What Did You Say?

One reason people want parrots is that they love the idea of a talking bird. To me, this means they don’t know enough about parrots, they will get frustrated quickly, and the poor creature will end up being rehomed early on. I try to educate people about the situation, but most don’t think I know what I am talking about. Continue reading “What Did You Say?”

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Indian Ringnecks

For many years now I have been finding adorable videos online of adorable Indian ringneck parakeets. There’s this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipKzLnk82l4

And Marnie, who has a lot of videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB52iP2a_MY

And this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccG3uGsky8M

Let’s not forget this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYgC1bN02MI Continue reading “Indian Ringnecks”

We’ve got MOVIE SIGN!

Tessa Dare is a wonderful author of Romance Novels. In my spare time between feeding, watering, and cleaning birds, and setting up nest boxes, I also write romance novels. Mine are light reads, I think. Nothing that would cause anyone to stop and ponder life. But Ms. Dare did mention in a talk I heard that when she doesn’t have time to write a blog post, she just links to her favorite cute cat videos. Continue reading “We’ve got MOVIE SIGN!”

Feathered Fibbers

My living room is occupied, at least half way, by 15 cockatiels, 2 sun conures, an orange front conure, and an Indian ringneck parakeet. They are our early warning system. They announce the postal worker, the UPS driver, guests, Girl Scouts, the landlord, and those religious folks.

They also keep us informed as to the movements of all neighborhood cats, flocks of crows, the odd hawk (real or imagined), and mocking birds. We rarely get dogs running through the streets here, but there are good people who walk their dogs down our streets. The birds seem to know this is not a threat, and don’t get too excited about it.

When I was working, Sunny could hear my specific car turn the corner a couple blocks away. Once she started up, everyone joined in. Even Maynard, who resides a few rooms back from the living room, began to associate her alarm call at a certain time of the day with my arrival. He shouts “Mama!” until I come in and actually assure him I am home for the day. Well, he used to. I am rarely gone from the house for more than a few hours.

The birds also know when Mike is a few blocks away, and greet his impending arrival in the same way. The problem is, sometimes they seem to be just thinking about “Dad” coming home soon, and start to squawk. This leads to my getting up from my writing desk, walking to the living room, opening the front door, letting in the cat accidentally, closing the door on the empty driveway, chasing the cat down, and putting her out in the back yard.

A couple minutes later, the act repeats. Finally, Mike does pull into the driveway, and the cat makes her final dash into the house. The birds rejoice, and I just bet they are congratulating themselves on being right as always. Darn fibbers.

Recently, a new cat has adopted us as a late afternoon feeding station. Our cat, Oreo, does not need a backup cat, thank you very much. The new cat, Gypsy, has learned to stop playing with the doves, but the button quail are still very enticing. She won’t go into the shed at night with Oreo, probably a good thing for a cat who wants to keep all her fur and limbs. And ears. So after Oreo is safely locked in for the evening, Gypsy gets a scoop of dry food and a few good scratches.

Now the living room birds just need to learn that Gypsy loves to jump at the window, but she can’t get at them. And to stop sending out those false alarms. Thanks for reading, I will be back on Thursday.

More Backyard Parrot Watching

Quaker parrots or monk parakeets are not allowed in California. When you see how they nest, you’ll understand why. These clever little builders are the only community nesting parrots in the world. And if there aren’t forests full of trees to use for their nests, they make do.

