals lacked proper nutrition, access to medical services and appropriate housing. Animal Services also impounded an approximately 15-year-old Boston terrier. The alleged perp is charged with three misdemeanors including Cruelty to Animals, Confinement of Animals without Sufficient Food or Water and Prohibited Cruelty to Animals.  – From

GAME ON: For those to whom everything parrot is not quite enough, now there’s a chess board with figures of parrots as the playing pieces. Grant Dawson Collections wants to raise awareness of the plight of the endangered parrots that are represented in the chess pieces in the handmade set.

POLICE BLOTTER: Grover the hyacinth macaw, a neighborhood favorite,  was stolen in Houston, TX; despite his screams and Max the dog barking for help. The owners are examining footage from nearby security cameras.  #HyacinthMacaw #Lost #StolenBird #Houston #Help #LostandFoundPets

DON’T MAKE A LYRE OUT OF ME: African greys, Amazons and budgies are widely acknowledged to be Nos. 1-3 psittacines at imitating human voices. But the best impressionist of all (sorry parrot lovers) is the Australian lyre bird. The male has been heard doing the calls of twenty other species within his range … including those of the black and gang-gang cockatoos. He does such a good impression of a kookaburra that those birds will return his calls. He also mimics all of the sounds within his habitat. This includes the human voices, dogs barking, car alarms, sirens, cell phones, mechanical rock crushers and other construction sounds, and, more recently, the sounds of camera shutters. – From Sally Blanchard’s Companion Parrot Online

THINK YOUR BIRD IS A TERROR?: Five million years ago a nine foot tall flightless bird with a curved beak, appropriately nicknamed the terror bird,  invaded North America by way of Central America and became an apex predator.

THE COLOR PURPLE…. OR IS IT ORANGE?: Well, despite what we were told by the keeper, two authoritative sources say the parrot pictured in last week’s “Beak” is an orange wing, not a lilac crowned Amazon.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that both species have some purple, or lilac, coloration on the head. However, after a bit of research, we have to agree that the bird pictured is an orange wing.

BEACH BIRDS: Northeast Animal Shelter of Salem, MA is looking for pets celebrating summer to post on its Facebook page. While they did pitch specifically toward dogs and cats, we think they’d let a=some bird pix slip in.

HOT DATES: PICK O’ THE WEEK: KIKO’S TOY CHEST GRAND RE-OPENING. 8/4. Speakers Concetta Ferragamo, Melanie Allen, Jason Crean and Robin Shewokis. Also appearing Susan Hilliard and feathered friends from Flying Colors Aviary. 10 a.m.  6404 Waller Rd. E., Tacoma, WA. — NOW-AUG. SARA THE JARDINES PARROT IN ART EXHIBIT with companion human Glenn Sorino at New York City’s Anton Kern Gallery. The Gallery is at 16 East 55th Street. — 7/28: NORTHWEST ANIMAL & NATURE FESTIVAL featuring the Oregon Bird Man with his live parrot show and speaker Robin Shewokis. FREE.  Town Square Park, Downtown Burien, WA. — 7/29: DON’T FORGET US, PET US ROLLER SKATE FUNDRAISER 11-2. Forrest’s Family Fun Center. Raffles, roller skating, chicken bingo. Ptl. proceeds to animal sanctuary. 1 Lawton Ave., Taunton, MA. — 8/4: PARROT BEHAVIOR & TRAINING WORKSHOP  with Barbara Heidenreich. Full day event.  Pinecrest Community Church, 7165 N. Delbert Rd., Parker, CO. — 8/5: AVIAN NUTRITION is guest speaker Jason Crean’s topic at Illini Bird Fanciers Club, Springfield, IL — EXOTIC BIRD MART American Sports Center, 755 N 114th Ave. Avondale, AZ 


From the parrot’s beak: July 22 edition

par and ig

PHOTO: They may not always see eye to eye, but this lilac crowned Amazon and iguana share a perch at Kimball’s Farm in Westford, MA. (See related story below.) – Photo by George Sommers

QUAKER PERSECUTION: Bird owners are keeping a wary eye on proposed HR 6362 – Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act of 2018. Some fear that it may even lead to the confiscation and even “euthanizing” of pet quaker parrots and other species deemed to be potentially invasive. Ironically, naturalized quakers are already well established in parts of the US as are certain other parrot, bird and animal species. Quaker defenders argue that the naturalized birds fill a void left by the extinction of the US’ former native Carolina parakeet.

