Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quoth the Parrot “Nevermore”

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

We learned probably as children that there was a raven tapping at Edgar Allan Poe's chamber door. Only this and nothing more. But it might have been a parrot.

Poe originally considered featuring a parrot in his classic poem, because of course, parrots can talk. The parrots that Poe would have known and admired in the early 19th century would have been exotic and colorful macaws brought back by mariners from South America or bright white cockatoos from Australia and the South Pacific. Neither would have been appropriate for the dark and mournful mood Poe wanted to set for the poem.

Our Blue and Gold macaw parrot Aboo, too loud, colorful and boisterous for a dark poem

Goffin's Cockatoo Kid Kadra, too loud, boisterous, and bright; and an outright juvenile delinquent

Not black. Not dark. Not mournful. So Poe decided to feature a raven instead. Black. Mournful. And best of all for Poe, ravens also can talk. As Charles Dickens demonstrated in Barnaby Rudge, a book Poe read and admired. Thus the raven quoth "nevermore".

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Question: How Do You Give a Pedicure To a Blue Feathered Dinosaur?

Answer: Very Carefully!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Parrot Created God In Her Image

How is it Adam and Eve had a parrot? Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471 - 1528) The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve) 1504

Native to North Africa and India, Ringed-neck parrots or parakeets are established in Germany today, but in the Germany of 1504? Not so much. In medieval Europe parrot keeping was exclusively the domain of the nobility.

A renowned artist like Albrecht Dürer, whose patrons included Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, was used to the rarified atmosphere of medieval courts and most likely saw a parrot or two in his courtly rounds. To illustrate the importance Albrecht Dürer must have assigned to parrots, the Fall of Man was the first engraving that Albrecht Dürer actually signed. And his signature is hanging from the same branch the parrot is perched on.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Fab Four. And Their Parrot

The Beatles arrived in Seattle fifty years ago this past week, August 25, 1966, for their second and last appearance in the Emerald City. Which of course got us to thinking about John, Paul, George, and Ringo. And parrots. Because, why not?

And sure enough:

We found John and Paul posing with a parrot. Though Paul didn't seem particularly happy about it.

Ringo, however, was clearly comfortable with the Blue and Gold macaw on his shoulder.

John seemed to have a particular affinity for this Blue and Gold macaw parrot.

We're still searching for a photo of George with a parrot. Don't think this one counts.

Here's George in the vicinity of a parrot. If anybody knows of a photo of George with a parrot, please send us a link and we will happily post it.

Even better, if anyone knows the backstory to the Blue and Gold macaw parrot on set with The Beatles please share!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Feathered Hoodlums

This story, in its entirety, appeared on New Zealand's Stuff website.

Kea [parrot] ruffles residents' feathers in Marlborough
By Paula Hulburt
August 18 2016

A kea has been spotted in Onamalutu Valley, west of Blenheim

Residents in rural Marlborough are on the lookout for a feathered hoodlum vandalising property.

A rogue kea has been spotted in the Onamalutu Valley, about 25 kilometres west of Blenheim, leaving bicycle seats and spa pool covers in its wake.

The Department of Conservation has warned residents to keep an eye out for the troublesome bird.

Letters have gone out to homeowners asking them to actively discourage the cheeky parrots by squirting them with water from a hose.

DOC biosecurity supervisor Mike Avis said the birds had not been seen in the valley for a number of years.

"They are hoons and hoodlums and shouldn't be encouraged," he said. "They are usually found in the Richmond ranges so are a bit off their patch."

It was unconfirmed whether it was one or two birds wreaking havoc in the Onamalutu as reports differed and they had not been seen together.

"Tempting as it may be to feed them and keep them around it is not the best thing for them," Avis said. "They get bored and are clever birds who like to find out about their environments. They are inquisitive and that's how they get into trouble and how they've learnt to survive in areas where other parrots can't.

"They get up on the roofs of older style homes and eat the lead piping and it kills them."

DOC sent out the letters last week as a precaution and worked in conjunction with the Kea Conservation Trust to ensure people knew what to do.

The kea was the only truly alpine parrot in the world, and gained early notoriety among settler farmers for attacks on sheep. Their antics were a source of amusement to many but they also had a reputation for causing chaos.

Kea were unusual in that they actively sought out and interacted with people and their property.

Avis said the parrots loved to go exploring.

"They definitely have their foibles and people either love them or don't want them around."

Anyone who sees a kea should contact DOC to report the sighting and to get advice on 03 572 9100.

Without a doubt this has to be the finest piece of unintentionally sarcastic news writing this year:

DOC biosecurity supervisor Mike Avis said the birds had not been seen in the valley for a number of years. "They are hoons and hoodlums and shouldn't be encouraged," he said. "They are usually found in the Richmond ranges so are a bit off their patch."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Are You Ready For Some Football? What is up with the Rio Olympics, anyway? We're still trying to wrap our head around the idea of holding Summer Olympics where it's Winter in Rio!

It's been a long drought since February. Our Seattle SeaParrots are super-excited to finally see some real NFL football on TV. Especially our SeaPrincess our Hyacinth macaw parrot Princess Tara. But heck, all of our parrots love the noise, action, and excitement of a football game.