Friday, October 3, 2008
Parrots & Pirates
By Laura Doering, Editor of BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Join in on Laura's fun and experiences of bird ownership, and share in her adventures as the editor of BIRD TALK in Wayward Feathers.
A parrot sits atop a pirate's shoulder at the show.
Skull & Cross Bones flightsuit example.
I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting when I took my family to a “Talk like a Pirate Day” festival, but it sure was eeeye opening. There were a lot of pirates. 75 percent of them were Jack Sparrow (the character Johnny Depp made famous in “Pirates of the Caribbean”). The other 25 percent included a fire-eater, which my 4-year-old son said he wanted to be when he grows up (cringe!), a pirate magician, pirate sword fighters and, of course, a pirate must-have – a parrot. Actually, there were two parrots on pirates; a mitred conure and a blue-and-gold macaw.
The birds appeared happy in their pirate supporting roles, but I wasn’t too thrilled with the homemade rope leg leash on the blue & gold (or the fact that the parrots had “ringside seats” for the fire-eater’s act). I think a safer option would be the skull & cross bones flightsuit from Avian Fashions. A flightsuit with leash would not only keep the pirate’s leather vest poop-free (then again, these were rather scruffy pirates, so they might have preferred the added flair), but the bird wouldn’t fly away. And what says pirate more than a skull & cross bones? The pirate could still have his parrot, the parrot could still be with his pirate, and they would be safe and fashionable at the same time.
How would your parrot do as a pirate sidekick? I know my cockatiel would be too distracted by the pirate bounty; all those sparkly jewels and that shiny silver. My nanday conure would likely be bobbing all the time to the pirate ship’s rocking back and forth; and he’d probably follow anyone forced to walk the plank overboard, as he loves his morning bath so much. And I’m sure both birds would freak out anytime the deck was mopped, considering they do whenever I sweep or mop. I find the whole pirate-parrot connection intriguing - why parrots? There’s actually a book titled, “Why Do Pirates Love Parrots” (Imponderables Books). With Halloween around the corner, I’m sure many of us in the bird community will invite our birds to be a pirate parrot for a day. Please do so with safety in mind and, please, no fire-eating around the flock!
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Parrots & Pirates