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Old 14-01-2011, 16:03   #31
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A Bird Story

I believe I have posted this here once before but...Way back when we kept our boat at the Sausalito Yacht Harbor where we were treated to any number of interesting transients visiting the San Francisco Bay Area including, at one point, Eric and Susan Hiscock on Wanderer IV.

Amongst the passing parade came a couple on an old Norwegian fishing schooner with a square rigged mizzen that they had purchased and rebuilt as a yacht in Europe. Their arrival in Sausalito was part of a voyage that included several months of cruising the Amazon River where they had adopted two boisterous Parrots named Jose and Marie. The Parrots were uncaged and freely made their way about the ship—frequently through a ventilator cowling, where Marie would hang out and give a good peck to an unsuspecting passer-by from time to time.
Needless to say, a local Environmentalist busy-body reported that pair to the California Eco-police, who were none too pleased with the arrival of a ship bearing a cargo of "protected species" birds and promptly notified the crew they intended to seize the birds for their "protection".
The skipper's response was that the birds were not the crew's pets but that the crew were the bird's “persons” and that the Eco-cops were free to take whatever action they chose.

With this commenced a weeklong keystone cops episode of Eco-cop raids and attempts to "liberate" Jose and Marie, who—upon the approach of these hostile strangers—would simply fly up to the truck of the Foremast or to the tip of the Mizzen Yard where, from time-to-time, Marie would take careful aim at the ring-leader with a load of “you-know-what”.

The whole business finally ended when one of the Eco-cops made an ill-advised attempt to climb the rigging in pursuit of Jose. Having reached the Mizzen Yard, he leaned out on it and lunged out to grab Jose. The bird lightly flittered away while the Yard's brace, being only lightly secured, gave way and tilted toward the sea with the Eco-cop dangling and flopping about by one, not to study, arm. The poor fool finally lost his grip and—fortunately for him—plopped into the none to sanitary and very frigid water aside the ship.

Once the other Eco-cops fished their foundering member out of the deep, they skulked off the pier muttering oaths and dire warnings while the crowd that had gathered cheered and Jose, squawking loudly, performed various Victory rolls and loops above the ship.

Not long after, the couple left for Hawaii and were last seen disappearing into an early morning spring fog with two very large bird's flying escort above.

Cheers,
s/v HyLyte
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Old 28-03-2011, 21:46   #32
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Re: Cockatoos

The link given in post #3 is a good place to start. The real problem is getting your bird/s back in the country. The only sure way is to have it chipped. Have the appropriate paper work so that they can be scanned and prove they are yours and not being smuggled in. If you can't prove you owned them when you left they WILL confiscate your birds. Also most places restrict you on taking your bird ashore because of bird flu. As to birds letting your bird loose on the boat, that is up to you but predators can be very quick and if your baby should fall overboard they don't swim that well, some hardly at all. My African Grey sinks like a rock, he fell in the tub one time while filling it. Very very un-happy. I keep Tiko and Kona, a Jardine in separate cages swinging in the main cabin. I also have a rig for them to hang in the cockpit when underway but they are in their cages. The only time they are really out is in the cabin or in the cockpit with the mesh curtains down so they can't get out and others can't get in. They do like the wind in their feathers and actually prefer being up if the weather is rough. Tiko the Grey asks if we can go to the boat, he really likes it.
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Old 29-03-2011, 01:43   #33
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Re: Cockatoos

I like this thread!

I was thinking about the possibility of sailing with a bird in the future. I've never been sailing before, but my family had a White Cockatoo when I was a child for about 8 years until something swiped her for dinner one night when her cage was outside at our home. I have to admit, cockatoos are some of the noisiest creatures you will ever hear, but nothing compares to the joy of watching their antics. They eat almost anything, so while bird food is the best thing to feed them, they certainly won't starve should you run out. I've read a little about customs and sailing with a bird, but I think it might be worth it for me. (As far as poo issues, our bird was actually trained to go to the bathroom on command when she needed to, so after a year or two, we never had an issue with her again. Furniture, occasionally, but never on us.)

If you have never witnessed the hilarity that ensues from owning one of these birds, try to find some videos on youtube or just google it. You truly MUST see for yourself.
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Old 29-03-2011, 08:57   #34
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Re: Cockatoos

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainron369 View Post
The link given in post #3 is a good place to start. The real problem is getting your bird/s back in the country. The only sure way is to have it chipped. Have the appropriate paper work so that they can be scanned and prove they are yours and not being smuggled in. If you can't prove you owned them when you left they WILL confiscate your birds. Also most places restrict you on taking your bird ashore because of bird flu. As to birds letting your bird loose on the boat, that is up to you but predators can be very quick and if your baby should fall overboard they don't swim that well, some hardly at all. My African Grey sinks like a rock, he fell in the tub one time while filling it. Very very un-happy. I keep Tiko and Kona, a Jardine in separate cages swinging in the main cabin. I also have a rig for them to hang in the cockpit when underway but they are in their cages. The only time they are really out is in the cabin or in the cockpit with the mesh curtains down so they can't get out and others can't get in. They do like the wind in their feathers and actually prefer being up if the weather is rough. Tiko the Grey asks if we can go to the boat, he really likes it.
My African Grey, Lola, Is up on the sundeck as I type this "talking" to the sea guls that are out there. We have a motor vessel with a covered sun deck in back and have it enclosed with strataglass and screen curtains. She is in a smaller cage out there. She is microchipped and I have her CITES certificate. I NEVER let her out of her cage outside unless the enclosure is closed up. I plan to eventually put a bigger cage out on the sundeck for her to have more room outside, but will always bring her inside if we leave the boat and at night. I also would never bring her ashore from the boat. I'm too worried about her picking up some sort of bug from the local population of birds.

I know that coming back to the US is the trickiest part of travelling with a bird. When we finally take off, I'll call the appropriate agency (in Miami) and i'll probably have to fill out another form and get her vet checked.

But even with all the trouble of cruising with birds, I wouldn't think of being without her. She is a wonderful companion and keeps us laughing. Aside from talking, she immitates the sea gulls, the blue heron, the local ducks and the osprey.

Birds are not for everyone. They require a lot of care and attention and are very intelligent and sensitive -- and yes -- LOUD (sometimes).
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