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From the parrot's beak: didja know edition

Parrot-phernalia from the examiner's collection.
Parrot-phernalia from the examiner's collection.
George Sommers

- The 298 human passengers of the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine were not the only fatalities. A couple of dogs and 20 exotic birds were also reportedly killed; including parrots, peacocks and ornamental pigeons.The remains of one blue and gold macaw were on a photo recently posted on social media. The flight's cargo manifest as published online noted 5 shipments of live birds weighing a total of 154 pounds and 4 shipments of live pigeons at 181 pounds

- Didja know: Flocks of wild budgerigars (aka parakeets in the US) will follow kangaroos in search of food. Or that murmuration is the term for a swarming flock of budgies? It's all on video here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1444305319165379&fref=nf Budgies are found in arid parts of Australia, surviving harsh inland conditions for the last five million years. The only place were feral populations appear to have established themselves outside of Australia is west central Florida, USA, where they have been recorded in St. Petersburg since the 1940s. The species was first recorded in 1805, and today is the third most popular pet in the world, after the domesticated dog and cat.

- Presley, the Spix's macaw said to be the inspiration for "Rio" has died. "Rio 2" was recently released on DVD. For more on Presley: http://www.birdchannel.com/celebrating-the-life-of-presley.aspx#.U86X15c... -- And speaking of the Spix, The first ever successful artificial insemination in the most endangered parrot of the world, the Spix's macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) in Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, Qatar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thR4HF3IHPY

- Pscittacine cinema: Basketball playing birds, and we don't mean Larry Bird: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clu4tlLqysM -- Parrot opera singers: http://www.classicfm.com/discover/music/best-opera-singing-parrots/ -- Clover just could be the world's best talking parrot with a 350 word vocabulary: http://www.youtube.com/watch? -- But Disco is no slacker either: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHgCEB3jCRYv=9y3VX8VU9kI&feature=youtu.be -- Frostie the cockatoo dances to "Boogie Shoes" -- Dinner & show: cockatiel & dog: http://3milliondogs.com/cute/cockatiel-serenades-dog-through-his-dinner -- Jasper the African grey parrot puts in his two cents: http://blog.petflow.com/i-keep-watching-this-parrot-on-repeat-this-video... -- African grey, monkey and woman share shower: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv-oAd9MVNU&feature=youtu.be

- Only in Florida: Red headed woman in a bikini and high heels likes to ride a tractor with seven pet macaws aboard, as seen in a recent Facebook photo. Another Florida woman rides her 6 cockatoos on her bike's modified handlebars, says a commenter. Both of which top the man riding his motorcycle with just one Amazon parrot on the handlebars during a New Hampshire Bike Week that this examiner once observed.

- Parrotrivia: Pres. William McKinley had a double yellow head Amazon named Washington who flirted with older ladies and would accompany the president on tunes including "Yankee Doodle".

- Move over, cuckoos: Mojo the macaw is hotel's living alarm clock: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2704065/Mojo-macaw...

- Ozzi update: July 23 was an uneventful day in court. The perpetrator pled not guilty and will stand with the other two for the trial on August 13.

- The American Federation of Aviculture's 40th annual convention is 7/30-8/2 in Portland, Oregon. Featured attractions include speakers, raffles, bird show, legislative workshop, birds doing tricks with roller skates, scooter, basketball, and dollar bills; art auctions; shopping; walk through aviary; banquet; awards night; bling that cage; iron chop and more. There is a move afoot to bring the convention to a northeast location next year. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-news/20114/07/21/2014-afa-conference-in-... utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=birdchannel_2014_07_21+%281%29&&fb_action_ids=10203607135932261&fb_action_types=og.likes

- Strangely absent from the July 28 "Time" magazine cover story on exotic invasives was any mention of the various species of feral parrots that have colonized much of the sunbelt or quaker parrots spreading even into the northeast and midwest. Ironically, a finalist entry in an "Arizona Highways" magazine photography contest was a pair of peachface lovebirds peering from a cactus cavity.

- Parrot Wizard update: We haven't heard much from Michael Sazhin since Truman's great but brief escape. An update on Sazhin and his rescue macaw from Lazicki's Birdhouse in Rhode Island: http://www.parrotshop.org/rescued-macaw-appreciates-her-new-home-a-must-...

- Oh, snap: A video recently featured on Facebook showed a cat and parrot playfully swiping each other over the cat's food dish. A viewer from AFA notes, "Cats have a bacteria called pasteurella in their mouth and claws, even a minor scratch can cause death in less than 24 hours." Others have warned that no matter how well trained, the predatory instinct will sometimes kick in instantly in a dog or cat. Although this column is occasionally guilty of showing these interspecies clips, including the one with the dog and cockatiel this week; as always, this examiner strongly warns against mixing predator/prey species.

- Bird Relationships: BFFs Or Disasters Waiting To Happen?: http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-behavior-and-training/relationships-betw...

- 7 parrot training tips: http://www.birdchannel.com/parrot-training/7-tricks-to-training-your-par... -- 4 simple behaviors to make vet visits less stressful for your parrot: http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com/2014/07/tips-to-make-veterinary-visits-s... -- Training parrots to get on a scale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHiPQvQCjnQ

- Found: Umbrella cockatoo, Newark NJ. Has band. Fully flighted, feathers picked on back and legs. Email s.inglis425@gmail.com-- Stolen: Baby Jardine's parrot, only 7 weeks old. Bellbrook, Ohio. Contact 937-848-4819 or the Bellbrook Police at 937-848-8484 with any information.

- Rescue me: Sake and Bubbles the conures need your help: http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/conures-sake-and-bubbles/196670 -- Not happily ever after, after all: The rescue story of Betty the harlequin macaw featured in last week's "parrot's beak" ultimately went back to her previous owner, but years of neglect and malnourishment took their toll and the bird died 4 years ago.

-New tips: Kashmir Csaky, Linda Bringle Pearl , Republic of Birds, Barbara Heidenreich, Concetta Ferragamo. Ray Riley, Lara Joseph, Irena Schulz, Kathy Heaton, Lanette Raymond, Dennis Bohn