Thursday, July 5, 2018

Identifying Female FINCHES From Male FINCHES

Male Zebra Finch
Male Zebra Finch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Finches come in various types and are actually quite common species in North America. They are a favorite among pet owners, bird lovers, and enthusiasts because of their beautiful songs and varied colors. Finches are small birds now commonly found in households, residential areas, and their natural habitats. They usually settle in woods, deserts, and meadows.

Many people find it hard to determine female finches from male finches. But each one actually has telling characteristics that would make the task of identifying their sex fairly easy.

One of the ways to tell one from the other is their coloring. The male finch, as with many other species of birds, has more colors and/or more vivid colors than the female. Looking at their colors by far is the easiest way to differentiate between the two. The color pattern, however, depends on the type of finch. For instance, the male house finch which is common in areas of North America has brown flanks and a bright reddish-orange breast and head while the female house finch's entire body has varying shades of brown. 

Other male house finches may be of yellow-orange markings instead of red. The Cassin's Finch, the Pine Grosbeak, and the Purple finch have the same reddish coloring. American goldfinches are of black and yellow coloring. They can be found in most parts of the United States and North America.

Female finches do not sing. They simply make clicking or warning sounds. Probably because they are the more protective ones when it comes to guarding their eggs and therefore have to use sounds to ward off the potential danger that may harm her babies. Male finches are the singers and sing their songs during courtship. The male house finch sing songs made up of short notes with no apparent melody or pattern. There are some male house finches that sing throughout the year. The female house finch can at times sing but their song is shorter. Other types of finches such as the male Purple finch sing many songs which include a territorial song and a warbling song. The female house finch sings a very unique nest song.

The American goldfinch sings a lot in the spring. While in flight, female and male partners usually sing together although males still do most of the singing. The female oftentimes gives out a call when her partner male finch approaches her with food for their baby birds.

Male and female finches are mostly the same size; although a male, due to its more vivid coloring, may appear much larger than the female. The male finches also puff up their feathers during courtship to appear even larger and therefore more attractive.

While a good number of finches is easy to identify merely by looking and listening to them, other finches are simply hard to identify without the assistance of an avian veterinarian or a seasoned breeder. Finches such as the Society finch are difficult to identify as male or female. Finches such as the Gouldian finch, White Zebra finch, and Green Singing finch can easily be visually identified.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

SUN CONURE Basic Care - The Essential Rules of SUN CONURE Care

Sun Conure
Sun Conure - Photo   by    Anna Panáková    
When considering the parrot family, my personal favorite bird happens to be the sun conure. Sun conures are known for their unique and remarkable colored plumage, their admirable intelligence, and their nature of being playful and loving. A sun conure parrot can make a great pet for your entire family if you take the time to discover and learn the basic sun conure care methods outlined in this article.

Basic Sun Conure Care starts with the knowledge of your bird and some brief sun conure facts. For starters, the sun conure parrot measures only about a foot long from its head to its tail.

They have a rather large head with a black beak and its plumage is strikingly colorful with lots of yellows, oranges, and greens. It is indeed a very beautiful bird and requires utmost care and maintenance.

Bathing Sun Conures
Sun conures love bathing and will not hesitate to bathe in their own water bowl if you do not provide them with a bathing dish. Another suggestion for bathing sun conures is to spray them with a water bottle using a soft mist which they will ultimately enjoy!

Sun Conure Cage
Next, on our sun conure care list is the sun conure cage requirements. I would suggest a small cage no larger than 20 inches long by 20 inches wide and about 22-24 inches high. Make sure to include some perches inside the cage and plenty of toys. That's right, sun conure birds love playing with toys so be sure to hang some nooks and chewable toys for your bird to play with.

Sun Conure Diet
One of the most important aspects of basic sun conure care is the sun conure diet. A good base pellet diet is a great way to start. However, they will also enjoy nourishment from fortified parrot seed as well.

A healthy sun conure diet not only consists of pellets and seeds but also includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to NEVER feed your sun conure bird avocado, iceberg lettuce, cabbage or parsley. These foods will be harmful to your sun conure bird so please avoid them at all costs.

Training Sun Conures
As I mentioned earlier, sun conure parrots are highly intelligent birds. Words cannot even describe how smart these little birds are. They love playing and being held by their owners and are so open and willing to learn tricks and even how to talk. Though they have a cute squeaky voice, it is amazing how fast a sun conure bird can be taught to speak. They truly enjoy performing their newly acquired tricks for their owners as long as you praise them with a treat every time they correctly perform a trick. Spending about 15 minutes a day with your sun conure bird teaching them words and tricks will surely make your sun conure a happy bird.

Keep in Mind
These are only basic sun conure care tips and while they are the essential methods of keeping a sun conure bird healthy and happy, there are hundreds of tips and tricks that have been developed over the years from expert sun conure parrot owners and trainers whose expertise in sun conure care is top notch.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

How To Avoid RACING PIGEON Sickness

eww...was quite disturbed before wondering why
eww...was quite disturbed before wondering why (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Birds are indeed great animals to keep as pets. They are wonderful to have around and are often a cause of joy to the entire family. Racing pigeons also count as one of the best pets to keep at home. And because they are a source of joy, you must ensure that you pay attention to their health concerns. Illnesses must be given due notice before a simple symptom develops into a bigger problem.

What are the things you must do to be sure that everything is going smoothly with your racing pigeon's life?

Health issues often confront the racing pigeons. Thus, you should develop the habit of taking your birds to the veterinarian on a regular basis. They must be given the pertinent shots that will help them stay healthy. Vets know how they can be kept in shape so always listen to their advice.

Give your birds a healthy diet. Going for natural feeds can help fight off diseases and provide them natural cure as well. A healthy diet for birds consists of fruits and sprouted seeds. Chocolates and coffee are not in any way advisable to be fed to them as these may cause harm to their general health.

Always provide fresh water. It is important to keep the bird hydrated but be sure to give it clean and fresh water all the time. Check if the water and food have been contaminated with its own poop and immediately replace them before your pet gets into them.

Dampness is a main source of the problem because it is generally the breeding ground for parasites and germs. Therefore, make certain that you change the uneaten food and untouched water. Dry the area every time there are spills and moisture. If there is a noticeable amount of food left, cut down on the amount that you give the bird.

Make certain that the bird's cage or loft is kept clean. Don't allow any sort of lead items inside. Be careful with the use of cages manufactured in foreign countries as they tend to have high lead content.

Don't place the cage or loft in a damp area. Parasites and fungus are likely to thrive in the habitat given this environmental setup. 

Ensure that you clean and dry the floor and feeding area. You can use a cat litter to disinfect and take away the dampness in the area. 

Include the appropriate toys inside the cage. An active bird is a healthy bird, so to speak. Let your pet birds play inside with their toys.

Avoid stressing the pigeons. Don't cause them any alarm.

Don't overcrowd the cage or loft. Make sure the bird is able to enjoy enough space of its own.

Racing pigeons' illnesses don't often come around with very visible symptoms. However, they can produce a grave impact on your pets' overall health. Check things out with the veterinarian so you will know how you can better take care of these animals. If you want to have active and happy birds for your family to enjoy, it is best to keep them in shape.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

BIRDWATCHING For Beginners - Where to Find the Birds

English: Students watching birds at Nador Lago...
Students watching birds at Nador Lagoon  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The fascinating hobby of birdwatching can take you into a variety of beautiful, natural settings. As a longtime birdwatcher, I've often found myself drawn into such a blissful state while scanning the lovely scenery, that I almost forget to look for birds!

Buy yourself a field guide to the birds of your area and decide what kind of birds you wish to see. You'll find that the hobby of birdwatching encourages you to build up a Life List, which is a list of all the birds that you have seen. Various habitats provide different opportunities for birdwatching.
A woodland setting allows you to see sparrows, warblers. Woodpeckers, and songbirds. In spring and fall, visit forested areas for migratory warblers and songbirds. Summer offers a view of nesting birds, though the birds may be harder to see due to the foliage.

Meadows provide an open area for viewing hawks, vultures, larks, and many other birds in flight. The flora and insects in open fields attract a variety of birds. In addition, a meadow offers a wide field of view.

Birdwatching can be exciting when you visit wetlands because many of the birds you'll see in the marshes are large, dramatic creatures that are easy to spot. Go birdwatching in or at the edge of a wetland area if you want to see herons, egrets, rails, ducks, and eagles.

Large stretches of open water not only provide you with beautiful scenery but a vast array of birding opportunities. Gulls, terns, pelicans, and sandpipers are fun to watch. On ocean beaches, you can often see pelagic birds in the winder. Pelagic birds spend all or most of their lives on or above open water and rarely set foot on land. You can watch the amazing flights of gannets from your beachfront balcony.

And don't forget one of the best places to birdwatch - your own backyard. Provide food and water to attract a wide variety of birds that you can view from your window. Sparrows, cardinals, mockingbirds, robins, finches, chickadees, nuthatches, and smaller woodpeckers are fond of backyard bird feeders.

Friday, June 29, 2018

COCKATIEL - Why They Make The Best First Parrot

Cockatiel - Photo   by       Bohemianism    (cc)
This article focuses on the new bird enthusiast and choosing their first bird to own. In this article, I will explain why I think the cockatiel is my overall pick for the new bird owner and why. I will also give important comparisons between the cockatiel and other parrot breeds such as the African Grey, Eclectus, Conure, and others.

There are lots and lots of different breeds of parrots out there. Some are very good for petting; some are not. However, for many people who haven't own any pet parrot or any pet birds, many will feel that the cockatiel is an excellent starter bird in the parrot family. Cockatiels are usually associated with having a good personality, very friendly, good talkers, a bird you can cuddle with somewhat. They also make very good companions.

Cockatiels have been kept and breed successfully in many countries all around the world. Cockatiels can be considered as the most widely kept parrot other than parakeet or budgie (budgerigar). There are lots of research material available and many experts on cockatiels. The learning curve for the care and up-keep of cockatiels is minor and many keepers of them become experts of the cockatiel bird and their care rather quickly.

Of all of the breeds of parrots, the cockatiel is the most likely bird to satisfy the new bird owner almost immediately. Other breeds of parrots can be very nippy, biting parrots. Most tend to bond with a single individual and sometimes are even rude to people other than the owner or person they bond with. The cockatiel generally doesn't portray any of these traits, although some might, it is rare.

Okay, given the above information about cockatiels I don't want to say that all bird owners should start with a cockatiel or even imply that all bird owners should own one. What I do want to say is that if you are new to birds as pets you really should consider the cockatiel as a first bird because they are so easy to afford, take care of, and enjoy.

Often the price is the deciding factor for the potential new bird owner. Every new bird enthusiast dreams of owning their dream parrot but that new pet can be very costly; sometimes in the thousands of dollars to own.

In the US, and most other countries around the world, the price of a cockatiel is very small compared to say a conure or one of the larger parrots such as the African grey. Prices for cockatiels range anywhere from as low as $30 to start with, or slightly higher for hand fed babies that are meticulously cared for by their breeders.

Of course one should realize that with birds, as is other pets, the more popular color mutation or rarity of the color can raise the price of a cockatiel. Also, a cockatiel that has been hand fed will bring a higher selling price because the breeder has spent much of their time caring for the infant bird. Compared to "parent fed" cockatiels hand fed birds are usually about 30 to 50 percent higher in selling price. I will note though if you have the choice between parent fed and hand fed, can afford the hand fed bird, get the hand fed bird. The reason being is that the breeder has given you an excellent head start in getting the most enjoyment out of owning a bird because they have had so much interaction with them.

