How Bird Poop Will Save The World (& Other Parrot News)

Keep up on all things bird with the roundup of news, trivia and bird show updates.

Courtesy George Summers
Macaws strut their stuff at parrot show.

What’s new in the world of parrots? Find out.

Cockatoo saves human companions from fire: BirdChannel [that? us! ?Eds.] writes about a cockatoo who sounded the alarm before a Peel, Arkansas house burned to the ground. The couple inside escaped on time, along with their parrot pal. Volunteer firefighter Todd Boyers said, “There? no trouble waking up to that alarm. We?e all said that? a hero bird.?

Parrot poop could save the earth or at least help slow down global warming, according to Audubon. Parrots and other fruit-eating denizens of tropical rainforests disperse seeds via their droppings, which gets new trees started.

According to the Audubon article, “How Bird Poop Helps Fight Climate Change?

“Scientists estimate that more than 80 percent of tropical trees depend on other creatures for dispersal. Animals that can open their mouths really wide are the most effective, since they can swallow entire fruits and pass out (okay, poop) the seeds, still intact. Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, for example, can easily throw back a few guava-sized virola fruits with their seven-inch beaks. And Horned Guans?urkey-like birds that have a red, party-hat-like crest?re known for gobbling up avocados . . . pits and all.?lt;/span>

Why is this important? Forests sponge up 30 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions as well as storing carbon in surrounding soil. Go parrots (and their poop)!

A little Native American (parrot) history: Sally Blanchard of Companion Parrot Magazine talks about Kachinas, which are ceremonial dancers representing assorted deities of the Hopi tribe of southwestern USA. Kachina dolls are given to Hopi children as a Native American version of Sunday school. Some of the dolls are fashioned after parrots such as blue-and-gold macaws, known from trade with Native American nations to the south. They also symbolize fertility.

Swift Parrot
Swift Parrot by Dejan Stojanovic/Courtesy Loro Parque
Swift parrots have the longest migrations of any parrot in the world.

The swift parrots are migrating! Swift parrots are seasonal migraters, and are moving from Tasmania to mainland Australia this time of year, according to Australia? ABC.

Dr. Dejan Stojanovic a conservation biologist with the Australian National University said in the ABC article:

“… the swift parrots often travelled in small groups, with a couple of adult birds chaperoning the juveniles. 

‘At this time of year, when the kids have just left the nest, you can find these flocks of parrots where you’ve got a few adults and a big mob of kids all flying around like lunatics, chasing each other [and] practicing flying to build up their wing muscles,’ [Stojanovic] said.

‘It literally sounds like this flock of parrots just laughing as they do these hysterical circles around the forest as they build up their muscles.’?lt;/span> 

Parrot Festival is almost here! Find out about the National Parrot Rescue And Preservation Foundation here, and check out a trailer below. The Parrot Festival starts January 29.

Disco, the parakeet, is on BBC: Disco, the phenomenally talking Long Island budgie, is featured at the very end of a BBC Radio program (or, perhaps more appropriately, “programme”) “The Science Hour.” Clips of his mimicry skills are used to illustrate new research on vocal learning. You can listen to it here.

Remember the Three Caballeros? More from Sally Blanchard: Cigar-smoking parrot, Jose Carioca appeared in the 1945 Disney flick, “The Three Caballeros” along with Donald Duck and Panchito the rooster. Although Jose also appeared in the follow up “Saludos Amigos” featuring Donald and Goofy and was even honored as part of the official insignia of the USS Escambia a Navy refueling ship during WW II, the character faded into obscurity. Read the full history here.

Illegally Smuggled Parrots Saved: Argentinian police thwarted an attempt to smuggle 310 blue fronted Amazon parrots presumably for the pet trade. The birds are now at the sanctuary La Esmeralda.

In related news, a few months ago,a 10 red-lored Amazon parrots were seized by Mexican authorities.

African grey parrot
By Michael Gwyther-Jones (originally posted to Flickr as Singapore) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bad News for African greys in Ghana: Wild African grey parrots may soon vanish from Ghana. Late 2015, BirdChannel reported on this, and now other groups are trying to warn people.

According to BirdLife:

“The authors of the paper titled, ?rade and habitat change virtually eliminate the Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus from Ghana? attributes the population decline to four main factors: trade, overall forest reduction, silvicultural practices and farmland timber harvesting.?lt;/span> 

A little bird humor: Karen? dishwasher stopped working so she called a repairman. Since she had to go to work, she told him repairman she’d leave the key under the mat; and “By the way don? worry about my bulldog Spike. He won? bother you. But, whatever you do, not under any circumstances talk to my parrot.”

When the repairman arrived, he discovered the biggest, meanest looking bulldog he has ever seen. But, just as she had said, the dog lay there watching the repairman go about his work. The parrot, however, drove him nuts with his incessant yelling, cursing and name calling.

Finally the repairman yelled, “Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!?

To which the parrot replied, “Get him, Spike!?lt;/span>

Upcoming January Bird Shows
(All times EST unless otherwise specified.)

19 Online: Solutions for Biting and Aggressive Behavior in Companion Parrots. Presented by Barbara Heidenreich. Webinar. 6-7:30 p.m.

21 Online: Solutions for Parrot Behavior Problems Related to Hormones. Presented by Barbara Heidenreich webinar 6-7:30 p.m.

23 Pineville, NC: Toy making class 11 am. Parrot University. 321 South Polk St. Contact: Website.

23 Pineville, NC: Fun with Food. Parrot University. 2 pm. 321 South Polk St. Contact: Website.

23 Methuen, MA: Understanding Behavior ?Observation is Key. 1-3. MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway. Info here.

23 Alexander, NC: No Place Like Home (satisfies Phoenix Landing adoption process requirement). 10-12. The Landing, 31 Landing Place. Contact: Website

23 Online: Solutions for Parrot Behavior Problems Related to Hormones. Presented by Barbara Heidenreich. Webinar, 11-12:30.

24 Online: Addressing Screaming for Attention in Companion Parrots. Presented by Barbara Heidenreich. Webinar 11-12:30.

29 to 31 Houston, TX: National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation Parrot Festival. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Intercontinental Airport,15747 JFK Boulevard. Contact: Website

30 Pineville, NC: Positive Reinforcement Training. Parrot University. 2 p.m. 321 South Polk St. Contact: Website.

31 Pineville, NC: So, You Want A Talking Bird? Parrot University. 2 p.m. 312 South Polk St. Contact: Website.

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