Monday, July 30, 2012

All Things Zygodactyl!

Here at The Zen Parrot we are venturing into the realm of digital magazine publishing. We are thrilled to announce our new ezine All Things Zygodactyl which is all about parrots, of course (well, okay, woodpeckers too). We are experimenting with various ezine platforms with our premiere issue. Two platforms we are currently trying out are Zeen and Scoop.It. Click on the two links to see the current versions of All Things Zygodactyl.

The Zeen Version of All Things Zygodactyl

The Scoop.It Version of All Things Zygodactyl

We need your help. Let us know how you like the different formats, and which one you prefer. And if you know of any other ezine platforms we should try out please let us know as well.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All Things Zygodactyl!

We literally read hundreds of blogs and websites devoted to parrots so, well, you don't have to. To summarize, condense, and present this information into a format both simple and useful we are thrilled to introduce our new digital magazine all about parrots:

All Things Zygodactyl!

Please read, enjoy, share, and most importantly: Let us know what you think!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Training Your Parrot to Talk: Our Congo African Grey Arua

Our female Congo African grey parrot Arua is not normal. We say that as a compliment. Arua is intelligent. And she is multilingual. She is smart for a parrot, and she's smarter than many people we know! But surely most African grey parrot people say that about their African grey parrots.

Arua is a rescue parrot. She came to us speaking both Polish and English. Unfortunately she has pretty much dropped the Polish words and phrases, except for one: Apuka. We don't speak Polish, so no reason for her to continue speaking Polish to us. Except for that one word that she favors. Apparently apuka is Polish for a mischievous little elf. That Arua certainly is!

Arua lived with a Polish fellow in Spokane, Washington, across the state from us, for years and years, which is where she picked up speaking Polish. Sadly this fellow up and died one New Year's Eve several years ago. No one figured it out for three days until a friend of his living in the Seattle area alerted an acquaintance in the Spokane area that he wasn't answering her calls. She drove across the state, picked up the parrot and brought her back to her home in Edmonds, outside of Seattle. Not knowing what to do with a Polish-speaking African grey parrot, she posted the bird on Craigslist. Fortunately we were the first people to respond to the post!

We quickly learned that we had a very talented and very multilingual parrot on our hands! Not only did Arua speak Polish and English, but dog and cat, as well as several avian dialects. In no time at all she was speaking Chickadee as well as any Black-capped Chickadee in our back yard.

Early on Arua established that she could communicate her basic needs with us. We quickly figured out her word for food: Hot. She knew that water was Water. Whenever we made coffee she would pipe up: You Add Water? At some point she stopped calling food Hot and started calling it Apple instead. As she settled in, she got insistent: I Want Apple! Then she got demanding. If we didn't fix her meals fast enough to suit her, she demanded: You Done Yet? If she wanted seconds, she would blurt out: More Apple! When she got really impatient, she would climb down off of her cage, waddle into the kitchen, and park herself at our feet demanding: You Done Yet? Talk about working under pressure! Recently she started asking, usually after she finished her meal: Done Yet Add More? meaning she wanted to know if we still had more birdie meals to fix.

Once Arua got really settled into the household, she started bossing the macaws around. Whenever the Hyacinth macaw Princess Tara, or one of the Blue and Golds, Bubba or Aboo, acted up, she would scream out: Tara! Tara! TARA! Or: Bubba! With Aboo, she would demand: Stop It!

Arua quickly learned the names of all the other parrots, Tillie, our demure Timneh African grey, her favorite; Princess Tara, Bubba, Boo; Cracker, our Ruby macaw, and Roxanne (or Rox) our Greenwing macaw and Diva parrot. We are pretty sure she knows the name of our Goffin's cockatoo Kid Kadra, but she absolutely refuses to say his name because she out and out hates that parrot!

Recently Arua demonstrated her linguistic abilities by saying her first Two Sentence phrase:

You Want More? That Was Good Apple!

This followed a particularly satisfying dinner of parrot mac and cheese. She knew we were sharing in the meal. She wasn't asking for more food for herself. She was letting us know it was okay to partake of more ourselves! Not only is Arua one bright parrot. She's also very polite!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Easy No Fuss No Mess Parrot Corn on the Cobb

Our parrots love corn. We're betting your parrots do as well. Are you tired of raking corn husks off of the kitchen floor when you're done shucking the corn cobs. We know we are. So we were thrilled to discover an easy no fuss no mess microwave method for preparing the corn. And did we say the best part was: No Mess!

Start with your basic ear of corn:

Place unadulterated ear of corn in the microwave.
Heat on High for three (3) minutes.

WARNING: The ear of corn is going to be HOT when it comes out of the microwave!
Hold the ear of corn with an oven mitt or pad.
CAREFULLY! With a very sharp knife slice through the ear of corn just above the butt of the ear.
Try to keep your fingers intact!

Now here's the magical part:  Grasp the opposite end of the ear of corn. Remember: It's still hot! Peel the husk back. It should peel off intact, husk and silk together. Talk about magic!

Voila! No mess.

Slice and Serve.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Iced Coffee and Kahlua

The cinnamon roll is for our Sweet Sixteen Blue and Gold Macaw Miss Bubba Boy:
Born on the Fourth of July!

We love coffee, winter or summer! In summer, we prefer iced coffee. With years of experience, we think we've perfected iced coffee. We offer our Seattle Method Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee here.

For iced coffee with a kick, a refreshing accompaniment to your summer grilling adventures, nothing is more simple than Iced Coffee and Kahlua. Start with a good coffee, poured over ice. Add your favorite Kahlua. Ours is a nice smooth three year old homemade Kahlua (that's another blog post entirely). Top off with cream or milk. Add sugar or not. Enjoy! Bet you can't drink just one.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Requiem for Parrot BBF A 7593

We called him Leschi, for the Seattle neighborhood where he was found. All we know about him is printed on his red leg band: BBF A 7593.

This Budgie parrot was found on a parking lot near the Leschi Market on Lake Washington, July 2, 2012. The woman who found him thought he might be a parakeet, but had no idea what to do with him. She went to a local pet shop, which found us on an Internet search. She phoned us, saying she had no idea what to do with the bird if we didn't take him in. So we gave her our address, and about an hour later she showed up with the parrot.

We did an Internet search for the leg band number. We checked Seattle Craigslist. And 911ParrotAlert. To no avail. When he came in to the house, we transferred the parrot into an appropriate cage with food and water. The little tyke tried to eat a little. But all he really wanted to do was fluff himself up, close his eyes, and sleep. We assumed he was just really really tired. No telling how long he had been out on the loose. Sadly, he never woke up. He expired about an hour later.

At least he didn't die out in the parking lot, run over by a car, or attacked by crows. No parrot deserves this. Companion parrots depend upon people for survival. He was someone's companion parrot. There is no flock of feral Budgies in Seattle that he could have joined. He either escaped, or (as sometimes happens) was discarded and let loose by someone that tired of him. Summer is finally coming to Seattle, slowly but surely, and parrot people get careless with doors and windows. Or people are just stupid! So sad. RIP, Leschi. You deserved better.