Noise level
All birds make noise. Some very little and then some make a lot of noise. One of the first things a new bird owner realizes right away is that all birds are "vocal" to some point. By this, I mean that all birds make noise. Generally, a good rule of thumb is the larger the bird the more noise that is possible from the bird.

Now, granted that the cockatiel will be possibly noisier than say a finch, parakeet, or even a pair of lovebirds, they will in no way compare to the noise level of a Macaw or Amazon parrot. This fact should be taken into consideration especially if the new owner lives in an apartment housing unit or any area where noise level among neighbors could be a problem.

Every new bird owner would like to have a bird that can talk, but even that can be an annoyance with some of the larger birds. The African Grey, which is by far the best talker of the parrot species, is known to be able to mimic or say just about anything it hears often enough. I remember a friend of mine had an African Grey that could mimic the sound of his old analog dial phone ringing. While it was cute at first it quickly became annoying if you spent very much time with the bird.

For the most part, cockatiels can live in complete harmony in just about any community environment. There are exceptions but generally, cockatiels are low volume and usually only "speak" or mimic when they are first awakened or seeking attention for food or affection from their owners.

Talking abilities
No parrot really talks, rather they mimic what they have heard enough and are able to mimic. A bird can not carry on a conversation with a human. Although some of the best talkers of the parrot species can do a really impressive job of making it appear as they can. I once knew a friend that had an Eclectus that could sing "I want to be a cowboy" by Kid Rock and did it so well if he had a band playing the musical part you would swear it was Kid Rock singing the song himself.

The bigger the parrot the better it will be able to mimic. The African Grey, Eclectus, and Amazon parrots are the best at talking. They have the best clarity to their voices if you will than any other breed of parrots. A cockatiel can do an excellent job of mimicking too. Although their voice tends to be a lot more rough or scratchy than the bigger parrots, they are easily understood at what they do master in mimicking.

Now one should also keep in mind that not all cockatiels will mimic. Most will to some extent, but not all will. It is common for the bird to say "Hello" or other small phrases, but it is also common for them to never utter a discernable word. If having a talking bird is the prime goal you might consider a larger parrot before getting a cockatiel.

One thing to note is that it seems that hand fed cockatiels are more likely to talk than the parent fed ones. I guess this would all stem back to the early human intervention in their young lives and their willingness to adapt to pleasing the human they are most in contact with.

Good personality
As a rule, cockatiels are very well behaved when handled or when left alone for long periods of time. While any bird will bite or nip at you if they feel threatened, it is rare for a cockatiel to display such aggression. As mentioned earlier in this article cockatiels are most often willing to cuddle with their human partners and actually crave this kind of attention in some cases.

They are also very good with children. The only problem with cockatiels and children is that often children do not realize how fragile the bird is and can often hurt them very badly or even kill them if handled too roughly.

Cockatiels are rarely moody or quick-tempered. They will bite as any bird will when they feel threatened or defensive, but they bite for the most part is harmless. I suppose to a small child it may hurt a little more but to most all adults the fear of being bitten will be worse than the bite should you ever be bitten by one.

Compact in size
One of the biggest advantages of owning a cockatiel first is the low cost of housing them and their upkeep. Since they usually no bigger than the average man's fist even a small to medium size cage is enough room for them to live in. This, in turn, translates into a smaller footprint of the cage size being needed for placement in the home. For many new owners, this part of ownership doesn't dawn on them until they get the bird home and find out you have to put the cage somewhere.

Of course being a smaller bird means they eat less and drink less water. This, in turn, means they make less mess with their food and water. Yet another plus to the neophyte bird owner. The big parrots have large appetites and often meticulous ones and they will definitely make a bigger mess with their food and water.

I would have to say that out of all of the parrots I believe the cockatiel to be the most widely accepted as new bird owners first parrot. Add to that they even make a good "upgrade" so to speak for the budgie and parakeet owners. There are pros and cons to any species of bird but for the most part, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to cockatiel ownership.

