Jumat, 30 November 2012

How to Make a Pigeon Trap

How to Make a Pigeon Trap

Pigeons can quickly become a nuisance for homeowners and businesses because they make such a mess on rooftops and because they carry diseases. Spikes, pesticides and other deterrents can be used to discourage pigeons from roosting in a certain area, but these measures are only so effective. Sometimes it is necessary to remove the problem entirely by trapping the pigeons and releasing them elsewhere. Simple pigeon traps made out of cardboard boxes are both an inexpensive and effective means of solving a pigeon problem.

Instructions

How to Make a Box Trap

    1

    Sprinkle seed around the area in which you intend to place the trap for a few days so that the bird returns frequently to that location. Stay nearby when the pigeon is eating the seed so it gets used to your presence.

    2

    Cut a 6-by-6-inch flap in the top of a cardboard box using box cutters or scissors. This flap will be used as a door to remove the pigeon once it has been trapped. The size of the box does not matter so long as it is large enough to accommodate the trapped pigeon. A box measuring at least 12 inches square will be sufficient.

    3

    Affix a block weight or heavy object to the top of the box on one side. The weight will serve to drop the end of the box quickly when the stick propping it up is pulled away.

    4

    Prop up the weighted end of the box with a stick approximately 10 or 12 inches long. Use something light weight, like a paint-mixing stick, so it does not injure the pigeon if it falls inside the box. Tie a length of string to the stick and bait the area with seed. Sprinkle some seed under the box and outside it near the stick, where the pigeon can see it.

    5

    Wait for the pigeon to follow the trail of seed and to walk under the box, then yank the string to pull the stick away, causing the box to fall down and trap the pigeon. Position yourself about 20 feet away from the box so you do not deter the pigeon from coming near the box.

    6

    Retrieve the bird from the trap by opening the flap door cut in the top and remove the pigeon. Wear thick gloves during this process to protect your hands from the pigeon's sharp beak.

How to Make a Bob Trap

    7

    Cut a window in the side of a large cardboard box. The size of the box does not matter, but if you plan to catch more than one pigeon, it should be at least the size of a file-storage box. The opening in the side of the box should be about 8 inches high and at least 4 inches wide. You may make the opening longer than 4 inches if you choose.

    8

    Cut several 10-inch lengths of wire using wire cutters.

    9

    Affix the lengths of wire vertically to the inside of the box, spacing them out every 1 1/2 inches along the cut out window. Secure the wires in place with hot glue at both ends, and then stretch a piece of duct tape across all of the wires inside the box to hold them in place.

    10

    Bait the trap by sprinkling bird seed inside and around the trap. The pigeons will push through the wire to get to the seed inside the box and, after the pigeons push through, the wire will return to its original shape and prevent the birds from leaving the box.

How to Make Hummingbird Water

How to Make Hummingbird Water

Easy preparation and storage of hummingbird water. They will feed all winter if you make sure to fill the feeder!

Instructions

    1

    The ratio for hummingbird water is one part sugar to four parts water.

    2

    Measure out 4 cups of water in your saucepan. Set on medium heat.

    3

    Measure out 1 cup of granulated white sugar and set to the side.

    4

    Get the water JUST to a boil, you don't want too much evaporation as you do want it to be an even mix. This will be their primary food source, so you want it to be right!

    5

    Remove from the heat and pour in the sugar.

    6

    Stir it completely, make sure it is all dissolved.

    7

    Let it sit till is is cooled down and pour it into a glass bottle to store.

    8

    Store in the fridge, it will keep for a long time. You won't be keeping it too long as the hummers will eat a LOT!

How to Make Hummingbird Food With Sugar Water

Hummingbirds are muscular, diminutive birds that possess a most unique method of travel. They rotate their wings in rapid, circular motions, reaching speeds of up to 60 mph. They are able to dart up, down, sideways or simply hover in mid-air. Their hearts beat up to 1,260 times per minute. All of this frenetic activity expends tremendous amounts of energy, which is why hummingbirds consume up to 200 percent of their body weight in nectar every day. Keep your hummingbird population well-fortified with this simple nectar recipe that will always keep them coming back for more.

Instructions

    1

    Pour two cups of water into a saucepan.

    2

    Place saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring water to a boil.

    3

    Add 1/2 cup white, granulated sugar to the boiling water.

    4

    Boil the sugar water mixture for two to three minutes.

    5

    Remove from heat and cool mixture to room temperature.

    6

    Fill your hummingbird feeder with the sugar water. Follow the directions supplied by the manufacturer of your hummingbird feeder.

    7

    Pour the remaining sugar water mixture in a clean, airtight glass jar. Store in your refrigerator for up to one month.

How to Raise Turkeys in Confinement

How to Raise Turkeys in Confinement

All domestic turkeys in the world today originated from North American wild turkeys. Although many different breeds of turkeys exist, domestic and wild are the only two varieties. Domestic turkeys are larger than their wild counterparts, and cannot fly or run fast. The white, wide-breasted turkeys raised for the table today were developed in the 1950s and are the most common variety. Wild turkeys can fly and can also run at up to 35 miles per hour. They are raised as pets or for game bird hunting.

Instructions

    1

    Build your coop. Young turkeys do not do well in overcrowded conditions. A 10-by-10 foot cage will accommodate 30 poults or 20 young turkeys. The coop should be wired all around with 1-by-2 inch welded wire for the floor. Hang a 250-watt bulb above the cage for a large number of poults or a 100-watt bulb above a cardboard box for a lesser number. Keep them under the lights until they stop huddling together.

    2

    Spread the litter in the coop. Sawdust or corn cobs make the best litter for turkeys. To prevent the poults from getting confused, place a sheet of paper or hessian sacking over the top of it for the first few days. Poults can mistake the sawdust for feed, and this practice will prevent them from eating it.

    3

    Purchase your breeding stock. Turkey eggs are not as easy to hatch as chicken eggs, and suppliers do not guarantee they will hatch. Good quality adult breeding birds are very expensive and hard to obtain because the breeders hold onto them. Starting with poults or day-old turkey chicks is the most recommended method for starting a turkey raising operation. Most breeders agree to replace them if they die in transit or within a few days after you receive them.

    4

    Provide water in a chicken water fountain for the poults. After a week, switch to a water can pan with a wire guard to prevent the young turkeys from getting into the water and soiling it. Make certain they always have a good supply of fresh, clean water.

    5

    Feed a starter mash. Place a feeder on the ground for the first few days, then raise it to prevent it getting soiled and wet. Give them a grower feed after eight weeks, and after 14 weeks add grain to their diet and switch to the finisher feed. At 10 to 28 weeks domestic turkeys are ready for slaughter. If you intend to allow wild turkeys to free-range during the day, you must clip their wings or they will fly away.

Will Male & Female Budgies Fight?

Will Male & Female Budgies Fight?

Parakeets, also called budgies, are relatively peaceful birds, but sometimes they do fight. Whether it's over territory, because one budgie is afraid of the other, or just because one bird is irritated, battles can get loud and affect your pets' health. If you can predict the likelihood of your parakeets deciding to have a battle, you'll improve your chances of a happy cage. One method is to pay attention to the sex of your birds.

Significance

    Fighting among budgies can be as minimal as occasional squawking, or as serious as full blown harassment. Problem parakeets can stress out others in their cage, causing bald spots from pulled out feathers, low weight and health issues. Check over your parakeets regularly to make sure that they're all in acceptable condition. Keep an eye on any fights to make sure they don't get out of hand.

Function

    Fighting, whether it's between members of the same sex or members of opposite sexes, serves a purpose. Budgies need to establish a "pecking order" among cage mates. In nature, these birds live in huge flocks of hundreds or even thousands. Establishing the social order helps them stay happier in the long run, but there may be some squabbles along the way. Not all fights are serious--some are just helping establish social order.

Considerations

    Female budgies are more likely to be territorial than males, though male budgies do sometimes fight over cage space. These birds perceive their cage as a nesting site, and are guarding it against trespassers. Fights between birds of the same sex are more likely than fights between opposite sex budgies, though. Males commonly fight for the attention of a female in the same cage. Some very territorial females will try to fend off any budgie they meet, even males.

Warning

    Territorial or stressed budgies may not stop at biting one another and pulling feathers. They can also extend their territorial behaviors to you. Simply opening the door may cause a stressed parakeet to bite you. If your birds have been fighting, approach the cage slowly and never take the bird out. Instead, allow your budgie to step out onto your hand. Most territorial budgies are quite docile outside the cage.

Considerations

    Fighting is more likely to happen when you introduce a new bird, rather than between birds that have known each other a long time. Introduce new budgies outside the cage, or in their own separate cages. Open both cages to let the birds get to know one another. Only when they've become able to deal with each others' presence should you allow them to share a larger cage. Include two food and water dishes and two of each toy to discourage squabbling.

