Senin, 31 Desember 2012

What Color Babies Can Two Peach-Faced Love Birds Have?

Peach-faced lovebirds are one of the most common of the nine species of lovebird. In the wild, the bird has a peach-colored face, while the body is mainly green with some blue and black. In captivity, according to Doug Bedwell of the African Lovebird Society, at least 17 different mutations exist, with more than 100,000 possible color combinations. Not all color combinations retain the peach-colored face, but they are still all the same species, peach-faced lovebirds (Agapornis Roseicollis). To predict what colors the offspring of any two peach-faced lovebirds will be, you need to know the traits of the different colors and have some knowledge of the two birds' parents.

Basic Genetics

    You'll need a basic understanding of genetics to predict what colors the babies of two peach-faced lovebirds will be. Each color is represented by a gene, or in some cases, by a chromosome attached to the sex gene. Each parent contributes one gene to each baby.

    The genotype refers to the bird's actual genetic inheritance, and the phenotype refers to the physical expression of the genotype -- the appearance of the bird. For example, the normal green color is dominant, but a green bird (phenotype) can have a green gene from one parent and a Dutch blue gene, which is recessive, from another parent (the genotype). Or, it can have two green genes, one from each parent.

    If one parent is a Dutch blue color, then you know that it only has two Dutch blue genes, since Dutch blue is a recessive color. Mate that Dutch blue bird with a bird that you know is pure green (having only two green genes), and you will have all green babies, each with a recessive Dutch blue gene. But when you mate those offspring (brother to sister), you can get different combinations, including a pure Dutch blue color -- some babies will inherit a Dutch blue gene from each parent, others will inherit a green gene from each parent, and the rest will inherit one green gene and one Dutch blue gene.

Recessive Colors

    A bird must have two of the recessive genes in order to be that color. If it inherits one of the recessive genes and one of the dominant genes, it will have the dominant color, but will be able to pass on the recessive gene to its offspring as well as the dominant gene.

    The recessive colors, according to the African Lovebird Society, are:

    Blue

    Whitefaced Blue

    Seagreen

    Orange-faced

    American Yellow and Japanese Yellow

    Australian Recessive Pied

    Fallow

Dominant Colors and Partial Dominant Colors

    American pied and green are the two dominant colors of peach-faced lovebirds. If a bird has even one gene for either of these colors, that is the color you will see on the bird.

    The partial dominant colors are the dark factor and violet. These are not actual colors, but factors that alter the bird's genetic color. So if a a green bird has two dark factor genes, it will be an olive green instead of light green. If it only inherits one dark factor gene, then it will be a medium green. The violet factor causes a richer, deeper coloring and also adds a violet or purple hue.

Sex-Linked and Other Characteristics

    Sex-linked characteristics are carried on the sex chromosomes that determines the sex of the bird. These are the Lutino, American Cinnamon, Australian Cinnamon, Lacewing and Opaline. Both male and female birds can have these factors, but the factor is only carried on the X chromosome. In birds, two X chromosomes (XX) make a male, and an XY pattern is a female. This can be confusing because it is the opposite of humans and other mammals, which require an XY to make a male.

How to Identify a Cockatoo

How to Identify a Cockatoo

The cockatoo is a species of parakeet. There are a number of different types of cockatoo, although there are several particular physical characteristics that they all share. The cockatoo is a popular choice for people keeping parrots as pets, although it generally does not like children. The cockatoo is an extremely intelligent bird, although it is not the best talker. The capturing and trading of wild cockatoos is illegal.

Instructions

    1

    Examine the bird's beak to check that it is curved. This is a characteristic that all species of parakeet share.

    2

    Look at the bird's feet. The cockatoo always has four toes on each foot.

    3

    Determine if the bird is a cockatoo by looking for a crest. This is made up of feathers and is located on the top of the head. A cockatoo will raise its crest to show excitement or aggression.

    4

    Note the bird's coloration to determine what type of cockatoo the bird is. The citron-crested, goffin, greater sulphur-crested, lessor sulphur-crested, moluccan and umbrella cockatoos are all white in coloration. The citron-crested and sulphur cockatoos have a yellow coloration in the crest feathers and on the underside of the tail, whereas the mollucan cockatoo has a red coloration in its crest feathers. The rose-breasted cockatoo is grey in coloration with a pink/red breast.

Birds That Whistle

Birds That Whistle

Birds communicate by producing many diverse sounds. Their songs can be used as mating calls, warnings against danger, a method to protect territory, or an indication of a food source. Several bird species possess the oral dexterity to whistle. Whistling is not a natural form of communication for most birds and is often learned from humans. A whistling pet can be both pleasant and entertaining, and many people may wonder if a specific pet bird can learn this skill.

Cockatiel

    Cockatiels can produce a loud and smooth whistling sound. Pet cockatiels that have learned to whistle from their owners often use their whistling skills to show off and entertain. If a cockatiel hears a wolf whistle frequently enough, it can often reproduce this sound. They can also imitate whistled tunes. If a cockatiel has an owner that likes to whistle "The Star Spangled Banner," the bird is likely to begin whistling this tune after hearing it repeated for many weeks. All cockatiels can whistle, but males are often stronger whistlers than females. Breeders from the North Texas Cockatiel Club believe that cockatiels are the most skilled whistlers of all birds.

Parrot

    Most parrots can be taught to whistle. Even parrots that don't possess the vocal dexterity to talk can often learn the relatively simple skill of whistling. Parrots can learn to wolf whistle, and they can also learn melodies if the whistled song is repeated frequently by the owner. If you really want your parrot to learn to whistle, you can record yourself whistling a song and let the recording play periodically. Your parrot should begin to imitate the song. Many people who expect these birds to be able to talk may be set up for disappointment if their pet cannot imitate the human voice but are often satisfied when they hear their parrot begin to whistle.

Parakeet

    Parakeets are small birds that are popular pets. They are part of the parrot family and have similar vocal and oral dexterity allowing them to whistle. Parakeets use whistling to express contentment. They also use whistle patterns learned from humans to communicate with other parakeets. If you own more than one parakeet, you may observe these birds whistling songs to one another. Just like other whistling birds, train a parakeet to whistle a specific tune by repeating it often. Once your parakeet has learned a song, it may even whistle along with you.

Canary

    Canaries are small birds belonging to the finch family. These birds are popular as pets. Their natural form of communication resembles a twittering whistle that many people find pleasant and is often an incentive for canary ownership. Unlike parrots, cockatiels and parakeets, canaries cannot learn to mimic human whistling but produce a whistling sound as their natural communication method. Only male canaries whistle, however, so if you're seeking a whistling canary ask the breeder or pet store owner to help you choose a male bird.

How to Remove Bird Droppings

How to Remove Bird Droppings

Cleaning bird droppings off of your personal items, such as clothing or furniture, is necessary to remove any germs that may be contained within the feces. Not only do bird droppings carry germs, but they can leave your clothing virtually unwearable if the stain is not cleaned in a reasonable amount of time. Clean up your bird's droppings in an hour or less with a few cleaning supplies you have lying around the house.

Instructions

Remove Bird Droppings Off of Clothing

    1

    Throw the fabric into your washing machine, then let it soak in a combination of warm water and laundry soap that contains enzyme cleaners.

    2

    Run the washing machine for a full cleaning cycle. Then take the fabric or clothing out and place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide combined with ammonia to the remaining droppings with your eye dropper. The mixture of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide will assist in the breaking down of the stain's elements.

    3

    Place the fabric underneath running water from a faucet, then throw it back into the washing machine. Run the machine's wash cycle once more in order to remove any of the remaining fecal dropping stain.

Removing Bird Droppings Off of Upholstery

    4

    Mix 1 tbsp. of liquid dish soap with 2 cups of water. Stir up the combination completely for best results.

    5

    Wet the cloth with the mixture of dish soap and water, then gently apply light pressure to the stain repeatedly. Do not stop applying the cloth to the stain in a dabbing motion until you notice that the stain has become free from the upholstery.

    6

    Place a few drops of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide onto the stain with the eye dropper, then clean the stain with the cloth and tepid water. Dry the upholstery off with a part of the cloth that hasn't been used yet.

Minggu, 30 Desember 2012

How to Train an African Grey Timneh

How to Train an African Grey Timneh

The Timneh is a subspecies of the African Grey parrot. They often are referred to as the TAG, standing for Timneh African Grey. The African Grey parrot is widely accepted as the smartest of the pet parrot species. African Greys are capable of learning how to imitate sounds, talk and do tricks.

Instructions

    1

    Spend a lot of quality time with the Timneh. African Grey parrots need more attention than most other companion birds. Before a Timneh tries to please its owner by learning to talk and do tricks, it must first bond with the owner.

    2

    Pick a specific trick. Don't try to teach the bird too many things at once. Potty training is a good starting point.

    3

    Use positive reinforcement. Reward the Grey every time it goes to the bathroom in the right area, like the cage or perch, instead of on furniture or people. In the case of potty training, put the bird away when he goes on something that he shouldn't. This "time out" should last no longer than five minutes.

