Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Sanctuary for Parrots in the Midst of Bustling Chennai

Another year goes. Another year comes. Sometimes it seems the more things change in this world the more they stay the same. Life starts to resemble a scene from the movie Groundhog Day. Or Back to the Future. In these dark and dreary times, to keep from getting totally depressed, it's nice to know that one person can still make a difference. This story, in its entirety, one of our favorite stories of 2014, appeared November 16, 2014, on the website The News Minute:

On a typical evening, Pycrofts Road looks like any other busy main road in Chennai. As motorists and other vehicles speed past an inconspicuous-looking building and pedestrians hurry home on a typical Friday evening, quite a few of them instantly gaze up and a look of amazement passes fleetingly on their faces.

Some of them point out into the sky, while others come to a complete stop outside the building. Some even get down and enquire and as they do, hundreds and hundreds of feathery-little green parrots perched on the terrace of the building and on wires adjacent to it take flight.

In a time where bird sightings in cities are in decline because of lack of natural habitats, the sheer number of parrots that land up every single day on the terrace of this particular building is astounding.

It’s not just magic or plain luck though.

The man behind this green sanctuary amidst an almost-concrete jungle in the city is C.Sekar, who has been feeding these parrots for well, over a decade.

Dressed up in his trademark cap (probably to protect himself from bird poop), Sekar, a full-time camera technician said that feeding the parrots wasn’t something he had planned to do. It had started quite randomly during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. When the tsunami struck the east coast of India, villages were washed away, many people living along the sea line disappeared and animals were affected.

“During that time, I found two parrots sitting on my terrace extremely tired and thirsty,” he said. “I fed them that day”. When he continued feeding them as a daily practice, the parrots returned, but with more of their tribe.

The numbers on a typical busy evening are stupendous. “This is nothing. If you see in the morning there are even more parrots. That time there is not much traffic and noise disturbance,” he said.

True to his word, the entire group takes flight disturbed by the sounds of a truck honking in the distance. However, they return to feed on the little mounds of soaked rice placed neatly on the terrace of Sekar’s house.

Sekar buys thirty kilos of rice just for the parrots every day; in all he spends almost Rs. 1000 just on food for his green-little friends each day. But even he couldn’t explain where so many parrots came from. “I think when they migrate from a place to another they pass by here.” He even explained a day on which two parrots were so tired and thirsty that they couldn’t fly onwards on their journey. “They rested on the terrace for a while, had water, and then continued,” he said.

As he talks, he mentions that an unbelievable number of people stop and just stare at the sight before them. Some of them even try to disturb the parrots. “So every evening I stand down making sure no one harms the parrots,” he said.

True to his word, two men passing by the building come to a halt near Sekar. As they enquire why Sekar fed parrots, he gets visually agitated. “Why do these people ask me if it’s a hobby?”

“Do people ask if it is a hobby to feed the poor and the homeless? All these people only want to know how much it costs and whether I have a motive behind it,” he said.

“I live in a rented house. My office is in the same building as my house here, “ Sekar said as he pointed to the same building. “I own a scooter and I have two grown-up children who are settled,” he said explaining his financial position.What does he get out of doing this? Happiness, maybe.

We would think, satisfaction definitely.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Watch Out for Superb Parrots on the Roads Over Christmas

Things are different Down Under. It's not all beaches, sun, and shrimp on the barbie for Christmas. Here in the northern climes we have to watch out for snow and ice on the roads when we drive over the mountains and through the woods to grandma's house for Christmas dinner. Down Under, not so much. But Aussies do need to watch out for parrots on the roads. Yes, parrots.

This article, in its entirety, appeared on the New Zealand website Foreign Affairs December 18, 2014:

Watch out for Superb Parrots on the roads over Christmas

The New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and local community members are concerned about recent reports of Superb Parrots being killed by vehicles on roads in the Boorowa and Young Shires. The birds were apparently feeding on spilled grain. Grain spillage from trucks is one of the main threats facing the Superb Parrot, a threatened birds. About 15 years ago, a statewide campaign commenced to increase awareness of the issue. This included providing signage at grain silos and weighbridges throughout the NSW wheatbelt where Superb Parrots are known to occur.