Easy to Clean Milk Thistle Feeders

Small seed-eating birds such as pine siskins and gold finches love thistle seed. These sociable little birds flock to thistle feeders, often covering every available space on the feeder to feast on the tiny nyger seeds. Thistle seeds sold for bird feed are sterile, so you don't have to worry about thistles sprouting all over your lawn. Squirrels and larger birds will usually leave thistle alone, leaving these feeders free for smaller birds.

Styles

    Thistle feeders are made in two styles--tube feeders and thistle socks. Socks are made of nylon fabric with many tiny holes. Birds can cling to the fabric sock. The longer the sock, the more birds it can accommodate. Thistle socks may be white, black or any other color, and open with a drawstring at the top for filling.

    Tube feeders are either plastic with feeding ports with tiny holes from which the birds can extract the seeds, or fine wire mesh. Tube feeders sometimes have a covering designed to allow only smaller birds to reach the interior tube. Tube feeders have a dome-shaped baffle on top to discourage squirrels and keep out the rain.

Advantages of Socks

    While some fabric thistle socks are designed to be thrown away when they become dirty, you can often wash them. Toss the empty thistle sock in the washer with a load of towels. Hang to dry to avoid having it shrink in the heat of the dryer. You could also hand-wash the thistle sock in a gentle detergent in the sink. Rinse well and hang to dry.

Tube Feeders

    Tube feeders can be trickier to clean. Tiny thistle seed tends to clump up in the bottom of tube feeders and clog wire mesh and plastic feeding ports.The easiest-to-clean tube feeders are made of smooth plastic and have bottoms and tops that can be removed. Mesh feeders are much more difficult to clean.

    To clean a tube feeder, disassemble it as much as possible. Remove the top and, if possible, the bottom. Rinse it with a blast from the water hose.

    Take the feeder inside and submerse it in a bucket or sink of hot soapy water with a tablespoon of bleach added. Let it soak for 15 minutes, then scrub the inside with a long-handled bottle brush or brush designed to clean bird feeders. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry, then put the feeder back together.

Keeping It Clean

    Use clean, dry thistle seed. If a sock feeder becomes drenched in the rain, check it after one day. If it's still damp, empty the seed, allow the sock to dry and refill it with dry seed. Wet seed can mold and be harmful to birds.

    Look for tube feeders with domes to keep out the rain. You won't have to worry as much about seed clumping up in this type of feeder.

How to Care for a Sick Bird

It is impossible for a bird lover to turn her back on a sick or injured bird. One common mistake people make is thinking that a bird is sick and needs to be rescued, when the bird is in fact a youngster that is just learning how to fly. If you see a bird on the ground that looks winded and disoriented take a look around. You will probably see two or three other birds flying around frantically. In this situation, walk away without touching the bird. However, if you find a sick bird, you can take the bird home to nurse it back to health.

Instructions

    1

    Contact your local veterinarian. Some veterinary clinics have programs in place where they will take a sick or injured bird that one of their customers have found, free of charge. This is the ideal situation for ill birds.

    2

    Set up a hospital cage. A hospital cage doesn't have to be anything fancy, it can be an extra cage that you aren't using, a glass aquarium that you can cover with a screen, a pet carrier, or even a shoe box that has holes punched in it. Place the hospital cage somewhere far away from your own birds. Place the hospital cage somewhere that the ill bird won't be disturbed by pets or small children.

    3

    Keep the bird warm. Sick birds should be kept in an environment that is at least 80 to 90 degrees F. The best way to keep the bird warm is with heat lamps, hot water bottles or heating pads. If you are using a heat light or heating pad, make sure that it is set up in such a way that the bird can't peck at the electrical cord.

    4

    Allow the bird access to water. The biggest danger to sick birds is dehydration. If the bird won't drink, use an eye dropper and drip some fluids down its throat every few hours. Mix some Pedialyte in the birds water. Using Pedialyte is an excellent way to stave off dehydration.

    5

    Keep food in the hospital cage. The type of food you keep in the cage depends on if the sick bird is a berry and seed eater, like a sparrow, or if it is a carnivorous species, like a Robin. If you are unsure what your sick bird eats, find out by thumbing through a basic bird identification book. To provide food for a seed eating bird, fill a dish full of bird food. Add some bits of cut-up cherries or some raisins to the mix. Carnivorous birds are a little more difficult. The good news is that, although they prefer bugs, these birds do supplement their diets with some seeds. The ideal situation for carnivorous birds is to set up a little dish of birdseed, with some suet mixed in.

How to Mend a Bird Net

Bird nets are a useful tool for bird enthusiasts. Nets allow you to gently catch your favorite species of bird for close observation and examination. Most bird nets are made of soft, fine mesh that keeps even the smallest birds from escaping. Mending a bird net allows you to make use of an existing net, even if it has been torn or damaged.

Instructions

    1

    Examine your net for any holes. Most nets are made of very fine cord weaved into mesh, so check not only the strands but the knots of the weaves for damage.

    2

    Lay your net out on a flat surface and weight it down with a few sturdy objects, such as phone books. The books will help hold the net in place and keep it from shifting while you patch it.

    3

    Hold the two broken ends of your first hole between your fingers and apply a small drop of hot glue, keeping them together until the glue dries. The hot glue will bond to each end of the netting, patching the hole without the need to hold them together for hours with traditional liquid glue.

    4

    Continue patching one hole at a time until you have completed your entire net. If you have an area that is severely damaged, cut it out of the body of the net and trim a patch from your extra netting. Glue each strand of the patch to the existing strands, allowing the glue to cool completely before moving the net.

    5

    Sew very worn patches in your net with your needle and thread. You may notice spots in your net that are not yet torn and just require a little extra strength. A few stitches with a strong thread will help tighten up any weak spots and reinforce your newly mended bird net.

Sounds Made by Birds for Communication

Sounds Made by Birds for Communication

Sound is one of the most important methods birds use to communicate. These sounds can be used for a variety of reasons, which include attracting a mate, showing aggression, marking a territory and alerting flock members to a food source.The syrinx is the sound-producing organ located near the bottom of a bird's windpipe. It has two compartments, one for each lung, that can be controlled separately to combine various sounds. These sounds include honks, clicks, croaks, squeaks, whines, pops, warbles, rattles, whistles, tremelos and trilling. Learning to recognize birds sounds can make you feel closer to nature.

Songs

    A bird sings two songs. A loud one is sung only by a male. A softer one, called a whisper song, can be sung by both male and females. Songs are learned by young males imitating their father or other males. A male bird sings songs to communicate with his mate, claim territory and protect it by warning other males to stay away. Some males, like red-winged blackbirds, sing while females talk to them.

Calls

    Calls, unlike songs, are not musical or used in mating. Calls help coordinate behavior. They are used for immediate communication particularly to signal danger or that a food source has been found. They keep other flock members who are foraging for food informed about the whereabouts of the flock as it migrates. Calls are usually short in duration. For example, crows use a distinctive "caw-caw-caw" as a call to attention for other crows. Young birds in the nest give begging calls to parents for food.

Drumming and Snapping

    Specialized neck muscles and bills have evolved for some birds, so they can communicate by drumming and snapping their beaks. Woodpeckers are best known for this sound. It is very rapid and even. Owls, herons, geese and ducks snap their beaks to show aggression or demonstrate they are worried about the approach of a predator.

Wing Sounds

    Roughed Grouse beat their wings to make a sound similar to drumming. This sound is like a woodpecker's, but the drumming starts very slow and becomes faster. Pigeons and doves are best known for the wing sound they make as they take off. Hummingbird's wings flap at an incredible rate of speed and produce a bee-like humming sound, giving them their name.

Diving Sounds

    Air rushing through wings causes outer feathers to vibrate, creating a sound. When a common snipe dives, it emits a siren or bleating sound. A Wilson's snipe spreads special tail feathers as it dives, creating a sound it uses for mating.

How to Make an Incubator for Hatching Ducklings

How to Make an Incubator for Hatching Ducklings

A homemade incubator is an effective tool for hatching ducklings, providing breeders with a constant temperature and suitable humidity. It is up to the breeder to rotate the eggs regularly during the three weeks of incubation. Purchase fertilized eggs from a farmer or breeder, selecting eggs of a normal size and shape.

Instructions

    1

    Measure the sheet of glass and cut a hole in the top of the cooler, about 1-inch smaller in each dimension, using the box cutter. Place the piece of glass over the hole and secure it to the cooler with duct tape. This creates an observation window.

    2

    Cut a hole the size of the lamp socket in one side of the cooler, close to the top. Fit the socket into the hole and tape around it, inside and out, for air tightness. Screw in the 25-watt bulb inside the incubator.

    3

    Cut a piece of chicken wire and bend it to enclose the lightbulb. Cut a second piece of chicken wire and bend it to make a 1-inch-high platform to fit the width of the incubator. Place it on the floor of the incubator, opposite the lamp.

    4

    Place the sponge in the bowl and fill it halfway with water. Position it on the wire platform. Position the temperature-and-humidity monitor next to it.

