Saturday, September 13, 2014

Organized Gangs of Parrots Ravage Los Angeles

This story in its entirety appeared on September 12, 2014:

A flock of feral parrots is flying and squawking around Echo Park and Silver Lake, making the area known for its hipster ways sound more like a jungle. “It’s loud. You know they’re there,” resident Daniel Merrill said. Merrill took photos of the exotic green birds near Silver Lake and Sunset boulevards. He says a large flock recently woke him up. “They were loud. You can hear from inside the house, definitely,” he said. Kimball Garrett, an expert on birds at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, says thousands of parrots have made their homes in Southern California. “They find everything they need here. All the seeds, fruit and berries, nectar, so they thrive,” Garrett said. Garrett founded the website, which has information about a dozen species that live across the region. The birds were brought here decades ago and were either released or escaped from cages, Garrett said. And, yes, they do get noisy. “Parrots are social birds, and they communicate by screaming at each other, basically,” he said. The birds are loud, but many feel they’re part of the neighborhood just like anything else. “I think people just need to get used to it. It’s a part of nature,” bird watcher Jenna Enns said.

"It's loud. You know they're there. . . You can hear them from inside the house, definitely. . ." My god. Parrots are loud! Clearly a threat to the LA version of Western Civilization as we know it. A large flock of wild parrots recently woke someone in LA up from a deep (probably drug induced) slumber. Yee gawds. And if that's not bad enough, they have everything they need to survive: seeds, fruit, berries, nectar. What's not to like about LA? Is it any wonder there are flocks of wild parrots flying and squawking about?

But the story says nothing about the counter measures to keep people from being awakened without warning. No mention of catapults. Nor sling-shots and arrows and bows. No demands for LA Law to roll in their oversized mine-resistant armored personnel carriers. So maybe it's not that bad. But by god, can't a guy get some sleep for chrissakes?

Monday, September 1, 2014

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True: Case of the Craigslist Parrot Scam

People frequently post parrots and other animals for sale on Craigslist, even though Craigslist has a policy banning sales of animals. To circumvent this prohibition people ask for adoption fees instead, usually equal to what the sales price would be. Most of the time there are actual real parrots behind the Craigslist posts. But occasionally not.

22 Months old Parrot for adoption. Our parrot is very socialized, hand fed, tame, vet checked and micro chipped. Health and medical certificates from our vet. DNA sexed unrelated female.

Clearly a scam. For one thing they're asking for a $350 adoption fee for a parrot worth around $10,000 on the retail market. So we responded to the Craigslist post and set the bait:

Hello: I am interested in the parrot. When and where can I see it? Michael

Almost immediately the reply came back to us:

Hi, just saw your message regarding the hyacinth macaw parrot that we want to give out. Its a female called Blue. Due to extreme personal reasons and life changes, I must find her a new home. It has nothing to do with the parrot. If you are looking for that special parrot, please read more about Blue below. If you are interested in her, I would be happy to talk about her with you, but only after you have read everything below. She's  health guaranteed and will along with her cage. she interacts well with kids and other pets. Have an excellent temperament and takes a very short time to know strangers. I have been training Blue since she was just weeks old. She has been hand fed and raised and trained to be a "PR" parrot. What I mean by this is that she was raised and trained to be in the public, and handled by the public. She has featured in many photo shoots, and has been used for educational programs, nursing homes, exhibition shows, and much more. I raised her to be comfortable in the "public eye". Due to her extensive training, she's very social and very friendly. She has a wonderful comical personality typical of hyacinth macaws. She's quite the goof when you
get to know her. she has none of the bad habits associated with most parrots.

Blue  likes to lay on her back and to be cuddled. she's very affectionate and loving. she likes to be scratched on her head. she  steps up every time you ask her, climbs on your shoulder and mimics sweet sounds to your ears. she has been well trained. She will do well in just about any home where she will get constant attention.

Unfortunately, we are unable to keep this great parrot due to serious changes in our circumstances. We want to give her out because  my husband and i went to the hospital some days back after i
have been vomiting (approx. twice a day) and also noticing general body weakness and the Doctor discovered that i am 3 months pregnant. Though good news to my husband and i, we weren't prepared for this as we are currently in MARYLAND where we went for our Honey Moon and have
finally decided to stay here. Had it been we knew earlier of the pregnancy, we would have figured out some thing better. More so, the pregnancy has been causing much weakness in me so much so that I do not have that required time and energy to devote on Blue as before. We continuing to keep Blue is like preventing her from her rights as a pet. I feel like she's not having that required time from us to cuddle and pet her. Besides, i want to concentrate more on my pregnancy as this is the first baby that we are expecting as couples and won't want any extra load on me.

