Jumat, 31 Agustus 2012

Homemade Bird Food Cakes

Homemade Bird Food Cakes

Save money on expensive bird food cakes by making your own. Creating your own bird food cakes allows more opportunities for customization based on the types of birds you want to attract or if you want to feed your pet birds. This homemade project makes a fun activity for scout troops or school groups, but it will require adult supervision.

Instructions

    1

    Melt the suet in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to prevent it from burning.

    2

    Remove the saucepan from the heat source.

    3

    Stir in the cornmeal or bird seed and peanut butter until thoroughly combined.

    4

    Pour this mixture into a cleaned milk carton and freeze overnight or until solid.

    5

    Slice off 1-inch thick portions for a suet bird feeder, and return the remaining bird seed cake to the freezer.

How to Make a Humming Bird Feeder to Mount on a Window

How to Make a Humming Bird Feeder to Mount on a Window

A hummingbird feeder attached to a window creates the opportunity to watch these unique birds drink nectar. No longer do you need to have a yard or porch to hang a hummingbird feeder. Window hummingbird soda bottle feeder kits can be purchased at local bird feed stores or can be found on the Internet.

Instructions

    1

    Clean a 16 or 20 ounce plastic soda bottle.

    2

    Fill the soda bottle with sugar water nectar. To make your own nectar, mix one cup of water with one quarter cup of sugar. The National Zoo recommends boiling the mixture to kill any bacteria or mold that may be present.

    3

    Attach suction cups to the bottle. These are included in the window hummingbird soda bottle feeder kit.

    4

    Screw on the hummingbird stand attachment to the top of the plastic bottle. This is what the hummingbirds will stand on while drinking the sugar water.

    5

    Attach the hummingbird feeder to any window. Be sure to have the bottle upside down so that the humming birds can stand on the perch and drink the nectar until it is gone.

How to Make Brush Piles for Bobwhite Quail

Bobwhite quail nest on the ground, usually in thick tufts of tall, native grasses, and use brush piles to travel safely between nesting sites and food sources. They need a high protein, high energy diet, which they get from berries and seeds. In heavy rain, ice storms or snow, quail huddle in brush piles, as close to food sources as possible. The brush piles serve as cover from predators, as well as providing a temperature differential as much as 15 degrees warmer than the outside air.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, bobwhite quail need an area that is 30 percent brushy/weedy, 10 percent woodland and 60 percent cropped fields. They live along the edges where these habitats meets. Bobwhite quail spend most of their time walking, so they need nearly bare ground under dense vegetation.

Instructions

    1

    Check your property for signs of existing coveys of quail. Build your brush piles close to where you have already seen these signs. Plant additional brush piles 200 yards apart. If you have no existing coveys of quail, you may have to reintroduce them to the area. Purchase full grown, free range birds rather than chicks as your losses the first year will be nearly 100% with immature birds.

    2

    Start your brush pile within 200 feet of a field that has been plowed and planted within the past year, close to the edge of a wooded area. Ideally, the crops should be broadleaf plants such as alfalfa, flax, buckwheat and soybeans, as they will provide additional shade and cover. Corn, soybeans and wheat are a good source of ready protein, and even a recently harvested field will have enough gleanings to support a covey of quail. Ragweed, hated for its allergy-inducing pollen, is a diet mainstay for the bobwhite quail.

    3

    Check your woodlot for young second growth trees that have been girdled by poison oak or grape vines, or that show signs of insect infestation. These trees will typically have a diameter of 10 inches or less. If you see woodpeckers working on a tree, it has an insect infestation. Cut down no more than a third of the trees on your lot at any one time.

    Attach several guide ropes to the tree, as high up as you can. Have helpers on the side away from where you want the tree to fall hold the ropes while you cut, in order to guide the tree down when it falls. Using a hand saw, axe, chain or power saw, cut the tree about two to three feet above ground level, making a small cut on the side away from where you want the tree to fall, then a larger cut on the other side. Do not cut the tree all the way through. Make sure everyone in the woodlot is well clear of the fall path of the tree. Push on the side away from where you want the tree to fall. Have your helpers slowly let the rope loose, allowing the tree to fall.

    4

    Trim small branches from all the trees you have felled. Stack three to five large-diameter tree trunks in a square, building the stacked trunks two feet high. Make sure the trunks are spaced several hand widths apart. Lay the trimmed branches on the top and sides of the pile, keeping as many openings clear as possible.

    5

    Plant honeysuckle, sweet peas, raspberry and blackberry bushes next to the brush pile. Intersperse your woodlot with walnut, chestnut, oak, spruce and pine trees. As the trees grow, they will eventually provide more fodder for your brush piles.

    6

    Be sure to open up each brush pile every year, adding large, thick trunks to serve as the backbone of a healthy brush pile. Clear out enough vegetation underneath the brush pile that several quail can pass freely through it at once. Thin the berry bush canes, draping the trimmings over the top of your brush pile as an additional barrier against predators. Transplant healthy canes to new brush piles.

How to Repel Birds

How to Repel Birds

Birds can be a beautiful sight; creatures to seek out and marvel at. Yet they can also be an utter and complete nuisance. It all depends on the type of bird and the context. You don't want birds such as pigeons, which could potentially carry disease and are generally rather dirty animals, all over your property. If you have a problem with unwanted birds, reasonable solutions are available that won't cost much or necessarily hurt the animal.

Instructions

    1

    Use a household pets to scare them away. You may not think your dogs or cats are prime hunting material; but if you release them into an area full of birds, they will certainly repel them and it won't take long for the birds to realize that your home is a dangerous place.

    2

    Utilize an ultrasonic pigeon repellent, which will blast a sound into the air that will frighten pigeons or any other birds that have the misfortune of being near your home.

    3

    Put out visual deterrents. Use some imagination here to create your own version of a scarecrow. Owl eyes, fox replicas and fake alligators are just some examples of items that work.

    4

    Spray taste aversion repellent in areas where the birds have been congregating. Pavlovian conditioning tells you that an animal will learn and respond differently in future depending on their previous experiences. With that in mind, use this repellent to make the area a place they will not want to return to.

Which Bird Breeds Can Learn to Talk?

Most of the birds that can learn to talk are in the parrot family. Parrots seem to have the motor and cognitive skills necessary for mimicking human speech. However, there are other species of bird, such as the Mynah bird, that can also learn to talk.

African Greys

    African Greys are widely considered to be the best talkers. Even without training, they listen to human speech and learn to mimic it, becoming prolific chatterboxes. They also have the most extensive vocabulary of all the talking birds.

Yellow-Naped Amazons

    Yellow-Naped Amazons can also learn to talk and are considered quick learners. Like African Greys, they can pick up an extensive vocabulary and enunciate clearly.

Cockatoos

    Cockatoos can also learn to talk but are prone to screeching.

Macaws

    Macaws are similar to Cockatoos in terms of their talking ability. They can easily learn to talk, but their vocabulary and mimicry skills are not as developed as those of African Greys.

Mynah Birds

    Although they are not part of the parrot family, mynah birds can learn how to talk. They can mimic human speech extensively, even without training.

Other Talking Breeds

    In addition to the bird breeds listed above, other talking breeds include Lorikeets, Ringneck Parakeets, Conures, Cockatiels and Eclectus. While these birds can all learn how to talk, their abilities are not as developed as the African Grey.

How to Breed Chinese Quails

How to Breed Chinese Quails

Known as the smallest species of quail, Chinese painted quails are often described as delicate, cute and very social. These birds are low maintenance and house well with birds in aviaries as well as in their own cages. Breeding Chinese painted quails is done naturally or with an incubator. Each owner has his own experience with breeding these birds. Certain owners find that their quails breed naturally, while others find it difficult due to their female not incubating the eggs. Regardless of how you decide to breed your quails, the overall process is short and simple.

Instructions

Naturally Breeding Your Birds

    1

    Make a comfortable habitat. Chinese painted quails will not breed or incubate their eggs out in the open. Whether you house your Chinese quails in an aviary or a smaller cage, stock it with plenty of greenery and plants. Chinese quails enjoy sitting on their eggs in private. Include hiding places close to the ground throughout the habitat.

    2

    Ensure that the surrounding area is secure. Chinese painted quail eggs are very small. Large gaps in wiring near the ground makes it easy for chicks to escape once they hatch. Reinforce the ground and surrounding areas with pine or cedar shavings to ensure that the chicks are safe.

    3

    Place breeding Chinese painted quails in the habitat. During the breeding and incubation period, only place two breeding Chinese quails in the habitat at a time. The incubation period for Chinese painted quails is 16 days.

    4

    Leave your birds alone. During the breeding and incubation period, keep interaction with your quails at a minimum aside from providing regular food and water.

    5

    Remove the male. Once your hen has laid her eggs and started the incubating process, remove the male from the habitat and leave the hen alone. Continue providing food and water to the hen.