    5

    Run a test for heat and humidity levels. Place the lid on the incubator and turn on the lamp. Monitor the temperature and humidity for the next few hours by looking through the observation window. An optimum temperature is between 98 and 101 F, but ideally should not fluctuate more than 1. Humidity should stay between 55 and 75 percent, increasing in the last days.

    6

    Increase the temperature and humidity by sealing any holes in the incubator with duct tape. Decrease temperature by making small holes with a pencil or box cutter. Changing the lightbulb for one with a different wattage will also alter the temperature.

    7

    Introduce the eggs to the incubator, placing them together next to the bowl on the platform. Check the temperature and humidity frequently during the first few days of incubation. Carefully turn the eggs a quarter-turn at least 3 times a day for the first 18 days. Do not turn the eggs during the last four days of incubation.

How to Make Bird Food Suet

How to Make Bird Food Suet

Suet is the fat that lines the kidneys and loins in animals like beef and sheep. Birds like suet because the high fat and protein content helps provide them warmth and energy to survive the winter months. Naturally, you can buy suet cakes where outdoor bird food and feeders are sold. That being said, it is often more cost-effective to make the birds in your yard homemade suet cakes.

Instructions

    1

    Melt lard in a pot or a covered microwave safe dish. Remove it from the heat when the lard is completely melted.

    2

    Add peanut butter into the pot with the melted lard. Mix the lard and the peanut butter together until they are well blended.

    3

    Mix in any optional ingredients you wish to add to make your suet cakes more appetizing to your outdoor birds. This may including diced apple, nuts, rolled oats, raisins and other similar ingredients.

    4

    Pour the suet cake mixture into a bread pan. Spread the mixture evenly so the suet mixture sets into the shape of the bread pan.

    5

    Cover the bread pan with aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. Leave the pan in the refrigerator overnight so it has time to solidify.

    6

    Remove the bread pan of suet from the refrigerator. Break the suet loaf into sections that will fit into your suet feeder or mesh bag. Put the suet cake sections you are not using in a freezer bag and store in your freezer for up to two months.

Carolina Parakeet Diets

Carolina Parakeet Diets

The Carolina parakeet, extinct since 1918, was the only parrot native to the continental United States north of Mexico. About the size of a small crow, the Carolina parakeet was emerald green with a yellow head and orange bill. Its habitat was deciduous forests, forest edges and river bottom lands from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains and along the Gulf Coast from Texas and up to the District of Columbia. Correspondingly, the parakeet's food preferences ranged widely.

Cocklebur and Other Seeds

    The Carolina parakeet's favorite food was the seed of the cocklebur. This plant's population exploded after the parakeet became extinct because no other animal is known to eat it. The parakeet also favored the seeds of thistles and of trees such as maple, elm, pine, apple, peach, mulberry, pecan, grape and dogwood.

Fruits

    The Carolina parakeet's penchant for fruits, especially apples, peaches and grapes, hastened the species' demise because the farmer considered it a pest and shot it on sight. Traveling in flocks of 200 or more, these birds did cause considerable damage to orchards. Although many farmers retaliated by killing them indiscriminately, some "valued them for controlling the invasive cocklebur," said biologist and writer Barbara Kingsolver.

Corn and Other Cereal Grain Crops

    Carolina parakeets loved grains, including corn and other cereal crops, which also put them into conflict with farmers. From the 1800s to the early part of the 1900s, farms were small; the harvest fed the farmer's family and what was left was sold. One flock of parakeets could wipe out a season's planting, so farmers acted swiftly when they heard the noisy squawking of these birds, killing as many as they could. The birds were known to assist wounded flock members, making them even more vulnerable to the gun.

Other Causes of Extinction

    The last Carolina parakeet died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918, three years after the last wild one was killed. In addition to being slaughtered by farmers, the bird was hastened to extinction by other factors, including habitat destruction. They were sold as pets and their feathers were used for ladies' hats. A recent April Fool's prank reported that the species had been rediscovered in Honduras.

How to Distinguish Male or Female Finches

How to Distinguish Male or Female Finches

Properly determining the gender of a finch is important for a number of reasons, including for breeding purposes and to choose birds that sing. Physical appearance, behavior and singing are characteristics that may be used to distinguish between male and female finches.

Instructions

Color Identification

    1

    Identify the gender of a zebra finch based on the bird's coloring and markings. Male zebra finches possess a red beak, where females typically have orange. Male finches also typically carry a black bar across the chest, orange on the cheeks and flanks of red and brown. Female zebra finches lack these colorful markings.

    2

    Distinguish between male and female Gouldian finches based on the coloring differences of the birds. In the purple-breasted variety of Gouldian finches, the breast of the males are darker than the females. In the white-breasted variety, the male has a circle of blue around his head that is larger and brighter than in the female.

    3

    Identify green singers based on their coloring. The males of the species have a higher level of brightness in their colors, and greener coloring is on the chest. The females of the species possess a circle of color around the throat, but their colors are not as bright.

Face Identification

    4

    Distinguish between male and female European goldfinches based on their faces. Both genders have a face mask that is bright red, but the mask goes beyond the eyes in males and stops at the eyes for the females of the species.

    5

    Examine the head of the Cordon Bleu finch to determine its gender. In the Blue Cap Cordon Bleu, the head is a vivid blue for the male and a brown color for the female. For the Red-Cheeked variety, the cheeks of the male are vivid and red, and the female does not possess such bright colors. The male's body also tends to be a more intense blue color than the females.

    6

    Determine the gender of the owl finch based on its face. The bird's face should have a white area, and in males, this white is much brighter and much larger.

Behavior Identification

    7

    Distinguish between the male and female Weaver based on behavior during the breeding season. During this season, the males exhibit much brighter colors including blacks, yellows and reds. During the breeding season, the male weavers are responsible for weaving nests, so this can also be used to determine the gender of this type of finch.

    8

    Look for the extended tail in the Wydah species to determine the bird's gender. Males extend their tails and exhibit brighter colors during the breeding season. This is the only time when the gender of this bird can be identified by sight.

    9

    Determine the gender of other finch species based on their behavior and actions during the breeding season. Different species, including society finches, spice finches, St. Helena waxbills, lavender waxbills and tri color nuns exhibit unique behaviors that make it possible to distinguish the male from the females. For example, males are much more likely to sing than females, and females lay eggs even when they are not fertilized.

Kamis, 29 November 2012

Instructions on How to Build a Parrot Tree Stand

Instructions on How to Build a Parrot Tree Stand

With the high cost of most store-bought parrot trees and play stands, there is little wonder that many bird lovers make their own parrot trees. Custom stands offer the bird enthusiast with the ability to fully customize a stand to suit your space and size requirements, and your bird's own preferences. Make sure that any wood gathered for the stand is natural hardwood (never pine or cedar) and is not toxic for birds. Good choices are manzanita, oak and maple.

Instructions

    1

    Select clean, dry branches without signs of decay or insect infestation. Try and find branches with at least a 3-inch base diameter to use for the main portion of the parrot tree.

    2

    Thoroughly scrub and disinfect the branches with a mixture of 1 gallon water to 1 cup bleach. Rinse well and air dry in a sunny location to allow bleach fumes to dissipate for at least 24 hours.

    3

    Cut the plywood sheet (or have it cut for you at the lumber yard or home improvement store) into a 3-foot by 3-foot square.

    4

    Line the 1-by-3 strips up carefully along the edge of the plywood, working with one at a time, and drill into place (For the sturdiest hold, drill from beneath the plywood up into the 1-by-3 board). The 1-by-3s will create a lip to catch seed and feathers beneath the tree.

    5

    Paint the entire base with a high-gloss, nontoxic interior latex paint, and allow to dry.

    6

    Cut a straight edge across the base of the branch which will connect directly to the tree stand to ensure a smooth, flush fit.

    7

    Pre-drill the holes to connect the tree branches to the base using a 5/16 drill bit, drilling through the stand and approximately 2 1/2 inches into the base of the branch.

    8

    Connect the branch to the stand using a lag bolt and washer.

    9

    Connect any cross branches to the parrot tree by tying with twine or sisal, or using stainless steel nuts and bolts to bolt branches together. Toys can also be affixed in this way.

Is a Male or Female Parakeet Better?

Is a Male or Female Parakeet Better?

Overview


Male Parakeets Are More Sociable

    Generally, male parakeets sing more often and socialize better. If the owner intends to keep more than one parakeet, males tend to get along better with one another, while females often become aggressive and bicker. Males often even display courting behaviors toward one another, such as touching beaks and dilating their eyes.

Female Parakeets

    Because female parakeets don't sing much, it might be more difficult to train them to talk. Female parakeets also tend to be bossy and loud. When more than one female parakeets are kept together, they often become aggressive toward one another, quarreling and bickering noisily.

Bottom Line

    Although female parakeets can be more difficult to train, either gender of parakeet can become a good pet with proper care. However, according to BirdChannel.com, if socializing with the bird is important to the owner, the male parakeet is the better choice.

