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An Introductory post from a new WPT blogger

Charlie Moores | Feb 17, 2009


To start with the ‘who’: my name is Charlie Moores, I live in the UK, I’m forty-something (for a couple of more years anyway), and I’m an obsessive bird blogger who spends more time at the computer then can possibly be healthy (as my atrophying muscles are starting to remind me). I started my own blog about five years ago, which was mostly about traveling around the world (my ‘day job’ is working for an airline) and posting photos of birds my friends would never get to see (a touch petty-minded perhaps, but who’s perfect?). In July 2007 I joined forces with two other bird bloggers based in New York (Mike Bergin and Corey Finger) and the extended, better-than-ever 10,000 Birds blog was born (I’m getting to the parrots soon so bear with me, please). 10,000 Birds has become a very popular read with over 1500 visitors a day, for which the three of us are very grateful, but more importantly it has meant that we are more able to pursue issues that were out of reach when we were fledgling bloggers with no audience - and the issue that I’m personally most interested in is conservation, specifically of birds and their habitats.

Which brings us onto parrots. Unlike many members of the mighty World Parrot Trust I’m neither a researcher nor a parrot owner, which may not obviously qualify me for a position on the roster of admirable bloggers collected by WPT. However a few months ago 10,000 Birds (and I promise that’s the last time I’ll mention the name) ran a series of posts, or a ‘theme’, focussing on parrots which was triggered by numerous requests to the blog asking us for advice on buying and owning parrots - something neither Mike, Corey, nor myself knew anything about. I set about mailing as many ‘parrot people’ as I could think of, asking for interviews or information on eg ownership, threats to wild birds, breeding data and recovery programmes, and - to my delight - received some very positive responses (and just one or two ‘Charlie Who?’ emails that had the unmistakeable whiff of ‘frown’ imprinted into the words).

Almost the first post we ran in our Parrot Month theme was an interview with Dr Jamie Gilardi, known to most of you I’m sure as exec-director of the WPT, and both he and Steve Milpacher (WPT’s Business Development Manager which I’m sure you all know as well) were extremely supportive throughout the length of the theme. The interview with Jamie was fascinating (of course) and set a tone for the entire month that helped make it the most interesting and inspiring period of blogging I’ve ever done. I learnt more about parrots in four weeks than I’d learnt in twenty years of going around the world and almost forty years of birding. I discovered too that ‘parrot people’ are passionate, committed, generous individuals who bend over backwards to spread the word about what I’ve discovered are truly some of the most wonderful and threatened birds on the planet. I also found out that the issues swirling around parrot welfare, parrot ownership, and the parrot trade can be highly polarising and contentious. It’s a turbulent world out there.

Turbulent but always interesting, and that’s where answer to the final part of the question I asked at the top of this blog lies. Parrot Month may be over on that other blog I promised not to mention again but my interest in parrots has been ignited for ever more! When an email arrived from Steve offering me the exciting opportunity of blogging about parrots on the WPT site I leapt at the chance (what blogger would turn down an invitation to communicate with the visitors to the WPT website?). WPT have offered to help set up interviews for me with their own researchers, and with the lure of dual-exposure I’m now in an even better position to approach the world’s parrot researchers, scientists, conservationists and general psittaphiles to ask for their stories, opinions, and deepest thoughts (well, perhaps not their ‘deepest thoughts’ but at the very least those that lie beneath the surface). With a little luck and a fair wind I’ll occasionally get to visit some of them where they work - I recently went to Mauritius and met up with researchers working on the Echo Parakeet Psitticula eques, for example, which I’ll be blogging about soon.

I’m genuinely excited by the possibilities. My own feeling is that learning should never stop and opinions are always worth hearing, and that’s why I’ll be blogging right here until I’m told to stop. I’m going to find it very interesting, and I hope readers will too (and I’ve no doubt if you don’t you’ll tell me very quickly). Oh, and do please remember that what I write is not necessarily endorsed by WPT and is not representative of WPT’s positions or opinions.

So that’s the who, the what, and the why. As for the when…as soon as possible, so do check back soon and I’m sure you’ll find something worth spending a few minutes of your morning on!