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The Parrot Lady™







"The Parrot Lady" ™

It's now official and special thanks and love goes to Rosie Hale, Dawn Hale, Justin Ibarra, Jean Sheiffer & to Debbie Cooper who got the paper work in motion and helped make this a reality.

Bird's Eye View
Business Monday Article in Daily Breeze

Flocking Together
Life/Arts Article in Daily Breeze



The ASPCA reminds all pet parents to consider contingency plans for their animal companions. "The most valuable advice for preparing for your pet's safety in case of emergency," says the ASPCA's Jacque Schultz, Director of Special Projects, "is to make certain that someone has keys to your home in the event that you are unable to return to care for your pet." And please visit our ASPCA website for our complete disaster preparedness guide for pets, including information on evacuation preparation procedures and how to put together an emergency pet kit. We're also offering free pet emergency stickers for companion animal owners; please e-mail to get yours.

In Loving Memory of Our Houdini

We lost our beloved Houdini today (Friday, August 18, 2006) - the incredible Orange Winged Amazon. We estimated her age to be about 103 years old. . .40 years of which she was with me, doing things like laying eggs at 97 and sitting on them faithfully.

She had arthritis, fatty tumors, and she was unable to sit on a perch. When asked "What does she do?" My answer always was "ANYTHING SHE WANTS."  At her age, she was in charge. She went straight to her food bowl this morning, ate her last bite of whatever she wanted, and went directly to Birdie Heaven. We loved her and she us; and, in her own way, she gave us lots of joy and certainly lots to talk about.

There are many of you that came by the store, alone and with friends, just to see her. She loved your company, so thanks for helping make those 100+ years happy ones.



Dive N' Surf, Redondo Beach

A Message from Chris Davis

Hi Everyone,

It is not often that we have an opportunity to make a difference in something that is truly unique and that makes such a profound difference in our understanding of the other creatures around us.  Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s studies with Alex, the African grey parrot have certainly altered the way in which most people perceive birds. Before her studies, parrots were simply thought of as being stupid and incapable of the most elementary levels of intelligence or understanding. 

I have known Irene for 30 years and have watched her continue her important work through sometimes almost insurmountable odds…including much ridicule in the early years, before she had accumulated the important and verifiable data that completely altered our understanding of avian intelligence.  There is little glamor involved in her work.  Most people do not realize that her lab at Brandeis is about the size of a normal walk-in closet.  This is not an exaggeration.  It is miniscule. 

Irene has always been very thrifty and runs her lab on a shoestring.  She also lives very modestly, and always has.  Because of this thriftiness, she has been able to continue her studies in African grey intelligence, covering all of the costs incurred, including the wages of student researchers.  Most people would not be able to produce the valuable data that she has over the years under similar situations.  It would be just too rough, financially. 

The Alex Foundation has been an important source of sorely needed funds…very important in this time of severe…complete, actually…cuts to those grants that previously helped fund animal intelligence studies and, which no longer do so.  Unfortunately, these cuts in essential funds include Irene’s work, as well.

Periodically, a contributor will offer a special matching challenge in which The Alex Foundation can double the donations received over a particular time period.  Currently, there is one such matching campaign in which she can get $20,000…provided that she can amass $10,000 before July 4th.  If she collects less than that, her funds will not be matched and she will lose out on $10,000, but will still be able to have whatever she has been able to receive up to that point.

This is one of those chances to make a difference.  If you are a bird lover who respects and appreciates the information that Dr. Pepperberg’s studies have amassed, you can personally help continue her important studies by sending a donation of any amount.  If you do not have funds…or, even if you do… you can help by passing this email forward to other bird lovers and bird clubs so that they can share the information with their members and with other bird lovers. 

There are so many bird lovers and, if each of us both shared this information with other bird people and each gave even just a few dollars and sent it to the Alex Foundation, we could quickly and easily help replace some of those funds that are no longer available through the usual agencies and help her hit the magic $10,000 number that will then be doubled.  It’s amazing what a flock of bird lovers is capable of!

This link has all the information:

Thank you all for being “bird people”…some of the most special beings in the world…and hug all your feathered family members for me.

