General Interest

Customer Stories

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Parrot breaks silence to foil burglary


A parrot is believed to have foiled a burglary by breaking a year of silence to shout: "Stop! I'll shoot".

The parrot, owned by a retired police officer, reportedly foiled the break-in after his owner left his flat in Kiev, Ukraine, for a few minutes.

When he returned he found three men stretched out on the floor with their hands behind their heads, the Cegodnya newspaper reported.

The thieves, who had believed the man was leaving for the entire day, later said they had heard a voice say: "Stop! I'll shoot! On the ground!", when they came into the flat.

The parrot, which had lived with the retired policeman for a year, had apparently not spoken a word before the incident.

Story filed: 10:49 Tuesday 7th October 2003


Thanks so much for taking such good care of Pumpkin while we were away on our mini vacation!! She obviously had a great time staying with you and was in wonderful spirits when we picked her up.

Leaving Pumpkin at home is never a fun option for us. I know that lots of people relish the opportunity to take a break from their pet(s) but we absolutely CHERISH our little monster and it's such a total BUMMER when she's not with us. "WHATEVER AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MYSELF?" This is one of the many things I will whimper in self-pity when we leave her at Feathered Follies.

However, it is very nice to know that the folks at FF genuinely care about Pumpkin, even with the responsibility of so many other boarded birds, birds on display for sale, and the dozens of nursery babies. She gets loved and played with at least a little bit each day, and with all of the activity going on around her, it's a really super place for her to be! We feel so lucky that her nursery is also her boarding facility.


We have been planning to make some new bird toys for a while now but haven't gotten around to getting any new it was a great surprise to find out that Feathered Follies has very nice selection of toy parts! So, when we picked Pumpkin up, we also picked out bunches of toy-building supplies and had a lot of fun picking out bits and pieces that we thought she'd enjoy destroying!

That evening, I began introducing individual elements...bells, wiffle balls...leather pieces and wood blocks, just to name a few. Pumpkin was having so much fun she hardly knew what to do with herself! :D Then, Steve came in and assembled the first toy, while Pumpkin ran around on the bed like a lunatic, making her silly creaking noise, shaking bells, tossing balls off the side of the bed, and chuckling under the covers. (You think she's happy to be home?!) :D

Steve presented his toy to her, fully prepared for her to reject it with absolute horror. But right off the bat, she tentatively approached it and was soon so delighted that all we could do was giggle at our happy little bird. What a nut.

Thanks again for everything!

Janet, Steve, and Pumpkin

P.S. If you visit the Caique Chat board, you will see that I left a glowing post regarding the adorable black capped Caiques that you have available, and also left mention of the WBC too. I hope that they find wonderful homes! :D
Pumpkin is a White Bellied Caique who has the most wonderful parents. They think they are blessed to have found Pumpkin....I think Pumpkin is the lucky one

Bruce isn't budging

TWO'S COMPANY: Bruce hitches a lift

A BOLD budgie has decided flying is too much like hard work and has taken to riding around on the back of one of this feathered friends.

Bruce the budgie has developed a talent for taming birds twice his size and using them as his own personal transport rather than having to flap his feathers to get from A to B.

The two-year-old developed his skill afterowner Linda Moreno handed him over to her local aviary, Longford Park in Stretford, when his cage companion, Eddie, died and he pined for company.

Linda said: When Eddie died, Bruce washeart-broken, he was pining for him so I thought he would really need some company and decided the aviary in pets corner in Longford park was the best place for him.


"He looked so sad sat in his cage on his own. I put him in the aviary nine months ago and since then he's become the main attraction in pet's corner because he rides around on the back of a quail.

He doesn't really have anything to do with the other budgies, maybe because he's so traumatised about Eddie's death. He gathers food for the quails and then hops on their back and rides around.

Animal keeper at Longford Park pet's corner Chris Boardman said: Bruce chases the quails round and then hops on their back. The children think it's absolutely hilarious, they just can't believe it.

He added: There's now a white budgie who's beginning to copy Bruce. It's very unusual for a budgie to do something like this. I've never seen anything like it before."

Manchester Online (

Max's Adventure by Marty Surges

Max, a Blue-fronted Amazon parrot, has been my friend for the past 18 years. He loves to garden with me; I plant the flowers, he eats the flowers.

Late Tuesday afternoon, as Max and I were leaving the garden, he flew away. I tried to find him but no luck. The next day Max and I found each other but he was on top of a 50-foot tree and wouldn't (couldn't) come down. He squawked and called my name and then he flew away.

