Showing posts with label Pet Birds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pet Birds. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tips for Keeping Your PET BIRDS Warm in Winter

English: Cockatiel, Nymphicus hollandicus and ...
Cockatiel, Nymphicus hollandicus and
Budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus fighting on a perch.
(Photo credit: 
As the weather cools down, it's important to remember that birds need additional care in winter. Many of our exotic and pet bird breeds are originally from warm, tropical climates and cold temperatures can be a health challenge. Here are a few guidelines for pet bird owners to keep in mind during cooler temperatures that will help them keep their pet birds healthy and happy.

Bird owners should move the cage to a draft-free location, away from windows and doors. Moving your bird's cage to a central location in the home can make a big difference in keeping deadly drafts and cold air away from sensitive birds. Shrink-wrap insulation kits can be used on windows and unused doorways in winter to keep cold air out and warm air in. Increasing the humidity indoors in winter is also good for birds, eliminating dryness and excess dander.

Remember that birds are sensitive to smoke and fumes that can come from wood, gas or kerosene heaters. Some electric heaters are treated with a non-stick coating, which can create fumes that are deadly to birds. Some radiator-style electric heaters can be effective, but be sure to check on possibly harmful coatings.

Bird owners should definitely have a cage cover on hand. Covering the cage at night will help keep birds cosy. Some birds enjoy snuggles and snoozes to help keep them warm at night. Heat lamps can be used, and infrared bulbs will create a glow that does not interfere with the bird's sleep cycle. It's important to choose only a bird-safe heat lamp recommended for avian use. Pay attention to the bulbs used in the heat lamp - any bulbs coated with polytetrafluoroethylene can emit toxic fumes when overheated. There are also ceramic heating elements that can be used for birds - from those that clamp onto the cage to heat panels that are placed around the cage. These are specifically designed for animal and avian use. Infrared heat panels that attach to the cage are also an energy-efficient way to keep your bird cosy this winter.

In addition to keeping your bird warm, you'll want to ensure that heating your home doesn't result in a lack of humidity. If so, there are a few simple things you can do to provide the proper conditions for your bird. Regular baths, showers or light misting should be continued throughout the winter months. You can also increase humidity in the home by using a vaporizer or humidifier designed for birds. Other options include placing shallow pans of water on radiators or in the oven when you're pre-heating it, or simply leaving the bathroom door open when you shower to allow the steam into the house.

Feeding your bird a healthy, vitamin-rich diet throughout the year will help boost its immune system and stay healthier despite changes in temperature. Bird owners should make sure the winter diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain optimal health.

Of course, keeping a watchful eye on pet birds throughout the winter is important. As you make changes to your bird's environment, be on the lookout for signs of overheating, such as panting, extended neck or holding the wings away from the body. Also, keep an eye out for signs of any health problems - exposure to cold temperatures can lower the bird's immunity and result in illness. At any time of year, simple bird care and monitoring will ensure that pet birds stay healthy and happy.

    By Mary Wyld
    Wyld's Wingdom, established in 1986, is the premier wholesale pet supply distributor for exotic and pet bird products including toys, food, cages, and supplies. We carry an enormous array of avian products at great values that customers can pass along to their retail setting. With its extensive expertise partnered with a tremendous selection of products, Wyld's Wingdom will provide the best information and advice to its customers on the latest bird care, safety, and wellness information. Visit our website at
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Interesting Tidbits About BIRDS

An Orange-winged Amazon at Kuala Lumpur Bird P...
An Orange-winged Amazon at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Malaysia.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird lovers know that these inquisitive and social creatures make ideal pets that can provide plenty of entertainment and companionship. While all birds need basic housing, nutritious food and plenty of watchful care, it is important to understand the features that are unique to each species that may affect their health and happiness. Whether you are considering a pet bird or already have one of your own, check out these interesting tidbits about birds that can provide more insight into their behavior.

Birds Can Outlive Their Owner

Before choosing a bird as a pet, it is important for you to know that many birds have extremely long lifespans. Canaries, budgies, and lovebirds can all live eight years or more, and macaws and cockatoos can live well beyond 40 years. For this reason, many bird owners appoint a guardian for their bird to ensure continuous care in the event that it outlives them.

Mushrooms are Harmful to Birds

While you can watch as your pet bird happily gobbles up many of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you put on your plate, it may come as a surprise that certain foods are on the forbidden list. Mushrooms are one that can be especially dangerous because the stems and caps of certain types have led to liver failure in birds. They also cause digestive disorders in parrots.

Birds Use Body Language to Communicate

Most pet owners are familiar with common actions performed by dogs and cats to communicate with their companions, but birds also convey emotions through shifting their feathers and assuming a specific stance. For example, loose, ruffled feathers may mean that a bird is happy; however, flared wings or shoulders may mean that a bird is either getting ready to fight or interested in courting. Many people are also surprised to find that birds will sometimes wag their tails as a greeting to their owner.

Even Small Birds Eat a Lot

When observing birds, it is easy to notice that it seems they are always eating. Whether they are outdoors eating small insects or a pet consuming their nutritious feed, it is necessary for a bird to eat at least half their body weight each day to be able to survive. Pet owners should be conscious of this fact so that they can plan their bird's feeding routine accordingly. Birds also prefer variety in their diet so include the occasional treat in your pet's bowl.