This initiative was well supported by local grain growers and most grain trucks now cover their loads, which has reduced roadkill of Superb Parrots and other birds that feed on spilled grain. OEH Threatened Species Team Leader Damon Oliver said he had recently received two reports of dead Superb Parrots at Monteagle and Bendick Murrell. The reports came from members of a community-based Superb Parrot survey program. Dr Oliver also recently saw a dead female Superb Parrot on a road near Murringo. The reports of dead Superb Parrots appear to be connected with grain trucks travelling along country roads in the Boorowa and Young areas. “The birds land to feed and they fill up on grain. Birds are weighed down and have little chance of avoiding being hit by vehicles traveling at high speed,” Dr Oliver said. “Unfortunately, Superb Parrots do not have the same road sense as crows and other birds that often feed on roads and road verges. “With a total population of only about 8000 birds, loss of birds from grain spill is a serious issue.”

Dr Oliver said many farmers in the NSW wheatbelt were aware of the Superb Parrot. He said some were protecting paddock trees and other vegetation the birds used for breeding habitat. “It is very clear that the community cares for the Superb Parrot and is concerned to see birds getting hit on country roads. “If you see a flock of Superb Parrots along a country road please slow down and consider sounding your horn when approaching. We are losing thousands upon thousands of native birds across the country to vehicles and if motorists safely slow down it will assist.”

Drive carefully! And Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Handforged 100% Parrot Friendly Coffee

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Miss Stephanie Adams: A Parrot Crime Noir

This message, in its entirety, having absolutely nothing to do with parrots, arrived in our In Box several days ago. Even though the message has absolutely nothing to do with parrots, we're adding a picture of a parrot, anyway. Just because:

Our Timneh African Grey Tillie

Did we mention this message has nothing to do with parrots? So, how about another picture of a parrot?

Our Greenwing Macaw and Diva Parrot Roxanne

Anyway, back to the message.

Dearest One:

Greetings to you and your family, first I apologize for sending you this sensitive information via e-mail, instead of a Certified mail/Post-mail. This is due to the urgency and it's the only way I can contact you now because of the situation I am facing now.  My name is Stephanie Adams, the Daughter Of Late Mr. and Mrs. Adams from Ivory Coast in West Africa . I am 24 years old and a university undergraduate living now without parents, I am a white Africa girl being that my mother is a white woman from France origin and my father is a black man from this country Ivory Coast in west Africa where am living now, My mother got married to my father in Paris France years back when my father was living in France, but my mother letter died when I was just 6 years old and after her death my father returned back with me to his country in Africa and he got married to another woman who is from this country, and she bear 3 children to my father 1 girls and 2 boys, my father died last year  15 January 2013, immediately my father died I feel like life is over for me, but I remember that I need to gather myself together and move life ahead and forget the past, and I did so immediately. The sudden death of my father really brought sorrow to my life , My Father was a very rich business man in this country when he was alive, He is an importer and exporter of all types of goods and has allot of properties, But he was poisoned to death by his Family members because of His wealth, before his death in a private hospital he called me on his bed side because he loved me so much since the death of my mother and told me that he deposited a huge sum of $ 14.5M USD, fourteen million five hundred thousand American Dollars, in a private security company in Europe under a secret arrangement coded as a family treasure. My father gave me the document concerning the deposit of this fund before his death, after the burial ceremony of my father his family members conspired and seized all his properties and left nothing for me all that remain for me is only this money which my father deposited in a Security Company in Europe with my name and my step mother and her children is aware that my father gave me the document of this money, they plan how to assassinate me to enable them take the document and claim the money, So when I discover this plan against me I ran away from our home and now am hiding out in a Hotel in another city somewhere far from our home so that my life will be save. I have make contact with the security company and they has assured me that this consignment is under this custody.  I am contacting you to help me claim this box from the security company in Europe and also Invest for me in your country. if you cannot go to Europe for the claim then I will advise the security company to transfer this consignment to your address in your country. I am going to stay here till the Security Company transfer this consignment fund box to your country for you to send me some money to arrange my traveling documents and Visa to join you over there for investment of this fund and continue to complete my studies there, please Dear I want you to help me out very fast because my life is not save here, My life is in danger now, They are looking for me everywhere in this country to take the document of this money and assassinate me.

