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From the parrot's beak: March 8 edition

Flying the coop.
Flying the coop.
George Sommers

- Windmill punch to Dutch bird breeders: Dutch government rules taking baby animals, including birds, away from Mom is cruel. Aviculturists maintain that the best pet parrots are the ones that are hand raised by humans. SCROLL DOWN TO CONTINUE ARTICLE: The case against hand rearing: afa email

- Why nature abhors a vacuum: Apparently looking for a suitable egg laying location, Birdie, an 8 y/o parakeet belonging to Marie Margarone of Milton, MA, crawled into a vacuum cleaner moments before Margarone turned it on. The parakeet suffered major injuries including the loss of blood and a broken wing and was "barely conscious" when Margarone brought her to Angell Medical Center in Boston. "I was convinced that Birdie wouldn't make it given how violently she was thrown around the canister, but she's a member of my family just as my other pets are, and I wanted to do everything I could to help her," said Margarone. X-rays determined that the parakeet's left wing was so badly fractured that Dr. Simone-Freilicher decided to partially amputate it. "Obviously we'll ensure she stays well clear of the vacuum from here on out," said Margarone.

- Tales of lost 'tiels: Ten firefighters, a police community support officer and an RSPCA inspector were dispatched to try and persuade Georgie the cockatiel to come down from her tree hiding place. The seven hour, (very expensive) tax payer funded standoff ended with the bird recognizing and flying down to her owner's colorful nightgown on her own. Read More@ -- Vancouver man bitten by cockatoo, His emergency room visit leads to the reunion of a Portland woman with her missing cockatiel. Chris "Birdman" Driggins, who runs Northwest Bird Rescue, tried to give a dose of medicine to Einstein; an umbrella cockatoo last week, and the bird balkedand bit, peeling back a fingernail. Here's where the story gets weird(er); @ -- Yet another missing cockatiel was reunited with its owner after chirping its own name down the phone from the home of its rescuer. Smokey went missing after flying out of the door.His two-day adventure in the wild came to an end two miles away. Accountant Sue Hill said: "I heard little chirping sounds that weren't typical of the bird noises you usually hear in a park. When I looked up I saw a cockatiel perched on a branch and he flew down and landed on my shoulder.He was very friendly and just stayed there as I continued walking. I was with my mum who has a mobility scooter and when we got into the car I wrapped him in a scarf and put him in the scooter basket. My friend gave me a cage to keep him in for the night and he was just chirping away." She phoned the RSPCA which put her in touch with a man who had reported his cockatiel missing. Hill explains, "I called and spoke to his wife who told me her pet was called Smokey and asked me to put him on the phone. As soon as he heard her voice, he stopped chirping and began saying 'Smokey,' it was very funny."

- Duct tape fixes everything: A rare kakapo defies the odds to be hatched from crushed egg that was stuck back together with glue and tape. --

- Psittacine cinema: Tricky ringneck: --Another "Mr Ed" talking horse meets talking parrot full length episode (different than the one featured last week) : -- Parrot sings "The Magic Flute" by Mozart. -- Training your parrot to step on a scale: -- Hand feeding baby cockatiels: -- Funny parrots (warning: R rated language): -- Time lapse video of Quaker nest buidling = > -

- They're not photoshopped; they're half siders!:

- Avoidable tragedy: parrots die from self cleaning oven fumes:

-'Too weird: Sally Blanchard observes: "Some cockatoos put food, wood pieces, or small toys on their shoulders or in their feathers. This may be some sort of bathing displacement behavior since many parrots dust and leaf bathe." -- The notorious cockatoo "three-way" bite: "One of the most distinctive features of a cockatoo are the lower mandibles of their beaks. If you take a close look at a cockatoo's lower jaw, you'll notice a prominent "u" shaped region missing from the "bottom lip" area of the beak. This scoop-shaped feature allows a cockatoo to a three-way bite, giving their beaks extra power when clamping down on foods, branches, and even the fingers of their human caretakers!"

- That's a joke, son: A man entered a pet shop, wanting to buy a parrot. The shop owner pointed out three identical parrots on a perch and said, "The parrot to the left costs 500 dollars." "Why does that parrot cost so much?" the man wondered. The owner replied, "Well, it knows how to use a computer." The man asked about the next parrot on the perch. "That one costs 1,000 dollars because it can do everything the other parrot can do, plus it knows how to use the UNIX operating system." Naturally, the startled customer asked about the third parrot. That one costs 2,000 dollars." "And what does that one do?" the man asked. The owner replied, "To be honest, I've never seen him do a thing, but the other two call him boss!"

