Saturday, June 25, 2016

About a Bird, Aboo

An Ode to Aboo, by the Poem Lady, Marlene Bremner, at Seattle's Sunday Ballard Farmers Market:

About a bird,
Aboo, brightly
cerulean blue,
only speaks
when he wants to,
squacking loudly
or a quiet coo,
hooked bill
and a lengthy tail
an emerald crown
and a feathery
veil, parrot
of the city streets,
at everyone
he meets!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Parrots in Crisis: Vancouver Island's World Parrot Refuge

The World Parrot Refuge, located on Canada's Vancouver Island, is an educational facility that provides a “Home for Life” for previously owned pet parrots, and is operated by the “For the Love Of Parrots Refuge Society”. The Refuge has over 800 parrots, a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, and 23,000 square feet of heated indoor free-flight aviaries with plans for 16,000 square feet of easily accessed outdoor flights for the warmer months. Founded by Wendy Huntbach, the Refuge opened to the public for educational purposes on June 11, 2005.

So says the World Parrot Refuge website.

Caregivers at the Coombs World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island are struggling to care for birds like these. They hope to find new homes for up to 600 parrots and cockatoos.

Unfortunately for the parrots at World Parrot Refuge, Wendy Huntbach died early this year and her husband has washed his hands of the refuge. The refuge and the parrots are in dire straits. Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary, located in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, has stepped in as interim manager to oversee the wind down of the refuge. Greyhaven faces an August 1st deadline to find new homes for approximately 600 parrots! Should they fail, some parrots may be euthanized.

According to an urgent appeal from Greyhaven, a small volunteer-run rescue:

Most of our volunteers also work full-time. Typically we take in and adopt out about 200 birds a year. We are now in the position of trying to find suitable housing for about 600 birds, with us being on the Mainland and the birds being on the Island.  This is a daunting task, and we are doing it with integrity and a steadfast resolve to maintain our own high standards. 

The birds need us, and Greyhaven has invested a massive amount of time, effort and funds in an attempt to address the very pressing needs of these birds. 

Financial support is greatly needed, we are currently paying salaries for the staff at the refuge, purchasing food, paying medical fees and purchasing cages and other supplies needed for housing birds as they move out of the refuge. Believe it or not we are even paying for a porta-potty for the staff. 

Dr McDonald and the staff at Night Owl Bird Hospital are working around the clock to provide medical care to the most critically ill birds at the refuge.  Lab work and medications are very real costs that can't be donated or overlooked.

There currently is a crowdfunding effort underway to raise funds to support Greyhaven and the parrots of World Parrot Refuge. To read more about the dire straits these parrots face see recent articles published on CBC News, June 15th and June 18th.

Please help. If you are in Canada, please consider adopting a parrot from the refuge, or help find new homes for the parrots. If not in Canada, please consider a financial contribution to help in this desperate effort.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Illustrated Parrot Dictionary: Irony

  1. the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
    "“Don't go overboard with the gratitude,” he rejoined with heavy irony"
    synonyms:sarcasm, causticity, cynicismmockerysatire, sardonicism
    "that note of irony in her voice"
    • a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
      plural noun: ironies
      "the irony is that I thought he could help me"
      synonyms:paradoxincongruity, incongruousness
      "the irony of the situation"

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Our Hyacinth Macaw Parrot Princess Tara doesn't want to be a star. She just wants to drive my car.

Drive My Car

With Apologies to The Beatles

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said baby, "Can't you see
I wanna be famous, a star on the screen
But you can do something in between"

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I love you

I told a girl that my prospects were good
And she said baby, "It's understood
Working for peanuts is all very fine
But I can show you a better time"

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I love you
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I love you

I told that girl I can start right away
And she said, "Listen baby I got something to say
I got no car and it's breaking my heart
But I've found a driver and that's a start"

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I love you
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah

A photo posted by The Zen Parrot (@the_zen_parrot) on

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Parrots in the Annals of Crime: Parrot CSI India

This story, in its entirety, appeared on the Times of India website, February 26, 2014. Agra, a city in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state, is home to the iconic Taj Mahal:

Talking parrot ‘helps’ UP Police crack murder case

by Ishita Mishra

A talking parrot has helped the police to crack the case of its mistress' murder after it "identified" the alleged killer

Agra: In a case that seems straight out of an Agatha Christie potboiler, a parrot turned detective and helped nab its mistress' killer.

The question of who murdered Neelam Sharma, 45, and her pet dog, had been baffling the city police for almost a week till they got a clue provided by Hercule, the parrot.

Neelam, wife of Vijay Sharma, the editor of a Hindi daily, was found murdered at her residence on February 20. Her husband noticed a change in the behaviour of the parrot whenever his nephew Ashutosh visited their house after the murder.

"During discussions too, whenever Ashutosh's name was mentioned, the parrot would start screeching. This raised my suspicion and I informed the police," said Sharma.

SSP Agra, Shalabh Mathur, told TOI that Ashutosh confessed to the crime on being interrogated. "We checked his call details and took him in custody. He accepted his crime and informed us that he was accompanied by an accomplice. They had entered the house with the intention of taking away cash and other valuables."

Afraid that his aunt might recognize him, he stabbed her as well as the dog when he started barking. But he hadn't accounted for the parrot who was watching silently.

Editor's Note. There's something karmic in the parrot being named Hercule, after the famous fictional Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Parrots in the Annals of Crime

This story, in its entirety, appeared on Canada's National Post website, April 22, 2016. While the story is illustrated with a parrot totally unrelated to this story, we're guessing a Cockatoo parrot was probably involved:

A Goffin's Cockatoo, but not the parrot of the story

Ontario police break up domestic dispute between a man and his parrot. It was ‘beaking off’ at him

BRIGHTON, Ont. — An Ontario man ran afoul of provincial police this week after spending a night at home with his pet parrot.

Police in Brighton, between Toronto and Kingston, said they were originally called to a home at 8 p.m. on Tuesday after neighbours heard what they believed to be a domestic dispute.

Northumberland OPP Const. Steve Bates said the neighbours knew the home was usually occupied by a couple, but police found only one person when they arrived.

“They heard him yelling and saying, ’I hope you die,” and so on and so forth,“ Bates said. ”So we attended and we located the male of the household alone in the house screaming at his pet parrot who apparently was ’beaking off’ at him, in his words.“

The man had been drinking, Bates said, adding that the parrot did not appear to be hurt in any way.

Police did not lay any charges.