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Welcome to the March issue of Angel Wings. Hope this finds every-birdie getting ready for springtime!
Please take a moment and look through our website. We've "finally" got pictures up of our last couple projects of 2006. We've also added some toy making supplies. We've got a lot of new toys listed also. And much more!
Also, don't forget about our upcoming cookbook. We still need your recipes. For submission information, click here.
once again, we thank you for your continued support.
Angel Toys For Angels
We now offer 'Angel Toys' for sale to the public. Take a look at this month's featured toys:
Angel Toys for Angels
By Gemma Dehnbostel
The year is 1940. Germany is at war with Britain and has conquered much of Europe. The Battle of Britain is fought. The Vichy France regime is formally established. Auschwitz opens its doors for the first time. In the United States, Frank Sinatra debuts with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra; Pinocchio is first released by Walt Disney Productions; the Pennsylvania Turnpike, considered the nation's first superhighway, opens to traffic; basketball is televised for the first time; and Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a US postage stamp.
That was also the year that Cocky Boy was hatched.
Cocky Boy is a 66-year-old Western Long-billed Corella. He lives - happily, we hope - at a place called Dinosaur World and Parrot Jungle, outside the Western Australian town of Denmark. Cocky Boy's present caretakers own the tourist attraction where Cocky Boy has lived for the past five years.
This is Cocky Boy's story.
When Bruce and I visited Dinosaur World and Parrot Jungle in October 2006, we were interested in seeing the parrot part of that equation. What persuaded us to buy a ticket was the comment by the proprietress that "we can handle the birds." We quickly paid our entrance fee and entered a huge, park-like yard with large aviaries housing a variety of native Australian parrot species. Greeting us as we walked in were several tame parrots: a male and Female Eclestus, a Sun Conure named Oscar (not Australian), a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo named Molly, and a couple of Rainbow Lorikeets. We spotted two long-billed corellas wandering on the ground;the proprietress said, "That's Eddie. He might not come over. And that other one is Cocky Boy; he usually attacks men's shoes." Bruce kept his distance.
After looking at the birds in the aviaries, I wanted to play with Molly a bit, so we took a seat near the hand-raised youngsters. Then I noticed one of the long-billed corellas making his way slowly across the yard - very slowly. Cocky Boy would stop and forage and then continue shuffling on, making his leisurely but purposeful way toward my feet. Eventually he reached my shoes; I didn't know what to expect - would he try to pierce the leather and mesh with his long, slender beak? That wasn't his intention. On curled, arthritic feet, he climbed up on the tops of my shoes, then grabbed the bottom of my pants to try to hoist himself up. He wanted to sit in my lap! Trying always to be sensitive to what a parrot wants, rather than what I want, I asked if he liked to be held. Of, sure, I was told, so I lifted Cocky Boy up like a baby and settled him in my lap. As I gave him head skritches, and as he gently pulled at my sweatshirt with his long, pointed beak (but never once punctured the material), the proprietress told me Cocky Boy's story.
He came to her five years ago when his then owner decided he didn't want him anymore. Cocky Boy had been living in a small wire cage on the ground, under the floor of a house raised on stilts. His only food source was handfuls of sunflower seeds thrown into his cage periodically. He developed arthritis in his feet because, out of necessity, he had to sit on the ground; his cage had no perches. He developed his aversion to men's shoes because that's mostly what he saw of the person who owned him from his under-the-house perspective. At night Cocky Boy would sleep with his head in a tin can to prevent the rats and mice from crawling on his head. What finally gave his owner reason to give him up was that Cocky Boy had started mimicking the feral cats that would scream at night, and his person didn't want to be awakened in the morning anymore by Cocky Boy's feral cat imitation. So he was packed off to Parrot Jungle - and a better life.
The proprietress told me that, after she had had Cocky Boy for a short while, his former owner stopped by one day with Cocky Boy's tin can. "He might be missing this," he said. The proprietress told him that Cocky Boy was foraging on the small hill in the backyard. The former owner placed the tin can near Cocky Boy and left. The proprietress said that Cocky Boy refused to go near that little hill after that, not until the tin can had been removed and the memory of what it meant to Cocky Boy had faded a bit.
As I held that 66-year-old bird and scratched his head and peered into his clear, alert eyes with the brilliant blue skin surrounding them, my own eyes filled with tears. He was a happy bird now. He had a sun-filled enormous yard with lots of avian and human companions where he could forage to his heart's content. The proprietress said that Cocky Boy was something of an artist. He would back up alowly around a sandy patch of yard - everything for Cocky Boy was done slowly these days - and draw designs with his beak. If he'd bump into something, he'd shift his body and keep on going. Now he was living in a world where he was free to express himself.