It is my intention to compensate you with 25% of the total fund for your services and the balance shall be my capital to establishment by your help, As soon as I receive your interest in helping me, I will introduce you to the security company immediately forward the contact of the security company to you for you to contact them. I need your urgent respond indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely. Please do keep this only to yourself. I beg you not to disclose it till I come over because I am afraid of my wicked ones who have threatened to kill me.

I am waiting to hear from you today as soon as you read this massage.

My best regards to you.

Yours lovely one.

My life is in danger now, They are looking for me everywhere in this country to take the document of this money and assassinate me.

Buffo! The angst. The suspense! Sex. Race. Money. Murder. Maybe. At the very least threats of assassination. Surely drugs are involved. Probably Rock n Roll as well. Wish we could help.

Unfortunately for this dear lovely miss we're too busy thinking of getting a massage to respond to her missive. Wonder how she got our email address?

Even though this message had absolutely nothing to do with parrots, one last picture of a parrot:

Our Male Blue and Gold Macaw Aboo

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha. Blue Tara Blend

Not your momma's cup of coffee. CoffeeParrot.Coffee is pleased to introduce our first Medium-Dark Full City Plus Roast. Blue Tara Blend. The perfect winter brew. Perfect for winter. Great for summer. Best for breakfast, but for a coffee aficionado good any time of day. Handforged whole bean 100% Parrot Friendly coffee.

Blue Tara Blend

Brazil Fazenda Colina

Fazenda is the Portuguese word for ranch or plantation. Situated at an altitude of 3200 feet, Fazenda Colina is located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Fazenda Colina is one of the only wholly certified organic farms in the Cerrado region of Brazil. They have been certified since 2007. The farm is about 76 hectares (about 188 acres) in total with about 50 hectares of coffee trees. Along with organic certification, the farm has also been certified Biodynamic, which is a testament to their dedication to care for the nutrition of the soils, the coffee trees, and the environment. The flavor profile of dry processed Brazilian coffee beans is dominated by dried fruit. The Fazenda Colina bean is distinct in its balance and sweetness, while still bringing a characteristically strong body, dense mouth-feel, and low acidity. Fazenda Colina has a rich buttery aroma with dark chocolate and cherry notes, a balanced, deep taste, and a lingering finish.

Ethiopia Yirgachefe Bunna

Bunna is the Ethiopian word for coffee. The sweet flavors and aromas of Ethiopian Yirgachefe Bunna or coffee are its strongest assets along with a medium to light body. Ethiopian Yirgachefe is very spicy and fragrent, often with a slightly chocolate or nutty quality. Subtleties include notes of citrus or tangerine (which is why Ethiopian Yirgachefe is often preferred for iced coffee). Ethiopian Yirgachefe is known for its bright and shining acidity and clean taste. An array of sensual floral notes gives Ethiopian Yirgachefe a wonderfully bright complexity in its aromatic qualities. Often Ethiopian Yirgachefe will exhibit tones of toasted coconut. Also noted are cedar sensations which a background of caramelly chocolate. Coffee connoisseurs appreciate not only the delicate orange blossom fragrance of Ethiopian Yirgachefe but also its sweet and elegant finish that is typically very clean like the flavor. ​Ethiopian Yirgachefe is grown at elevations ranging from about 5,800 feet above sea level to 6,600 feet. Few of the world's finest coffees are grown at such high elevations as these Yirgachefes. The town of Yirgachefe is located in central southern Ethiopia in the Gedeo Zone named after the Gedeo people. The Gedeo region extends along the eastern escarpment of the highlands of Ethiopia.

