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[Fwd: [AvianWelfare] FW: January 2005 Newsletter from Foster Parrots]

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  • Tami Myers
    ... Please Note: You have NOT been added to any email lists. If you no longer wish to receive these messages, please contact marc@fosterparrots.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2005
      Please Note: You have NOT been added to any email lists. If you no
      longer wish to receive these messages, please contact
      marc@... <mailto:marc@...>.

      Foster Parrots
      Foster Parrots Newsletter
      Happy New Year from Your Parrot Rescue Friends! January 2005

      in this issue

      Foster Parrots Guyana Conservation Project Takes a Promising Turn. <#column>

      Letting go of Richard, by Karen Lee <#article1.bg1>

      In Memory of Wolfie by Ginni Bly <#article1.bg2>

      Why did the chicken end up in the trash can? by Tami Myers <#article2.bg1>

      Two new board members bring valuable experience to Foster Parrots Board.

      Donate Directly to Foster Parrots via Network for Good <#article3.bg1>

      Foster Parrots Guyana Conservation Project Takes a Promising Turn.

      Foster Parrots is very proud to announce several major advances in our
      Guyana conservation and parrot protection efforts. As most of you who
      are familiar with our efforts know, Guyana is a beautiful country with
      vast untouched and unexplored rainforests. With the majority of its
      700,000 population living on the coast it is vital that efforts be made
      now to save as much of the unspoiled wilderness as possible. As good
      fortune would have it, there are many Guyanese who also hope to do just
      that. During our most recent trip (Dec. 04/Jan. 05) Brian Cullity and I
      were able to spend several days with the Macushis, one of the nine
      Amerindian tribes of Guyana, in St Ignatius Village, located in the
      Rupununi district of Southern Guyana. This village is populated by
      around 1000 people who have derived a portion of their income from
      legally trapping wildlife for export to the world pet market. While
      there we were able to spend time with a young guide from the village,
      Paul Farias. Paul led us on what we had hoped would be a two day hike
      into the Kanuku mountain range, soon to be Guyana's second national
      park. There we were hoping to visit a clay lick frequented each morning
      by many parrots, including macaws. Unfortunately the only path up this
      rugged and dense rainforest mountain trail was blocked by downed trees.
      Forced to turn back we were able to spend a lot more time with other
      members of St. Ignatius. The proposition was made to Paul that should
      the village stop trapping macaws for a trial period of one year we would
      help find the funding to build a village owned and operated tourist
      lodge. Within hours Paul had organized those involved in the trapping of
      wildlife and they had all accepted our proposal along with the added
      bonus of offering to help repopulate areas in the lowlands with a macaw
      reintroduction program.

      We were also privileged to meet with Guyanan Member of Parliament,
      Shirley Melville. MP Shirley is an Arawak Amerindian and well known
      activist who is passionate about Amerindian rights and conservation
      issues. Shirley is excited and anxious about the possibilities of
      establishing a village owned and operated eco tourism effort. Shirley
      and I have also been exploring the possibilities of starting a virtual
      cultural exchange program with a school in the Rupunui and one here in
      Massachusetts offering students pen pal opportunities as well as the
      ability to learn more about life in each others community. Shirley adds,
      "I am very happy for the recent development as it is very timely. For
      the past couple of years I have held discussions with different village
      representatives about the need to be more pro active and to become more
      organized with community eco tourism but even more important is to bear
      in mind the need to do it in a sustainable manner. I must point out that
      Conservation International has been working in the area for the past
      three years and they have worked assiduously to try and make our people
      aware about the need to conserve and protect our environment."

      "However, it is still a horrifying sight to see the birds being shipped
      out in small boxes as in our hearts we know that many of them would not
      reach their destination. Having Brian and Marc come down to the Rupununi
      to have a one to one with the people is very impressive and important.
      Brian and Marc are assisting our people greatly with an alternative to
      earning an income as well as ensuring that many of our endangered birds
      and animals are going to see many tomorrows. The cultural exchange
      program could assist immensely with the partners recognizing what it is
      they each have and how they can learn from each other and assist each
      other to conserve and preserve." states Shirley.