    6

    Allow the chicks to hatch. Once the chicks are hatched, ensure that they are properly fed with small meal worms and finely ground starter food specifically for game-birds. Supply water in a jar lid with marbles placed in the lid to prevent the chicks from getting into the water and drowning.

Incubator Method

    7

    Collect the eggs. Once your hen lays her eggs, collect the eggs and wash them in a mild disinfectant. Store the eggs in a cool, dry place at a temperature of 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. Store the eggs with the pointed end of the egg facing down.

    8

    Place the eggs in an incubator at 37.5 degrees Celsius for 14 days.

    9

    Remove the eggs and place them into a caged habitat for hatching on day 14. Allow the eggs to hatch naturally.

    10

    Provide food and water to the newly hatched chicks. After 24 hours, return the chicks to their mother in a regular cage. Continue providing finely ground starter food and water.

Baby Screech Owl Diet

Baby Screech Owl Diet

Screech owls are small, nocturnal woodland predators. Screech owls are opportunistic hunters, meaning they will change their diet according to the most available or easily obtainable prey. In fact, Eastern screech owls have the most varied diet of any North American owl, per the University of Michigan. Baby screen owls have a similar diet to adults of this species.

Hunting

    While baby screech owls have similar dietary needs as adults, baby screech owls may not yet be able to fly, which prevents them from hunting. While they are still fledglings, the male parent will catch food and bring it to the female parent, who then tears the catch into manageable pieces. Baby screech owls who are able to leave the nest may hunt under supervision, both flying and hopping on the ground like the parent.

Insects

    Screech owls prefer small rodents, worms and lizards but will also hunt for large nocturnal insects such as moths and crickets, which are more prevalent. Large terrestrial arthropods such as spiders, scorpions and centipedes are also commonly consumed by screech owls, according to the Owl Pages. Baby screech owls capable of flight will eat small insects as they find them. Large insects are usually brought back to the nest, where they are stored for later or torn apart for easier immediate consumption.

Mammals

    Small woodland mammals make up the majority of the baby screech owl diet, including deer mice, cotton rats, bats, chipmunks and moles. Mammalian prey is too large to be consumed on the spot, so the parent or baby screech owls capable of hunting bring larger catches back to the nest or a perch, where it can be more safely torn apart into bite-size pieces.

Birds

    Small to medium bird species make up almost 10 percent of the average screech owl's diet. These birds are most commonly caught and consumed during migratory periods, when large numbers are present. Frequent catches include small song birds such as swallows as well as larger doves and grouses.

Fish and Amphibians

    Screech owls have been observed fishing in open water and ice-fishing holes left by anglers, according to the Owl Pages. Water-dwelling prey includes crayfish, small fish, water snakes, young and soft-shelled turtles, salamanders, frogs and toads. Similarly to other large catches, the parent or baby screech owl capable of flight will carry the catch back to the nest, where it is saved for later or broken down into smaller pieces.

Identification

    Baby screech owls typically hatch from March through May. Fledgling screech owls can be identified by their peeping calls for food in the first few weeks of life. Older baby screech owls chatter, hum or produce a loud, harsh "keer" sound to signal to their parents that they want food, according to the Owl Pages. Baby screech owls begin to leave the nest after only 28 days, at which point they will begin to hunt under supervision. Both parents will assume the role of feeding the infants at this stage, as the mother owl can safely leave the nest to hunt. Baby screech owls reach independence eight to 10 weeks after hatching.

How to Care for a Hawkhead Parrot

Hawkhead parrots are affectionate birds that exhibit clown-like behavior. They are smart, willing to train and can learn tricks or to talk. They are relatively small for parrots, weighing in at only an average of 8.11 ounces. Their colors are a handsome blend of buff-white, brown streaked with white, dark red, blue and green. Although these birds have a reputation for being aggressive or loud, a tame, well-behaved bird can be an affectionate delight. Follow these steps to care for a Hawkhead parrot.

Instructions

    1

    Have the proper housing. Due to the activity level of these birds, they will benefit from a large cage. Check with your local pet store to determine what size cage to purchase. It is recommended to buy the largest cage you can afford and contain in your home. There should be several perches of different heights, hanging toys, a fresh water container and a food tray.

    2

    Provide the right kind of nutrition. Diet is usually the reason that these birds do not thrive. It is very important to feed them the same type of food until they become adjusted to their new home. If the bird is doing well, it is okay to experiment with different food items. Their diet should contain lots of fresh fruits, some vegetables, nuts, seeds and leafy greens. Given their need for such high content of fruit, a pellet formula may not be enough to maintain a healthy diet. Check with your local pet shop or veterinarian for specific recommendations.

    3

    Teach the Hawkhead parrot to behave. It is very important not to spoil the bird and encourage negative behavior as this will lead to a poorly behaved pet. Much like a dog has to be trained to behave in a manner that is appropriate for your situation, a Hawkhead parrot needs to be trained. Reward good behavior with a favorite snack or attention and ignore bad behavior. Otherwise, bad behavior could sour your relationship with this pet. Avoid playing rough with a Hawkhead, as this can lead to aggressive behavior in the future. Treat the bird with gentleness and you will have a well-behaved, well-adjusted bird.

How to Help a Pet Bird Live a Full Lifespan

How to Help a Pet Bird Live a Full Lifespan

A pet bird brings joy and activity to a household. But like other pets, a bird is completely dependent on its owners to take care of its many needs. If you are thinking about buying or adopting a pet bird, follow a few steps to understand how you can help the bird live a full and healthy life.

Instructions

    1

    Buy your bird as large a cage as possible, especially if she will be spending most or all of her time in the cage. The cage should be large enough for the bird to completely extend her wings and make short flights or hops. If the bird will remain exclusively in the cage, the cage should be at least three times as wide as the bird's wingspan. Ensure that the spacing between the bars of the cage is small enough to prevent the birds head from passing through.

    2

    Place the cage in a well-lit, draft-free area, preferably in a corner or against a wall. This protection helps the bird feel more secure. The cage should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from airborne fumes or toxins, which can be found in kitchens, garages and bathrooms. Place the cage at or below eye level to encourage socialization.

    3

    Feed your bird a healthy diet that includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
    Many pre-made mixes are available at pet stores that offer specialized nutrition for various breeds.

    4

    Purchase appropriate supplies such as water bowls, perches and toys. Research the needs of your bird and ensure that the supplies you buy suit the breed.

    5

    Give your bird plenty of opportunity to exercise, such as short flights and climbing .Playpens with food and water dishes allow birds longer periods of exercise. You can also put climbing structures and toysin the playpens.

How to Stop Squirrels From Stealing Your Bird Food

How to Stop Squirrels From Stealing Your Bird Food

Bird feeders are popular with homeowners who love to watch the colorful, musical birds come and go from their garden. There are so many bird feeders in production that purport to keep squirrels away. Some work, some work not so well. Still, you can try an anti-squirrel bird feeder, or you can try a few other tricks.

Instructions

    1
    Bird feeders that deter squirrels don't always work.
    Bird feeders that deter squirrels don't always work.

    Purchase a "no squirrel" bird feeder. There are several on the market and some work better than others. Do a little research on the Internet and read the product reviews of any bird feeder you are considering purchasing. There are some with a kind of caging around the tube that holds the seed so only birds can get in, and others that close off the feed holes when a squirrel puts his weight on the perch. Still others flip around when a squirrel steps on it. With so many in production and for sale, there is bound to be one or two that actually work.

    2
    You can attract a lot of birds with a variety of seeds.
    You can attract a lot of birds with a variety of seeds.

    Purchase only safflower seeds. Cardinals and other songbirds will eat safflower seeds, but they are unpalatable to squirrels, grackles and blue Jays. Thistle is another seed that is only consumed by birds.

    3
    Plain, unsalted peanuts make for great treats for wildlife.
    Plain, unsalted peanuts make for great treats for wildlife.

    Place a tray underneath your bird feeder to catch any seeds that fall to the ground. If the squirrels cannot get the seed on the feeder, and if no seeds are falling to the ground, the squirrels will give up.

    4

    Scatter corn, roasted peanuts, bits of fruit, raisins and crumbs from old bread or doughnuts on the ground. If the squirrels have food on the ground to eat, they are less likely to attempt to invade your bird feeder.

How to String Up Fresh Cranberries for Birds

How to String Up Fresh Cranberries for Birds

Feeding pet birds the proper diet is important to their health and well-being. Birds that do not eat a diet that meets their specific nutritional needs will have less-vibrant feathers, tend to become biters, and be prone to plucking and mutilating. If you feed your bird well, it will be friendlier, willing to try new foods, and less noisy. Its feathers will appear brighter, and it will require less medical attention throughout its life, according to pet information website Doctors Foster and Smith. Many birds enjoy eating nutritious cranberries strung on twine, hanging in their cage or aviary.

Instructions

    1

    Wash the cranberries thoroughly then towel dry them.

    2

    Tie a knot at one end of the twine, leaving enough free space to tie it onto the birdcage bars later. If you're using a bird skewer, unscrew the bolt at the end of the skewer where you pierce food onto it.

