Saturday, September 8, 2018

COCKATOO - Is This The Bird For You?

Palm Cockatoo - Jurong BirdPark, Singapore
Palm Cockatoo - Jurong BirdPark, Singapore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cockatoos are sweet, loving, beautiful birds. They make great pets if they are given the proper care. However, they can be a handful. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you bring one home.

The first thing you must do before even thinking about getting a cockatoo is to consider cockatoos to be like children. You would not leave a child alone all day. Cockatoos also cannot be kept alone all day. They need plenty of interaction. If no one is going to be at your house during the day, then I would not recommend getting one of these birds. The cockatoo is the most emotional bird species and needs human interaction every day.

Another thing you must realize is that cockatoos live for a very long time. They can live to be 100 years old! You will be taking care of this bird probably for the rest of your life. This is also a very expensive bird. The bird, cage, and accessories really cost a lot!

Cockatoos need a very large cage. Many people even suggest you keep them in an aviary! The minimum cage size for these birds is 36 inches long by 36 inches wide by 48 inches tall. Inside the cage, they will need perches, toys, food, and water.

Toys are something that your bird must have. If they do not have toys then they will not get the mental activity they need. This can lead to serious health problems. You also have to change the toys at least once a month. Birds get bored if they have the same toys all the time.

For your bird's diet, you cannot just feed seeds. A little bit of seeds is okay but buy a food that is mostly pellets. You will also need to prepare fruits and vegetables every day. Take out any fresh foods once they have been in the cage for a while.

Cockatoos have dust in their feathers and must be given weekly baths or showers to prevent dust accumulation. If you have allergies, this bird is not recommended for you. Also, the wings, beak, and claws need to be kept trimmed.

Every day you will need to clean out the food and water dishes and also wipe off feather dust from the cage bars and perches. Twice a week you need to clean the bottom tray of the cage. Once a week you will need to clean the whole cage and all accessories.

Cockatoos do not do well with small children. Some birds have even been known to attack small children for no reason. If you have small children, never leave them alone with the bird.

Cockatoos develop very strong bonds with their owners. They are extremely lovable and affectionate. However, they are very much like small children and will demand your attention. If you aren't giving them attention then they will scream, knock things over, or even bite to get your attention. Someone needs to be home most of the time with this bird.

If you give lots of attention to your bird, you will be greatly rewarded with a very sweet, lovable bird. Just be sure you have enough time to spend with the bird. These birds can cause serious problems if they aren't given enough attention. Many people buy these birds not knowing what they are getting themselves into and then end up having to give them away.

Friday, September 7, 2018

What Makes CANARY Food Different From Other Bird Food?

Yellow-Fronted Canary
Photo by Kanalu Chock
The Canaries are hard birds to breed, but not tough to feed. Luckily most canary food manufacturers know how fickle the diet of the canary can be and have developed proper mixtures aimed at keeping your bird's health in check. Canary grass seed should be a staple of your canary's diet and you should always check the ingredients to make sure this ingredient is at least 50% of the mixture if you're buying a seed mixture (this will vary for special "moulting mixes" or "color feed).

Canary grass seed originates from the same place canaries originally do (Mediterranean), and while it doesn't give them all the nutrition they need: It gives them more than other foods. They also require a food that's high in various vitamins and minerals (calcium is one of the important minerals in any good canary food). When you're breeding canaries; special moulting formulas should be used, which are high in protein, contain more fat content, and also have an extra boost of calcium -- all of which aid your pretty pet in their egg production.

One of the great things about owning a canary is their ability to entertain and look gorgeous, without needing your constant attention. Since the canary is known as a "birds bird", rather than a "people bird" like the parrot -- all you need to worry about is feeding them a proper diet and keeping their cage clean. Your canary will give you very little grief and a lot of fun with their singing ability and strange, endearing gestures.

You can feed your canary almost any fruit, nut, or vegetable that you would eat (other than avocado which contains too much fat). Canary food that you can feed them out of your fridge includes lettuce, pear, apple, small bits of carrot, peanut, cashew, and any pepper you can think of. Just remember that they are a soft beak bird, so any shelled food they get needs to fit into their mouth easily so they don't harm their beak.

