Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog for showing us the richness and depth of one bird's personality.

The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog
By Nancy Ellis-Bell

The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog (2008) - 245 pages
The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog at Amazon.com

The last thing Nancy Ellis-Bell expected to descend on her life was a neglected too-tall, smart-mouthed, one-legged, blue-and-gold rescue macaw named Peg Leg. And yet, it made perfect sense. A lifelong animal lover, Nancy could never turn away a stray cat, dog, squirrel, or raccoon from her California farm. But the macaw, quickly rechristened Sarah, was a whole new challenge, as Nancy, her husband Kerry, and their furry menagerie would find out.

Initially timid of her new surroundings, Sarah soon imposed her four-foot wingspan into the family homestead - first claiming the laundry basket, then conquering a prized dresser - and achieved complete household domination. Nancy couldn't "bird-proof" the place fast enough, and it was not long before Sarah started stealing the dogs' toys - using her enormous beak to disembowel Ben the mutt's treasured stuffed bear - and bathing her richly hued feathers in their water bowl. She also peppered Nancy's phone conversations with expletive-laden outbursts. There seemed to be no end to Sarah's realm, nor her destruction, and it dawned on Nancy that the entire house had slowly transformed into a birdcage.

On the other side of the coin, Sarah started to abandon her own raptor instincts when she discovered that dog food was pretty tasty and that she had a knack for "barking" (and few other sounds that alarmed the neighbors). As they all learned to live together, Nancy marveled that Sarah had truly found a place to call home, but she sensed that there was something she could give Sarah to make her feel more complete: a chance to fly again.

Touching, eye-opening, and laugh-out-loud funny, The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog is a tender tale of two worlds colliding, two lives enriched, and two souls restored. It is also a rewarding reminder that love can come from the most unexpected places.

Nancy Ellis-Bell is a respected literary agent, a former professor, and an author. She divides her time between her mountain home in northern California, which she shares with two parrots, three dogs, two cats, fifty-one koi, and a husband who understands and accepts her passion for animals.

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The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog
By Nancy Ellis-Bell

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog
for showing us the richness and depth of one bird's personality.