    3

    Pierce a cranberry through its center with a needle or wooden dowel then slide it onto the twine or bird skewer. Push the berry along to the end of the twine, toward the knot, or to the end of the skewer. Repeat until you have added the desired number of cranberries.

    4

    Tie a knot on the other end of the twine, leaving enough space to tie it onto the cage bars, or re-attach the bolt on the end of the bird skewer.

    5

    Hang the string of cranberries in the birdcage, near the food dish, using both ends of the string, or attach the bird skewer to the birdcage bars. Leave the cranberries in the cage for several hours, or until it's time to put your bird to bed.

Harmful Dyes & Food Coloring for Birds

Harmful Dyes & Food Coloring for Birds

Birds love bright and bold colored items; the problem is that many colors and dyes are unsafe for birds. Caution is to be exercised when selecting toys, food items or housing for a bird. It is essential to avoid chemical-based colors, such as those found in spray paint and wood stains. Although FDA-approved food colorings are not toxic to birds, they are not healthy. Vegetable dyes and organic colors are safer alternatives.

Artificial Food Colors

    Birds are drawn to bright, synthetically made colors. Typically safe for human consumption, FDA-approved food colors are not the safest choice for birds. Although not fatal if consumed, research trials have shown the products sometimes cause cancer in animals and birds. Additionally, the chemicals used are derived from toxic sources like petroleum, specifically Yellow 2 and red dyes.

Wood Stains or Dyes

    Most wood stains and dyes are composed of petrochemicals. These chemicals are not only combustible, but toxic to humans, animals and birds. Avoiding these stains is essential. Wood stains are sometimes used to treat wood for birdhouses, toys or perches. Many companies are now switching out harmful VOC chemicals with newer non-toxic chemicals. Though not as colorful and attractive, it is safest to leave wood surfaces untreated.

Spray Paint Dyes or Colors

    Spray paint ingestion is particularly dangerous. Studies linking it with brain damage are abundant. Spray painting anything that a bird is going to be touching is not advisable. Besides breathing in potentially toxic fumes, birds are able to chip the paint with their beaks. If ingested, spray paint chips cause an array of problems for a bird. No colors of spray paint are safe.

Safe Alternatives

    Vegetables dyes and organic food coloring are two safer alternatives for coloring bird toys, snacks or a home environment. Vegetable dyes are not as vivid as artificial food coloring, but are safe for birds. Making vegetable dye at home is easy and inexpensive. Toys, houses and snacks of a variety of colors are available using vegetable dyes. Organic food coloring comes in an assortment of bright colors and is found in most health food stores. Any color of vegetable or organic dye is acceptable and safe for birds.

Kamis, 30 Agustus 2012

How to Use Non-Toxic Paints on Bird Cages

How to Use Non-Toxic Paints on Bird Cages

Pet birds have a tendency to chip and chew at their cages, so it is essential that the paint you use to keep the cage looking fresh is nontoxic. Nontoxic paints are made primarily of natural materials and don't have harmful effects if eaten by your pet bird. There are brush-applied paints as well as spray paints that work for refinishing cages. The procedure for applying nontoxic paints is simple.

Instructions

Instructions

    1
    Move bird to spare bird cage.
    Move bird to spare bird cage.

    Move bird to spare bird cage. Thoroughly clean the bird cage to be painted and remove all bedding materials and bird toys. Use a paint scraper to remove existing paint from bars and use sandpaper to remove any signs of rust.

    2
    Lay old newspaper on the ground outside.
    Lay old newspaper on the ground outside.

    Lay scrap paper or old newspaper on the ground outside. Set the cage flat on the newspaper. Apply a thin coat of fish oil to the bars to prevent rust. Allow fish oil to dry and become tacky. Apply a thin coat of nontoxic paint to each bar of the cage and double check that all areas of the bars have been covered.

    3
    Paint the bottom of the cage.
    Paint the bottom of the cage.

    Allow the paint to dry. Place the cage on its side and paint the bottom of the cage. This will help prevent rust and complete the painting process.

    4
    Allow the paint to dry for at least 48 hours before putting the bird back in the cage.
    Allow the paint to dry for at least 48 hours before putting the bird back in the cage.

    Hang the birdcage in a well-ventilated area. Allow paint to dry for at least 48 hours to ensure that all paint is set. Place new bedding at the foundation of the cage and reattach bird toys, food and bath. Put bird in cage.

How to Care for and Feed Wild Finches

How to Care for and Feed Wild Finches

Finches are common birds in North America, inhabiting nearly every region of the continental United States, southern Canada and Mexico. These sparrow-sized birds are social and will cluster around bird feeders in large groups. Wild finches dont need your help finding food or caring for their young, but that shouldnt stop you, as long you provide healthy food and a safe place for them to feed. Finches will sometimes use birdhouses that you provide if they are the right size.

Instructions

Instructions

    1

    Select and purchase an appropriate bird feed for finches. Finches arent picky eaters but they do have certain preferences. Choose a bird feed that contains lots of Niger seeds, safflower seeds, oil-type sunflower seeds, and hulled sunflower seeds. Bird feeds are available at many supermarkets, garden supply stores, livestock feed stores, and through online catalogs.

    2

    Select some fruits to feed your finches as well. Grapes, bananas, apples, and watermelons are all great choices. Fruits provide both a tasty treat and valuable nutrients for finches. Hang fruits from nearby tree branches just a few inches below the branch so the birds can perch and feed at the same time.

    3

    Set up your tube feeder in a safe place in your yard. Tube feeders are ideal for finches because they have little perches and larger birds tend to avoid them. They also encourage multiple birds to feed at once. Find a place where there are plenty of trees and shrubs nearby so the finches dont feel exposed. Hang your tube feeder at approximately eye level. Ideally there should be a clean water source nearby so the birds can have a drink between feedings.

    4

    Set up a birdhouse for your finches to nest in. According to Birdsforever.com, the ideal specifications for a finch birdhouse are as follows: 6-by-6 inch floor size, 6 inch box height, 4 inch entrance above floor, and a 2 inch entrance hole. Hang the birdhouse 8 to 12 feet above the ground.

    5

    Quietly observe your finches from a safe distance. The best times to catch finches feeding and socializing are early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

How Often Should Hand-Fed Cockatiels Be Fed?

Hand-feeding cockatiels helps to socialize them with humans and increases their value when sold as pets. Cockatiels can be hand-fed exclusively from birth, fed by the parent birds for the first two or three weeks and then exclusively hand-fed by the breeder, or co-fed until weaning at seven or eight weeks. Hand-feeding frequency will vary depending on your system and the age of the bird. Work with a veterinarian or experienced breeder who can help you determine what feeding system is right for you, train you in the specialized care your baby bird needs and to monitor its health and development.

Hatchlings

    It is important to feed hatchlings frequently enough to prevent the crop from emptying completely. Feed chicks that are 10 hours to four days of age 1 to 2 milliliters of watery formula prepared according to package directions about every two hours. Chicks five to seven days need 3 to 4 milliliters of a more substantial formula mix every three hours, with a six-hour period of uninterrupted sleep at night.

    Monitor crop fill, or the amount of food in the bird's crop. Stop feeding when the crop has a rounded bulge, before the bulge extends up into the neck. Overfeeding can cause problems with regurgitation, which can sometimes be inhaled into the lungs. It can also cause food to sour or spoil in the crop before it can be digested, or cause crop emptying to slow or stop completely. Feed again when the crop bulge is gone.

    Weight gain is a reliable indicator that your chick is getting enough food. Monitor your bird's weight daily until it is weaned.

Eight to 24 Days

    Chicks eight to 14 days old can be fed a thicker formula about every four hours, with an uninterrupted seven to eight hour night of sleep. Feed 4 to 6 milliliters of formula at each feeding, continuing to monitor crop fill.

    Chicks 15 to 24 days old should be fed about every five hours with an eight to nine hour sleep at night. Each feeding should contain 7 to 10 milliliters of formula.

Twenty-Five Days to Fledgling

    When the chicks are 25 days, decrease feedings to every eight or nine hours, for a total of three feedings per day. Feed chicks 11 to 15 milliliters each feeding.

    When chicks reach the fledgling stage at about 31 days, their appetite decreases and they lose weight as they prepare for flight. This does not mean the chick is weaning. Continue to formula-feed 11 to 15 milliliters twice a day, about every 12 hours.

Six Weeks to Weaning

    At six weeks, most birds will begin to explore their environment and begin to lose interest in feeding. Cockatiels wean at approximately about eight weeks of age. Weaning is the chick's transition from being fed by the breeder to feeding itself. It can take several days to a week to accomplish. During this time, feed the chick 11 to 15 milliliters of formula once in the evening. Offer a small dish of thick formula, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and millet throughout the day. Discard fresh foods after a few hours to prevent spoilage.

    A bird is weaned when it refuses hand-feeding and is able to maintain its weight for at least five days without formula.

