Rosemary Low provides rare insights into their world, gained from fifty plus years of intense daily observations of more than 200 species and of parrots in their natural habitats in 27 countries since 1974. Many people keep parrots in their homes, yet they know little about their wild relatives. “I want them to know”, she says. “I want them to care what is happening to them.”
She reaches out to those privileged to interact with them on a daily basis, appealing for new standards of parrot care that recognise parrots are sentient and highly intelligent creatures whose psychological needs are too often neglected. In this book the author has woven together details of their lives in the wild and relates them to what they need in our homes and aviaries.
It is a treasure-trove of parrot information, divided into seven sections: The Parts that make up the Whole, Psychology, Behaviour, What Parrots Need, Breeding, Foods, and a philosophical section entitled Stop and Think….
The text is beguilingly enhanced by the delightful, often quirky and humorous, colour illustrations of Mandy Beekmans, a talented Dutch artist.
Les Rance writing (unedited) in the Magazine of the Parrot Society UK, December 2014:
This is a very impressive book because it addresses so many areas that allow pet parrot owners and breeders of these highly intelligent birds to improve their parrot’s quality of life in captivity. It deals with all the relevant areas in a clear and well written manner giving sound reasons supporting all the advice in this excellent publication. Rosemary has travelled extensively around the world where parrots are in their native habitat and learnt a great deal about their life in the wild, this knowledge gives her the ability to inform us of the most appropriate ways to do the very best for our charges in captivity.
Cleverly divided into seven complimentary parts that allow the owner to find the information they require quickly and easily, it could be regarded as a reference book. However, as it contains a great deal of personal reports built on the author’s extensive visits to their habitats this adds so much more to the publication and allows the passion that Rosemary has for the members of this large family of birds to shine through.
This book is a treasure chest of information on every aspect of parrot life and care in our homes and aviaries and is essential reading for anyone thinking of purchasing a parrot. I particularly liked the advice about not clipping the wings of parrots. The book is well designed and the drawings by Mandy Beekmans compliment the text. This is a very good publication and is I am sure one of the best books written by a highly competent writer.
Wendy Huntbatch, owner of “For the love of Parrots” sanctuary, Vancouver Island:
I thoroughly enjoyed your book and would love to take some of the paragraphs and have my son make them into posters to hang in the refuge. There are just so many important facts that people need to know, and you write them so well.
Satisfied reader Karen Chudley:
I have just read Understanding Parrots, Cues from Nature by Rosemary Low; it is a thought-provoking read. Split into sections covering body systems, psychology and behaviour, parrots needs, breeding, feeding and a final section that will make anyone with
a grain of compassion “stop and think”, the book is packed full of information that can only have been gained from a lifetime of interaction with parrots, both captive and wild, their carers (good and bad), breeders, researchers and vets. It also provides valuable warnings from past mistakes and deliberate wrongs inflicted on parrots both historically and (sadly) in our current times.
The insights into the private lives of parrots make fascinating and enlightening reading; for example the section describing the breeding and nesting habits of Eclectus Parrots tells us so much about how this species behave as pets and gives us a wealth of information regarding their complex care needs, if, and only if, we chose to listen to what Rosemary is saying. Another good example would be a description of how clever and inventive the diminutive parrotlet can be, a trait surely witnessed by anybody who has spent time around Celestial Parrotlets.
I have also found in this book a possible explanation for our Moustached Parrot’s pretty yellow wing patches, his courtship dances and his reluctance to be allo-preened. These are just a few examples of how valuable this book is for parrot welfare. It offers readers a chance to better understand parrots, it is a real milestone and certain extracts should be supplied as compulsory reading for anyone considering taking a parrot or parrots into their lives.
My partner also read the book and was impressed by Rosemary’s plain speaking, forthright approach as to how to get it right and also how to get it wrong. No fancy language, just common sense advice and observations from one who has the experience and knowledge to give such advice. Rosemary has been there, got several tee shirts and is a well loved and respected voice for parrot care and welfare.
My partner and I spend many enjoyable hours observing the antics of our companion parrots and I found myself nodding in recognition at so many of the behaviours I read about. I also have a horse and I believe that this book will go some way to doing for parrots what those enlightened individuals who practice and promote natural horsemanship are doing for horses; this can only be a good thing in terms of both welfare and the enjoyment that both the people and the parrots gain from a mutually respectful and enlightened relationship.
The refreshingly honest stance (Rosemary does not pull her punches) taken in this book is a real breakthrough that can only serve to improve the lives of captive parrots. Buy it, borrow it, read it cover to cover, dip back into it when you need to refresh your memory and most of all, enjoy the journey of discovery that Rosemary skilfully takes you on.