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