Sensory Stimulation is Important for Happiness

Due to the social nature of birds, it is critical to provide them with constant stimulation that they can use to keep boredom at bay and find comfort. Colorful toys, jingle bells, and climbing structures can all enhance a bird's cage. Birds also notice a change in their environment so you may want to trade out toys from time to time. If you must leave your bird alone during the day, use a radio or television to provide auditory stimulation that is similar to social conversations.

Interacting with your bird regularly has its share of rewards. Through chirps, mimicking and even repeating words, this pet can show happiness and forge a long-lasting bond with its owner. Understanding and responding to the finer nuances that make birds unique will enhance your relationship with your favorite avian companion while safeguarding their health and longevity.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

BIRD BREEDS Which Can Be Lovely Pets

A White-crowned Parrot (also known as White-cr...
A White-crowned Parrot - (also known as White-crowned Pionus)
(Photo credit: 
History of Bird Breeds
In the early days, birds were a source of amusement for the kings and queens. They were also used as messengers for an official purpose by the royal people. The historic past exhibits evidence of bird pets through wall paintings on monuments and in scriptures which shows that the beautiful creatures have always been man's close companion during the process of civilization.

Birds have always encouraged human imagination and have acted as the basis for poetry and creative literature. Moreover, the ability to fly inspires many people and they try to take pleasure in aerobic adventures like gliding. Keeping birds as pets is one more hobby that is enjoyed by humans. Just like pet animals, many people wish to keep birds as pets, domesticate them and observe their overall growth and development. However, it involves many aspects and minute details as bird breeds are different from animal pets.

Most of the bird breeds have special needs. For example, some birds need a special type of food and sufficient space in the cage. Some varieties of birds like pigeons need the freedom to stretch their wings. Apart from this, certain bird types have the ability to sing and some birds like parrots can mimic like humans.

How to Select a Particular Pet Breed?
To select a particular pet breed, it is very important to consider the basic things involved in their maintenance and your liking as well. Many people have different choices and the financial capacity of every individual differs regarding the upholding of bird breeds.

You can conduct a good research on various bird types to get an idea about their life cycle, needs, and a process of upbringing involved. Making a proper selection of a proper bird breed is very important as you are responsible for their life. You can read various journals on pet birds care or seek online information to get the entire details about your desired bird breeds. Accordingly, you can visit sanctuaries, bird's park, and shops that sell birds to decide whether to go for a particular bird pet or not.

Some of the famous and common varieties of bird breeds that prove to be lovely pets are as under.
  • African Mourning Dove - It is a large-sized stocky pigeon which comes in light brown color. It grows up to 31 cms in height and displays grey colored head, pink underparts, and pale grey. These kinds of doves usually feed in groups and easily mingle with other species.
  • Bronze Wing Pionus - This species do not breed in captivity, but proves to be good pets if handled gently. A bronze wing Pionus offers a lifelong companionship to the pet owner if treated with proper care and affection.
  • The Umbrella Cockatoo - The type of birds breed is famous for its white plumage. Found in the islands of Indonesia, this type of birds breed displays brown or black eyes, lemon yellow color underside the plumage. The bird has the habit to extend its chest whenever it feels surprising. It got its name as the chest takes the shape of an umbrella.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

5 PET BIRDS That Make Great Additions to the Family

Nymphensittichpaar links= wildfarbig gescheckt...
Nymphensittichpaar links= wildfarbig gescheckter Hahn, rechts= weißkopfgescheckte Henne
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Birds are amazing creatures that could be a great addition to your family. When choosing a pet bird, you will want to find the bird most compatible with your lifestyle and living situation. Here are some of the most popular birds that make the perfect pets.

The Parakeet (Budgies)
This is the favorite of all pet birds. These birds are the perfect choice for new bird owners or adults with children living in their homes. Even though the parakeet is not as large as its cousins, it will still require the same type of respect and care as a parrot. Due to their size, parakeets do not require a lot of space and they are easy to maintain. You can choose from a variety of colors, including red, purple, blue and green. Parakeets are smart enough to learn various words and phrases; however, most of these birds are content with whistling and singing. The average lifespan of a Parakeet is approximately 12 to 14 years.

African Greys
This is one of the most intelligent birds to choose from. African Greys have a very large vocabulary, and once you learn how to care for them properly, these pet birds are easy to train. Due to their intelligence, African Greys can be very demanding pets; this species of parrots become bored quickly when they are not stimulated. When cared for and fed correctly, these birds can live up to three decades or more. If you are looking for a smart and affectionate pet bird, the African Grey is the best choice.

Finches and Canaries
This is a pet bird favorite to choose from. This popular bird measures at five inches or less, and it requires a lot less space in comparison to other pet birds. Finches and canaries have softbills or waxbills, unlike parrots, a species known as hookbills. Since finches and canaries prefer to travel in small flocks, and they rarely pay much attention to humans, this is the perfect bird to choose if you will only be able to provide your pet with minimal interaction. If you provide adequate care for this bird, it can live up to 10 years.