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Image from page 7 of "Bird notes" (1902)
Senegal Parrot - Photo  by  Internet Archive Book Images
If you are looking for a pet parrot that is best for the whole family, then you must consider a Senegal parrot. Most pet lovers and parrot pet traders agree that Senegal parrots have been popular family pet birds because of their lively and engaging personality.

But, before you finally purchase a Senegal parrot and make it a family pet bird, you must be knowledgeable about its traits and characteristics for you to have an idea how it should be taken care of.

According to parrot experts, the Senegal parrot one of the best-known members of the entire Poicephalus family for having compact and cuddly physical traits and a very playful attitude. Frequently seen in pet shops around the United States and Europe, Senegal parrots originated in the north central part of Africa.

Unlike other parrot species, parrots possess an entirely different nature which is extremely playful, gentle and sweet in temperament that is perfect for its charming personality, cleverness, clear speech, and manageable behavior. They are also quieter but are good talkers if taught and trained properly. Since they possess much tamer nature, are known to be less demanding especially if they are given daily attention and interaction.


Senegal parrots are the most commonly kept Poicephalus birds there are. Identified for being a green bird with a gray head, Senegal parrots are famous for sporting different colored underparts, either its belly or vest with a bright yellow iris.

Senegal parrots can be divided into three sub-species that can easily be characterized by the color of their bellies as well as by their following names that include Poicephalus senegalus senegalus hailing from Southern Mauritania, southern Mali to Guinea and from the Island of Los, these are known as the nominate race and has a yellow belly; Poicephalus senegalus versteri originates from the Ivory Coast and Ghana east to western Nigeria and has red belly; and Poicephalus senegalus mesotypus coming from Eastern and Northeastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon into south-western Chad and has an orange belly.

These parrots live in moist woodlands and on the edges of the grasslands. They primarily feed on seeds, fruits, and grains particularly the seed of locust beans and newly formed buds of various trees.

A Senegal parrot's diet should consist of a good quality seed mixture of nuts, seeds, lean meat, biscuits, fruits, and vegetables either raw or cooked. Vitamin and mineral supplements are also given to meet the nutritional need of the parrot.

Hand reared Senegal parrots are the most suitable pets because they are small enough to handle and can be placed in a medium-sized parrot cage. These should be kept in cages or aviaries where they can eat and sleep. Preferably, Senegal parrots should be housed in relatively small cages manufactured for "small birds" and should be provided with lots of toys, T-stands, and swings.

Senegal parrots are not as great talkers like the African Grey parrots but have the ability to learn a vocabulary depending on the owner's patience to teach. Senegals can be bought from $149 to $500.

    By Low Jeremy
    Low Jeremy has been a hobbyist writer for the past 3 years. During this free time, he contributes informative articles on various topics like health, electronics and gadget reviews for websites.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How To Understand Your BUDGERIGAR Behavior

Blue Male Budgerigar
Blue Male Budgerigar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whether you are a parakeet breeder or you have just a single budgerigar parakeet, understanding his or her behavior can give you big headaches. Before buying a budgie you should inform about his health and read about budgerigar behavior.

Otherwise, it is possible to buy a sick budgerigar and your efforts to understand your companion will be in vain. You should know that budgie care takes time and understanding. Consult a book about parakeets or read various articles on the Internet, such as this one.

Sometimes, the budgie may scream. This will happen when something is missing to your parakeet. Parrot screams are stressful and annoying. We need to understand their needs quickly. One reason could be the lack of food. The basic food is millet, but budgie can eat oats and sunflower seeds. As fruits and greens, you can give your budgerigar apple, banana, parsley, and dandelion. Another reason is that the budgie likes to bathe. The bath cools them, helps to get rid of dust and more than that cheers them.

Sometimes, budgie stretches one leg and wing on the same side with the leg. We can compare this movement with human morning stretch. Thus, budgie relaxes his fingers and body.

To scare the enemy, budgie swells the feathers to look more impressive. Raises his wings and open his beak and begins to scream. Another reason is to conserve the body heat and to get warm.

Sometimes, budgie raises the wings when he feels too hot. If the bird frequently yawns it means that is not enough fresh air and you have to ventilate the room. The budgie can sneeze. This allows him to clean the nostrils.