      There are so many opportunities and we are all excited to see what
      unfolds. Brian and I will be returning to Guyana soon to finally
      complete the 4 day hike into the Kanuku mountains to the clay lick,
      natural hot springs, Harpy eagles' nest and home to the Cock of the Rock
      and Jaguar. We will update all as soon as we return and we hope to have
      enough video to produce a comprehensive overview of Guyana and our new
      friends of the Rupununi, Paul, Shirley and the Macushi village and all
      of our efforts to save the wild places parrots (and many other animals)
      call home.

      Closer to home: A Request for Your Thoughts and Prayers.

      One of Foster Parrots most dear volunteers, Sue Folkins, has been
      diagnosed with lung cancer. Sue has been a loyal volunteer (for over 2
      years now) and is a devoted caregiver. We will all miss her whilst
      being treated. Sue is also guardian to Tiffany, a moluccan cockatoo and
      I know that all of our cockatoos will be waiting for her return with her
      box of crackers. Get well soon Sue, we will all be thinking about you,
      missing you at the shelter and your support for our ongoing conservation

      Find out more about the Guyana Conservation Project....

      Dear Marc,

      Another year has begun and Foster Parrots has many exciting and
      groundbreaking programs in store! We hope to offer an update with a
      fresh newsletter every other month and when something exceptional
      happens we'll try to slip in an extra edition.

      # Letting go of Richard, by Karen Lee


      Richard's tumor was nearly the size and shape of a pecan by the time it
      had exhausted her. But for almost one year she carried her burden
      without complaint, determined to live without compromise. Medical
      examination had revealed an inoperable sarcoma. Euthanasia had been the
      recommendation, but we knew that the only one who could truly determine
      when Richard's time was drawing near was Richard herself. There was no
      question that, event usally, the tumor would drain away Richard's
      quality of life. Until that time, we knew, we had to respect the spirit
      of the bird.

      Richard, a female Patagonian Conure, was one of Foster Parrots' original
      residents, having arrived at the sanctuary in 1995. She was ten years
      old when she arrived. A dominant presence in the barn, she was a
      virtual socialite who held status and respect among her circle of bird
      friends. Richard had a fondness for bells, and for the way her voice
      would resonate when she stuck her head inside, so we hung bells in her
      favorite places throughout the barn. She would sometimes nest in low
      cubbies or in boxes that were provided for her. She would fill these
      places with collections of shiny objects, and defend those possessions
      fervently. In spite of her nakedness and her portentous deformity, she
      had won the adoration of an Indian Ringneck male named Hannah, who was
      Richard's long time partner and dedicated companion. He was always by
      her side.

      I guess we imagined that Richard would go on forever; happy, active,
      busy with her shiny possessions, her bells and her bird friends, nipping
      at the feet of bothersome humans who might over-step certain invisible
      Richard boundaries. But in October of this year, 2004, we began to
      notice that Richard was slowing down considerably. Flight, once
      effortless despite the gravity of the tumor, was becoming a labor for
      her. Soon she was walking the floor far more often than she was
      cruising through the hanging branches above. By early November it was
      simply too difficult to hoist herself into the air, and her breathing,
      we could see, was stressed by her activity.

      The quality of life issue was now at hand. It was time to let Richard
      go. But the decision was still too painful, too obscured by the shades
      of gray. No, she can't fly well, but she's still eating pretty well.
      No, she can't breathe comfortably, but she's still active and she still
      has her devoted bird friends. She still has Hannah. Is she in pain?
      What if she's not in pain? What if it's a bad time that will pass?
      What if she just likes to be on the floor?