The "experts" told me that if I didn't catch Max within 3 days he was going to die of thirst and hunger or be eaten by another animal, and they inferred that it was my fault. I was devastated. I put out more than 75 lost parrot posters around the neighborhood and notified a laundry list of agencies and pet shops.

I put his house on my deck hoping he would see it and come home. I put food and water around the neighborhood so he wouldn't starve or die of thirst. Nothing worked. I saw Max again on Saturday morning, not dead but doing well and in another very tall tree.

I offered him his favorite cookies, I begged, pleaded and demanded but Max didn't come to me and after about 2 hours he flew away. Monday morning when I got to work there was a message on my voicemail. "Are you the woman who lost an Amazon parrot?" I called back right away. The called had gotten my name and number from one of the pet shops I notified.

I was told that crows had chased Max and he crashed into the showroom window of Lithia Volkswagen. The collision knocked him silly.

When I went to collect Max and take him home he heard my voice and called my name. Even though he had been rescued and well fed, when I picked him up he clung to me as if I were the only thing that could save his life.

I'm not sure Max actually flew into the window, I think he just fainted from "sticker shock" when he saw the price of the dealer's cars!

Issues about Microchips

East Bay SPCA, Oakland Animal Control Voice Disapproval of New Pet Microchips Offered by Banfield Vet Hospitals and PetSmart

New microchips add complications to the already difficult task of returning pets to their owners.

(Oakland, CA) May 06, 2004 - The East Bay SPCA, representing two Animal Shelters in Alameda County, has joined forces with Oakland Animal Services in rejecting claims that these three shelters scan for the new "ISO" chip offered by Banfield Pet Hospitals through its PetSmart pet stores.

East Bay SPCA and OAS has learned that PetSmart stores across Alameda County have been representing that these newer chips are read by Oakland SPCA, Tri-Valley SPCA and Oakland Animal Services, but they are not. East Bay SPCA says that they have never been provided scanners by Banfield, and have never been contacted by them.

The new microchip originated in Europe, and was introduced in the United States by Banfield this year. Banfield is the on-site pet hospital associated with PetSmart pet stores across the Bay Area. The main concern is compatibility. "The pet community began adopting microchips with a common frequency of 125 kilohertz. Ten years later, nearly 100% of the dogs and cats in our county that have microchips have chips with this frequency, and this is what shelters like ours scan for. It has led to the return of thousands of pets, saving lives and reducing costs at our shelters," says Glenn Howell, Director of Oakland Animal Services.

"What Banfield has done," adds Gary Templin, president of the East Bay SPCA, "is introduce a chip that cannot be read by us or by any of the facilities we work with. The existing scanners don’t even register that the animal has a chip. We are appalled that an organization concerned with pet welfare would do this, without ensuring that our ability to read the chips was in place first. This is clearly not about doing what is best for lost dogs and cats in our community. We strongly prefer one frequency and one scanner, even with multiple chip providers, because that is what is best for owners and their animals."

The East Bay SPCA began offering one brand of microchips to owners of newly adopted animals in February, but their scanners and the scanners used by OAS read all microchips that use the same frequency adopted with the U.S. microchips.

10 Tips to Tempt Your Bird to Eat Pellets

  • Many bird food companies offer free samples.  Try several different brands of pellets, rather than settling on just one.  Your bird may find a favorite right away.
  • Combine cooked pasta, a favorite strained baby food (like carrots or applesauce), and stir in a few pellets.
  • Pulverize some pellets before adding them to a soft food, so that your bird can become accustomed to their taste.
  • Push a pellet into a soft, cooked pinto, kidney, or Great Northern bean.
  • Push a pellet into a small ball of soft, low fat mozzarella cheese, sweet potato, cooked carrot or whole-wheat bread.
  • Use one of the doctored foods from suggestions 4 and 5 to fill a small raw or cooked pasta shell.
  • Daily, mix pellets into your bird's regular diet.  It will be more likely to eat foods if they are familiar.
  • Spend time with your bird while it eats.  Your presence will be enjoyed, as will any foods it eats while you are there.  Praise your bird when it picks up a pellet or eats one.
  • Make a tiny sandwich of whole-wheat bread and peanut butter.  Insert a pellet or two before offering it to your bird.
  • Eat a couple of pellets, and behave as though you really enjoy them.  The entertainment factor alone is worth it, especially if you invite friends or family to join you.

Nobody Told Me

The author of "Nobody Told Me" is Lori Hubbard Zywciel.  It was inspired by her Red Front Macaw, Zuni

...I had hints, I had advice, I had cautions, but nobody told me how owning birds would completely take over my life.

