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August 2000 Edition

This First Edition of Anecdotes
Is Dedicated to the Memory of
Ginny Goodrich
And the Wonderful Way She Knew Animals

New Eyes for the Hunter

~ Blanco is a Moluccan cockatoo who has been studied by psychologists because he converses with people. Nineteen years old, Blanco puts himself well above the intelligence level of most humans. When he wants to insult me, he calls me a "bird." Once, a bright, sarcastic friend introduced herself to him, saying, "Hi, Blanco, I'm Barbara, and I think you're very handsome." He immediately retorted, "So what's your point?"

Another time, at a local yacht club meeting, as the invited guest, Blanco overheard someone commenting that she had never realized before that birds could talk with people. Blanco's response? "That's stupid!"

There is an astuteness about this feathered friend that no one can define. Once, when a sick Canada goose was brought to the rehabilitation center, I examined him and found the symptoms to resemble strychnine poisoning. The next day, the veterinarian who examined the goose concurred: it was a classic case. But I decided to mention hesitantly that Blanco said it was a gun shot. The subsequent x-ray proved Blanco right!

Since Blanco resides at Wind Over Wings, he has contact sometimes with people who volunteer. One person who came to help, teaches a safe hunting course in his spare time. Safe hunting? That always seemed like an oxymoron to me; but I decided there was no point in confrontation. Dialogue would be better.

Could this perceptive, wise bird have known my thoughts? What followed was a truly mysterious incident of serendipity. Standing on a stack of wood, Blanco decided to jump off and fly over to the hunter. In the process, he slipped and fell, breaking a pin feather, a newly formed feather still connected to the blood supply. Blood spurted all over his white feathers. If not attended to, he could bleed to death. Quickly, we turned Blanco over. With pliers, we wrested out the feather, which allowed immediate coagulation.

Righting himself, a subdued Blanco spunkily crawled back up on top of the stack of wood; then announced, "I was scared, but I'm OK now." Our safe hunter's eyes stared at the bird in disbelief. Dialogue is better -- this man has since informed me that he no longer hunts birds!

-Hope Douglas WindOverWings.com

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Getting a taste of God's creation as it should be!

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