From the parrot’s beak: July 28


PHOTO: What’s trickier, trimming a bird’s nails or marriage? This guy will find out soon. Congratulations, Brent. – Photo by George Sommers 

FREE FLYING MACAW REUNITED WITH OWNER: Things don’t always go as planned with the controversial practice of free flying parrots. Such was the case with Paco the macaw. As reported in last week’s “beak”, the wayward bird was taken by a good Samaratin to the Giving a Hoot wildlife sanctuary in Ocala, Florida. Reaction ranged from outrage – “you have no right to keep a pet that has a family” – even including alleged threats of violence against the sanctuary, to a show of support for the sanctuary’s cautious approach in establishing ownership. Paco has been returned to his owner. An edited statement from Giving a Hoot reads: “This bird was brought to us by a person that found it in a rural area where it was prone to birds of prey, it was sitting on a fence and it flew to his truck. The bird did not have any bands, microchip or any type of tattooing marking.  This makes it very difficult to prove who the owner is, especially when multiple people are trying to claim the bird because of the value, I will not make a rush decision no matter who threatens, bullies or demands that we return a bird, when I do not have a hundred percent proof of who the owner is. We tried, diligently, in every way to work with the people so that they can prove and show that indeed this is their bird. Plus we communicated with Sheriff personnel and Animal Services, to ensure that we were properly handling the situation. I offered to even go to the vets to take DNA, anything we could do to prove that these were the true owners. I’ve been accused of not wanting to return it because it’s a free flyer which in Marion County it is against the law to allow exotics to roam, or to release them. The VERY moment we received a picture from them that we had originally asked for, with a close up, so that we can identify the facial patterns. We immediately called them and told them that this was their bird and made arrangements for them to pick up.”  Another perspective comes from Cinde Fisher, president of of Aloha Hawaiian Parrot Association,  who opposes the practice of freeflight.  “We at Aloha Hawaiian Parrot Association in Honolulu, Hawaii, just learned about your sanctuary on Sat, July 20, 2019, via George Sommers edition of ‘From the Parrot’s Beak’!! We LOVE the name, and respect you for standing up for what you believe.”

BIZARRE RELIGIOUS RITUAL IS CRUEL TO BUDGIES: In order to “celebrate” the Feast of St. Lawrence in the Vittoriosa square in Malta on Aug. 9, six budgies are placed inside an oval shaped tin ball, along with a paper mache rendition of St. Lawrence as a child with his mother. The ball is tied with a fuse and lit. “I really want to stress that there are no fireworks or explosions involved. It’s just smoke. If we used fireworks we would break the statue and the ball and no bird would survive,” says feast organizer Christian Raggio. “The majority are caught by onlooking children or their parents who look forward to the event to catch a bird and take it home to be raised as a pet,” he adds. At issue is the fact that some of the birds escape into an unfamiliar environment where their chances of survival may not be high. The matter was first raised on the Facebook page “I Will Not Go Away”, by animal rights activist and blogger Alison Bezzina. Discussions are being held between animal welfare authorities and the external festivities committee of the St Lawrence Band Club to find a solution that would somehow maintain this age-old tradition while ensuring the welfare of the birds. (Like maybe doing it inside a room and just opening a box without fire and smoke being involved and giving the kids nets?) – From

ROCKET SCIENTIST NEEDED FOR DISNEY’S TIKI BIRDS: What do you do when you want to create an amusement park attraction with tropical birds when the real things are too messy and human performers not quite dependable enough? You call in rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun, of course. Technology for the Enchanted Tiki
room, opened in 1963, was actually modeled after some of Von Braun’s weapons programs. The four original macaw stars are part of a cast of 150 singing and dancing birds and flowers; Tiki drummers, totem poles and a magic fountain. The popular exhibit was originally supposed to be a Polynesian themed restaurant with a talking bird floor show and was the first Disney attraction to be air conditioned.  – From and

PARROT PRANK: My sun conure Sam was pranking my dog by squawking like my husband is home, my poor dog ran to each window to see. If Sam did it just once it would have been cute and funny but Sam was doing this every 10 minutes for 2 hours and the dog just kept falling for it. Sam was laughing each time he did it and the poor dog just kept looking at me as if to ask me why do we have Sam he’s a jerk! – From a Facbook post.

IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT: There’s still plenty of summer to go, along with the usual tragic and near tragic stories of dogs being left inside hot cars – but birds can be victims as well.  A “parakeet type bird” (likely a lovebird) along with two dogs were removed by police from a hot car in a New Bedford, MA parking garage after a concerned passerby called for help.. The car’s internal temperature was 99 degrees. The bird and one small dog seem to  be ok and are in custody of the Animal Control Officer. A black Lab with a high body temperature was taken to a veterinarian. The owner potentially faces animal cruelty charges and a fine of $150. – From

‘TOO GONE BAD: An Australian woman couldn’t let her leave her parked car after the bird stole her earring  and tried to take chunks out of her steering wheel. A Facebook video shows the bird on her car’s windshield before it hovers around the gap between her open door and the driver’s console. Behaving more like a kea, the bird attempts to pick at any interesting piece of the door and steering wheel – all while the woman moves through emotions of alarm and hilarity. Eventually, she becomes comfortable enough to shoo the bird away, preventing it from biting any more of her car’s interior, before a passing car causes it to fly away. Only at that point does she feel safe enough to leave the her car, free at last.- From