These birds are a member of the parrot family and they are delightful pets to have around the home. Cockatiels are natives of Australia and they are medium-sized creatures. These birds have advanced whistling and singing abilities that your entire family will love. Even though cockatiels have the ability to speak when trained properly, this bird prefers to mimic random and quirky sounds, such as the ringing of a telephone. You can choose from a variety of diverse color options when adopting a cockatiel. The average life expectancy of this pet bird is between 15 and 20 years.

If you want to choose from the parrot species, this is the smallest bird in that family. However, many people prefer lovebirds in comparison to larger parrots that are more demanding. Lovebirds are approximately six inches long and, even though they are small, they have a strong personality and great intelligence. These birds are quiet, making them a great choice for the person who lives in an apartment or condominium. The lovebird has a life expectancy of up to 20 years.

These are some of the most popular birds that pet owners love. Before you take any of these birds home, you should always choose the one that matches your personal lifestyle the most. Choosing a bird that is a good fit for your family is the best way to ensure proper care of your pet.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Considering a PET BIRD? Ask Yourself These 7 Critical Questions

English: Cockatiel Parakeet (Nymphicus holland...
Cockatiel Parakeet (Nymphicus hollandicus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Birds can make wonderful pets and companions and there are many different birds to choose from. Two of the most popular are cockatiels and parakeets. Cockatiels and parakeets make wonderful pets that only require simple daily care. They don't take up a lot of space, they eat small amounts of food, and they don't require a daily walk outside. They love being around people and often want out of their cages just so they can be closer to you. Some even learn to talk.  

You're not alone in considering a pet bird. In fact, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), birds are the 3rd most popular pet behind cats and dogs. 
It all sounds great, doesn't it? Slow down a little bit, before you rush out to buy a cockatiel or a parakeet, take some time to think about whether or not you are ready for a bird companion. There are a few things for you to consider before you decide if you're ready for the responsibilities that come with parakeets and cockatiels.

Do yourself a favor and don't buy a parakeet or cockatiel until you ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do I have enough patience for a bird? Cockatiels and parakeets are social animals and they like attention. You should give them at least a half an hour of attention a day to keep them happy.

  • Am I a neat freak? All birds (not just cockatiels and parakeets) can be fairly messy.  You're probably going to have some feathers and bird seed to pick up around the cage.

  • Can I care for my bird properly? You're taking the right first step by looking for information about birds. It's important for you to know all of your cockatiel's or parakeet's needs before you bring him or her home. 
    Don't make the mistake of assuming that since you already have a dog, cat or some other pet, that you know how to take care of a bird.  Birds have very different needs than other pets.  I'm afraid it's a little more complicated than sticking your bird in a cage and giving it water and birdseed. 

  • Do I have room in my house for a bird cage and other 'bird accessories"? You need to think about where you're going to place the cage in your house before you walk in the door with it. And remember, the bigger the bird, the bigger the cage. (Be sure to study the do's and don't of cage placement. There are places in your house that are very dangerous for your bird.)

  • Do I have the time to give my bird what it needs? In addition to the time you should spend with your bird giving him or her attention, you should spend some time preparing meals for your bird.  A proper diet for a healthy cockatiel or parakeet includes fresh vegetables and fruits - not just seeds.

  • Exactly what type of bird (and how many) do I want? Decide whether you want a female or a male bird. Maybe you would like to have a pair of birds so that you can breed them. It's easier to think through these types of questions now instead of waiting until you're talking to a breeder.

  • Am I ready for a long-term commitment? As I said above, it's not unusual for cockatiels to live 15-20 years and parakeets can live 12-14 years. Getting a pet bird is a long-term commitment. Please don't get a cockatiel or a parakeet thinking that you're going to "try it for a while". There are already too many birds in rescue and adoption centers.
Pet birds can bring a lot of fun and happiness into your home. If you don't know what to expect before you bring one home, you may be in for a surprise. However, if you've gone through the checklist above and decided that you're ready for a new feathered family member, then congratulations!  Get ready for a long, loving and happy relationship.

Author: Simon Blake

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Choosing the Best Birds for Your AVIARY

An example of a commercial home aviary
Commercial home aviary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When starting a new hobby, it is always prudent to learn everything there is to know about it in order to be a success at it. An example of such a hobby is aviculture, which is the practice of keeping and breeding birds, contributing significantly to the upkeep and preservation of avian habitats by raising public awareness.

Aviculture is also one way of contributing to the environment as keeping birds in an aviary under controlled conditions protects them from natural disasters and situations that can severely decrease their numbers. It also enables bird enthusiasts to study the behavior of certain avian species and find ways to forestall their extinction.

Aviaries have been in existence since the 1800s, with an aviary known as the Raven Cage being considered as one of the oldest structures in the London Zoo. An aviary is akin to a cage but where cages confine birds to a particular space, aviaries allow them to fly in much larger spaces. Also, unlike cages, aviaries simulate a bird's natural environment with the addition of plants and shrubbery within the space.

If you're considering starting one in your home and deciding on which birds to choose, there are several factors you need to think about and seriously consider if you are to be a successful aviculturist. First, you must consider the climate in your location and choose birds that are well-suited for it. Also, don't make the mistake of choosing birds that are too large, too loud or too expensive as they can become ultimately too much to handle.

