Posts Tagged ‘parrots’

Our Holiday Photo contest winner, "Santa Joshua" entered by Crystal Raida Klooz.

This is the first of our several upcoming contests. We recently had a Holiday Photo Contest for the best, safe, holiday photo of your parrot(s) in a Holiday themed photo. We had so many entries on our Facebook page. The judges had a hard time deciding which one to pick. There were four judges and each picked two. Out of the eight picked, we have a winner. We thought about having a second place but thought we would save that for future contests.

Our winner is Crystal Raida Klooz with her “Santa Joshua.” Congratulations Crystal. You can pick the toy of your choice

The winner!

from Bird Toys by Lara Joseph.

We want to thank all of those that entered. The photos were fabulous. You may want to subscribe to our blog at the top right. We plan on having many more contests and events all year long. Always feel free to post to our blog and ask questions, no matter where you are from. We are all here for the birds.

Happy New Year everyone!


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A man my husband knew through work got on the topic of parrots during break one day. He claimed he had owned an Eclectus years ago and how much he loved the bird. He proceeded to say he missed the bird so much he went to a local pet store and bought a hand fed baby cockatiel for $109.00. Last fall he went to get the bird out of its cage and the bird bit him. This happened to coincide with the bird reaching maturity and weeks of this man basically ignoring the poor thing. Unfortunately he let the bird fly away outside. He decided he needed another bird so back to the pet store he goes and selects a hand tamed young budgie. Again his social life takes precedence over interacting with the budgie. Now not only is he upset the bird bit him but its chirps are drowning out the sporting events he’s trying to watch on TV! He announces the budgie is going to meet the same fate as the cockatiel. Good news, bad news…the good news is my husband overhears all this, the bad news is he relays this information to me as I am about to go into a meeting. All I can focus on is the poor budgie. As soon as I’m out of the meeting I tell my husband, “get that bird out of there!” Fortunately the man had not released the bird and was more then happy to turn her over to us. “Squiggles” (her new name) is now a happy companion to our other budgie “Frack.” Apparently she had few if any toys because she raced through the cage like a kid at Christmas checking out all the fun things to play with. And we encourage her to chirp as loud as she wants! When will people learn that pets are not expendable! They are living, feeling, loving beings with a need for shelter, food, and affection just like us!

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“Of Parrots And People” by Mira Tweti

In keeping with this month’s topic of conservation: “Of Parrots And People” by Mira Tweti is a must read for anyone concerned with the preservation of our beloved parrots. Though not a “warm-fuzzy” read, it is an educational eye-opener. Ms. Tweti covers everything from parrots in our homes, cared for and loved, to the smuggling business, the pillaging of the eco-system, bird mills, shady pet store practices, and the politics behind much of this.

Of the known 9,700 species of birds, 340 are parrots. Of the 165 bird species listed on CITES Appendix I, 51 are parrots. So 30 percent of all Appendix I birds are parrots. One might think that domestic breeding could be the answer but in many cases this poses its own problems. Bird mills can produce thousands of parrots at a time which in turn are sold to low overhead, understaffed pet or pet supply stores. Syringe feeding is done by a rotating staff of low wage, under-trained workers and sold as “hand raised.” What the unsuspecting buyer is getting is an emotionally deprived parrot whose most intimate contact has been a plastic syringe. Ms. Tweti also uncovered practices in pet stores where instead of taking sick or injured animals to the vet, it was “cheaper” to put them in the store’s freezer until they died.

Deforestation is another problem. To feed our huge appetites for wood, cheap fast food hamburgers, and paper products, guess who suffers, the parrots who lose their habitat and food sources. It takes 90 years to grow a box of kleenex. In 2003 Kimberly-Clark produced 1.3 million tons of tissue and toilet paper, 30 percent coming from virgin pulp from ancient boreal trees. And pound for pound, parrots are worth more on the black market then cocaine. Ms. Tweti goes on to say because we consume way more then other countries, our ecological footprint is twenty to thirty acres – that is how much agricultural land one American uses for food, clothing and daily essentials, and disposal of waste products.

In closing she writes “Parrots are the canaries in the coal mine of the present day ecological crisis. When you follow the parrot trail – from the relentless hunting that is decimating populations in the wild, to rampant deforestation that is clearing their natural habitats – it leads to the decline and destruction not only of these treasured species but of other species still unknown to us, and eventually to our systemic destruction of the planet as we know it”. This excellent book is filled with facts we all, as responsible parrot owners, need to be aware of, painful as they may be.

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Ice storm February 2011

It was 3:59 AM and I was just getting ready to do my weight routine (yes, I know that sounds crazy) when the power went out. I had not looked outside so I figured I would light a few candles, fortunatly I had a good supply of soy, not parrafin candles, and do my routine, the power would be back on soon…WRONG! My birds had their veggie breakfast in front of them, the house was still warm. By 5 AM my husband got up and wondered what was going on. We couldn’t use the TV,

Are you and your birds prepared for a possible power outage?

computer, or even the radio so he got in the car and used the car radio. By then we had looked outside to see the beautiful but deadly coatings of ice on everything and limbs down everywhere. My daughter was home for President’s Day and by noon she was bored out of her skull with no electronics. The birds held up remarkably well, seeming to sense that this was an “unusual” day and they behaved well, no screaming, wandering, shredding, the usual birdie pastimes. By late afternoon I became worried about the coming night and no furnace. We had the fireplace going since 5 AM but the house was getting COLD! So I called my avian vet on my cell phone for advice. She said the birds should be alright if the temperature did not go below 55 degrees. If we could get an alternative heat source propane was okay, kerosene was NOT! And we could bring the birds in to board overnight if we wanted to go that route. Being that we have 7 birds we decided to ride this out. All the birds were put in the breakfast room near (but not too near) the fireplace. I wrapped their cages first in wool (not synthetic) blankets and then covered them again in afghans. Everyone made it through the night and the next day I made sure they all had extra food (Max, my macaw, had been on a diet…she thought this was great) to help them stay warm.  I was SO happy when at 8 PM the next night the power was back on. I think my birds came through this way better then I did! About the only good thing that came from this was the fact that we all spent time together and even found time to play “Birdopoly”. Please send in your stories and tips about how you and your birds weathered Ice-mageddon.

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