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From the parrot's beak: 'bye polar vortex edition

Quaker parrots are okay with winter.
Quaker parrots are okay with winter.
George Sommers

- PHOTO CAPTION: Quakers are more adaptable to cold weather than most other parrot species. See related stories below.

- Polar parrot plunge: A flock of 18 parrots, including 69 year old Sparkles, are usually on hand to entertain al fresco diners at the R. Thomas Deluxe Grill in Atlanta, Georgia. When the infamous Polar Vortex's icy grip reached down South, the birds had to be moved to a local veterinarian's office; despite the ceramic heaters and heated perches the owner provides his "Hot"lanta flock. -- Meanwhile, Florida's Jungle Island, formerly Parrot Jungle, this year promoted a "Winter Wonderland" featuring 50 tons of snow technologically produced daily from 11/29-1/5. Ironically, Mother Nature provided frigid temperatures for much of Florida last week as well -- Healthy winter light for birds:

- Snow kidding: While we tend to think of parrots as denizens of the tropical rainforest, some thrive in the snow- notably; New Zealand's kea. Keas do just fine in snowy mountains - and in fact, bedevil skiers by stealing unattended lunches and chewing items like the rubber parts of windshield wipers. Monk, or quaker parrots are native to temperate Argentina- and have adapted as ferals to many wintry parts of the USA, including New York, Chicago and the New England coastline.

- Every parrot fly like a dinosaur: Most parrot fossils were excavated in Europe. The earliest dates back to the Eocene, and are 50 million years old. Most of the complete skeletons were found in Germany and England. These birds are considered the great “parrot ancestors.” However, fossils of modern parrots—with the same bone structure and appearance as the ones we see today, are about 23 million years old.

- Before "Parrots Confidential" got everyone's tail feathers in an uproar, PBS aired the much less controversial "Parrots - Look Who's Talking". -- And, recapping "Parrot Confidential", here is an exclusive interview with filmmaker Allison Argo and Adam Roberts, Executive VP of Born Free USA on National Bird Day-

- Pluck that: When 18 feather-plucking African greys were provided with pipe feeders rather than bowls, their foraging time increased by 73 minutes each day and their plumage improved noticeably within a month. Pet birds are usually given energy-dense, readily available and rapidly consumed food, where wild birds spend many hours foraging. Feather plucking is similar to trichotillomania, an impulse control disorder in humans and hair pulling; suggesting a psychological solution. Parrots that pluck have higher levels of corticosterone, a hormone secreted by many animals when they are exposed to chronic stress. Long day lengths cause birds to become overly tired and stressed. Abnormal brain function, behavioral intervention and/or environmental changes may be factors as well. Psychotropic therapy for birds has been suggested as treatment. -- If I were king of the forage:

- Oh, behave: Bids behaving badly- and how to cope with it:

- Or was it "America's Stupidest Pet Owners"?: An old "America's Funniest Home Videos" featured someone driving with a (likely) blue-crowned conure on the steering wheel. The woman was moving the wheel in an exaggerated manner for additional "dramatic effect" - and the driver's window was open.

- Psittacine cinema: Quakers are the only parrots that build a nests. Here's a video created from photos taken every 60 seconds over 10 days: -- Nakeyta, the red lored Amazon loves to shower after Arlene Levin vacuums: -- Bunny and bird brunch: -- Louie the 'too at a painting party: -- Yellow naped amazon plays hard: -- Singing parrot: -- Barbara Heidenreich's lecture on Solving Parrot Behavior Problems at Parrot Festival a few years back. I will be there again this year --Chiahna and his StarBird Hoop Loop

- Booming kakapo means a good year for chicks!: There's been plenty of activity on Codfish Island, New Zealand; fantastic booming from the boys and, if calculations are accurate, it's possible there will be mating as early as next week! As a result there are some nest-minding volunteer opportunities to aid in the wild kakapo recovery program.

- When good toys go bad: Beware: a lot of bird toys displayed lately on the web have thin pieces of string hanging all over which small birds might get their feet caught up in or strangle themselves.

- Good news dep't.: After Feathered Sanctuary reported on Joe the orange winged Amazon's very distinctive behaviors on the Best Friends website, a woman in the South contacted them. About 15 years ago her now ex-husband gave away her bird: an orange winged Amazon named Joe. Putting 2 and 2 together (and doing some background checking) they determined that the bird was indeed the one she had been missing. Joe was driven home to his rightful owner by a volunteer -- World Parrot Trust has surpassed its fundraising goal to help save Africa's Wild parrots.

