Hello and welcome. My name is Jessie Zgurski, and Peggy is my Jenday Conure. This blog is where I post the articles I have written about wild and pet parrots. I have written primarily for “Parrots” magazine, but I’ve also written for “Companion Parrot Quarterly” and “Good Bird” magazine. I also post interesting links, videos, and articles about parrots and other animals as I find them. Occasionally, I post articles I have written for “Nature Alberta” about the wildlife of Alberta, and I sometimes share wildlife photos I have taken while travelling.
A bit about me: I’m from Alberta, Canada and have lived here my whole life. I’m originally from Lethbridge, but I’m currently living in Fort McMurray. I have also lived in Edmonton. I recently (May 2011) completed my Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of Alberta. I also have an M.Sc in Systematics and Evolution from the University of Alberta, and a B.Sc in Biological Sciences from the University of Lethbridge. I am currently working as a terrestrial ecologist with an environmental consulting company in Fort McMurray. I primarily do bird population monitoring work, which includes bird banding. I also spent two years working for an environmental consulting company in Edmonton, and my work there included planning and conducting various bird surveys (including waterfowl, songbird, marsh bird, and raptor surveys). I also conducted amphibian surveys and wrote reports, including wildlife assessments for environmental impact assessments and reports on monitoring programs for bird species at risk.
I was previously a biology instructor at the University of Alberta, at both the North Campus (in Edmonton) and the Augustana Campus (in Camrose). In Camrose, I taught laboratories for a variety of biology courses and I taught the lecture portions for courses in animal and human physiology. In Edmonton, I taught the lecture portion of a fourth-year course in Ornithology (the biology of birds). I also taught labs in behavioural ecology, techniques in molecular ecology, and systematics while I was a Ph.D. graduate student. While I was an M.Sc. student, I taught two different botany labs: one in plant morphology and one in flowering plant systematics.
I’m quite passionate about biology and my non-professional interests tend to be nature or animal oriented as well. I love to go birdwatching, hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding. I love traveling as well and have been all over North America, New Zealand and central Brazil. I did a lot of bird watching while I was in Brazil and New Zealand and wrote several articles about the parrots from those countries for a few magazines. I enjoy watching and studying wild parrots and I have several as pets. My own parrots include Patrick Perry (a Rose-crowned Conure), Ripley, (a Red-lored Amazon), Mitri (a Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo), Chiku! (Green-cheeked Conure cross), Pteri (a Blue and Gold Macaw), a Bourke’s Parakeet (Pinkie) and a Lineolated Parakeet (Purple 36). The Bourke’s and Lineolated Parakeets get along very well and share a cage. I also have two quail and an aviary full of society and Gouldian finches. Sadly, Peggy, the conure I named my blog for, passed away during November, 2015.
I also have two dogs (Felix, a Cairn Terrier cross and Micro, a Maltese), and two cats (Lola and Freya). I also like riding horses, and I have an Arabian/Andalusian cross named Amigo. We do a lot of trail riding together. If anyone out there wants to contact me, I can be Emailed at jzgurski “at” ualberta “dot” ca.
The list of parrot-related articles I have had published are as follows:
1) An Introduction to the Lineolated Parakeet. Companion Parrot Quarterly, March 2006, Issue 69.
2) Living with a Maroon-bellied Conure. Parrots, December 2006, Issue 107.
3) Living with a Red-lored Amazon. Parrots, July 2007, Issue 114.
4) The Importance of Environmental Enrichment for Pet Parrots. Parrots, August 2007, Issue 115.
5) Meet the Kaka – the Kea’s Lesser-known Cousin. Parrots, November 2007, Issue 118.
6) The Behavior of Wild Amazon Parrots and its Implications for Companion Parrot Keepers. Companion Parrot Quarterly, Winter, 2007, Issue 71.
7) One Day of Parrots in Sydney Australia. Good Bird, Winter 2007, Volume 3-4.
8 ) A Trip to New Zealand: The Land where Birds Rule. Good Bird, Spring 2008, Volume 4-1.
9) Parrot Rescues. Parrots, May 2008, Issue 124.
10) Meet the Kea. Parrots, July 2008, Issue 126.
11) Clicker Training as a Tool for Managing Aggressive Parrots. Parrots, November 2008, Issue 130.
12) Play Behavior in Wild Parrots. Companion Parrot Quarterly, Issue 72.
13) The Evolution and Behavior of the Extraordinary Eclectus Parrot. Parrots International, 2009, Issue 2.
14) Living with a Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. Parrots, June 2009, Issue 137.
15) The Benefits of Fresh Foods for Parrots. Companion Parrot Quarterly, Issue 74.
16) In the Land of the Hyacinth Macaw. Parrots, February 2010, Issue 145.
17) The Diversity and Classification of Parrots. Companion Parrot Quarterly, Issue 75.
18) The Nest Building Behavior of the Adaptable Quaker Parakeet. Parrots, July 2010, Issue 151.
19) Living with a Jenday Conure. Parrots, December 2012, Issue 179.
20) Personable Pyrrhura Conures: At Home and in the Wild. Parrots, March 2013, Issue 182.
21) Fascinating Feathers: Structure, Function, and Care. Parrots, June 2016, Issue 221.
Here are some photos of some of the animals: