Saturday, April 23, 2016

Parrots in the Annals of Crime

This story, in its entirety, appeared on Canada's National Post website, April 22, 2016. While the story is illustrated with a parrot totally unrelated to this story, we're guessing a Cockatoo parrot was probably involved:

A Goffin's Cockatoo, but not the parrot of the story

Ontario police break up domestic dispute between a man and his parrot. It was ‘beaking off’ at him

BRIGHTON, Ont. — An Ontario man ran afoul of provincial police this week after spending a night at home with his pet parrot.

Police in Brighton, between Toronto and Kingston, said they were originally called to a home at 8 p.m. on Tuesday after neighbours heard what they believed to be a domestic dispute.

Northumberland OPP Const. Steve Bates said the neighbours knew the home was usually occupied by a couple, but police found only one person when they arrived.

“They heard him yelling and saying, ’I hope you die,” and so on and so forth,“ Bates said. ”So we attended and we located the male of the household alone in the house screaming at his pet parrot who apparently was ’beaking off’ at him, in his words.“

The man had been drinking, Bates said, adding that the parrot did not appear to be hurt in any way.

Police did not lay any charges.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Scum of the Earth

The following story, in its entirety, appeared on the San Diego Community Newspaper Group website,, April 12, 2016:

A wild parrot in an Ocean Beach tree. The San Diego Department of Animal Services has said it is actively investigating the ongoing series of OB parrot killings.
Anyone with information in the case is urged to call (619) 692-4800.
Photo by Patty Sammuli

'Coward' continues killing parrots in Ocean Beach
by Dave Schwab

Scattered reports continue of wild parrots being shot to death by pellets by an unknown assailant in Ocean Beach.

Meanwhile, People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) continues to offer a monetary reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s).

The nonprofit animal welfare group talked about the “psychology” of whoever the culprit(s) might be, while discussing what that means for the beach community.

“Even if someone doesn't necessarily consider themselves to be an animal lover, I think everyone is concerned for the (Ocean Beach) community,” said Dan Carron, PETA's outreach coordinator, in the wake of the more than five birds killed during the past several weeks in the OB area.

Carron offered this caveat about whoever is responsible for the recent bird slayings.

“People who abuse animals rarely do so only once,” he said. “And a lot of them often go on to abuse more animals – and people in some instances. It's a great threat for everybody, and should be viewed as a community concern.”

Reports on exactly how many birds have been felled varies, though Carron noted, “We keep getting multiple reports, different numbers, but it's absolutely more than a handful now, half a dozen, around there.”

Carron added PETA continues to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to whoever is responsible “being nabbed.”

Speculation abounds that the parrot killer(s) are most likely juveniles living in the beach area. But that is uncertain.

“The one thing we know for sure is that, whoever is doing this, is a coward,” Carron said. “It's the act of a bully who's taking out their personal issues and frustrations on defenseless birds, parrots.”

Carron pointed out all of the slain birds did not die quickly – or painlessly.

“In some cases, they're not dying right away,” he said. “Some of the parrots have suffered greatly before they died. One even died after it was taken in and given surgery.”

The San Diego Department of Animal Services has said it is actively investigating the ongoing series of OB parrot killings. Anyone with information in the case is urged to call (619) 692-4800.

Wild parrots survive on seeds, fruit and nectar from tropical trees and shrubs planted in urban and residential areas in communities like Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific Beach and La Jolla.

Parrots do not migrate, but stay in San Diego year-round. They have established communal roosts around the county that they return to each night. During the day, the birds will fly out to a variety of food sources, depending on the time of year.

Not native to Southern California, the exact origin of the squawky, commonplace wild parrots widely seen throughout San Diego is a matter of conjecture.

Some speculate the parrot population may have been contributed to by birds that escaped from the San Diego Zoo during its early days. Another theory is that parrots native to northern Mexico originally came to California in search of a suitable habitat as areas of Mexico became deforested.

However they got here, exotic wild parrots have established themselves as a colorful addition to more than 500 species of birds found throughout San Diego County.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

One Funny Bird

People tend to point at our car a lot. Parked or driving. It's like nobody's ever seen a parrot riding around in a car. Our Blue and Gold macaw parrot Aboo thinks riding around in a car is hilarious. Most people who see Aboo riding around in the car think it's pretty funny too. Aboo begs to go for rides. Nothing he likes better, except maybe eating mac nuts.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Parrots of War: Turkey Edition

This story, partly reprinted here, written by Amberin Zaman, was published by the Middle East news website, Almonitor: The Pulse of the Middle East, March 30, 2016.

An African Grey Parrot, Not Heval

Animals among victims of southeast Turkey clashes

Boom! Boom! Boom! The crash of artillery fire rarely features in the vocabulary of a parrot, but that is the only sound Heval, a once-loquacious African gray parrot, emits these days. Heval, whose name means “comrade” in Kurdish, was marooned in the heart of Diyarbakir's historic Sur district during three months of bloody clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish youths fighting for the urban guerrilla arm of the ethno-nationalist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

“Heval was stuck in Sur for 10 days with no food or water. I was unable to rescue him because of the uninterrupted curfew,” the parrot’s owner, Aladdin Kilic, told Al-Monitor in an interview at his “breakfast salon” in Diyarbakir’s Yenisehir district. “By the time I got to him, he had almost perished from hunger and dehydration. He was picking at his own feathers in a state of extreme stress.” Kilic feeds Heval a pistachio pinched between his own lips before adding, “My boy is on antidepressants now.”

Heval seems to be on the mend. But other creatures were not so lucky. The conflict has reduced parts of Sur and other neighborhoods in the mainly Kurdish southeast to blackened, bullet-riddled ruins.

“It's impossible to keep an accurate count, but hundreds of cats, dogs and numerous species of birds have either died or been wounded since round-the-clock curfews were imposed [over Sur] in early December,” said Sevgi Ekmekciler, deputy director of Haytap, one of Turkey’s top animal rights groups. Ekmekciler told Al-Monitor that many of the animals were killed in the crossfire between security forces and the armed youths who barricaded themselves in the narrow alleyways snaking through the district. Other pets simply starved to death because owners who fled the violence were not permitted to re-enter Sur. Kilic said pigeon fanciers, who kept the age-old tradition alive in Sur, were among the worst hit, losing scores of their most prized birds. Ekmekciler and fellow animal lovers continue to scour the streets of Sur daily for wounded animals trapped under the debris. At the peak of the violence, undeterred by the bullets whizzing above them, her team would bully and plead their way through police barriers to feed and rescue the animals, including a donkey and a bowl full of goldfish.