Friday, September 15, 2006


Finding the Right Bird

I walked into this internship with Bird Talk Magazine on Monday thinking, "Gee, I don’t know a whole lot about birds." Yet, here I am, about done with my first week, already thinking about what kind of bird I want to get in the somewhat near but far future.

I’m not a complete stranger to birds. When I was younger my family had two budgies and a cockatiel. I loved to go and learn about all the wild birds at the Bird Show at Marine World Africa, USA in Vallejo, California. Also, a good friend of mine, while I was in college, had quite a few feathered friends. I learned a lot about birds through her experiences and when I spent time at her house, I got to see first hand just how much personality each of them had.

That, however, does not make me any wiser about birds, about how to take care of birds, and how to go about picking the right one for me.

My first thought was that I couldn’t possibly have a bird because of my cat. But after talking to my sister about it and reading about what other pets some bird owners also have, I think that it’s a possibility…if I’m smart and careful about it.

I’ve been doing a lot of researching and cramming information about different birds through my work of preparing bird species profiles on the upcoming website. From what I’ve learned, I think that a smaller bird would be ideal for me. I’ve talked it over with my sister, the boyfriend, and I even tried to talk to my cat about the possibility of getting a bird. The humans listened and the cat ignored me while I listed reasons why I thought a smaller bird would be a good idea. I got some positive opinions in response.

I have been reading, a lot, about the different personalities of the different birds. Based on my own personality, I’ve decided that I’d like to explore the options of getting a pair of love birds or depending on where I end up at the beginning of next year, a parrotlet. I’ve also decided that I still have quite a bit of learning to do before I take that plunge into bird ownership.

But hey, everyone has to start off somewhere, right? Plus, I'm surrounded by the right people if I have any questions about my quest of bringing home a pet bird. There's no way that I could stray too far.

- Crystal


Poaching Quakers?

An article by Courier Life Publications, a Brooklyn-based publisher, raises the question that the borough's now infamous wild quaker parrots might be targets of poachers. Several locals, including Steve Baldwin who runs the Brooklyn Quaker Society, were quoted by the paper as saying that there have been significantly less quakers present in their usual roosting spots. They suspect that a pair of young men are pulling the chicks from their nests to sell to local pet stores. These comments, however, were not substantiated with any physical evidence.

To read the full story, click here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


New Species!

Ramana Athreya/BirdLife International

A new bird species was discovered in India by astronomer Ramana Athreya, according to a press release by BirdLife International. The Bugun Liocichla, a type of babbler, was spotted by Athreya in northeast India's Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary. The team was on the lookout for the bird, because Athreya had spotted it once before in 1995, according to the release. They gathered feathers, recorded the bird's song and took notes and photographs.

Although the bird was found in an already protected area, experts were quoted as saying that there are only 14 known individuals in existence.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Forshaw Talks Parrots With The NYT

The Science section of today's online New York Times features an interview with Joseph Forshaw, one of the top parrot experts in the world and a contributor to BIRD TALK. While visiting New York, Forshaw took a stroll through the Greenwood cemetery in Brooklyn to see the wild quakers, and was impressed by their ability to survive even when having to resort to eating leftover pizza crusts of Manhattanites.

The interview with Forshaw lends more insight into his character, such as the fact that he does indeed own a bird. Many biologists and ornithologists look at birds in a purely scientific way. They are not interested in birds as pets, but Forshaw comments on the affection, beauty and loyalty that many parrots show toward their caretakers.

Forshaw does admit to eating a parrot at one time in his life, an already dead sulphur-crested cockatoo. He was in the Australian Outback, out of food and out of a ride - in short, desperate. I suppose we'll forgive him!

To find out more about wild quakers in the U.S., take a look at the November issue of BIRD TALK, which includes a feature article on these small green parrots that are thriving here. To see more of the Brooklyn quaker parrots, visit the website of Steve Baldwin, founder of the Brooklyn Parrot Society, who takes frequent photos of the birds in his neighborhood and maintains a blog about their activities.

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