    4

    Move on to more difficult tricks using the same type of technique, minus the time out. Timneh African Greys are capable of cause-and-effect thinking and will quickly learn that completing a trick correctly will earn a reward. When the bird completes the trick or says the word you want her to, reward her with her favorite treat.

    5

    Be repetitive. Keep saying the word over and over or walking the bird through the trick over and over.

    6

    Keep the training fun. Pay attention to the bird's attitude. Flapping, nipping or avoidance are signs that the bird is getting frustrated. Pushing a bird to keep going when she doesn't want to is counter-productive.

How to Stop a Screaming Parakeet

Parakeets are popular pets available from many pet stores. Bird aficionados favor parakeets for their intelligence and playfulness. Parakeets have lifespans ranging from 10 to 15 years, which makes them ideal pets for children. Like parrots, parakeets are capable of squawking and even talking when excited or agitated. There may be times when you need to quiet a bird. Knowing how to do this without further stressing the parakeet is vital to the long-term relationship between owner and pet.

Instructions

    1

    Take out of the cage any toys or mirrors that might stimulate or frighten the parakeet.

    2

    Place the cage in an area where the bird will not hear voices or background noises that may compel it to squawk.

    3

    Cover the entire cage with a blanket or cover. The darkness will calm the bird and induce it to sleep.

Wood Duck Nest Box Specifications

Wood Duck Nest Box Specifications

Wood ducks are cavity-nesting ducks who most often build their nests in abandoned woodpecker holes or natural tree cavities which could have been caused by disease, fire or lighting. These ducks also use a man-made nesting box if built according to specifications that make the box similar to their natural cavity choices.

Materials

    If you are constructing a wood duck nest box, use a lumber that is naturally resistant to weather and insects to extend the life of the box. Construction requires materials for the back, side, front, floor and door of the box. Additional construction materials include a handsaw or table saw, drill and 1/2 inch bit, jigsaw, screwdriver, sandpaper, pencil, measuring tape and a straight edge. Save the sawdust from the construction process for nesting materials after you complege construction .

Measurements

    A typical wood box would have a finished height of 23.5 inches in the front with a gentle slope towards the back of the box increasing the back box height to 31 inches. The total width and depth of the box is 9.25 inches. Drill five 1/2 inch drainage holes in the floor. Cut the entry hole in an oval shape measuring 4.5 inches by 3.5 1/2 inches. Score the inside of the front of the box with horizontal slots to provide toeholds to ducklings as they emerge from the nest.

Positioning

    Wood ducks are water fowl usually located in wooded wetland areas that contain water year-round or through the duration of the summer. You also can find this species along riverbanks or shorelines. A dead tree at the water's edge would be the best place for the box, but you also can put it on a solid dead tree located in the water or on poles near dead trees. Position your box so that you can easily access it for monitoring and maintenance. Clear a flight path to your box by removing branches and other debris that may prevent access.

Predator Control

    To improve the chances of a successful hatching, constructors of wood duck nest boxes can build predator guards. These guards, primarily made of steel in a steel sandwich format, plastic piping, or a plastic guard. Fold the steel sandwich sheet of 36 inch by 49 inch 28 gauge steel around the mounting -- either bolted or nailed to the mount. Wrap a plastic pipe around the mounting, attached by a bolt. You can make the plastic guard of inexpensive sleds available for children during the winter. If you install a guard on a living tree, provide additional room for the tree to grow.

How to Stop an Indian Ringneck Parrot From Biting

How to Stop an Indian Ringneck Parrot From Biting

Indian Ringnecks are a popular species of parrots. They come in a variety of striking color mutations and are often praised for their talking ability. Ringnecks are not affectionate in the way other parrots can be, and new bird owners who might be unaccustomed to a Ringneck's standoffish nature might find they have a pet with a biting problem. Following a few simple steps and taking a few precautions can go a long way toward avoiding a bite from your feathered friend.

Instructions

    1

    Change your body language to a relaxed and comfortable state. Parrots are very sensitive animals and will sense a change in your mood. If you are worried about getting bit, your bird might pick up on that feeling and be more apt to bite out of nervousness.

    2

    Handle your bird with gloves the first couple of days if the biting is a consistent problem, especially if you cannot remove the bird from the cage without getting bit.

    3

    Reward your Indian Ringneck every time you are able to handle him without receiving a bite. The reward can be a small amount of his favorite treat. It is natural for younger birds to gently nibble on fingers and test their beak strength and your limits. Tell your bird to "be gentle" and reward him if he stops nibbling.

    4

    Create a time-out station by putting a T-perch in a low-traffic area of the house. When your bird bites, tell her firmly, "No," and place her on the T-perch. Leave her there for no longer than minutes. Removing her from the stimulus that might have caused the bite serves as a time-out and cool-down period for both of you. After the time out, pick up your bird and reward her for any good behavior she exhibits.

    5

    Work on these behaviors by repeating steps 1 through 5 until you notice a steady change. Reward him each time he makes progress, such as letting you get him out of the cage without biting. Continue to discourage biting behaviors and reward positive replacement behaviors instead.

Bird Care for Finches

Finches are attractive family house pets that do not require a great deal of care. Some minor daily chores such as feeding and cleaning the cages are enough to make them happy. They make great pets for active people or young children not quite ready to handle a pet. Finches are fun for anyone who enjoys watching the playful antics of active, colorful birds.

Feeding

    Finch diets are easy to maintain. Generally, a good-quality commercial finch food along with a millet spray is all you need to provide them on a daily basis. Always give your finch fresh water daily. During molting cycles, include chopped hard-boiled eggs in their diet for added calcium. If you breed them, you must give them liquefied boiled egg yolk and mealworm, in some cases, to feed their young.

Handling

    Finches do not like handling. They make great visual pets and produce a pleasingly soft chirp that is soothing. Their hands-off attitude appeals to busy individuals, who like sharing their homes with living creatures, but do not have a desire to interact socially with them. Some breeders hand-raise baby finches to make them more accepting of human touch. Even these birds do not enjoy handling but will be more likely to accept necessary care handling for health or movement purposes, making them easier to manage as pets.

Housing

    Finches are easy to keep in cages. They are not destructive like their larger cousin the parrot, which is likely to chew on wood, so cages can be made of just about any material. The bars must be close together. Finches are small birds that can slip through tiny spaces. Make sure the cage you purchase does not have any space larger than -inch wide. A bigger consideration is the size of the cage. Even though finches are small, they are very active and need room to fly. Add as many perches as you can without taking away flight room. Because finches do not socially interact with their human keepers, it is a good idea to have more than one in a cage for company. Unlike some other pet bird species, finches prefer to nest at night and are aggressive about making nests in their cages. Their cage should be roomy enough to allow for a nest, and you should always give them plenty of nest-building materials such as thread, cotton, rope, cloth swatches and even hair from brushes around the house. Clean your finch's cage daily to keep it free of droppings and the dust that dried droppings create.

How to Make Your Own Cockatiel Training CD

How to Make Your Own Cockatiel Training CD

The cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) is a small member of the parrot family. Like many parrots, cockatiels are capable of mimicking human speech. Although they whistle better than they speak, they can learn a small vocabulary along with their whistled songs.



One of the easiest ways to train a cockatiel to mimic is to play a CD of songs and words. You can buy these CDs at pet shops, but making your own CD will help your cockatiel to become familiar with your voice, while teaching it exactly what you want to teach it.

Instructions

Recording the CD Tracks

    1

    Make a list of the words you want to teach your cockatiel, and the songs you want it to whistle.

    2

    Open your recording program and create a new sound file.

    3

    Hit the "Record" button.

    4

    Go to the first word or song on your list, and repeat it several times into the microphone. Speak clearly, and do your best to avoid voice fluctuations. Continue for about a minute.

    5

    Hit the "Stop" button, and save the file as an MP3 or WAV file. Name the file after the word or song.

    6

    Repeat Steps 3 through 5 with the other words and songs on your list.

Burning the CD

    7

    Insert a blank CD into your CD drive.

    8

    Open the blank CD folder, and drag the tracks you recorded into it.

    9

    Burn the CD.

    10

    Test the CD in a CD player to make sure it works.

How to Release Dove & Keep Them Coming Back

How to Release Dove & Keep Them Coming Back

Doves are widely used in weddings, funerals and magic shows for their ability to return after release. This is due in part to a homing feature that most varieties of dove naturally possess, but it also depends on patient training by the individual who owns them. Doves are simple birds, and not known for their intelligence, but consistency and repetition will make training a dove to return a very easy process, provided you have the time.

Instructions

    1

    Get familiar with your bird. It's best to train them young, but you want to wait until they are comfortable in their cage and willing to let you touch them. Usually it takes a week or so for the bird to get acquainted with its surroundings.

    2

    Build on the bird's natural desire to find a perch. Doves are not long distance fliers (typically) and tend to seek the nearest refuge when they find themselves in the air. Start small by setting the bird on your finger, pulling back about 1 or 2 feet from the bird perch, and dropping your hand quickly so that the bird has to fly. It will naturally fly the small distance to rest on the perch.

