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From the parrot's beak: first o' the year edition

The Parrot Wizard with truman the Cape Parrot at Connecticut's Birdie Bash.
George Sommers

- PHOTO CAPTION: Parrot Wizard Michael Sazhin and Truman the Cape parrot at The Parrot Club's Birdie Bash.

- Mike Sazhin, aka the Parrot Wizard, recently wrote to "the parrot's beak" to clarify his position on freeflight training. "I absolutely DO NOT advocate the freeflight of pet parrots outdoors without very extensive knowledge and training. If you are reintroducing a species to the wild, of course they should learn to fly free.... when it comes to my birds they're just flying in a city park. It is the obligation of parrot owners to provide a SAFE household environment conducive to INDOOR freeflight and the proper training to keep them friendly. I explain how to balance all of this in my book, 'The Parrot Wizard's Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots'. While I will not come out in the support of wing clipping, I cannot support keeping a parrot flighted in a home that is not safe for a flighted parrot (the only choice left then is don't get a parrot)." An exclusive interview and profile of the Parrot Wizard appearing in February's "Pet Gazette" by examiner George Sommers will be linked in an upcoming "parrot's beak" edition. See "clubbin'" section for an upcoming personal appearance and see the following articles by Mike Sazhin: --

- More blizzards are likely coming. Bird owners facing weather-related emergencies should review and; specific to Connecticut: --Avitech's 4th Facebook Fun Fundraiser starts NOW. Offering a $500 cash donation to the AFA Disaster Relief Program when 2,000 Facebook "Likes" are reached. Click on Avitech Bird Supplies; no drawings, no voting, no "chances to win". The AFA Disaster Relief Program sends teams of volunteers to areas in need after fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes with food and supplies necessary for birds alive. Contest ends Sat. 1/4 midnight.

-Blu is coming back... and so is Nigel!

- Hey, hey we're the monk-ees: The Carolina parakeet is out, but feral monk, or quaker parakeets- are in, even in New York City. Meanwhile, on the other coast, it remains illegal to own Quaker parrots in California.

- Psittascine cinema: Birds 101: -- How cute is Pooh the cockatoo?: erica collins -- Kakapo at the Auckland Zoo: -- More Disco hits: -- Watch out, Disco- you've got competition from Taron! -- Cockatoo and dog in concert: -- You're nobody until some bunny loves you: -- Angry bird, for real: -- The new baby black palm 'too at the Czech zoo: -- Harpo the cockatoo on New Year's day:

- Make mine rare: The cave dwelling Abaco parrot from the Bahamas: -- The rose-faced parrot (Pyrilia pulchra) is sometimes confused with the brown-hooded parrot. The former differs most clearly in the large pink-red facial patch, outlined with darker feathers, and the lack of red feathering on the flanks. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador in subtropical or tropical moist lowland. Calls made in flight are harsh and shrieking.

- When parrots attack:

- "Bolivia's blue-throated macaw has suffered mightily for the international pet trade, which caused its wild population to plummet in the 1970s and '80s. Bolivia banned live exports of the critically endangered parrots in 1984, but deforestation still threatens the roughly 120 wild survivors - a total many times smaller than the global number kept as pets," writes eco-journalist Russell McLendon. There is some good new for the blue throat, however; as Bolivia recently put more of its habitat land under protection:

- Not to mention, they don't have teeth: Many owners give their bird toothbrushes to play with. Most companies that sell toothbrushes for pet toys use the plain plastic ones but some still use regular toothbrushes. Inside the head of many brands holding the bristles in place are tiny clips; some metal and some aluminum. The metals are toxic and tiny metal clips have injured parrots in the past. They cut the crop and embed into the intestines. Play it safe, don't let your birds play with toothbrushes!

- About 20 years ago, Americans Richard and Margot Frisius retired to Costa Rica to breed, raise and release endangered scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and great green or Buffon's macaws (Ara ambigua) macaws, establishing Amigos de las Aves, (Friends of the Birds). The non-profit organization carries out controlled release programs in conjunction with MINAE (Ministry of the Environment and Energy) and Costa Rican laws. Sadly, Margot died about 4 years ago and Richard passed away 6/17/12 at the age of 93.

- "You wonder what the animals have been up to when the dog has a big parrot poo on his back. Ha! And the parrot just said 'I'm sorry" to the dog'." Thanks for sharing, Barbara Heidenriech! BTW, On Sat. 2/1/14 Barbara will be teaching a day long "Parrot Training Workshop" at the Science Museum of Western Virginia in Roanoke, VA. a from 11 AM - 4 PM. Cost is $65 to register visit this link

-Nesting behavior observed in Rico, Lara Joseph's umbrella cockatoo. He looks for dark corners, boxes, bags, drawers, etc. He clucks his beak and sometimes scratches at the insides of whatever he is in. His butt is usually, but not always up in the air. This is behavior Lara prefers not to see or encourage for several reasons, including not having an environment where Rico can carry out this natural behavior. This can cause frustration in the birds leading to other issues including aggression, screaming, and potentially a prolapsed cloaca- a condition that often does not have great outcomes. Solutions include increasing the amount or complexity in the foraging or enrichment toys and more training in the daily environment inclduing recall, targeting, and playing games.