For beginners, the first choice should be canaries which are among the most popular aviary birds in the world. Well-known for its singing prowess and vibrant colors, the canary is ideal for those just starting out in aviculture because they don't require too much caring for and will be quite happy to be left to their own devices. If you want a singing canary you'll have to make sure you get a male one as female canaries don't sing.

Another bird that is known for its singing prowess is finches. As fast flyers, they can be fun to watch as they zip from one corner of the aviary to another, twittering in tones that are several decibels below what parrots are capable of. Finches are ideally bought in pairs and need lots of flying space as they do love to fly. Be careful though, that they don't get too crowded as territorial fights can erupt.

Budgerigars or parakeets are perhaps the most ideal aviary birds since they are relatively inexpensive, easy to dispose of and just as easily replaced, which is why some people tend to disregard this bird and forget the fact that they can be trained to be good talkers despite their small voices. When patiently handled, budgies can bond closely to their human companions and are ideal pets for children. Quaker parakeets, on the other hand, need to be handled carefully as they are considered illegal in some states because they are considered threats to local agriculture.

If you want birds that can be petted, then cockatiels are what you should get. They love to snuggle and be petted which is why they are considered the most affectionate birds. These small parrots also come in vibrant colors and can also be trained to talk and others in whistling. Most parrot species like the poicephalus parrots and the Pionus parrots are an easy-going and gently bunch that is not as noisy as some of their mates and can also be easily taught the gift of gab. You can also consider their livelier and flashier cousins the Amazon parrots, who although slightly quieter, love to attract attention to themselves and are easy to handle as well.

And last but not the least there's the peach-faced lovebirds which, in addition to being easy to care for are also affectionate and love to be petted. They can be carried in your pocket or perched on your shoulder but must be bought in pairs as otherwise, they waste away without a suitable companion. They tend to be on the quiet side but are known to be able to learn a few phrases every now and then.
Of course, having the best aviaries to keep your birds it is also important in your success as an aviculturist. 

The great thing about getting aviaries these days is they are available online as well so that all you need to do is to pick and choose the best size and style for your home or backyard. Remember to get one that has enough space so that even if you put varied species in it you won't find yourself having to settle territorial fights. Also get ones that are easy to clean, preferably with removable bottom trays to clean droppings easily.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Common Human Foods That Can Poison Your PET BIRD Or PARROT

English: Baby parrots in a pet shop. A Senegal...
Baby parrots in a pet shop.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pet birds and parrots are very social beings that need a lot of love and attention. They like to be included at mealtime, and we can have allotted of fun sharing food with our feathered friends. But we need to beware of some very poisonous foods and toxic fumes that can be deadly to our precious bird friends.

One fruit that you would not suspect of being harmful is the avocado. But it can be deadly to pet parrots and other birds. The skin and pit of the popular fruit is known to cause cardiac distress and heart failure in pet birds. There is some debate about the degree of toxicity of avocados, but it is much better to be safe than sorry. I would definitely keep avocados, guacamole and anything else made with this fruit away from my pet birds. I read about someone's pet cockatiel that died the next day after eating guacamole with their family.

The next poison food on the list is chocolate which is deadly. Chocolate poisoning affects your pet parrots digestive system causing vomiting and diarrhea. As the poison moves its way through the birds' system it attacks the central nervous system causing seizures and eventually death.

Apple seeds along with other members of the rose family including cherries, peaches apricots, and pears have trace amounts of cyanide (a deadly poison) within their seeds. The fruit of the apple is fine to share with your bird, but make sure to core and wash the apple skin thoroughly because it may contain toxic pesticides.

Onions is another poison food for our parrot friends. A limited amount of onions and garlic as flavorings are acceptable. But in large amounts onions cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Prolonged exposure to onions can lead to a blood condition called hemolytic anemia which is followed by respiratory failure and eventually death.

Alcohol is a very bad poison and nothing to mess around with concerning your pet parrot. Most pet bird owners are responsible and would never offer their parrot any alcoholic drinks. But there have been some instances where wild birds have gotten into unattended cocktails. Alcohol depresses the organ system of birds and can be fatal. Make sure to secure your pet bird into his cage and preferably away from the party in another room to keep him safe from toxic brews.

Mushrooms are a type of fungus and have been known to cause digestive upset in our precious companion birds. Some varieties of mushroom caps and mushroom stems cause liver failure.

Tomato leaves are another poison food to keep away from our pet parrots. Tomatoes are of the nightshade family like potatoes. They have a tasty fruit which is fine for your bird, but the stems, vines, and leaves are highly toxic to your precious friends. Make sure that the tomato is cleaned properly, sliced with all of the green parts removed to keep your pet bird safe from any poison.

Salt is a health risk for pet parrots as it is for people. Even though a small amount of sodium is OK for all living creatures, too much salt for birds can cause excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and death. Be very careful not to give your pet parrot friend an excessive amount of foods containing salt. It is better to stay away from salt altogether.