8 Ounces, Whole Bean. Packed in reclosable stand-up foil valve bag. $12.00

Get yours from CoffeeParrot.CoffeeYour read that right. Coffee Parrot Dot Coffee.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Amid the Swarm of Humans, a Conclave of Parrots

Simply being thankful for parrots. For once, an organized gang of parrots not ravaging anyone or any place! Just parrots that are appreciated for being parrots.

More than a thousand rose-ringed parakeets still find a safe place to roost in the trees near Orion Mall; their presence is a gift

This article, in its entirety, written by Vishakha Chanchani, appeared in the Bangalore Mirror, November 7, 2014:

As I look out through the window of my brother's apartment, I see a host of high-rise buildings against a grey sky. Pigeons hover inside, and make human habitats their own. They find small balconies and settle down on potted plants, making a mess, to the detriment of some plant loving residents!

The Orion Mall in the Brigade Gateway complex in Rajajinagar attracts many human visitors, who gather here in the evenings to enjoy open spaces, the water body, and all the shopping and eating joints. Humans of different ages, shapes and sizes, rub shoulders with each other, taking a break from work and home to enjoy the small pleasures of an evening outing.

Well, allow me to tell you of the other visitors that frequent this place. The flying foxes, the kites, stray dogs, and flocks of parakeets that roost here. The latter gathering together, every evening unfailingly, just as humans flock together in the same complex, in the very same hours!

Wasn't I amazed one evening, when I suddenly discovered that right at the entrance gates of the Mall, a host of rain trees offer their branches to hoards of parakeets? After about six in the evening, I see them arriving in small flocks. One flock after another screeches its way to the crowns of these trees, adding to the green of existing leaves.

The parakeets fall silent as they settle down; the dark takes over, and spots of light from below highlight the glimmering green of the birds. People walking up to the complex may mistake the parakeet-laden trees for leaves. As for the parakeets, they do not seem to mind; not even those lights under the trees that turn this every day event into a well-lit drama. Some watch, whilst some miss the charm altogether.

Maybe, these rose-ringed parakeets are visitors to us; but for these birds, this has been their nightly spot, their home of many decades.

Long before manmade constructions made their presence felt, these areas were populated with trees and shrubs that might have been hosts to more wild life. The parakeets continue to roost here, braving the changing city, glaring lights, a human population, and the traffic that beeps and whizzes by the roads, above which they settle.

Thank god, for their trust, for continuing to make their homes amidst us. Why on earth do we need to trap and cage these birds, when we can invite them to live with us -- allow for trees in our landscapes, and have these special green exchanges? More than a thousand parakeets still find a safe place to roost in, in this part of the town.

When their feathers were molting, I collected them. Feathers flecked with gold, green and blue, brown and graying, straight or slightly curled. Somebody once wrote a poem saying that if you find a feather, pick it up and put it in your pocket -- it's a gift from a bird.

Well Nagarvasi, the presence of winged wild life, in a multiple and urban complex like this, is certainly a special gift. May we always remember, and never forget, to look after it.

Take care till then.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Northwest Parrots Pinup Parrots Calendar for 2015

The mission of Northwest Parrots Fund is simple. Saving Parrots One Parrot At a Time! Introducing the Northwest Parrots Fund Parrots Pinup Calendar for 2015:
The Northwest Parrots 2015 Calendar features some real beauties:

Hyacinth Macaw Princess Tara

Timneh African Grey Tillie

Ruby Macaw Mr. Cracker

Congo African Grey Arua

Greenwing Macaw Roxanne

You'll need to purchase the calendar the see the rest of the Northwest Parrots Fund Pinup Parrots. As Good As Advertised! You will not be disappointed. Plus, your purchase supports a worthy cause. Northwest Parrots Fund is a nonprofit charity registered in the State of Washington and recognized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Parrot Noir: When Good Parrots Go Bad

When good parrots go bad. The Russian news agency Russia Today published this parrot noir crime drama November 21, 2014:

Drug-dealing parrots are the strangest in the menagerie of the Corleone-style Southern Italian region’s nasty pets. Police recently grabbed a pair of parrots who were a part of drug-dealing operation in the Traiano district in Naples. When a phone rang, they would respond by imitating a human voice, saying: “Hello, how much do you need?” But if someone tried to take them out of the cage, the birds would scream: “Now I’ll shoot you!”

