Monday, December 31, 2012

We're Having an End of Year Contest!

What better way to end 2012 than have a contest? What's the point of the contest? You ask. Well, we'll tell you:

Did you know that President Barack Obama has been to Mars? Well, you do now. And not just once. But twice! As a young man back in the 1980s Barry, as he called himself then, participated in a secret (of course) CIA program to teleport people from Earth to Mars. And obviously back again.

Two self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents, Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings, insist that they once served as “chrononauts,” traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear a youthful Barack Obama was one of them. The White House denies this. Of course, if the White House denies something, it must be true!

This is the wingnutiest conspiracy theory we've heard this year. In fact, in our opinion, this takes the cake of tin foil cap wingnut certified lunatic conspiracy theories. In other words, just your usual Republican Teabagger talking points.

If you've encountered a conspiracy theory this past year of 2012 that is even crazier than Barack Obama on Mars, we decidedly want to hear about it. This can not be a conspiracy theory you simply dreamed up. It has to be linked to an actual news story from the past year, from any source. That's the great thing about the Internets. If there's a story out there, there's a link!

Here's the prize: The person who, in our opinion (because it's our contest), comes up with the best conspiracy theory of 2012, better than Barack Obama on Mars, wins one of the spiffiest coffee mugs in existence from as well as a bag of The Parrot Cafe's very own coffee beans.

There's no official deadline for this contest. It's one of these we'll know it when we find it deals.

Best of Luck! And Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blue Tara: Or, How is a Hyacinth Macaw Like a Tibetan Goddess?

In Tibetan Buddhism, Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha is an ancient mantra that is related to Tara, the Mother of all Buddhas, and especially to her manifestation as Green Tara. Tibetans consider Tara a Buddha of compassion and action, a protector who comes to our aid to relieve us of physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering.

Tara has twenty-one major forms, each depicted with a different color and spiritual attribute. Although the mantra Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha is a mantra most closely associated with Green Tara, it is also used as a mantra for all the Taras.

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Reciting the Green Tara Mantra
Green Tara Mantra

Blue Tara

Blue Tara or Ekajati is known as one of the twenty-one taras and one of the fiercest and most powerful of all goddesses of Indo-Tibetan mythology. Her powers include removing fear of enemies, spreading joy, and removing personal obstacles on the path to enlightenment. A goddess of one eye, her right eye was pierced so she could more effectively subjugate Tibetan demons. Blue Tara has been depicted with up to twelve heads and twenty-four arms. Blue Tara has one eye, one breast, and a single fang. She appears naked except for a garment of white clouds and tiger skin around her waist. Often, like a parrot at rest, she appears standing on a single leg. Blue Tara typically holds an axe, tantric staff, and a skull cup in her hands.

Blue Tara is the protector of secret mantras, and as such her own mantra is secret. Visions of Blue Tara are considered highly auspicious and treasured, yet not for the faint of heart. Realizations of Blue Tara can be particularly wrathful. Her speech is sharp, piercing shrieks, her eye boils, and she gnashes her fang. In some visions, Blue Tara has revealed herself twice human size, brandishing weapons, and served by witches drenched in blood.

So how is a Hyacinth macaw like a Tibetan goddess? Anyone who has lived with a Hyacinth macaw would find this description of Blue Tara strangely familiar! Blue Tara speaks in sharp, piercing shrieks. Check. Blue Tara has revealed herself twice human size. Sometimes seems like it. A goddess of one eye. Check. Blue Tara stands on one leg. Check. Blue Tara is served by witches drenched in blood. Well, okay. In Tibetan Buddhism Blue Tara has been depicted with peacock feathers. We have no doubt that if parrots inhabited Tibet she would instead appear with parrot feathers. If visions of Blue Tara are auspicious, then we are truly blessed!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Seasons Greetings From the Cast and Crew of Parrot Soup

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dusky Headed Conure Parrot Named Sam Needs New Seattle Area Home

Sam is a presumed female Dusky Headed Conure parrot. Sam was purchased from Denise's Parrot Place on Mercer Island and her hatch date is June 27, 2003. She does have all of her flight feathers but she has never been able to fly. Her cage door is kept open most of the time so she is free to climb on top of her cage. Sam also has a perch which sits on a table and she spends a lot of time there as well. Although an only parrot, Sam lives with two dogs.

