I consider myself to be somewhat influential in the avian niche.
Professionally I subscribe to a handful of YouTube channels with other avian influencers producing a huge amount of video content for channels with massive numbers of subscribers.
The apparent criteria for being a YouTube avian influencer is to “have birds”
Granted there are well known animal behaviorists out there like Barbara Heidenreich and Lara Joseph
Then there is that 900 pound gorilla called Facebook.
We have learned to trust Facebook less daily
Basically we have access to unlimited information about the proper care of the birds in our homes.
Yet if I Google the term “bird rescue Illinois” this is the page I see with at least eight pet bird rescues on page 1 of Google.
Parrot rescues across the country are overflowing with unwanted birds.
If we have so much good information, why are we failing miseraI am nowbly at keeping birds in our homes here in the US?
A conversation with Ann Castro in Frankfurt Germany.
I do not hide my love of whiskey. To speak of the importance of outreach, I agreed to a video chat 9 AM Sunday morning (4 PM Berlin time).
Hangovers are for wimps.
Ann’s abbreviated bio::
TURNING PARROTS INTO SOULMATES SINCE 2001
- 2017: WP-Magazin, Europe’s largest publication for parrot owners, appointed me to their expert council
- 2013: German national TV station VOX gave me my own TV-Show on solving parrot problems
- 2006: Published my first book which became known as “the clicker bible” on clicker training for parrots
- 2003: Taught first clicker training weekend workshop for parrots
- 2001: Moderated training, nutrition and health topics for Germany’s largest bird forum
I hope to be publishing a live video interview with her in the coming weeks.
We covered many topics during our Sunday conversation with some of the highlights being that she does not believe pellets are the best approach for captive bird nutrition.
A topic we share some common ground.
Editor’s note: I tread carefully here because we represent the top pellet manufacturers in the US and we don’t want you to not embrace pellets, we simply want to offer complementary alternatives for your captive birds diet
She (Ann) believes that the birds in your home are truly family members not just pets.
We spoke on a number of subjects covering not only pet bird care but website marketing and WordPress development.
Editor’s note: mitchr’s rebranding is evolving.
Aside from my “epic Beard” (words of a fan not mine), suspenders, contacts and ongoing adoption of budgies I thought it would be fun to show Ann’s comments in a different color so you can tell who’s voice you are listening to.
“Write drunk, edit sober” – Ernest Hemingway
The most remarkable part of the conversation was when I learned about German animal protection law pertaining to pets in general but specifically keeping birds.
It also covers pet stores, breeders, etc basically anyone who keeps animals if you reside in the country of Germany.
As Americans we get defensive about government overreach.
“How dare our legislators ban the acquisition of Quaker parrots a.k.a. monk parakeets in our homes across 17 states”.
But this ban is not for the sake of the wellbeing of Quakers … it is to protect agricultural interest, etc. Germans are extremely engaged when it comes to animal welfare.
Thus we (well, most of us anyways … 😉 ) embrace and celebrate such laws. 🙂
I am now advising you to adjust whatever you do to help keep your nerves in check and your blood pressure down.
Zuck told Congress last week that Facebook is going to add 20,000 people to help combat fake news and whatever other souls they are selling.
We don’t have an army of “bad information identifiers” – it’s just us.
Us is pretty awesome.
I tried to do my best to vet (pun intended) information that we post.
While doing research I came across this article.
File under #fakenews Germany bans certain breeds of dogs
I’m only keeping the link in this post because it’s one more way I can show you how awesome Ann is –
That article is horribly wrong … In particular the xenophobic comments.
It is not particularly “turks or foreigners” who keep these dogs. How on earth did they come up with that?
They have gotten the facts extremely wrong.
I recommend to remove that link …
Even pertaining to the situation of listed dogs: not correct – it is complex … you might need to take a competency test, the dogs might have to take a character test and you may have to pay increased dog taxes … but this is regulated on a community level … of course the extra hassle has led to a reduction of certain types of dogs.
But even the type of dog governed by this varies from community to community.
A very small list of dog breeds may not be allowed to be imported, traded for money, or bred.
But you can adopt them any time from one of our shelters …
BTW all German shelters are strictly non-kill ….
Germany will tell you precisely, the minimum cage requirements for any given species of bird.
Minimum cage sizes apply to all parrots, regardless of whether you want to breed them or not.
Also the information inside the article is wrong.
Please use this link instead for factual information.
I can go on but you get the idea.
Ann was surprised to learn that parrot rescues in the US are overflowing because if you Google parrot rescue Germany, nothing shows up in search.
The following comments are interesting in terms of not only how the information got twisted but from the (international) Search Engine Optimization <- geek talk – standpoint
In Germany we speak German. 🙂
Thus you need to google this in German: Papageien auffangstation also our public shelters do take in parrots … so you can also google “Tierheim”.
Sadly, as you can see, we also do have a problem with relinquished birds.
That’s why I started a German “Adopt, don’t Shop” page on FB.
I get contacted multiple times a week regarding birds that are in need of a new home.
And that’s just me … 🙁
To clarify: I was not surprised at US shelters being full.
I was surprised how many people contacted me for help after just a few posts in English Facebook Groups.
I thought, the “North-American-market” of parrot trainers / therapists was well established and quite saturated.
Apparently not so.
At least not for my particular type of intervention which targets the birds as sentient beings with rights and as family members.
Editor’s note: Wow
Yes “Wow” 🙂
I was floored by the amount of positive interest and help requests.
But also overjoyed to see how many bird owners embrace wanting to do the best for their birds – even though there are no legal requirements forcing them.
Als so it is heartening to see, how many people do want not “stupid” obedience, but to build a true relationship based on trust.
Clearly Germans love their pets so much so they’re willing to accept conditions set down by their own government – which is working.
My hopes are to expose you to Ann’s philosophical and actionable goals which should help you help yourself with keeping a bird(s) in your home.
Thank you so much Mitch: I very much look forward to doing some video interviews with you.
If you’d like, you may invite them to grab their free copy of my mini guide (22 pages) on how to gain a bird’s trust … it is a good starting point to view the parrot human relationship from a different perspective.
And if they have any questions after that … I am offering a free 15 min discovery call to give them a quick assessment and some tips on how to go forward and get started.
Take care and talk to you soon. 🙂
But wait – there’s more!