Inca, my blue-fronted amazon parrot, says “Hi” to Phinnie when he wanders out the patio door toward her cage. If he gets too close, however, she is not a happy camper. Continue reading »
Turns out ex-brothel madam Heidi Fleiss has about 20 macaws and is going to be featured in the crazily titled new Animal Planet special, Heidi Fleiss: Prostitutes to Parrots. She inherited, for lack of a better word, the birds from the woman who used to run the exotic bird department at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.
Heidi has a decidedly negative view of keeping parrots as pets – probably because she has encountered the worst of the worse – birds that hadn’t seen sunlight in 14 years is one example she gives. I do think her belief that they should go extinct is just hyperbole – mainly because she sees deforestation destroying their natural habitat and the only other option (captivity) isn’t a life for these birds. While I agree that there are many cases of birds stuck in garages and other horrible life circumstances, I think there are plenty of people who have domestically raised parrots who give them good lives with plenty of sunshine and freedom.
You can read more about the series here http://www.tvguide.com/News/Exclusive-Heidi-Fleiss-1035860.aspx
I noticed early on with my amazon that she prefers to step up with her left foot – she occasionally picks up the right one, but always “changes her mind,” puts it down, and picks up the left.
Now a study out of Australia confirms that parrots are indeed more likely to be left-handed. Continue reading »
Here is a bizarre story out of Columbia. Drug traffickers are training parrots to alert them to possible drug raids by law enforcement.
A parrot in Columbia was “arrested” because they believe he tipped of a drug cartel family about a police raid. The bird reportedly alerted the drug cartel by yelling “Run! Run! You’re going to get caught!” in Spanish.
This isn’t the first parrot that has been “arrested” in Columbia. Apparently police have taken into custody over 1,700 parrots being used by drug cartels as trained look outs. Now they are jail birds!
Watch the video on the drug cartel look-out parrots – you can actually hear the parrot speaking in Spanish – warning someone to run.
It’s always disheartening to read about abuse of parrots – but unfortunately there are animal cruelty stories in the news on a regular basis.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a man was arrested for abusing his parrot. He was carrying the bird in his backpack, and witnesses say he shook it so hard its feathers were falling out – the bird tried to fight back, leaving a few good bites and scratches on the abusive man. Police said the parrot was squawking loudly when they arrived on the scene. They said the bird was limping and had a red eye and some areas where feathers were missing. The jack*&# claimed he was just training the bird. Nice attitude. The abuser is being held in Washtenaw County Jail and faces a charge of animal cruelty; this is a felony charge (thank goodness some states do this!) that carries a maximum sentence of one year, a $5,000 fine or 500 hours of community service. Let’s hope he does some jail time.
The Ex-Parrot skit is one of Monty Python’s most famous: a man returns to the pet store with the “Norwegian Blue” parrot and complains that the bird is dead. The store owner claims he’s just resting, or his pining for the Fjords of Norway. John Cleese demands a refund while describing the parrot’s demise in many hilarious ways, including calling him an “ex-parrot.”
It’s a twisted but hilarious skit, but now something not so nice is going on in the UK: parrots advertised on the Internet or in newspapers at too-good-to-be true prices, which die soon after arriving at their new owner’s home.
Officials are warning people not to buy any pet without first seeing it – or verifying the authenticity of the ad and those who are taking it out. Some of these birds are being snatched out of the wild (flocks that have grown due to past escapes), and the shock is apparently too much for them.
Always consider the source before buying a parrot!
Via a story on Care 2 Make a Difference…
Researchers (Miyata et al) have been studying the Kea parrot of New Zealand. These beautiful birds are called the “clown of the mountains” and are known for being rather bold, playful creatures. I remember hearing stories a few years ago about how they had developed a taste for any little bit of rubber on cars. Hee hee. Skiiers would come back to their cars after a day on the mountain and find their handiwork. Continue reading »
The Brooklyn Parrots are a flock of feral birds that have loyal “followers” – you can see the website about them here
Recently neighbors caught a pair trying to nab the birds using long poles and a net.
In other feral news, a quaker parrot nest in the Bronx was recently destroyed.
This sick individual, Dennis Zeglin, decided his African Grey parrot was too noisy and was interfering with the watching of NASCAR on TV. So he shot him with a pellet gun. Because animal cruelty laws are so weak in this country, he may get off with some community service.
The 67-year-old New Jersey resident will likely get probation, and unbelievably, will not have a record if he doesn’t get into trouble during that three-year period. He also has to do 100 hours of community service with a humane center. Would you want this guy handling animals at a humane center? I hope they give me the job of cleaning up the poop.
His defense? According to his lawyer, he was drunk at the time. The African Grey, “Mikey,” was 20 years old at the time of his death at the hands of his low-life owner.
For some people, noise is a major consideration when bringing a parrot into the home. If you live in an apartment, you don’t want to alienate your neighbors with a Moluccan cockatoo screaming his lungs out at 7 am. You also have to think about their ability to learn sounds. I’ve heard funny, and not-so-funny, stories about African greys who learned to cry like the newborn baby in the house, imitate the construction going on next door, and let out embarrassing sounds that an owner might be reluctant to explain to visitors. Continue reading »