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Friday, January 9, 2009
Birds Coming Up Roses

By Laura Doering, Editor of BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Join in on Laura'sfun and experiences of bird ownership, and share in her adventures as the editor of BIRD TALK in Wayward Feathers.

roadrunner bird float
The Roadrunner was the first bird float I came across.

Click Image To Enlarge 
macaw parrot Dream Home float
The macaw wasn't exactly in a "dream home."

If you live in Southern California, what better way to celebrate New Year’s than to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena? Well, I’ll never know because to actually see the parade, you have to camp out overnight and, even then, you aren’t guaranteed a good viewing spot. The next best thing is to wait a day or two after to see the floats. Officially called the “Post Parade: Showcase of Floats,” this is an event in and of itself, with tickets to be purchased ($7) and vendors lining the float route. (Interesting note: This is a complete role reversal … instead of the floats passing people by; people pass the floats by as they walk up and down Sierra Madre and Washington Blvds.)

We didn’t get far before I spied my first bird. I wasn’t surprised to come across The Roadrunner on New Mexico USA's "Hats off to New Mexico — Beep Beep!" float, which won the Bob Hope Humor Trophy for most comical and amusing entry. However, I was not expecting to see a blue-and-gold macaw incorporated in the National Association of Realtors' "Celebrating the Dream of Home Ownership for 100 Years" float, which won the Isabella Coleman Trophy for best presentation of color and color harmony through floral use. (Is it just me, or are award titles getting longer and longer?)

The ironic part is that no bird person in their right mind would think that that macaw’s cage was a dream home. They got it wrong, totally wrong. No toys, no food/water and I didn’t see a perch! And if you look real close, you’ll even see that the bird’s long tail feathers are poking out of the lower part of the cage. They did a great job of creating a realistic-looking macaw from flowers, but perhaps the National Association of Realtors needs a little help from us bird owners as for what to look for in a dream bird home.

Anyone up for submitting a parrot float for next year’s parade? I’m sure we’ll know better than to have a bird in a cage dangling from a roof top. And it won’t be a mere stone-throws away from the bald eagle (predator!) atop the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau's "Celebrating Alaska — Spirit of the Wild” float.


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Reader Comments
Great story - who knew that you didn't just get up to see the parade? The Macaw is very realistic. Thanks for making it real for someone who has never been to the parade!
Sheila, Greensboro, NC
Posted: 1/13/2009 11:40:51 AM
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