Chris Davis



Micheal Tobias Green Conversations Blog
"On Parrots, Eagles and Fighting Species Extinction"

Oasis Sanctuary Needs Emergency Rescue Funds

The Oasis Sanctuary needs your help to get a few birds out of a horrific situation.

I am of the opinion that when a rescue is ongoing that only the people involved need to know where it is so that the birds don't "disappear"....Suffice to say that a BAD pet store back east has closed. I will be delighted to give you all more information once the birds have been moved to safety.

Most of the animals were purchased, but there are several former breeder birds, in poor condition apparently, as well as some small finches and budgies, who need to be ransomed. One bird is an older plucked Macaw, another is a frightened former-breeder Grey. The remaining cockatoo had her buddy sold....She is terrified and alone!

If The Oasis can raise the funds, we will accept these birds. We will get them the medical care they will need and insure that their lives will be far better than they have been so far!!

We have raised some funds, but need to raise another $2K to ransom the all birds. We have a promise of $500 toward the Veterinary expenses and also need to raise funds for transportation.

Every little bit will help. Please go to
If you can use the Google button, we receive 100% of the donation and do not have to pay a fee....

Please notify me if you go on line and make a donation. That way I can tally the amount and make sure it is appropriately used to help these poor animals.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and your help bringing these birds to safety!!!

Sybil Erden, Executive Director
The Oasis Sanctuary

We can always use Volunteers...Do you have time to learn about Parrots? Come'on out!

Dog & Cat Deaths from Coco Mulch

Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that it is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm (to a variety of degrees depending on each individual dog). 'However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it.'

This Snopes site gives the following information:

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called 'Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die.

Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, axanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline.



BIRD SCAM - Do Not Become a Victim!

Good sir,
I am Harrison Dike,age 67.a bird farmer from western africa.i have been a farmer for the past 17yrs now,raising different kind of birds in my household farmer.basically I have in my farmhouse 76 african intelligent parrots and 160 love pet birds.

However,my sole aim of writing to you now is to seek for your help in helping me to sale this birds over there in your country due to lack of money here to continue the farming business I wish to quit cos the government always tax me alot.i place each bird $4 only,pleace if you can do this for me then mail me back so that I will start arranging the shipping to you.

Thanks and remain blessed.

Illegal Pigeon Netting Happening in New York - Please Help

Pigeons are netted in more and more areas. Only in my neighborhood today I saw a warning posted that netters are here. Thank you to whomever posted that.

From the correspondence I have received and being realistic, it will be difficult to stop them, unfortunately. It is a lucrative business and easy pickings.

We need to make an effort and become very vocal about this and let people know what is going on. Most people do not know!!!!

Let people know the following:

1. Netters are netting in Manhattan and in the five boroughs and beyond. It is a big business and very lucrative, all cash with no taxes being filed.

2. It is against the law to remove pigeons from their habitat. Only the Board of Health can remove pigeons or a license is needed from them.

3. Pigeons are being sold to shooting galleries and restaurants. People may be eating pigeon meat as it is being substituted for quail, squab or even chicken.

Please post all over the internet and DO NOT BE SHY. If you posting is removed, post again.

1. Post on all message boards, websites, blogs, groups, etc.....everywhere!!! The more people know the better for the pigeons!!! And you never know who will see it.

2. Make up fliers - simple ones will be fine. Tell people netters are taking pigeons and selling to restaurants. Tell them it is against the law. Put up in your neighborhood and anywhere you happen to be. You can make up ones that are self sticking like labels.

3. Contact government officials. They may not reply, but if enough people contact them, they will begin to take notice. Keep emailing and calling. Here is a listing or find your own.

Links to government officials:

other government officials in NYC

Contact your assemblyperson, councilperson, senator, etc. We have elected them into office and they have a responsibility to citizens. Let them know we will not be voting for them if they refuse to help.

Contact the media if at all possible

4. Call the NYC Board of Health and alert them.

5. If you see a netting, write down all info and contact the police. Make a note if they will not accept your complaint. Write down the date, precinct, officer you spoke with, etc. If they will not take your complaint, contact the Civilian Complaint Revue Board. It is your right as a citizen. Shoo away all pigeons. Do not be afraid, these cowards do not want to be noticed. Create a scene!!!