- Birdie body language:

-Food, glorious food: "Organic produce is best for your birds, to minimize their exposure to toxic contaminants. Berries should be organically grown as they can harbor bacteria and insecticides and they are extremely difficult to clean completely,:" says Deb White in Avian Enrichment. -- The need to not breed: feathered sanctuary -- Treat time:

- Flight and tail feathers are much stiffer and longer than contour feathers. They move the air so that the bird can fly. -- Down feathers are the small, soft, fluffy feathers located closest to the bird’s skin. They help the bird regulate its temperature.

- Talking bird people talk: Lara Joseph of the Animal Behavior Center says: "Why not train your animals for their meals? Lately we've been having some behavior issues with Suki when she is out if her cage. This morning I am training her outside of her cage for her brekkie. I am associating her food with being outside of the cage and I have her full attention and desired behaviors are increasing while the undesired are decreasing. Before undesired behaviors begin to happen, I will return her to her cage where training will happen throughout the day. Each day I do this, her out of cage time increases, so do the desired behaviors. Happy training!" -- Frank Indiviglio blogs on over production of eggs: Sund sya there's no such thing as a "starter bird".

- Most African parrots can be easily sexed after they have molted once. Identifying the sex of a pet (without DNA sexing or surgical sexing) is not advisable for breeder pairs. African grey males have a solid red tail on the underside (the secondary retrices), while those of the hen are tipped in silver. While examining proven pairs, this has proven to be accurate in over 95% of the pairs. Also, with male greys, the underside of the wings is very dark, while those of the hen are lighter grey. This only holds true for the nominate species, and not for the Timneh.

- Sneak preview of this weekend's Animal/Parrot Training Workshop with Barbara Heidenreich in Philly.

- Trivia: A macaw puts in a cameo appearance on n a "Gilligan's Island" episode which also fatures Ginger belly dancing.

- Readin' material: Snowball wants you to vote for his book by Sy Montgomery "Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo." It's been nominated for the "Reader's Choice Award"!!! Pick up a copy of the book at the Bird Lovers Only web site. -- "A Parrot for Life: Raising and Training the Perfect Parrot Companion" book by Rebecca O'Connor. The latest "The Flying Monkey"; newsletter of Foster Parrots is now available.

- Clubbin': England's Midland Parrots are at Coalville Indoor Market every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. And see "Parrots Magazine" for the March Madness Competition.

- Rescue me: Under My Wing Avian Refuge slideshow: -- Feathered Sanctuary is now officially closed to the public on Wednesdays. Hours are Thurs. & Fri. Noon to 7; Sat. & Sun. Noon to 5.2911 Willow Street Pike, Willow Street, PA 17584; Phone: 717-464-3333 Feathered Sanctuary

- Belly dancers will be performing to benefit Feathered Sanctuary and The World Parrot Trust, The Indonesian Parrot Project Sat. 3/8 at Fox Environmental Center 100 Illick's Mill Road, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Cash donation wine/ beer bar to benefit The Fox Environmental Center.Doors open at 7pm. Come early to meet the parrots. $12 minimum admittance donation at the door. "Parrot's beak" editor regrets that he has to miss this one! Dove Chocolate tasting, yet another fun event on Sat. 3/15, from 2-4 alsobenefits Feathered Sanctuary.Come in and join us.........but no sharing with the birdies! -

- Rescue me: Center for Avian Rehabilitation and Education, needs help in receiving 1,000 LIKEs in the month of March so that they may receive 1,000 pounds in donated Lafeber bird food. Please LIKE their page AND Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care at this link:

- 3/8-9:- Southeast Tennessee Aviculture Society Exotic Bird Fair - Athens Regional Park, 2405 Decatur Pike, Athens, TN - Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4 pm - 423-472-1306 - 3/9: Hernando Exotic Bird Club 16th Annual Bird Mart - Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St, Brooksville, FL - 9-4 - 727-856-3587 - -- 3/12-16: Avicultural Society of America Avicultural Conference - Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2532 West Peoria Avenue, Phoenix, AZ - 909-599-7577 - -- 3/16: Treasure Coast Exotic Bird Club 16th Annual Exotic Bird Expo - Martin County Fairgrounds, 2612 SE Dixie Hwy, Stuart, FL - 9-4 - 772-464-7210 -

- Lost: Congo African grey; $1,000 reward.

- News tips: Dennis Bohn, Paula Ashfield, Barbara Heidenreich, Linda Bringle Pearl, WHDH TV, WCVB TV, Pat Tucker, Lisa Bono, Dawn Korpalski, WindyCityParrot, BirdKeeper, Lonarae Harner, Republic of Birds, Midland Parrots, Mali Kakani, Tina Czerwinski, Sheldon Orloff, Flapping Feathers newsletter

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