MickaBlog Blog from June, 2010

Mickaboo in the news!

Michelle Yesney, our CEO, was interviewed recently about your favorite bird rescue group.  Her interview is here.

Just a reminder - go to our How to Help tab on our website to help us with time or resources.  We are only able to do what we do because of the collective generosity of people like you! 

Date: Sunday, June 20, 2010:
Time: 12:30 - 4:00 pm
Location: For Other Living Things, 1261 South Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA  408-739-6785

We will have the services of an avian veterinarian at our June clinic, and will therefore be able to offer microchipping and DNA sexing as well as our normal wing and nail trim services.

Cost for services:

* Wing OR nail trim - $10 per bird
* Wing AND nail trim - $15 per bird
* DNA sexing - $30
* Microchipping for birds weighing 100 gm or more - $30
Appointments are recommended (and required for DNA sexing and microchipping) and must be received by noon, Saturday, June 19.

To make an appointment, email the following information to pr@mickaboo.org:

  • How many birds of what species you will be bringing
  • Which services (nail trim, wing clip, microchipping, DNA sexing) you want for which bird
  • Any time slot preference.  We can do a maximum of two birds per 15 minute time slot.

(Example: "I will be bringing two African Greys.  One African Grey needs a wing trim; the second African Grey needs both nail and wing trims.  My first time preference is for 12:30 pm; my second time preference is for 3:15 pm.")

For the safety of all, please plan on bringing your bird(s) in a carrier or in a harness.
Payment will be accepted at the clinic in cash or check.

Mickaboo was again in the news, advocating (thanks to volunteer Elizabeth Young) on behalf of our feathered friends.

A transcription of the news story follows:

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco is now considering including even more pets in its proposed ban on pet sales in the city. The idea is to limit the number of dogs, cats and other small creatures that wind up in animal shelters. On Thursday night, there was a new call tonight to add birds to that ban.

A San Francisco city commission was getting ready to vote to prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and smaller animals like guinea pigs, hamsters and rats. Then at the eleventh hour a bird rescue volunteer asked to include feathered companions.

"These birds end up in shelters, on Craigslist, surrendered to rescues, set free, threatened to be set free, abandoned at vets," said Elizabeth Young from the Mickaboo Bird Rescue organization.

Many have been abandoned by their owners and many of them were purchased at pet sores. Animal Care and Control acknowledged it a problem and people don't know they are available for adoption.

"We get a lot of birds, a lot of really nice ones, all kinds like parrots, macaws, parakeets, love birds, all of those things and we don't have a lot of people looking for birds at Animal Care and Control," said Rebecca Katz from San Francisco Animal Care and Control.

Many birds end up being euthanized, just like other smaller animals.

Some owners say the city's proposal would hurt business. There are only three major shops in San Francisco that sell animals. One of them is Petco, a chain store.

"Passing laws to limit the availability of animals won't work. People love their animals and they'll find a way to get them whether it's legal means, going outside the city, or underground if necessary," says Kevin Whalen from Petco.

Other cities ban the sale of dogs and cats at pet stores. San Francisco could become the first in the nation to also include small mammals and perhaps now birds.

"The Storm"

We thought you might enjoy this story from one of our volunteers, describing the reaction of their bird Joey to a piece of classical music:


Last Friday I caught our blue-crowned conure Joey going crazy over the summer thunderstorm scene from Antonio Vivaldi's THE FOUR SEASONS. When it came on the radio, he just flew over and started dancing and reacting to the music. Sorry I didn't catch the very beginning; I grabbed the camera as fast as I could.


Note this is not "entrainment," keeping time to a beat in the way that Snowball the cockatoo does. But I don't think there can be much doubt just how powerfully the music is affecting Joey. You can see how strongly he responds, and in how many different ways. He head bobs. His eyes pin. He regurgitates. He snuggles against the speaker. He chatters affectionately and uses his happiest contact and play vocalizations. He follows the music - literally, between about 0:28-0:33, where you can see him trying to follow a descending passage first with his eyes, then apparently trying to follow it down the speaker with his whole body). These behaviors to me suggest deep involvement with the music - both emotional connection and intellectual fascination, a conjunction similar to the complex human experience of music.

Philosopher and musician David Rothenberg points out that birds are as interested in human music as we are in theirs. That in itself strikes me as a good argument for their having a capacity for musical expression and creativity.


Would you like to add a feathered friend to your home flock - perhaps one who appreciates Vivaldi like Joey does?  We have many birds in our foster care - on the verge of too many, since we can't take in newly-needy birds without space in our foster care system.  Help us help our feathered friends by adopting a bird, donating or volunteering!

Come visit with Mickaboo volunteers and some of our foster flock!  We'll also have bird supplies for sale - all proceeds will benefit your favorite bird rescue organization. 

Date: Saturday, June 12, 2010
Time: 11 - 4pm
Location:  Valley Hi-North Laguna Library, 7400 Imagination Parkway (across from Cosumnes River College, Bruceville Road entrance), Sacramento, CA 95823

Directions from I-99 to the library:

1. Take the Cosumnes River / Calvine exit; go west on Cosumnes to Bruceville.
2. Take a left on Bruceville
3. The light for Imagination Parkway is less than a half mile down and shares the intersection with the entrance to Cosumnes River College. Take a left at this intersection. The library is right on the corner.

Mark Bittner was recently interviewed about rehabilitation of injured and abused birds.  And Mickaboo is mentioned!

To help us continue to help our feathered friends, see how to help!

Music and Parrots

The New York Times recently published an article about music and the brain.  The article talks about our favorite dancing cockatoo, Snowball, a rescued bird.  We thought you might be interested in reading!