Male chorus concert presented
First Baptist Church of Bowie welcomed the Singing Men of West Texas in a free concert on Oct. 19. The choral ministry involves more than 400 singers statewide across six chapters in Texas.(Photo by Rosie Cole)
Halbrooks enjoy life with their parrots
By BARBARA GREEN
When you walk into the lake home of John and Debbie Halbrook you feel welcomed immediately when you hear someone call out “hello” or “I love you.”
A warm greeting for sure, but it comes from Angel the cockatoo who is waiting for you to become her new friend. The Halbrooks are a bird household with Angel and a lilac crowned Amazon named Molly as their pets.
For dog and cat families, one wonders what a bird brings as a pet, but the Halbrooks enjoy each of their unique personalities. Angel likes to cuddle, and while Molly doesn’t want to be touched, but she might whistle or sing a little song. Angel will turn her back if she doesn’t like what is happening and Molly may do a little dance on her perch.
The Halbrooks have lived in Bowie since 2019 after making a move from Carrolton. They were married in 2000 with her two children and his two children joined together plus seven grandkids.
The Halbrooks considered another bird after they lost their beloved black and white Cocker Spaniel Oreo after 14 years. It was a difficult loss and Debbie is quick to say “I don’t know if I could do that again.”
John had never had a bird as a pet, and Debbie had a small Cockatiel when her children were young, but it flew away. She recalls her grandmother had a parakeet that would talk to her.
Molly the Amazon parrot was inherited by John after he lost his mother 18 years ago following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. They are uncertain if she is a male or female and her age is unknown.
Debbie explains this green bird, which is about half the size of her pal Angel first made its way into John’s mother’s yard in sometime in the early 1990s because she had it 10 years before the couple started dating in 1999.
“It was 110 degrees outside and she saw the bird in the driveway where it looked so hot. She got a bowl of water and put it down. The bird stepped onto the edge of the bowl and his mom went inside the house. She soon became a house pet,” said Debbie.
The lilac crested Amazon is common in the South Texas or Southern California wilds but originates in Mexico where their numbers have reportedly declined rapidly due to demands of the pet trade, poachers and the destruction of its habitat.
Spruce Pets calls this species relatively gentle with quiet manners, full of personality and a loyal companion, but their temperament can be challenging as they want their wall all the time. Considered on the small side for Amazon parrots, they reach about 13 inches and have a life span up to 60 years.
After Molly came into their home, the couple thought she might need a buddy because birds need a lot of social stimulation and attention. They were meeting some of their kids for dinner and wandered into a pet store while they waited. That is where they met Angel, a six-month-old hatchling Cockatoo. She was a charmer and joined the family.
The Cockatoo is any of the 21 species of parrots in the family Cacatuidae and they are recognizable by their prominent crests and curved bills. Their plumage is generally less colorful than other parrots mainly white, grey or black and often with colorful features on the crest, cheeks or tail.
Cockatoos are medium to large parrots of stocky build growing 12 to 24 inches in length. They have a waddling gait.
They share many features of other parrots including the distinctive curved beak shape and a “zygodactyl” foot with the two middle toes forward and the two out toes backward. Their claws are strong just like their bill which they often use to climb through tree branches.
The cockatoo’s most distinctive feature is its erect plumes of feathers on their heads, which form a very striking crest. Angel has light blue feathers around his eyes which make them stand out even more.
They also have longevity with some reaching 70 years of age. Debbie says she has met a 90-year-old Cockatoo, so she knows they have a long life.
Read the full feature in your weekend Bowie News.
Bowie News launches Yard of the Month
Spring has sprung and it’s time for The Bowie News Yard of the Month contest, as we encourage and recognize beautification efforts by local citizens.
Sponsored by The Bowie News and Beautify Our Bowie, the contest winner gets bragging rights for a month with the brightly colored Yard of the Month sign posted in their yard. A photo also will be published in the Bowie News of the winner placing the sign in their yard.
A winner will be named for April, May and June, the prime growing months.
Deadline for nominations is April 21. Call the Bowie News office at 940-872-2247 or email it to email@example.com. Please include the address and name of the resident if you know it or a contact phone number for the nominee. Throughout the contest, the winner will be featured in the last Bowie News of the month.
Nominations will be opened each month and you can submit the same name more than once if they are not a winner. Winners from last season will not be considered to allow for others to have an opportunity to participate.
Experienced gardeners have volunteered their time to visit all the nominees and select a winner.
This contest will recognize a beautiful yard that is not necessarily the fanciest or most elaborate, but one that shows care and upkeep in their neighborhood. The goal is to encourage all Bowie residents to keep their properties clean and looking nice for everyone to enjoy.
Criteria for judging will include ongoing maintenance of the yard and landscaping. The yard needs to be clean and free of trash, junk or other unsightly objects. Grass and shrubs need to be maintained at reasonable levels.
Landscaping also will be considered, but homeowners are encouraged to include not only annuals for the season, but permanent items such as shrubs, vines or hardscapes, as well as decorative structures like a gazebo or benches
Bowie Easter Egg Hunt April 8
Lighthouse Assembly Church will once again host the community Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. on April 8 at the Bowie soccer fields.
Children will hunt by age group and please bring a basket. There will be a special appearance by the Easter Bunny, plus prizes, eggs, candy and fun.
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