NOTHING KINKY ABOUT IT: Although it may seem rather strange to non-bird people, sharing a shower allows your bird to enjoy the warmth and humidity provided and is a bonding experience. This will offset the dryness that comes from heating our homes along with the biological and physical issues your bird must compensate for while living in North America instead of near the equator where most domestic parrots are typically native to. A cautionary note: have a special shower perch (some are commercially available) so your bird doesn’t slip on your wet body and grabs a part of you to break the fall. (Ouch.)

RESCUE ME: The rescue and rehabilitation team of Macaw Conservation Costa Rica has rescued and successfully released more than 30 parrots between 2015 – ’17. At this writing, 17 macaws, 4 Amazons and one tiny orange chinned parakeet named Chichi currently reside at the MCCR center. Some will be carefully released back into the wild in a fashion that ensures they will have a reliable food source and the safety of the center as they work their way back toward independence. – From Foster Parrots “Flying Monkey”.

SMUGGLERS’ BLUES:  New enforcement focus pays off in Palawan, Philippines. Multi-agency force seized 76 Palawan Hill mynahs, 125 blue-naped parrots, and 1 Palawan hornbill in Municipality of Quezon, Palawan Province on  July 11.  A month ago it was 35 Palawan Hill mynahs and 12 blue-naped parrots seized in the same town:;  Traffic Southeast Asia


PARROTS APLENTY make their home at Animal Adventures Family Zoo & Rescue Center in Bolton, MA. As its name suggests, it’s an interesting combination of rescue for no longer wanted pets and small zoo attraction. And it’s not just any old pets, along with parrots they run the gamut from alligators through kinkajous to skunks (no worries; descented).  Some of the collection make appearances at Kimball’s Farm in Westford, MA.

FATAL DISTRACTION: Many years ago I was going to cook a couple of game hens and one was still on the counter being prepared. My husband came home and looked at the naked game hen and asked what it was. I said I just really got fed up with his little half moon parrot and I was serving it for dinner. The look on his face was pure terror and I never played that joke again. – From a Facebook post

PSITTACINE CINEMA: The Brave Little Parrot – YouTube The healing story of a brave little parrot who helped to save the forest animals from a raging fire. The story helps children to overcome a traumatic incident that they have encountered. Many children find it helpful to draw about this story or act it out as part of a healing process. The story’s origins are unknown but stories like this have been passed down through the generations to teach and instruct, changing little (it is believed) from the original.

NOT QUITE IMMORTALIZED by way of sand sculptures were the macaw stars of the animated “Rio 2” at the annual sand sculpture contest at the Revere, MA beach; Amewrica’s first public beach.

STICK IT: It’s fairly well known that “nonstick” pans release dangerous airborne chemicals into the air that can kill birds instantly. These fumes can also give humans “polymer fume fever” and exposure has been linked to certain cancers as well.
Cast Iron is the way to go, and if you purchase any “green” non-stick make sure it is both PTFE and PFOA free.

HOT DATES: NOW-Aug. SARA THE JARDINES PARROT IN ART EXHIBIT with companion human Glenn Sorino  at New York City’s Anton Kern Gallery.  The Gallery is at 16 East 55th Street. —  7/22: ​​EXOTIC BIRD MART $10/6-12 $5.. 10-3. Monterey County Fair,  2004 Fairground Road Monterey, CA 93940 (Salinas Room) — 7:26: CATSKILL BIRD CLUB ANNIVERSARY DINNER Speaker parrot trainer Glenn Sorino, silent auction. Cost: $40. 6 p.m.   Eagle’s Nest Catering Hall, Bloomingburg, NY.