    3

    Repeat step two multiple times, stepping back 6 inches each time. The bird is being conditioned to seek out the perch and you'll find that it is returning to the perch instead of flying to other locations that might be nearer.

    4

    Teach the bird to turn after the bird has become consistent at returning to the perch. Move up to a distance of about 3 or 4 feet from the perch, allowing the dove to perch on your finger. This time, before removing your finger, turn slightly either to the right or the left. Always turn the same direction because your bird can't learn to turn both ways. Then remove your finger and the bird will navigate the small turn to return to the perch.

    5

    Repeat step four over and over, gradually turning away from the perch before release more and more until the bird is turning a complete 180 degrees to return to the perch.

    6

    Continue this training process each day. Be patient and repeat each level of training many times. Fifteen minutes each day is much better than several hours in one day, as the pigeon will need time to rest. You'll be able to gradually increase the distance as much as you want so long as you don't try to skip any levels of training along the way.

How to Care for Untamed Love Birds

Originating from the dry regions of Africa, love birds are playful, active and attractive birds that make for well-suited pets because of their evolved adaptation to captivity. Love birds are extremely loyal to both their lifelong mate and often their human owner. Because love birds are so active and social, keeping a single love bird is usually rather time-consuming due to the overwhelming amount of attention and affection they need to thrive. In addition to affection and companionship, love birds also need a well-balanced diet, plenty of toys and a daily opportunity to fly freely outside the cage. Untamed love birds will need daily handling and interaction with their owner.

Instructions

    1

    Provide a cage for a single love bird that is at least 2 feet wide, 2 feet long and 2 feet high. Provide a larger cage if you have more than one love bird.

    2

    Add two perches that are about inch in diameter per love bird to the cage. Add a food bowl and water dish, placing them far away from the perches so the water and food do not become contaminated.

    3

    Give your love birds plenty of toys to keep them active and healthy. Add swings, cage ladders, bamboo rings and a cuttlebone for beak conditioning. Place a heavy dish filled with warm water in the bottom of the cage for bathing.

    4

    Feed your love birds a commercially made "formulated diet" pellet mix, supplemented with green; such as spinach, endive, parsley and dandelions; vegetables including corn on the cob, peas and radish; and fruits such as berries, grapes, apples, bananas and pears.

    5

    Clean the water dish and provide fresh water every day using hot water and a mild dish soap. Disinfect and clean the cage once every week, along with the food and bath dishes and toys. Replace any wooden toys or items in the cage when they become soiled.

    6

    Let your love birds out of the cage once every day to allow them to fly around in an enclosed room, safely away from other pets. This is important for exercise as well as training untamed love birds. Handle your untamed love birds every day to help tame them and bond with them. Try hand feeding your love birds as well.

Sabtu, 29 Desember 2012

How to Care for Baby Robin Redbreasts

How to Care for Baby Robin Redbreasts

During the spring time, robin redbreasts are a common sight as they care for their nests, eggs, and fledglings. Robin fledglings sometimes end up on the ground as they attempt to learn to fly. If you come across a baby robin, determine that the baby bird has been orphaned or injured before taking any action to capture and care for it. Provide basic care for a fledgling after rescuing it, but contact your local wild bird care center as soon as possible to turn the bird over to qualified professionals.

Instructions

    1

    Determine the baby robin redbreast needs help. Both male and female robins take part in the care of their young, so if you find a baby bird on the ground it is likely just learning to fly and and its parents are nearby. Watch from a safe distance for 30 minutes to see if the parents return. If not, or if the baby bird shows signs of injury, you may need to take action.

    2

    Capture the baby bird either with your hands or by tossing a very lightweight towel over it. This may not be necessary and can injure the bird so do this only if you feel it is an important safety issue. Once the bird is immobilized, hold it with its wings flat against its body and lift it carefully up from the ground.

    3

    Place the baby bird in a cardboard box lined with a soft towel underneath; cover. Punch holes in the sides of the box to allow for air circulation and keep the lid on the box except for feeding times. Darkness calms birds, so the baby robin will be less likely to injure itself fluttering around in this contained space.

    4

    Keep the baby bird warm by placing a hot water bottle under the towel or by filling two plastic water bottles with warm water and placing them under the towel on either side of the bird. Do not place the cardboard box in the sun or in front of a heater; too much direct heat can cause overheating and dehydration.

    5

    Call your local bird or wild animal care shelter to let them know you have rescued a baby bird. Ask the shelter whether they will be able to pick up the animal or if you need to deliver it. Makes the necessary plans for the transfer of the bird; the sooner the better.

    6

    Feed the robin often until it can be transferred to the shelter. Fledgling robins need to be fed every hour; featherless babies, every half hour. Unlike some birds, robins eat worms and insects rather than seeds. Offer bits of canned cat or dog food, preferably one with high protein, to the robin via a toothpick, rounded chopstick or tweezer and follow each bite of food with a few drops of water off the end of your finger. Note baby birds do not require a lot of water. If you have dry cat or dog kibble, try soaking it in warm water and offering it to the baby bird with a tweezer, being careful not to injure the bird. The water in the kibble should suffice for the fledgling's hydration needs.

How to Feed Whole Wheat Bread to Ducks

How to Feed Whole Wheat Bread to Ducks

Although conventional belief is that wild ducks should forage for themselves, finding their own food in their habitat, there may be times at which you feed wild ducks. Most communities prefer that people not feed ducks in municipal areas because the remains of human food can clog up water, creating an unhealthy environment. If permissible or warranted, feed whole wheat bread to ducks, but only in very small amounts. A duck's diet is healthier if it consists of whole grains, according to the book "Duck."

Instructions

    1

    Offer small pieces of torn whole wheat to ducks by tossing one or two pieces onto a grassy or dirt-covered area. Do not throw the bread into the water, because it can lead to pollution or disease if it remains uneaten in the water.

    2

    Wait to see if the ducks eat the whole wheat bread. Do not throw more bread until you see if the ducks eat the bread you threw.

    3

    Throw another piece or two, only after the ducks eat the first pieces you threw. Stop throwing bread when the ducks stop eating it.

How to Build a Kestrel Box

How to Build a Kestrel Box

The American Kestrel is the United States' smallest falcon. At one time this bird, which is about the size of a blue jay, was known as the "sparrow hawk." Kestrels are monogamous, territorial, "cavity nesters." According to Audubon International, the continuing development of the American landscape, forces kestrels to compete with other cavity nesters for dwindling nesting sites. Although not yet endangered, the American kestrel population decreased at the end of the 20th century, leading to a need for conservation. Several organizations are currently studying he migratory habits of the American kestrel and their nesting box successes and failures.

Instructions

    1

    Measure and mark the board into five sections as follows: 26 inches (back), 32 inches (two sides), 15 inches (front), 13 inches (top), and 7 3/4 inches (bottom). You will be left with several inches of waste lumber.

    2

    Use the jigsaw to cut all sections. Put all but the 32-inch section aside.

    3

    Measure and mark the 32-inch section into two equal pieces, each piece having one 15-inch side and a 17-inch side. Cut on the diagonal line separating the pieces.

    4

    Measure and mark a line 11 1/2-inches long, starting at one of the narrow ends of the 15-inch board. Cut a hole 3 inches in diameter at the end of this line. This hole is the entrance at the front of the nest box.

    5

    Drill two 1/4-inch guide holes close to the top (slanted edge) of each of the two side pieces of board.

    6

    Drill four 1/4-inch drainage holes in the 7 3/4-inch bottom piece. Place one hole at each corner.

    7

    Drill four 1/4-inch drainage holes in the 7 3/4-inch bottom piece. Place one hole at each corner.

    8

    Attach the hardware. The two hinges should attach the rear of the nest box top to the back piece of board. Attach the latch at the front of the nest box, lining it up with the corresponding position on the nest box top.

    9

    Line the nest box bottom with wood shavings.

Top Companion Bird Species

Top Companion Bird Species

Pet birds make excellent home companions, whether it's through their ability to speak, their clownlike nature or their aesthetic plumage. Choose your companion bird carefully, however, as there are a variety of sizes and personalities found in the species available as domestic pets. Consider your lifestyle as well as the size of the companion bird you're looking for; do you have room for the large macaw, or is a tiny canary more suited to your abode?

Extra-Small Companion Birds

    Tiny finches can be kept in small living areas and are great for apartments.
    Tiny finches can be kept in small living areas and are great for apartments.

    Canaries and finches, which range from 3 to 5 inches, are known for cheery and musical behavior. They've been kept as pets since the early 1400s. Domestic canaries (Serinus canaria domestica) can be kept in pairs or singly, but a male canary will be less inclined to sing if kept with a female. Finches thrive best in small flocks but can be kept as pairs at minimum. The common zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are energetic small birds who will fly rapidly from one side of their aviary to the other throughout the day.

Small Companion Birds

    Unlike most companion birds, budgies retain their friendly nature throughout their life.
    Unlike most companion birds, budgies retain their friendly nature throughout their life.