Budgies hate to be left alone, to be kept in small, dark spaces, not to receive enough affection, to be scolded or beaten, to have unwashed cages, not to get food and water when needed. Instead, budgies love to be constantly with the owner, to be loved and to play a lot, to have many toys and to be rewarded from time to time with goodies, to be kept on the finger or shoulder, and to have a clean cage.

No matter what your parakeet is doing wrong, do not ever hit him because he could no longer trust you. On the contrary, the relationship with your companion must be a strong one. Birds usually do not understand hitting, spraying with water, screaming as corrective methods.

A very interesting fact is that the budgie is strongly influenced by the outside atmosphere. If the morning is gloomy and rainy, your parakeet will be quite upset and apathetic, if he sees the sun, will be happy all day long.

Monday, September 3, 2018

EAGLES - The Birds of Prey

Adult (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Eagles are birds of prey that have large wingspans and strong muscular legs. They also have very good eyesight. There are several species of this bird and most of them are distributed in Africa and Eurasia. With their relatively large wingspans, they are able to fly very fast on straight paths. 

Therefore, they are able to hunt their prey very effectively. They also have heavy beaks that will help them attack their prey. A large bird of this species could easily weigh 6 to 7 Kg.

It has been found that the eyesight of some of the eagles is 3.6 times better than humans. The large pupils of their eyes contribute a lot to this effect. It enables them to see their prey from a long distance. Normally, these birds choose elevated places to build their nests. The female bird which is larger than the male will lay two eggs. When one egg hatches the young bird will wait for the other to hatch and will kill it. Even the mother will not prevent it. This means only the strongest eagles will survive and the population of birds will be under control.

It has been found that eagles are among the largest of the birds of prey. However, there is no way to find the largest eagle for the simple reason that the heaviest one is not the one that has the biggest wingspan. The heaviest is the Steller's sea eagle and the one that has the largest wingspan is the Philippine eagle. While the wingspan of a Philippine eagle could be 100 ft the weight of a Steller's sea eagle could be 15 pounds.

A falconer holding a Steller's Sea Eagle in th...
A falconer holding a Steller's Sea Eagle
Photo credit: 
The smallest of the eagles is the Great Nicobar Serpent-eagle. Its habitat is the forests in the South Nicobar Islands. The weight of one of these birds is just 1 pound. Due to loss of habitat, it is dwindling in numbers and is threatened species. It is the different lifestyles of these birds that decide their wingspans. Generally, the birds that inhabit forests have smaller wingspans. Birds of this species that live in open areas have relatively longer wingspans.

Only a very few species of birds of prey are larger than eagles with either wingspan or the weight. Condor is one of them. Also, there are a few other vultures that are larger than these birds of prey. They are majestic birds when they are on a flight.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

5 PET BIRDS That Make Great Additions to the Family

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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.

Friday, August 31, 2018

All The Secrets About The Famous BLUE PARROTS

ARA - Blue Parrot - Photo: Pixabay
There are many different types of blue parrots in the world but perhaps the most popular one is the Blue-crown parrot. They are native to South America as many blue parrots are, more particularly they are most often found in Venezuela, Columbia, and Brazil. They are treasured creatures in their native countries where they spend their time deep inside the jungles of the Amazon like so many other breeds of parrots.

Rarely does someone have the opportunity to catch sight of these birds, let alone any species of blue parrots, as their numbers are quickly diminishing due to poachers capturing them and selling them on the black market? Blue parrots can fetch a sizable price due to their ability to be quickly trained and keep as an exotic pet.

So how can you tell the difference between male and female blue parrots? Well, blue-crown parrots all contain a white patch around their two eyes and in the male tends to usually have a much larger patch than the female. The other way to tell the difference between the sexes is to take a look at the length of the cere feathers. The male also has much longer feathers than the females on this are of their bodies.

The average lifespan of most blue parrots is unknown however they are more than likely to live for up to 40 years, sometimes longer in the wild like most parrots. Why is this? Well, most parrots need constant active social interaction which is usually much lower when kept in captivity.

Easy To Train?
That's right most blue parrots are trained very easily and have been well regarded as one of the most intelligent parrots They especially excel in the area of talking and have been knowing to be able to put together whole sentences which aren't too common among parrots. If you have a blue parrot yourself, you will notice that they can be very affectionate towards their owners. They are also known to be protective at times and unless you are a usual visitor to the home of a blue parrot, you better watch out because they can bite and bite hard!