Caffeine is a toxic brew for your little-feathered friend. These would include caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea. Allowing your bird to indulge in these types of beverages is asking for a very sick pet bird. Caffeine causes the cardiac malfunction in birds and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest... Share a drink of pure vegetable juice, fruit juice or filtered water (filtered with a simple water filter like Brita that can be bought in a store near you) with your bird. Keep caffeinated beverages away from your pet parrot.

Dried Beans which are uncooked contain a poison called hemaglutin that is very toxic to birds. If you are going to share beans with your pet parrot make sure to thoroughly cook them. Cooked beans are a favorite treat for many birds. My pet cockatiels love cooked soybeans.

Teflon is very deadly to your pet birds. Get rid of your Teflon and any plastic coated cookware that you have in your home. It's not worth the risk of losing your parrot friend. Overheated Teflon omits an odorless gas that you cannot see or smell. Your bird can die within minutes upon inhalation of the deadly fumes. Absolutely no Teflon should be in the home of a bird owner.

Be Safe. Use cast iron cookware and glass cookware.

There are many more things that can harm our pet birds who have very fragile and tiny lungs. Smoke and burnt food are other poisons to watch out for. Use common sense when thinking about what could be harmful to your precious parrot. Do some research on that questionable item. Call your avian veterinarian if you are not sure.

It's better to be safe than sorry concerning your precious feathered friend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


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 5, 2018


John James Audubon - American Stork - WGA01059
John James Audubon - American Stork
(Photo credit: 
Pick up a field guide and you'll notice that many birds seem to have been named after people. One could imagine that Mr. Bartlett must have been particularly fond of the Amazonian tinamou with which he bequeathed his name. And Mr. Gould must have been especially diligent, or possibly somewhat egotistical, given the existence of the Gould's Frogmouth, Gould's Inca, Gould's Jewelfront, Gould's Petrel, Gould's Shortwing, Gould's Sunbird, and Gould's Toucanet. But who are these people whose legacy resides in bird species, large and small?

A German-born naturalist, zoologist, explorer, and physician, Georg Wilhelm Steller explored much of the coast of Alaska and eastern Russia. During expeditions to the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Bering Sea, Steller lent his name to the Steller's Jay, Steller's Eider, and Steller's Sea-Eagle. He also named several marine mammals, including the extinct Steller's Sea Cow, a slow-moving behemoth whose limited range proved to be the source of its demise, and the Steller's Sea Lion, a regal pinniped whose population decline is mimicking that of its similarly-named cousin.

English: 1940 John James Audubon stamp
1940 John James Audubon stamp
(Photo credit: 
Alexander Wilson
Alexander Wilson is considered to be one of the greatest ornithologists and naturalists who lived in the time before esteemed heavyweight John James Audubon. Wilson was a Scottish poet, illustrator, and naturalist who embarked on an illustrated guide to North American birds in 1802. His efforts produced nine volumes illustrating 268 species, 26 of which had never been described. He is remembered in the names of the Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Wilson's Plover, Wilson's Phalarope, Wilson's Snipe, and Wilson's Warbler.

John James Audubon
Perhaps one of the most recognizable names in ornithology, John James Audubon lent his name to the Audubon's Oriole, Audubon's Shearwater, and the Audubon's Warbler, a race of the Yellow-rumped Warbler. He was also the namesake for the National Audubon Society, the world-renowned American conservation nonprofit. Audubon was an accomplished painter, and his book of stunningly detailed, hand-colored bird prints, Birds of America, has been regaled as the greatest picture book ever produced.

John Cassin.
John Cassin.
(Photo credit: 
With nine birds named after him, John Cassin has the honor of being the person with the most avian namesakes. Cassin was an American ornithologist and the country's first taxonomist in the mid-1800s. He described almost 200 bird species, even during the age of two other fathers of ornithology, John James Audubon, and Alexander Wilson. Like Audubon, Cassin produced several books of colorful engravings and thoughtful descriptions and provided taxonomical reviews of bird families to the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, for which he acted as curator.

Swainson was an English ornithologist and all-around naturalist in the early 1800s. Son of John Timothy Swainson, who was an original member of the prestigious Linnean Society, one could assume that young William became a scientist early. However, a speech impediment and illness forced the young naturalist to end his formal education prematurely, and he became a customs clerk and toured Italy in the Army. In 1816, one year after he became a Linnean Society fellow, Swainson traveled to Brazil, where he documented and produced a detailed drawing of thousands of animals and plants. 

Later in life, Swainson moved to New Zealand, where he continued his zoological studies. Swainson left his name to the Swainson's Hawk, Swainson's Flycatcher, Swainson's Sparrow, Swainson's Spurfowl, Swainson's Thrush, and Swainson's Warbler.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

ZEBRA FINCHES - All About Zebra Finches Care, Diet

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Zebra Finch - Photo   by     Orchids love rainwater 
Zebra Finches, Variety, Care, and Food
In the Australian grasslands, they have a small bird called Zebra Finch. Those finches come in a wide variety. Because of the strict policies of exportation of animals that Australia has, most of the finches are not born there. Zebra finches are very colorful birds, the males being more colorful than the females. Because of the ease in breeding these birds in captivity and the very attractive coloring, they have become very popular.