    If you've never owned a companion bird before, parakeets, cockatiels and lovebirds are a small 8 to 10 inches, and are great for first-timers. The most common parakeet is the docile and friendly budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), also known as the budgie. Both budgies and cockatiels make easy-to-care for and hardy companion birds for children, and can be kept singly. Lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) can be kept singly or in pairs; however, they do bond strongly with their owners if kept singly, or with their partner otherwise. Consider how much time you will have to interact with a single bird before deciding whether to house one alone or with a mate.

Medium-Size Pet Birds

    Conures can be found in a rainbow of different colors.
    Conures can be found in a rainbow of different colors.

    Conure parrots require some experience, so they're not suited to the average first-time bird owner. These medium-size birds reward great care with fun, active and mischievous personalities. They can be loud and talkative; apartment owners should consider other companion birds. If you're set on a conure parrot but don't have much experience, the green-cheeked conure (Pyrrhura molinae) is quieter and more temperate than his conure cousins. Also better suited for experienced owners are rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus), or lories, friendly and curious parrots that depend upon a special nectar-only diet. These birds range from 10 to 12 inches in size.

Large Pet Birds

    African greys tend to bond strongly with one person, and can be nervous in social situations.
    African greys tend to bond strongly with one person, and can be nervous in social situations.

    Talkative Amazon parrots and African greys are both large companion birds -- around 13 to 15 inches -- with impressive vocabularies. The intelligent African grey (Psittacus erithacus) is the most popular parrot pet, and can learn over 1,500 words and phrases. These quick-minded birds need significant mental stimulation and interaction, otherwise they tend to pluck their feathers out of boredom. Balancing the studious African greys are the class clown Amazon parrots; out-going, loud and unpredictable. Blue-fronted Amazons (Amazona aestiva) communicate with both their extensive library of language, songs and sounds as well as easily-recognizable body language. Beware Amazon parrots with dilated eyes and spread tail feathers - they may bite!

Extra Large Pet Birds

    Macaws can live 75 to 100 years of age.
    Macaws can live 75 to 100 years of age.

    Rounding out the top companion birds are the largest of them all; the traditional macaw parrots and cockatoos. Cockatoos are extremely loving and cuddly companion birds but deserve experienced owners; their intense need for love and affection consumes more time than you may have. Not meeting Salmon-crested cockatoos' (Cacatua moluccensis) need for hands-on interaction results in feather-pulling, screaming for hours and vicious aggression toward other family members. Bites of cockatoos and macaws can land you in an emergency room; their beaks are strong enough to break your finger if not sever it. Macaws in particular pack a powerful punch, as these are the largest pet parrots in the world, with hyacinth macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) topping out at 40 inches.

Types of Budgie Birds

Types of Budgie Birds

Budgies are a popular type of parakeet, which, in turn, is a type of small parrot. Native to Australia, there is one species of budgerigar, of which there are about 120 different breeds, according to Grace Pootspete Pootspete, writing for the bird enthusiast website "Tail Feathers." The primary color is green, but there are many color variations. Budgies have been selectively bred to create two different types of captive budgie birds, American and English budgies. These birds are curious and love to chatter and play.

Australian Budgies

    Australian budgies are wild and common in mainland Australia. They have green bodies and yellow foreheads and faces with black bands on their backs. This camouflages them with their scrub-land/grassland habitat in the drier parts of Australia, where they feed on seeds. Wild budgerigars tend to be much smaller than those in captivity, averaging about 7 inches long.

American Budgies

    There are two types of budgies available in pet stores. The smaller type is called the American budgie in the United States and reaches up to 9 inches in length. There are many different colors available that are the result of natural color mutations. Common colors include cobalt blue, gray, white, yellow and mauve. These birds can live up to 15 years and are sold cheaply in pet stores for around $20.

English Budgies

    English budgies are much larger and have a more dramatic look than budgies in the wild. Also known as exhibition budgies, they are the same species as wild and American budgies. Exhibition budgies come in a large range of colors and patterns. Each color variety has a points scale and description of the ideal bird kept by the "Budgerigar Society" in England, used to judge show birds. These birds live for around five to seven years and cost between $35 to $60.

Breeding

    In the wild, budgerigars breed between June and September in the north of Australia and August and January in the south; however, they will breed when food is abundant. In captivity, breeding takes place in a nest box, which replicates natural breeding in hollow trees. Wild Australian budgies were bred selectively by mating birds with desirable characteristics, such as plumage color or size. This breeding produced offspring with desirable and more exaggerated features. Over time this selective breeding gave rise to the two distinct captive budgie types, along with the many subtypes of English budgies.

Umbrella Cockatoo Lifespan

An Umbrella Cockatoo is a beautiful and highly intelligent bird that is a common sight at zoos and a highly prized pet. While these very affectionate birds often make lovable pets, their long lifespan requires a big commitment.

Umbrella Cockatoo Coloring

    Umbrella or White Cockatoos are mainly white with a bit of yellow on the underside of their wings. Their beaks are black and their feet can be gray or black. They will often have a splash of light blue in rings around their eyes.

Size of an Umbrella Cockatoo

    White Cockatoos grow to be about 19 to 23 inches long and weigh somewhere between one and two pounds. Males often have a broader beak and head than females.

Lifespan of a Umbrella Cockatoo

    If properly cared for, an Umbrella Cockatoo can live for 70 to 85 years in captivity. They are very warm and friendly birds and quickly grow attached to their caregiver. They are rarely aggressive and often cuddle with their primary caregiver.

Umbrella Cockatoo as a Pet

    The Umbrella Cockatoo can imitate human speech, but is not the most vocal breed of parrot. They often find homes in zoos and amusement parks because they are trained easily, friendly, have a high intelligence level and are quite beautiful. They are popular as pets for the same reasons.

Origin of the Umbrella Cockatoo

    The Umbrella Cockatoo species originated in Indonesia. The species is considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to excessive trapping for the pet trade. While trapping and exporting the birds is illegal in Indonesia, the law is rarely enforced.

Jumat, 28 Desember 2012

Homemade Hummingbird Feeder Food

Homemade Hummingbird Feeder Food

If you enjoy the sight of hummingbirds buzzing around your yard, offer them nectar to attract them to your property. While you can buy hummingbird nectar from the store, it gets costly after a while and may contain ingredients that are not good for the birds. Making homemade hummingbird food will save you money and ensure that the food the hummingbirds are eating is healthful.

Instructions

    1

    Pour 1 cup of water into a small saucepan. Place the pan on the stove and bring the water to a boil.

    2

    Add cup white sugar to the boiling water. Stir the mixture constantly until the sugar has dissolved.

    3

    Remove the pan from the heat. Let it cool for several hours to room temperature before filling your hummingbird feeder.

How to Build a Chicken Roost or Roosting Rod

How to Build a Chicken Roost or Roosting Rod

Chickens instinctively spend the night off the ground, making a roost an essential feature for any chicken coop. The simplest kind is a horizontal rod or pole suspended above the ground or floor. Materials for roosting rods can range from wood dowels to tree branches, but they must be suitable for a chicken's feet to grasp comfortably, yet sturdy enough to support the weight of several birds. One of the easiest materials to use is standard 2-by-2 lumber, which is milled with slightly rounded edges. A roosting rod supported by notched supports, or cleats, makes it easy to remove for cleaning the coop or replacing the rod.

Instructions

Plan the Roosting Rod Location

    1

    Determine the number of roosting rods youll need based on the maximum number of chickens living in the coop. Provide at least 8 inches of roosting space per chicken.

    2

    Plan the height of each roosting rod. While some commercial freestanding roosts can be only about 6 inches tall, chickens prefer to be higher off the ground. You can place them as high as you like; just make sure the rods are at least 12 inches off the ground and that the birds have plenty of headroom while roosting.

    3

    Arrange the locations of multiple rods for adequate space, leaving 18 inches between side-by-side perches. You can also arrange rods diagonally (at an ascending angle), leaving at least 12 inches of horizontal and vertical space between neighboring rods. Do not position rods directly above one another, as the lower perches would be in the line of fire from droppings.

    4

    Mark the rod locations onto the coops walls. Rods can extend between any two opposing walls or other supports, or can run diagonally between adjacent walls.

Cut the Rods and Cleats

    5
    Measure 2-by-2s carefully for a good fit between supports.
    Measure 2-by-2s carefully for a good fit between supports.

    Cut 5-inch lengths of 2-by-4 for the ends of each rod, using a circular saw, miter saw, or handsaw. These are the cleats that will hold the ends of the rods.

    6

    Cut each rod to length from a 2-by-2 so it fits easily between the supporting walls of the coop at the marked locations. If the rods will sit diagonally, cut their ends at opposing 45-degree angles.

    7

    Sand all surfaces of each rod with 100-grit sandpaper to remove any sharpness and splinters.

    8

    Mark and cut a 1-1/2-inch-wide by 1-1/2-inch-deep notch into the top edge of each cleat, to accept the ends of the rods. Cut the notches by making multiple parallel cuts with a saw, then chiseling out the waste pieces and cleaning up the bottoms of the notches with a wood chisel. For diagonal rods, make the notches at a 45-degree angle across the top edges of the cleats.