Sam is Free to the Right Home and comes with her cage and play stand. If you are interested in adopting Sam, please read our Adoption Procedures page and contact Northwest Parrots Fund.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Diva Parrots, Blue Tara, and Happy Places

100% Parrot Friendly Coffee from All proceeds support the work of Northwest Parrots Fund (, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity registered in the State of Washington, saving parrots one parrot at a time!

Organic Fair Trade Kosher Certified

Diva Parrot Happy Place Blend is a full-bodied dark roast blend comprised of the highest quality Organic Fair Trade Kosher Certified coffees South America has to offer. All the beans are 100% Arabica, and each varietal was roasted separately to it's own unique flavor profile prior to blending. This blend brews up beautifully as espresso, French Press, or drip coffee. It is a mouth-filling coffee with hints of smoky chocolate. So when things seem out of control just take a deep breath, pray, chant, and brew up some of this Diva Parrot Happy Place Blend, and you too can slip away to your Happy Place!

Organic Shade Grown Fair Trade

In our humble opinion Blue Tara Morning Dew Blend may be the finest breakfast blend on the market! Blue Tara Morning Dew Blend is comprised of the finest Organic, Shade Grown, Fair Trade 100% Arabica coffees Sumatra and Central America have to offer. The Sumatran coffee is Grade 1 and was grown on small 3-5 acre farms in the Gayo Mountain region. Grown in volcanic soils and minimally processed, this Sumatra is a full-bodied, earthy coffee. The Central American coffees are Strictly Hard Bean (SHB), meaning they were grown at high elevations, in this case over 4500 ft. They are shade grown coffees that ripen slowly yielding a dense bean structure, firm acidity, and intense floral aromas. Blue Tara Morning Dew Blend is a blend of dark and medium roasted coffees, each varietal roasted separately to its own unique flavor profile prior to blending. This coffee is extremely full-bodied. On the palate it has floral notes with hints of nuts and chocolate.

To find these find coffees, teas, coffee essentials, and parrotphernalia, please visit

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Domestic Terrorism

Designate the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its officers the enablers of Domestic Terrorism that they are.
Terrorism (Noun): Systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective. It has been used throughout history by political organizations of both the left and the right, by nationalist and ethnic groups, and by revolutionaries. Terrorism's impact has been magnified by the deadliness and technological sophistication of modern-day weapons. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its officers have encouraged and enabled the use of violence by facilitating the spread of modern day weapons of mass destruction through instilling fear in politicians and the general populace as a political objective in stopping the rational and reasonable regulation of weapons of mass destruction.
Created: Dec 16, 2012
We now have 30 days to get 25,000 signatures in order for your petition to be reviewed by the White House. Until the petition has 150 signatures, it will only be available from the following URL and will not be publicly viewable on the Open Petitions section of We the People:


Saturday, December 8, 2012

What Price Freedom?

Are you faced with the difficulty of finding an appropriate Christmas present for your Secessionist Republican White Supremacist Survivalist Teabagger Mormon uncle in North Idaho who is always going on about United Nations Black Helicopters and Uppity Black Folks in US White Houses? Well, problem solved! We have the perfect item for you.

Tin Foil Squares! You read this right. One square foot sheets of tin foil. Perfect to protect against the Zombie Apocalypse and UN Mind Control. And for the Low! Low! price of $1,000.00. But hurry. You need to order now.

You scoff at the notion of paying $1,000.00 for a square foot sheet of tin foil. To which we reply:

What Price Freedom!

As your uncle will tell you after he places the tin foil cap on his head, better to be safe than sorry!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

DIY Parrot Jigsaw Puzzle

Looking for a great inexpensive Do-It-Yourself Parrot Jigsaw Puzzle for that crazy parrot person in your life? We've got the solution for you, in five (count 'em: 5) easy steps:

Step One. Copy photo onto heavy card stock.