Like many other beautiful finches, the Zebra Finch has a delightful chirping song, a soft chirping that is a bit different but pleasing. A lot of finch owners find the sound pleasant and sweet. Studies have shown that the male finch is more vocal of the two sexes.

Although the zebra finch is very social with other birds they are quite shy around people. Finches are not known for liking to be held, the finch really doesn't like to be held or petted. So they are beautiful birds but if you are buying one because you would like to hold it, the zebra finch is not recommended. Finches in the wild do tend to flock together with other finches of the like, this is the reason they are so social in captivity. If you think of purchasing a finch, you might consider buying in pairs as to ensure they are happy.

Because zebra finches love to fly around it is recommended you purchase a large cage that can permit this activity. Nothing less than 25 inches across is best, you can find these sizes in affordable metal or wooden cages. Also, remember that just because a finch is small in size, do not underestimate their capabilities for escaping. If the bars are not close enough together the finch will escape. So it is vital to make sure the cage bar gape is adequate. If at all possible please avoid a cage made of brass, or coated in brass, this is toxic for your birds.

Care for your zebra finch will consist of the correct seed which is available from any local supply store. finches also need a diet supplement of greens, vegetables, and fruits. If you can get sprouted seeds this is optimal in providing the need for greens. Cucumbers and carrots will satisfy the vegetable needs. Always make sure your finch has plenty of water, and always include a bathing area, they love to clean themselves.

Also, make sure the cage is well-kept, cleaning should take place at least weekly. Making sure everything is tidy will allow your zebra finch to show off their best qualities.
Other dietary items will consist of bananas, apples and other fruits your zebra finch may love. Zebra finches have another need as well, and that is calcium. Calcium is essential as a mineral supplement. This encourages bone development as well as helping with female egg production. At your local supply store look for a Cuttlebone, this will be more than adequate.

Taking good care of your finch is important, and these birds will love you for it. They will play and sing, brightening up the household, and make everything so peaceful and relaxing. Take good care do not grab at your finches, zebra finches tend to scare easy like other finches and you do not want to cause any trauma to your birds. Always remember to have everyone in the household trained on care for your birds. This will help and allow everyone to be aware, so you can all enjoy these wonderful additions to the home.

Friday, April 13, 2018

How to Build and Landscape an AVIARY

Proposed architectural design for a French mil...
Proposed architectural design for a French military aviary to house swallows as messenger birds, 1889 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tips to Construct Your Own Aviary
If you want to have an aviary, you need to know that there is a special way to build and landscape the aviary according to the kinds of birds you want to keep. Here is some useful information regarding the same.

First of all, what is an aviary? An aviary is a very large bird cage. In fact, an aviary is not even a cage but an entire room where you can keep birds. You need to remember that birds are animals of flight so they will need a place to perch and a lot of room to fly around. At the same time, you do not want them to fly away.

Building an aviary
Before you can landscape an aviary and keep birds in the aviary, you need to build one and it needs to be built properly. Building an aviary does not necessarily need to be a very difficult task. The things you need to build an aviary and how to build it are listed below.

1. Treated pine logs can be used to build the basic structure of the aviary. The size of the aviary needs to be at least twelve feet by twelve feet and seven feet high. This type of aviary can be used to house all kinds of different exotic birds. To have this aviary outside, however, you need to also pay attention to your climate.

For example, if you live in the warmer climates of the United States, such as Florida or the Desert Southwest, you can keep more exotic birds such as budgerigar parakeets which are better known as budgies. You can also keep parrots and other exotic birds of the like. In the northern climates, an aviary should be built as an extra room since tropical birds cannot handle cold climates. This kind of aviary can also house larger exotic birds, such as peacocks.

2. Chicken wire or glass for the sides. In the warmer climates, you can use just chicken wire to enclose the aviary. In colder climates, the glass should be added. You need to have glass panels that you can remove in the summer months.

There are other items to get at your local hardware store to fasten the chicken wire and glass panels.
Landscaping the aviary is something that is different from a general landscaping project. Depending on the size of your aviary, there are several different ways that you can landscape your aviary. If you are building an aviary to breed budgies, you need to keep in mind that budgies like to chew things. This means that budgies will destroy many leafy plants.

Furthermore, you need to make sure the houseplants that you buy for the aviary are not poisonous for the birds. For perches, you should find large pieces of driftwood. The pieces of driftwood should be clean and free of any types of toxic substances that could be harmful to the birds.

Breeding budgies can also be affected by the landscape of your aviary. Budgies are social birds and you need four or five pairs to breed. Furthermore, in the landscape, you need to have little birdhouses high up and they should fit with the landscape. Budgies build their nests and lay their eggs in these birdhouses. For beautification of the aviary, make the birdhouses blend with the plants and other parts of the aviary landscape.

Plants depend on the kind of birds you are keeping. For example, finches do not necessarily destroy vegetation, so if you want to keep finches, plants can be great. With different birds of the parrot and parakeet families, such as budgies, loris, lorikeets, macaw parrots, and lovebirds, you need to be ready to replace the plants on a regular basis.

