Sunday, January 15, 2006

They are SO pets!

Someone gave me The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill for my birthday. A fairly obvious gift. It's about conures. I have a conure. I have a fair amount of interest in conures.

I'm maybe 3/4 of the way through the book. An easy read. I just started it yesterday. You would think I'm speeding through it because it is enjoyable but in fact it fucking pisses me off!

Nothing made this more clear to me than this article about Mr. Bittner's ongoing battle to protect the trees the parrots perch in near his house. Not only do I have some mild opposition to going to such lengths to keep a non-native species living in exactly the same state it is currently living in: i.e., maybe it is meant to be that the parrots move on to another set of trees? Trees rot and fall in the wild thus depriving parrots of a normal foraging spot and forcing them to find a new one. This is not a nesting or roosting location for them, simply where they hang out in between feedings given by Bittner. There is a valid argument against allowing the parrots to continue to breed in San Fran anyway since they are not native and could have long term impact on that ecosystem.

Even more so than all that though is this Bittner guy constantly refering to the parrots as his "friends". There's an idiot who runs a yahoo group who has a thing about parrots aren't pets, they are friends for life. This pisses me off. A friend is 1. a person for doG's sake! 2. has some ability to feel affection for you as well that I do not personally believe parrots capable of and 3. it is a reciprocal relationship: you are not completely responsible for your friends' well being. You ARE responsible for your freakin' PETS' well being.

The yahoo yahoo allows his parrots to roam free. Basically he wants a relationship with them quite similar to what Bittner seems to have with the wild parrots except that he wants a little more control over them since he uses them in shows he puts on at state fairs and such.

Please note that both Bittner and the yahoo have basically made their living off parrots. And yet, they both look down their noses at those of us who keep parrots as pets. The yahoo came in on the side of the people who said that I was unethical and inhumane for controlling So's food. When Bittner decides to capture sick or injured members of the wild flock to attempt to rehab them what is the very first thing he does to them? He clips their wings because that is, of course, the only way one can keep a parrot safe in a house and he wouldn't dream of attempting to train the bird thus imposing his own strictures on it by teaching it to step up or say hello. He constantly dreams of being allowed to pet the wild birds and is delighted when the birds he has clipped allow him this luxury.

How bout this asshole? How bout you quit spouting off this fucking nonsense, aknowledge that you have something the parrots need: food and security and you are putting the price of allowing you to touch them on this?

So would let me roll her onto her back in my palm and I didn't have to fucking clip her wings to get that. I've had EC precisely one week and she already flaps to me from her cage when I call her.

It isn't magical or mystical or whatever. It's just me putting that particular price on what the damn bird needs and that I have easy access to.

Not allowing the bird to roam free is just common fucking sense! Look what happened to So when I was standing right there? This guy has lost a large number of birds that he doesn't even always know what happened to them because he wasn't with them at the time. I don't let my dogs roam free! Not only is it illegal, it isn't safe for the dogs and it potentially puts other people at risk of either being injured or having their property damaged. Your rights end where mine begin, etc.

Speaking of EC, she just did a flighted recall to me from the cage with the door open to my hand!

The pics are sorta crappy 'cause I pulled them from video. One irritating thing I have discovered is that the fancy shmancy new camera won't work in burst mode if it detects that you need the flash which you baically always do indoors unless you have lights set up for that sort of thing.

Funny note: while I was writing this post, one of the labs I am watching this weekend chewed up my copy of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill!


Anonymous Ms. A.R. said...

Go ahead and tell us the dogs you care for aren't your friends. Someone who would chew up a book that so ticked you off? I think that's a very special show of friendship. How many human friends would go to such lengths to rid you of an irritation, huh? ;)

As for the pics, I think you're being too critical. The one in which EC is most blurry seems like a perfect representation of what it would actually look like to my own eyes if a bird were flying toward my face. I feel like I'm right there! You'll have plenty of outdoor (thus well-lit) episodes to film, and we'll enjoy those pics too. But these are fine with me. :-)

BTW, I have enough trouble using a camera when that's all I'm doing. Your multi-tasking abilities are to be commended!

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Ms. A.R. said...

Gee, that was kind of snarky of me to have fun with the fact that your book got chewed up. Didn't mean it that way, and I sure hope the person who bought it for you isn't among your readers... 0_o

3:29 AM  
Blogger Contentious Chic said...

But Ms. A.R., these aren't this guy's pets! These are wild birds. This would be akin to me saying that the squirrels in my yard are my "friends" And dogs are domesticated to perform tasks for people and even then I am disinclined to call my dogs my "friends"

I would never have posted this is if the person who gave me the book was someone who read this blog so no worries there! It was a nice gift and even chewed, it is still readable ;-)

I'm going to put up some of the video on 'cause it isn't at all blurry when the bird is flying to you it only gets blurry if you try to concentrate on one frame like that where the wings are in motion.

I was going to put up the site yesterday but now I no longer feel like the original design fits at all so of course I am doing yet another redesign :-)

9:44 AM  
Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

Dogs ... heh. Ate your homework. I'm laughing right now.


10:52 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

hee hee I gotta laugh at the outcome of the book. Rather fitting that it be destroyed by a so-called "friend" to the type of person who wrote it, you know?

I'd rather have my critters under your care (with your methods) that under that other guy's- the other day the farrier (horse shoer for those confused) came out and we were talking about how people think horses should be free (and uncared for) like mustangs. We both agreed that for them having the "better" life, they sure come around in a hurry when brought in! Food and shelter work wonders. Add a little love and you can do anything. :)

The pics might not be that clear, but we can see EC did it! Yay!

5:15 PM  

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