Presumably the parrots spoke in Italian, something like this: Ciao, quanto hai bisogno? Ora ti sparo!

In any language, it's a total shame when parrots turn to a life of crime. Which begs the question. When bad parrots are busted, do they ever become stool pigeons?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kill him! Chop him up! Baste him! The Zen Parrot Haka

We discovered Hakas after catching an All Blacks rugby match on the tellie.

This was particularly fortuitous considering the recent election here in the States. We decided we needed to adopt a Haka for The Zen Parrot as we face off against the Barbarian Teabagger Hordes for the next two years. So with apologies to the All Blacks, we proudly present The Zen Parrot Haka:

Ka tū te IhiihiStand up to the fear
Ka tū te WanawanaStand up to the terror
Ki runga ki te rangi,To the sky above!
E tū iho nei, tū iho nei, hī!Fight up here, high up there. Yeah!
Ponga rā!The shadows fall!
Kapa o Pango, aue hī!Team in Blue, yeah!
Ponga rā!Darkness falls!
Kapa o Pango, aue hī, hā!Team in Blue, Hell Yeah, Ha!
The words of both 'Kapa o Pango' and 'Ko Niu Tireni' are taken from the Haka of the earthquake god Ruaumoko, Ko Ruaumoko e ngunguru nei, slightly modified to reflect The Zen Parrot Blue.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wild Wild West: So That's How They Do It

Welcome to this new episode of Wild Wild West highlighting obscure facts and wonders of nature mostly never before seen. In this episode we are thrilled to present never before seen video of a rare canned hedgehog being hatched. Did we mention this has never before been seen?

Sometimes nature just needs a helping hand. Stay tuned for more Wild Wild West! Same time. Same station. In the next episode of Wild Wild West we'll show never before seen video of a woodchuck chucking wood. Don't turn that channel.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Organized Gangs of Indian Myna Birds Ravage Inglewood

For once, parrots are not the plague. This article, in its entirety, appeared in Queensland Country Life, October 17, 2014:

THE southern Darling Downs town of Inglewood is fighting back against an Indian myna bird invasion which has driven out scores of native birds.

Four years ago the Indian myna bird population boomed as a result of easy access to food, water and ample shelter.

Contract pest animal controller Andrew Granzotto said Inglewood was unique haven because the Macintyre Brook swept around the town and river gums provided good nesting sites for birds.

Mr Granzotto was commissioned by the Queensland Murray Darling Committee and, along with volunteers Bob Lindner and Darryl Bleach, has spent the past year trapping and disposing of mynas.

Close to 850 mynas have been removed by the group and a further 200 to 300 have been removed by a nearby landholder across the Macintyre Brook. They estimate just 25 mynas remain in town.

"As you come into town we've got the yellow-faced parrot as our logo on our Inglewood sign. This year is the first time those parrots have been back in town for about three or four years," Mr Granzotto said.

"We also have king parrots, scaly-breasted parrots - we have a lot of parrots coming back into Inglewood because the myna birds have dropped down."

A cage trap with catching and holding pens is used to capture the birds.

The trap was specifically designed for myna birds; the entrances are 100 millimetres high to keep out native birds.

A live "Judas" bird is supplied with food and water and kept in each trap to call to other birds and lure them in to the cage.

The traps are checked every morning and the birds are humanely destroyed using a carbon dioxide chamber.

