Kamis, 31 Januari 2013

Common Pigeon Breeds

Common Pigeon Breeds

Egyptian hieroglyphs and Mediterranean cuneiform tablets indicate that pigeons were first domesticated more than 5,000 years ago. Modern pigeons occur in thousands of breeds, from the Rock Pigeon seen in city parks to fancy show birds such as the Jacobin. Pigeons are embraced by hobbyists for racing and show, and many breed variations reflect those purposes.

Pigeon Breeding

    Pigeons, like doves, are members of the family Columbidae. The many breeds of modern pigeons are believed to have descended from a single ancestor, the rock dove or rock pigeon. Because of their long association with humans, pigeons have been bred for specific purposes. Carrier and homing pigeons have played a significant role in military operations for centuries, and more recently, show pigeons have been bred for voice, extravagant color and feathers, while racing enthusiasts breed for speed and size.

The Rock Pigeon

    The ubiquitous rock pigeon inhabits city parks and most areas where humans live. Although largely undomesticated, this breed is also kept by hobbyists and used for homing. Rock pigeons can be found with several color variations, from the familiar blue-grey bird with black wing bars to red, white and black variants. Rock pigeons may also be pied (splotched with white) or checkered with spots on the wings.

The Jacobin

    One of the most striking of the show breeds, the Jacobin is a large pigeon seen in several color variations, including red, white and black and white patterns. Jacobins have a large feather ruff which conceals most of the face and eyes and spreads around the shoulders. Originally bred in India, Jacobins are now shown and sold throughout the world and demonstrate the power of pigeon breeding for selective characteristics. The Jacobin is one of many pigeon breeds emphasizing color and feather patterns, such as the Saxon fairy swallow with its fan-like foot muffs, or the gleaming metallic archangels.

Racing Pigeons

    Racing and homing pigeons compete to cover an established course within a specified time frame and are bred for speed, endurance and size. Resembling their ancestors and lacking the extensive feather variations of the show pigeons, racers such as the English dragoon and American racing pigeon occur in several color combinations including white, black and red, as well as various checkered and pied patterns. Proven racing pigeons are sought after as breeders for a new generation of racers, often commanding high prices.

How to Find Good Racing Pigeons

How to Find Good Racing Pigeons

Pigeons have been kept and trained for leisure activities since ancient Egyptian times, and racing pigeons can be a challenging and rewarding pursuit with many competitions taking place both nationally and internationally. However, before you can start competing you will need to invest in fast racing pigeons.

Instructions

    1

    Visit as many breeders as possible before purchasing your pigeon. If preferable the pigeon should come from a breeder who is experienced, and respected as a racing pigeon breeder. When shown the pigeons' loft, pay attention to how the breeder interacts with the birds, and only buy from someone who is comfortable handling the animals.

    2

    Look for pigeons that come from a racing stock by asking to be shown official documents regarding the breeding history of the bird, including any past champions. Many dealers will breed pigeons specifically for racing, and may have birds descended from a long line of champions which will increase your chances of owning a good quality and fast racer.

    3
    A pigeon's feathers is a good indicator of its general health and racing ability.
    A pigeon's feathers is a good indicator of its general health and racing ability.

    Inspect the bird's physical features to make sure it is healthy and strong. Pay particular attention to its feather quality. They should be both silky and strong to ensure the pigeon has a fast flying style. Avoid buying a pigeon with dry feathers, as this means the bird will lack the stamina and strength required to win races.

    4

    Observe the pigeons in their breeding loft and keep an eye on any pigeons that are on their own. Aside from the physical strength required to win races, you need to be aware of buying a bird with the psychological ability to race. Most birds stay in numbers, even when flying. A racing pigeon must have the right frame of mind to fly alone in order to win races. Look for a bird that is not influenced by the other pigeons, and does not continually seek out the other birds for companionship,

Kinds of Talking Parrots

There are examples of talking birds in almost every parrot species, but some are far more proficient than others. Conures, for example, rarely learn to speak at all, and when they do they typically produce only a few garbled words. Similarly, no species is guaranteed to talk--individuals may learn dozens of words or none at all.

African Greys

    The African Grey is usually thought of as the most proficient speaker of all parrots. This bird is best known for using speech meaningfully; for example, requesting treats or arguing when it's time to return to the cage.

Amazons

    There are dozens of species of Amazon parrots, and all have the potential to speak clearly. These spunky green parrots are unusual in that many of them also learn to sing, albeit in a warbling, off-key voice.

