It looks like I’ve got a huge backlog of animal-related stories, so this week, I’ll start with the birds.
Owners of African Grey Parrot Threatened with ASBO.
Stephen White of West Norfolk has been threatened with an ASBO or prosecution for a while now, and it’s not because of anything he’s done, but, rather, what his African Grey Parrot Buddy has done. Namely, it won’t shut up.
The West Nofolk council is currently monitoring the noise and has been doing so for the last several months.Whit asks: “What do they expect me to do – cut his vocal cords? I’ve never had a problem with Buddy before, wherever I have lived. He’s an indoor parrot. He never goes outside. The council told me you can train parrots to keep quiet, but I said you’re having a laugh aren’t you?’
Its repertoire includes the following:
- Singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” nonstop.
- Whistling the theme tune to The Addams Family.
Shouting “Police” at full volume.
Quoth Stephen White, “It’s a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and the council has fallen for it. I’m not sure what will happen next, whether it will go to court, but I’ve told the council it can do what it wants.”
A spokesman for the West Norfolk Council countered: ‘We have received a complaint about a parrot and, as with all noise complaints, we are bound by law to investigate. While the investigation is ongoing, no notices have been issued and no formal action taken.”
But another African Grey has a more bizarre habit…
African Grey Parrot from Bristol claims to be Welsh, swears up a storm.
When Basil the African Grey Parrot was introduced to his new owners in Bristol, he greeted them with a polite “Hello.” But when Sarah Fisk said “Hello to you, too,” he promptly told her to “**** off” in a Welsh accent, and started on a tirade with a combination of “I’m From the Valleys,” and what has been described as a “cluster f-bomb.”
Basil previously lived in the Vale of Glamorgan, and his former owners told the Fisks that he knew “a couple of swear words,” but nothing prepared them for this. He was apparently sold because his daughters showed no interest in him.
Quoth Fisk, who works with adults with learning disabilities: “It was quite shocking the first time he did it – I didn’t quite believe my ears. He settled in so quickly and was obviously making himself at home. His accent is so strong sometimes that we aren’t sure what he is saying, but it definitely sounds Welsh. And when he says the swear words, that is in a distinctive Welsh accent. His previous owners had said he had sworn in the past, but I thought that a change of scenery would leave that behind – not a chance.” Four days later, he escaped through an open window. Three days later, he was found at a vet’s office. He was apparently handed in by a member of the public, and immediately started, well, I’ll just let the vet tell you; “He kept calling the nurses tossers and there were a few other phrases he used that I won’t repeat. It was quite shocking. He was very quiet and shy for the first day, but then all of a sudden he started talking and rather surprised us with his adult vocabulary. He also whistled the McDonalds tune and he danced for us when we asked him to, so we forgave his bad manners.”
£60,000 Budgie collection stolen.
The article raises two questions; one: who would spend 50 years collecting budgies, and two: who would be jealous enough to steal them all?
A man from Romsey, Hampshire spent 50 of his 74 years collecting budgerigars, and in one night, 400 of them were stolen. The thief broke the lock to the aviary were taken in special cages that belonged to the collector. Only seven birds were left behind. The collection is believed to be worth about £60,000. They all escaped through the golf course.
Quoth the Hampshire police: “Officers think it is likely more than one person was involved and it would have needed a van or something or a similar-size vehicle to take the birds away. All the bird have rings on their legs with serial numbers on.”
A 25-year old man from Southampton has been arrested in connection with the theft, but no birds have been recovered.
Wedding Stalled when Barn Owl Falls Asleep.
It should have been an amazing touch for a wedding in Wiltshire; out of seemingly nowhere, a barn owl would drop a tassel bearing the rings onto the bride and groom. Unfortunately, the couple in question did not know enough to know that owls are strictly nocturnal. As you might guess, it missed its cue and fell asleep on the job. It fell asleep in the rafters of the Holy Cross Church in Sherston and stayed there. After an hour’s worth of coaxing, the priest decided to continue the ceremony with a back-up set of rings.
Quoth the Rev. Chris Bryan, who orchestrated the plan: “It would have been absolutely superb if it worked. It was a lovely idea and it was supposed to be really stunning. It was a complete surprise to the groom, although the bride was in on it. It was the bride’s mother’s idea. The groom is into falconry as a bit of a hobby and so it was secretly arranged for two falconers to suddenly appear at the moment when the best man hands over the rings. This chap popped up at the front of the church next to us with a gauntlet on, as another chap appeared at the back of the church with a box. The owl appeared, and took a bit of coaxing to take to flight. It paused for a little bit, eventually saw the gauntlet, and then took off. But instead of landing on the arm of the man by us and delivering the rings it went up over our heads and landed up in the roof space. The idea was it would be amazing and would swoop over the heads of the guests, and they’d all feel the air rushing from its wings, but it didn’t quite work like that.”
By the time the owl was finally coaxed down, the newlyweds were long gone.
Britain’s Next Top Cockerel: calendars for hens.
A chicken farmer recently read a study that claimed that hens were calmer and more productive in the presence of cockerels. Unfortunately, since the presence of cockerels is not conducive to edible eggs, they decided to do the next best thing: create a pin-up calendar.
The calendar, called, “Nice Pecks” includes 12 photos of cockerels made up to look like famous characters including a Light Brahma recreating John Travolta’s moves in Saturday Night Fever, a Maran as James Bond, and a Gold Appenzeller Spitzhauben as Batman. You can find the photos on Happy Egg Company’s facebook page.Quoth photographer Dan Kennedy, who has snapped photos of Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, Madonna, and the 12 lucky cockerels: “I thought the idea of recreating Hollywood’s iconic moments is the perfect way to ruffle some feathers. After all, it’s what we have on our walls, so why can’t hens have it too?”
Prize-winning Budgie or 80’s one-hit wonder? You decide.
Orchard Goldenboy, a Goldenface Grey Cock belonging to Richard and Michael Miller of Carlisle won Best in Show at the 2013 Budgerigar Society World Championship Show (aka: Budgie Crufts) in November, due in no small part to its resemblance to Limahl of Kajagoogoo.
Richard and Michael Miller, father and son, have been taking care of budgies for 22 years, and now they have an aviary of 300 birds.Limahl, on the other hand, was a member of Kajagoogoo, who rose to fame after releasing “Too Shy,” a #1 hit for two weeks, and a solo hit with the theme song to “The Neverending Story.” He can now be found either fronting the reformed Kajagoogoo or on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
Duck goes to drink at a pub.
I bet you’re wondering about the photo I chose to put at the top of the article. Well, the fact is, it’s a picture of Star, the pet duck of Barrie Hayman of Devon. Ever since Barrie decided to take pity on the runt of the litter, it’s been going everywhere he goes. Even to the local pub. And yes, he does occasionally imbibe. I really don’t know how bad it is for ducks to drink beer, but, in lieu of further information, I’ll just have to post a link to the video and say “Don’t Try this At Home.”