The worst thing you can do is to keep quiet. Make a noise!! Pigeons are counting on us, and no one is helping.

"Can't We All Just Get Along"

After three weeks of strained cohabitation, the dog and the parrot don't seem to be getting along any better than they did when Veronica (the parrot) first arrived.

The problem, clearly, is Jasper (the dog). And I say this with a certain degree of confidence because I (the human) know that canines are, by nature:

A. Extremely jealous when other pets are introduced into the household.

B. Always hungry.

The tension mounts every afternoon when I open the cage and let Veronica -- whom I am "bird-sitting" for my friend Carm -- amble around the dining room.

As soon as she steps out of the cage and climbs on top of it, Jasper dashes over, panting and salivating.

I immediately begin to chastise Jasper for her inhospitable behavior, using phrases like "No!" "Stop that!" and "Be good!" I do this because:

A. I am a strict parent with Old World values.

B. I really don't want to have to call up my friend Carm and tell him that my $10 dog just ate his $600 parrot.

I'm guessing it doesn't help matters that Jasper is part beagle. Whenever I let her out of the house she immediately drops her snout to the ground and proceeds to circle the yard that way, like a furry, four-legged vacuum cleaner.

As a friend once explained to me, "She's a hunter; she's searching for prey."

"Well, that's nice," I explained. "Let's pray she doesn't find any."

In years gone by, Jasper has chased squirrels, raccoons, possums and woodchucks through our back yard. She has also tangled with skunks.

Still, if I had to choose my LEAST favorite dog/prey experience, it would probably be the night several summers ago when I swatted a huge moth in the kitchen. I then went into the pantry to get a paper towel, and when I returned the moth was gone, while Jasper sat nearby, staring blithely at the ceiling.


Jasper looked up, down and sideways, as if I were talking to some other dog.

Meanwhile, I could see her cheeks moving because the moth was fluttering around in her mouth, trying to get out.

After trying in vain to pry her jaws open, I rolled my eyes and sent her (and her sushi) into the back yard.

Last week, I had a nightmare that was eerily similar to the moth incident. In it, the parrot's cage was empty, Jasper's cheeks were bulging, and there was a green feather sticking out of her mouth.


Jasper stared at the ceiling, pretending nothing was wrong. But the parrot screamed, "I'm in the dog!"

Weeks ago, when he brought her to me, Carm said Veronica was 33 years old and spoke only one word: Poppy.

To date, she hasn't uttered a single syllable to me, but I have been trying to encourage her and earn her trust. Part of this master plan has included letting her out of the cage, holding her on my finger etc.

I also say "Poppy!" "Daddy!" "Billy!" and "Hello!" about 5,000 times a day.

Veronica says ... nothing.

"I can't stand this anymore," I said recently to my friend Chicklet. "The bird glares at me, paces around and never says a word. It's like being married."

Chicklet suggested that I try a different tactic.

"This is just a thought," Chicklet said, "but maybe she won't talk unless she gets paid."

"Paid?" I yelled. "What is she? A union parrot?"

"No, you know what I mean! Try bribing her with something! Hold up a treat and try to get her to talk. Then, when she says something, you give it to her."

Hmm ...

A few hours later, while the bird was perched on my finger, I held up a peanut. "Speak!" I said. "Speak, and I'll give you a treat."

Jasper, who apparently thought I was talking to her, began to woof and salivate.

"Veronica is not a treat!" I yelled. "She is our other pet! We are a multi-pet family! We do not eat each other! Is this CLEAR?"

Before I could finish, the nervous bird extended her wings and began squawking so loudly that Jasper became frightened and ran out of the room.

Ugh. Now what?

Common sense tells me that it is possible for a dog and bird to live in harmony, but that achieving this will require time, patience and effort. I need to help them find common ground. I need to provide them with a reason to bond, unite and come together.

I guess I need a cat.