How to Bring Your African Grey Home

The docile nature and intelligence of the African Grey Parrot has made it a popular pet among bird enthusiasts. One of the most notable features of the African Grey is its ability to mimic speech. In 2008, one African Grey, found in a Japanese backyard, was able to talk its way home by repeating its address to animal clinic staff caring for the bird. Like other large birds, there are many precautions and steps you must take when bringing home an African Grey in order to properly socialize it and introduce it into your home.

Instructions

    1

    Place the cage in an appropriate area before you bring your bird home. In the wild, African Greys live in seclusion, so place the cage in an area where it will have adequate privacy. Do not situate the cage next to windows or doorways in which people may suddenly appear as this may cause stress for the bird.

    2

    Quarantine your bird until tests have been done. This is especially important if you have other pets in the household. Like all birds, there are many diseases and illnesses that an African Grey can carry and transmit to you and your pets. In fact, depending on the breed or pet store where you get the bird you may be able to have tests done before bringing the bird home.

    3

    Notice your bird's behavior and body language. Pay special attention to whether or not the bird is displaying behaviors indicating fear, such as widening of the eyes, heavy breathing, holding feathers to the chest or trembling. If the bird is indicating that it is happy it may outstretch its wings towards you or wag its tail from side to side. If you notice the bird seems unsure, anxious or scared it is important to back off from what you are doing. Again, African Greys lead secluded lives in the wild and even if your bird has been domesticated, its instincts are to be suspicious of its surroundings, especially new ones.

    4

    Reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior. Greys are extremely intelligent birds, and will quickly learn that good behavior will be rewarded. Likewise, if you reward the bad behavior by giving them what they want, they will quickly learn this is a way to get what they want. For instance, if your bird is squawking incessantly for attention and you respond by giving it that attention, this is only teaching it that squawking works.

    5

    Introduce the bird to new people and surroundings slowly. When you first bring your bird home let it get used to its surroundings before you begin to introduce it to the rest of the house. Once it feels secure in its cage you may let it out and give it a tour of the rest of the house. The same goes for people. Wait until the bird is familiar with and trusts you before you begin introducing it to new people.

How to Find a Pink Parakeet

How to Find a Pink Parakeet

Pink parakeets are small birds that have a rosy or pink color to their feathers. The tint of pink can be light or dark with wings that are darker and multicolored. These parakeets are relatively inexpensive and both sexes of the bird look similar, with the female having a bit more gray on the head.

Instructions

    1

    Search for pet shops and pet suppliers in your local phone book.

    2

    Call the shops you have selected. Ask whether they have pink parakeets. If they do, ask how much they cost, the age of the parakeet and -- if you are calling to find a mate for an already acquired pink parakeet -- whether or not the bird is able to breed.

    3

    Pull up your preferred browser on your computer and go to a search engine such as Google. Search for pink parakeets for sale. You can find them in classified ads, through online pet stores or other companies.

    4

    Send an e-mail inquiring about the birds or purchase one outright using a major credit card.

How Can I Get My Macaw Parrot to Stop Plucking?

How Can I Get My Macaw Parrot to Stop Plucking?

Macaws are among the most beautiful and majestic species of parrots. Native to South and Central America, they are known for their long tails, brightly colored plumage and powerful hooked beaks. Like most parrots, macaws can sometimes develop feather-plucking behavior, in which they pull out their own feathers. Sometimes this damages the skin to the point that the feathers never grow back. Aside from cosmetic considerations, having plucked feathers can result in impaired flight, temperature regulation problems, skin diseases, and infections. Quick intervention is important in preventing permanent damage. The main causes of plucking are illness, stress and boredom.

Instructions

    1

    Take your macaw to a qualified avian veterinarian for a full health check. Feather-plucking can be the result of a wide range of health problems, ranging from easily treated to serious. Skin infections and irritations are a common medical cause of feather plucking, but this behavior can also arise from the bird's discomfort due to other medical issues. Problems like these can only be diagnosed by an animal health care professional.

    2

    Ensure that there is nothing in your macaw's immediate environment that is causing it stress. Stress is one of the common causes of feather-plucking; if your macaw's cage is near something that frightens it, this could cause plucking behavior. Make sure that other pets or small children are not frightening your macaw. Ensure that your macaw's cage is in a place where it can get enough sleep. Birds, like people, need a good night's rest, and being kept up late night after night by noise or light can result in neurotic behaviors like plucking. Make sure that you are using a big enough cage; some macaws are very large and need a lot of room; being cooped up in a tight space can easily cause stress.

    3

    Use enrichment strategies to improve your macaw's day-to-day life, to enable the bird to entertain itself and to avoid boredom. Give your macaw appropriate toys in its cage, including toys that can be chewed to bits, a favorite macaw pastime. Introduce new toys periodically, and rotate the old ones so that the parrot doesn't get bored. Give the macaw some foraging toys and puzzles that are challenging for it. Make sure that your bird has sufficient out-of-cage time and interaction with human companions. Use positive reinforcement, some treats for rewards, and a training clicker to teach your parrot some tricks. These will raise its self-esteem, keep it interested, and lessen stress levels.

How to Tell a Mature Parakeet from a Baby

How to Tell a Mature Parakeet from a Baby

When a parakeet captures your heart, it doesn't matter how old she is, but it's natural to want to know if you're dealing with a baby or an adult. Studying your bird's physical characteristics will give you some clues as to whether she's still a baby. Parakeets are considered babies until they're a year old, so even if she looks mature, the way she acts may tell a different story.

Feather Markings

    Examining the markings on your 'keet's feathers is the easiest way to tell if she is an adult or a baby. Baby budgies have dark stripes on their little heads and down their necks. After their first molt at about a year old, the stripes on their necks will remain but the head striping will be gone. Take a look at your parakeet's face mask, too. If she's a baby, the spots on her cheeks will be an oval shape; once she becomes an adult those spots will be round.

In the Eyes

    Baby budgies' eyes are dark, giving them a charming, big-eyed appearance. Once your parakeet is a year old, her irises will become lighter and more developed, and you'll be able to clearly make out her pupils.

Beak Clues

    Take a look at your parakeet's beak and the surrounding area. Adult parakeets have light, yellow-tan-colored beaks, while babies have dark beaks that appear almost black. Also, the strip of flesh just above a parakeet's beakcalled the cerecan help in determining if she's an adult. All babies' ceres are blue, but adult females' ceres turn a pinkish tan. While this feature may not help if your budgie is a boy, it's an obvious indication that a female parakeet is no longer a baby.

Behavior

    Watching your bird's behavior will confirm your suspicions if all the physical characteristics indicate that your parakeet is either a baby or an adult. Babies do start to fly at around a month old, so flying in general isn't a clear indication that your parakeet is mature. However, babies are less sure of themselves, and until they gain confidence their flying attempts will be clumsy. Many times a baby parakeet will climb outside her cage and hold on to the bars while flapping her wingskind of like practicing. Baby parakeets also display what is called "begging posture." It's a behavior that they use mostly before being weaned, but it continues afterward to let their parents know they're hungry. If your parakeet squats down, fluffs her feathers and opens her wings slightly and her beak considerably, she's most likely on the baby side of a year old.

What is a Brabanter Chicken?

What is a Brabanter Chicken?

A Brabanter chicken is a breed that originated in Holland. They are calm and intelligent and make wonderful pets. If handled regularly, they will be docile and allow you to pet them with no problem. They love to forage and have a tendency to gain weight if cooped up, so they're best kept free-range.

History

    Brabanters were originally an old Dutch breed. There are paintings featuring them from as far back as the 1600s. Sadly, they became extinct in the early 20th century. Today's Brabanters, however, were recreated by Dutch poultrymen who didn't want to see the breed lost to history. It's thought the original breed was slightly larger than the kind available today. They are rare outside mainland Europe, but you can find them for sale in the United States.

Physical Characteristics

    Brabanter chickens are a pretty, ornamental breed. They come in a large range of colors, but only the cream and gold varieties are available in the U.S. They have a large plume on their heads, but it doesn't infringe upon their vision. Standard-sized roosters weigh around 7.5 pounds and hens around 5.5 to 6 pounds. You can also get them in bantam sizes, where roosters weigh around 30 ounces and hens around 26 ounces.

Temperament and Qualities

    Brabanter chickens tend to be docile and will enjoy being handled and petted once they're used to it. They are intelligent birds, so it's a good idea to keep them stimulated by allowing them a lot of space to roam and forage, or by suspending or hiding treats for them when they're indoors. Brabanter hens are good layers, laying an average of 150 eggs each year. They lay more frequently in the winter than many other breeds do.

Keep and Care

    Like all laying hens, Brabanter hens need a nutrient-rich diet. This should consist of around 16 percent protein and 3.5 to 5 percent calcium. If you're keeping a rooster, he'll only need to be fed a maintenance diet. Ideally, your chickens should have a large outdoor space to roam in during the daytime, but should be kept in a predator-proof chicken house at night. Ensure they have access to water and shelter at all times.