    9

    Drill four pilot holes through each cleat, spacing a pair of holes evenly at either side of the notched center area. Use a drill and countersink-piloting bit to create a recess for screw heads.

Install the Rods

    10

    Position a cleat on its mark on the supporting wall, with the notched edge pointing up. Use a torpedo level to make sure the top edge of the cleat is level.

    11

    Fasten the cleat to the coop wall with four deck screws. The screws' length should be 1-1/2 inches plus about 3/4 of the thickness of the coop wall (or support) material.

    12

    Position a second cleat on the opposing support wall. Set one of the rods into the notches of both cleats and make sure it is level, then fasten the second cleat as with the first. Repeat the process to install the remaining cleats and rods.

What Does a Parakeet Eat?

What Does a Parakeet Eat?

Parakeets are small and colorful birds originally from Australia. One species, known as budgies, are one of the more popular bird pets in the United States. They tend to be extremely social creatures and interact well with other birds. Additionally, they have a high level of intelligence and can learn to talk and whistle. However, like any pet, they require a lot of training and attention. To assure parakeet health, it is crucial to provide a consistent well-balanced diet.

Seeds

    Parakeets in the wild subsist primarily on a diet of grass seeds. Therefore, it is important to maintain a large number of seeds in the bird's diet. Most parakeet owners purchase a high-quality seed mix specially formulated for parakeets from a local pet store or online merchant. Alternatively, parakeets enjoy a variety of seeds from grains and cereals such as barley, oat, flax, quinoa, sesame, sunflower and amaranth. Although seeds are an important part of the bird's nutrition, this should not be the only component of its diet.

Pellets

    Pellets are specifically designed to supplement a parakeet's diet. Ensure that the pellets are all-natural without any additives, such as artificial flavors, preservatives, dyes or sugars. Store the pellets in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Alternate between seeds and pellets as the fundamental dietary staple for your parakeets.

Fruits and Vegetables

    In addition to the basic diet, it is crucial to include a variety of fruits and vegetables, which provide the vitamins and minerals necessary for the bird's health. Though dried fruits and vegetables are an acceptable alternative, fresh items are preferable. Parakeets can enjoy a large range of fruits and vegetables including apples, grapes, peaches, pears, berries, carrots, yams, broccoli, beets, cucumbers and lettuce.

Bad Foods

    It is crucial to avoid several foods that are toxic to parakeets. These include any product that contains onion, garlic or lactose. In addition to these foods, never feed a parakeet chocolate, alcohol, caffeine or avocado.

Are Senegal Parrots Loud?

Senegal parrots (Poicephalus Senegalus) are medium-sized (about 9 inches long) birds originating from western Africa. They are mostly green in color, shading to a more yellow color toward the rump, with a tail that is more of a brown-green. They have bright orange vests, brown legs and a gray head and beak with yellow eyes. Their lifespan can be 30 or more years. They range in price from $250 to $700, depending on whether they are purchased from a store or from a breeder.

Vocalization

    Senegals are not considered to be noisy birds in comparison with other birds of a similar size, but keep in mind that any sufficiently bored, frightened or angry parrot may develop bad habits such as screaming. Interacting with the bird, providing toys and removing any stimulus that may be frightening to the bird are the keys to solving this problem.

    Senegals are good at mimicking sounds and can learn to talk if taught and interacted with from an early age. In the wild, their calls consist of screeches and high-pitched whistles.

Housing

    Parrots require a lot of room in which to climb and stretch their wings. The minimum caging requirements of a bird this size is 30 inches high by 36 inches long by 30 inches wide. There should be perches of varying sizes and heights, and the spacing of the bars should be inch apart. Provide the bird with toys to play with and chew on -- enough to provide variety, but not so much that there is no room for the bird.

Personality/Behavior

    Senegals are somewhat shy birds and need a lot of handling to remain tame. They have engaging personalities with a variety of behaviors such as hanging upside down. They have very strong beaks and like to chew on things. If they have not been socialized from a young age with other birds, they can be very territorial and aggressive.

Feeding

    In the wild, Senegals eat fruit, seeds, corn, rice, vegetables and the occasional insect. As a pet, they require about 65 to 80 percent percent commercial diet, 15 to 30 percent vegetables and 5 percent fresh fruit. Do not give Senegals avocados, fruit pits or chocolate; these foods may not be safe for them to eat.

Bonding With a Cockatiel

The cockatiel is well known for love of play, close friendships and desire for physical touch. This social bird is quite ready for a strong and loving relationship with human companions; the key to giving her a happy home is to spend plenty of time with her doing the things she loves, every day.

Communicate and Socialize

    As flock birds, cockatiels love being a part of a group -- they hate being alone. Place your cockatiels habitat in a social area of the home where she can see you, and any other members of the family, regularly. Even better, move her cage to a draft-free area in whatever room you are in when she is up, active and ready to socialize. Communicate with her as much as possible, too; talk and whistle with her and mimic any noises she makes.

Hand-Tame and Preen

    Dr. Rob Marshall of the Bird Health website notes that cockatiels in the wild spend a lot of time preening one another. As birds that love to preen, cockatiels enjoy touch and appreciate contact with their favorite people. Cockatiels are easy to hand-tame with treats and a little patience; as soon as your little birdie is familiar with your hand, you can begin to gently touch and scratch her around the head and neck area. She will consider this type of touch as preening, and a very close bond will follow.

Exercise and Play

    Cockatiels love to play and are strong fliers. These birds need plenty of free time outside the cage, and they need interesting toys within their cage. Creating an atmosphere with lots of activities, in and out of the cage, filled with toys and free flight time will help your cockatiels friendly nature to bloom. Once she associates you with fun times, she will begin to consider you a close and valued friend.

Create a Happy Home

    A happy home will support the overall wellness of your cockatiel and help to facilitate your bond with her. Make sure that she gets plenty of exercise, that her cage is clean and that her water is fresh, and maintain a fun and interesting environment for her. Change out toys to keep them interesting, feed her a healthy and varied diet to keep her meals interesting, and make sure she has plenty of company with people. Time with you is crucial; if you can't give it, you'll want to give her a cockatiel friend -- but study up on it if before you do.

Where Are Parrots Ears?

Where Are Parrots Ears?

Just because she lacks the perky, pricked ears of a Chihuahua or the floppy ears of a hound dog doesn't mean your parrot doesn't have ears. After all, she learned to talk and to mimic the phone's ring by listening. It's just that Tipsy's ears aren't obvious. But rest assured: She has them, and they're located right where you'd think they should be.

Natural Placement

    Tipsy has two ears just like everyone else. They're on either side of her head, just like everyone else's. Your parrot's ears are behind her eyes, but the reason you can't see them unless you inspect her head very closely is that they don't have pinnae, the funnel-like forms that your outer ears have. They're just little holes in the sides of her head that are covered over by small feathers.

Different Structure

    Your parrot's ears don't have any outward appearance because she was built to fly. If she had pinnae sticking out from the sides of her head, she wouldn't be as aerodynamic. Without those ear flaps, her ear works just fine -- even better than fine, as a matter of fact. "The New Parrot Handbook," by Werner Lantermann and Matthew M. Vriends, says that although they don't have external structures on their ears, parrots have sense of hearing that is well-developed. Although different species of parrots hear at different frequencies, the "Manual of Parrot Behavior" published in 2006 says parrots can hear frequencies between 500 Hz and 10 kHz, although they hear best at frequencies between 1 kHz and 5 kHz.

Baby Parrot Ears

    Baby parrots hatch out of their eggs almost naked, with their feathers still inside the pinlike shafts that new feathers grow in. That would leave the baby parrots' ears uncovered and vulnerable -- if they were open. When baby parrots hatch, however, their little ears are closed. According to Rebecca Sweat's article for BirdChannel.com, the babies' ears open shortly after they hatch, once their feathers start filling in over their ears.

Parrot Ear Health

    Since Tipsy's ears are normally covered with feathers, it can be difficult to tell whether she has a problem with them. Watch her for physical signs that her ears are bothering her, such as scratching them, frequent head-shaking or even trouble standing or sitting up straight. If your bird does develop a problem with her ears, she may lose the feathers around them. You might notice that the skin around and in them is red; you may see discharge. Any such symptoms require that you take her to see the avian vet. You should always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your parrot.

Characteristics of Saffron Finches

Sicalis flaveola, also known as the saffron finch, is a South American tanager that inhabits northern Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, north-east Brazil and central Argentina. In the wild, they are found in lightly wooded areas and open grassland. The energetic and territorial nature of this bird makes it a bad choice for an indoor cage, though it is a popular addition to mixed aviaries. "Personalities" of individual birds vary, but there are a few physical and behavioral characteristics common to all four subspecies of saffron finches.

Male Coloring and Markings

    The adult male has a bright yellow body with an orange crown and black markings on his back and wings. Juvenile males are paler and might be mistaken for females. The male's color tends to intensify during breeding season and becomes richer in color each year. Saffron finches have dark eyes and gray-pale pink legs. The upper beak is gray-black, but the lower beak is white. They are about 5.5 to 6 inches from head to tail.

