Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Zygodactyl: Cannabis Butter Coffee

Seattle has long been the Center of the Coffee Universe, and now has become Cannabis Central after Washington State became only the second state in America to legalize recreational pot. So it only makes sense to marry the two. Pot and Coffee. Cannabis Coffee. We have created a coffee drink we're calling The Zygodactyl: Cannabis Butter Coffee. Here's how you make it:


2 cups of brewed coffee (While you're at it, might as well use the best 100% parrot friendly Red Tail Brand coffee on the planet from Coffee Parrot Coffee)

1 heaping tablespoon of Pot Butter*

Coconut Milk (NOT coconut water or coconut juice; Coconut Milk!) Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a brown coconut. It should not be confused with coconut water. The color and rich taste of coconut milk can be attributed to the high oil content. Most of the fat is saturated fat. Coconut milk is a very popular food ingredient used in Southeast Asia. Don't worry about the calories. Life is too short.

Which brings to mind a coconut and parrot joke. Question: A monkey, a squirrel, and a parrot are racing to the top of a coconut tree. Which will get the banana first, the monkey, the squirrel, or the parrot? Answer: None of them, because you can’t get a banana from a coconut tree!

Sorry, but that was the best we could do.

Okay, back to making Cannabis Butter Coffee.

First, heat the container you are going to froth your coffee and pot butter in with hot boiling water. Dump the water.

Put the brewed coffee and the pot butter into a hot mug or hot blender. Wait 10-15 seconds for the butter to melt. If adding sweetener, add it before blending the beverage. Froth the coffee (either with a hand held frother or a blender).

Lastly, top with coconut milk. Serve immediately. Delicious iced or hot.

Bon Appétit! You might keep a bag of Doritos handy.

*Vary serving size according to personal taste and temperament.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I am S. Shiva, Parrot Astrologer

Parrot astrology is a tradition that originated in India. In the world of parrot astrology, the parrot (usually an Indian Ringneck Parrot) picks your fortune card and the fortune teller takes the role of an interpreter and conveys the message of the card. The first parrot astrologers originated from the South Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Typical tools of trade include a set of 27 fortune cards based on the Indian cosmic system, images of Hindu gods, charts, a notebook, a simple cage crafted out of bamboo or wood, and most importantly, a parrot.

Upon receiving a customer’s name and birth date, the fortune teller taps on the cage signaling the parrot to walk out of the cage along the stack of 27 fortune cards, almost as if it is deliberating on which one to pick. It will then pull out a card with its beak, seemingly at random. Finally it would retreat into the cage. The fortune teller would then reveal the card and interpret the message for the customer, sometimes while referring to his or her notebook.

This profession is explicitly banned in India, along with the ownership of any wild parrot or other animal. Wildlife groups within India such as the Fauna Police are working to put an end to this traditional practice. The parrots involved in this practice are confined in overly small cages, mistreated, mutilated, and malnourished. Yet the practice survives. This article, in its entirety, was published in The Hindu, October 15, 2014:

I learnt parrot astrology from my father. It is our family profession and I have been doing it for the past 14 years. I belong to Tirunelveli but I keep travelling to various town and cities. After Diwali, I plan to leave Madurai and go to Pollachi. Parrot astrology is famous in Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh. Most astrologers come from Kambalathu Naicker community and we worship goddess Jakkamma. The method of astrology is more like tarot reading or soothsaying. We keep a set of 27 cards symbolising as many stars in the cosmic system. And these cards contain pictures of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Depending upon the card my parrot picks, I predict the fortune for the customer. Nowadays, people also have images of Mother Mary or Jesus.I have an eight-year-old male parrot and I call him ‘snake babu’. I had a female named Meenakshi which I gave away to a friend. Parrots are trained by elders and the experienced astrologers to pick cards. ‘Snake Babu’ was trained by my father. He had bought him for Rs.500 from Meenakshi temple. I feed my parrot grains like rice and wheat. Parrots that are bought from temples are considered auspicious for the profession. Though female parrots are traditionally used in astrology, male parrots are also used these days. For one reading, I charge Rs.20.* In a day, I get around 20 customers. Once I get married, I may take up some other business as part-time to support my family. My elder brother works in a textile shop in Tirunelveli. Since, it is compulsory for one member of the family to pursue kili josyam, I took it up. However, I like the job.