These birds chew and cannot only destroy the vegetation in the aviary but also can destroy their little bird houses if they are made of a weaker material such as wicker or gasket material. For these birds, wood is a much better material to build their nesting boxes.

Whatever you do, an aviary needs to have a landscape that is very easy to clean. Birds can be very dirty and usually defecate indiscriminately. This means that you need to design the aviary floor with a type of sand that can absorb the bird droppings and can be changed easily.

Having an aviary can be a great stress reliever. You should design the aviary in such a way where you can sit in the middle of the landscape and enjoy looking at your birds.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Flight of the CARRIER PIGEON

Engraving of "carrier pigeons" (actu...
Engraving of "carrier pigeons" (actually probably homing pigeons), with messages attached.
(Photo credit: 
Carrier Pigeons Discovered
Pigeons were used during the Roman Empire and by the Egyptians as far back as 2900 B.C. when incoming ships released pigeons to carry news of important guests arriving. Ancient Greece used homing pigeons to carry news of winners of Olympic competitions back to hometowns. During the 11th century in Baghdad, the one-way message system of carrier pigeons was developed. Until 1844, upon the invention of the telegraph, carrier pigeons were the fastest and most reliable form of message-transmission. Pigeons can reach top speeds of 45 miles per hour.

Carrier Pigeons Save the Day
During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, occupying forces cut the telegraph wires of Paris. City residents sent carrier pigeons out of the city via hot-air balloon, releasing one pigeon after the balloon made it safely out of the city, to alert residents that the pigeons had made it out. The pigeons, with messages attached, were released back into the city, carrying their messages between dwellings. From that war, on, military commanders were outfitted with regiments of carrier pigeons, trained to fly back to lofts beyond the war front. The messages they carried could then be read and utilized by military commanders.

During World War I, the most famous homing pigeon of all, Cher Ami which is French for 'My Friend', saved the lost battalion of American soldiers from being surrounded by the Germans and fired upon by friendly fire of fellow American soldiers aiming for the Germans and missing them. The pigeon flew through a torrent of bullets to deliver its message to a military post away from the front, alerting commanders that the battalion needed help. For its honorable and brave deed, Cher Ami was awarded the French Cross of War medal. Upon its' passing, the bird was stuffed and put on display at the Smithsonian Institute. Military personnel also used carrier pigeons during World War II and the Korean War. Many pigeons from each war earned military honors for their contribution.

Carrier Pigeons are One-Way Messengers
Carrier pigeons, or homing pigeons, are trained to return back to a specific pigeon loft. Therefore, message sending and receiving only works in one direction. The message sender must have a pigeon that will fly back to the message receiver. Messages are written on very light paper (cigarette paper) and rolled into tiny canisters affixed to the bird's legs. This method of communication is called Pigeon Post.

Research indicates that these birds use a variety of mechanisms in order to home in on their destination. Magnetite, a substance in the bird's beak, works via the trigeminal nerve to sense magnetic fields in the earth. Recent studies also indicate that olfactory senses help the birds navigate. Once they get close to their home destination, it is hypothesized that carrier pigeons also navigate by sight, recognizing familiar landmarks.

Modern Uses of Carrier Pigeons
Homing pigeons are no longer routinely used for message delivery, with the last official military regiments in India retiring a few years ago due to the rise of internet communications. Carrier pigeons first lost their jobs with the invention of the telegraph but were widely used again for about 75 years in military services around the world.

Carrier pigeons have even been used to transmit internet signals! The IP address IPoAC (Internet Protocol over Avian Carrier) was created in the late 1990s. Until April 28, 2001, nobody had used this IP. The Bergen Linux User Group decided to transmit data via the IPoAC and, with the help of a local Carrier Pigeon enthusiasts club, successfully transmitted several packets of data. Unfortunately, some of the data was lost, as some of the pigeons did not return to their home lofts!

Now that the internet has taken over as the fastest means of communication, homing pigeons are mainly used for pigeon racing. The sport is huge in Belgium, with daily pigeon weather reports broadcast over radio stations. In the United States, the American Racing Pigeon Union regulates pigeon racing and keeps a registry of pigeon band numbers. All domesticated homing pigeons are outfitted with a band at the age of five weeks, which contains a number and a chip that is scanned when the pigeons return home during pigeon races.

Raising and Training Carrier Pigeons
To raise a successful flock of carrier pigeons, you must create a pigeon loft. The loft should be composed of indoor and outdoor space. Pigeons need places to rest or roost, food and sources of water to drink and bathe in.
Pigeons mate for life. When pigeons are born, they are covered in yellow down. They grow their grey-colored feathers soon after birth. At the age of four weeks, the chicks will begin flying around the pigeon loft. At six weeks, they can fly outside of the loft, and at two months can begin road training. Pigeons fly one way, and that is home. When training a homing pigeon, take it further away each time you release it. Once it has successfully returned home 40 times, it is ready to race.

Carrier pigeons are the unsung heroes of military conflicts past. They were the first official sports announcers and kept war-weary citizens in touch with each other. Now used for racing, and, in some parts of the world, message-sending for special occasions, pigeons continue to be part of world culture.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

BIRD BREEDS and their Care

Two Rose-ringed Parakeets (also known as the R...
Two Rose-ringed Parakeets (also known as the Ring-necked Parakeet) at Canberra Walk In Aviary, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So you've decided to get a bird as a pet. Here is a guideline for different breeds, how to care and general characteristics to get you familiarized with your new pet.

