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Flap Over 'Cockateels' and the Dark Side of Birds

May 20, 1988

As an animal-loving member of a double-income, apartment-dwelling household, I found your article "Birds Poised to Perch in No. 1 Pet Spot" by Lynn Simross (May 4) to be of personal interest.

For the sake of accuracy, and perhaps to prevent others from experiencing the disappointment I felt when first glimpsing the price tag of one such "cockateel" as is pictured with your story, I mention that the winsome creature in your picture is a cockatoo, the type of bird made famous by Fred the Cockatoo on the television series "Baretta." Unlike its smaller cousin, the cockateel, the cockatoo can cost from $600 to $1,200, depending on the specific type, the degree of tameness, and the poshness of the shop where it is sold.

By the way, the score in our household is running: Cats 4, Birds 4, Turtles 2, Fish 11, and Dogs 0, for exactly the reasons Simross' article cites.

MARY T. McGEEHAN

Fullerton

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