the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

05
January

National Bird Day

Posted by Brittany

Today is National Bird Day.  Our feathered friends have log inspired us with their enchanting flights and songs.   National Bird Day gives us a chance to reflect on these amazing and gorgeous creatures and celebrate their beauty, as well as consider the impact human beings are having on the natural habitat of birds everywhere.  According to figures from www.nationalbirdday.org, it is estimated that nearly 12% of the world’s bird species may become extinct in the 21st century.

My family had 2 pet parrots growing up.  First, we had Roger, an unruly conure we rescued from neighbors who had abused him, naming him “DC” for “Dead Chicken” before turning him out into the street.  For the next ten years we gave Roger a home, but the abuse he’d suffered caused him to pluck out all of his feathers and he he was never able to really bond with us.  Looking back I wonder if Roger would have been better off in a sanctuary of some kind, but this was in the early 80s before the world wide web had educated us about so many issues and made us aware of such possibilities.  In any case, Roger was well cared for and seemed to enjoy his spot near our large kitchen window, where he could look out into the woods and enjoy his days in peace.

After Roger passed away, a dusky lori joined our family.  We purchased the hand-fed baby from a local breeder and named him Peter Smokey.  At this point in my life I advocate adoption rather than purchasing or breeding animals; 3 of my dogs are local rescues.  But again, this was pre-internet, before www.petfinder.com, in a time when vegetarians were a rarity, I’d never even heard of a vegan, and animal issues didn’t have the exposure they have today.  Anyway, Peter Smokey was a sweet little parrot who captured our hearts, and my parents, especially my dad, played with him for hours every night.  Peter Smokey’s life expectancy was 30+ years, but he had a heart attack before his second birthday.  It was a big blow to the family and my parents didn’t own another bird again until they inherited my grandparents’ turtle dove years later.

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