[Editor’s Note: This article is atypically humorous – a bit of parody– inspired by US conspiracy theorists who raise baseless objections after any election their candidates lose. The mention of conspiracy allegations here is fiction, a bit of US humor about voting in general. The contests received no actual complaints.]
Washington, DC — A BirbObserver staffer leaked that allegations of Birbie Awards Commonwealth conspiracy, voter fraud, and Gaelic avian underground surfaced but were determined to be baseless.
Really clever, or a ploy? — Check out the victory twirls
The conspiracy theorists reasoned, Look, there were six winners in this US-based competition but ONLY two US winners. . . FOUR Commonwealth victors! Both Canadian winners entered trained sun conures from Ontario, birds residing suspiciously close to one another, suspiciously near Toronto, and suspiciously near the US border crossing at Detroit. The two birds are known on Instagram as Tango of Birds of a Feather (aka @bird_tails) and Koa of Koa & Tiko (aka @koa_tiko). . . . A Rand report allegedly hinted that the US government shutdown had more to do with smarty sun conures north of the border than folks seeking amnesty at the southern border.
Two Birds . . . Or One?
Two identical Canadian sun conures whose owners CLAIM never to have received formal bird training instruction. Yet their skills, their trusting and intuitive relationships with their fids identically inspire their followers! Could the two Insta accounts work off the same bird? The conure called Koa? “Canada’s Most Clever Bird”? Did Koa size up the field and clone off Tango to Birds of Feather to win two prizes instead of one?!
We assure you, our staff researched diligently and, especially on the basis of incompatible personal histories offered by the paronts in their individual interviews, we discerned each a unique individual, with her own genetically distinguishable conure, meeting one another from different authentically beautiful and endearing paths. Both paths involved suffering and transcendent wisdom, love and joy. Koa, as much as Tango and flock, inspired, according to followers’ comments; similarly, Tango and flock responded to their parront with willing cooperation, due to the trust she instilled, so her followers considered her a wonderful example in training birds as well.
Consider a forest dimming at eventide, lone calls of crows and ravens breaking the dusk still. A young girl, dirty, scuffed, tired, discovers a baby crow fledged from the nest, on the ground. Gently, she lifts the bird, placing it back in the nest. Shift scene to a hot afternoon on the same stretch of forest path. The girl, slightly older, is taunted as she walks home from school. Imagine — can you, now? — the flock of crows attacks the bullies and pace themselves behind her, the full flock escort home. That would be Tango’s mum. Years later, married, as if a spirit flock had always surrounded her, one by one, like the crow chick, each bird of the flock materialized. Rescue after rescue, Tango’s mum devised individual therapies gently reasoned from astute observation Each bird healed, and healing, trusted. Those would be the Birds of a Feather. Their mum dreams of establishing a rescue.
Having faced many hardships though still young, hardships physical social and emotional, Tango’s mom has overcomes adversity and shares this stunning guidance: when all seems dark and hope lost, life can get better; sometimes giving another the opportunity for abundant life he or she might not otherwise have unlocks the door to that brighter tomorrow.
A couple celebrate their twentieth anniversary on a southern island. But the wife is tumbled over and over, up and down, in an undertow, breaking so many bones she cannot sit upright but folds over like pantlegs on a hanger. While hospitalized abroad, her lone bird of 21 years passes. Upon her return, the house is silent. Eight months she spends in bed as bones mend. Slowly life resumes its rhythms, with walks to a pet shop where hands cradle spiky fluffy chicks with a gratitude rarely known. The couple decide the time for a new bird has arrived. The pet shop owner seemed to know too. She wanted a certain conure chick to become theirs, as the wife, she said, seemed like a daughter for all the time she spent fondling the hatchlings. That special chick, it was, well, one that would be “a lot of fun, because its parents were so smart.” That chick was Koa. Koa, who never needed a target stick, Koa whose mom just played on the floor with him with children’s toys as she had done with kids she had sat for years before. Koa who sometimes just grasped things, like bowling —
But what of the Gaelic connection, you ask?! A parrot lady who’s a native Welsh-speaker hosting a BBC Welsh program four years running — about parrots?! Now that the gig’s ended, some long-term macaw resident, a certain Goldie, takes up a starring in a pirate parrot “superhero” TV series?! Piracy on the high seas served the first Elizabeth, but, really, during Brexit?! Mmm, meet the unsinkable Joan Rakrhra of Joans North Wales Parrot Rescue.