What Birds Fly in the Summer in the Adirondack Mountains?

What Birds Fly in the Summer in the Adirondack Mountains?

The Adirondacks consist of eight regions -- Adirondack Coast, Adirondack Lakes, Adirondack Seaway, Adirondack Tughill, Adirondack Wild, Old Forge Region, Lake George Region and Lake Placid Region. In June, the Adirondack Bird Festival and Great Adirondack Birding events bring thousands of tourists to the region to view the beautiful species of birds in their natural habitat.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)

    The yellow-bellied sapsucker is a woodpecker with a noticeable red forehead and upper throat. It has a white stripe on its face and white patches on its black body and wings. The pale yellow stripes from its throat down to its belly helps bird watchers recognize it -- as well as the large white patch of plumage on its backside. This bird drinks the sap from trees and eats ants, small insects, fruit and bark. It is the only North American woodpecker that is completely migratory.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

    American Bittern is a waterfowl bird found in the Adirondacks.
    American Bittern is a waterfowl bird found in the Adirondacks.

    The American bittern lives a solitary life along the reeds and tall grasses of its habitat. This bird has green legs and feet with a short tail and brown back. The noticeable brown streaks on its chest and black streaks on its neck helps it to camouflage itself from its prey. This bird eats fish, insects, snakes, small mammals, toads and frogs. It stands very still and patiently waits before attacking its prey.

Barn Sparrow (Hirundo rustica)

    Barn sparrows are abundantly found throughout the region creating nests out of mud and grass along vertical surfaces. With a reddish orange belly, slender wings and a shiny blue head and upper body, these birds catch mosquitoes, wasps, beetles and flies while in flight. Barn sparrows have a wingspan up to 13 inches long and a lifespan of about eight years.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus lecocephalus)

    The bald eagle is an endangered resident of New York.
    The bald eagle is an endangered resident of New York.

    This protected bird of prey serves as the emblem of the United States of America. Its pure white head, yellow legs and dark chocolate brown body makes it a very recognizable bird. With a six to eight foot wide wingspan, this bird swoops down on smaller birds, mammals, fish and reptiles. It also steals food from osprey and other bald eagles. The bald eagle has a lifespan of about 28 years.

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

    The red-shouldered hawk is a raptor that migrates to the Adirondacks each summer.
    The red-shouldered hawk is a raptor that migrates to the Adirondacks each summer.

    The adult red-shouldered hawk has a wingspan between 3 to 3.5 feet long. It has a grey head with brown streaks, a red and white breast, white spots on its brown back and a red patch on each of its shoulders. It eats mice, chipmunks, snakes, toads, frogs and smaller birds.

Rabu, 28 November 2012

Information About Breeding Conure Parrots

There are many varieties of conure parrots, ranging in size from small to large, and they carrying a host of different colors including green, yellow, red, peach and brown. Both wild-caught and captive-bred birds are available for purchase in the pet trade. Wild-caught conures can be more difficult to breed in captivity because they start out stressed and are less likely to settle down. Captive-bred birds will breed much sooner and more easily.

Breeding Age

    Most types of conure reach maturity at around 1 year old and are ready to begin breeding at that time. Green, brown-throated, Aztec, and halfmoon birds may take from three to five years before they begin breeding.

Nesting

    Nestboxes can be made of either wood or metal. Some conures chew a lot and can damage a wooden nestbox, so metal may be a better option for them. Many types of conures will not only lay eggs within their nestboxes, but will also sleep, play and hide within them, so they should have access all year long. A box that is 12 inches square by 18 inches deep works for most conures. It should have several inches of peat moss or wood shavings to fill in the bottom, though cork works better for brown-throated, Aztec and halfmoon conures because they will want to excavate a nest.

Clutches

    Most types of conures will lay multiple clutches each year, containing three to eight eggs each. While gold-capped, jenday, sun and dusky conures may clutch up to four times in one year, green (aratinga) conures usually only clutch once unless the first set of eggs are immediately removed from the nestbox. Females of all types generally brood on their eggs for 23 to 28 days before they hatch.

Babies

    Hatchlings should stay in the nesting box for at least the first three weeks of their lives, as they are fed from the mother bird and receive important nutritional supplements from her crop secretions. Most young conures fledge at around 5 weeks old, and often are weaned and leave the nest because the father bird begins acting aggressive toward them.

How to Transport a Pet Bird

How to Transport a Pet Bird

Whether youre transporting your pet bird to the vet, home from the pet store or merely on a fun day trip out of the house, these tips will ensure that your feathered friend has a safe, stress-free travel experience.

Instructions

    1

    Traveling can be stressful for any pet, and birds are no exception. When transporting your pet bird, you will need to plan ahead and have the supplies handy. Dont wait until a few minutes before you leave to prepare for the excursion.

    2

    Keeping the bird calm and secure is your main goal. We will look at two sorts of arrangements for transporting your pet. One is best for a short hop, while the other is better for longer road trips, such as a move to your new home.

    3

    Even going to a nearby vet's office can cause stress for your bird. The best environment for him on short road trips is a dark, quiet box. You can use a cardboard box or purchase a small pet carrier at your local pet store. be sure that you punch holes in the cardboard box, or the pet carrier has proper ventilation.

    4

    Eliminate any perches or toys from the carrier you choose to use for your short trip. Put a small, dry washcloth or tea towel in the bottom of the box or carrier, along with some of the old bedding from your birds cage. The familiar smells will help calm him.

    5

    Using a smaller, less-spacious carrier is recommended. The bird should not have too much room to move about. You dont want him to get flustered and try to flap his wings. Most birds will snuggle into the tea towel, in a nesting position. For such a short trip, you dont need to worry about food or water.

    6

    Preparing for longer road trips or a move will involve a different setup. Purchase a small, travel-size cage and remove all the perches. Toys that can be secured to the walls of the cage are allowed, as long as they cant swing freely and hurt your pet bird.

    7

    Fill the food and water bowls halfway, and put a small towel on the bottom of the cage for the bird to sit on. Bring an extra towel to drape over the cage, to make it a darker, calmer environment. When you stop for bathroom and meal breaks, uncover the cage and allow your bird to look around. Talk with him throughout the trip so he hears a familiar voice.

    8

    Bring an extra container of water to refill the birds bowl periodically. Although he wont each much while traveling, bring an extra container of bird food as well. Non-perishable treats will allow for some one-on-one interaction during rest stops.

    9

    Place your pet birds cage or carrier in a secure spot in your vehicle. You dont want it sliding off the seat. Setting it in a footrest area, securing it with seat belts or wedging it between heavier items are your best options.

Information on the Jamaican Bird

Information on the Jamaican Bird

The Jamaican national bird is the doctor bird, according to Jamaicans.com. The doctor bird is one type of hummingbird species. The doctor bird is commonly called the swallowtail hummingbird. The origin of the name of the doctor bird has been disputed over the years. Some people believe that the back crest and tail resembles the clothing worn by doctors in the olden days. Other people believe its name came from the way the bird extracts nectar from flowers with its bill. The scientific name for the doctor bird is Trochilus polytmus.

Size

    The swallowtail hummingbird is one of the largest hummingbirds, reaching lengths up to 15 cm, according to Arthurgrosset.com. However, the average size of the swallowtail hummingbird is 10 cm. Half of the length of this bird is made up by its tail, according to Factolex.com. These birds can weigh up to 9 grams.

Characteristics

    The head and neck of the swallowtail hummingbird is a deep violet-blue color, according to Arthurgrosset.com. The rest of the doctor bird's body is a bronze-green color. This bird has a bill that is black and curved. The tail of the bird is a deep blue color and forks into two separate pieces.

Habitat

    The bird lives in a variety of environments including forests, savannas, gardens and parks in cities, according to Arthurgrosset.com.

Geography

    The bird is found in Jamaica, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, according to Arthurgrosset.com. The doctor bird usually lives at elevations between 0 and 1,500 meters above sea level. They are also found in large numbers in the Caatinga and Cerrado areas of Brazil, according to Factolex.com.

Diet

    The hummingbird eats nectar and also chases other hummingbirds away from its feeding area extremely aggressively, according to Arthurgrosset.com.

Characteristics

    The doctor bird has iridescent feathers unlike any other bird species, according to the Government of Jamaica. Male doctor birds have extremely long tails that trail behind them when they fly.

Considerations

    Superstition surrounds the doctor bird, according to the Government of Jamaica. The Arawaks believed that the doctor bird had magical powers and called it the god bird because they thought it was a reincarnation of dead souls. They soon developed a folklore song that went, "Doctor Bud a cunny bud, hard bud fe dead." The doctor bird belongs to the apodiformes order, trochilidae family and the eupetomena genus, according to Birdsisaw.com.