How Much Do They Cost?
You'll be lucky the purchase a blue parrot for under $300 and if you do, make sure you know where it is coming from as many of these birds are sold on the black market and you may notice that it has just come from the wild. If this happens to you, contact your local conservation center and explain to them what happened. More than likely they will take your parrot and attempt to rehabilitate it.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Pet PARAKEETS and Their Wild Cousins

English Budgie vs American Parakeet
Parakeets - Photo  by PuppiesAreProzac 
Budgie parakeets can make wonderful pets if you know how to keep them happy. A lot of people assume that in order to keep their pet parakeet happy, all they need to do is give it food, water, and a clean cage to live in. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Parakeets have a variety of special needs that can be best understood by taking a look at how wild parakeets behave in their native land of Australia.

Parakeets evolved for life in the great Australian Outback. Life in this arid desert-like landscape is not easy. Temperatures can reach well over 100°F, food is scarce, standing water can be very difficult to find, and predators lurk in the skies as well as in the underbrush. In order to help deal with these harsh conditions, parakeets have developed some unique adaptations.

Food and Water
Most large parrots need access to a huge variety of nuts, fruits, and vegetables in order to be healthy. These things are not readily available to the parakeet. Because of this, the parakeet has shrunken in size compared to other parrots and lives almost entirely off of grass seeds. Grasses are a dependable source of food in the Outback because they can grow even with very little water.

Even though parakeets mainly live on grass seeds, it's important to note that they feed on over 20 different kinds of grasses. This variety helps them get all the nutrients they need. It's important that you provide your pet parakeet with a large variety of seeds as well as formulated pellets in order to keep your pet healthy.

Parakeet bodies have been streamlined to preserve water. If the humidity is high and the temperatures are cool, they can go without drinking for over a week and hardly show signs of fatigue. If you or I were to try this we would die within just a few days.

Because parakeets drink so little, it's important that you keep your bird's water bowl clean and fresh by switching out the water every day instead of just waiting for your bird to drink it all and then refilling it. If you let the water stay for several days it can grow bacteria that can kill your parrot.

Flying Ability
Parakeets are not built for long distance flying. Instead, they enjoy powerful bursts of flight for short distances. A parakeet can take off almost immediately if he thinks his life is in danger and his incredible maneuverability makes him almost impossible to catch, even for stealthy and agile predators like the peregrine falcon. Even though parakeets typically only fly in short bursts, they are nomadic (they never stay in the same place for very long) and during the course of just one day they may end up covering more than 10 miles in their search for food.

Your parakeet needs time outside of his cage every day in order to fly around the house, climb on things, and do a little exploring to get his wiggles out.

Make sure the parakeet cage you buy is large enough for your bird to fly in without snagging his wings on the walls when he gets excited or frightened. The smallest cage for a single bird should be no less than 2 feet long. Also, make sure that your bird has toys to climb on and chew up in order to get some exercise.

Parakeet Flocks
Parakeets are flock birds that are never seen alone unless they are sick or have gotten lost in their clan. Parakeet flocks can be as small 5 to 10 birds or larger than 10,000! Flocks shrink and grow depending on the availability of food. When times get tough, large groups will break into smaller flocks to avoid fighting over patches of grass when foraging.

The flock provides parakeets with safety from predators as well as a place to make friends and find a mate. Because parakeets are such social animals, your bird will need several hours of attention from you each day unless you have several parakeets to keep each other company. A lonely parakeet is a sad and frightened parakeet.

Parakeets are paranoid
The parakeet's Australian name is "Budgerigar" which means "Little Snack". These poor innocent creatures can be found on the dinner menu of almost every meat-eating animal in the Outback. Because of this, they are horribly scared of almost anything that moves, including humans.

It's important that you carefully earn your parakeets trust before attempting to handle your bird. Never hit your parakeet when he does something wrong and never leaves your bird alone with a dog or cat.

