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Mess Magnet

By Laura Doering

The first time I ever saw a hawk-headed parrot, he looked like a cross between an Amazon and a conure. The youngster seemed shy and a little reserved, sitting quietly on his perch. But with a little scratch of his head feathers, up popped the most incredible crest of feathers I’ve ever seen.

It was a full crown of red and blue, which seemed almost surreal, because I wasn’t even expecting a crest, let alone the crown jewel of parrot head dressing. Needless to say, I am excited to have a hawk-headed parrot as this month’s cover bird. They aren’t as common as other companion bird species, so it might be awhile before I get to see one again. (You can find out more about hawk-headed parrots on Page 26 and also look for the hawk head with its crest down on the poster.)

This issue also includes an article on managing your bird’s mess (“Mess Makers"). Who among us has not lamented at one time or another about having to retrieve the broom or hand-vac a nanosecond after cleaning the cage and floor below? My conure seems to take pride in tossing little bits of food out of the cage immediately after I sweep and start to walk the broom back to the closet. It’s the same thing with his cage liner; as soon as I change it, he darts over to his food bowl, walks to the edge of his perch, and christens the area below him with fine crumbles. At least I know an effective way of getting him to eat his pellets.

 **For the full issue, pick up the June 2011 issue of BIRD TALK at your local retailer or by purchasing a PDF download here.**

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