The Brooklyn community of Quaker parrots has their own web page. http://brooklynparrots.com/ There are regular “safaris” to view the funny, busy birds in their daily workings. And here’s info on their nests. http://brooklynparrots.com/who-are-they/how-do-they-build-those-crazy-nests/

Sometime after Hurricane Katrina, monk parakeets showed up in New Orleans. http://www.nola.com/pets/index.ssf/2012/03/wild_parrots_make_homes_on_the.html

The States do not have sole claim to feral parrots. London has a major issue with Indian Ringneck Parakeets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingston_parakeets

How do these birds get into these non-parrot-typical lands and thrive? Well, usually they escape some home or shipping crate, and they are very adaptable and resourceful. Leave it to Wiki to have a list of all the feral birds found around the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_parrots

Lovebirds have founded colonies in Texas and Arizona. Guess it’s not that much different from Africa in those areas. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-magazines/bird-talk/2009-february/peach-faced-lovebirds.aspx And according to this forum poster, Double Yellow Headed Amazons are colonizing South Texas! Amazing! http://parrot-lovers.livejournal.com/4582062.html

In Indonesia, smugglers travel through known routes with their contraband. This one was caught, but could some have been scared enough to dump the birds before being apprehended by authorities? http://www.wcs.org/news-and-features-main/bird-smuggler-busted-in-sumatra.aspx

Looks like parrots will do their level best to find a good place to live in a wild environment. The list on which parrots can be found where is interesting. So let’s imagine you live in one of the areas known for wild parrots. What can you do to help the birds out?

One very basic, very important thing you can do is provide a source of clean, fresh water. A bird bath, a fountain, a couple of dishes that you change out daily. One of my favorite restaurants has a nice garden patio in front, with a huge stone that is the middle of the fountain. So far I haven’t seen any parrots there, but crows, sparrows, and starlings love to stop there for a drink.

Food is something the birds should be able to find for themselves, but you can put out some fruit and nuts if you like. Just remember, you are not obligated to continue feeding these birds forever. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say that once you start, you can’t ever stop. Think about it. In the wild, even the urban wilds, flowers bloom at a certain time of the year. Fruit and nut trees bring out crops only for a few months of the year. Birds know there is a rhythm to these things, and they can adapt. The only caution is to keep things going in the spring and early summer, at least. If birds think there is a good supply of food and raise a family, they need that source to continue until the chicks hatch and fledge.

We’ve introduced many types of parrots to different places around the world, and for the most part they are accepted there with pleasure and appreciation. If only we could have saved our one native North America parrot, the Carolina Parakeet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80duIWG0co4

Have a good week, I’ll be back on Thursday.

The Battle of the Cute

No doubt you have all the cute cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies videos bookmarked on YouTube and Facebook by now. But what about the cute birds? Yes, parrots can be cute, too! One of my favorites is an Indian ringneck parakeet named Marnie.

Marnie plays peek-a-boo, and loves his stuffed bunny. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB52iP2a_MY He goes to Grandma’s house to meet a frog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paKb098ehnc and he knows how to throw a fun birthday party. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jL9FtXtN5w

This little parrotlet loves his ball! Listen carefully to hear him say “sorry” and other phrases. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CeI2x4h2zQ

Caiques can be the cutest just walking around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEKxJWjOoFo

Hyacinths are beautiful and can be very silly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFGGfucMUEc

I’m one of those odd folks who thinks baby birds are beautiful and cute even before the feathers grow in. But here’s an adorable puppy-like blue and gold macaw. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc0GLXeJQ0c

Macaws are very smart at a very early age. Here’s a Scarlet that wants to go . . . somewhere. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNDuHsnIAWo

Lucky for us, parrots like to interact with other species. A Hyacinth with a pit bull is adorable! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8qVZITdqgY and this scarlet macaw with two doggies is great. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMr07WddOGg I like this video, but frankly I would never let a terrier of any kind around my birds, even supervised. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrhLKh-e5bs

Parrots will even play with other parrots. But this cockatoo has a death wish, going up against a hyacinth macaw. The hyacinth outweighs the cockatoo, has a longer reach with beak alone, and is not scared of that crest at all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYAz8776i48

We share our lives with these beauties because, as this owner says, they make us smile every day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CN7ehA9V3A

These two are bonded to each other and still enjoy interacting with their human. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVSyIvTD3tg

So here’s the question. Are these caiques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbtk0CqIkhM
cuter than this Indian ringneck? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNEIByUh_zw

I could never decide. See you on Thursday.