      Letting go of Richard was a heart wrenching decision. "We have to try
      to use our objectivity", Marc had said. This was not to suggest that we
      should be clinical or unemotional, but rather, we needed to avoid being
      emotionally selfish. The pain, the despair, the guilt, the regret -
      were all feelings centered around us, not Richard. Richard had carried
      her giant tumor around for months. It had sucked energy, blood and life
      from her - for months. It was becoming painful for her. It was time to
      let Richard shed her pain...

      To Find out More about Foster Parrots No Kill Policy...

      # In Memory of Wolfie by Ginni Bly


      Twenty years ago, or so, there was a sexy TV tough guy named Beretta who
      had a very special sidekick...an umbrella cockatoo named "Fred" ....as I
      recall. Fred could talk, was frequently humorous, cuddly, and ...
      without doubt Beretta's best friend. Years later, the TV tough guy and
      Fred were canceled, but I never forgot them and longed to have a
      beautiful white bird like that.

      I was one who made frequent pilgrimages to the local pet shops and on
      one such trip there was the bird of my dreams. For weeks, I visited the
      shop and made friends with the bird until the wonderful day came to take
      him home. Without hesitation, I paid the $800 for "Wolfie" who I had
      named for the movie Amadeus. After short consultation with the shop
      owner, I decided upon a wrought iron cage that, in retrospect, was
      reminiscent of an upside down medieval chandelier, impractical,
      attractive if one intended to use it in the foyer of some stately abode.
      I had made my second momentous mistake...the first being the purchase of
      this magnificent creature without the benefit of research to acquaint
      myself with his needs, care, environment, diet. With smug pride, I
      marched my precious charge out of the shop in a cardboard box. Once
      home, I set up the cage which complimented my living room decor nicely
      as it set in the corner by my rough sawn beam mantel.

      Wolfie spent his days in his cage which was marginally larger than he
      was---but---it was a nice piece of furniture.... At night, Wolfie was
      able to come out, and soon became bored with sitting on the door of this
      cage. The mantel, however, provided hours of entertainment. It soon
      became apparent that there would be little mantel ( a 3" beam) or rough
      sawn wall behind it left. But, I loved Wolfie and it didn't seem to
      matter. Wolfie screamed a lot when we were home...no T.V. for sure. But
      I loved Wolfie and it didn't even seem to matter.

      Then, in the twinkling of an eye, everything changed. Wolfie began to
      fall. At first I thought he was playing. Then I realized he was hanging
      onto his perch for dear life and couldn't right himself. He began having
      seizures. I wanted him to be playing. How I wanted this not to be
      happening. But it was. I was devastated as week after week I journeyed
      to a veterinary hospital many miles from my home. Test after test, the
      best avian vets the state had to offer, Angel Memorial Hospital...no one
      could tell me what was happening to Wolfie. He just kept getting worse.

      On New Year's Eve, 1987, I took him, weak and frail to bed with me and
      held him close and asked God to take him. But morning came, and I was
      faced with the excruciating ride to end Wolfie's life.

      To Wolfie I dedicate my endless commitment to the birds at Foster
      Parrots in an effort to forgive myself for not being prepared for the
      proper care, environment and needs of a captive creature who...should
      never have been in a pet shop for me to purchase . ....who never asked
      to live in a cage in the corner of my living room like an ornamental
      piece of furniture.. .... whose right it was to fly free in the wilds of
      his native Australia....

      What can I do to help?

      # Why did the chicken end up in the trash can? by Tami Myers


      Foster Parrots volunteers and employees rescued 9 chickens from a farm
      supply store at the end of July last year. They were "leftovers", birds
      that were not sold and destined to a life (a very short life) in 2 foot
      by 2 foot pens (6 or 8 in each pen) until they were big enough to be
      eaten. These lucky nine (one rooster among them) have been living a free
      and happy life in our 3/4 acre back yard and are now providing 48 eggs a
      week which all go to volunteers and neighbors who would otherwise buy
      supermarket eggs. These wonderfully friendly chickens are not only
      raising awareness among our visitors and volunteer staff to the plight
      of the egg industry but they are also winning hearts as many learn about
      the true nature of these wonderful birds. Last November PJ McKoskey,
      formerly with Fund for Animals, brought us a chicken. One of two found
      in a trash can of discarded unproductive hens. She was still alive,
      barely. Feet curled and nearly frozen we nestled her into a warm blanked
      under a heat lamp. In the morning she was eating well and Tami took her
      to the vet for a checkup and then to her home where this lovely little
      bird has made a total recovery.

