A different feather

A fan of dancing, but not baseball caps.

A fan of dancing, but not baseball caps.

I had some time during a recent road trip to think about the topic for this month- many ideas came to mind as I wondered about this aspect of conservation or that issue of research, but I kept coming back to birds, maybe because they show up so often as you travel (such as the bluebirds and swallows at Antietam). And for some reason that I cannot explain, I started wondering about parrots.

My experience with these animals is largely limited to cleaning their cages (and I always appreciated that the macaws gave me a wide berth during those sessions, unlike the sulfur-crested cockatoos who seemed determined to take my broom). I did see some in the wild in Bolivia, which was fantastic, but they were generally at a distance. I know that they are social (the African Grey in Texas, although taking advantage of his time inside to learn the ‘Andy Griffith’ theme song, was much happier when returned to the outside aviary), intelligent, and can be quite single-minded, but I don’t really know much about parrot conservation, despite how common they are in zoos and as pets. I know that certain species have been introduced (intentionally or not) to new habitats, and there are some concerns about them as invasives, and I imagine that the pet and feather trades have had a big impact on wild populations, but I feel pretty vague about all of that, which seems strange when you consider how obvious they are (both in appearance and noise) in any habitat.

So this month I will be looking into parrot conservation around the world. Hopefully, I can develop a view of these birds that goes beyond aviaries and cages. If there is a species that is of particular interest to you, let me know and I’ll see what I can find- given the general popularity of birds, I’m sure there’s lots of information out there.

Posted June 1, 2013 by Mirka Zapletal in Birds

Tagged with ,