How to Breed an Orange-Breasted Finch

The orange-breasted finch, also known as the gold-breasted, zebra finch or waxbill, is the smallest of all finches held in captivity. Despite their small size, they are a very hearty and healthy bird, and they can thrive in aviaries with other larger finches. They are fairly easy to breed and are a good bird for a fledgling or inexperienced breeder. To successfully breed this bird, you'll need to follow a few basic steps.

Instructions

    1

    Select healthy male and female birds that are fully matured. Select birds that come from different bloodlines. It's best to purchase the male and female from different breeders.

    2

    Place the cage (about 4 feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep) in a quiet room that is free of drafts. Place nesting materials such as twigs, branches and grass blades in the bottom of the cage, and hang one or two of the small wicker baskets in the cage. Hang some millet near the opening of the basket to encourage the birds to enter the baskets. Fill the bathing dish with clean water and place the dish at the bottom of the cage.

    3

    Place the birds in the cage and allow them to adjust to their new environment. Disturb the birds as little as possible as they adjust. Remain patient with the birds, as they might not begin breeding for weeks or even months.

    4

    Remove and replace a bird if it becomes violent and tries to harm the other bird. Place a sheet over the cage to provide the birds with privacy and security to encourage breeding.

How to Scare Away Hawks

How to Scare Away Hawks

If you have small animals that like to roam your backyard but hawks are a concern, take a sigh of relief: Basic safety precautions will ensure that hawks steer clear of your pets and livestock. To scare the large raptors away, consider recording the sound of an owl or another raptor and playing it over a speaker whenever you see a hawk circling.

Instructions

    1

    Find a digital soundtrack of a hawk or large owl's call on the Internet and download it to a digital music playing device or, if necessary, to a cassette tape.

    2

    Play the hawk or owl call repeatedly over a speaker -- a stereo that has a line-in jack (or cassette player) and a speaker you can place near a window will suffice, or you can rig a permanent system with a speaker and some hardware you can find at at audio parts store -- whenever you spot a hawk flying close to your home. This may scare the hawk away, as the sound of another large raptor could mean the hawk is imposing on another's territory. The hawk may not want to put up a fight for food and should find another place to search for it.

    3

    Play any other loud music when a hawk is flying close by to scare it away. This will let the hawk know there is a living presence nearby.

    4

    Repeatedly call out loudly at the hawk, if it is close enough, with a loud, short, repeated yell to scare it off.

How to Care for a Nightingale

How to Care for a Nightingale

The Nightingale is a migratory songbird native to Europe and southwestern Asia, which spends its winters in southern Africa. The male Nightingale is known for his beautiful singing. He is most vocal during the early morning or late evening. Because Nightingales are not domesticated or commonly bred in captivity, it can be hard to find one if you want to keep one as a pet.

Instructions

    1

    Keep your Nightingale in a spacious cage, at least nine inches wide, 20 inches long, and 12 inches high. Include three perches, and line the roof and the perches with green felt. The roof should be lined as Nightingales do not like direct or strong light, and the perches should be lined as their feet are very delicate.

    Nightingales thrive best in larger aviaries which mimic their natural habit, with a sandy floor, small trees and shrubs, and a shallow area for bathing.

    2

    Keep the cage or aviary as clean and dry as possible, and away from drafts, preferably in the warmest part of your home.

    3

    Feed your Nightingale a Nightingale Mixture bird feed, which can be found at pet-supply stores.

    You must supplement this mixture with insects and fresh fruit as often as possible, preferably daily. Nightingales are fond of caterpillars and spiders, and meal worms can be fed sparingly. For fruit, try chopping up assorted berries, oranges without the rind, grapes -- and occasionally, bananas.

How to Construct an Egg Incubator

How to Construct an Egg Incubator

You can build a simple incubator with easy-to-find items. Once you build it, you can use it to hatch a variety of egg types, chicken, turkey and guinea fowl.

Instructions

Construction

    1
    Wire mesh
    Wire mesh

    Cut the 1/4-inch wire mesh 4 inches larger than the bottom of the Styrofoam ice chest. Cut 2-inch squares out of each corner and bend the edges down to make a platform that is 2 inches high.

    2

    Cut a 6-by-6-inch hole in the top of the ice chest. Cut the plexiglass to just a little larger than the hole and fasten with tape.

    3

    Place the shallow pan filled with water in the bottom of the ice chest, and place the wire mesh platform over it. The water in the pan will put some humidity into the incubator.

    4

    Put the metal jar lid, rim side up, on the wire mesh platform. Lay the light bulb base in the jar lid.

    5

    Use a box cutter to cut a small notch in the side of the ice chest to string the cord through. Tape the cord in place on the inside and outside of the incubator.

Testing the Incubator

    6

    Test light bulbs for appropriate temperature. If the 60-watt bulb makes the incubator too hot, go smaller. If it is to cool, go larger. Try different sized bulbs long enough for the incubator temperature to stabilize. The ideal temperature for chicken and most other eggs, is 98 to 100 degrees.

    7
    Light bulb on a base
    Light bulb on a base

    If the best light bulb creates a temperature just above the ideal, poke some small holes in the lid until the temperature adjusts to the desired temperature.

    8
    Eggs
    Eggs

    Once the incubator is stable at the desired temperature for a day or two, it is time to introduce the eggs.

How to Raise Domestic Tangerine Doves

How to Raise Domestic Tangerine Doves

Tangerine Ringneck doves are one of the most common types of domestic doves raised and kept as pets due to just how hardy and easy to care for they are. As pets, Tangerine Ringneck Doves are known for having a gentle temperament and sweet nature. Up until the 1950s, Ringneck Doves were only blond or white. When other colors were created through breeding, one of the first colors was the Tangerine Ringneck dove but there are now over 40 colors.

Instructions

    1

    Provide your Tangerine Dove with a suitable size cage to keep it in. A large cockatiel cage works well but your dove will need time outside the cage as well.

    2

    Keep a large bowl, filled with water, in the cage so the dove can take a bath. Tangerine Doves love to be clean and give themselves baths often.

    3

    Keep fresh drinking water available in the cage at all times. Change the water out daily.

    4

    Place a food dish in the cage and feed your dove every day. Feed your Tangerine Dove a dove or pigeon seed mixture.

    5

    Supplement the dove's diet with greens rich in minerals and vitamins such as endive, spinach, chickweed, clover, watercress and lettuce.

    6

    Have grit available at all times. Doves swallow their food whole and grit helps grind up the food.

    7

    Give your Tangerine Dove treats often. Treats include, bread, cornmeal and various fruits such as berries, apples and pears.

    8

    Give your dove a lot of attention and work with it daily to get it accustomed to being handled in and out of its cage.

Rabu, 29 Agustus 2012

Food for Wild Birds That Kids Can Make

If you live around trees and wooded areas, you may see all different types of wild birds flying in and out of your yard. Setting up a simple bird feeder can lead the way to amazing discoveries for your family. Even if you don't have a bird feeder, you can find creative ways to feed the birds. They eat almost anything, so it is easy to mix up some tasty recipes.

Birdseed Cones

    To make these tasty bird treats, gather your favorite birdseed, some pine cones and peanut butter. Lay out a newspaper and pour the birdseed all over it. Cover an entire pine cone with peanut butter and roll it around in the birdseed. Then, tie a string to the cone and hang it from a tree branch. The birds will clean the cone in no time.

September Harvest

    This is a simple mixture that you can keep stored in a zippered bag and use to refill your bird feeder as it gets low. A platform-style bird feeder works best when serving this mix. Get 2 cups of chopped dry apples, 2 cups of raisins, 2 cups of chopped nuts (any nut will do) and throw them in a bowl. Then add 1 cup of chopped prunes and 1 cup of dried melon or squash seeds. Mix all the ingredients, serve what you want, and package the rest for storage. Make sure to keep the mix in a cool, dry location to keep the apples from spoiling sooner. Serve this mix in your bird feeder or spread it on the ground of your back porch.

Bread Treat

    With a little bit of parental guidance, kids can make a tasty bread treat to hang from the tree branches in their backyard. Start off by slowly melting 2 cups of peanut butter over low heat and add 2 cups of cornmeal. Slowly add enough warm water to turn the mix into a stiff dough and add 2 to 3 cups of birdseed, raisins and chopped peanuts. Pack the mixture into a foil pan and refrigerate it overnight. After you refrigerate the treat, you can tie a string through it so you can hang it from tree branches.

Common Foods that Bird Enjoy

    Birds eat a lot of different types of foods, so look around your house and find something they might want. Peanut butter, molasses, oatmeal, stale bread, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, graham crackers, raisins, apples, oranges and black-oil sunflower seeds are all popular treats for wild birds. Kids should have no problem mixing some ingredients together and creating their own special recipe. Birds can eat fruit that is past its prime, but don't feed them any moldy food.

How to Feed Rainbow Lorikeets

How to Feed Rainbow Lorikeets

The Rainbow Lorikeet is a parrot native to Australia with picky eating habits. Unlike most parrots, Rainbow Lorikeets do not eat dry feed or seeds. Their beaks and tongues are made to consume fruits, vegetables, insects, and nectar as part of their daily diet. This means Rainbow Lorikeet owners must prepare meals by hand on a daily basis.