Now that you know a little more about wild parakeets, I hope you will be able to make your pet parakeet feel a little more at home in your family. Good luck to you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

50 Reasons My Blue and GOLD MACAW Makes Me Happier Than My Child

I am a SHOW OFF!
Photo   byLadyDragonflyCC – >;< 
You love your kid or kids and the reasons for it just cannot be counted. I love my daughter more than anything but my Blue and Gold Macaw runs a close second. I sometimes wonder knowing what I know now. Would I do things the same way? If I had a do over. So one day shortly after sending my daughter off to Florida State University to finish her last two years. I sat down and thought about things from a different perspective and listed the below. Here are 50 reasons why I believe owning a Blue and Gold Macaw may be a better choice than having a child.

1. Color coordination, they have it down pat. No one does it better than a Blue and Gold Macaw.
2. There is no P.T.A.
3. A Macaw doesn't want to go to the movies. When and wherever I want to go so goes my Blue And Gold Macaw.
4. A Macaw gives you the remote. He doesn't care whats on the tube tonight.
5. Your Macaw likes you, mostly.
6. A Macaw doesn't lie to you.
7. A Macaw actually misses you when you're gone.
8. Just because it's Christmas a Macaw won't wake you up any earlier than normal.
9. A Macaw doesn't expect a Christmas gift.
10. A Macaw doesn't know its his birthday and won't remind you of it everyday for a month.
11. You don't need to take a Macaw to school. You get to be the school.
12. A Macaw doesn't expect a car for their 18th birthday or ever.
13. No need to save for a Macaws college fund.
14. A Macaw washes and dries his own clothes.
15. A Macaw will shower with you.
16. Macaws are cheaper than kids.
17. Macaws are generally friendlier than kids.
18. Its easier to understand a Macaw than a kid.
19.Macaws don't need a night light.
20. A Macaw doesn't want a cell phone or Ipod.
21. A Macaw doesn't need a computer or Playstation.
22. A Macaw will at least try to eat a vegetable.
23. You never need to help a Blue and Gold Macaw with homework.
24. You never need to meet with a Macaws principal.
25. A Macaw will never annoy you with a text message.
26. A Macaw never expects you to text them back.
27. You get to choose where your Macaw makes his messes.
28. A Macaw doesn't invite the Macaw down the street for dinner.
29. Macaws don't get into slumber parties.
30. A Macaw enjoys speaking with you. Even if its only a few words.
31. Macaws are not difficult to cook for.
32. Macaw toys are cheaper. But may not last longer.
33. Macaws don't care what the bird down the street has or gets.
34. You can train a Macaw. Or your Macaw can train you. Depends on your outlook.
35. A Macaw doesn't pout every time he doesn't get his way.
36. Macaws make excellent nut crackers.
37. A Macaw will find your jewelery fascinating.
38. If you're doing something a Macaw will be curious as to what it is.
39. A Macaw will never ask to stay over somewhere else.
40. Even if it isn't his Birthday or Christmas morning. My Blue And Gold Macaw still likes me.
41. Friends or family that must have quiet won't visit you often or for long.
42. You just cannot cramp a Blue and Gold Macaws style, he just won't let you.
43. Macaws don't care if they've had broccoli once already this week.
44. Macaws don't play soccer.
45. Macaws know who the boss is in the family and they don't care.
46. Macaws don't need braces on their teeth.
47. Macaws won't die if they don't have a new pair of Nike's.
48. Macaws don't need a prom dress.
49. You don't need to give a Macaw away because it met another bird.
50. Blue and Gold Macaws never outgrow their clothes.

I have had my Blue and Gold Macaw (Shadow) 12 years longer than the 19 year old daughter. Over those years I have never had heartbreak nor frustration from Shadow. He is just a Blue and Gold Macaw and I know this. It is all I ever expect from him. I wish the daughter had been so easy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


English: Senegal Parrot Deutsch: Mohrenkopfpapagei
Senegal Parrot Deutsch: Mohrenkopfpapagei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of all of the parrot species, the Senegal parrot is one of the most colorful of the parrot families. They are relatively easy to breed and are often bred in captivity for the pet trade since it is no longer legal to capture export or import parrots of any species due to conservation concerns.

They are not as large as other parrot species and are not as loud which makes them more popular for people who have limited space or who live in apartments or condominiums where disturbing the neighbors would be an issue.

