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All About Parrots

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Book Reviews

Keeping Parrots

Book cover of Keeping Parrots by Alan K.Jones
Alan K.Jones

Author Alan Jones has had a lifelong interest in birds stimulated by his grandfather Frederick. In 1985 he established a veterinary practice in West Sussex, and has worked ever since with avian patients. He joined the international Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) in 1987 and is chair of its European Committee. He joined the Parrot Society UK in 1987, and has served for many years on its Council and as its Chairman.

This excellent book is informative and presented in a practical and interesting way. I would rate it as essential reading either for anyone considering taking on a pet parrot or for those who already keep these rewarding but demanding birds. This book could save you from making expensive and heart breaking mistakes with your companion bird(s). The clear text and photographs provide all the useful information with none of the stuff you don't need; you won't find any myths, overly sentimental opinions or evangelical "expertise" but what you will get is honest, common sense advice from an experienced and highly regarded avian vet that used in conjunction with a good avian specialist vet of your own and a reputable supplier will set you on the right track for a long and rewarding parrot / human relationship. Read it from cover to cover and then keep it on the shelf as a reference resource to dip in and out of as needed.

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Book cover of Parrots of the World by Joseph M. Forshaw

Parrots of the World

Joseph M. Forshaw

This is a softback version of Parrots of the World: an Identification Guide - published by Princeton University Press in 2006. It is a very well laid out guide and includes flight illustrations (from above and below) for most species and the birds are clearly shown in similar perched poses against a white background. Clear colour maps accompany a text which covers the main points on identification (with descriptions of differing subspecies), distribution and typical localities. The choice of nomenclature often proves to be a challenge as Forshaw has always preferred to adopt names that are popular in the world of aviculture. Forshaw's preference for avicultural names might not matter to those who buy his sumptuous art books but it is unhelpful in a field guide. A cross reference to the names used by others would have been very helpful. Parrot taxonomy has been the subject of a number of revisions since 2006 and several recent well-documented splits are not included. However three pages are devoted to the many forms of what was formerly known to many as Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus - which is either split into seven species or lumped by various authors. Forshaw lumps them. However there are also examples where Forshaw splits species where the checklists prefer to be conservative. He splits the frontata and minor races of Aratinga wagleri (here called Red-fronted Conure, although better known as Scarlet-fronted Parakeet) to create Codilleran Conure. Similarly the alticola race of Mitred Conure Aratinga mitrata is split as Mountain Conure. The taxonomy of Painted Conure Pyrrhura picta has Book cover of Of Parrots and People by Mira Twetialways been in a state of flux, and while some authors are cautious, Forshaw splits it into four species. Also split is Rose-fronted Conure Pyrrhura roseifrons which becomes three species. Nomenclature aside this book is very well illustrated and given that the large-format original is now out of print and sells for more than €150 it offers great value for money.

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Of Parrots and People

Mira Tweti

Though this book is mainly based in the US the information and the issues raised are global. From giving a whole new insight into the amazing intelligence and emotion of parrots, it takes you on a journey through the pet trade from the misguided pet lover, the devoted rescuer, the unregulated breeder, the poor people capturing and smuggling the birds, the profiteering organisers and those in the fight to stop the whole mess. A real must for anyone who cares for birds.

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The Parrot Tico Tango

Book cover of The Parrot Tico Tango by Anna Witte
Anna Witte

Author Anna Witte was born in Germany and grew up in Spain before moving to America where she has lived for the last eighteen years.

"The parrot Tico Tango Had a round, yellow mango,
But it wasn't quite as yellow As the lemon of Marcello."

This is a lovely book with very colourful illustrations. It is a cumulative rhyme about a naughty parrot who steals all the fruit from the other animals in the jungle. It deals with lots of subjects such as greed, sharing, being sorry and forgiving in a way that young children can relate to. Of course, it has a happy ending.

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Book cover of A Parrot in the Pepper Tree by Chris Stewart

A Parrot in the Pepper Tree

Chris Stewart

A Parrot in the Pepper Tree is an autobiographical book set in Andalucia. It follows the lives of author Chris, his wife Ana and their daughter Chloƫ, as they get to grips with a misanthropic parrot who joins their home, Spanish school life, neighbours in love and their shock at discovering that their beloved valley is once more under threat of a dam. You get impression at times, that money was tight for the author and his family, but yet they enjoyed the live that Andalucia offered them. Chapters in this book will make you chuckle, especially the description of Porca the parrot and his love for Ana, the authors wife. The book was finished far too quickly, and this is my only criticism. I sincerely hope there is a sequel. A very enjoyable read.

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Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior

Mattie Sue Athan
Book cover of Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior by Mattie Sue Athan

This book offers a wealth of advice on such topics as choosing between a young parrot and an older bird, selecting and training a talking parrot, modifying some of a companion parrot's behavior traits and periodically reinforcing behavior changes, keeping the bird groomed and away from household safety hazards, and virtually all other aspects of care. The author, a respected parrot expert, discusses ways of coping with occasional problems that include excessive screaming and feather chewing, and describes general differences in behavior among various companion birds - budgies, lovebirds, cockatiels, macaws, conures, lories and others. Very useful compendium of information for a new parrot person - from help with understanding health needs, to interpreting body language and interacting effectively with birds.

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