Let me clarify a few things about what this blog is and what it isn’t. I am a writer. And a researcher. And a volunteer. And a Fundraiser. I’m also a few other things such as a Flight Attendant, a Foodie and a lover of all things coming out of Cupertino, California. I love reading about restaurants and cooking, the fashion industry, (Not that you can tell by my attire) but I’m not real big on fiction. I think the “Zombie” thing is ridiculous and I don’t give a damn about vampires. I like my birds and I love to write. I also like learning.
One thing I’m not is closed-minded. I fly with all kinds of people and have to deal with all kinds of people; hundreds of them on a daily basis. It is not uncommon for me to interact with over four hundred people in a day. Do I like them all? No. But I have met some amazing people and I’m a better person for it. I’ve also met some real asshats.
And when it comes to Aviculture and what’s right and wrong is something I can’t even begin to pretend to understand. I am hoping this blog reflects that. You want an expert, get ahold of one. I have a very cautious and guarded opinion about the goings on in this world of birds because I simply don’t know enough to render a clear picture of how things work. and though this blog, I have been trying to make heads or tails of the issues facing “The Parrot Nation.”
My current foster parrot, Byron.
And I don’t always get it right. But then, I don’t think any of us do.
I’ve written about these issues before. Not everyone is clearly on one side or the other of this pro-rehoming-anti-breeder; Pro-breeder-anti-whatever struggle. I don’t know that much about the government passing restrictive laws, or the destruction of habitat And I can guarantee that if I don’t know very much about it, your average parrot family doesn’t either. But I can tell you this: Many of them visit this blog. So when you reply to a post and begin discussion, you are in effect teaching many people as well as teaching me.
There are so many issues to contend with. Each issue or “Side” has their supporters and detractors. Each matter seems so convoluted and involved with intertwining tentacles. It reminds me of the riddle of the cannibals and missionaries:
“Three cannibals and three missionaries must cross a river. Their boat can only hold two people. If the cannibals outnumber the missionaries, on either side of the river, the missionaries are in trouble (I won’t describe the results). Each missionary and each cannibal can row the boat. How can all six get across the river?”
Image found here: Tripadvisor
I’ve been working on trying to even understand what the issues are, let alone how to deal with them. So when I state that I don’t know what the answers are, I’m being entirely truthful. I’m still trying to understand where the issues lie.
I have some pretty basic wants. I know I sound so damned Rodney King, but I want us all to try and figure it out. I know this is a far-fetched want but I have hopes for it.
We’re never going to get it right because we’re doing something unnatural: We have wild animals in our homes. But now that they’re here, we have to learn to deal with it. We can’t put them back and most of us probably wouldn’t want to anyway.
We seem to be pulling ourselves into pieces.
I suppose I could make things nice and easy and not try and learn about them and then never discuss them here. Then I would be like the Mommy Bloggers who generally don’t discuss any hard-hitting issues other than the “Cloth-diapering vs Pampers” debate or an intense discussion about thumb sucking.
Yup. it’s King O!
I’m interested in posting issues with the hope that I can learn from the very people I’ve been learning from right from the beginning: The PN Bleaders. (Blog Readers.) I know how to clean a cage, and all the basics that go with good flock care. You do too. I try to be semi-entertaining but there are a lot of things going on in the field that are worth discussion.
I’m never going to pretend to have all of the answers. Why? I guess I’m still trying to figure out the questions.
June 6, 2013 at 9:15 am
Well Done Patricia
June 6, 2013 at 10:29 am
Thank you Bonnie.
June 6, 2013 at 9:17 am
And are there any black and white answers for those questions? And who decides on which are the “correct” answers? I understand the reasoning behind the pro’s and con’s and realize that all we can do at this point is make the best of an imperfect situation.
June 6, 2013 at 9:21 am
as are we all Patricia! Great post, as usual.
June 6, 2013 at 10:30 am
Thanks Jacque… 🙂
June 6, 2013 at 9:25 am
Me too. I learn every day. Don’t think we don’t learn from you….and I figure your birds are healthy and happy so you must be doing something right. And so I follow your posts. I do read everything with a grain of salt, and I suffer the tree huggers uneasily. I am apprehensive of those who ‘know’ everything. I also read to be entertained and like humorous writing. Keep it up. I’m not calling you Doctor or phD or Vet or Queen…..just an interesting writer on a subject I love. Thanks.
June 6, 2013 at 9:40 am
Byron is adorable. He has a big nose like Buster. And King O looks so majestic with his fuzzy self … he just makes me happy looking at him.
Over 20 years ago, I went to a cockatiel group meeting (at least I think that’s what it was …) I met Irene Pepperberg, Dr. Harrison and others. For the most part, it was educational, but when the breeders started talking about breeding techniques to produce certain mutations … they lost me completely. I mean, really lost me.
I don’t have children. I have been a step parent and I was blessed enough to see 2 of my four (step) grandchildren in person after they entered this crazy world. I have Greys. I’ve had other birds, too, but with the exception of a cockatiel named Buzzard and a Pionus named Merlin, it’s been Buster and Greybird. I’ve made tons of mistakes like any parront would. I even tragically stepped on Buzzard and killed her because she flew off the bed as I came tearing around the corner. I learned a lot that day. I learned lessons that I’ll never forget and my heart has never healed from that loss.
Patricia, what you do for us is think out loud. You say what we may or may not have been thinking and together, we try to make sense of it all. And you do it with great style, I might add (I love that you used Asshats in a sentence!).
What I learned from being around people who are “technical” parrot people as opposed to those of us who are just parrot people is that they miss the magic of being with these amazing little beings, even if they are wild animals and feathered gangsters. They take things to an extreme and much, much too seriously.