They are quite long-lived in the wild and in captivity so a person should make sure they want to make a long commitment to caring for a parrot before buying one. Acclamation into the environment of the owner can be quite tricky if there are multiple people in the family. The parrot should be introduced to as many people as possible and moved to different environments or rooms within the home so that it does not become permanently attached to any one member of the family. 

If this happens the parrot may become jealous of the attention of other family members and may act out with misplaced aggression. By spreading its time equally among family members and among rooms in the home it is not as likely to bond to one single person or one single place and acclimation will become much more smooth and desirable for all.

As with any pet, research is needed to make sure that you can properly handle and care for your pet. If you decide to get a pair for possible breeding purposes it may be difficult to tell the males from females based on their appearance alone. It will be up to a professional breeder or pet store person to help you determine that you have a pair that is suitable for mating. Research for building a nesting box and providing for the female and the young until they are taken from the parents at approximately 12 weeks of age is imperative.

Senegal parrots are not as well-known for being talkers as other species such as the African Greys but are still quite elegant in the number of sounds and whistles they can produce. As with other parrot species, because of their intelligence, they need to have interaction and distraction to keep them from becoming bored because boredom can turn to depression and death in Senegal parrots due to aggression against the cage, injury to itself, or refusal to eat until it dies.

Monday, August 27, 2018

ORIOLES and Eden

Baltimore Oriole.jpg
"Baltimore Oriole" Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Each morning, very early, I walk to the 3 areas where they dine on their meals of oranges, and a mixture of meal-worms and grape jelly. Always, I hear the staccato-like chatter as they wait for their breakfast in the trees in our gardens... it is not chirping, the sound is unique to these birds.

And always, I smile because I feel privileged- honored, really- that these splendid creatures come here and trust they will find the nutrition they need to nurture themselves and the babies they fly thousands of miles to have here in the high Sierra's.

In June, now, they search through the jelly mixture for the meal-worms- I have learned this is the protein they require for the babies. I assume the kids are getting hungrier and are demanding more protein to fuel their growing bodies.

Occasionally, their feet drag detritus from their nest to leave on the sticky lip of the jelly jar. Today, there was a long strip of what looked like very thin plastic tape, about 6 inches of it, reminding me of the tapes we used to play long ago but thinner and with white checks, stuck to the top of one of the containers.

While adding a generous supply of meal-worms to each of the 3 containers, I thought about why this gives me such pleasure, aside from the obvious joy of seeing these outrageously colored birds amidst all of the other mostly brown, black colored birds which merge with the muted natural landscape of the desert.

I think of Eden now and then.

Of a place where all of creation - all of us creatures were in a sense, one. We, humans, had dominion but the word does not imply any perversion of power or hierarchy, rather it implies a deep reverence for all creatures, an understanding that supersedes words because perfect communication can exist only without words.

A place where the meaning of that peculiar staccato chatter of these splendid creatures was clear to us because we understood the gratitude, the love. We understood because we shared the gratitude in each moment, in the splendor and the goodness of each tree, plant and creature... the shared peace of each moment and the love for each one of us.

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

Friday, August 24, 2018

Fiery-throated HUMMINGBIRD - Panterpe insignis

Fiery-throated Hummingbird - Panterpe insignis

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Adding GOLDFINCES, CARDINALS and Other Birds of Color to Your Backyard Retreat is Easy - Here's How

A European Goldfinch on a garden bird feeder i...
A European Goldfinch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When it comes to turning your backyard into a getaway or retreat, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a private outdoor oasis, complete with water features and an outdoor kitchen? Or is it adding a terraced effect with exotic plants, detailed retaining walls and hardscape patios and walkways that make you feel that you are enjoying the seclusion of a five-star resort? Your home should be your haven, the place where the world stops at the beginning of your driveway and your retreat begins.

To add exotic color to your outdoor haven, I have two words; Bird Feeders. You will be intrigued by the various types of birds you can attract to your yard. By attracting these birds, you will add color, sound, wildlife and create a sense of seclusion.

There is more to attracting birds than just nailing a birdhouse up to a fence post or hanging one off a tree limb. The species of birds you attract depends on the type of feeder you choose, the placement of the feeder in your yard and the type of feed you put in the feeder.

Here are five categories of birds you may want to consider. All come with their own distinct colors, sounds, and traits.

