There are an estimated 50 million parrots in the United States today. Their intelligence and extraordinary personalities make them beloved members of the families that bring them into their homes.
In Of Parrots and People, award-winning journalist and long-time parrot owner Mira Tweti reveals the complex world of parrots-their astonishing intellect, often-intimate relationships with humans, and, unfortunately, the calamitous practices of the bird industry. Delving into the secret world of the global parrot trade, Tweti documents the forces driving these remarkable creatures to the brink of extinction. A critical addition to the popular shelf of books about animals and their behavior, Of Parrots and People is a startling wake-up call in the tradition of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Mira Tweti is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. Her parrot-welfare children's book, Here, There, and Everywhere was heralded by Dr. Jane Goodall as "a masterpiece."From The Washington Post:
From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com Reviewed by Amy Sutherland Parrots are wild animals, but their smarts and chattiness makes that fact an easy one to forget. Throw in their otherworldly beauty, and we humans can't keep our mitts off of them. Two new books detail why we should leave them alone. In Of Parrots and People, journalist Mira Tweti spells out the many evils of the parrot pet trade, while Nancy Ellis-Bell's lively, easy-to-read memoir, The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog, recounts how her beloved pet macaw took over her household. But, as is true of so many books on animals, both books are ultimately far more about humans. When we look at the animal kingdom, we too often see a mirror image of ourselves. Despite her book's subtitle, Tweti finds very little that is funny about the collision of humans and parrots. Yes, the birds have wondrous talents, and some of their human "parronts" dote on them madly (for instance, hiring a Santa Claus to pose with them). But the book's true aim is to describe how humans have made them the most at-risk group of birds on the planet (almost one third of the 340 species of parrots are endangered). Tweti lays most of the blame on the pet bird trade, which exploded in this country from the 1970s through the 1990s. Demand for birds gave rise to grim breeding facilities in the United States where birds languish in dark isolation and chicks are snatched from nests too soon. Beyond our borders, trappers pilfer parrots from the jungle and smuggle them to this country, where enforcement of anti-smuggling laws is understaffed. When birds are confiscated, they may linger endlessly in quarantine. Add to that, Tweti finds that relatively few parrots land in homes that are prepared to handle them. Between the screeching, the mess and the biting, parrots are difficult companions. Tweti estimates that the average parrot has seven homes in its first 10 years. A sanctuary director in Wisconsin tells Tweti she gets 50 emails a week from people wanting to surrender their birds. Using a mix of reporting and first-person accounts, Tweti proves an able tour guide on this trail of tears, taking the reader to a private home turned sanctuary, to a federal quarantine station in Otay Mesa, Calif., and to Mexican bird markets where the author see for herself how easy it is to buy an illegal parrot. She also follows star parrot champion and conservationist Charles Munn around Brazil as he scouts for a potential reserve for ultra-rare Lear's macaws. Despite her extensive research, Tweti's book would be far stronger if her journalism were more hard-nosed. Too many anecdotes and statistics go unattributed for an author who is billed as an investigative journalist. And though she does a yeoman's job of describing the breadth of the problem, she offers more finger-wagging than solutions. In the end, her book reads like a fatalistic treatise on what knuckleheads we humans are. Still, Tweti loudly sounds the alarm about the parrot pet trade which, illegal or not, needs immediate attention. While Tweti's book gives us the big picture of the problem with pet parrots, Nancy Ellis-Bell provides the small, up-close view. By describing life with a macaw in detail, The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog demonstrates why so many parrot owners give up their birds. Life with Sarah, a one-footed blue and gold macaw, can be charming and fascinating: She learns to bark and becomes extremely attached to Ellis-Bell. But not long after Ellis-Bell adopts Sarah from a sanctuary, she lets the bird out of her cage. Freed, Sarah attacks the dogs and eats their food, pulls the handles off a Hepplewhite credenza and poops all over the place. She screeches, "It's a bummer," so loudly that Ellis-Bell, a book agent, can't hear editors on the phone. Yet Ellis-Bell is smitten, and her love knows few, if any, bounds. She accustoms her wheezy lungs to the bird's voluminous dander and shares her meals -- and even, irresponsibly, a gin and tonic -- with Sarah. But the macaw prevents Ellis-Bell and her husband from having friends over and, eventually, interferes with their sex life. When Ellis-Bell lets Sarah loose in her yard, the reader might wonder who will fly off first, the parrot or the husband. Much of the book is entertaining, though the detailed descriptions of Ellis-Bell's domestic routines become tedious, as does her increasing anthropomorphism. In the end, The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog is less about Sarah than about Ellis-Bell, who sees in the parrot a test of how good a mother she is, even of how good a person she is. But until we see animals as they are, cut from the same cloth as us yet entirely different, we'll keep making those mistakes.
Copyright 2008, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97801431157550000000
Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc. Paperback / softback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Of Parrots and People: The Sometimes Funny, Always Fascinating, and Often Catastrophic Collision of Two Intelligent Species, Mira Tweti, There are an estimated 50 million parrots in the United States today. Their intelligence and extraordinary personalities make them beloved members of the families that bring them into their homes. In "Of Parrots and People," award-winning journalist and long-time parrot owner Mira Tweti reveals the complex world of parrots-their astonishing intellect, often-intimate relationships with humans, and, unfortunately, the calamitous practices of the bird industry. Delving into the secret world of the global parrot trade, Tweti documents the forces driving these remarkable creatures to the brink of extinction. A critical addition to the popular shelf of books about animals and their behavior, "Of Parrots and People" is a startling wake-up call in the tradition of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring.". Bookseller Inventory # B9780143115755
Book Description Penguin Books, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 352 pages. 8.50x5.50x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0143115758
Book Description Penguin Books, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0143115758
Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0143115758 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2132207669
Book Description Penguin Books, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0143115758
Book Description Penguin Books 2009-07-28, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1. 0143115758 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0143115758
Book Description Penguin Books, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110143115758
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801431157551.0