Parrots have been kept in captivity for a long time but only the parakeet and cockatiel have adapted to it so well. The bigger parrots many of them are caught out in the wild and can be very troublesome to deal with for a long time and possibly the whole time you have them. Cockatiels even the parent fed ones are the absolute easiest to get along with of the parrot species. I highly recommend a cockatiel to any bird owner or especially to the first time parrot owner.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


English: Bird feeders in the snow Someone has ...
Bird feeders in the snow Someone have kindly put up these bird feeders on a tree in a public space
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After a long snowy winter as I get to work in the garden I discovered the need to completely redo the birdbaths, birdhouses and other bird-friendly aspects of my garden. Rain, snow, and ice did major damage to the pond, the birdbath fountain, the decorative birdhouses and all the bird feeders. Wow! I didn’t have this much maintenance on my own house. Of course, the bears took out their spring energy on the decorative bird feeders and the raccoons keep hanging off the more unique bird feeder because they appear to love that seed mix. Is there a seed mix that doesn’t attract as much wildlife as it does birds?

I love fancy birdhouses, so do my feathered visitors. They flock to the unique bird feeders and great designs of the decorative birdhouses and argue over who gets to move in. I have a decorative birdhouse shaped like a lighthouse and 2 sets of chickadees got into a rental war before one moved in and made it her own. Some of the residents of my garden prefer the birdhouse feeders. I guess that way they don’t have to go far for food, live upstairs eat downstairs. I also appreciate the more unique bird feeders, especially those designed to thwart the squirrel population. Will someone please explain to me how I can have 4 different kinds of squirrels in one yard?

The raccoons keep taking the pump out of the pond to play with it and they burn out the motor so I decided to switch to a birdbath water fountain where they couldn’t reach the pump. This works great but makes sure to place some rocks in the basin so if someone falls in they can get out again. Even if you have raccoons make sure to have running water in the form of a small birdbath fountain, a birdbath or a pond. Your birds need and enjoy the sound of bubbling water and the availability of fresh water especially as we go into the dog days of summer. Enjoy the finer things in life this summer, enjoy your garden!

Monday, June 25, 2018

CHICKEN BANTAM - Smallest and Most Fun Chicken?

Silkie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chickens come in a variety of sizes. The average sized chicken found in most breeds, the huge chicken that can probably feed a home for two days, and then there's the small chicken bantam.

Bantams are naturally small. You can compare them to other small chickens in size, but these guys are special because they don't come any bigger. Bantam chickens will only get as big as twenty-two ounces.

So what's the big thing about these bantam chickens? They don't make for very good meat providers, and even if they produce a lot of eggs, the eggs are probably puny - not even enough to satisfy one person. What good are they?

Chicken bantams make for decent pets

Here's the thing; Bantams are small. Their small size and elaborate plumage put them in pretty much the same level as other pets. They strut around and look good without really doing anything, and people love them because they're cute.

Bantams are also good-natured creatures, which makes them safe for the kids.

Let's talk a little more on the plumage. Bantams usually do have really elaborate plumage. Sometimes, the feathers are so exquisite that bantams have become champions in chicken breeding competitions time and again.

Take the bantam breed called the Sultan. This chicken doesn't look at all like a chicken, thanks to the poofy pompadour head of hair it has that hides its wattle and comb. This little guy is the Elvis Presley of chickens, bantam or not.

Another curious chicken bantam breed is the Silkie. This bird has the curious distinction of looking like a cloud of cotton, having five toes (as opposed to the standard four), and black flesh with blue skin. It is a very docile animal that despite the sparse amount of meat it offers, is considered a gourmet delicacy in mainland China.

Bottom line is that bantam chickens may be small creatures, but these little guys have some of the most interesting breeds in the chicken kingdom. People who aren't interested in keeping chickens as livestock might be wise to consider getting a bantam instead. Or if you're a beginner who's just after the experience, bantams are easy to take care of.

