ANIMALS: Want a Smuggled Cracker?

The parrot family loves conversation, is often as prolific as the rabbit family. If one of its number is insulted he may flounce into his cage, slam the door and sulk. Psychiatrists have been known to prescribe talks between a patient and a parrot (to treat the man, not the bird). Last week there was ample evidence that U.S. citizens are again learning to appreciate the parrot family, i.e., parrots, parakeets, budgerigars, lovebirds, etc.

Some 50,000 U.S. breeders are selling 10,000 birds (mostly parakeets) a week at prices ranging from $5 to $1,000 a bird. Yet this booming production is...

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