Feeding Penguins at the Cincinnati Zoo

It’s not that I’m easily distracted. I’m not. Rather, I have I tendency to hyper-focus. If I’m writing and someone says something to me, I’ll hear their voice but not what they’ve just said. I have to stop, pull my attention away from what I’m working on, and ask the person to repeat what they’ve just said. When I get  in the “writing zone,” the rest of me including my ears end up in Barbados or something.

Sometimes, I’ll sit with a parrot on my shoulder and completely forget one or the other is there. It isn’t until I feel that familiar warm drip down the back of my shirt that reminds me that Pepper has been sitting there for quite some time.

Parker is another story. Early on, I positively reinforced him to go in a waste basket and from that, he figured out how to warn me he has to go by sort of “dancing” on my shoulder. So Parker is not nearly the shoulder poop machine Pepper is. My friends and I have been working with Pepper and she’s getting better, but every once in a while I am “christened.”

My friend Nan Wearing a Feather Scarf I Made

“BIRD TALK” began a new series right on the same page as the column, “Memo to Parker and Pepper.” I began calling it “Parker’s Agony Column” and I don’t know how it’s going to end up doing,  but the first letter is from Duke E. Butt with a little problem a “friend” of his has. Duke wrote Parker a great letter: Apparently this “friend” has a crush on his human sister. Hopefully it’ll be well received.

Duke E. Butt

I’m spending Christmas in London. I picked up a trip for a friend of mine who has kids and of course wants to spend time with her family over the Holiday. I don’t have kids, I have parrots and a dog, but they can’t read a calendar yet, so I don’t think they’ll care if we celebrate a couple of days later. But I do have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day off. I’m not particularly looking forward to the trip because security at Heathrow is a nightmare. But apparently the Hotel throws one hell of a party for the Airline Crews who stay there.

Lisa Licare with Buddy and Skittles

I’ll be doing a “Chop” demo at the Midwest Bird Expo on April 16th. How the hell I’m going to pull that off is beyond me, but we’re going to give it a whirl. I’ll be getting some help from some of my friends who are attending. We’re calling ourselves Team Chop. How do you pack a Cuisinart anyway?


Jacque and Wendy at Best Friends Animal Society

It’s December. I’m girding my loins for Parker going into breeding condition again. I’m charging up my iPod as we speak and stocking up on the sedatives.

Trying to have fun at a Wal-Mart. (I was forced to go but didn’t buy anything.)

I’m rereading Sy Montgomery’s book, “Birdology.”  It’s one hell of a read and I recommend it highly. She begins the book by talking about her flock of chickens and the first sentence is “Hello Ladies!”  I love that beginning! Get the book, hang on to it and if you run into her at a convention or something, have her autograph it. And when you see her, tell her I said Hi.


Irena Schulz and Sy Montgomery

I’m still working on trying to get votes for my entry in the Blog Your Way to the North Pole Contest at Quark Expeditions. Would I be excited about winning? You bet! Excited about writing about the trip? Absolutely! Excited about actually making the trip? Ummm…it’s a long, long trip, Please bear in mind what I do for a living. I’d be gone about three weeks, and I’d be freezing my keester off the majority of the time while cruising on a Russian nuclear-powered ice breaker. I may come back glowing, who knows?

Irena's reaction when I asked her if she wanted to go to the North Pole with me.Irena’s Reaction when I asked her if she wanted to go to the North Pole.

I’ve asked three people so far if they would go with me if I won. All three said no.

Now what does this tell you about the glamour of the trips I choose to take?

First I get pooped on by penguins and gassed by a sea lion. Then I travel to Best Friends in Kanab, Utah where breathing is difficult and I went through an industrial sized tube of chap stick in eight days. And now I want to travel to the North Pole? Hell, YES!

Well, I’d certainly not doing it for the glamour. I’d be doing it for the birds. I’m doing it to bring attention to the foundations, rescues, non-profits and research done for birds.

I want to make one of my feather scarves, wear it at the North Pole, then bring it back and donate it to Phoenix Landing along with a photo of it at the Pole. I want to wear my Alex Foundation hat on the trip and auction that off to raise money for Irene Pepperberg’s “Alex Foundation.”


One of my favorite hats.

There’s so much I could do to raise awareness of our interests. Hell, I’d even take a crack at getting on “Ellen” if I could help shed some light on these wonderful organizations. I’m not there yet. But I sure am going to try. And your votes could help. You can vote here:


Thank you so much for contributing to freezing my keester.