Sandy Lender, Guest Author
In the spring of 2012, I learned that the sun conure parrot (Aratinga solstitialis) is endangered in the wild. This startled me because these gorgeous—albeit noisy—parrots are popular in the pet trade and I’d shared my life with a particularly adorable and “personable” one for 13 years at that time. (He’s still the sunshine in my day at nearly 14 years.)
(Petri chose Sandy when she went to his breeder’s house one spring night in Kansas City, Kan., 14 years ago. They’ve been bonded ever since. He’s a sun conure parrot (Aratinga solstitialis), which is a popular bird in the pet trade, but endangered in the wild).
His name is Petri; I named him after the baby pterodactyl from the cartoon movie The Land Before Time. He mutters and whispers to communicate, but he can sure let out some loud shrieks if I miss the meaning of any of those mutters and whispers. At this time, many bird rescues and sanctuaries have an abundance of sun conures because owners fall out of love with the pretty parrots when they lose patience with the birds’ loud vocalizations.
It’s stunning what a trusting and fun relationship Petri the Parrot and I have until you consider the intelligence level of parrots and the time and respect I give Petri. Anyone reading this blog knows the joy and contentment that comes from interacting with a beloved pet. It’s a great feeling when your cat purrs in response to scratches behind his ears or your dog learns to fetch a toy that you toss across the yard for her. The same rings true when your parrot puts his trust in you and steps up onto your finger for the first time or leans his head down so you can scratch his head and neck.
To share the enjoyment of the companion parrot relationship while educating others about conservation issues facing many parrot species, I decided to take my career and jump off a proverbial cliff. I put a business plan together, found an investor to whom I could indebt myself, and started an avian publication titled In Your Flock. That means I’ve started a magazine in an age when print is supposed to be dying.
The good news is I’ve been in magazine publishing for 21 years and I see where the trends are going. Many companion parrot owners like myself still enjoy print magazines. Then there are folks like all of us visiting this blog who gather pet information online. I’m serving both audiences—as long as those audiences want to read about companion parrots and all the new concepts and ideas that influence parrot husbandry, veterinary practices, behavior and shaping, diet and nutrition, and conservation. Those audiences also get to see plenty of pictures of my gorgeous Petri the sun conure.
(Sandy started the magazine In Your Flock in late 2012 in response to learning of the sun conure’s plight in the wild. You can check out the magazine’s website at http://www.InYourFlock.com )
Petri the Parrot has his own facebook page at www.facebook.com/Petri-the-Parrot