No, you have it wrong! Yes, Joan Rakrhra has a closed Facebook group Joans North Wales Parrot Rescue, a community of over 700 adoring parrot owners led in great avian care and companionship by this valiant woman who operates the only in-home rescue in the UK, drives hundreds of miles and spends 1000s if pounds to save self-destructive pucker Rolo from himself. Everyday prepares massive bowls of chop, the food of love, for that household of birds, and lovingly shares the photos with her group. Members ooh and awe at the love the food expresses.
Then there’s that guy DownUnder. I hear he’s a Scot. Brody Murphy. A disguised Pictish clan name, but he spells it Brody, not Brodie. Facebook’s Adventures of Roku, also website with store by the same name. YouTube channel. Instagram account. Sound piratical to you? The guy does not play golf. Does not wear clan plaid or kilt. Did like Braveheart, but that’s so Oz to begin with, Gibson. Flies macaws??? Only a Scotsman!!! Flying macaws — Cyborg drones? Check out the flight footage on YouTube, those so-called macaws can sometimes carry webcams on their backs.
It’s tough being put in an article after three accomplished bird mavens. And being placed dead last. But the Citizenship award was selected last, the toughest to determine. Adventures of Roku, a collection of media sites featuring the free flight adventures of Brody’s macaws and their friends, survived severe criticism DownUnder for pursuing Applied Behavior Analysis based free-flight, as taught by Chris Biro of LibertyWings. The size of the YouTube following alone attests to the huge impact the blue and gold macaw Roku, parront Brody and their buds have had in altering notions about proper enrichment and exercise for companion birds.
While Brody grew up in husbandry and farming, comfortable with birds, that’s not his peculiar gift. While Brody adopted Applied Behavior Analytics as his free-flight method, and later mastered additional positive reinforcement techniques for use in adult psychotherapy, that did not particularly stretch the imagination. However, with the start of “Get Flocked,” Australia’s first free-flight group, and its further nurture, Brody’s great contribution is in the field of sociopolitical foresight:
Get Flocked is adamant on creating a standard expectation via accredited training and members abiding by the state laws.
Despite the controversies, Get Flocked is pro-actively working to rectify and clarify these areas to ensure members & their birds can fly freely without negative legal consequence.
Our editorial staff believes that while accreditation and insistence on completion of certified training curricula may be perceived as burdensome, making free-flight a wealthier individual’s sport, this formalization of qualifications in the long run protects against significant possible legal obstacles to free-flight.
With the easy availability of social media information which may be incomplete, eroneous or inapplicable across different persons different situations, our staff already witnesses individuals perilously picking and choosing free-flight tactics and techniques, individualizing their ideas about their parrots needed training, without the benefit of experienced advice or scientific understanding. While some parronts may in fact have the sensitivity, intelligence, level-headedness and foresight regarding their parrots and their relative readiness, many in fact have blind spots until supervision, demonstration and constructive criticism reveal them. Obliviousness to birds’ limiting needs means birds will be lost and injured unnecessarily. And the public will lash back and seek to prohibit. Establishment of a professional self-regulatory organization which can consistently teach and test technique based on empirical science provides the optimally leveraged legal position from which to defend against careless owners abusing their parrots by unwisely free flying them beyond their capabilities.
What a mouthful! At any rate, thank you, Brody, for your persistence; thank you for your foresight.