Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fact Sheet: SPOTTED TANAGER - Tangara punctata

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Spotted Tanager)

Spotted Tanager (Tangara punctata)
Photo by warriorwoman531
Bird Name:
Spotted Tanager

Latin Name:
Tangara punctata


Status:

Least Concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Tangara
Species: T. punctata


General Information:

The Spotted Tanager is endemic to South America. There are 5 subspecies of this tanager. They are seen singly, in pairs, or small family groups. They travel independently or with other canopy tanagers.

Physical Description:
This bird averages 11 to 12 cm in length and weighs approximately 13 to 17 g. It is mainly green in color with a creamy white belly. Almost its entire body is covered in black spots. The sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is slightly washed out with less conspicuous spots compared to the male. Juveniles resemble duller, slightly more brownish versions of the adults.

Diet:
It feeds on fruits, seeds, nectar, and insects, such as beetles. They forage in the crowns of trees, average 15 to 50 m above the ground, but will come down to obtain fruit from smaller trees and shrubs.



Habitat:
The bird thrives in forests, forest edges, and nearby second growths. It has also been found on shaded plantations and tree-studded clearings. Its range encompasses Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, the Guianas, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. This Tanager inhabits forest edge, second growth forest and forest, particularly the mossy forest of the Andes, the terra firma forest of eastern Amazonia and the Savanna Forest of Suriname. Typical elevation range for this species is sea level to 1700 m.

Reproduction:
The female usually lays two creamy white eggs speckled with brown per clutch. Incubation lasts approximately 14 days and leaving the nest occurs about 14 to 18 days later.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

PET BIRD Health

Pet bird Zip taking a bath
Pet bird Zip taking a bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you are considering buying a pet bird, there something that should be determined right from the start. This is pet bird health. You do not want to end up with a bird that is sick from the beginning. You should shop around for reputable breeders. This will reduce the chance of getting a pet that is already sick. Just to ease some tension, most birds purchased today are healthy. What can you do to reduce the risk and get a healthy pet?

As stated before, make sure to do your research and find a bird dealer that has a good track record. Your pet bird health should be guaranteed. You should make your best effort to get this guarantee of pet bird health in writing. If the store will allow it, get your bird's health checked out by an avian vet before buying it. If this can not be done, take it directly to the avian vet right after you buy it or at least by the next day.

When it is residing at its new residence, you the bird owner can look for certain things that indicate a pet bird health problem. What to look for to determine Breathing problems. Is the breathing noisy? Does it wheeze or pant? When breathing does it make clicking sounds?

Are the birds breathing heavy? Does it take short breaths? Does it breathe with its mouth open? Does its tail go up and down in a very pronounced manner?

Does your pet bird have some kind of discharge coming from its nasal area? Is the area around the eye or eyes swollen?

Has your bird lost its voice?
All of the above are signs of pet bird health going bad when it comes to breathing. Pet health problems can also be seen in the digestive system. vomiting or the bird regurgitating is one sign. Just like people diarrhea or a loose stool will signal a problem. Look to see if the bird's poop has undigested seeds in it, has blood present or has some kind of mucas in it.

Bone problems in a bird can be seen by looking for the following clues. Does the bird have a droopy wing? When you look at your bird, is it standing as it usually does or has its posture changed. These things could indicate a birds health problem in the musculoskeletal of the bird.



Pet birds can have skin problems too. Look for any bumps or lumps on them. Do the bird's skin flake more than normal or is its beak flaking? are its nails or beak growing too much? Learning your birds daily routine will help tremendously in determining if there is a pet bird health problem. By knowing what your healthy bird does, acts and looks like will help you see if he or she is sick.

When you have a pet, there is a need to store all of the pet stuff somewhere. A garage makes a great place. 


    By James Cropper - Article Source: EzineArticles          


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tips on Caring For Your Pet CONURE

English: A green-cheeked conure family. Bird #...
A green-cheeked conure family. Bird #2 from the left is the father, bird #5 is the mother, birds #1, #3 and #4 are siblings. The different coloring on bird #1 is a natural mutation
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Conures are very sociable by nature and love interacting with their owners, which is one of the reasons they are so popular as companion birds. However, because they constantly crave human interaction, they can be quite demanding of your time and attention. Hand-raised conures make fantastic pets, mainly because they are imprinted on humans, and quite honestly, believe that they are human. 

Some species, such as the sun conures, can become extremely vocal in their efforts to get your attention, and this is something that should be considered before taking on the responsibility of a bird that requires lots of love and attention. If you are unable to commit a good deal of your time to a companion that will reward you with lots of pleasure, then consider getting a less demanding pet, as a neglected conure will result in stress for both the bird and the owner.

