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Wednesday, 07 March 2012


Maybe there's a genetically wired model of "tree" in their tiny brains, since trees would seem fairly critical to birds...much in the way that there may be a genetically wired nipple in dog brains that causes them to look for one after birth.

And say, speaking of parrots, what about that new iPad display as a vehicle for reviewing photographs?

Didn't read the column; hope it's a good one. Will read Ctein again if and when he gets back to photography. Next week would be my first choice.

As far as i know and in my experience, uncooked bones are much tougher than the ones described above, so unless the african grey can also fix a hot meal, i have some douts about the naturality.

Maybe the tree is so awesome that the birds are thunderstruck and have nothing to say about it.

Many parrots are opportunistic, bored, and charming moochers in captivity, eating pizza, drinking beer, and generally sharing in their owner's bad habits.

But, mostly what this highlights is that animal behavior often doesn't fit neatly into stereotypical human suppositions. Probably wild African Greys sample all sorts of items that they don't identify as being on their personal lists as harmful.

Organisms, both plants and animals, can be amazingly adaptable.

I have seen African greys picking over carrion in their native range in DRC, but only rarely - the carcasses were always small-medium sized, dry and old. My guess is that this is because anything larger is too hard to get into, and fresher ones usually have hazardous mammalian and large avian scavengers hanging around them. Carcasses like this are rare, since all it takes is for one large mammalian carnivore to find such a carcass and - gulp! - it's gone.

Several minerals are very scarce in that part of the world - there are places where elephants eat mud to get trace elements - this is probably a natural adaptation to limited nutrient availability.


My daughter loves exotic pets. Yes, we have a bird--a cockatiel. I do not like it. I do not like green eggs and ham either. We currently have a brand new hedgehog and are mourning the loss of our old hedgehog, Quentin, and our chameleon, Cha Cha. More on the life cycles of exotic pets: goo.gl/FHJov

I've seen wild parrots eat smaller birds here. Usually there is something wrong with the victim and there is a lack of other food available.

Dear James,

Hah! I misread the headline the same way, first time. Startling news to me.


Dear Marc,

Save your breath. Six out of seven readers disagree with you. Your "no" vote is duly noted, but it shifts the percentage against you from 85% to 84.96% (no joke).


Dear John,

Clever segue on your part!

I'm going to check out (and likely buy) an iPad3 the first chance I get, but I refuse to discuss it until then. I have zero interest in "spec speculation."

Once I've worked hands on with one, I'll write a column about it. Until then, I got nuttin'.

pax / Ctein

That is absolutely fascinating they ignore this flashing bright, scented behemoth in their space. Keep watching, there must be something interesting there.


Ctein: you mentioned the iPad ... Have you looked into iPhoto for iOS ? ... Looks real sharp on the iPod (2nd Gen) [that's the new proper Apple talk] ... but there is perhaps something in the RAW file handling ... to quote directly from the in app help: "NOTE:  If you import RAW photos into your device, you can view them in iPhoto, but only the embedded JPEG file in each RAW file is displayed.  The resolution of the embedded JPEG file depends on your camera.  In iPhoto, RAW-format photos have a RAW label." ... Talk about something which needs to be digested !!!?!!!
Oh ... And ... Thanks for another interesting Post ... Non Photographic Posts are of varying intereset as are other parts of life .......

Do you keep an eye on Elmo during the night? I mean....well for crying out loud man. What if he gets peckish in the night and you have unwisely left your toes sticking out from beneath the covers?


Please forgive me if you're familiar enough with parrots to know this, but the power of their beaks is really quite remarkable. They would have no trouble opening small bones, especially those of other avians, even in an un-cooked state. Whether or not this is instinctive behavior, I couldn't say, but it wouldn't be for lack of ability.

We used to keep birds (small parrots and finches) and as with everything I do, when I started, I obsessed about it. After learning about what they were capable of, I've always been quite astounded that we don't read a headline along the lines of "Fed-Up Parrot in Pet Store Bites Unbearable Brat's Finger Clean Off" about once a week or so. Because they'd have no trouble at all.

I love that your grey loves Turkey. The African grey I use to have previous to turning her over to a breeder as she was at that age and giving off the signs of wanting to breed. She use to love Chicken and one of her favorite meals was BBQ'd steak. She would chase me through the house to get the first bite. Answering your question about some natural dietary foods. They typical look for washed up fish on shorelines. They also look for clam and oyster shells which they get their calcium from. My grey use to love to eat cereal but she actually loved the milk much more. Even though all the books say they are lactose intollerant, if they are, she powered through it to eat cheese, milk and other dairy products as the greys do need a lot of calcuim in their diets as the dander they give off is mainly them losing this naturally. In fact, I have yet to find a breed that doesnt love string cheese or a mild chedder. Good luck and happy birding.

How does Ctein know that six out of seven readers want posts about parrots? Does he not mean six out seven readers who expressed a preference? Totally different demographic.

NB I only dropped in here because I noticed how few comments had been left

"How does Ctein know that six out of seven readers want posts about parrots? Does he not mean six out seven readers who expressed a preference? Totally different demographic."

Because we ran a poll, and 80% of readers said they wanted Ctein to write off-topic posts occasionally (he does so roughly one time out of four). As for the respondants self-selecting, well, so does the audience at large...which means, if you don't like a post, skip it--it's a blog; you're allowed to skip, and something new will be along before you know it. [g]


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