- Donate discarded parrot feathers to a good cause: Many native American tribes use them for ceremonial and other purposes.

- Yellow headed parrots, other birds benefit from Belize nest box project:

- When do birds become senior pscittacines?:

- Food, glorious food: --

- Talking bird people talk: Lara Joseph is giving an on-line webinar on Understanding Behavior. This webinar has limited seating. Monday, 1/13. Here is the link with more information. -- Ein prosit to Barbara Heidenreich, whose parrot training workshop in Germany was covered by "Papageienzeit Magazine". -- Barbara also has a DVD titled "Train Your Parrot for the Vet Exam". -- Steve Lazicki's parrot rescue featured in "Rhode Island Local" magazine.

- As if the polar vortex wasn't enough: 9 counties in West Virginia have been tainted with a chemical. The chemical is colorless and there is a faint odor. It may have a gas taste and a respiratory irritant if you inhale it. Birds and other animals that may have drank this water can and should reach ANIMAL POISON CONTROL 1-800-548-2423 for help. The West Hamlin Volunteer Fire Department has water available for WVAW customers in Lincoln County.

- Foot injuries in birds- what to do:

- Clubbin': Central California Avian Society's meetings will no longer be held at the SPCA in Fresno. New meeting location is the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on North Fruit , just north of Shaw. -- Greater Charlotte Cage Bird Society will not be holding meetings at Showmars in Charlotte any longer. Please consult newsletter for further info- or contact the club to submit suggestions alternative sites.

- Showtime: - 1/17-19: Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo- Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA - Fri 4-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-5 pm - 800-677-4677 -- 1/18-19: Forest Park, GA - Tim Vogle's Southeastern Exotic Bird Fair - Atlanta State Farmers Market, 16 Forest Pkwy, Forest Park, GA- Sat 9-5, Sun 9-4 - 843-216-1553 -

- Seen: African grey seen flying around Elistown Ibstock area, England. Contact Midland Parrots for more info.

- All I need is the air that I breathe: Bird Lovers Only is an official distributor of Austin Air hepa air cleaners. For a discount and free shipping contact Irena Schulz at . Profits from the sales of the Austin Air products benefit the music cognition research (The Snowball Studies) and other programs at Bird Lovers Only.

- Lost: Male greenwing macaw in Taylor Dr., Fort Meyers, FLA. Last seen 1/5 about 7. do not attempt to catgch: not a friendly/pet bird. If seen, contact 9549435455. .-- Lost: Cockatiel, Oakland Park, FLA: -- Lost: Parrotlet 16th Street & Bell Phx. AZ very smart... opened his cage door while he outside sunning on the afternoon of the 5th . If you have him/ he lands on you / or if you see him please contact by phone: ☎ 480-238-8048

- Rescue me: There is a small private rescue in Charleston WV with 3 parrots that is in need of immediate temporary home out of the Chemical Spill area. the owner is handicapped and has no way to go get water for herself or the birds. Anyone in Ohio or vicinity able to help? -- The rescue of Pearlybird after 15 years of abuse and neglect: -- Second Chance Bird Rescue East and West Coast looking to adopt out 2 umbrella cockatoos, cherry head conure, sun conure, dusky conure, grey cockatiel; also large flight of finches ,looking to place all together since they have been together. Contact Barb or Kim for information.-- An essay from Feathered Angels: --- LaSalle Parrot Rescue, Ill. -- Feathered Sanctuary in Pennsylvania reopens Wednesday the 15th.

- 31 Days of freebies: Contest from the Bird Channel:

- Proceeds from World Parrot Trust's 2014 calendar sale support their work to save wild parrots.

- Readin' material: New book on parrot training: -- Jes Führmann, is the author "The Diary of Pink Pearl, A Bird's Eye View" first of a three part series about a Moluccan cockatoo.

- Now for something completely different: "Parrot's beak" editor George Sommers expounds on "When Cable TV Jumped the Shark".

- News tips: Rick Foster, Republic of Birds, Arlene Levin, Barbara Heidenriech, Linda Bringle Pearl, Sarah Blackmore, Flapping Feathers newsletter, American Federation for Aviculture group email, Loveyourparrot Friend page, Lara Joseph, Barbara Heidenriech, Angela Cancilla Herschel, Deb White, PBS radio, Sally Blanchard, Jes Mert, Lanette Raymond, Ellen Schloss, WindyCityParrot, Dennis Bohn, Paula Ashfield, Melissa Reome, Arizona ExoticBirds Aviary, Kathy Heaton

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