1) Goldfinches: These birds are yellow in color, with the males being more vibrant in the spring season. They are small in stature and shy by nature. You can use everything from Thistle sacks, which are inexpensive and easy to reposition in the yard to small "clinger" only feeders to various types of triple-tube feeders. For the sake of the length of this article, I will give you a resource you can go to and learn more on the various types of feeders. The type of feeder is important to the type of birds you are trying to attract, but even more important is the type of feed you use to draw specific species to your feeders.

Goldfinches are partial to finely chopped Sunflower hearts and Nyjer seeds; Nyjer is a black seed cultivated in Africa & Asia and are high in calories and oil content. Another source of nutrition and a strong attraction for Goldfinches occurs in the autumn when the blooms from plants such as Marigolds and Zinnias are long past their pretty stages of summer. These create a great feed for Goldfinches, so be sure to leave these in your garden or yard and you will attract a flurry of activity from the Goldfinches, as they are storing energy for the winter.

2) Cardinals: A regal bird with its pointed crown and vibrant red color trimmed in black mask and neck. If you have ever seen a cardinal up close, you would remember it. It has a look like no other bird, in my humble opinion. Whether against the green of summer leaves or the white of winter's snow, Cardinals are a splendid attraction to any setting. Here is how you can seduce them to your haven. They like feeders either low to the ground or with a platform they can eat from when hung from above. This is due to the fact they are a larger bird and require some space to maneuver. They do not eat from tube feeders, like Goldfinches, unless the tube feeder has a tray on the bottom for them to perch on. Their favorite feed is Sunflower or Safflower seeds; their big bill makes it easy for them to crack these seeds. The addition of a bird bath is another draw for the cardinal, as they love water.

3) Blue Birds: The nesting sites of Bluebirds differ according to your region of the country. For your specific region do a little research and determine the best type of nesting site to build to attract these brilliant blue colored birds to your private retreat. They prefer open spaces so they can feed on insects, their main nutrition source. Another favorite of the Bluebird is live mealworms, so you may want to keep some on hand if this beautiful bird is going to be added to your yards color pallet. For winter nutrition, Bluebirds feast on the berries from Bittersweet & Holly. Again, the addition of a birdbath to provide a water source, especially in winter, will help coax the Bluebird to your backyard paradise.

4) Orioles: An orange bodied bird with black head and back, its wings have traces of white and yellow mixed in amongst black. Orioles are shy birds that migrate to South America for the winters. A great tool in the attraction of Orioles is oranges. Cut a few oranges in half on secure them to a gate or fence top and use them to bait the Orioles into your yard. Another weak spot for Orioles is jelly, they love jelly. You can go to your local bird store and pick up an adapter that fits over the open end of a jelly jar and viola; you have a feeder for the Orioles you hope to draw into your backyard. Due to the fact that Orioles are shy birds, start off by setting the feeders further away from active areas and then slowly move them closer, once you began to gain their confidence. This will give you the pleasure of watching this beautiful bird up close; I guess you can say "You'd have a Bird's Eye view". 

I know, really bad, but I couldn't resist. Once you notice the Orioles you can leave twine, yarn, and strands of hair for them to find and use in building a pendulum nest they will use for the season. Oranges, jelly, and hosts who do not disturb them, they will love you for the season.

English: Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes ery...
Red-headed Woodpecker
(Photo credit: 
5) Woodpeckers: Last, but not least, in this selection of vibrantly colored and distinctively different birds; Woodpeckers are showy birds with colored plumage. Described as a clinger, because of its ability to grab on with its feet and attach itself to the sides of trees with no or little effort. They have spiny tail feathers, which aides them in climbing and resting on tree trunks. Typically go up and down tree trunks scrounging for insects, it is advisable to hang your feeders for these birds close to the trunk at first, to get their attention. Once you have their attention, you can move the feeder further out on the limb away from the trunk. Tree nuts and peanuts are the secret to luring these birds to your collection of featured wildlife. Beware though, once a Woodpecker begins its assault on the tree of its choice; it could get noisy for some time to come.

So there you have it, you have added gold, red, blue, orange and the rhythm of the Woodpecker to your Backyard Getaway. For more information on this subject, I recommend The Backyard Bird Company. Take a minute and Google them, they are jam-packed with great information.

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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.