July 17, 2012 | Comments Off on P-Day | Betsy Woodman
To celebrate publication day, another drawing from Joanna Levine at Holt:
And to think I didn’t realize Mr. Ganguly could read! I should have made that a plot element.
I could have done so. Irene Pepperberg, who demonstrated a lot about parrot intelligence to skeptical human beings, actually did teach her African gray to read several letter combinations phonetically.
How we humans underestimate–and abuse–these remarkable birds is explored in journalist Mira Tweti’s excellent book, Of Parrots and People: The Sometimes Funny, Always Fascinating, and Often Catastrophic Collision of Two Intelligent Species (New York, Penguin Books, 2008). Parrots, she writes, are the world’s most endangered group of birds, many species hunted for the pet trade and deprived of habitat by deforestation. Her last chapter, “Repercussions, Ramifications, and Solutions” gives a glimmer of hope.