"Hey Birdbrain!" - June 2003
Hi Friends of the Flock!
Hope this letter finds you in great spirits now that summertime is here and the troops are home, for the most part. Summer in the Florida Keys is HOT!!!!! I've been a Floridian since the age of 4. Even I never knew hot until I moved to the Keys. But it's also one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world, too. Our beautiful aquamarine water is the center of the environment down here.
The Keys are a sanctuary for plants, animals and, last, but not least, humans. People are a little slower down here. A friend of mine, a pharmacist, told me that there was a theory that the winds coming across the ocean from Africa picked up certain elements on their trip. She said that these elements supposedly have a calming effect on people, which is why most people here are a bit gentler than the average population.
I love the Keys. I don't get enough time to spend in nature yet, but hopefully, once the World Parrot Mission stands on its own two feet (instead of mine!), I'll get out to enjoy it. For now, we're on a moving train and there's just no gettin' off for a while.
As I've promised, I am going to relate to you some of the stories that I hear from people who come into the Mission and seek me out to tell me their tale.
Yesterday was a first. A woman made me cry. She told me she was a breeder and didn't want to breed birds anymore. She said she just wanted to set the birds free. I was delighted with her attitude and told her I didn't think setting them free was the answer in a world where people are just out there trying to catch them to put them back in cages.
She told me that she just couldn't stand taking the babies away from the parents anymore. She said she could never do it and had made her husband steal the babies away because the parent birds would cry and cry and cry for weeks over the stolen and lost babies.
She told me about one of the wild caught pairs that she was breeding. She'd put toys in the cage made out of rope. The male of the pair got his foot caught in the rope. The woman was apparently not at home. She said the bird struggled so long that it ended up chewing off its own toe.
When the woman and her husband came home, they took the bird to an emergency vet. The vet stopped the bleeding and gave the bird a shot. The woman's husband told me that when the Dr. gave the bird the shot, the bird went limp and relaxed, and he thought, went into shock. On the way home, the bird died. The woman told me that when she walked into the house without the bird and saw the bird's mate, the bird knew. She said the bird immediately put her head back and started wailing in a way the woman had never seen before. She said the bird rocked back and forth wailing for weeks. This was when I started to cry.
I was taught in Psychology that animals are just conditioned, sort of robotic things that inhabit this earth. I beg to differ, out loud, in public to anyone who is in earshot. Animals have feelings, emotions and rights to freedom to live and love as they please. I can't wait to see these birds fly!!!!!!
Sorry that we couldn't get out a newsletter in May. My family had an emergency that took us out of town for a week and everything got backed up.
We also had a full day seminar in May that was lots of fun and everyone there learned so much. We are getting thank you's from the attendees for changing their birds' behaviors already!
The flock at the World Parrot Mission is doing great. Little Garth (our new Timneh Grey) is sprouting out feathers in all directions. He's so proud of himself, too! It's the most wonderful thing to see such improvement in a bird. It makes me realize that we're doing the right thing! (It is hard to argue with success!)
Gabriella, our adopted Umbrella Cockatoo, is becoming the beautiful little princess that she deserves to be. She has not come as far as Garth, but she's got feathers coming in all over, too. She's finally getting into the flying routine, which originally scared her to death and made her bite me, hard. She's got lots of personality and I'm hoping to teach her lots of fun things this summer.
Seymour, our oldest bird at 18, the Moluccan Cockatoo, is looking verrrrry studly, if I must say so, myself. His feathers are filling in from the bottom and closing in on his chest. I can't wait until there is no black body showing through at all. The salmon feathers that are coming in are absolutely gorgeous.
Turbo is still working on letting his feathers come in around his legs, neck and under his wings. He shows everyone in the show how many feathers he has under his wings, now.
Zutar, Rusty, Moriah , Tzipora and Punky are also doing great. We were able to afford a new roof for each of our small aviaries, so the birds can come to the Mission in the rain and have no fear of getting drenched.
We're asking for kids to volunteer this summer to help teach the birds new things. We need mature, responsible kids who LOVE animals and want to understand how animals learn. Volunteer from 2 to 10 hours per week. Call Jenifer for more info: 305-453-1800. High school community service hours can be satisfied.
Also, the dates of our next seminar have been announced. These will be:
October 4, 2003 $25/person 1-4 p.m. Parrot Psychology 101 - the basics. Everything you need to know to live with a parrot successfully and have a happy bird.
October 5, 2003 $25/person 1-4 p.m. Parrot Psychology 101 - the basics. Everything you need to know to live with a parrot successfully and have a happy bird.
October 18, 2003 $25/person 1-4 p.m. Parrot Psychology 201 - the next step. Start teaching your bird games and stimulating that avian intelligence!
October 19, 2003 $25/person 1-4 p.m. Grooming and bathing your parrot. How to give your bird a real bath with shampoo. Prerequisite: PP101 and PP201
The following email was sent to me and I'd like to pass it on to all of you:
Please tell everyone you know today. The Animal Rescue Site is
trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota
getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals.
It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "feed an
in need" for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate
sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to
abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.
Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.
This month we would like to welcome new members: Robin Sherin, Anita Godfrey, Marilyn and Art Larsen and Kate Venditti. We thank you for your membership and support. Those of us who love birds, must help all the birds. Your membership helps us to help parrots.
We have also this month been able to purchase a giant fan for our show area. This was a $200 expenditure and Happy Feathers Gift Shop donated another giant fan, so the shows are much cooler. Every little bit makes the Mission more comfortable for the birds and our visitors.
We have now decided that shows will be held at 11:30 a.m., instead of 2:00 p.m. because the days have gotten so hot that even the birds want an afternoon siesta! So, 11:30 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday, come and enjoy the birds. It's only $5.00 per adult and $3.00 per child (under 3 for free). You'll see how happy birds can be, how loud and crazy they can be, and how truly smart they are! Every bit of the show money goes to the birds.
Those of you who are making monthly donations to the Mission are making it possible for us to continue our work of teaching the world about the true nature of parrots and their demanding needs, while we strive to find funding for building a spectacular aviary where parrots can live in freedom and enjoy their right to fly.
We are having a raffle! We have a spectacular stained glass window of a pair of blue & gold macaws. The photo of this beautiful piece will be on our website soon. This beautiful piece of art has an estimated value of $500. Tickets will be $5.00 each or 6 for $20.00. The drawing will be held Christmas week. This art was donated by Jim and Linda Terrill, who are wonderful people and great supporters of the work we do here at the mission.
Want to join us? It's only $25.00 per year. Your membership dues are solely to support the parrots and build an aviary. I am a volunteer worker for the World Parrot Mission. I only want to succeed in having a sanctuary for these special, magnificent, brilliant animals. Just click : www.WorldParrotMission.org .
Thank you all, again, for your support and good wishes for the Mission to succeed.
Founder and Executive Director
World Parrot Mission, Inc.
A nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.
"Helping in the fight for parrots worldwide." www.WorldParrotMission.org