Step Two. Cut along dotted lines.

Step Three. Toss into small box.

Step Four. Wrap.

Step Five. Don't forget to count the pieces!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Carlena's Cockatoos

Carlena is an experienced parrot person living in Auburn, Washington, south of Seattle. She has years of experience with parrots of all stripes and species. Carlena has rescued parrots, fostered parrots, and raised parrots from chicks. She currently has three parrots, all cockatoos. Unfortunately, Carlena can no longer keep her parrots. Life's changing circumstances force Carlena to find good new homes for her birds, a situation she neither desires nor embraces, but is forced to accept. As she told us: This is the hardest decision I could ever imagine having to make, but necessary.

We will let Carlena describe her parrots:

I have two Umbrella cockatoo parrots and one Goffin's cockatoo. I am looking for good homes for them. I love them all but due to a change in my situation, I have to find other homes for them. They need and deserve more attention than I am able to give them now. They all love petting and playing.

Isabella is a female Umbrella cockatoo parrot, approximately twenty-three years old, bought from a friend about ten years ago, my nicest bird but also can be my meanest when it comes to strangers in her house.

Jesse is a male Umbrella cockatoo parrot, hatched 6/99. I raised him from a chick, sweet baby, spoiled, passive, not aggressive at all.

Sly is a male Goffin's cockatoo parrot, hatched 3/96, Very nice, sweet, smart bird. I bought him from a friend about fourteen years ago, He can be a brat and will bite occasionally but most of the time he is very loving and loves to be petted all the time.

I would like to see them go to good homes that will treat them right and give them the attention they deserve. I will keep them until the right owner comes along. This is the hardest decision I could ever imagine having to make, but necessary.

I believe they would be fine if they were split up. Jesse, the Umbrella, is the only one I raised from a chick but he would probably welcome new and exciting things. My Goffin's cockatoo Sly had two previous owners up to age two when I adopted him and he was an only bird with his first two owners.

These three cockatoo parrots are Free to the Right Home. As Carlena mentions, they do not need to be adopted together. Although if that's possible, that would be the preferred option. The parrots come with their cages and accouterments.

If you would like to meet Carlena and her parrots, please contact Northwest Parrots Fund.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blue Tara is thrilled to announce the release of our updated label for our same great coffee, Blue Tara Morning Dew Blend. 100% Parrot Friendly, Organic, Shade Grown, Fair Trade. The Blue Tara Blend label features our Hyacinth Macaw Princess Tara.

Princess Tara really is a princess. Her parrot parents are a Duke and a Duchess! Proceeds from the sale of all the fine coffee from support Northwest Parrots Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity registered in the State of Washington.

In our humble opinion Blue Tara Morning Dew Blend may be the finest Organic, Shade Grown, Fair Trade breakfast blend on the market! Comprised of Sumatran and Central American coffees, this blend is complex and robust, roasted to different roast levels prior to blending resulting in a medium/dark roasted coffee that is so full of flavor it will knock your socks off! This coffee is extremely full-bodied. On the palate it has floral notes with hints of nuts and chocolate. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Wild Parrots of Shoreline

Thanks to Shoreline Area News for this photo and report of the feral Mitred Conure parrots of Seattle, showing up in the same Shoreline neighborhood, just north of Seattle, for the second year in a row.

According to the Shoreline Area News:

The parrots have returned to Stefanie Gendreau's back yard for the second year.

From information received after we published her photos last year, it seems that there are several small flocks of parrots that remain in the area year round. Although parrots are tropical birds, the weather here is mild enough that they have been able to adapt. Parrots have been reported at Golden Gardens, Leschi, and, of course, in Stefanie's Shoreline back yard.