      November in New England can be brutal. The severe biting cold winds,
      piles of snow and the painful sting of sleeting ice can make living here
      a struggle. We can scurry into our warm dwellings, wrap ourselves with
      heavy covers and become comfortable as we settle into sleep, warm and
      comfy. This of course is not so for many farm animals. The wind roars
      and the sleet pings on the roof of an egg farm where tens of thousands
      of hens live in a metal warehouse. The stench from their piles of
      droppings is so horrific that people cannot enter these warehouses
      without gagging. The hens live crammed into small cages, have had their
      upper beaks painfully burned off to prevent aggression and the hens who
      are trampled, dead or dying lie there as the eggs roll over them to
      tumble down the assembly line.

      One bitter cold day in November an egg farmer did as all egg producers
      do from time to time. Hens get old, tired or sick and as is the custom
      in the egg industry, they are replaced with a younger birds. These
      "spent" hens are simply tossed out in the trash. Hundreds of thousands
      of delightful hens are bulldozed into trash cans and dumpsters or
      disposed of in wood chippers. One little hen, plucked of her feathers,
      covered in feces, limp and barely alive was in amongst the heap. She was
      fortunate to have been rescued and brought to Foster Parrots. This
      little hen was named TC, for Trash Can and she is one determined little

      TC is now fully feathered and adores a life free of the filthy dark and
      dirty cages crammed with numerous other hens, climbing on top of each
      other seeking a quiet place to roost. She now nestles in a bed of
      pillows and sleeps on my headboard. She has fully recovered from the
      abuse she suffered in the "egg factory". A sign that all she needed was
      a little TLC was given to us last Friday, she did what only a health
      bird can do..... she laid an egg, followed by one a day for the last week!

      Read more about parrot advocacy at "The Angry Parrot"

      # Two new board members bring valuable experience to Foster Parrots Board.

      I would like to introduce everyone to our two new board members, Vivian
      Wexler and Lance Connolly. Vivian is a corporate attorney who has
      experience with non profit work and is a dedicated parrot rescue
      enthusiast to boot! Lance and his wife Kelly have been volunteers here
      at Foster Parrots for nearly 4 years now. Lance is an analyst at an
      investment firm with an interest in parrot welfare. Kelly continues to
      offer her volunteer time to help with this newsletter and as recording
      secretary of FP board meetings. Foster Parrots is proud and honored to
      have such dedicated professionals as part of our team.

      Read on about Foster Parrots Mission...

      # Donate Directly to Foster Parrots via Network for Good

      Please remember Foster Parrots in your annual charitable giving. Your
      support is always need and always appreciated.

      Non monetary donation always welcome.....Foster Parrots always needs the
      usual bird stuff; paper towels, cotton or terri-towels, new parrot toys
      as well as facility improvement items.....2x4's, cement mixer, plexi-
      glass, and a snow blower!!!

      Guidestar's Network for Good


      Foster Parrots, Ltd. · PO Box 650 · Rockland · MA · 02370

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      Tami Myers
      Founder and Director
      The Angry Parrot Inc

      The Pet Trade BITES and we are biting BACK!

      National Activist Campaign Coordinator
      Foster Parrots Ltd.

      Boycott PETCO, PetsMART and Petland
      Don't support Pet Breeding Mills

      "Like all intelligent thinking creatures, there would always be those
      that wore out their welcome. Some would be too noisy, some would grow up
      to be nasty and some would be cast out when their owners grew tired of
      them or went through a life change."
      Howard Voren - birdmill breeder speaking about parrots
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