*At today's exchange rate, 20 rupees translates to 33 cents (US). So a day's wages equals $6.60.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Alarming Primeval Squawks at Random Intervals Sometimes for Several Hours Each Day

We live with nine parrots: five macaws, three African Greys, and a Goffin's Cockatoo. We know how loud parrots can be. Even when the doors and windows are closed we can still hear our parrots down the block. We know our neighbors can hear our parrots. It's a good thing we have good neighbors. One thing we simply can not imagine is living with a couple of hundred parrots.

Pity the poor people of Battisford, a little village with a population of 482 people, on Britain's east coast. 482 people. 500 parrots! This story, in its entirety, was published in the British tabloid Ipswich Star October 9, 2014 (italics added for emphasis):

Hundreds of parrots will have to be removed from a property after neighbours argued their “health and well being” had been affected by “unbearable” noise over five years. Sleep deprived residents in Battisford, near Stowmarket, believe the animals’ owner, Peter Hammond, has up to 500 of the birds.

Earlier today they won their case, when a retrospective application to keep the animals, as well as 10 gundogs, was dismissed by nine votes to one.

Mr Hammond’s daughter Angela Berry attended the Mid Suffolk District Council meeting in his place but declined to comment following the ruling. She defended keeping the animals and said her father has only up to 200 birds.

Mr Hammond will now have up to six months to challenge the decision.

Speaking after the meeting, Sarah Griffiths said it was an “enormous relief” for all the campaigners. In the hearing she claimed one neighbour had become so stressed because of the noise, described as “unbearable”, they had to have six months off work.

“The parrots, some of them macaws, emit what can only be described as alarming primeval squawks at random intervals sometimes for several hours each day,” she said.

“Every member of my family and most of our neighbours have suffered directly because of Mr Hammond’s hobby. We have gone to work exhausted and I have sent my children to school tired. We believe Mr Hammond’s hobby has devalued our area and compromised our health and well being.

“It is a noise that is cruel and completely unnecessary.”

Leader of Mid Suffolk, Derrick Haley, criticised the authority’s environmental health team for not measuring the noise from the objectors’ homes.

But David Harrold, a senior environmental protection officer at the council, said that would not have been appropriate. He said council recordings found the level of noise to be high enough to lead to a “loss of amenity” but not a “statutory nuisance” despite sound at night breaching World Health Organisation guidelines.

Mrs Berry said a 10-foot high, four-foot deep straw bale wall had been erected in 2013 and extended this year to dampen the parrots’ noise, some of which are kept in open aviaries.

The area, she argued, already has many other noises, including helicopters from Wattisham Airfield.

She said: “The list of complaints which have been offered to the parish council have not been substantiated in any way and some are beyond belief.”

One neighbour, Louise Ashman, spoke in support of Mr Hammond. She said it was “wonderful” to have someone who “dedicates his life” to the parrots, some of which are close to being classed as “endangered”. She also claimed that no more noise was made than local pig farms.

A RSPCA spokeswoman said it would not be able to help with moving the animals but could offer advice on the best way to do so.

Pigs? Parrots? Battisford sounds like a lovely place. Living with nine parrots, we can sympathize with the good people of Battisford, we really can. The village declared its independence from the United Kingdom, for a day, back in 1983. Wonder if they might try that route again?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Organized Gangs of Parrots Ravaging Britain, Or, Gormless Limey Barmy Manky Wanker Tosser Wazzock Pillock Parrot Killing Blokes

This story, in its entirety, was published by the British newspaper The Guardian, September 24, 2014:

It has taken nets propelled by bungee cords, egg stealing and £260,000, but the days of the monk parakeet in the UK are now numbered. A programme to eradicate the colourful but non-native bird that started in 2011 has brought the population down to the last 50 birds, according to the latest government estimate.

