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2009 February

Parrot Blog > 2009 February | You are here

2009 February

Meet Waldo The Heavy Metal Vocalist

February 22nd, 2009

Hatebeak - Bird Seeds Of Vengence

Hatebeak - Bird Seeds Of Vengence

Hatebeak is a rather unusual band. Musically they’re just a simple and chugging low-budget death metal band. Some nice riffs here and there, but nothing fancy or mind-blowing. Kinda has a grindcore feel (the length of the song for one thing). Some double bass drum action is used a bit here. Now the part about this band that is truly unique is the lead vocalist. Their vocalist is an African Grey Parrot by the name of Waldo. And man for a bird, the little guy can sure squawk his way through a death metal song. And man, the guy sure is opinionated. He growls about how birds are better than everyone else. Typical avian supremacy stuff but with a little bit of an African Grey edge. Obviously this band is a huge parody and novelty. Though birds are superior to everyone, I should know! hehe. Some people will find this band to be amusing and a good listen, while others will laugh for a moment and then switch to something else. You gotta give em points for originality and I must say that I enjoy them a bit hehe. Check out these birds of a feather!

Hatebeak – Bird Seeds Of Vengeance (Right click save as)


Timneh Grey Teaches Students To Read

February 21st, 2009

A love of literacy is taking flight at Mulberry School in Los Gatos, where students are becoming birdbrained — but in a good way.

Third-grade teacher Judy Quigley said her students’ learning experiences have actually been enhanced quite dramatically by reading to Starbuck, a 7-year-old Timneh African Grey parrot.

“They have an opportunity to read in a different venue,” Quigley said.

During the exercise, students take a seat next to Starbuck, who generally rests atop a classroom chair or bird perch. The children read a variety of different illustrated stories aloud to the bird, holding the book open to him.

“I like how he looks at the pictures in the book,” said student Bodhi Hall.

Beck Miller said he likes watching Starbuck’s pupils dilate as he focuses on the books.

“He’s a good listener,” Beck said.

One of the children’s popular reading choices is Diary of a Worm because of its subtle jokes about the worm’s-eye view of the world.

Even though there are books and pictures sure to interest Starbuck, Quigley said it is also the children’s responsibility to capture his full attention. This often requires them to alter their reading voices slightly, allowing for a more whimsical or sing-songy tone.

“I read slower when I read to him,” said Anna Averfa-Goodman.

The opportunity also helps develop the children’s social skills. Many students may develop anxiety while reading aloud to their peers or parents, but for some, reading to Starbuck is different.

“There’s not as much pressure on me,” Bodhi said. If Bodhi pronounces a word incorrectly while reading to Starbuck, he has the chance to try again for himself rather than be corrected and feel embarrassed.

“It’s a great way to package learning for them, so it’s fun,” said Lamont Jones, Mulberry’s director of admissions.

Quigley said integrating nature into the students’ curriculum came about naturally since they had a general interest in bird-watching.

From there, different bird projects were developed into various lesson plans. Eventually, a parent came forward and volunteered to bring in Starbuck for reading sessions.

Since that happened last year, it’s proof positive that Quigley’s class has gone to the birds.


Birds Need Love Too

February 20th, 2009

When you visit with Paula Ashfield it doesn’t take long to realize that she’s a virtual encyclopedia of information about exotic birds. Her passion for them and determination to see that every bird lives a long and happy life led to the creation of a sanctuary called Under My Wing Avian Refuge.

The organization which is located in New Jersey opened its doors in 2005 with 37 rescued exotic birds. That soon multiplied to 64 birds and before the first year ended, Under My Wing was home to more than 100 Parrots, Cockatoos, Love Birds and other feathered companions.

Ashfield and her small group of volunteers work seven days a week rehabilitating the birds at the sanctuary and working with the local SPCA investigating cruelty cases.

Ashfield says, “There is a hidden crisis of cruelty to exotic birds. People don’t understand their needs and once they are overwhelmed by the situation it’s easy to tuck a bird away in a basement or closet and forget about them.”

One abuse investigation led Ashfield to just such a situation. A family that could not handle the behaviors of their two African grey parrots locked them away in a dark closet for more than a year. The birds, who Ashfield calls Light and Dark, remained in an unlit closet 24 hours a day, receiving limited amounts of food from their owners.

When the SPCA called Ashfield in for her evaluation, she found the two birds huddled together. They were underweight, undernourished and had pulled out all of their feathers due to the stress. Ashfield took custody of Light and Dark. Now one year later, the two parrots are back to their normal weight and have started growing new feathers, but because of their abuse Ashfield doesn’t think they will be able to live with another family.

Ashfield offers many tips for people who are considering the adoption of an exotic bird. This education process is a big part of her focus at Under My Wing.

* Exotic birds are expensive to own, with costs running $4,000 – $7,000 a year.
* A typical wellness exam runs approximately $600.
* Exotic birds are not pets. They are very social creatures and crave to be a companion to their humans.
* Guardians of exotic birds should be prepared for their wild behaviors, such as biting and screaming.
* Birds in good health can live 30 – 40 years and some species live up to 70 years.
* Exotic birds need lots and lots of space. For example, Macaw’s should live in a minimum of a 6’x6’ area so they can spread out their wings.

Under My Wing Avian Refuge rescues birds from many different situations, but lately more of the birds are orphaned because of home foreclosures. True to her compassionate nature, Ashfield has begun offering temporary shelter to these birds. She hopes to reunite the families when they are back on their feet again.

Because of this, costs have risen at the sanctuary and Under My Wing is desperately seeking donations to pay for food, medical care and housing for these additional “foster” birds.

Ashfield puts it this way, “To the many bird owners who do not intend to let go of a dear companion bird and wish to give him/her the best they can, relinquishing their bird to our sanctuary comforts them in knowing their bird is safe and they can remain a part of their life.”

Please visit the Under My Wing Avian Refuge website to see a complete list of items needed for the sanctuary.


Plea Sprayed On The Front Door After Pets Are Stolen

February 19th, 2009

Naomi Rodriguez’s home was burglarized and the thieves didn’t only steal her electronics, they stole her eight puppies and her bilingual African Grey parrot.

Hoping someone would return her pets, she spray painted “In God We Trust — Return My Pets” along with her phone number and a 25-hundred dollar reward on the front door to her home.

“I just want (my pets) back,” Rodriguez said.

“My bird’s name is Pepe and he is my buddy,” Rodriguez said. “He is bilingual. He talks in Spanish and English. And one of the last things I taught him was how to say I love you.”

“That message is going to stay up there until he comes back and I can display a welcome back Pepe message,” Rodriguez said.


Parrots Playing A Voice Activated Video Game

February 18th, 2009

I can’t embed the video in this post because it’s not a youtube video but I thought I’d post a link up to it so you can see it.

I’ve never seen anything like it, these two parrots are actually playing voice activated computer games (with a little help from the owner) how clever is that I ask you?

check the video out here >>>


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