Female Coloring and Markings

    Females are typically slightly smaller than males, and mature females are a duller-colored version of the male. Within the subspecies Sicalis flaveola pelzelni, females are olive-brown with heavy dark streaks. Females are generally less aggressive toward other birds than males.

Behavior

    These birds are mainly seed and grain eaters, but will feed on various insects and plants as well, especially when breeding. Male saffron finches are highly territorial and will fight to the death. For this reason, they are sometimes used as fighting birds in South America. They love to fly and enjoy bathing. The male is more likely to sing than the female. The song is repetitive.

Breeding

    Mating begins with the male chasing the female. If she accepts him, he will sit beside her and "dance" and sing. Saffron finches mate for life. Saffron finches are "cavity nesters," meaning they prefer the inside of a tree or a hollowed-out area in bushes. The nests they build tend to be rather crude. Alternatively, they might use the abandoned nests of other birds. In captivity, they are most likely to lay eggs in large nest boxes. The female incubates the eggs by herself while the male guards the nest. They lay three to five eggs, which can be brown or white with brown spots, two to three times per year, which hatch in approximately 14 days. Both parents feed the hatchlings, which begin to fledge at about two weeks. They acquire adult plumage at one to three years, with males maturing more slowly than females. The saffron finch reaches sexual maturity at about 2 years of age. The birds live up to 10 years.

How to Build Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

How to Build Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

One challenge of nourishing hungry birds during wintertime is keeping the squirrels out of the birdfeed. Squirrels have abundant sources of food but the birds need to eat white millet, milo, cracked corn, suet, sunflower seeds, wheat and other types of seeds from a feeder. To keep squirrels at bay, there are a number of devises to perplex or "baffle" them. They are smart and agile so it gets expensive to invest in squirrel baffles.

Instructions

    1

    Drive the pole into the ground in an area away from buildings or trees where the squirrel can jumps on the feeder from above. Since you are going to add feed the length of the pole can vary. Six feet is a great height. Get on a step stool or short ladder to add fresh birdfeed.

    2
    Six slits is all you need in this drip pan.

    Cut six (6) three-inch slits in the 12" plant coaster.

    3
    One nail is all it takes. If you live in a windy city use more nails with bigger heads.

    Turn the plant coaster upside down and nail it on center of the post.

    4

    Place the 9" pin tin in the center of the 12" planter coaster. Fill it with birdseed. When the squirrel climbs the pole, it will not make it past the planter coaster.

Kamis, 27 Desember 2012

How to Build a Bird Feeder Out of a Bottle

How to Build a Bird Feeder Out of a Bottle

Putting up a bird feeder is one of the easiest ways to attract birds to your yard. There is an endless supply of feeder styles available and choosing the best feeder can be overwhelming. To attract a wide variety of garden birds and save money, construct a feeder from a recycled soda bottle. Tube feeders will draw a wide variety of birds depending on the kind of seed used. If you have basic carpentry skills, this project can be completed in an afternoon.

Instructions

    1

    Empty a 1-liter soda bottle. Clean the bottle thoroughly. Scrub off the label of the bottle with a scrubber and dish soap. Dry the bottle thoroughly with a cloth.

    2

    Use scissors to cut the top and bottom of the bottle. You should be left with a clear plastic tube. Drill several holes in the bottom of the tube. These holes need to be large enough for the bird seed to come out.

    3

    Trace the top and the bottom of the tube on a 1-by-6-inch board with a carpenter's pencil. Cut out the two circles you traced. Label one circle as top and one circle as bottom. Set the circles aside for use in a later step.

    4

    Cut two 6-by-6-inch squares out of the 1-by-6-inch board. Glue one of the circles to the center of one of the squares, and repeat with the other circle and square. One of these structures is the top, and the other is the bottom of the bird feeder.

    5

    Screw several small eye bolts to the sides of the bottom square. These will be perches for the birds while they eat.

    6

    Drill a hole through the center of the bottom piece. You should be drilling through both the circle and the square that make up the bottom. Pull a piece of the wire through the hole. Crimp the end of the wire under the square to prevent the wire from slipping.

    7

    Drill a hole through the center of the top piece. Like the bottom, you should be drilling through both the circle and square piece.

    8

    Glue the copper newel piece to the face of the square using epoxy glue. Drill a hole through the center of the copper newel.

    9

    Place the bottom piece down flat, so the square is resting on the bottom. Place the plastic tube over the bottom piece and thread the wire through it. Adjust the tube so it fits over the circle piece.

    10

    Pass the wire through the bottom of the top piece, and up through the newel. Fit the top piece over the tube, so the circle goes inside the tube.

    11

    Hang the feeder from a tree limb using the wire coming through the newel. To fill the feeder, slide the top piece up along the wire, and fill the plastic tube. The bird seed will fall through the holes in the bottom, so the birds can eat it.

Can Birds Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Can Birds Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin, rich in vitamin A and fiber, is a great treat for humans, dogs and cats. Pumpkin seeds, a natural source of omega-3 essential fats, and an aid against internal worms, are also a desirable addition to your diet and the diet of your furry friends. They are also a natural, fabulous treat for your feathered friends as well.

In Fact

    Pumpkin seeds are a treat you can give your pet bird. You can clean them out of the pumpkin yourself and lightly toast them on an aluminum cookie sheet to dry them out, or you can buy them already packaged for your pet.

Additionally

    Should you decide to buy a fresh pumpkin to harvest the seeds for your pet bird, consider also using the meat of the pumpkin to feed directly to your bird or to bake into pumpkin bread for your bird. This food source will add calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus as well as other nutrients to your bird's diet. Additionally, your bird is bound to love it.

Potential

    If you are a bird watcher, you should try putting out pumpkin seeds for your wild birds. Smaller birds may not be interested due to the size and difficulty of the shell, but blue jays, cardinals and grosbeaks reportedly are lovers of pumpkin seeds. If you want to attract smaller birds with them, you may need to supply unshelled pumpkin seeds.

Considerations

    On the other hand, if you are planting pumpkin seeds to grow pumpkins, you may not want to get your wild birds as interested in them. Wild birds have been known to dig up planted pumpkin seeds to help themselves to a treat.

Warning

    When baking pumpkin seeds for your bird, stay away from Teflon and other non-stick pans. The fumes from these pans can be toxic to your bird. Also, whether you buy them by the bag or bake your own pumpkin seeds, make sure there is no salt on them. Salt is not good for birds.

How to Feed Chickens Rice

Chickens, laying hens in particular, need about 80 percent of their diet to be carbohydrates. The carbohydrates provide the chickens with needed energy. A mixture of grains such as wheat, corn, oats, barley and rice usually works well as part of their diet. Chickens also need protein and calcium to make their diets balanced (not to mention rocks and/or grit).

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a balanced mash, crumble or pellets for the chickens at your local feed store. Chickens need a balanced diet to grow and maintain health. Place the feed in chicken feeders, and not on the bare ground, so it isn't wasted.
    If you're experienced with raising chickens, you can mix together your own healthy, proportioned chicken feed (see Resources).

    2

    Feed the chickens the balanced feed according to the instructions on the bag. The chickens' age and types (young hen, mature layer, rooster) will determine how much feed they need every day.

    3

    Buy cheap rice, either white or brown, or use up rice you have that is infested with grain pests. Chickens love to eat bugs. Eating the grain pests won't hurt them.

    4

    Toss any pest-infested rice you have on the ground for the chickens to eat. Put down no more than about 1/2 cup per chicken a day. Otherwise, if you toss a lot of rice down at once, it will be wasted. Store the remainder of the rice in a sealed container outside of your house.

    5

    Feed chickens rice by adding some to their feeders now and then. Pour a real thin layer of the grain into their feeders to help add needed carbohydrates to their diets.

How to Hatch a Bird Egg Without an Incubator

How to Hatch a Bird Egg Without an Incubator

An incubator helps hatch a bird egg by keeping it evenly heated at an appropriate temperature, as well as slightly humid. Without uniform heat, a bird has little likelihood of surviving inside an egg. You can approximate the effects of an incubator, but even with close supervision, only about half of birds hatched without a proper incubator survive.

Instructions

    1

    Put several inches of water in the ceramic bowl and microwave it at medium heat for several minutes. Remove the bowl and empty the water. The bowl is now at a good starting temperature for the egg. Do not microwave the egg as this will kill the bird.

    2

    Dampen a hand towel thoroughly with warm water. Wrap the egg in the towel, being careful to move slowly and not shake the egg. Place the damp towel with the egg in the ceramic bowl.

    3

    Place the bowl six to twelve inches below the heat lamp, depending on the size and strength of the lamp. Turn on the heat lamp. This will heat only one side of the egg at a time, but having given it a head start with the warm bowl and towel will help. Also, the lamp should keep the ceramic bowl heated and the heat evenly distributed.

    4

    Flip the egg every six to eight hours by gently and slowly rotating it to expose the other side to the heat lamp. This is also a good time to sprinkle more water on the hand towel to keep the egg humid.