- Tea time: Although it may look like a dirty water bowl that a parrot has made 'soup' in it is actually a healthy addition to a parrot's diet. Sally Blanchard makes green tea , adding a little cinnamon and a slice of a moderately hot pepper and puts this in the water bowls once or twice a week. Green tea is a powerhouse of nutrition and something that parrots can drink in moderation. It is rich in a powerful antioxidant called catechin polyphenols. Green tea also contains vitamins A, D, E, C, B, B5, H and K, as well as amino acids, protein, caffeine, folic acid, and fluoride. It does contain some caffeine but far less than black tea and coffee. The tannins in the tea help to prevent the absorption of iron (see Iron Storage Disease in the Companion Parrot Online Glossary for more information on this problem:

- Tips - and warnings - about bird ownership:

- Want a bird training job? Avian Behavior International is hiring a part-time non-exempt, non-benefited Avian Keeper and Programs Assistant (20-30hr/ week) at the facility in Escondido, California. Job Summary: Main responsibilities include the daily inspection, feeding, cleaning, enrichment, medicating, and maintenance of a growing collection of birds as well as general grounds maintenance and office duties. E-mail cover letter, resume, and 2 references to:

- Clubbin': Michael Sazhin, “The Parrot Wizard”, appears with his trained parrots at The Real Macaw Parrot Club meeting 1/9 VFW Hall, 6 Winslow Place, Paramus, NJ - 8 pm - 973-723-0484 - Michael became famous with his 20 Parrot Tricks in 2 Minutes YouTube video. -- Greater Charlotte Cage Bird Society is now certified through the office of the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State as a corporation, through the Clerk of Court in Gaston County North Carolina and the Internal Revenue Service. They are also looking into or in the process of becoming a 501©(3) corporation.

- Showtime: is no time, apparently as clubs are apparently taking a break for a week or so.

- Rescue me: The Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue, and Education in North Dakota received a donation of Rain Forest Foraging toys from Passion Tree House, LLC., for their Holiday Toy Drive. -- When "rescues" morph into hoarding: Garuda Aviary feeds their parrots untreated nuts in the shell, seed mixes, pellets and a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies every day at an average cost of $19 a month just to feed EACH of 50+ birds! To donate: -- Under my Wing Avian Refuge says the birds need you to help their environment be kept in order and clean, replace their chewed up toys with new ones, make toys for them, and lots of human interaction. There is much more to volunteering than scrubbing cages. Adoption of birds resumes 1/15 but you need not to wait to send your request. Donation Link: -- Louie, Moluccan cockatoo - Midwest Avian Adoption and Rescue Services Feathered Companions Aviary will be closing, with the owner explaining, "Between so many negative things happening and us now starting a new business venture I will no longer have the available time I dedicated to the aviary. If you are looking at coming as large as us be aware it takes 60-80 hours a week. Please realize this is EXTREMELY hard for me to do and would rather not have a million questions to answer." See the Feathered Companions Facebook page to purchase equipment or be considered for bird placement.

- Found: Parrot (species unspecified) in Scottsdale Arizona at Hayden and Sweetwater last week by a breeder. To identify, call 602-230-2652.

- Readin' material: Good luck to Deb White, as she launches publication of the "Avian enrichment digest", which she describes as "A work in progress!" Here's a sample: Sally Blanchard's FREE Companion Parrot Newsletter is out. There are a few people who are on FB whose e-mails are no longer valid to get the Newsletter. If you have changed e-mail, or want to be a new subscriber, send your e-mail address to:

- Condolences to Long Island Parrot Society's Lanette Raymond, whose white cockatiel, Encore, recently passed from this world.

- We got contests!! offering a free bird cage makeover - Sweepstakes ends 1/31/2014. click to enter ☆ Note: will only take a minute unless a bird is helping you type.-- Enter photos of your birds, and help raise funds for a remarkable race! Project Flight Plan - Mary Rows -- Parrot Troopers' 1/14 Organization is Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary; featured in the PBS documentary "Parrot Confidential". Win a $200 gift certificate to My Safe Bird Store. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. Drawing on 1/31 at 9 PM EST. Balance of funds after the purchase of the gift certificate will be used to provide food and toys to Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary. or paypal directly to Ticket numbers will be emailed within 48 hrs of receipt of email.

- News tips: Amy Hopkins, Viki Bullock, "Flapping Feathers" newsletter, Kathy Heaton, Barbara Heidenreich, Diane Hyde, Dawn Korpalski, Lanette Raymond, Republic of Birds, Arizona ExoticBirds Aviary, American Federation for Aviculture group email, Toby Lee Spiegel, Linda Bringle Pearl, Diane Dwyer, Angela Cancilla Herschel, American Federation for Aviculture group email, Irena Schulz

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