Instructions

Nectar

    1

    Boil 1 liter of water on the stove in a large pot.

    2

    Mix 130 g of white sugar and 130 g of raw sugar with the boiling water. Allow the solution to completely cool. The solution should be cool to the touch. This process may take up to 20 minutes.

    3

    Beat a whole egg with a whisk in a deep bowl until the whites are stiff.

    4

    Add the beaten egg to the cooled sugar and water mixture.

    5

    Add two scoops of vitamin supplement powder specifically developed for birds to the mixture. Use the scoop provided with the supplement powder.

    6

    Stir the mixture thoroughly with a mixing spoon.

    7

    Pour the solution into ice trays and let it freeze overnight in the freezer. Defrost the mix before feeding it to the bird.

Vegetables and Fruit

    8

    Clean fruit and vegetables thoroughly with distilled water to remove any pesticides from the skin.

    9

    Remove any cores, seeds and pits of fruit and vegetables with a sharp paring knife.

    10

    Impale fruits and vegetables on a wooden skewer and feed the food whole to the Rainbow Lorikeets.

How to Raise Bourke Parakeets

How to Raise Bourke Parakeets

Bourke's Parakeets, aka grass parakeets, make an excellent choice for the novice bird owner. This Australian native is easily tamed and quiet enough for apartment living. These birds are known for gentleness and ease of breeding.

Raising birds of any type requires a big commitment for the owner. Be certain that you have the time to devote to necessary daily chores. Bourke's are not neat and you will need to devote time to cleaning up after them. These birds can live a decade or longer -- be sure you are prepared.

Instructions

    1

    Buy the right cage. Have the proper home ready before your Bourke's comes home,. A cage should be 24-by-24-by-24 inches if at all possible. Place the cage away from drafts. Bourke's need plenty of room to exercise. You will also need to let your Bourke's out of the cage for at least an hour daily. Provide your Bourke's with a perch or play stand to exercise on when out of the cage. Put a lightweight cover over the cage at night to encourage your Bourke's to sleep.

    2

    Feed your Bourke parakeet a healthy diet. Fresh water should be available at all times. Offer a mix of pellets and seeds prepared for parakeets. In addition, offer fresh fruits and vegetables, excluding avocados and chocolate, which are poisonous to Bourke's. Avoid canned foods, as their salt content will be too high for your bird. Your Bourke's will enjoy a millet spray, but only offer it once or twice a week.

    3

    Teach your bird manners. When raising a Bourke's, it is important that you be able to get the bird to step on and off your finger, so that you can transport him to the vet or another cage. Slowly move your hand, with your finger extended, and place your fingers below the bird's abdomen, right above its feet. Use a command like "step up" and prod the bird lightly in his belly. The bird will instinctively step on your finger. If you have difficulty getting the bird on your finger, substitute an unsharpened pencil as a perch. After your bird is accustomed to stepping on the pencil, try again using your finger.

    4

    Protect your Bourke parakeet. Before allowing your Bourke's out of the cage, check and make certain all windows and outside doors are closed. Put away sharp objects. Verify that the stove and oven are turned off. Never use non-stick cookware around your Bourke's -- the fumes can be fatal.

    5

    Visit an avian vet. Birds are not like cats and dogs -- they don't need yearly shots. However, a visit to the vet is important for blood tests and a general health check. The vet can also safely clip your Bourke's wings, should you desire it, and trim its claws.

How to Tell the Difference Between the Male & Female European Goldfinch

How to Tell the Difference Between the Male & Female European Goldfinch

The variances between the sexes of the European goldfinch are subtle and cannot be determined with a quick glance. This is particularly true before the bird reaches sexual maturation. Close study of three of the adult bird's physical characteristics will be necessary in determining the sex, as it is the intensity of shared colors and head shape where the main physical differences are most apparent. There are also two nonphysical characteristics which can be used to tell between the male and female of the species.

Instructions

    1

    Observe several European goldfinches and you will see that they are all of approximately the same size and color. They are 5 to 6 inches in length with red faces and black wings bearing broad yellow bands. Both sexes will share black and white feathers on their head, a white rump and will have black tail feathers. The bird's bill will be pointed with a broad base.

    2

    Look first at the red mask of the European goldfinch. The mask of the male will be an intense red covering the entire face of the bird and continuing above and behind the eyes on to the head. The female will have a red mask but it will appear faded as compared to the male and will not continue above or behind the eyes.

    3

    Examine next the wings of the bird. The wings of the male will be jet black in color with a very bright, well defined yellow band. A female's wings, much like the mask, will be similar but will lack color intensity. Her wings will be more of a dirty brown with the yellow band being far less bright than that of the male.

    4

    Observe now the head of the bird. The head of a male European goldfinch should appear somewhat flattened and less rounded than that of the female. The female's head will be black and far more round in shape than the male of the species.

    5

    Determine the nonphysical differences by first listening for the song of a European goldfinch. If the bird is singing, then it is without question the male of the species.

    6

    Locate the nest of a European goldfinch during the springtime mating season. It is the male which can be observed foraging for food while the female builds the nest in preparation for the coming eggs. Once the eggs are laid, the female remains in the nest and acts as an incubator to her offspring. A lone adult European goldfinch in its nest with eggs can be identified as a female of the species.

How to Feed Newly Hatched Cockatiels

How to Feed Newly Hatched Cockatiels

A newly hatched cockatiel is a vulnerable creature that needs to be handled carefully, especially during feeding time. Hand-feeding a baby cockatiel is an absolute necessity because it grows rapidly and needs an adequate source of food to survive. Although you will be feeding your baby cockatiel by hand, you won't literally be dropping food into its mouth with your fingers; use an eyedropper or a syringe.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the baby cockatiel from its nest box and gently place it on a towel that has been laid flat on a table. Prepare the formula as the cockatiel rests on the towel. Keep an eye on the cockatiel and make sure it doesn't fall off the table.

    2

    Follow the instructions on the box for the brand of formula you are feeding the cockatiel. Each brand has slightly different preparation instructions, but most formulas are prepared by filling a small pot with the recommended amount of water, then heating it until it is between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the recommended amount of formula powder with the warm water.

    3

    Fill an eyedropper or syringe with formula.

    4

    Cup one of your hands and gently pick up the baby cockatiel. Hold the cockatiel, stabilizing it in the cup of your hand.

    5

    Hold the feeding device in your free hand and position it in front of the cockatiel's beak. The cockatiel will be hungry, so it should eagerly open its beak in anticipation of being fed. If it doesn't, slowly and gently touch the tip of the feeding device to the tip of its beak and wait for it to open.

    6

    Insert the feeding device into the cockatiel's mouth. Aim the opening of the feeding device toward the right side of the mouth.

    7

    Touch the crop with the index finger and thumb on the hand in which the cockatiel is being held. The crop is the lower portion of the neck that stores food.

    8

    Squeeze the feeding device slowly and drip food into the cockatiel's mouth. As you squeeze food into its mouth, it will swallow and store the food in its crop. The crop will swell, which you will feel with your index finger and thumb.

    9

    Feed the cockatiel formula until its crop feels full. The crop should slightly bulge, but not be overfilled. Feel the cockatiel's crop before each feeding session. Normally, the crop will empty in about four hours, but it is necessary to check before each feeding session so you do not over or under feed the cockatiel; over or under feeding a cockatiel can kill it.

How Much and What to Feed a Parakeet

How Much and What to Feed a Parakeet

Parakeets, also known as budgerigars, budgies or by their scientific name, Melopsittacus undulatus, are small members of the parrot family. According to Petco, they are the most popular pet bird species in the United States. These brightly-colored birds grow to be about seven inches long and can live between 10 and 20 years, given the correct housing and diet.

Base Diet

    Parakeets naturally live on grass seeds and other grains, as well as plant leaves, flowers and fruit. Most captive parakeets benefit from a base diet of pellets formulated specifically for their species. Petco recommends that these pellets make up around 60 to 70 percent of the birds' diet. Avoid fortified seed mixes, since they are less nutritious than pellets and can encourage obesity in parakeets. Provide a cuttlebone to give parakeets extra calcium.

Supplemental Foods

    In addition to a pellet-based core diet, parakeets should receive fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and even flowers. Chopped greens, tomatoes, root vegetables and squash all benefit parakeets. They also enjoy flax seed, oats, wheat berries, barley, brown rice, wild rice and oats. They can consume some pasta and couscous, but should receive only whole grain products, rather than refined grains. Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peas and soybeans, also make good parakeet supplements.

Treats

    Many commercial parakeet foods include large amounts of nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds and peanuts. These foods are cheap, and parakeets enjoy them, but they provide too much fat and can cause nutritional deficiencies if fed as a staple. Offer nuts and seeds as occasional snacks to provide interest and reward good behavior. Flowers, including dandelions, hibiscus, lilac, honeysuckle violets and roses, make good treats, but must be obtained from herbicide and pesticide-free sources.

