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Thursday, August 7, 2008
What Bird Is It Anyway?

By Jessica Pineda, Assistant Editor of BIRD TALK and
Follow in the adventures of Jessica Pineda's experiences in bird ownership in The Parrot Life

Two pet birds perched on a branch
Courtesy Jessica Pineda 
Talk about being stumped! Can you guess what these birds are?

A blue-and-gold macaw egg
Courtesy Jessica Pineda            What came first?The macaw or the egg?

My friends tease me a lot for liking parrots. They have good reason to: I’m the person in the group who sees birds on TV and says “Hey, that’s a [such-and-such]!” When I played Scrabble for the first time, I was forbidden from using any bird words (though I got away with the word “robin”).

Because of my passion for parrots, I get parrot-themed gifts for my birthday and for Christmas. And I also get random gifts online on social networking sites. A couple days ago, a friend sent me a virtual flower. I really didn’t know what to make of it, and I watched it grow from a shrub to two leaves and a stem to a … bird perch. That’s the plant’s official title, since the parrots ate the leaves and/or flowers before the plant could be identified. But here’s the thing: When I first saw it, I was like, “What are those?”

For the most part, if you point a parrot to me, I can say “that’s a [such-and-such].” These, I did a double take on. I had to consult Parrots of the World  to figure it out.

Unfortunately, I can’t identify the bird on the left. To me, it looks like a moustached parakeet head attached to a falcon’s body. Its tail feathers are too rounded to be a parakeet and it’s the wrong body shape to be a grey or Amazon.

The other one is a Carolina parakeet, which has been extinct for 90 years. I’m not sure how I am going to word the message to my friend that won’t get me teased (“You know that bird perch plant you sent me? Those birds don’t exist!”).

I also have an egg on the site. Luckily, I know what that’s going to be. A blue-and-gold macaw should be hatching very soon. I’ll get a picture of it as soon as its here!

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Very funny! For animal aficionados, trying to identify birds, fish, dogs, etc. that one sees in the media can drive one crazy!!!
R, S, CA
Posted: 8/8/2008 3:35:51 PM
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