Diet 
It is best to provide your conure with a well-balanced diet consisting of whole grain cereals, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds to keep it in a healthy condition. Commercial seed and pellet mixes should be supplemented with fresh fruit and veggies. Fresh apple, corn on the cob and sprouted seeds will all be relished by your pet conure. Commercial pigeon mixes, consisting of corn, a variety of peas, and sunflower seeds can be cooked up and fed to your conure as a healthy part of his daily diet. Avoid feeding your conure milk products, which can cause sour crop. Chocolate, alcohol, and onions are also a no-no, and avocado pear is highly toxic to parrots and can kill your bird instantly, so never ever let your bird eat avo.

General Health
Keep you conure's cage away from draughts and out of direct sunlight. Place his cage in a central area of the house so that he is part of daily household activities. Tobacco smoke, aerosol fumes, and household cleaners can all negatively affect your bird's health, so try to avoid these around your bird where possible. Your bird needs plenty of sleep, so if you are a night owl, make sure your bird's cage is covered, and placed in a quiet dark corner at night time so that his rest is undisturbed. If your conure is going to spend a lot of time out of his cage, consider trimming his wings so that he cannot fly off into the sunset. This is for his own good, as he may fly into a window and injure, or even kill himself; or fly off, where his chances of survival are limited. If your bird is to be housed in an aviary, then wing trimming is not recommended, as a free flight is necessary.



Choosing a Cage
Although conures are small in size, they require a fairly large cage as they are active birds and require lots of stimulating toys to prevent them from becoming bored. A small cage would quickly become too cluttered and restrict their movement. There are some wonderful cages on the market that offer open-up play-tops or play-gym combinations allowing your bird to move in and out of the cage freely. Choose a sturdy cage, that will withstand the wrath of your conure's beak. When choosing a cage, avoid painted or plastic coated wire cages as your conure will chew at the bars and can ingest this, which can compromise his health. Choose a cage with a bar spacing suitable for the size of your bird. Smaller conures require cages with a narrow gap between bars to prevent them escaping. Finally, look for a cage that is easy to clean.

Conures are extremely playful, intelligent, and active, to provide a range of toys to keep them stimulated. These can include chewing toys, such as rawhide and wooden toys; things they can climb on, such as ropes, chains, and wooden ladders; toys that make a noise, such as bells and shakers; and swings, which give them hours of pleasure, and provide good exercise too.

Playtime
Conures are extremely playful and fun-loving. They have a mischievous air about them and can be real clowns. They are intelligent and will learn tricks very quickly. They often roll over onto their backs in the palm of your hand. Conures also tend to be real water babies, so keep a spray mist bottle handy in hot weather, and provide a bird bath for them to splash around in. They will even join their owners in the shower, but just be careful not to overdo it, and make sure they dry off in a warm, draught-free area.




Monday, June 18, 2018

The AMAZON PARROT and How They Are Amazing

Yellow-Headed Amazons - Photo: Flickr
The Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix), also known as the Yellow-headed Parrot, Double Yellow-headed Amazon, etc., is an endangered Amazon parrot of Mexico and northern Central America. Measuring 38–43 cm (15–17 in) in length, it is a stocky short-tailed green parrot with a yellow head. It prefers to live in mangrove forests or forests near rivers or other bodies of water. It is often considered a subspecies of the Yellow-crowned Amazon. It is a popular pet and an excellent talker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am going to introduce you to my Red-Lored Amazon Parrot, Gonzo. He is the mildest in temperament for an Amazon Parrot. He loves to be around people maybe not very cuddly, but his personality outshines that. He is very intelligent and it attentive when being spoken to. He understands you and responds to you when he is told not to do something. He is much like a dog and very loyal. I am very fortunate to have an Amazon-like Gonzo. 

Now we are going to talk about the genus of all Amazon parrots. There are about 30 different species within the Amazon genus. They are all on the CITES index, which means that Amazon parrots, like Macaws, Pionus, Caique parrots all protected exportation out of the wilds like Brazil, Central and South America and the likes of Mexico. 

On what is called the CITES Treaty; CITES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. The CITES also known as the Washington Convention was created by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It was adopted in 1963, the convention then opened for signatures in 1973 and entered into force on July 1, 1985. 

