Sulphur-crested Cockatoos by Redgannet

Only in Rhode Island. The state that gave us a mayor who was convicted on federal assault charges, resigned, got re-elected, and was convicted once more on federal racketeering charges (and could probably get re-elected again if he wanted to); the state that may be on the verge of naming calamari its official state appetizer (when everyone knows it should be the quahog); the state that boasts the world’s biggest (fake) bug. Having spent my college years there, I’m used to the wackiness.

So the case of the cussing cockatoo sadly comes as no surprise. This week, the town of Warwick rescinded the fine it had ordered against a lady whose loud and dirty-speaking bird irked her next-door neighbor. (Who also happens to be the new girlfriend of the bird owner’s ex.)

The case had been brought using a noise ordinance of the type usually targeting yappy dogs. It looks like Warwick officials decided that defending the fine in appeals wasn’t worth the effort or cost. Guess when it comes to criminalizing a cheeky cockatoo, the town’s lawyers weren’t feeling too—wait for it—cocky.


Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.