Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recent California Fires and Parrots

As many of you know and some of you have lived through, there have been devestating fires in the beautiful Santa Barbara Area (and others).

November 14, 2008
Phoebe Linden of the Santa Barbara Bird Farm had to evacuate with her birds. Below is some of her story... Are YOU prepared for a disaster?

We evacuated 6:30 - 7pm last night and got everyone out. Praise God.

It was sooooo scary -- one moment, a pillar of flame, the next moment, conflagration. There was no doubt we had to get birds out NOW.

People showed up with trucks and carriers and we were gasp actually prepared, too. Jamie from SBBSanctuary came with large macaw carriers at EXACTLY the moment we ran out of big ones and were getting ready to put macaws in heavy-duty cardboard boxes.

We first evacuated to Barbara and John's house by Old Coast Rd and Salinas -- just got all birds in to a safe and clean garage and at 11:30, we were ordered to evacuate again. Only now, no Harry -- he snuck back to the house in the van to watch stuff. So while Barbara and John evacuated their stuff, I loaded all 60 birds into any car I could find and took off again. Last count, we had five cars full of stuff and 4 drivers, so the car with non-parrots was left behind. (yes, it was the Woodie but surprisingly, Harry was fine with that!). (It didn't burn)

We came to the Kim3 furniture showroom at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez and Barbara, John, parrots and Ph H stayed the night. It is really nice here -- comfy beds with fine linens, a fully stocked kitchen, bath -- Josserlynn said "hello" all night, Garcia wanted to know if we were OK, etc. The birds are wonderful. Lost a couple of feathers and Harry got a few bites in the heat (no pun intended) of the moments, but everyone ate this morning.

The fire guys won't let us back yet, but I snuck back and saw the house -- safe. But we can see burned houses from every window. Back, front, side - burned and still burning houses everywhere. Don't get me started on the soot.

Harry is hosing down the aviaries and we hope to get everyone back home within the next few hours where they can bathe, stretch their wings and re-adjust.

I'm trying to keep everyone updated but will appreciate you letting people know.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, esp re: respiratory issues which can surface years later.


November 17th, 2008
Dear Friends,

So many of you want to help to Harry and me as we begin the arduous task of cleaning up after the fire. Thank you!!

Even though everything is covered in soot, we take our cue from Percy Lou and the 47 other safe parrots: sing while cleaning. We are sooooo happy to have a home and to be home.

The one most important thing everyone can do -- well, two things -- first, be prepared yourselves! Second, please make a donation to Jamie McLeod's SB Bird Sanctuary ( Any amount is welcome! (Hopefully, they'll get some new emergency carriers with the funds! :) Also, they are caring for many displaced parrots right now!

(all donations are tax deductible!!)

So, the flames are towers roaring down the mountain headed smack towards our back yard. Our friends* are prepping carriers but Harry and I don't know if we have enough time.

A part of my brain is wondering, will I have to decide who to take and who to leave? The columns twirl in the wind. Smoke and ash smack us as we work. Lots of the birds hurry right in to their carriers: they've got the whole "emergency" message!

I load Josserlynn and Garcia in the van, turn, and see out of the smoke,

Jamie McLeod.

Ohmygoddessgoodness, Jamie. The relief I feel -- she's got carriers and she's moving fast -- is overwhelming even now.

The moment I saw Jamie I knew we had a chance to get everyone out. **

Right behind Jamie is Jodi, sister terrific. Linda Wudl! God bless you, bless you, bless you.

Jamie is right - it was a hellish night, but seeing those angels in the smoke provided the yin to the yang.

Please consider opening your heart and wallets to support the selfless work of the Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary, a not for profit 501c3 organization where parrots find a flock and much, much more. Any amount is appreciated.

Jamie, Jodi, Linda -- you are my heros! I am full of gratitude for you and confident that your good works will continue and that support will come for you -- as it did for me -- out of smoke and ash.

with love,

*friends on the spot: Barbara and John who stayed throughout, Arnulfo our son/brother, Patty Keller an angel, too, Hiladio the strong and his helper. Elly and Michael!

** Many who know me know that I *always* say, If I had to give an injection to a rhino, I'd want Jamie to be helping me. Her competence is amazing, friends. Just amazing -- this woman can accomplish with non-human species the utterly impossible. There is no one better in an emergency than Jamie. I thank God for her anew. Please help me tell her the value of her specialness.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Illinois Community Raising Money To Help Parrots

Illinois Community Raising Money To Help Parrots
Concerned citizens work together to help two free-flying macaws
By Angela Pham Bird
Posted: November 12, 2008, 3:00 a.m. EDT

When Del Nejmanowski drove his truck down the rural roads of Carlinville, Illinois, he wasn't alone.

During his scenic drives, two brilliant blue-and-gold macaws would fly majestically above his pickup, devotedly following their owner and providing a splendid show for the neighbors who witnessed the drive

They were free-flying birds, escaping cold Illinois winters in an exterior shelter that Nejmanowski built for them and the other six birds he used to keep. His beloved flock was down to two when he died August 27, 2008, and today they still fly free around the neighborhood where Nejmanowski's house and lean-to shelter once stood. They rarely fly far from their old home where their caretaker used to dwell.

But the plummeting temperatures and icy conditions of winter are threatening the birds, which are best suited to tropical climates. Concern among Nejmanowski's family members and neighbors is growing. They all know that if the notorious animal-lover Nejmanowski were still here, he would want his parrots to be safe, warm and loved, just as he ensured they were when they were in his care.

To read the entire story, please go to Here!

Parrots & Veterans Help Each Other

Dr. Lorin Lindner,PhD, MPH of The Association of Parrot C.A.R.E. joined us recently to talk about Serenity Park Sanctuary, a one-of-a-kind parrot sanctuary and New Directions, situated on VA grounds - helping rescued parrots AND military veterans heal each other.

The Message:through the show was: We owe it to the animals to give back to them in respect.

If you missed this show you can purchase it and/or others relating to Parrots at Animal Talk Naturally

Hebrews 13:16
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

'Multilingual' birds learn foreign alarm calls

New Scientist * 00:01 12 November 2008 by Rachel Nowak

Birdwatchers are all too aware that when a bird of one species spots a hawk and squawks an alarm, birds of other species fly for cover. What was unknown was whether this multilingual ability was "hard-wired" or whether birds learned the alarm calls of other birds on the job.

It now turns out that recognising alarm calls - even very different ones from other species - can now be added to the growing repertoire of things birds can learn Movie Camera, according to study led by behavioural ecologist Robert Magrath of the Australian National University in Canberra.

The Magrath team played recordings of calls of different bird species to fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) and monitored their response.

Fairy-wrens living in the Australian National Botanical Gardens and other parks in Canberra fled from the alarm calls of other fairy-wrens [hear audio] and scrubwrens (Sericornis frontalis) [hear audio], but not from the non-alarm call of the galah (Cacatua roseicapilla) [hear audio].

Fairy and scrubwrens have very similar alarm calls - a high-pitched piping noise - so the fairy-wren may have automatically recognised the alarm call of the scrubwren.

But whereas the two wren species naturally share the same habitat in the Canberra area, only fairy-wrens live in the Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve in New South Wales, which is outside of the scrubwren range.

When the team played the calls here, fairy-wren only fled from the fairy-wren alarm call, and were unperturbed by scrubwren alarm calls, and galah non-alarm calls.

That suggests, says Magrath, that, rather than being hard-wired, the fairy-wren needed to have heard the scrubwrens' alarm call, and learnt that it meant danger.

Read MORE Here