How to Make a Budgie Aviary From an Old Bookcase

How to Make a Budgie Aviary From an Old Bookcase

Creating a custom budgie aviary is a rewarding way to house your beloved birds and complement the dcor of your home. The aviary can be customized to your budgie's needs, and can be less expensive than a store-bought model.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the interior shelves of the bookcase. These may lift out, or may need to be cut out with a hand saw.

    2

    Sand the inside of the bookcase to remove any varnish or paint that could harm your budgies. Pay particular attention to the places where the interior shelves were attached, as these may be rough and might require extra sanding to bring them level with the rest of the bookcase.

    3

    Cut four pieces of timber batten. Two need to be the same height as the bookcase, while the other two need to be the same width as the bookcase minus the thickness of batten.

    4

    Arrange the four pieces of batten into a frame the same size as the dimensions of the front of the bookcase. An easy way to do this is to place each piece on the ground. Staple the joints together using a staple gun. Use two staples at each corner for strength.

    5

    Place a sheet wire mesh onto the frame and staple it in place using the staple gun. Staple at regular intervals for a tight fit. Trim the edges of the mesh with wire cutters or pliers.

    6

    Cut a hole in the wire mesh big enough to put your hand through. This will be the opening for a small door. Fold the cut ends of mesh back on themselves and press flat.

    7

    Cut a piece of wire mesh slightly larger than the door opening and fold the cut edges back on two sides so that the door is now roughly the same size as the opening. Place the door into the opening and loop the edges of one of the uncut door sides around the edge of the hole to create hinge. Flatten the looped wire in place. Fold the remaining cut edge of the door back on itself, leaving one loop of wire to fold up as a hook for the door fastening.

    8

    Fit hinges to the left side of the frame using a screwdriver. Screw one side of the hinge plate to the frame and the other side to the left side of the bookcase to create an opening door. One hinge should be at the bottom and one at the top.

    9

    Fit two door latches to the right side of the bookcase to hold the front panel in place. Attach the hooked part of the door latches to the wood panel and the eyelet part of the door latches to the bookcase. Put one at the top and one at the bottom.

Birds of the Mojave Desert

Birds of the Mojave Desert

The Mojave Desert covers southeastern California, southern Nevada, the southwestern part of Utah and northwest Arizona. The Mohave is home to a wide variety of birds. The feeding habits of these desert birds are broken into four distinct groups. Herbivores are birds that eat vegetables, seeds and flowers. Insectivores eat nothing but insects. Omnivores eat vegetables and meat, and carnivores are birds of prey and eat nothing but meat, whether dead or alive.

Herbivores

    One of the desert's most spectacular herbivorous birds is the Costa's Hummingbird. The Costa's Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the desert and only grows to 3 to 3 1/2 inches in length. This hummingbird feeds on all flowers and small insects, and are common in the summer in the Mojave Desert. Their breeding is done in trees, shrubs and vines that are at least 5 feet above the ground and away from water sources. After breeding, during the fall, they migrate in an upward slope, along the southern coast, and their primary habitat is a desert wash, edges of the desert riparian, desert shrubs and other desert trees that provide cover. Other herbivores native to the Mohave Desert include the quail, the great-tailed grackle, western scrub-jay and house finch.

Insectivores

    The cactus wren is an insectivore. It is 7 to 9 inches long. It is easily located, with its loud and harsh voice, and is native to southwestern states southwards to central Mexico. It is usually found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro. The ladder-backed woodpecker drills for insects and beetles in trees, cacti, shrubs and yucca. It lives in dead parts of any type of wood such as fences, utility poles, trees or shrubs. Loggerhead shrike lives in the lowlands and foothills of California and feeds mostly on insects, but will also eat reptiles or amphibians.

Omnivores

    The raven is found in the California region of the Mohave Desert. It eats small animals such as rabbits and mice along with bird eggs, seeds, grains, berries, nuts and insects. It roosts in a colony in trees. This fan-tailed jet-black 24-inch bird is the cousin of the crows, which are omnivores that reside in California and high elevations of the Sierra and Mojave Desert all year round. Traveling in pairs they often eat carrion but are also known to eat lizards, snakes and insects. The red-tailed hawk is considered an omnivore since it will eat plants, fish and insects. It will search for mice by soaring in the air, then pouncing on its prey.

Carnivores

    The great horned owl resides year-round in the Mojave Desert, but will wander after nesting. They have excellent hearing and exceptional vision in low light. They eat small mammals such as rat, skunks and small birds. One of the biggest carnivores in the Mojave Desert is the turkey vulture. This big red-headed bird can be seen migrating in groups through the desert with their 6-foot wing span. They feed on rotten carcasses and carrion, and will prey on small animals, too.

How to Feed Young Pigeons

How to Feed Young Pigeons

Baby pigeons rely on their mother's milk to grow and survive, but it's very possible for humans to hand-feed babies with commercial baby bird food and have them grow and thrive. However, feeding young babies has to be done several times a day and you may not get it right the first time. You can start feedings with a baby as young as a day or two old.

Instructions

    1

    Place a plastic tube over the needle part of the 1-cc syringe. Liquify commercial baby bird food so it is very thin. Fill the syringe with the liquified food.

    2

    Wet the tube with water to make it easier to put into the bird's mouth and throat. Grasp the bird's neck to keep it up and straight. Open the bird's beak wide enough to carefully insert the tube over the tongue and down to the crop area of its throat. It might be easier to have someone hold and push the syringe of food into its throat while you hold the bird steady. If food starts to come out of the mouth, the tube is not down the bird's throat far enough. This process should be repeated three times during the day, each day, until the bird is five days old.

    3

    Use a 6-cc syringe with a plastic tube over the needle part after the bird is five days old. Follow the manufacturer's directions to make the baby food thicker. The thicker food might not go through the syringe smoothly; be careful when feeding it to the bird. Feed the bird a few times during the day until it is about three weeks old.

    4

    Use a 60-cc syringe with plastic tube over the needle part when the bird is about three weeks old. The baby will now eat 35 to 50 cc of the baby food mixture. The amount varies because at this stage, some birds eat more at a time than others.

    5

    Set out a few smaller seeds and a small cup of water at this age. Let the bird experiment with eating seeds and drinking on its own. It can be a slow process, though, so maintain the regular baby food feedings. As it starts to get better at eating seeds and drinking, cut out one feeding at a time until the bird eats and drinks by itself.

Tools for Banding Finches

Tools for Banding Finches

Bird banding is done for a variety of reasons, including sex, age and bloodline identification. Banding is also done by bird breeders to help them identify which birds have come from their aviaries. Bands come in two major classifications: closed metal and open plastic.

Closed Metal

    There are no tools required for banding a finch with a closed metal band. The band is simply slipped over the front two toes of a chick, usually 9 to 11 days old. During this time the chick's joints are still pliable and the band will slip right over the joint by pulling the toes through. Move the band up the leg and pull the back toe out to complete the banding.

Open Plastic

    Split plastic bands usually come with a small metal applicator trough. The tool looks a bit like a tiny scoop. It is very thin on one end and gets progressively wider. The band slides on the end of the trough and when forced down the tool, the band begins to spread. Holding the bird on its back, the band and tool can be placed over the bird's leg. When the tool is slid away, the band closes around the bird's leg.

Homemade Bands

    Dr. Geoffrey Hill, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University, published a study entitled "An Inexpensive Source of Colored Leg Bands," in which he describes making homemade leg bands from craft beads. Dr. Hill simply split the plastic beads with a razor and used them in the same fashion as an open plastic leg band.

How to Scare Ducks Away

How to Scare Ducks Away

Expensive electronic devices that send sound waves to scare away unwanted ducks exist, but should only be used as a last resort. A good rousing scare of your own will temporarily rid your property of unwanted ducks, while a dog will scare them away on a daily basis. Ducks are docile creatures, but they can also be a nuisance: Scaring them away can be accomplished with a few warning shouts and motions.

Instructions

    1
    Yell and do jumping jacks to scare ducks away.
    Yell and do jumping jacks to scare ducks away.

    Approach the ducks and shout loudly and wave your arms back and forth in a jumping jack formation until the ducks fly or swim away.

    2

    Allow your dog to give the ducks a run for their money. It will be best to keep the dog on a leash at first, until you know how the ducks will respond; You do not want your dog coming into contact with the ducks for his own safety -- and legally this may not be okay, especially for protected species.

    3

    Throw small stones around ducks, never throwing one at a duck, to scare them away.

    4

    Purchase a sonic bird and duck repellent on the Internet to scare ducks away using electro-sonic sound waves.

Selasa, 27 November 2012

Facts on the Bird Finch

Facts on the Bird Finch

Although there is some controversy over what defines the bird finch, a true finch is one of 138 species of the family Fringillidae. According to the University of Georgia's Discover Life website, fringillid finches can be found across most of the globe. These birds are a favorite of bird-watchers and breeders alike.