Don't Feed Grapes or Raisins to Pets
Dr. Allan Paul
February 24, 2005

The Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), an Urbana-based unit of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has issued warnings to dog owners that raisins and grapes may be toxic to some dogs. Between April 2003 and April 2004, the APCC handled 140 cases involving one or more dogs that ingested varying amounts of raisins or grapes. Of these, more than 50 animals showed signs of illness ranging from vomiting to life-threatening kidney failure, and seven dogs died.

Pet owners and veterinarians need to be aware of this potential danger.

The cases weren't from any specific region, but instead came from across the United States. The brand, variety, and source (e.g., purchased from grocery store or grown in private yard) did not appear to affect the outcome. Ingested amounts varied considerably, from over a pound of grapes to as little as a single serving of raisins.

Dogs typically vomited within a few hours of eating the grapes and raisins. Some dogs would stop eating and develop diarrhea. The dogs often became quiet and lethargic, and showed signs of abdominal pain. These clinical signs lasted for several days and sometimes even weeks. Blood tests on affected dogs revealed signs of kidney damage.

Treatment for dogs with grape or raisin poisoning begins with inducing vomiting (if the ingestion was recent) and administering activated charcoal to help prevent absorption of potential toxins. Dogs should be hospitalized and placed on intravenous fluids for at least 48 hours. Blood chemistry should be analyzed daily for at least three days following the ingestion to detect evidence of renal failure. Some dogs may need peritoneal dialysis, a process where the membranes surrounding the abdominal organs are used to filter waste products that are normally filtered by the kidney.

The exact mechanism by which grapes and raisins cause kidney damage is not known. It is not clear whether all dogs or only susceptible breeds or individuals are affected, whether other species may be susceptible to this toxicosis, or whether ingestion of grapes and raisins over time lead to the same effects as large, acute or single ingestions.

Because there are still many unknowns, the APCC advises not giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount.

Sources: *

The Oasis Sanctuary is a life-care facility established to care for captive exotic birds, mostly parrots. There are 400+ birds plus 50 other farmed and domestic animals, as well as 8 human animals, who call the Sanctuary home. The Oasis Sanctuary is located in rural southeastern Arizona. We recently had a harrowing experience due to a nearby fire, which forced the evacuation measures of our sanctuary and is recalled by Sybil Erden in an account called "Seventy-Two Hours".  We respectfully ask your web site visitors to help with donations to the Oasis Sancturay to replenish our disaster supplies!

If anyone has any extra money to donate, please consider these valiant folks & help! Thanks tons,
Lynn & Dr. Woerpel
Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital
Hawthorne, California


Groucho the Singing Yellow Nape Amazon Video

Einstein the Brainy African Gray Video

Artificial Legs Help Maimed Bird Walk Again!

N'kisi the African Gray

Queen to Meet Foul-Mouthed Parrot

Parrots Return after Nine Decades

United Kingdom 'Complacent' Over Wildlife Threats

Brazil's Smuggled Wildlife Toll

Wildlife Smuggling Rises in Brazil

Beer Swilling Parrot Faces Pub Ban

Internet Bird Buying Scam

WARNING!!!! FRAUD!!!!Just a quick note to warn everyone. There's a new SCAM on the Internet. Someone contacts you wanting to buy a bird you have for sale. They claim someone else owes them money, so they will have that check (a Cashier's Check) sent to you. You are to take what the cost of the bird is out of that, and then wire by Western Union the balance to the buyer of the bird.DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!! IT'S A FRAUD!!!!!!This has just happened to me, and luckily my common sense kicked in and I was extremely cautious. I refused to send any funds until the Cashier's Check had cleared. Did you know that someone can send you a Cashier's Check, get you to send them the bird/s, and then stop payment on that check? Well they can!!!

Anyway, I told my bank I was very uncomfortable with this whole deal, and they agreed it sure sounded strange. So, they deposited the check and promised to call the bank when they thought it would be cleared. At the same time, they FAXED the check to the bank it came from. Today (just 2 days later) I got a call from my bank...the other bank contacted them and said the Cashier's Check is a FRAUD!!!!Please pass this on to any and all lists you are on, and to other bird club members. These people need to be stopped!

Edith Theisen

Rare Parrot Appears in Central New Mexico

Associated Press Story

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) - A bright green parrot has become a sensation for bird watchers and biologists in central New Mexico.

