Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sad story of lonely parakeet living in Swansea's Singleton Park - where none of the other birds will make friends with it

Life sucks when you don't have a single friend in the world. This story, in its entirety, appeared on the South Wales Evening Post, January 9, 2015:

Welsh nature expert Iolo Williams has been exploring Swansea’s Singleton Park for his new TV series, where he uncovered all kinds of wildlife, including an exotic bird in need of a friend – and we've got an exclusive clip of the bird ahead of its broadcast.

“When we were filming, I had two or three people say to me, ‘you’re that boy off the telly – have you seen the parakeet yet?’” explains Iolo.

“It took us a while to find the ring-necked parakeet, but we did film it.

“It’s an escapee, native to India and parts of Asia,” he says of the glamorous bird which now calls the park home ­– and is the only species of parrot living wild in Britain.

“It spends a lot of time with the resident jackdaws, and we filmed it trying to butt in with two of them, who weren't interested.

“It’s desperately sad to see it on its own,” he adds of the lonely bird, frantically trying to make friends in its new home.

Correction. Indian Ringneck parrots are not the only species of parrot living wild in Britain. Britain also hosts a small colony of Quaker parrots which the British government is desperately and misguidedly trying to eradicate. We're told that Britain is overrun with Indian Ringneck parrots, so we can only hope with a little luck and a little effort this lonely fellow in Swansea will find a mate.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Seattle SeaParrots

The Seattle SeaParrots are super excited that the Seattle SeaHawks are going back to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row!

  Seattle SeaParrots 12th Parrot Sweatshirt
Want this shirt? Click on the image.

Featuring our 12th Parrot and Hyacinth Macaw Princess Tara. And yes she really is a Princess. Her parents are a Duke and a Duchess. And she's a big football fan. The louder the game the better!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Qahwa: The Wine of the Gods

We are followers of the Prophet Kaldi, the Ethiopian goat herder living in the Kingdom of Kaffa in ancient Ethiopia who discovered the Tree of Life, the Coffea arabica or coffee tree. Legend holds that Kaldi noticed that his goats became energized after eating a certain berry. Kaldi sampled the berries with the same effect. In his excitement he sought to have his discovery blessed by a Muslim holy man. Instead, the holy man tossed the beans into a fire in disgust. The subsequent enticing aroma caused Kaldi to create the world's first cup of coffee after recovering the burned beans and dropping them into hot water.

Although discovered in Ethiopia, the earliest cultivation of coffee was in Yemen. The Yemenis gave coffee the Arabic name Qahwa, from which our words coffee and cafe both derive. Qahwa originally meant wine, and Sufi mystics in Yemen used coffee as an aid to concentration and even spiritual intoxication when they chanted the name of God. Fitting that coffee is considered the Wine of the Gods! And the making of coffee was considered an act of subversion against the authorities. But that's a whole different story!

To pay homage to Kaldi we've been searching for the perfect Ethiopian coffee. Not finding anything on the market we liked we created our own brand!

In homage to the Birthplace of Coffee, Ethiopia, we are thrilled to offer our own Red Tail Brand Ethiopia Yirgachefe Bunna. Bunna is the Ethiopian word for coffee. We have a distinct preference for Latin American coffees, but this Ethiopian coffee is the exception. Medium Dark body. Full City roast. This is an exquisite example of how good Ethiopian coffee can be. This natural processed Ethiopia Yirgachefe Bunna is very spicy and fragrant, with a slightly chocolate or nutty quality. Subtleties include notes of citrus or tangerine (which is why Ethiopian Yirgachefe is often preferred for iced coffee). If you like a smooth, medium dark body coffee then you have found your coffee! Packed in reclosable stand-up foil valve bag. Whole bean only.

When you have your first cup of coffee of the day, be sure to bow to the East and praise the Prophet Kaldi, the discoverer of the Tree of Life!

And while you're drinking your Ethiopian coffee, show your support for the birthplace of coffee. Wear Your Yellow!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Good Company and Happy Trails

Our wish to you is Good Company and Happy Trails, wherever they may lead.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Sanctuary for Parrots in the Midst of Bustling Chennai

Another year goes. Another year comes. Sometimes it seems the more things change in this world the more they stay the same. Life starts to resemble a scene from the movie Groundhog Day. Or Back to the Future. In these dark and dreary times, to keep from getting totally depressed, it's nice to know that one person can still make a difference. This story, in its entirety, one of our favorite stories of 2014, appeared November 16, 2014, on the website The News Minute:

On a typical evening, Pycrofts Road looks like any other busy main road in Chennai. As motorists and other vehicles speed past an inconspicuous-looking building and pedestrians hurry home on a typical Friday evening, quite a few of them instantly gaze up and a look of amazement passes fleetingly on their faces.

Some of them point out into the sky, while others come to a complete stop outside the building. Some even get down and enquire and as they do, hundreds and hundreds of feathery-little green parrots perched on the terrace of the building and on wires adjacent to it take flight.

In a time where bird sightings in cities are in decline because of lack of natural habitats, the sheer number of parrots that land up every single day on the terrace of this particular building is astounding.

It’s not just magic or plain luck though.

The man behind this green sanctuary amidst an almost-concrete jungle in the city is C.Sekar, who has been feeding these parrots for well, over a decade.

Dressed up in his trademark cap (probably to protect himself from bird poop), Sekar, a full-time camera technician said that feeding the parrots wasn’t something he had planned to do. It had started quite randomly during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. When the tsunami struck the east coast of India, villages were washed away, many people living along the sea line disappeared and animals were affected.

“During that time, I found two parrots sitting on my terrace extremely tired and thirsty,” he said. “I fed them that day”. When he continued feeding them as a daily practice, the parrots returned, but with more of their tribe.

The numbers on a typical busy evening are stupendous. “This is nothing. If you see in the morning there are even more parrots. That time there is not much traffic and noise disturbance,” he said.

True to his word, the entire group takes flight disturbed by the sounds of a truck honking in the distance. However, they return to feed on the little mounds of soaked rice placed neatly on the terrace of Sekar’s house.

Sekar buys thirty kilos of rice just for the parrots every day; in all he spends almost Rs. 1000 just on food for his green-little friends each day. But even he couldn’t explain where so many parrots came from. “I think when they migrate from a place to another they pass by here.” He even explained a day on which two parrots were so tired and thirsty that they couldn’t fly onwards on their journey. “They rested on the terrace for a while, had water, and then continued,” he said.

As he talks, he mentions that an unbelievable number of people stop and just stare at the sight before them. Some of them even try to disturb the parrots. “So every evening I stand down making sure no one harms the parrots,” he said.

True to his word, two men passing by the building come to a halt near Sekar. As they enquire why Sekar fed parrots, he gets visually agitated. “Why do these people ask me if it’s a hobby?”

“Do people ask if it is a hobby to feed the poor and the homeless? All these people only want to know how much it costs and whether I have a motive behind it,” he said.

“I live in a rented house. My office is in the same building as my house here, “ Sekar said as he pointed to the same building. “I own a scooter and I have two grown-up children who are settled,” he said explaining his financial position.What does he get out of doing this? Happiness, maybe.

We would think, satisfaction definitely.