Finches - the popular breeds are gray singing, green singing, society finch, and zebra finch. Cages should be a box-type or they can be kept in an aviary. They need perches and some might need baths.
The regular size of such cages ranges 20x10x12 inches. Some finches are good singers, and many have fine markings and beautiful color combinations. Popular breeds are relatively inexpensive.

Canaries - the popular breeds are: roller, more glost, border canary, red-factor canary and other smaller varieties. They need perches and bath in their cages which range in sizes 20x14x16 inches. These birds can range from the inexpensive to the expensive. Good cage birds can be kept in an aviary with other seed-eating species, even some softbills. They are brightly colored, sweet singers (if male, though some hens sing a little).

Soft-billed birds (non-seed eating) - One such soft-billed bird is the Pekin robin. It can be housed alone or in pairs in an indoor cage - 30x18x26 inches. These birds are strong, lively and strong singers (particularly males). They have beautiful plumage, couples are quite affectionate and they need water daily.

Shama is another soft-billed bird that can be housed alone or in pairs in an aviary. It must stay indoors in winter. They tend to mimic everything from rusty gate to a nightingale. They can be quite exuberant.
The Golden-fronted leafbird is another soft-billed bird that can be kept in a cage or aviary with other smaller species. Cage sizes tend to range in 32x20x24 inches. The males sing sweetly. They are brightly colored and easily tamed.

Parrots - The Budgerigar (small species of parrots) can stay in cage size 24x12x16 inches with horizontal wire. They may also house in an aviary. Spray the cage on warm days with a mist sprayer. They come in many colors and can learn words if taught young. They are affectionate, sometimes noisy and relatively inexpensive.

The Lovebird is another breed of parrots that can stay in a cage size 23x12x16 inches with horizontal wire. They are affectionate if hand-reared. They come in many colors and are relatively inexpensive.
The South American parakeets (concur, Aratinga etc.) and Asiatic parakeets can stay in a cage 47x36x36 inches. They are curious and beautifully colored and quite noisy.

Australian parakeets can stay in cages 47x36x36 inches. They can be aggressive and good pets only if hand-reared. They can also be kept in an aviary with other parakeet species and finches.

The Lory and Lorikeet need nectar mixture, fruits, and honey. They are beautifully colored and affectionate. Cage sizes can be 47x36x36 inches like the Australian parakeets.

The African gray parrot is a good talker and can mimic quite well. They are capricious and feather pickers. Cage sizes should be 59x59x63 inches.

The Amazon Parrot should have a cage as big as the African gray parrot. They are also good talkers and mimic others well. They need space but can be quite hard to breed.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Way of Handling Your PET BIRD

English: A juvenile Regent Parrot (Polytelis a...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird trainers have developed skills or techniques, and become experts in understanding the behavioural nature of the parrot.  Several books, manuscript, and guidelines for promoting the positive angles to be on the winning side in a behavioral conquest of the bird have helped a lot of amateurs and pet owners.

Parrots are the most misunderstood birds in existence.  It's up to you to get thru better relationships with your bird, for it is, what you make it so.  Before knowing it, at the slightest trait overlook, this bird in your cage could create havocs of anxiety and frustrations in your life.  Basically, parrots need real training, otherwise, you will one day find out, it becomes an undesirable annoying character stealing away every bit of your peaceful, chaos-free moments.

Basics in training start with the bird's character traits and instincts. Your first approach is to notice its biting habits and screaming. These are inherent to parrots especially if it seemed likely to be ignored.

Like humans, they develop into an emotional outburst, and their tendency is to find an object to throw out their fits.

Instinctive biting and screaming loudly distract. Try to find out what causes such behaviour.  Every bit of undesirable action could be a reaction that actually comes from its surrounding environment, either from your very self or from anyone among your companions inside the house.

Behavioural Aspects of Training

1. Let us deal with terms similar to psychology in humans.

- Operant conditioning, a situation in training, on other domestics or your bird pet; reacting well in order to gain something positive, or to evade something negative. Example:  Directing your bird to whistle, if it mimics the action, you hand in its food.  Next time, the instinct to eat allows impulsive choice to obey, whatever you want it to do, a whip of your finger, or cue from your mouth.

- The bridging stimulus set an example when a hand is raised to command the bird to perch in one corner of the cage, the demonstrative actions serve a bridge for the parrot to choose in abeyance following the hand cuing because a toy is ready at reach.

2. Do not punish pets for any negative attitude or actions done previously.

Example:  When it unties cage's knots (birds do keep biting and untying); a long time before you discovered it, don't whip or deprive it of meals.  Birds or animals do not know of past and future.  Bird's instinct is to live or act "here" and "now," and never aware of anything done ostentatiously.  Turn to let a parrot obey you on what it does at the moment.

A large scale of parrot species needs to be captivated to ensure you with one of the best pet favoured by many households.  Research where your pet originated in order to pursue utmost care in mutual relationships between humans and birds.