Feeding

    Free-feed parakeets by filling a small bowl or birdseed container with pelleted foods. Allow the parakeet to eat as much as it wants, unless it becomes obese. Inspect the dish regularly and change the pellets if they become damp or stale. Wet pellets can become moldy or encourage insect infestations. Provide fresh food on a daily basis, but remove any uneaten food within 24 hours to avoid spoilage. Offer a variety of food to keep the parakeet interested.

Warning

    Not all fresh food is safe for parakeets to eat. Fava and navy beans, as well as their sprouts, can poison these birds. They should also never receive apple seeds, avocado, cabbage, onions, potatoes, lemons or grapefruit or foods containing caffeine. Avoid animal-based foods, such as butter. Avoid providing prepared human foods, which may be high in salt or other undesirable additives.

How to Keep Mice Out of Bird Seed

How to Keep Mice Out of Bird Seed

If you store your birdseed in the garage or any type of barn or shed, you may end up with a mouse problem. Mice will eat birdseed and can easily chew holes through birdseed sacks. Getting rid of the mice with poisons or traps may not be effective or practical, depending on your situation. The simplest solution for keeping mice out of your birdseed is to make the birdseed inaccessible. For this, all you need is a better storage solution.

Instructions

    1

    Store the entire sack of birdseed inside a metal trash can. Be sure to keep the lid on the trash can. Mice cannot chew through metal, nor can they pry off trash can lids. Moreover, storing your birdseed in a metal can protects the seed from moisture.

    2

    Dump smaller sacks of bird seed inside empty popcorn tins. This is ideal, or preferable to using trash cans, if you are keeping your birdseed in the house and use smaller sacks. It's a way to recycle and reuse the decorative popcorn tins that are popular gifts. Again, be sure to keep the lid on tight when storing the seed.

    3

    Store birdseed in large plastic tub containers with snap down lids that won't allow access. Mice won't chew through heavy plastic. Choose any type of plastic trash can or plastic storage bin, so long as it has a tight-fitting lid.

Selasa, 28 Agustus 2012

How to Breed Peacocks

How to Breed Peacocks

People have successfully raised peacocks for centuries for their aviaries or home gardens and for feather production. There are several varieties of peacocks available for the hobbyist today, and their lifespan can easily reach 40 years. The peafowl will reach sexual maturity and be ready to breed at 3 to 4 years old. Breeding is quite easy and the peahens (which look rather drab compared to the flamboyant males) make excellent mothers. They will produce one brood per year, usually of four to six eggs. Incubation of the eggs is usually 28 days.

Instructions

    1

    Worm the peafowl a month before spring mating begins, which usually begins in March or April. Purchase worm medication from a veterinarian and follow the directions on the label. Worm both the male peacock and the female peahen.

    2

    Purchase a water soluble vitamin and water soluble electrolyte for peafowl from the veterinarian or a local feed store. Follow the directions on the label include these in the peafowls' drinking water. Begin to give this to both the males and females a month before breeding season begins and continue through breeding and laying.

    3

    Purchase oyster shell from a local feed store. Place the oyster shell in bowls where both the peacock and the peahen can readily consume it. Peafowl enjoy oyster shells and will readily consume the ground-up mixture, thereby receiving high amounts of calcium.

    4

    Feed spinach, kale and broccoli to pea fowl a month before breeding season begins and continue through breeding season. Feed as much as the peafowl will readily consume. These greens supply valuable minerals for egg and sperm production.

    5

    Make nesting areas in advance for the peahen to become familiar with. A shed will work, or a large dog crate or wooden boxes large enough for the peahen to lay inside can be utilized. Fill the nesting area with pine needles, dry leaves or straw. But don't be surprised if the pea hen chooses not to use this location. Peahens are notorious for choosing their own nesting location and that is often right in the middle of the ground instead of the area carefully provided.

    6

    Place the male peacock and the female peahen together. They will naturally mate throughout the day at their discretion. The male peacock will fan his feathers and dance before the female to beguile her.

    7

    Feed the fowl black sunflower seeds during mating because the seeds are high in Omega 3, which is believed to help with fertility and overall health. Also provide whole wheat bread crumbs because bran is believed to stimulate laying in peahens.

    8

    Create a dust bath from a mixture of dug-up garden soil with 25 percent sand and 25 percent sawdust. The peafowl will "bathe" themselves by rolling around and flapping their wings in the dirt.

Information About Finch Birds

Finches are small energetic birds that are easy to care for and provide hours of enjoyment for their owners. They do well in pairs and love to play tag in their cage.

Housing

    Finches can be kept in cages or aviaries. Cages should be big enough to allow the birds plenty of room to play and fly.

Feeding

    Finches should be fed seed for smaller birds along with fresh greens such as chickweed or dandelion. They can also be given calcium in the form of cuttlefish bone, seashells or eggshells. Eggshells should be heated first to kill bacteria. They also enjoy small amounts of fruits and vegetables.

Life Span

    Finches generally live from 4 to 7 years. Giving your bird the best care possible when ensure a longer life span.

Signs of Illness

    Some signs that your finch may be sick are sitting at the bottom of the cage for long periods, fluffed out feathers, tail bobbing, dull or swollen eyes and growths on the beak or feet.

Types of Finches

    The types of finches are zebra, red headed parrot, society, strawberry and spice finches.

How to Buy a Mealworm Feeder

Mealworms make a tasty and nutritious treat for the beloved bluebird. That is why many bluebird enthusiasts choose to go to the extra expense and effort to offer mealworms to attract these beautiful birds. Here are a few tips and resources to help you buy a quality mealworm feeder and to optimize your bird watching experience.

Instructions

    1

    Gather information about the best types of mealworm feeders. It is important to understand what a good mealworm feeder should do when looking to purchase one. The perfect mealworm feeder should protect the mealworms from rain, direct sunlight, escape and predators, encourage easy access for bluebirds, as well as discourage undesirable scavengers like squirrels and starlings from using the feeder.

    2

    Decide what type of placement you would like for the mealworm feeder. Feeders can be fixed on top of a pole or fence post or swing loosely from a tree branch or shepherd's crook placed in the yard. Almost any feeder can be adapted to accommodate its placement, but some types of feeders just work better if they are either stationary or hanging.

    3

    Consider the durability of the mealworm feeder. Look for feeders that use rust resistant coatings and metal or lucite is preferable to wood materials, since wood can be chewed by squirrels. Plus, consider a design that will also be conducive for offering other food choices such as suet or berries when you're not feeding mealworms.

    4

    Look for mealworm feeders that are easy to clean and fill. It may already seem unappetizing to deal with live mealworms, so you don't want the added difficulty of struggling with a poorly designed feeder when its time to refill or clean it out.

Can Bourkes & Budgies Live Together?

Can Bourkes & Budgies Live Together?

Bourke's and budgies are both Australian parakeets in the Psittacidae family. The two species have similarities and differences. Both are small parakeets, ranging in size from 7 inches to 13 inches. They are easy to care for and make good pets. Bourke's are quieter and less playful than budgies and don't demand as much human interaction. Some people might consider the Bourke's parakeet too dull, while others might find the budgie too loud. Choosing one over the other depends upon how much you want to interact with your pet bird as well as the level of noise you tolerate and prefer.

Bourke's Parakeets

    Bourke's parakeets are named for Sir Richard Bourke, who was governor of New South Wales, Australia, from 1831 to 1836 and was known for advocating equal rights and religious tolerance. Bourke's are quiet, calm and gentle parakeets. They are not as active as budgies, the typical pet parakeet, nor as rowdy. They also are more independent birds, not as needy as budgies for attention, and they can amuse themselves. Bourke's don't climb the cage bars and normally don't talk, though they do make quiet little noises. They are the only parakeet without any green coloring, and their tails, though long, have a wider, flat end.

Budgie Parakeets

    "Budgie," which is short for "Budgerigar," is the British name for the same birds Americans call "parakeets." They are friendly, active, intelligent birds that love to climb, chew, play with their toys, chirp and sing. Some can be taught to "talk" or imitate sounds and to do tricks. Budgies are hardy and easy to care for, but they do like interaction, either with a companion bird or their human caregiver. Most pet parakeets are budgies; they are readily available in pet stores and are among the least expensive pet birds. Budgies make good pet birds and good "first" birds, as long as their owners give them regular attention and ample playthings for their amusement.

Living Together

    Though Bourke's and budgies are both in the parakeet family, most experts and parakeet owners who have tried it do not recommend housing Bourke's and budgies in the same cage. Some budgies can be quite aggressive, and owners who have caged the two together report that sometimes the budgie pecks at the Bourke's. Another reason not to cage them together is a difference in their innate habits. While budgies get around by climbing the cage bars and flying short distances between perches, Bourke's fly horizontally and therefore require a horizontal flight cage. Bourke's parakeets' wings should never be clipped, because they continue this flight pattern even in captivity. So if you want to try to cage them together, you need to put them in a cage that's horizontal for the Bourke's but also high enough to please the budgie that likes to climb.