From the parrot’s beak: 7/15 edition

parrot plate

PHOTO: See them on a plate or see them live at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. – Photo by George Sommers

MACAW NAP ATTEMPT THWARTED when a quick thinking 70 year old pet store employee grabbed a stick and put the beat down on the fleeing suspect. The suspect pretended to be a customer at the Los Angeles Birds Plus store, asking about what kind of bird would be best for his family. He left, but rushed back in; grabbing a macaw valued at over $1000 and stuffing it in a canvas bag. The employee was able to knock him to the floor and chased him out the door. Although the would be thief  got away, the clerk was able to take back the macaw, who has reportedly “since recovered”.  Video of the fracas was captured on the store’s surveillance cameras and can be viewed in the http below. Anyone with information can contact Detective Barba or Detective Cheun at (818) 374-0081, or call (877) 527-3247 after business hours and on weekends. Anonymous tips can be submitted via (800) 222-8477 or –  For more,

GO FISH WITH THE BIRDS: Cut the deck and ante up, Polly; because it’s time for our Friday night card game. Yes, playing cards is another fun enrichment activity for you and your parrot, according to Jennifer Cunha in her Facebook page “My Reading Pets: The Learning Adventures of Ellie and Isabelle”.  If you’re not shuffling that deck or Polly hasn’t shredded the cards yet, here are the rules:
1. Each player is dealt three colors.
2. Colors are randomly selected from “the deck” (in our case, their foam letters bag).
3. The parrot gets to choose first whether she has a match.
4. If she DOES and she says YES she gets a pair (removed from her hand) and a treat!
5. If she DOES and she says NO she gets to try again until she gets it right. She gets a treat, but doesn’t get a pair 🙂
6. If she DOES NOT – she gets a treat for correctly choosing “No” (and is gently re-cued until she picks no correctly).
7. The HUMAN gets a chocolate treat every time the human gets a pair! The human gets a pair anytime: 1) the bird selects wrongly and the human has a match, or 2) the bird doesn’t have a match but the human does!
8. Whoever has three pairs first wins (and gets extra treats)!

QUOTE O’ THE WEEK: I had to poop – made it to her brand new shirt in time. This is from a parrot’s perspective, hopefully.

HOT FOR HOOKBILLS: If your budgie is holding its wings out from its body, and is panting with an open beak; it may be too hot, so open a window or get that ac cranking.

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: or a reasonable facsimile at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where a pair of yellow head Amazons perch on a branch overlooking a waterfall.

MY BIRDY TAKES THE MORNING TRAIN: An elderly gentleman living in a double wide trailer has one of those model train sets that travels from room to room. His pet macaw has a disability making flying difficult so instead, he catches the train. As the story (which we can’t verify) continues, the macaw on the train caught the eye of an unsuspecting home computer repair man, and the bird uttered, “Choo choo, mother f—–“ before vamishing toward its destination.– From a Facebook post

HOT DATES: NOW-Aug. SARA THE JARDINES PARROT IN ART EXHIBIT with companion human Glenn Sorino  at New York City’s Anton Kern Gallery.  The Gallery is at 16 East 55th Street. —  7/15: THE IMPORTANCE OF FRESH FOODS is the topic for Jamie Abete, DVM joining live on Jason Crean’s  Avian Raw Whole Food Nutrition She will also do a Q&A over on Team Thrive! immediately. — DEADLINE: now thru July 15, you can daily click on the site indicated below so that the Oasis Parrot Sanctuary might be a winner in the Shelter Challenge for a $25000 prize. — 7/17: FLIGHT FOR PARROTS CONTEST DRAWING: Grand prize: twoairplane tickets to any Westjet destination. 2Nd prize handmade macaw print fleece lap throw. Proceeds go to Flight for Parrots

LOST: Quaker ‘Kiwi’. Green. Queens, NYC, NY (718) 501-7261. — FOUND: Budgie Smithtown/Hauppauge area–Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. (631) 767-5895  Proof of ownership a must.