How the birds arrived from the tropical forests of Brazil and Bolivia is not known for sure, but as popular cage birds it is likely the colonies started with birds escaping from captivity. Locals on London’s Isle of Dogs, the monk parakeets’ UK heartland, have welcomed the exotic addition to their streets. But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) concluded eradication was necessary after considering the damage caused by the feral birds in other countries and had to be carried out before the population got out of control.

The key problem is the huge communal nests built by the monk parakeets as these can cause blackouts when built on pylons and then drenched by rain. The US has already spent millions of dollars removing nests for this reason. The nests have also been linked to fires.

In the UK, Defra has revealed in response to a Freedom of Information request that the monk parakeets have already made a home in a mobile phone mast and that “they are causing a hazard to householders due to the droppings below their colonial nests”.

Since 2011, 62 birds have been captured by hand, tempted into cages or snared by “whoosh netting”, a bungee-powered net that launches from the ground over a target. A further 21 nests and 212 eggs have been taken. Most of the birds caught are then kept captive, but about 30% could not be re-homed and were put down.

“Monk parakeets can pose a threat to national infrastructure, such as pylons and substations, crops and native British wildlife,” said a Defra spokeswoman. “That is why work is being carried out to remove them in the most humane method appropriate.” She said the £260,000 cost was considerably less than having to tackle a large established population and the damage it would cause.

The RSPB has not objected to the cull, although it does not believe the monk parakeet poses a threat to indigenous wildlife. Instead, its spokesman Grahame Madge accepts removing the currently small population is prudent. “The warming climate means it could grow into a big problem in the future. In southern Spain, for example, there are monk parakeets everywhere,” he said. “And once the genie is out of the bottle, there’s little you can do.”

But while the monk parakeet is on the way out, the ring-necked parakeet is here to stay. There are now estimated to be about 8,600 breeding pairs of the bright-green birds, widely distributed across the whole of the country. “It is no longer cost-effective or viable to eradicate this species, which means that we now must bear the on-going environmental, economic and social impacts from these birds,” said the Defra spokeswoman. “This is why it is vital that we take action against invasive non-native species such as the monk parakeet before they become more widely established.”

The origin of the UK’s ring-necked parakeets is also a mystery, although there are suggestions they were first released during the filming of the film African Queen at Shepperton studios, or set free by Jimi Hendrix in Carnaby Street, London. However they arrived, in the eyes of the London Wildlife Trust, they are now “as British as curry”.

Let's get to the crux of the problem, according to this story: they are causing a hazard to householders due to the droppings below their colonial nests.

So let's get this straight. 62 feral Quaker parrots have been captured in Britain at the cost of £260,000, or $421,200 in real money. That comes to $6793.54 per parrot. Jesus Fucking Christ. Just because the Limey British Wankers don't like getting shit on, they're spending nearly $7,000 to catch each parrot? For fuck's sake, we could catch a single parrot for the cost of a bath towel and a decent beer. No wonder Britain is a little whiny self-important island backwater. Or is it backwater island?

According to the story: The US has already spent millions of dollars removing nests for this reason. The nests have also been linked to fires. Pure total unmitigated bunk! Millions of dollars. Nests linked to fires. Bull Shit! Or Parrot Poop. Take your pick. Either way, this is unsubstantiated nonsense. Years of observation of feral Quaker parrot populations in the United States show that the parrots are zero threat to agricultural crops or domestic bird species, or even domestic bird food sources. What they are is a convenient scapegoat for incompetent utility companies and shoddy utility equipment.

The Gormless Limey Barmy Manky Wanker Tosser Wazzock Pillock Blokes on that little pisswater island really don't produce much of anything anymore that anybody wants, except for stupid pictures of stupid royal grandkids. Regardless, we're betting on the parrots. So we propose launching a boycott of everything British. Save parrots. Boycott Gormless Limey Barmy Manky Wanker Tosser Wazzock Pillock Parrot Killing Britain. Free Scotland!