The endangered thick-billed parrot - an endangered species not seen in the United States for decades - has been spotted at Ted Turner's ranch near here, feasting on seeds pried out of pine cones in ranch manager Tom Waddell's yard.

"It's big," said Ken Stinnett of Las Cruces, a trained biologist who works as a stockbroker and studies birds in his spare time. He posted the sighting of the green parrot with a crimson forehead on an Internet birding site. "It turned into a frenzy," he said. "Birders have flown in from all over," Waddell said Friday. "It's like observing an extinct species."

The parrots once ranged from Mexico into the mountains of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. But hunting and the loss of their preferred pine forest habitat drove the birds away.

Now the species is found only in Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range at altitudes of about 6,000 feet. The last confirmed sighting in the United States was in the Animas Mountains of southwestern New Mexico in the 1960s. "They were vulnerable because they are a very social species," said Noel Snyder, a retired Arizona Game and Fish Department biologist who has studied the parrot extensively. "They appear in flocks. They're very approachable - you can get within gunshot range. And they're noisy."

No one knows how this single parrot wound up at Turner's Armendaris Ranch. Some think it was carried into the area by recent stormy weather.Turner, founder of CNN, owns more than 1.1 million acres in New Mexico, including the 360,000-acre Armendaris Ranch east of Truth or Consequences.

Novices Handfeeding Babies!

Dear Karen,

I just finished reading the latest edition of your bird club's newsletter and wanted to drop a quick note to thank you.

In this edition, you hit upon two subjects that are some of my several soap boxes. In the answer to the woman who wanted advice on handfeeding, I was extremely pleased when you told her that if she wasn't experienced, she shouldn't take on the job. And I was particularly happy when you said "If not, then you need to contact someone in the know so you don't kill the babies." I loved your direct approach in this sentence. A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from someone who's first sentence was "You need to tell me how to take care of baby African Greys." Turns out a friend of hers has 3 4-week old babies that he doesn't want any more. He is going to give them to her, but she has never had a parrot before. I refused to help her except to refer her to a bird store in her area (she wasn't in San Diego) that I feel is reputable and might be able to take the babies for her. I told her that I would not take the responsibility for the babies deaths by telling her over the phone how to hand feed.

I LOVED your article "Please Be Considerate". About once a month I get calls from people like this. "Hi, my budgie has a broken leg. What should I do?" My only answer (trying to give them the benefit of the doubt) is: "Who's your avian vet?" Ninety-nine percent of the time they don't have one. So, I refer them to mine and they always want to know "How much will this cost?" But, my absolute favorites are the ones that say "I don't have a car. Can you come pick the bird up and take it to the vet for me?" So, not only if you can't afford the vet, but if you don't have transportation or a friend that is willing to transport you, you shouldn't have a bird.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Just wanted to say thanks again.

Bonnie Kenk
Founder & Executive Director
Parrot Education & Adoption Center

A Heartfelt Thank You!


I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, help and mostly, for the beautiful creatures you've help to put in my life in the last year. I'm so glad my husband and I ventured into your store "looking for a cage" for a bird we hadn't bought yet. Since that day, our flock has grown from 1 to 5. Your assistance didn't stop once Charlie was bought and paid for and we left the store. You have always been there for us to answer any questions and help in any way possible. Your knowledge and "bird sense" have been an invaluable to us. Your recommendation of Dr. Roskopf as our avian vet was right on the mark! He is wonderful! Not only is he our birds' vet, we've also starting taking our dogs to him. He is so knowledgeable as well as gentle and kind with the animals (and me).

Also, I can't thank you enough for recommending Ken Globus a/k/a The Bird Whisperer. As you know, Corky has a long "unknown" past. He was a "biter" and did not want to be handled at all. My husband had all but given up on him. I couldn't give up. I knew there was a sweet little bird in there just waiting to get out. I called Ken. He worked his magic! Corky does not live in fear anymore! Last, but not least, I want to thank you for keeping our flock beautiful! It's such a relief to know that our birds are groomed by experienced, loving hands. You are definitely a pro!

Thank you again!

Debi Cooper





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