About this site

Hello and welcome. My name is Jessie, 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.

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 Edmonton. I recently (May 2011) completed my Ph.D. in ecology at the University of Alberta and my academic interests are quite broad and include population genetics, systematics, and behavioral ecology.

I also have an M.Sc in Systematics and Evolution from the University of Alberta, and a B.Sc in Biological Sciences from University of Lethbridge.

I am currently a biology instructor at the University of Alberta, at both the North Campus (in Edmonton) and the Augustana Campus (in Camrose). In Camrose, I teach laboratories for a variety of courses (genetics and microbiology for now) and  I also teach the lecture portions for courses in animal and human physiology. In Edmonton, I teach 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 lots 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’ve also been volunteering with various animal-related organizations since I was 15. I volunteered at the Lethbridge Humane Society for nearly seven years, and I’ve fostered a few parrots for two different rescues since moving to Edmonton. I also edit the newsletter for the Edmonton Pet Parrot Association and have done bird surveys in Elk Island National Park as a volunteer.

I enjoy watching and studying wild parrots and have several as pets. My own parrots include  Lucy (a Maroon-bellied Conure), Ripley, (a Red-lored Amazon),  Peggy (a Jenday Conure),  Garnet and Emerald (the Lineolated Parakeets), Mitri (a Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo), Chiku! (Green-cheeked Conure) and a Bourke’s Parakeet and a Budgie. I also have two button quail, who live with the linnies and an aviary full of society, spice and Gouldian finches.  I also have two dogs (Pharaoh, a mix and Micro, a Maltese), two cats (Phoenix and Freya), and Brin the Chinchilla. Oh, and my husband who luckily enjoys animals as well!

I also like riding horses, although I don’t have the time or resources to own my own horse. For now, I am just taking lessons, in English riding.

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.

  1. November 4, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Hello, I am Mitris previous owner. I’ve thought about messaging u for a long time but was afraid that u wouldn’t b pleased to hear from me. But I just had to. I loved him with all my heart and was literally forced to give him up by someone. It was a bad situation. I have missed him so much and I just want to know how he is. Is he doing ok? I really hope u reply, I just want to know if he’s well and happy. U can reach me by email or phone if u like…780 299 1044. Thank u so much.

    • November 4, 2014 at 3:24 am

      Hi – I don’t mind hearing from you at all. I am happy to report that he’s doing great. We try to let him out of his cage every day and he get gets plenty of good food and chew toys. He particularly likes my husband but I can pet him and scratch his head as well. He’s quite good tempered for a cockatoo – he gets noisy at times but he’s not a problem screamer and he doesn’t pluck like some cockatoos do either.

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