Description

    The finch is a small to medium-sized bird when compared to other perching birds of the order Passeriformes. Their beaks have been adapted to their seed diets and are usually heavy. Finches range through the full color spectrum. Some species of finches display exotic green and yellow feathers; others are muted reds, browns and oranges. Typically the male is more colorful than the female. They thrive well both in the wilderness and as house pets.

Types

    One of the most common types of the bird finch found in North America, the Pine Grosbeak, is among the largest of the finches. This finch has a plump chest, dark wings with two white stripes on each and a large curved bill. The male has a pink-red head; the female's is yellow-green. The Purple Finch is among the smallest forest-dwelling birds and is stout and husky. Its short tail is notched and it has a large conical beak. Males have soft pink-red heads while the heads of the females are tan-brown. The House Finch can be found across most of the United States. These finches are also small in stature. Males are bright red-headed; females have gray-brown heads.

Breeding

    In his article "Cage and Aviary Finch Breeding," Dale Laird writes, "Finches are some of the easiest birds in captivity to breed. Finches are some of the hardest birds in captivity to breed. Both statements are true depending upon whom you talk to, the species you are talking about and the personal experience of the aviculturist." Most species of true finches can be bred in captivity if provided the proper care and conditions. Nesting boxes, finch food and other supplies are readily available at an aviary or general pet store.

Diet

    All members of the Fringillidae family are seed-eaters. Their anatomies have been adapted to their preferred seeds and geographical locations. They have strong jaws, skulls and beaks. Their gizzards are specialized to handle the rough seed diets. A bird-feeder filled with various seeds and set outdoors will almost surely attract a few members of the finch family. Thistle, black sunflower and grass seeds are known favorites of North American finches.

Fun Facts

    Some domesticated finches have been known to talk. Their natural tendency to mimic song makes it possible for some pet finches to learn a word or two. Another interesting fact is that Charles Darwin studied the Galapagos finches and their ability to physically adapt to their environment as part of his research in evolution. Also, a new species of the true finch was discovered in a fossil pulled from a volcano in Hawaii. The species was a giant in comparison to today's Fringillidae and is believed to have become extinct approximately 3,000 years ago.

How to Identify a Whippoorwill

Century-old folklore predicted if a whippoorwill called once, a young lady wouldn't get married for a year, but if it called twice, she'd marry soon. Some people believed a woman could wish for marriage if she heard a whippoorwill song. While this bird's appearance isn't outstanding, its "WHIP-poor-WEEA" is the stuff of which legends are spun, making it easy for just about anyone to identify a whippoorwill.

Instructions

    1

    Look at photos of birds; the whippoorwill is slightly larger than a robin, weighing about two ounces. They're brownish, gray, black and white, colors that help them blend into their surroundings. A whippoorwill has a short thick head, a large mouth, a small bill, a black throat and while its feet may be small and weak, it has long, strong wings.

    2

    Note the nocturnal whippoorwill can be found in North America, Canada, Cuba and Central America. It migrates from the north range for winter and likes hanging around in forests and woodlands.

    3

    Know the whippoorwill's favorite food is insects, which they catch while flying, often taking off from a perch after scouting its surroundings for a meal.

    4

    Research the nesting habits of the monogamous and territory-defending whippoorwill. The female nests on the ground, adding no material to her nest as the season progresses. In late May or early June, after a 19 or 20 day incubation, she'll produce two white eggs.

    5

    Learn more about the whippoorwill. For instance, few people can identify them by sight, but just about anybody knows them by their call, which the whippoorwill may repeat 400 times without stopping.

How to Clean a Dove's Cage

How to Clean a Dove's Cage

Maintaining a clean cage is essential in providing a happy and healthy home for your dove. A cage that's littered with bird droppings and spilled food not only smells terrible but wreaks havoc on your dove's overall happiness. By properly cleaning and maintaining your bird's cage, you ensure that the bird remains happy and healthy. Setting aside a few minutes every week for a complete cage cleaning is all it takes to keep your house smelling nice and your bird happy.

Instructions

    1

    Take the dove out of the cage. Place the bird in a temporary cage away from the washing area.

    2

    Remove the perches from the cage. Place the perches on a piece of newspaper. Remove the food bowls from the cage, as well. Dump out any food, water and oyster grind from the bowls.

    3

    Fill the sink with warm water. Pour a small amount of anti-bacterial soap in the water. Place the perches and food bowls in the water. Thoroughly scrub the perches and bowls with a non-abrasive scrubber.

    4

    Take the perches and bowls out of the water. Rinse each item off under warm water. Dry with a hand towel. Place the items on a clean, dry towel and allow to thoroughly dry.

    5

    Remove any dirty newspaper or liners from the cage. Remove any flat wooden perches from the cage.

    6

    Rinse solid board perches with hot water. Scrub particularly messy wooden perches with a non-abrasive scrubber.

    7

    Place the cage in the bathtub. Wet the non-abrasive scrubber. Apply a small amount of anti-bacterial soap to the scrubber.

    8

    Scrub the grating and sides of the cage. Wet a toothbrush. Apply anti-bacterial soap to the toothbrush. Scrub hard-to-reach areas and corners of the cage with the toothbrush. Allow the soap to sit on the grating and sides for two minutes. Rinse the cage off with warm water.

    9

    Inspect the cage. Look for missed or dirty areas on the cage. Clean remaining dirty areas with the toothbrush. Rinse with warm water after touch-up cleaning.

    10

    Dry the cage with a hand towel. This eliminates the risk of rusting in corners or chipped paint areas.

    11

    Place the cage in a sunny, warm area. Allow the cage to fully dry.

    12

    Place fresh newspaper or a new liner at the bottom of the cage.

    13

    Reinstall the perches. Install a fresh flat wooden perch while the wet one is drying.

    14

    Replace the food bowls.

How to Stop Feeding Wild Birds

How to Stop Feeding Wild Birds

Feeding wild birds is an interesting and rewarding hobby enjoyed by many people. Attracting a variety of birds to one's yard can be a challenging, yet enjoyable activity. The conventional wisdom has always suggested that once you start to feed wild birds you must not stop because they come to depend upon you as a source of food. People need not feel compelled to continue to feed wild birds, however. Birds are able to adapt their food foraging to find food elsewhere, if necessary.

Instructions

    1

    Stop refilling your bird feeders and allow the food supply to dwindle naturally.

    2

    Remove the bird feeders from hooks or stands and clean them to remove any debris or dirt. Store them away in a garage or a shed where they will not be broken or damaged.

    3

    Consider refilling the bird feeders again to help birds through periods of extreme cold or inclement winter weather. Birds often have difficulty finding enough food during snow and ice storms. A filled bird feeder may help them survive.

How to Raise Black Belly Whistling Ducks

How to Raise Black Belly Whistling Ducks

The black-bellied whistling duck is native only to the southern-most parts of the United States. Named for its black belly and whistling call, the duck also has the identifiable features of a long neck and legs, reddish brown back and chest, striking red bill and a large white patch on the back of its wings. The black-bellied whistling ducks are unlike many other duck breeds in the way that they form longer term pair bonds, more like geese and swans. The male and female are also alike in appearance, again unlike most other breeds.

Instructions

    1

    Buy your black-bellied whistling ducks from a breeder, animal show or sale, or hatchery. A suitable age to buy is 21 to 24 weeks old -- the age they start laying -- unless you wish to start with day-old ducklings.

    2

    Provide ducklings with a heat source, starter crumbs and drinking water. At four to six weeks old, feed the ducks growers' pellets, changing to finishing pellets for meat ducks, breeders' pellets for breeding ducks and layers' pellets for egg-producing ducks. Black-bellied whistling ducks also enjoy aquatic plants, grass, insects, grain and mollusks.

    3

    Ensure your ducks have an ample amount of water to swim in. A sufficient pond will be deep enough to allow ducks to put their heads under water and to float. Change the water frequently, unless there is a natural flow. Create a ramp or a sloping side to the water source, so the ducks are able to enter and leave easily. As medium-sized ducks, the black-bellied whistling breed appreciate having a pond for mating.

    4

    House your ducks in a shed at night, for protection against predators and for warmth. Ideally, the pen should measure at least 3 feet high, with high windows for air circulation. A space of 4 feet per duck is adequate for nighttime. Preferably, let your ducks outside during the day, protected by an electric fence, if necessary.

    5

    Ensure that the areas where the ducks live have smooth ground or grass to prevent bumble foot. Bumble foot is a disease that comes infections these ducks can get when sharp objects have pierced their feet. It can be fatal. Clean the ducks' living areas frequently.

    6

    Set up a nest box for the ducks and collect eggs daily. In the wild, the black-bellied whistling ducks usually lay in a tree cavity without lining.

Senin, 26 November 2012

How to Know If a Lovebird Is Male or Female?

How to Know If a Lovebird Is Male or Female?

Lovebirds are short, curious and playful members of the parrot family. They are called such because of their propensity to bond with, sit closely to and constantly groom their mate. Lovebirds are not sexually dimorphic, which means you cannot distinguish their sex simply by appearances. Male (cock) and female (hen) lovebirds do have general characteristics that may give a hint as to their sex, but there are scientific ways to positively identify your lovebirds' sex as well.