How to Breed Lovebirds

Breeding lovebirds isn't easy, but it's very rewarding if you have the time and energy. These sweet little parrots make good parents, and the chicks become used to human contact, making them great pets. You can even breed lovebirds outdoors if the climate is suitable.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure you have a male and female lovebird. It's difficult to tell the difference, so you may want to ask your veterinarian to do a DNA test to make sure. You can also do this yourself with a kit, but it will require that you cause your birds some pain.

    2

    Get your birds as healthy as possible. This means feeding them fresh fruit and vegetables, not just seeds. It also means lots of fresh water, at least 12 hours of strong light every day and a clean cage.

    3

    Provide a cage for each mated pair. You may also have to construct a barrier between cages so the pairs can't see those in other cages. Make sure the cages aren't too cramped.

    4

    Buy a nestbox, hang it outside the cage, and cut a hole in the cage so the birds can get to it. You will be able to look into the nestbox without putting your hand into the cage and upsetting your lovebirds.

    5

    Buy nesting material from a pet store or provide paper towels for the lovebirds to shred and take into the nestbox. Continue to provide material even after the nest is built so the lovebirds can keep it fresh.

Cockatiels vs. Parakeets as Children's Pets

Cockatiels vs. Parakeets as Children's Pets

Cockatiels and parakeets are two popular choices for pet birds in the United States. Each species has its own benefits and drawbacks for children. Choosing the right bird can make your child a lifelong bird lover, but a bad choice can quickly turn into negative situation. It is essential that you take time in choosing the right type of bird with the right personality for your child.

Life-Span

    Before you purchase a cockatiel or a parakeet, you need to realize how long both these types of birds can live. The average life-span of a parakeet is 10 to 15 years. Cockatiels can live for between 15 and 25 years. And of course, both birds require care their entire lives. Children grow up, go to college and move away from home. Do not purchase a bird for your child if you do not personally feel you can be responsible for the bird's care until it passes away.

Noise and Space

    Parakeets are less noisy than cockatiels and generally require less space because they are smaller. Parakeets are also easier to injure for the same reason, and may be injured when handled inappropriately by a child. Cockatiels are larger, take up more space and generally make more noise than parakeets.

Socialization

    Both cockatiels and parakeets are considered social birds. Cockatiels tend to be a bit friendlier and more willing to socialize than parakeets. However, it may be easier and less expensive to locate a hand-raised parakeet then it will be to find a similarly tame cockatiel. Cockatiels can be intimidated by a lot of noise and get frightened fairly easily. Cockatiels are not recommended as pets for young children who lack patience or the ability to deal with frustration.

Care

    Cockatiels and parakeets both require daily feeding, watering and regular cage cleaning. In addition, cockatiels may require mist baths to keep their skin and feathers from drying out or becoming dusty. Both types of bird require a significant commitment from your child and will suffer if the child does not spend sufficient time caring for and socializing with the bird.

Behavior Problems With Loud Noises in a Budgie

Behavior Problems With Loud Noises in a Budgie

Budgies are attractively marked parakeets from Australia. These social little birds are easy to care for, whether housed in an outdoor aviary or kept indoors. Although they are hardy, loud and ongoing noises will cause stress in budgies. Budgies in outdoor aviaries should not be housed close to heavy traffic or loud machinery. Household appliances, such as vacuum cleaners, and very active children will frighten recently acquired budgies. Never expose budgies that are trying to sleep or incubate their eggs to loud noises. The behavior of your budgie will typically change due to stress caused by the long-term exposure to loud noises.

Hearing

    Budgies need to hear to understand the acoustic messages from their mates and other budgies in their flock. These small parakeets use a huge number of sounds for a variety of social behaviors. Budgies also use hearing to learn about their immediate environment. Loud noises frighten budgies, so it is important to speak quietly when near these birds, particularly if it is a single budgie. However, budgies are social birds and will become paranoid if they are surrounded by complete silence.

Behavior

    A budgie that is not stressed sits proudly on its perch and typically grinds the bottom and top of its beak together. Budgies that are frightened by loud noises will screech in fright. Their feathers lie flat against their body and their eyes will be noticeably alert. These birds will hold their wings slightly away from their body and will hold their mouths slightly open. They will normally pant and give the impression that they are going to fly off at any time.

Training

    Dont expose young budgies to loud noises during training. Such noises scare young budgies and cause them to retreat into their cages, or even into a nest box. A young budgie may also bite and attempt to hide in a corner of its cage. A budgie that is outside its cage when it is frightened by a loud noise will normally fly to the highest available spot in an attempt to escape harm.

Noisy Birds

    Budgies prefer to be louder than other animals or people in their immediate vicinity. Loud noises, such as sirens, barking dogs, very noisy children and electrical appliances upset these birds and will cause abnormal behavior. These stressed birds will take part in excessive grooming to the point of damaging their feathers and may become very loud themselves. Move your budgie cage away from noisy areas whenever possible.

How Is a Raven Different From a Crow?

How Is a Raven Different From a Crow?

The American crow and common raven both belong to the corvus genus of the corvidae family. This makes both species closely related and means they share many common traits and look similar in appearance. Even so, the two birds are distinct species and have just as many differences that help identify them.

Description

    Unlike crows, ravens can mimic other birds and even human speech.
    Unlike crows, ravens can mimic other birds and even human speech.

    At a glance, crows and ravens look almost identical, but on closer inspection several differences are evident. The raven grows to 27 inches in length, with a 46-inch wingspan and weighs up to 3 1/2 lbs. The crow is smaller and grows to 21 inches in length, with a 40-inch wingspan and weighs less than 1 1/2 lbs. Ravens are more robust birds, while crows are slender in body shape. The beaks are different with the crow having a more pointed shape compared to the raven's broader, Bowie knife-shaped bill. The tail shape is also different with the raven possessing a wedge-shaped tail and the crow having a rounded or sometimes squared-off shape.

Habitat and Range

    The two birds have differing ranges with the crow found throughout most of the U.S. and Canada. The raven, by comparison, is most common in the western U.S. and throughout Canada. The raven is more tolerant of cold weather and lives in Canada year-round, while the crow is a summer visitor only. Both birds prefer open habitats near areas with ample roosting options. Forests, parks and sparsely treed grasslands are ideal habitats for both. The crow is more comfortable around urban areas than the raven, so it is often found near human developments.

Diet and Predators

    Ravens and crows are both omnivores and eat very much the same type of diet which includes small animals, insects and anything they can scavenge. Crows tend to hunt more than ravens do, as the raven prefers to scavenge. The raven is also more nervous around dead carcasses and often waits until magpies and crows arrive and start eating before approaching. Birds of prey, snakes and domestic pets are all predators of both birds but the raven, being bigger and more cautious by nature, is better at avoiding predation.

Life Cycle

    Both birds pair off for breeding. Males and females work together to build nests and raise the chicks. Crows produce larger clutches of eggs, on average, with three to nine compared to three to seven for ravens. The eggs of both species are almost the same size but crows lay bluish-green eggs, while raven eggs are more olive green. Crow chicks hatch after 18 days and leave the nest after 20 to 40 days. Ravens take longer to hatch, taking up to 25 days, and leave the nest after 28 to 50 days. In the wild both species live for 13 to 14 years. In captivity, crows can live for 20 years while ravens can live over 40.

Kinds of Chickadees

Kinds of Chickadees

Chickadees are small birds that are native to the Americas. The birds tend to have a distinctive body shape that includes a rotund body with a small neck and a large, rounded head. Chickadees are members of the passeriformes, or perching bird order, and are closely related to the titmice family.

Black-Capped Chickadee

    The black-capped chickadee grows to 6 inches long, 1/2 oz. in weight and has a wingspan of just over 8 inches. It has dark black patches on its head and throat and is mainly light brown to buff in color with grayish-brown wings. It lives throughout much of North America, from central Alaska as far south as New Mexico.

Carolina Chickadee

    The Carolina chickadee looks a lot like the black-capped variety, but is slightly more gray in color. It grows to around 5 inches in length, less than 1/2 oz. in weight and has a wingspan of less than 8 inches. It lives in the southeastern U.S. year round. Carolina and black-capped chickadees are known to crossbreed wherever they share habitats.

Chestnut-Backed Chickadee

    The chestnut-backed chickadee resembles the black-capped variety from the neck up, but its back is a dark chestnut color. The bird's flanks are a darker brown color. It is similar in size to the Carolina chickadee, with a slightly smaller wingspan. It lives along the west coast of the U.S., from southern Alaska into northern California and west into Montana.

Mountain Chickadee

    The mountain chickadee has the black and white head of other species, but has a white stripe above each eye that identifies it against other types. Its body and wing color is similar to that of the black-capped variety. It grows to 5 1/2 inches in length and just under 1/2 oz. in weight. It lives in Canada as well as the western U.S. in parts of Arizona and Texas.

Boreal Chickadee

    The boreal chickadee stands out from other species by having a dark brown cap instead of the usual black. Its throat is black like other species, and it has a brown back with a white chest and belly. It grows to 5 1/2 inches long and just under 1/2 oz. in weight. It lives in the most northern parts of the U.S. and into Canada.