Oi! Ya bloody wankers!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mango the Male Miligold Parrot

Mango is a 12-year-old Miligold macaw parrot, which is a cross between a Blue and Gold and a Military macaw. Mango currently lives in Port Hadlock outside of Port Townsend, Washington. Mango is currently looking for a new home. This is Mango's story as told by Mango's Parront:

A young woman, who was a special education teacher, until she gave him to us in 2008, owned Mango. Mango had been cage bound for the first six years of his life because of his original owner's work schedule. She let him out on weekends, but her roommate was afraid of him. Mango is a very sweet little guy, normally. However, a few months ago, our Blue and Gold female decided to freak out and go after Mango. In the process, both my husband and I and the two birds received lots of bites and scratches. We had no option but to separate the two of them at that time. Until about three weeks ago, we could not let both birds out of their cages at the same time, as our Blue and Gold was too aggressive toward Mango. I have been letting Mango out of his cage while our Blue and Gold is secured in her cage, but Mango does not want to go back into his cage any longer. Until this problem occurred, we could say Mango, its bedtime. He would go into his cage, and we could shut the door. That is no longer a reality. As Mango was cage bound for the first six years of his life and has been allowed to go in and out, as he pleased since we have had him, I believe that he is angry at not having the freedom he has become accustomed to since living with us.

Mango's anger is directed at me. I have had to make two trips to the emergency room. One resulting in the loss of the nail on my left index finger and six stitches. The other resulted in 3 stitches. My husband is recovering from cancer and it has to be me to handle the parrots. We cannot risk Jim being bitten or getting an infection.

Mango is a big talker and can be very funny. He and our Blue and Gold actually have intelligent conversations, which always lead me to believe they were fully cognisant of what they were saying. Mango is very empathetic and when I am upset, he will climb up on me and attempt to hug me, or rub his face/cheek against mine. If Mango goes to the right owner, and does not have to be kept in a cage for his own safety, he will make a wonderful pet for someone. Mango has a healthy appetite, does not have high cholesterol, and sees the vet annually for his lab work and shots.

Mango has traveled with us to many locations and events. He loves people and is a real hambone. We do not allow strangers to approach him or touch him; however, because he can injure people if frightened.

Mango's diet consists of Zupreem, bird brownies that I make, using a soft food mixture of 7 or 8 legumes, wild rice, pasta, Serrano chilies, Anaheim peppers, jalapeño peppers, red peppers, Pablano peppers, and red chili peppers. I also add red, green, and yellow sweet peppers. I make a large batch of the soft food and freeze it in 3-cup batches. When I make the brownies, I use the Marie Calendar Mexican cornbread mix, 4 eggs with the shells, about 1 cup of sliced almonds, and a cup of mixed vegetables to the cornbread mix. I add about half a cup of hot sauce and enough water to make a thick batter. I will bake this for 45 minutes at 400◦ or until done. I will cut this into serving sized pieces, aboiut 2.5X2.5 inches and freeze them. Mango gets one of these each night for his dinner. I give him fruits and what veggies he will eat, he is picky some times. However, if he sees you eating something, he will want it. When we didn't have to keep the birds caged, Mango would come over to us when we were eating and help himself. He likes chicken, shrimp and fish, although we do not encourage this behavior.

Neither of us wants to give up Mango, but his aggression toward me is increasing and I believe it is because I am the one who has to always put him in his cage and not let him wander free like he used to. I do not have a separate cage for Mango. He currently uses a large travel cage when we are in the motor home, so whoever takes him will have to find a cage for him.

Finally, we have forbidden any cursing around the parrots so if someone says he curses, he did not learn it from us, and I sincerely hope that whoever takes him will continue with this restriction. He also loves his bells, which will go with him, and on occasions, the bells are extremely naughty and require a great deal of shaking.

If you are interested in adopting Mango please contact Northwest Parrots Fund.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Parrot 101: Why Parrots Can Never Be Astronauts

Our parrots love watching our Sci-Fi DVDs with us. As much as we might wish for an extraterrestrial adventure our parrots would remain Earthbound. Parrots may have sailed the High Seas in the Tall Ship days, but parrots will not be blasted into space, at least not until the advent of artificial gravity. Parrots like most other avians need gravity to swallow.

Presented in High Definition and 3D! Parrots like other avians can never be astronauts. Birds need gravity to drink. So how do parrots drink? Parrots use their tongues like paddle wheels. Our Hyacinth macaw Princess Tara demonstrates.

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?