Instructions

    1

    Examine your lovebird's stance on the perch. Compare it to the bird next to it. Look for the bird whose legs are placed further apart. This is typically the female, who has a larger pelvis.

    2

    Place nesting material, such as shredded newspaper, green clippings or wood shavings, in the cage. Note that both birds will pick and shred at the material. Observe which lovebird is able to successfully tuck the nesting material under its wing. The female is usually the most adept at this.

    3

    Placing a glove on your hand to protect against bites. Firmly grasp your lovebird around the body and pick it up. Feel the pelvic bones with your thumb and index finger, then place the bird down. Repeat the process with the other bird. Compare the width and distance between the two birds' pelvic bones, noting that the female has a larger pelvis which allows eggs to pass easily.

    4

    Observe for differences between the two birds--such as intense coloring--which is more indicative of a male bird. Notice your birds' tail feathers, and look for them to be all the same length and straight across for a female bird, and rounded for male birds. If you observe one of your birds laying an egg, she's clearly a female!

    5

    Go online and search for a DNA sexing kit. Follow instructions for collecting the blood sample, and send it in to the DNA sexing firm. Wait for detailed DNA report which will provide the bird's gender. Alternatively, take your bird to an avian vet who can perform sexing in their office.

How to Know if a Hummingbird Is a Boy or a Girl

How to Know if a Hummingbird Is a Boy or a Girl

Watching a ruby-throated hummingbird approach a feeder is exciting. By far the most common of its species, the ruby-throated hummingbird flaps its wings in a blur and seems to hover midair in a way that reminds one more of bees than birds. But if you are curious whether that bird you've attracted is a male or a female, there are a few ways to find out.

Instructions

Difference in Behavior

    1
    Male ruby-throated hummingbirds are much more aggressive than their female counterparts.
    Male ruby-throated hummingbirds are much more aggressive than their female counterparts.

    Aggressive behavior is more likely male. Hummingbird.net explains, that while both genders of ruby-throats are curious around feeders, males are especially more likely to display territorial behavior to rival other birds, insects, bees and butterflies. Male hummingbirds will even attack a female hummingbird that comes into the area if the two have not mated, according to the World of Hummingbirds.

    2
    Female ruby-throated hummingbirds are unique in their ability to build nests.
    Female ruby-throated hummingbirds are unique in their ability to build nests.

    Watch for nest building, as only females construct the walnut-sized nests. The bird will build the nest attached to a tree limb with spider silk and lined on the inside with soft dandelion, cattail or thistle down, according to hummingbirds.net.

    3

    Only female ruby-throated hummingbirds will stay with their nest. Usually less territorial, the females will chase off the males from a nest they've built, according to to the World of Hummingbirds.

    4
    While both genders have a emerald green back, only the male ruby-throated hummingbird has a red throat.
    While both genders have a emerald green back, only the male ruby-throated hummingbird has a red throat.

    Compare their plumage. One of the most obvious difference between adult male and female ruby-throated hummingbirds is their appearance. Hummingbirds.net explains that while both males and females have an emerald green back, the male has a ruby red throat, while the female has a white breast and throat. Generally, males of all species of hummingbird will be more brightly colored than the female.

    5
    The female red-throated hummingbird is slightly larger than the male and has a longer beak.
    The female red-throated hummingbird is slightly larger than the male and has a longer beak.

    Compare their size. Unlike some animals, the female ruby-throated hummingbird is the larger of the two, according to Hummingbirds.net. The female also has a longer bill.

How to Feed Young Yellow Finches

Native to South America, the Yellow Finch prefers nestling close to the ground in the shrubs of sunny tropical regions. These brightly yellow colored birds feed on seeds, cosmos, flaxseed, goldenrod, millet Niger rap seed and insects or caterpillars. While this wild bird mainly feeds on seeds, they can be offered a wide variety of food items from the human category as well. If you have young Yellow Finches to feed, keeping their diet nutritious but varied will help them develop quickly and properly.

Instructions

    1

    Mix the coneflower, millet seeds, animal sterol and honey in a ratio of 1 cup coneflower seeds; 1 cup millet seeds; 1 cup animal sterol; and one-half cup honey and allow the mixture to dry into a solid form.

    2

    Place the seed mix on the bird feeder or in the cage with the finches and refill it at least once every two days.

    3

    Offer Yellow Finches other foods such as cooked white or brown rice, apples, apricots, orange wedges or juices and boiled eggs.

    4

    Purchase from the local pet store or catch bugs such as crickets for your Yellow Finches. Bug feeding is a must.

Yellow Collared Macaw Diet

Yellow Collared Macaw Diet

The yellow-collared macaw is an attractive, brightly-colored South American parrot. It is also called the yellow- or gold-naped macaw, and the Cassin's macaw. This bird belongs to a group called the "mini-macaws," but can still grow to be up to 17 inches in length. These birds require a diet very similar to the diet for full-sized macaws, but with some key differences.

Habitat

    The wild diet of the yellow-collared macaw varies according to location and climate. The bird is found throughout central South America, in biomes ranging from rainforest and swamp to savannah and the dry Andes foothills. In wetter climates, such as southwest Brazil, this macaw eats a diet high in palm fruit and rainforest nuts. In dryer climates, it may consume more fruits and vegetables, and even insects. Macaws living near cultivated land also eat fruit and vegetables from the fields.

Basics

    In captivity, yellow-collared macaws should eat a diet based either on parrot pellets or a seed mixture, supplemented with cooked grains and legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, greens, and whole grain products like bread and pasta. They also enjoy sprouted seeds, dried fruits and vegetables, and edible flowers. They are susceptible to vitamin-A sensitivity, so levels of this vitamin should be monitored.

Fat

    The diet of a yellow-collared macaw is very similar to that for an ordinary macaw, but should include more fat. Pellet foods made for macaws, such as Kaytee's Fiesta Max, include around 14 percent fat. Birds should receive about cup per day. In the wild, yellow collared macaws may eat a diet of as much as 28 percent fat. Additional fat and protein may be added in the form of a tablespoon or two of peanut butter or ground sunflower seeds. These prolific chewers can also benefit from a higher percentage of nuts in the shell than regular macaws. Nuts should still not make up the majority of the diet, though -- even these fat-loving birds can have too much.

Considerations

    Macaws require a careful if small balance of phosphorus and calcium. While cooked beans, pasta and grains are appropriate for yellow-collared macaws, they should not make up the majority of the diet due to their high phosphorous content. Foods containing calcium compounds like oxalate, including chard, bok choy and spinach, are also fine in moderation, but may be dangerous to a bird's health in excess. Yellow-collared macaws need approximately 1 percent calcium in their diet, and .5 to 1 percent phosphorus.

Warning

    Chocolate and avocado are toxic to macaws, as are the pits of stone fruits, raw beans, nutmeg, rhubarb and tobacco. Peanuts may also be problematic, since they are often contaminated with a fungal toxin called aflatoxin. This carcinogen can be reduced by roasting, but not completely eliminated.

Small Tree Finch Facts

The small tree finch, or Camarhynchus parvulus, is, as its common name suggests, a small finch that likes to live in trees. It lives on the Galapagos Islands. When Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835, he studied all of the finch species found on the islands, including the small tree finch. For this reason, sometimes the small tree finch is referred to as a Darwinian finch.

Identification

    Small tree finches only grow to 10 cm to 20 cm or 3.9 inches to 7.9 inches long. They only weigh a mere 13 g or a half an ounce. They are dumpy in shape with a short tail and short, blunt beak. Colors range from an almost all-black to black forequarters and white or off-white hindquarters and tail for the males, and shades of pale grey or pale brown for the females. The male has a black beak while the female has a pale orange beak.

Misconception

    Although called a small tree finch since Darwins day, it has since been discovered that all of the Darwinian finches, including the small tree finch, are not in the true finch family. They are actually very small members of the tanager family, which closely resemble the true finch family. But the common name has stuck.

Geography

    The small tree finch can be found on most of the major Galapagos islands, except for the islands of Darwin, Espanola and Marchena. They used to be found on the island of Rabida, but no longer. They live in a range of about 7,500 square km. They prefer to live in humid evergreen forests, shrubs and even various cactus species. They are often found in elevations of 300 to 700 m or 984 to 2,300 feet.

Numbers

    The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, has the small tree finch listed as a species of least concern or not in any imminent danger of becoming extinct. Still, it is unknown how many are left, although the IUCN estimates that there are more than 10,000 breeding adults.

Diet

    The small tree finch has a varied diet, including fruits, flower nectar and seeds. But their main fare is insects. They often take insects from branches, just under tree bark or leaves. The finch's bill is thick, powerful and slightly curved in order to pluck out and grab the wriggly prey. The bill is also strong enough to poke through tree bark where insects may hide or larvae may grow.