As they are so far from their homeland, bird experts believe that these parrots are escaped pets, who have found each other in the Northwest skies.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Shades of Yellow

Detail of Ruby Macaw Body Feather

Norway Maple Leaves

Seattle Sunset Over Elliott Bay

Sunday, October 21, 2012

You Can't Have Just One!

When Marguerite Floyd asked us to review her new book Cockatiel Lessons (, we weren't sure what we could possibly learn from a book about the writer's life with a little Cockatiel parrot she named Sugar Franklin. We are macaw people, after all. But we agreed to read the book. And we're glad we did.

Sugar Franklin

How does anyone become a parrot person? Sometimes years before a friend or relative had a parrot, and the memory of this exotic pet sparks a new interest in parrots. Sometimes a parrot picks a person, as it did when a Cockatiel parrot jumped on the author at a Lexington pet store in 1998. For ninety-nine bucks the parrot was hers.

"I'll name you Sugar because I know you'll be sweet and Franklin because my mom's last name is Franklin.” I smiled at the bird. "Well, I guess she'd be your grandmother actually.”

Marguerite's world now revolved around a little Lutino Cockatiel parrot named Sugar Franklin. Some people might consider living with parrots an obsession. Parrot people simply know that parrots, large macaws or small cockatiels, are high maintenance. Parrots are not like dogs and cats. Imagine caring for a pet with the emotional maturity of a three year old child and the intellectual maturity of a five year old. One that never grows up. As Marguerite describes, one lesson learned from living with a parrot is learning that sometimes it's the parrot training the person, not just the other way around.

Another lesson learned from living with a parrot is that parrots, like children, are not cheap:

"Between expensive pellets in cloth-covered bags, new toys, Nutriberries, and books about parrots I soon had no disposable income. I resigned myself to being poor. As long as Sugar Franklin was happy, I was happy."

The thankless chore of constantly cleaning up poop is another, less exotic, lesson of living with parrots.

And then there's the lesson that most all parrot people learn unintentionally. Parrots are like potato chips. You can't have just one! When we got our first macaw Roxanne many years ago, we only ever intended to get the one. But once people realized we had a parrot, they began to offer other parrots to us. For free. The parrots they could no longer care for. Thus began our life in parrot rescue. We now have nine parrots.

Like us, Marguerite discovered she needed another parrot. So she acquired an African Brown-headed parrot she named Charli. And then she rescued another Cockatiel parrot she named Flash. And yet another Cockatiel parrot named Nicholas. Apparently she's stopped accumulating parrots. For now.

The hardest lesson for any parrot person to learn is the lesson of loss. And this is a lesson we know only too well. For us, the hardest part of Marguerite's book to read was the story of Sugar Franklin's decline and ultimate fall. We won't spoil the ending for the reader by delving into the details. Suffice it to say, you might want to keep a box of tissues close by as you finish the book.

Sometimes it seems writing a book review is just as hard as writing the actual book. Cockatiel Lessons is one book we weren't sure we wanted to read. But we're glad we did. And we think you will be too.

Marguerite Floyd is a writer, editor, and poet living in central Kentucky. She holds a BA in English from the University of Kentucky and an MFA from Vermont College. Retired from her job as the documentation manager at the UK Hospital, she now writes whatever she feels like writing, and does freelance editing for many strange and varied people. She also runs Cracked Seed Publishing, which publishes quality works about parrots and other birds. Her real job, though, is catering to her three small parrots' every whim. She is the author of Everyone's Daughter (poetry collection), The African Brown-Headed Parrot and The Parrot Reckonings. You can contact her via her website at Marguerite Floyd's books are available on, Barnes & Noble online, and for digital versions.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I am thrilled to say I cast my vote to reelect President Barack Obama today! Washington State has total mail-in balloting and we received our ballots in the mail today. Will drop it in the return mail tomorrow. In Washington State mail-in ballots only need to be postmarked by Election Day.

I am also pleased to say that Washington State is doing its part to reelect President Obama. Obama enjoys a FOURTEEN point advantage over Willard Mitt Romney, even after the disastrous first debate.