Other Solutions

    Instead of housing Bourke's and budgies in the same cage, put their separate cages next to each so they can feel as though they have a companion but also have their independence. Bourke's seem to coexist well with finches, canaries and cockatiels in the same cage. Outside of their cages, roaming and flying freely in a large room, budgies and Bourke's do not bother each other but do not interact either. Budgies do best paired with another budgie from a young age or kept alone with lots of toys and human interaction.

Senin, 27 Agustus 2012

Birdseed Ingredients

Birdseed Ingredients

Ingredients in commercial birdseed and their composition varies. Some expensive birdseed packages at specialty stores, for example, are heavy in costly bird seeds and low in filler seed. Some birdseed packages are made for regions where particular bird species are more prevalent in certain seasons. To complicate matters, within a bird species' range, birds can have birdseed preferences that contradict predicted bird behavior. Still, there are quite a few common birdseed ingredients that are used to appeal to a broad spectrum of birds.

Sunflower Seeds

    Black-oil sunflower seed can be purchased at discount stores, home and garden stores and big box stores. It is sold packaged by itself or in commercial birdseed mixes. Across the United States and all of North America, you are likely to find this seed as the most commonly offered seed for wild bird feed. Black-oil sunflower seed's popularity is based on its thin outer shell that makes it easy for birds to open and its high edible-meat-to-shell ratio. It has a high fat content, which gives it good energy value for birds. Chickadees, nuthatches, finches, cardinals, grosbeaks, sparrows, blackbirds, jays, titmice and even, on occasion, woodpeckers favor black-oil sunflower seed.

    A different type of sunflower seed is called striped sunflower. These seeds are bigger than the black-oil sunflower seeds, and their shells are thicker. Birds with larger bill,s such as cardinals, are able to crack the harder shells and consume these seeds with gusto.

Safflower Seed

    Safflower seeds are grown for the oil they produce and for use in birdseed. The seed looks much like a sunflower seed that is white. Like striped sunflower seeds, this seed is favored by birds with strong bills, such as cardinals and grosbeaks. Titmice and nuthatches are also known to consume safflower seeds.

Thistle Seed

    Nyjer is the seed of an African daisy that is commonly called thistle seed. It is not native to North America. It is a highly nutritious seed often included in commercial birdseed mixes because of its attractiveness to a number of wild birds, especially finches.

Corn

    Corn is a low-cost grain that adds versatility in many birdseed mixes. Corn in its whole-kernel form attracts wild turkeys and ducks. Corn that is cracked or broken attracts smaller birds, such as quail, doves and sparrows. Blackbirds are also known to eat corn, as are jays.

Millet

    Small and round, millet is a common grain to include in commercially available birdseed mixes. Finches frequent feeders with millet, as will blackbirds. Birds that forage on the ground--including pigeons and doves--and smaller bird--such as sparrows and juncos--seek out millet that has fallen to the ground from a hanging feeder.

Milo

    Milo is an inexpensive filler seed that you find in commercial birdseed mixes. It is a round grain that usually has a reddish color. In general, birds in western states are likely to eat more milo than birds you commonly see in eastern states. Jays, pigeons and doves are known to consume milo.

The History of Love Birds

The History of Love Birds

Lovebirds are the second smallest of the parrots. They haven't been kept as captive pets for nearly as long as some of their larger parrot cousins, but many families are choosing to make lovebirds their pets. Lovebirds can be successfully kept as individual birds, in pairs, or in community flocks.

Origin of Lovebirds

    Lovebirds are native to Africa, where nine species have been identified. At least twice as many bred mutations are also recognized.

Early History of Lovebirds

    Fischer's Lovebird

    Early European explorers to Africa began writing about wild lovebirds in the 17th century. Many of the species of lovebirds were named for the explorers who first documented them. For example, the Fischer's Lovebird was named for one its discoverers, Dr. G.A. Fischer, during an exploration of Lake Victoria.

Early Importation

    Lovebirds were first imported to Europe during the 19th century, where they became popular pets. Because of the general practice of catching and importing wild birds, few lovebird breeders existed.

Lovebird Aviculture

    The Lutino lovebird is one of the most popular mutations.

    As lovebirds became more popular, and as import restrictions increased, lovebird breeders became more common. Lovebirds are relatively easy to breed in captivity, and successful breeding over the last century has meant that an abundance of lovebirds are now available.

Lovebirds Today

    The initial cost of obtaining a lovebird can range from $50-$250, depending on the mutation and color. Visit your local bird sanctuary or bird adoption organization first when looking for a new lovebird to add to your family.

How to Prevent Cockatiel Night Frights

There are many things new cockatiel owners must know when they bring home their new bird. One of these things is that cockatiels are prone to having episodes called night frights. Basically, cockatiels have very poor night vision. This is why when you turn off the light they know it is bedtime. In the wild, they rest from sundown to sunup as a safety precaution. When the bird wakes up in the middle of the night he or she may bump into a toy, cage mate, or even the side of the cage and it will startle him or her. He may hear a loud noise or see something they cannot identify moving in the room. This will put him into a panic and he will start flailing around the cage. This is dangerous for the bird and for his cage mates. Some birds are more prone to night frights, but all birds have them. You can take precautions to make them less of an issue.

Instructions

    1

    It is all about cage placement. There are many factors to take into consideration when determining where to put the bird cage. You want to place the cage away from the direct line of windows so that outside noises do not disturb the birds. If you live in high-traffic areas or an apartment complex, the lights from the passing cars can be an issue. Put him in an area that will not be noisy or loud.

    2

    To Cover or Not to Cover. Some people insist that covering the bird cage at night is a must. Others believe that as long as the room is dark, no cover is needed. If the cage is covered, the cage is completely dark. Many cockatiels love to greet the morning with a song, or if they do not see their Alpha Bird (the owner) within a certain amount of time they will call for him or her. The cover keeps the bird in the dark longer, but this could lead to more night frights. If you have to cover the cage, try to leave a little corner uncovered.

    3

    Yes, your bird may need a night light. If your bird is prone to night frights, a night light may help. Yes, the room needs to be mostly dark, so it does not need to be a bright light. They just need enough light so they can see in and around their cage. Check the night light frequently to make sure the light does not burn out.

Kinds Of Cockatiels

Kinds Of Cockatiels

Among species that people often keep as pets is the cockatiel, a small type of cockatoo native to Australia. The cockatiel is 12 inches long, can live up to 25 years and is very social. They like having people around, or another cockatiel companion.

Types

    There is only one type or species of cockatiel. The bird was discovered in Australia and its species name is Nymphicus hollandicus. They became common as pets in the early 20th century, during the Australian Gold Rush. They are still seen in the wild.

Colors

    The most common color of the cockatiel is gray, which is the natural color they are in the wild. But over time, breeders have bred them to get many different color variations. Cockatiels have about a dozen color variations, including lutino--pure yellow, blue lutino (pale blue), pearl (speckles on the feathers), pied (grey streaks on wings), emerald (pale green), silver (silver coloring), fallow (very pale, light brown), albino (pure white with red eyes), white face (any color but with a white face), cinnamon (paler brown), paste (pale green with yellow pigment) and olive (olive color).

Gender Differences

    The gender of cockatiels can be identified once they have reach adulthood, which is normally after the first molt at six months. Males have a brighter color on their faces, and females have a duller color. The body feathers are similar --- the males are brighter than the females. Also, the males whistle and are louder than the females.

Training

    Any type of cockatiel can be trained, but you must be patient. A bird can take longer to train than a dog, so do not give up after only a few sessions. Cockatiels that are hand-raised can often be trained faster and easier. Spend time with the bird every day in a quiet place near its cage, so it is not frightened or anxious. Start slowly and give rewards when the bird gets the trick right.

Facts About Cockatoos

Facts About Cockatoos

Cockatoos consist of 21 species in the Cacatuidae family, according to the San Diego Zoo. They originated in Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines. They were kept by natives as pets, but when Europeans colonized the area, they began capturing and exporting them to Europe and North America. Cockatoos make fascinating but difficult pets, due to their high intelligence and health requirements.

Species

    The two most common pet cockatoo species are the greater and lesser sulphur-crested, which are all white with long yellow crest feathers on the head and a black beak. The greater is larger than the lesser of the two species. Another popular pet species is the salmon-crested or Moluccan cockatoo, which resembles the greater sulphur-crested but has pink head crest feathers instead of yellow. Other species kept as pets include the black cockatoo, the pink and white Major Mitchell, the umbrella cockatoo, the rose-breasted cockatoo, and the bizarre bare-eyed cockatoo.

Physical Differences

    Cockatoos differ in appearance from other pet parrot-like birds because of their head crests. These consist of long feathers that the bird can lower or raise. Cockatoo species are mostly white or mostly black, with the Major Mitchell a notable exception. Most cockatoo species lack a special texture in their body feathers that supports color. Cockatoos also are the only pet birds that do not produce body oil, but a body powder in order to help keep the feathers clean.

