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.