Really tugging at the heartstrings here with this sob story. We're beginning to look around for our box of hankies. But like they say on television, Wait, There's More:

We are enjoying MARYLAND and do not want to return back now, else we will just fly back. Besides, i do not like traveling when pregnant as it endangers my unborn child...''HONEY THIS IS OUR FIRST BABY AND I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING TO HAPPEN TO HIM'' says my darling husband...he's already wishing for a male child...OHH men... lol... My husband and i have decided to re home blue to any gentle and loving family that is willing to usher the full required time to her. Hope your family is gonna be the best for Blue if and only if, you can provide us with some info about your home...that will help us better understand your home. That's your family composition, their reactions towards pets in general, whether or not you've owned pets before and how do you intend welcoming Blue into your home. Well i will be willing to give out Blue to your home provided you are going to give her all the necessary care and attention that she deserves in the World. I am not very much concerned about money now, all I want is to ensure that Blue  finds a good home. All i will ask from you as adoption fee is $350.

Blue needs a home where she will be out of her cage most of the day, getting lots of attention for that is what she's used to. If you think you are interested in Blue, then contact me. I will also include all of  her  toys and food samples. she's still a baby, and would make an excellent addition to any home. she's better than getting an old  parrot which will be hard to train. It will break my heart to part from her, so I would really enjoy a home that would keep me up dated on how she's adjusting. I'm not asking to see her, that would be too hard for me, but an update now and then and pictures also
would be good.

N/B, If you are not located around us, we will arrange for shipping of the parrot okay? We will also take care of the shipping cost from the $350 we are asking as adoption where are you located? Thanks

Any time an email drags on and on for twenty paragraphs clearly indicates it's a scam. I replied:

Hello Jessy: Thanks for getting back to me. I am very interested in this parrot. I live in Seattle so it would be really hard for me to check out the parrot in person and I want to be sure to get a healthy bird. So what I want you to do is send a $500 eCheck to my PayPal account. When the money clears I will pay you the $350 adoption fee and use the rest for a vet check when I receive the bird. Let me know when you're ready to send the eCheck and I'll email you my PayPal email. All the best! Michael

Silence. Shocking. I tried again:

Hello Jessy: I'm really disappointed that I haven't heard back from you. I am very interested in your Hyacinth macaw parrot Blue. Do you love your parrot as much as you say you do? Then contact me asap to let me know when you're ready to eCheck me $500 to my PayPal account so we can arrange the transfer of your parrot to my home here in Seattle. Waiting to hear from you. Michael

Still waiting. And formulating my next message. Our last attempt to elicit a response:

Hello Jessy (or Jess, or whatever the fuck your real name is): Hey, I'm still waiting to hear from you when you're going to send me your eCheck for $500 to take care of Blue bird. I guess you just don't really love your bird, do you? Michael

Don't expect we'll hear anything now.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Help Houdini Escape to a New Home

Houdini is an unconfirmed female Nanday Conure parrot, currently living in Littlerock, Washington, south of the state capitol of Olympia. Her current parront has cared for her since September 2009. His former girlfriend moved to Alaska and left the parrot in his care but never returned for her. She had Houdini for two or three years, and prior to that, her son had the bird in Florida for a year or two. So Houdini is believed to be at least nine or ten years old. Houdini is friendly towards both women and men. About two years ago, Houdini plucked her feathers overnight and has kept them plucked ever since. She seems to be OK with that, but of course, to the lay observer, it appears unkempt (also in molt in the photograph). Houdini does not have a vocabulary but sometimes mumbles. She spends a considerable amount of time out of her cage. When she starts taking flight, her parront trims her feathers. Houdini is said to be a relatively quiet bird, especially by conure parrot standards.

Houdini comes with her cage and toys and is Free to the Right Home. If you are interested in adopting Houdini please contact Northwest Parrots Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity registered in the State of Washington.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

There's Something Strangely Mesmerizing About Six Second Continuous Loop Videos

No wonder Vine is so popular. There's something strangely mesmerizing about six second continuous loop videos. So our parrots are jumping in with both feet and wings.

Our Male Congo African Grey Parrot Smokey

Our female Hyacinth Macaw Princess Tara

Our Male Ruby Macaw Mr. Cracker

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Organized Gangs of Parrots Ready to Ravage Poland