So, assuming my mistakes don’t hurt anyone, I think I’m ok with being imperfect and continue to look forward to the semi-points of view from you and others that help me do the very best I can for those little feathered gangsters entrusted to my care. I also try to do more for the community of parrots in general — you know, try to leave things a little better than I found them … keep me/us posted on upcoming events and opportunities to give back …
And just for the record, thanks for all you do in the air, too. That’s a thankless job … and as an occasional traveler, I appreciate your fellow flight personnel and do my best to be a good and thankful traveler.
June 6, 2013 at 9:57 am
I enjoy reading your often thought provoking blog. I am not expecting to read that you have all the answers, and that you do not even know all the questions to ask is not a surprise to me.
I have been involved in the bird world for a fairly long time it seems and at others it seems like I just joined in yesterday. When I first started out as an adult I wanted a parrot. And after joining a bird club it seemed perfectly reasonable to me that if I wanted a tame one and only hand $200 to spend then buying a Pair of birds to breed to get my own tame baby made perfect sense.
It was never that easy and 5 years later I had a baby from my pair but I had loaned them out to some one and there was a fire and they died. 20 years later I still have that bird from my first pair. I have over the years bred Cockatiels, finches ,Parakeets etc but nothing in the larger bird domain. Now if I say I was a breeder back in the bad old days I get vilified…
I do not breed and have not in many years, I do not claim to be a rescue either, but I lean that way more and more everyday. Parrots dumped on my doorstep or abandoned into my care left to board and the owners never return. I do what I can to find good homes, and get the new owners on the right path. I do not make money on the birds, But very seldom does a bird leave my home for free…[vetting or my cost for the cage].
Things change as we learn and grow and all we can do is learn to adapt, or get left behind…and we all know what happens when you get left behind right? We end up not doing our best by the birds.
June 6, 2013 at 10:00 am
Great thoughts Cyn, great thoughts!
June 6, 2013 at 10:19 am
As always an enjoyment to read your blog. Your writing got me hooked, learning about Chop and all the other valuable information has kept me there and after having had the pleasure of meeting you you won’t get rid of me. I love handsome Byron. He has that interested and alert expression our Pepper has as well. If we ever go to Haiti I’ll make sure to be on your flight!
June 6, 2013 at 10:28 am
I wish I had a “Like” button, Ann!
June 6, 2013 at 10:38 am
Where did you get that ladder thingie in Byron’s cage? I want one!! I wanted to say I have missed the blog and am so glad you are back and hope your medical issues are wayyyy behind you!
June 6, 2013 at 10:39 am
Andrea, it came with Byron. I have no idea where the couple got it.
June 6, 2013 at 10:39 am
I don’t know it all either Patricia. I only know what I have learned from my birds and that doesn’t necessarily apply to any other bird in the world. Each bird is so much an individual that no one can say, if you do this and such with a Grey/Amazon/Macaw, it will work with their bird. I love my birds beyond all belief and am a bit offended when someone says oh yes I have a dog that I love that much. I have had dogs too, and cats and many other animals in my life but none are as intelligent as my birds. I feel that the level of communication and understanding with them is above that of other “pets”. I guess I am an Avian snob. Jesse is my 13 yr old B&G Macaw, AJ is a 17 yr old BF Amazon that I fostered for a rescue and couldn’t let him go. My name is Pat and I am in a 12 step program as a failed foster. lol I am foster to a Moluccan Too and 2 BF Amazons as well. 6 years ago I had a YN Amazon and a Timneh. Both had lived with me for nearly 25 years and were my fids. They were stolen and I have never recovered from that. I vowed no more birds because of my age but here I am back in the saddle. Jesse has gone a long way toward healing my heart tho I will always miss and grieve for my other two. I do enjoy reading all blogs on parrots and take what information I think I can use from them. As for breeding—well if there were no breeders I would not have Jess and AJ so I guess I am not anti breeding. I, being in rescue, am anti selling to anyone with the money. The Moluccan I foster is a perfect example. He was bought by someone who had no big bird experience and no idea how loud destructive and needy these birds are. So now he comes to rescue (I give her credit for that she could have sold him) slightly emotionally damaged and in need of a home that is not that easy to find. He and I have bonded and I am very protective about who will adopt him. I want a perfect home and they are few and far between for these big guys.
June 6, 2013 at 10:41 am
Pat, cockatoos are tough to place. I wish more people knew about them before getting them. That’s one bird I see no need in breeding.
June 6, 2013 at 10:59 am
yes, cockatoos are a special breed,,, omg the things they do,, and the things Dante says,,, from telling the dogs “Bedtime! Bedtime Now!! to yelling at my husband “Get Out! Get Out Now!”, when he had the audacity to walk into the room his cage is in….
April 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm
You must be about my aage – I’m 81. I came into this companion bird thing late not knowing I was late. I just have 2 Sun Conures. They are what I learn on. If I were younger and in good health I would have more witha room for them. I love these 2 so much,but now they have rebonded to my husband. I was in hospital and rehab facility for too long to keep their love. It hurt but I am trying to recover their friendship if not love. Right now they bite if I try to get them to step up. So sad.
June 6, 2013 at 11:11 am
Patricia, there is only one word I can add to this : AMEN 🙂
June 6, 2013 at 11:41 am
Bravo on all points made, Patricia! So happy to hear I’m not the only one that never got into zombies and vampires! 🙂
June 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm
GO Patricia . ! we and our flock are in your corner
June 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm
Thank you so much! Yup, Im a newby! I think I always will be. But discovery is great! I am one of the lucky few that filled in the blank, with love.