Cocky Boy's creativity didn't stop with his art, however. When I was enjoying his presence on my lap, I absently started to hum. Cocky Boy took that as his cue and started singing right along with me! He sang for some time as I laughed and laughed. I was told that he was singing Advance Australia Fair, Australia's national anthem. That bird, who had been through so much trauma, still had the heart to sing, and sing loudly and with gusto!
I finally had to tear myself away from Cocky Boy because we had many miles to go before dark to reach our next destination. Although I could have taken him home with me in a second, I gently set him down on the ground, and he contentedly started foraging in the dirt, moving away - slowly, of course - on his curled, arthritic feet. But it was on those curled, arthritic feet that Cocky Boy had climbed into my heart and nestled there permanently. I will never forget his indomitable spirit.♥
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Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.
Hi Rikki, can you tell me why birds need baths? And how often?
When we molt out the old and grow new feathers, we get very itchy. Frequent bathing helps stop that most annoying itch and
keeps the new feather shafts pliable so we can remove them more quickly. Our wild cousins living in the rainforest have
the opportunity to get showered with 90 to 350 inches of rain a year. Our friends from dry regions like Australia and Africa take
dirt baths to soak up excess oils and dirt which they can then shake out. Ideally, a daily bath is great, but if
schedules do not permit, no less than once weekly. There are several things I need to share. First, is that we
birdies do not like to be forced to bathe. Second, please only use non-chlorinated water with nothing added. Just
like humans, chlorinated water will dry out our skins. Aloe water will eventually plug up our preening gland and
soap will strip us of too much feather and skin oil. Thirdly, we need to be bathed well before late afternoon so
our feathers have a chance to dry before we go nite-nite. Fourthly, as long as we are wet, protect us from chilling
drafts. Fifth thing is that some of us birdies have never been shown the joys of water and baths. Here
is a really, really good article that will explain how to gently convince us to get our toes wet. Sorry if I've chirped too much about bathing, but
besides eating, we birdies think bathing and preening is vital to our survival; be it in the deep, dark jungle or in
our cushy homes with you.
When we molt out the old and grow new feathers, we get very itchy. Frequent bathing helps stop that most annoying itch and keeps the new feather shafts pliable so we can remove them more quickly. Our wild cousins living in the rainforest have the opportunity to get showered with 90 to 350 inches of rain a year. Our friends from dry regions like Australia and Africa take dirt baths to soak up excess oils and dirt which they can then shake out. Ideally, a daily bath is great, but if schedules do not permit, no less than once weekly.
There are several things I need to share. First, is that we birdies do not like to be forced to bathe. Second, please only use non-chlorinated water with nothing added. Just like humans, chlorinated water will dry out our skins. Aloe water will eventually plug up our preening gland and soap will strip us of too much feather and skin oil. Thirdly, we need to be bathed well before late afternoon so our feathers have a chance to dry before we go nite-nite. Fourthly, as long as we are wet, protect us from chilling drafts. Fifth thing is that some of us birdies have never been shown the joys of water and baths. Here is a really, really good article that will explain how to gently convince us to get our toes wet.
Sorry if I've chirped too much about bathing, but besides eating, we birdies think bathing and preening is vital to our survival; be it in the deep, dark jungle or in our cushy homes with you.
An Angel Amongst Us
Parrot Toy Angels come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. Let us introduce you to one of our Angels
Angel Toymaker Jean
Our Angel Jean is retired, but still has a full-time job raising her grandchildren and a set of twins. In addition to the kids, she also cares for her mother and sister. In her spare time (ha ha!), Jean goes to the children's school and does craft projects with the students. Once they made parrot toys to take on a field trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.
This Angel has always been very creative. In earlier days she sewed, knitted, and crocheted. At one time she was a professional potter working in porcelain. Now she uses her natural talent to make excellent toys for our Angel projects.
Jean joined Parrot Toy Angels as a good outlet for her creative energy; because she feels ours is a worthwhile cause and believes in what we do. PTA is very lucky to have her.
When asked how she feels when she sees pictures of a delivery, Jean says..."I get that warm fuzzy feeling that is hard to come by in today's world." She feels the highlight of her time being an Angel was The Gabriel Foundation delivery of over 1100 toys. A few of the Angels got into a friendly toy making competition, and everyone really out did themselves.
Thank you Jean! Parrot Toy Angels appreciate all you do.♥♥♥
Help Us Help the Birds...
Our Angels generously donate their time making toys for our needy feathered friends. Quality toymaking supplies are expensive and shipping charges are outrageous. That's why we need your support to help keep us going. Every dollar amount, large or small, is gratefully accepted. Donations are tax-deductible.
We also welcome donations of toymaking parts and supplies. A receipt will be issued for every donation. Contact us at Info for further information on donating.
>>C O U P O N<<
10% off any item on the
Parrot Toy Angels site
Offer not valid
for purchases made by Angels
We'd love to hear from you...
© 2006 • Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas 77234 • www.parrottoyangels.com