Problems as Pets

    No matter the species, cockatoos possess surprisingly loud voices for their medium-sized bodies. They also need constant attention and cannot be left alone for hours per day while the owner is out at work. When cockatoos are unhappy or want attention, they scream. They can even scream in the dark, which is highly unusual for any pet bird, according to the author of "Cockatoos: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual." Cockatoos are best with people who work out of their homes or with homemakers. White or pale-colored cockatoo species are prone to developing the highly contagious and potentially lethal Psittacine beak and feather disease, according to veterinarian Dr. Bob Marshall.

Life Span

    With good husbandry and luck, cockatoos can live to be 120 years old. However, the average life span is about 50 years. Cockatoos live longer in captivity than they do in the wild. Anyone considering getting a cockatoo as a pet must realize that the bird may outlive the owner, so this provision must be taken care of.

Types of Flamingos

Types of Flamingos

According to Davidson College, flamingos are some of the oldest species of birds on earth. Today, there are six separate species. Most of them feed on algae and brine shrimp --- food sources that have existed for ages. Their lengthy legs and colorful feathers have captured the attention and interest of many naturalists.

Greater Flamingo

    Phoenicopterus roseus are the largest and palest species. They have an average weight of 8 lbs. and height of 5 feet. Given their size, they have few natural predators. The species consists of 545,000 to 682,000 birds, which inhabit Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and parts of Europe. Greater flamingos are close relatives of the Caribbean species.

Lesser Flamingo

    Among the various species, Phoeniconaias minor have the smallest bodies; their average weight is 5 to 6 lbs., while their average height is 3 feet 3 inches. They also have the highest population with roughly 2 to 3 million individual birds living throughout southern Africa and parts of Asia.

Chilean Flamingo

    Phoenicopterus chilensis live in the warm, coastal areas of South America, such as Chile and Argentina. With 200,000 or fewer family members, they have one of the smaller populations. They have an average height of 4 feet and an average weight of 4 to 6 lbs. The grey legs and pink knees of the Chilean flamingos allow them to stand out among the other species.

Caribbean Flamingo

    People sometimes refer to Phoenicopterus ruber as American flamingos. In terms of coloration, they are the brightest species in the world, sporting orange-pink feathers. The population of roughly 850,000 birds inhabits areas near the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean. With an average height of 4 feet 5 inches, they are almost as large as the Greater flamingos.

Andean Flamingos

    Unlike most of the other species, Phoenicoparrus andinus lack a hind toe but sport yellow legs. They have the smallest population with about 34,000 living in South America. With an average height of 3 to 4 feet and an average weight of 8 to 9 lbs., Andean flamingos are close relatives to the James' species.

James's Flamingos

    Phoenicoparrus jamesi are named after Henry Berkeley James, a naturalist whose expeditions led to the discovery of the birds; however people may also refer to them as Puna flamingos. Like the Andean flamingos, they lack a hind toe. Their orange legs and yellow bills are additional distinguishing features. This species appears in South America, alongside the Andean flamingos. Its estimated population is 100,000.

How to Hand Raise Baby Macaws

How to Hand Raise Baby Macaws

Sometimes a baby macaw will become orphaned, and it will have to be hand raised. Most common reasons for orphaning is the parents are unable to feed it or the eggs were removed from the mother's nest. No matter how the baby macaw became orphaned, it will need to same type of love, care and devotion as it would receive from its mother. Hand raising a baby macaw can be a rewarding but challenging experience. It will require a lot of time and devotion, but over time, a irreplaceable bond will be developed between the caregiver and macaw.

Instructions

    1

    Set up a fish tank with a lid for the baby macaw to stay inside. The fish tank will be the size of your choice, and the lid will cover the fish tank but still have holes for oxygen.

    2
    Paper towels or tissue is the best choice.
    Paper towels or tissue is the best choice.

    Cover the bottom of the fish tank with paper towels. Set a bowl of wet cotton balls on the paper towels, and lay a heater near the wet cotton balls. You will adjust the heater to around 93 degrees F. The humidity will stay around 30 percent to 50 percent.

    3

    Check on the baby macaws frequently to prevent overheating or lethargy. If the skin of the baby macaws is red and it is panting, then decrease the temperature of the heater. Increase the temperature of the heater if the baby macaws are huddling.

    4
    Make sure you clean the entire fish tank.
    Make sure you clean the entire fish tank.

    Clean the fish tank when needed. You will remove the dirty paper towels, and replace them with clean paper towels. Remove the wet cotton balls. Put new wet cotton balls in the bowl.

    5
    Baby macaws eat very little, but they eat frequently.
    Baby macaws eat very little, but they eat frequently.

    Feed the baby macaw a specialized baby macaw diet. You will feed the baby macaw with a syringe or spoon. Hourly feedings of small are required for week-old baby macaws. As the baby macaw grows older, you will lengthen the time it goes without feeding. Reduce the feedings to every two hours with a six-hour break overnight when the macaw reaches two weeks. When the macaw enters the third week, it should be fed every four to six hours.

    6
    Your macaw will grow into a beautiful bird!
    Your macaw will grow into a beautiful bird!

    Wean the baby macaw off the baby macaw food at six weeks of age. You will begin introducing solid commercial macaw food into the diet. Once it reaches six weeks of age, you have finished hand raising a baby macaw!

Why Does My Parakeet Eat All the Time?

A parakeet is a small- to medium-sized bird from the family of parrots. These birds are distinguished by their colorful feathers and social behaviors. The diet of these birds typically consists of a mixture of seeds and water. Parakeets don't eat much at one type, but do eat frequently. Overeating in a parakeet can be a result of a variety of different health reasons that can be genetic to parasitic.

Diabetes

    One of the main causes of overeating in a parakeet is diabetes. Avian diabetes is a disease in which the bird's body cannot produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the blood sugar level in the bird's body. When this happens, the bird is not able to store the carbohydrates it ingests for long term energy. As a result, the bird will overeat. The main cause of diabetes in parakeets is the overconsumption of glycogen in the diet. Diabetes in parakeets is also a co-condition that can occur simultaneously along with another health issue. Sometimes that other health issue causes diabetes in the bird. Treating the other health condition and giving the bird insulin injections can help the bird maintain a consistent eating habit.

Metabolism

    It is in a parakeet's nature to consume quickly and digest quickly. Humans tend to have a slower metabolism and food is digested within hours. Parakeets can ingest their food within 30 minutes to an hour and a half. Some parakeets can have a faster metabolism than others. As a result, these parakeets will keep on eating and eating to get a sufficient nutrient supply. These birds will also appear to be faster and more hyper than the others. Although a fast metabolism is common among parakeets, having an extremely high metabolism will put added stress on the bird and make it feel that it is not getting enough food. As a result it will overeat. Taking the bird to a veterinarian can help decrease its stress.

Worms

    Parakeets are prone to getting parasites. Parasitic worms are the main type of worms that affect these birds. When a bird is infected, the parasitic worm will travel within the bird's body and use the bird's stomach as its habitat. Here the worm will suck any nutrients the bird ingests. Parasitic worms tend to favor foods rich in B-vitamins. As a result, the parakeet will start eating more quantities of food, more than it used to, to counteract the nutrient deficiency it is experiencing as a result of the worm infection. Worms also cause dehydration in the birds and as a result, the bird will also drink more water than before and consume more leafy green foods and seeds.

Lack of Food

    Parakeets are suppose to be feed often. They must have a sufficient supply of food and water at all times. When a parakeet is given food after an extended period of time, it will overeat. The bird will then keep overeating as it will think that food supply is scarce.

The Behavior of an African Grey Parrot

The Behavior of an African Grey Parrot

The African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus Timneh) has a much-loved role that extends to 4,000 years ago when Egyptians, Greeks and Romans kept parrots as pets. A popular parrot in the pet trade, this species can become temperamental, neurotic and shy if not happy in captivity.

In the Wild

    Habitat includes dense forest, as well as clearings, mangroves, wooded savannah, and forest edges. African grey parrots live a monogamous life with a lifespan of 50 plus years. They nest in a tree hole.

Human Interaction

    The African grey parrot can live harmoniously with humans, especially those who are patient, calm and encouraging. This bird may have difficulty with an overwhelming range of human interaction styles. With little regular human interaction, the bird may bond to one person.

Intelligence

    Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a leading researcher on animal cognition, suggests African grey parrots have an intelligence similar to dolphins and chimpanzees, according to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. This bird has the ability to understand human speech, mimic human speech and noisy objects. Other talents include problem-solving and reasoning skills.

Diet

    Diet can consist of pelleted food, as well as grains, proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. Consequences of a poor diet include hyperactivity, bad temper, screeching, biting, lethargy and self-mutilation.

Defensive Tactics

    The African grey parrot can defend by biting with its pointed beak and scratching with its claws. This species can make itself look larger to its enemies by fluffing up.