I ask that if you do decide on an Amazon parrot be very careful as to where you purchase your Amazon from. They are an endangered species and they need to be protected by people, like you and I. That is why I highly recommend getting a hand-fed baby or adopting an older parrot. The difference between a wild caught and a domestic parrot is the band they have on their leg; an open band means they have been taken out their country of origin and a closed band means they were hatched and hand-fed in the country you reside in. Many breeders do band their babies for statistical reasons, by keeping clean bloodlines and knowing which aviary the baby came from. If a breeder does not band their babies I would be wary of that purchase. Remember that if one-day certain species of Amazon's may become extinct in the wild, it will be you and I who not let them be forgotten; as they will be our domestic companions.

An Amazon parrot's lifespan, with them being healthy is around 50 years or even longer as long as they have had good nutrition and have been well-taken care with their needs in mind. They are a medium size bird about 10-20 inches from head to toe. Amazon parrots have short stubby tails. Their primary colors are green feathers with coloring on their head and/or their face. Some can be very colorful to just a multitude of greens.

Diet

An Amazon parrot's diet, you have to be careful as they have a tendency to become overweight with lack of exercise from being in a cage for a number of hours a day. They eat seed, pellets, fruits, veggies and some may like human food. I highly recommend putting a pellet in their diet. It has nutrients not found in seed. Fresh fruits and veggies are very important as they contain phytonutrients (antioxidant pigments), that is not found in seed and pellets. Your Amazon needs nutritional food and also a variety of other foods because as they become bored, they need the variety for psychological enrichment. Food is mealtime but it is also playtime. Like your two year old child, mealtime is fun time. The fruits and veggies that are rich in vitamin A are dark green leafy veggies, carrots (the baby ones whole), mangos and sweet potatoes.

The reason for vitamin-enriched foods is because Amazon's are prone to this deficiency. All sorts of fruits and veggies can be fed. The fruits you can feed them are apples, pears, berries, mango, papaya, banana, grapes, oranges, tangerines, tangelos. The veggies you could feed them are whole baby carrots (something they can play with), cucumbers, zucchini, red peppers and chilies, even dandelion and chickweed (make sure they are not sprayed with pesticides). Gonzo loves all nuts, though Amazons are known to get obese from fatty food, he also has an indulgence for tortilla chips and ramen noodles. DO NOT feed them avocado as it is toxic to them. Make sure they have clean and fresh water every day. Amazon's like to dunk their food, so you may have to change it a couple of times a day. That is to avoid any bacterial infections. 

Cage

Their bird cage should be as followed by the cage guidelines when you are buying a cage for them. Remember twice the width so they may spread their wings and 1 1/2 times in length for their tail. Bar spacing needs to be 5/8 inch to one inch apart. There need to be both horizontal and vertical bars to climb around on. The cage Gonzo has is 24x20x27. 

They need plenty of toys to play with. Make sure the bowls are secured to the cage because Amazons are renowned throwers. I recommend an extra bowl for treats, fruits, and veggies; besides their water and food bowls. 

You need to wash their food and water bowls daily. Clean their cage at least once a week, by washing everything down with water and a small amount of dish detergent. Make sure it is well rinsed off when you put your parrot back into the cage after cleaning. Their trays can become quite messy as everything goes on the floor or below them. They do not have best table manners. I like to change their trays with a newspaper every time I feed them. The newspaper is nontoxic and cheap to get. I do not recommend pine sawdust or ground shells. There is a chance of getting a bacterial infection or them eating it and getting sick. 

Illness

We have spoken of bacterial infections and you are wondering "How do I know if my parrot is not feeling well?" The signs can be different so watch them carefully. Watch your parrot carefully because parrots differ from one another when there are signs of illness. If their demeanor changes from lively to sullen, ruffled plumage, resting often with their head tucked into their back (keep in mind that your parrot may prefer to sleep this way), consistent sneezing (yes parrots do sneeze). Now the most noticeable ones to watch for are if they do sneeze and discharge is coming from their nostrils, cloudy eyes and any change in their droppings (feces). I recommend you to have a good avian vet specialist, who you have a relationship with; that knows your parrot so you may call them after hours for any potential issues that should arise.

Gonzo

Gonzo is not caged and we do not have to be subjected to the aggression that Amazons are known for. The more your parrot is out and interacting with the family they are more likely to be friendlier and not so aggressive. Amazon's can be the most aggressive of all parrot species; however, this varies from Amazon to Amazon. Our Red-Lored is one of the mildest and more adaptable to the family life than other known species. These issues can be alleviated by not caging your parrot for excessive periods of time. Gonzo is not caged; he hangs on top of his cage and playpen, watching the day goes by. This also gives him a chance for exercise and prevents the obesity Amazons are known for. Please do not keep them on their perch in the middle of their cage; as they will appear like a stuffed parrot and when approached will bring out their aggressive side. 