Rabu, 26 Desember 2012

How to Make a Pigeon Egg Incubator

How to Make a Pigeon Egg Incubator

Pigeons (Columba livia) are commonly found in cities around the world. This handsome bird, in its natural form, is primarily gray with metallic purple and green coloration on its breast and neck. Pigeons have orange eyes and feet, and black bars on their wings. Pigeon enthusiasts raise "homing pigeons," birds trained to race from a remote location back to their home. Pigeon owners often raise their own birds, and have to incubate them when the parents refuse to sit on the nest. Pigeon eggs take between 14 and 18 days to hatch under ideal conditions.

Instructions

    1

    Cut the hardware cloth six inches wider and longer than the inside of the ice chest with the tin snips. Cut a 3-inch square out of each corner. Bend each side down with the pliers, forming a 3-inch-high platform.

    2

    Tape the raw edges of the hardware cloth with the duct tape.

    3

    Place the water pan on the bottom of the chest and place the hardware cloth platform over it, legs-side down.

    4

    Mark 1-inch above the platform on each wall of the inside of the chest. Remove the tray and platform.

    5

    Place three strips of tape around all four sides inside the chest. The first should be just above the marks made in the previous step. The second should be 2.5 inches below the top of the chest, and the third should be placed in between the other two.

    6

    Install the micro-switch assembly so that the center hole is 5.5 inches from the top of the chest with the outlet facing up. Pierce the side of the chest where the bolts will go using an awl.

    7

    Insert the 3/16-inch mounting bolts through the mounting bracket and through the chest wall. Slip on the washers and nuts. Insert the temperature control bolt from the outside, through the locking wingnut and into the center hole.

    8

    Plug the heating cable into the micro-switch assembly and run it all around the interior of the incubator, weaving the heating cable up and down across the 3 pieces of tape previously placed inside the chest. Tape the cable in place.

    9

    Plug the pilot light into the micro-switch assembly.

    10

    Center the acrylic sheet on top of the chest. Cut 1/4-inch deep around the acrylic sheet with the box cutter. Do not cut through the lid.

    11

    Remove the acrylic and cut 3/4 inches inside the previous cut clear through the lid. Cut away material from the hole to the acrylic sheet outline previously cut, to trim away a shelf for the acrylic sheet to set down into. Place the acrylic sheet into the lid.

    12

    Make 1/4-inch holes on both long sides of the incubator for ventilation.

    13

    Place the tray and the platform back in the incubator. Place the thermometer on the platform. Pour water in the tray.

    14

    Place the lid on the incubator, plug in the micro-switch assembly in and adjust the temperature control bolt until the pilot light comes on.

    15

    Monitor the temperature and adjust the knob until the temperature reaches 100 degrees F.

How to Make Aviaries

How to Make Aviaries

Aviaries can be a relaxing and enjoyable "home away from home" for your birds. It can be a bird paradise to enjoy throughout the year. Birds want nothing more than freedom to fly about and socialize with other birds, and an aviary gives them this opportunity. It's a good idea to make your aviary as large as possible so that your birds will have plenty of room to fly around and explore. The number of birds in your aviary may grow, so you'll want to make sure you have plenty of space for them.

Instructions

    1

    Check with your neighborhood regulations. Some neighborhoods and city zones have special requirements for residents who want to add things to their property. Also, check with your neighbors to see how they feel about the potential noises from your birds. Make sure you're in the clear to construct an aviary in your yard before you move on to the next step.

    2

    Decide on the size and location of the aviary. Your aviary should have plenty of room for the birds to fly around. It's an ideal place for your birds to literally stretch their wings and move around. Make your aviary as large as you can. Also, decide on if you want the aviary to be attached to your porch, alongside your house or further away in your yard. Keep your aviary out of view of the street to avoid car lights frightening the birds and to keep away potential thieves.

    3

    Set up your foundation. The foundation of your aviary should be made of concrete. Not only will it provide a sturdy ground for you and the birds to move around it, it will be easier to clean. Once the concrete is laid out and dried, cover it with a light coating of sand or pine shavings. Leave some of the ground clear for the birds to stand on.

    4

    Add the walls. Hammer fence posts in areas around the foundation. Wrap this up with 16-gauge welded galvanized wire. Be sure to add extra wiring over this enclosure to avoid predators from getting in. Also, make sure your fencing goes two feet under the foundation to prevent predators from digging their way under the fence and into the aviary. Cover your walls with a galvanized welded-wire cloth.

    5

    Install the doors. The doors of your aviary can be long curtains or even shower curtains. Make the doors easy to open without having to grasp a handle, as your hands may be busy carrying birds in and out of the aviary. It's a good idea to have double doors to avoid any birds from escaping as you move in and out of the aviary.

    6

    Make the roof. Your roof should also be covered with wiring. As you did with the wall wiring, add extra wire so there's no way for predators to squeeze through. Cover this roof with the galvanized welded-wire cloth and secure it to the posts with nails. Leave some areas of the wire roof visible for sunshine to come through but make sure you cover it up for rainy and snowy weather.

    7

    Create a covered entryway. When you're cleaning the aviary or otherwise need the birds out, it's a good idea to have a covered entrance to the aviary. This is especially helpful if it's raining or if the birds need protection from predators. Create this covered entrance with boards, mesh fencing and posts. Cover it with an awning found at a local hardware store. Add large, sturdy potted plants for the birds to shelter in, as well as beams for the birds to hang out on until they can return to the aviary.

    8

    Furnish the aviary. Place large opened cages, perches and feeding stations for your birds in the aviary. Don't place or hang a perch too close to the wires or a predator might reach in and snatch your bird.

Penguin Facts for Kindergarten

Penguin Facts for Kindergarten

Penguins are birds that prefer the water to the air. In fact, penguins can't fly at all. They spend most of their time swimming and diving through water to collect food. These birds, which sometimes resemble little humans in tuxedos, are even capable of living in the frigid lands of Antarctica.

Types

    There are around 17 to 20 different kinds of penguins, which vary by appearance and behavior. For example, the Fairy Penguin is one of the shortest species. It is 16 inches tall and has blue and black feathers. The Emperor Penguin, the largest species, is about 44 inches tall and has black, white and yellow feathers. According to the British Antarctic Survey, fossils show that more kinds of penguin existed in the past. Some were as tall as human adults.

Prey and Predators

    Penguin diets vary depending on where they live, but they usually eat fish, squid, krill and crustaceans. On land, bigger birds, such as skuas, pose a threat to eggs and baby penguins. In the water, even adult penguins must be cautious of hungry sharks, killer whales and leopard seals.

Travel

    On land, penguins waddle, hop or slide on their bellies to move around. Small penguins can dive to about 500 feet underwater. Larger penguins can reach depths of more than 1,000 feet. Their strong, sleek bodies allow them to swim faster than five miles per hour for long distances. For example, Emperor Penguins can travel more than 40 miles in a single day.

Colonies

    Penguins live in colonies in rocky outcrops, beaches and icy areas. Millions of penguin couples mate in these colonies. Colonies appear around the southern hemisphere. For example, Emperor Penguins live on the Antarctic continent, Erect-Crested Penguins appear around New Zealand, African Penguins swim through the South African waters and Humboldt Penguins find colonies around the coasts of South America. Some species, like the Galapagos Penguin, are endangered and only occupy a single location.

How to Keep Button Quail Outdoors

Button quail, also known as Chinese painted quail, are a nice addition to any garden aviary. The males are a beautiful red and grey blue, while the females are mottled brown and blend into their surroundings. Their chirps and whistles only add to the tranquility of a backyard garden. There are some things to consider when designing the button quail's outdoor aviary, but once you have the area set up, the button quail will be easy to care for.

Instructions

    1

    Build an aviary that is large enough to give your button quail adequate roaming space. Six quail would need about 60 square feet of space. A quail aviary should be no smaller than 20 square feet no matter how few birds you have. Make the aviary at least 6 feet tall so that you can easily go inside to clean and care for your birds.

    2

    Use soft netting for the roof of the aviary. Button quail fly straight up when they are spooked or nervous. If they have a hard or solid roof, they can injure themselves.

    3

    Make the aviary predator-proof. Button quail will attract raccoons, coyotes and neighborhood cats. Use design features such as underground mesh attached to the base of the aviary, a sturdy build and a lock on the door to prevent predators from getting your birds.

    4

    Plant lots of bushes and grass in the aviary before adding the quail. The quail will feel more comfortable with lots of natural places to hide. By planting the plants before adding the quail, you can let the plants get established; smaller plants or seeds will be scratched up or eaten by the quail.

    5

    Give them a sheltered area. A section of the aviary should be covered for shade and have solid walls to protect them from the rain and wind.

    6

    Include huts or other small shelters for them to go into when it gets cold, although some quail may prefer to sleep under bushes or in the grass.

    7

    Make sure the ground will stay dry. When picking a location for the quail aviary, do not place it at a lower elevation, where water will accumulate. Also, use sand as a substrate so it will drain well. You can install a 12-inch layer of sand before adding a layer of dirt so the plants will grow and the soil will drain. If you have standing water in the aviary, it is too wet and your quail could get sick.