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From the parrot's beak: 8/17 edition

Flock of macaws.
Flock of macaws.
George Sommers

- Fever fells ferals: Twenty feral lovebirds found dead of psittacosis in Arizona. The non-native species often nests in cactus cavities and is thought to outcompete some native species, like cactus wrens. There is no apparent connection with the recent psittacosis outbreak at PetSmart's Rainbow Exotics breeding facilities. SCROLL TO CONTINUE ARTICLE.

- Theft proof your bird: Regular readers of this column may have noticed a number of reports of stolen parrots. Unfortunately, sites like Craigslist make it esier to sell stolen birds.

- Cookie the cockatoo's 81st birthday surprise party:

- Conservation corner: The good news: a new population of rare grey breased parakeets is discovered. The bad news: It's only five, and some apparently inbred. -- Film maker seeks to document plight of scarlet macaws:

- Budgie - or feather mop?:

- Psittacine cinema: Buddy the blue and gold macaw is 3 Stooges fan: -- Parrot sings on Fox TV: -- Cockatiel sings Mickey Mouse theme: -- Blood flows where my parrot goes (song): -- Disco talks to Daddy: -- How to help your bird preen new feathers. -- Flock o' 'toos: -- Macaw freefligh in the old quarry: -- Cockatoos as common as pigeons in Australian picnic!

- Ozzi update: Scheduled 8/13 hearing postponed until 8/27.

- Parrotrivia: The military macaw probably got its name from military personnel who first imported them to Europe as pets.

- What about the little guys?: Big parrots can lead to big hassles- which first time parrot buyers often find out too late. There is an alternative. Examiner George Sommers' "Pet Gazette" article appears on Page 10.

- Parrot joke o'the week: A guy walks into a pet shop and asks how much the green parrot costs. He's told $50,000. Shocked, he asks what makes him so valuable. The pet shop owner says that the parrot can sing all of the Puccini opera arias in Italian. The guy asks how much for the yellow parrot. He's told $100,000. Stunned, he asks what this one can do. Not only can he sing all of Puccini, he can perform the entire 16-hour Ring cycle by Wagner in German. Finally, he asks, "How much for the blue parrot?" He's told $1 million. Flabbergasted, he says, "What does he do?" The pet shop owner says, "We have no idea, but the other two call him Maestro -- Bonus parrot joke: A man in a pet shop sees a parrot on a perch with two ribbons in the legs, curiously approaches at the clerk and asks: What are those two tapes? Clerk says, "If she pulls the red, the parrot speaks in French, if she pulls the blue, the parrot speaks in German." Man replies, "What if you pull both?" Parrot says "I fall off the perch, stupid!"

- Talking bird people talk: No goody 'too shoes: "A woman let her umbrella cockatoo out in the morning while she got ready for work. The minute she put her shoes on, the bird ran underneath the bed and wouldn't come out. This had become a very frustrating routine. The only way she could get the bird out was to crawl around on the floor and grab him. But it was too much of a game for the cockatoo. The solution was obvious. The woman needed to change her routine and not do the same thing every morning, which included putting him back in the cage before she put her shoes on. When we do the same thing every time our parrots become so used to that routine that they demand it of us and if it is part of a game they play with us, we have to change up the rules," - Sally Blanchard. -- Patricia Sund‎ asks: want to know about quinoa? -- Just a minute, Snowball: "Just so people know, rose-breasteds can dance as well as any of the white cockatoos! At least, he's got the beat!" or so says Linda Rubin. Judge for yourself. -- Birds can be trained with positive reinforcement. Barbara Heidenreich has 2 new webinars: 1. Building trust & overcoming fear responses 2. Addressing biting & aggressive behavior.

- Scirroco the kakapo has some 10,600 Twitter followers. One woman wonders if he'll remember her after a visit two years ago. -- and, who says kakapos can't fly?

- Showtime: 8/17: Fitchburg Exotic Bird Expo, Carriage Hall, Carriage Way Drive, Fitchburg, MA 10-6, Speakers, free pet photographer, $2 admission -- 8/23-24: Tri-State Budgerigar Society Show - Middlesex County 4-H Youth Center Log Cabin, 645 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ - 10-5 - 732-583-1591 - -- Big Bend Bird Club Exotic Bird Fair And Festival - North Florida Fairgrounds, 441 Paul Russell Road, Tallahassee, FL - Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4 - 850-841-1773 -

- Found: Cockatiel Eastport, NY Call 631-505-3833.-- Lost: African grey, Roanoke, VA. Reward offered. -- Found: Eclectus. Accord NY 845-519-8816 -- Lost: Blue-crowned conure Newark, NJ. reward offered. or 973-449-2722.

- Rescue me: Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services, Inc. (MAARS) has changed from an adoption organization to strictly a sanctuary and is unable to add any other residents to their flock of 70+. This is a flock of birds who need medical care and/or each other, so are not good candidates for adoption. -- The Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education is seeking new members, potential new homes for our available parrots for adoption and volunteers. Contact or 701-293-3833. Located at 2202 2nd Ave. East, Suite D, West Fargo, ND.

- Last word this week comes from Linda Rubin's rose breasted cockatoo:

- News tips: Karen Johnson Foster, Linda Wielkotz, WindyCityParrot, Viki Bullock, Donald Jacques, Barbara Heidenreich, World Parrot Trust, Dawn Korpalski, Linda Ott, Ray Riley, Angela Cancilla Hershel, Joan Patricia Steinacher-Napolitano, Sheldon Orloff

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