Behavior 

How your Amazon parrot behaves. Many are very loyal, like a dog. Extremely intelligent and playful; you can teach them to play basketball and roller-skate; these are typical toys that can be purchased. They are outstanding talkers and yes, even sing opera. Amazon parrots love classical and traditional anthem music. Keep in mind that each species of parrots are individualistic and have differences so you may get an Amazon parrot who does not sing or talk. In our case, our Red-Lored does not sing nor talk, but is fantastic just the way he is. Never get a parrot expecting it to talk, get it because you want a lifelong companion. Amazon parrots are great screamers and vocalization, not as loud as a cockatoo or macaw though. They can be quite noisy at times, especially when the sun comes up and goes down. When it is breeding season and they hit puberty, about 5 or 6 though it could be later, they can turn into Jekyll and Hyde. Ride it out, this your companion you made, it is a commitment to for life.



Amazon parrot loves to bathe with a mister or in the shower, it is a fun time and it can be quite comical. Their world is about playing. May it be with food to the toys in their cage; they see the world as an adventure playground.

Keeping this all in mind; you will have a happy family when you understand your new found companion and their idiosyncrasies. Gonzo is everything that one that anyone could ever ask for. He is beautiful, great disposition in life and shows us how to take one day at a time. We are grateful for Gonzo; hopefully, after you have done all your research and made that commitment as to what kind of parrot you decided on, you have decided on an Amazon parrot.

Peter has four very proud parrot species from all over the world. We have lived with our four parrots for over 15 years. All of our parrots are domestically born. The joy we share with them is immeasurable.





Saturday, June 16, 2018

CAIQUE PARROTS As Companion - Answers to 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Caiques

White-bellied Parrot
White-bellied Caique - Photo   by     petepictures 
Caique Parrots are becoming increasingly popular in the pet bird world because of their charming personalities and ability to easily fit into the family. If you are considering a Caique, here are answers to 7 of the most frequently asked questions about these wonderful little parrots.

What do they look like?
There are 2 main species--the Black Headed Caique (BHC), and the White Bellied Caique (WBC). The Black Headed Caique, as you might suspect, has a shiny black head, black beak, and feet, a dark green back, wings, and tail, with orange feathers under the tail and on the legs. It also has a striking band of orange around its neck. The White Bellied Caique is similar except that it has a yellow head, light-colored beak, green legs with yellow feathers under its wings. Both have white bellies. They are both visually striking with no noticeable difference in personality.

How big are they?
As adults, they weigh in at approximately 170 grams or 6 ounces and are generally 8 to 9 inches in length.

How much do they cost?
These little birds are surprisingly affordable and cost between $500 and $1000 USD. The Black Headed Caiques are slightly more common and tend to be less expensive than the White Bellied Caiques.

How noisy are they?
This question can produce a different answer from each person you ask so the most accurate answer for you will depend largely on your tolerance level and the individual bird. They can produce a loud screeching sound when they want food or attention from their humans. But this is not usual nor does it last for long periods of time. You can curtail this behavior by covering their cage until they are quiet. A more usual sound is pleasant chattering. Spend time around the bird during different times of day to experience for yourself how loud the bird you're considering really is.

How well do they speak?
Most can learn to speak and enjoy learning to whistle songs. Short training sessions that are frequent, consistent and fun for your bird will produce the best results. However, the only real way to tell whether your bird particular bird will speak or whistle is to hear it do so before you buy it.



What kind of cage and toys do they need?
Even though they are small birds, they need are fairly large cage because they are so active. The bigger the cage the better, but the minimum size should be 24" high by 24' wide by 24" deep. They love to chew, so be sure to provide a variety of wooden toys and fresh green branches. They also love to be in motion so toys that move are sure to be a hit. Swings, ropes, ladders are all good choices. Inspect toys regularly and remove promptly when they are no longer safe. They should be let out of the cage daily for additional exercise.

What are their dietary needs?
Caiques love to eat and fortunately, their food needs are simple and uncomplicated. Offer fresh fruits, and vegetables (organic is best to avoid pesticides), sprouted seeds, and table foods, supplemented with a high-quality pellet mix. Make sure fresh water is available constantly. Avoid avocado, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol as they are toxic. Like many parrots, they are susceptible to airborne diseases and benefit greatly from having their air filtered with a high-efficiency particle arresting (HEPA) air purifier.