Mr Granzotto said by stopping the birds from breeding in town they hoped to put a dent in their population.

"The thing with the myna bird is they can have three broods per mating season and they can have six eggs per brood," he said.

"When they breed in a town because the food, water and shelter is so readily available each pair hatches 18 chicks every breeding season. Ten pair of breeders can turn into 180 birds in no time.

"Out in the bush, because the bush is hard living the natural culling process occurs and instead of rearing 18 they only rear about eight or nine."

Mr Granzotto said he had received interest in the program from Kingaroy, Warwick and Stanthorpe. If the success of the program continues they hope to roll it out in to other towns.

Locals now greet him downtown and comment on how pleased they are to see the native birdlife return.

"I've lived here for 14 years - finches, fairy wrens and kookaburras have all fluttered back this year and it's the talk of the town."

Any excuse to listen to an Aussie accent

Chalk one up for parrots.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Airport Parrot Farce Is Squawk of the Town

This story, in its entirety, authored by Faith Eckersall, was published November 1, 2014 in the Bournemouth Daily Echo:

ACCORDING to the Border Force agency they do not: “Routinely comment on individual cases,” and therefore won’t explain why British taxpayers must pay though the beak to fund the incarceration at Heathrow Airport of a Bournemouth parrot called Becky. Presumably they believe this will stop Becky’s distraught owners from pursuing them through the courts and newspapers – which love a parrot story above all others – and from asking them even more questions.

That's it. That's the whole story. Well, this story caught our attention. Why was a parrot being held captive at Heathrow Airport by the British government? Was this a case of avian terrorism? Was this parrot a member of an organized gang of parrots ravaging Britain? Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast. We wondered what kind of parrot got the British government all worked up. So we Googled Airport Parrot. Turns out the airport parrot is a Senegal parrot named Becky.

Several days earlier the Bournemouth Daily Echo published the particulars of the strange case of a Senegal parrot named Becky:

A BOURNEMOUTH couple have appealed to Border Force officials to return their pet parrot Becky, who was seized from them three months ago. Senegal parrot Becky, who has lived with owner Andrew Sutton for almost three decades, has been kept at Heathrow Airport since mid-July. Despite living in the UK for nearly all her life, she is the subject of an ongoing dispute as to whether she has the right documentation to be here. Andrew, 43, said: “I have done nothing wrong and nor has Becky but we are being punished for other people’s mistakes. “It’s heartbreaking. Becky is like a child to me, I have had her since I was a teenager. “They have got to give her back to us.”

The problem arose when Andrew and his partner David de la Mare, 63, moved back to the UK from Turkey, where they had lived and worked for around seven years. Becky’s move to Turkey had been straightforward and, when arranging her return to the UK, the pair paid a specialist animal transportation company £1,000 to complete all the necessary paperwork for them. The couple checked whether they needed a CITES permit for Becky but received a categorical assurance from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency that they did not.  But upon arriving in the UK, Becky was seized by Border Force officials who said she did need one.

A CITES permit, which is inexpensive and easy to obtain, cannot be applied for retrospectively so Andrew and David have had to instruct solicitor Philip Day to help get Becky back. His initial request for Becky to be returned was turned down and they are now appealing this decision. Mr Day said there was “no public interest” in keeping Becky apart from her owner. “This is, at worst, an innocent story of a gentleman who has had a much-loved pet parrot for in excess of 25 years; who went to considerable time, effort and expense to ensure that when he moved to Turkey, his pet Becky could join him there and, when he returned, that the bird could remain with him.” David said: “We are now faced with a situation where we may have to go to court to get Becky back. “It is incredibly stressful, particularly as the Border Force is notoriously difficult to deal with, and we just can’t seem to get any answers from anyone.” And Andrew said: “I’ve put my trust in the system and always thought that if you do things properly you will be okay. “We have been let down through no fault of our own but we just want Becky back.”

A spokesman for Border Force said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases, so cannot comment on this case unfortunately.”

Fucking bureaucrat.

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?

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.