    By Chad B.
    Chad B. is an advocate for backyard chicken care and has been involved in raising chickens since he was a little boy back in 1986.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

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.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Music of the Beaks: Understanding CANARIES

Japanese White-eye (メジロ)
Japanese White-eye - Photo   by      Dakiny  (cc)
Big time symphonists turn their attention to the sounds of thunder, but a lyrical composer listens to bird sounds like that of canaries. I have a flutist friend who keeps canaries in a spare room in his home.

His canaries are called border canaries, the singing kind, all yellow in color. It is only the males that sing with songs as memorable as stashed-away kisses. Not only that, my friend plays his music with his canaries, for they listen and imitate him and sometimes perch on his flute.

Canaries live about ten to fourteen years and can reproduce twice a year. My flutist friend's canaries, now about twenty in number, descended from two canaries, since just a few years back.

He says their daily upkeep doesn't cost much and they are clean birds. Still, the most important thing a bird lover can do is to keep his canary cages or the room used as aviary sparkling clean. Canaries, as all birds, are more susceptible to diseases in a dirty environment.

Direct exposure to sun, too much outside noise, polluted air, sudden temperature changes, bad diet, lack of exercise can make canaries seriously ill. The Canaries should never be exposed to damp and drafty conditions since they can develop asthma and rheumatism. Should a canary become ill, the best bet is to consult a veterinarian.

These birds are accident prone, also. Bookshelves, wastebaskets, couches and big upholstered armchairs can serve as death-traps. The Canaries are known to fly into mirrors and windows and sustain concussions and broken limbs, too. If a spare room is to be made into an aviary, the furniture should consist of simple tables without drawers and wooden chairs.

Canaries have a light skeleton as they can fly and dart across a room, and they need large cages and space to fly. As most birds, they have a very high rate of metabolism that burns up energy during flight.

What a canary eats is important for its health. The seeds have to be fresh and drinking water clean. Canaries drink the water they bathe in. So, the saucers they bathe in should contain the same quality of water in their water bottles. Non-carbonated mineral water is best. Tap water, if chlorinated, is not good for any bird.

A proper diet for a canary consist of birdseed mixture, organic fruits, and vegetable greens, spray millet, cuttlebone or mineral stone, and once in a while, sprouts, fresh twigs, and hard-boiled egg yolk with low-fat cottage cheese. Pesticide sprayed greens, fruit pits, and the skin of an avocado act like poisons for a canary.

The eyes of a canary work independently of each other, and through the use of its eyes, a canary orients itself to its environs. The vision of a canary draws almost a full circle of 320 degrees.

Canaries also possess an acute hearing. The structure of a canary's ear is akin to that of mammal, but without a flap. Otherwise, how else would the bird imitate a flute?

It is fun to watch canaries in their daily life. They preen themselves, and out of friendship, each other. In addition, the courting birds dance and feed each other. When the birds are relaxed and happy, they sit on one leg and may puff their plumage.

When a canary sleeps, it partially buries its head in its back and fluffs up its feathers. Canaries sleep through the night and are awake at daytime, but a relaxed and non-threatened bird may take short naps during the daytime.

Male canaries may sing as they fly over what they consider to be their territory. They also sing while attracting the female. The female may sing too; although the female bird has the necessary organs for singing, its voice is so soft that it is not heard.

When two canaries threaten each other, they raise their beaks and flap their wings. In general, however, canaries in a colony live peacefully together.

All birds hate to be seized, especially because human fingers hurt their feathers. If a canary escapes from its cage, it is better to cajole it back rather than to try grasping it.

Keeping a single male canary alone in a cage is not fair to the bird, no matter how good a care its owner might give him. A pair of canaries and a very large cage is the least you can do if you want canaries in your life.

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


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.

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.

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.

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 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: 
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.

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.

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.


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. 


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. 


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 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. 


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.