MORE BIRD THIEVERY: A private breeder reports that in early July thieves took 54 birds. mainly various species of conures. The thieves had clearly been visitors, as they targeted specific pairs. They also knew the location of cameras and sensors. The security guard on the premises claims he heard nothing. The burglary involved three thieves and a driver. They are Hispanic, as they were heard by a neighbor speaking in Spanish. The vehicle was a black Ford F150, two doors with an extended cab, probably 2003-2004.  Police are investigating and  trying to identify the tag from surveillance videos. The same vehicle had been observing movement on the property over some days. The birds’  genetics are very well documented, allowing the owner to be able to identify the stolen birds if located through genetic finger printing. A reward is being offered for the birds’ safe return and the thieves’ apprehension. See Tony Silva’s Facebook page for more information. 

PSITTACINE CINEMA: Birds Aren`t Real” Campaign – YouTube Is this guy on to something ? Or maybe he’s just ON something. Judge for yourself. Tin foil hats not mandatory, but helpful.

TRAGEDY FOR CELEBRITY PARROT: Maverick was a conure owned by Logan Paul, who is a clothes designer who named a line of merchandise after the bird.The pair apparently had a following on Instagram. Tragedy struck while Paul was  away on vacation and Maverick was killed by his dog. Sad story but a reminder of the dangers of keeping birds in close proximity to naturally predatory animals like dogs and cats no matter how cute and friendly the pairing appears to be. – From

WEST NILE VIRUS A THREAT TO OUTDOOR BIRDS: The bad news: WNV has been reported in parakeets, cockatoos, conures, roesllas, caiques, lorikeets and others. Some of these psittacines have died from the disease.  Birds are natural hosts and mosquitoes spread the disease to other birds, humans and horses when they bite an infected bird. Infected parrots may show no signs of the disease. The good news, according to Dr. Rick Axelson, “Not every healthy person, animal or bird bitten by an infected mosquito will come down with WNV.” Moreover, research  generally agrees that parrots are somewhat resistant. Eliminating stagnant pools where mosquitoes breed is a good preventative measure, as is adding fish who like to eat mosquito larvae to garden ponds.  – From

HELP WANTED: Bird Training & Enrichment at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA currently accepting applications for fall internship. Follow the link below to apply and click on ‘Bird Keeper and Training Internship’ for more info.

HOT DATES:                                                                                                                                              7/28: LONG ISLAND PARROT SOCIETY PICNIC.  The Pavilion is covered, so there is plenty of shade and protection from the elements. Members invited, along with families and a friend or two. (Non-members may NOT bring birds!) Members are asked to bring a dish—side dish, appetizer, main dish or dessert to serve 6-8 people and a bag of ice. The Club provides paper goods, hot dogs, water and soft drinks. Sterno® fuel provided to keep hot food hot! There will be some FREE raffles too. Keep your bird safe at the picnic! Be sure its grooming is up to date to avoid unscheduled flights! Do not leave birds unsupervised. If you must walk away, please put your bird inside its cage or carrier for the duration. Bring a spray bottle so you can mist your pet if it becomes overheated. Do not feed your bird salty snacks, potato salad or other food containing mayonnaise, chocolate, hot dogs, pickles or any questionable picnic food. 10 am until dusk. Parking fee: $8.00 per vehicle or FREE with Empire Pass. Belmont Lake State Park, Pine Pavilion, North Babylon NY. 

MAILBAG: Great as usual, George! Wish we lived closer, we’d adopt some parakeets(I’m allergic to high powder birds or it would be cockatiels). Seems like most bird rescues don’t want to adopt out of state and none of our locals have any. I’m interested in adopting either one or a pair of budgies, preferably NOT breeding but eh, I can pull eggs, lol. – From Jane M. EDITOR RESPONDS: The plight of birds in need of adoption is way underreported as compared to dogs and cats. Keep checking with local SPCAs (there are at least 3 that I know of here in Massachusetts) and any other area sanctuaries. It may be that some places just didn’t have any when you happened to be looking.

LOST: Cockatoo ‘Bianca’. Syosett, NY. (516) 852-5590                                  FOUND: Lovebird,North Merrick,  NY. (516) 771 0047. Proof of ownership a must.    LOST: Quaker ‘Coco’. Bronx, NY. Reward offered. (762) 436-4144                                  FOUND: Quaker, green.  Centereach, NY.  (631) 225-1009.                                             FOUND: Cockatiel, grey/yellow. Glen Cove, NY. or (516) 476-1282/ 205-1088.                                                                                                                                       LOST: Pineapple conure ‘Baby’. Brooklyn, NY. Banded. Reward offered. (347) 468-6986/(718) 972-8453                                                                                                                                 FOUND: Canary winged parakeet. Friendly. Brooklyn, NY.   (413) 58                             LOST: Cockatiel ‘Sunny’. Grey/yellow. Amityville, NY.                                      

One thought on “From the parrot’s beak: July 28

  1. George, I was surprised to see my comment in this issue, but thanks! Still watching for budgies at shelters here and in the surrounding counties, including across the state line in to Iowa. No luck yet, but I’ll keep you posted!


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