Nobody told me I'd become a bird store junky, standing at the checkout counter in bliss until half way home and then wondering just how long it would be before the Visa came in or my husband asked for the check book to balance the account.

Nobody told me my husband would say, "I think you ought to stay away from the bird store.  You seem to have lost all control" Hmmmm....Me?  How did this happen?

Nobody told me when I saw a particular cage for $595.00 I might think "Wow, that IS a good deal."  Or when someone mentioned a $4,000.00 cage I could see the reason some people might need a cage like that.

Nobody told me that I would be up at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning peeling yams and apples to cook so they would be added into a corn meal and wheat cereal mash.

Nobody told me I wouldn't mind when feeding that mash to my bird he would shake his head with that mixture flying in every direction, on to my carpet, on to my clothes, on to my face.

Nobody told me how much money I would spend on food, how much of it I would buy and just how little my birds would like any of it.

Nobody mentioned that once you own birds you need an extra freezer in the garage.

Nobody told me that I would spend an hour standing with my hand on a tree branch watching for hawks so my bird could hang out in the sun and chew new buds.

Nobody told me I would be on the computer at all hours talking and reading about birds.

Nobody told me I would make friends I will never see and that I would worry about them and theirs as if family.

Nobody told me I would check my son's bed for old or damaged stuffed animals to give to the bird like that stuffed cat.  He never really liked it and it is missing a leg anyway.

Nobody told me I would do two extra loads of laundry a week with bird towels and sheets.

Nobody told me every morning I would put a sheet over my covers, litter my bed with weird wooden things, stuffed animals, leather pieces, apple slices and peanuts.

Nobody told me just how much he would squawk.

Nobody told me I would come to hear differences in the tone and shrillness.

Nobody told me I not only could tell the difference but would learn when to respond or that my husband would say "It's okay.  This is his good morning happy time.  He will settle down."

Nobody could have known that my husband would say, "So he squawks.  It is less and less.  The kids will deal with it."

Nobody told me I could play with him like I do.  That he would chase me and I would chase him.  That he would be just as exuberant as a pupply.

Nobody told me my husband would rather snuggle with the bird in the morning than make his bagel.

Nobody told me my husband would make an extra half a bagel to share with the birds.

Nobody could have convinced me that this same husband would agree to shower with the birds in the bathroom (for the steam) and then without urging, could be heard to play peek-a-boo while drying off.

Nobody told me how much I would sing out loud.

Nobody could have guessed those songs would be golden oldies like "You Are My Sunshine" or songs from musicals.

Nobody told me how excited I would get to come home after six hours hours and see seed thrown all over the place.  Yea!  He ate while I was gone.

Nobody told me that I would not resent vacuuming twice a day to clean up the mess he made while eating alone.

Nobody told me how my heart would tighten when I got home today after being gone for six hours and took my squawking baby out.

Nobody told me how I would feel when soooo tired I put out a sheet on the floor, put toys all over, grabbed a pillow for me, lay down and my birdy only wanted to snuggle with me.

Nobody told me how a bird can be my guardian angel on my pillow while I am sick.

Nobody told me how it would feel to have a little bird body across your check and neck, little head on your cheek.  I was not told how soft his kisses would be or how warm his face was as he fell asleep on my cheek cooing softly.

Nobody told me how long I would lay there awake so he could sleep.

Everybody told me I would love him.

Nobody could tell me how much.

Reduce the Risk of West Nile Virus

Everyone can help reduce the risk of getting West Nile virus. Important things you can do:

  • Drain anything that holds standing water, such as:
  • Dirty swimming pools
  • Clogged rain gutters
  • Barbeque grills
  • Pool and boat covers
  • Bird baths
  • Discarded tires
  • Flower pots
  • Buckets and many other "containers"

Report dead birds. Call the State Department of Health Services toll free at 1-877-WNV-BIRD FREE (1-877-968-2473 FREE).

Repair window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and businesses.

Wear long sleeves and pants if you have to be outdoors when mosquitoes are present.

Use a repellent containing the ingredient DEET - 30% or less is recommended for adults and 10% or less of DEET is recommended for children age 2-12 years. Do not use on pets.

Limit times outdoor at dusk and dawn.

West Nile virus is a disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Not all mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus and you cannot get West Nile virus from an infected person.

For information about mosquito fish, which control mosquitoes by eating their larvae, and other mosquito control methods, contact Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District - 155 Mason Circle, Concord, CA 94520 -

For health information, contact Contra Costa Health Services - 1-888-959-9911 FREE -


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