Did I say how thrilled I am!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Rogue's Gallery: Parrot Portraits

Princess Tara, Hyacinth Macaw, The Zen Parrot
Princess Tara really is a princess! Her parents are a Duke and a Duchess.

Recently we were contacted by an up and coming Seattle photographer, Ally Davis, of Allyson Photography, who asked to photograph our parrots to help build her pet photography portfolio. We were thrilled. Our current photographic capabilities are limited to the 8 megapixel camera in our Droid Razr smartphone, or capturing stills off our Flip video recorder. Not the best equipment for creating photographs of our parrots suitable for web work.

Roxanne, Greenwing Macaw, Diva Parrot
Roxanne is named for the song, and the name fits her perfectly!
Roxanne is our first parrot and does not believe she is a parrot. She believes she's a 5 year old girl.

A Seattle native, Ally Davis has an eye for detail honed by her background in the merchant marine and a passion for nature photography fueled by her work for Lindblad Expeditions following graduation from the Merchant Marine Academy. Her photographs clearly capture the individual personalities of our parrots.

Bubba Boy, Blue and Gold Macaw, Alpha Parrot
Bubba Boy is actually a girl. She rules over the flock. Of all the parrots Bubba Boy is most proud of her spectacular wings, which she'll show off to anyone interested.
Most appropriate her portrait showcases her wings!

Kid Kadra, Goffin's Cockatoo, Acrobat of Acrobats
Kid Kadra can fly circles around the other parrots, and he knows it!
He loves harassing the other parrots when they're not expecting it.

Arua, Congo African Grey, Intellect
Arua is our most prolific talker and sound maker.

Mr. Cracker, Ruby Macaw (Greenwing / Scarlet Mix)
Mr. Cracker may very well be a wild caught macaw, believed to be about 45 years old.

Tillie, Timneh African Grey
Our smallest parrot, and a real cutie! Between the two of them, Arua and Tillie have an incredible repertoire of sound effects!

Chromo, Blue and Gold Macaw
Chromo is our current foster parrot, temporarily between homes.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sevita is Looking for a New Seattle Area Home

Sevita is an eight year old confirmed female Congo African Grey parrot looking for a new home in the Seattle area. Sevita has lived in Seattle with her mom for seven years. Sevita's mom feels that she can no longer provide the time and attention that Sevita requires to properly care for her. 

Sevita's wings are clipped. All of her vet care has been with Dr. Onorati, DVM - Des Moines Veterinary HospitalSevita's mom wishes to continue Sevita's care with Dr. Onorati. Sevita boards there frequently and is well bonded with his staff. 

Sevita has a distinct preference for women and has always been an only pet. Sevita comes with her cage, perch, and toys. Anyone wishing to adopt Sevita must have prior parrot experience. African Grey parrots are not starter pets. Understand also that African Grey parrots can live fifty years or more. If you live in the Seattle area and are interested in adopting Sevita, please read the Northwest Parrots Fund Adoption Procedures page, and contact Northwest Parrots Fund for screening.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don't Break That Door!


Our first Congo African grey parrot was a crusty male rescue parrot named Corky who spoke little in the way of understandable English. However, one of his few phrases was: Don't Break That Door! He liked to slam his cage door shut, so he probably heard that quite abit in his short life. After Corky died from cardiac arrest in 2006, we acquired another Congo African grey. This one a female named Arua.

Arua Upside Down

Arua also likes to slam her cage door shut. However, she didn't say Don't Break That Door! So, as homage to our beloved Corky, we decided to train Arua to say: Don't Break That Door!

Arua easily picks up the words and phrases she wants to pick up. You Done Yet? I Want Apple! Watch Your Tail. I love YOU! Go poop. Come here missy. Tara, Tara, Tara, TARA! But year after year she refused to say Don't Break That Door! Even though we constantly repeated that phrase to her.

Recently, we heard a couple of garbled words that sounded strangely like Don't Break! Although at first it sounded more like What Break.

As we listened, and as Arua practiced the words, Don't Break became more and more apparent. Success! Now we just need to get her to complete the phrase.