This article, in its entirety, appeared on the website Interesting News Technology: Unfortunately there is no indication on the website where the author is based, but we'll make a wild guess and say Poland.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Scientists: invasion of green parrots in Poland is only a matter of time – Polish Radio
These large, green parrots have become popular among farmers because it is easy to tame and willing to learn to imitate Sonically different sounds. It is estimated that in the period 1996-2002 to the European Union brought their 137 thousand. Due to inattention or carelessness of people a lot of pieces found in the wild. can be currently found in parks or on the streets more than a hundred European cities. Most of it is in the UK (a few years ago, the population was estimated at 10-20 thousand. Individuals), Belgium (8.5 thous.), The Netherlands and Germany (after 5,5 thous.). You can not hit as in Greece or Slovenia. Parrots great deal on the loose. They are omnivorous. Quickly discovered what they are feeders (supplanting them great tit and blue tits) and tolerate frosts. – It is said that up to minus 20 degrees Celsius give advice! Please note that cities are warmer, heating pipes are. The potential for parrots is therefore – explains the director of the Institute of Zoology, University of Life Sciences (UP) in Poznan, prof. Peter Tryjanowski (center takes part in the EU’s research program exotic invasion.) great pest and potential health risks Experts point out that where Alexandretta occur naturally are considered to be some of the larger bird pests. In India, destroy crops and plantations of sunflowers and date palms. European cities also pester – parrots are dziuplakami and often burrow holes in the insulation of buildings. The previous European experience of Alexandretta are so difficult that the parrot appeared on a list of one hundred most troublesome invasive species.
For this Alexandretta may be carriers include causing bacteria (including humans) ornithosis, or an acute infectious disease of the respiratory system, and protozoa that cause cryptosporidiosis (gastrointestinal disease). Carry a virus causing Newcastle disease in poultry. Her attack is the loss of the entire culture. 
also cause environmental problems, because in search of places to breed compete with European species, for example. dzięciołami, szpakami and kowalikami. They win as a bigger and stronger, but also because it starts breeding in February, occupying hollows birds that breed later. 
As you read the pages of the EU project DAISIE (Delivering Alien Invasive Species In Europe), yet are unknown methods to prevent invasion or limitation. Natural enemies in Europe parrot is no more than other species.

We can't decide if this article was translated into English from Polish by the author before being posted. Or possibly the article was translated into Chinese from Polish and then into English. This translation is pretty much on par with some of the printed instructions (reputedly in English) that we find with our new electronic devices.

Reading this article, we were thoroughly confused after about a half-dozen sentences. But steadfast our perseverance paid off when toward the end of the article we hit the crux of the problem:

Her attack is the loss of the entire culture. also cause environmental problems, because in search of places to breed compete with European species, for example. dzięciołami, szpakami and kowalikami. They win as a bigger and stronger, but also because it starts breeding in February, occupying hollows birds that breed later.

Her attack is the loss of the entire culture.

Wow, one parrot can bring an entire civilization to its knees! All this because Alexander the Great wanted to invade India. We can see the tee shirts of the time

Αλεξάντερ καταπατά Ινδίας και όλα τα πήρα ήταν αυτό το άθλιο Parrot*

So Western Civilization falls. Then there's the environmental problems to boot. And then the whole thing about breeding earlier and bigger and stronger. Getting the shivers just thinking about it. And if Poland falls, then what? Russia? Alaska? America? Nowhere will be safe. We'll all be speaking Indian Ringneck before they're through.

*Alexander invades India and all we got is this lousy parrot

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Repurposing Those Old Coffee Mugs

If you're like us you probably have cabinets full of old coffee mugs. Once proudly holding your favorite cup of joe. Or tea. Now just collecting dust. What to do with your old mugs you just can't bear to part with?

Well, repurpose them. Repurpose. Verb.

To reuse for a different purpose, on a long-term basis, without alteration. Example: The town common was repurposed as a practice field.

Use your old but beloved coffee mugs to hold your kitchen scrub sponges or your kitchen utensils.

Still have mugs left over? Cook with them. In our never ending effort to simplify life we're searching for meals that can be prepared in a coffee mug:

Got any ideas of your own? Please share them with us. Best idea wins a tee shirt.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wild Wild West Exclusive: Boeing's Dirty Little Secret

Earlier this season Wild Wild West brought you startling and never before seen photos of the lifecycle of free range wild caught Boeing 737 airliners from the rivers of Montana. We quoted State of Washington trade officials boasting of the superiority of free range airliners over their factory farmed competition. But as our intrepid reporters have discovered, there is a dirty little secret, long rumored but never proven, that Boeing and the airline industry didn't want the public to know.

The reality of free range 737s not living up to snuff

The Wild Wild West's intrepid reporters risked life and limb and attack dogs on the plains of Montana to snap this never before seen photo of free range airliners, deemed not suitable for the commercial airline industry, being crushed and canned for dog food. Indisputable evidence of heinous activity that belies the glitzy atmosphere promoted by Boeing and the commercial airline industry.

The hype pushed by Boeing and the commercial airline industry

People. Yet another reason to always read labels. Exercise care when purchasing canned dog food for your family pets. Read the ingredients. Make sure your canned dog food is free range 737 free. And let your grocery store manager know how you feel about this despicable activity.