Macaws

    Macaws don't usually develop an extensive vocabulary, but they do speak clearly and in a human-like pitch rather than the squeaky voice of smaller birds. Blue and gold macaws are considered especially likely to learn to talk.

Pionus

    Though less colorful than other parrots, members of the Pionus genus are gaining popularity as pets because of their gentle and calm demeanor. The blue-headed Pionus is said to be particularly adept at mimicking human speech.

Budgerigars

    Believe it or not, budgerigars (affectionately known as "budgies") are not only true parrots, but they occasionally learn to talk. Puck, a now-deceased budgerigar, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the bird with the largest vocabulary--1,728 words.

How to Build a Bird House for Blue Jays

Hanging a birdhouse in your yard can be a very rewarding experience if you attract a family of birds. Watching a nest develop, and the birds living in your handmade house, can be highly enjoyable. Blue jay birdhouses are unique in that they are not full enclosures like most birdhouses, because the jays prefer to nest on a covered shelf, with an open front and side.

Instructions

    1

    Cut two 8-inch-long pieces of wood, and one 10-inch-long piece of wood.

    2

    Set the circular saw to make a 60-degree cut and trim one end of one 8-inch-long piece so that it has a 60-degree bevel.

    3

    Drill two holes through the beveled edge of the wood, 2 inches in from each side. The drill should pass through the wood perpendicular to the surface of the beveled edge.

    4

    Screw the beveled piece of wood to the non-beveled 8-inch-long piece of wood in an "L" shape. The flat edge of the beveled piece should be laid atop the non-beveled piece flush with its back edge, with the bevel end pointing up; then screw through the non-beveled piece into the beveled piece to secure.

    5

    Place the bottom edge of the 10-inch-long piece of wood flush with the beveled edge, and screw in place with screws through the back of the beveled piece. There will now be an angled piece of wood extending over the bottom of the L shape.

    6

    Screw the house to a pole or tree, with the beveled piece as the back wall and the angled side as the roof, about 10 to 12 feet off the ground, using a pair of screws through the back piece.

How to Tame a Cockatiel Quickly

How to Tame a Cockatiel Quickly

Cockatiel taming and training requires patience and dedication, but if you possess these qualities, this process can be completed quickly and enjoyably. As you socialize your pet, you will watch her transform from a skittish bird to a trusting creature that will eat from your hand and eventually perch on your finger and shoulder. With the right dedication, you can develop a fulfilling relationship with your bird, and experience the benefits of owning a friendly, happy pet.

Instructions

    1
    Soon, you'll be able to get this close to your new pet.
    Soon, you'll be able to get this close to your new pet.

    Place the bird in a small cage in which the bird can become socialized. Introduce your new cockatiel to your family and home by placing the cage in a public or family room, before you transfer the bird to a larger outdoor cage or an aviary. This way it can become accustomed to people before returning to a more wild setting.

    2
    You'll be bff's in no time.
    You'll be bff's in no time.

    Stand near the cage often in order to help your cocktail adjust to human interaction. If you want to tame your cockatiel quickly, you will need to commit to three or four 10-minutes sessions each day, keeping the sessions brief to avoid overwhelming the bird and allow it to rest. While it is possible to train a cockatiel with just one short interactive session each day, your bird will become friendly more quickly the more sessions you provide. Of course, different birds have different personalities, which will affect the swiftness with which your cockatiel becomes tame.

    3

    Initiate contact gradually. During the first week, conduct activity near the cage, but don't get too close. The bird must be able to see you without becoming frightened. Once you name your bird, call its name softly whenever you approach the cage or feed your cockatiel. In this way she will become accustomed to your voice.

    4

    Remain close to the cage after bringing food so that the bird learns to trust you and eat in your presence. If at first she refuses to take the food, move slightly farther from the cage. As you repeat this process, you can decrease the space between yourself and the cage.

    5
    Look at the progress you've made!
    Look at the progress you've made!

    Offer food directly from your hand. Put a small amount of food in the bird's bowl. When she eats it and wants more, offer it from your hand. If she refuses to take it, place it in the bowl. Repeat until the bird will eat from your hand. Once your cockatiel will eat from your hand, she is tamed and comfortable with your presence. You can now offer your finger and shoulder as perches.

Can You Teach a Three Year Old Quaker Parrot to Talk?

Can You Teach a Three Year Old Quaker Parrot to Talk?

Quaker parrots are small, friendly birds with a body size of about 11 to 13 inches. Quakers range in colors but are most typically bright green or blue with a touch of gray and white. These parrots are capable of the same amusing behaviors as large parrots but require only a fraction of the living space. One of the quaker parrot's amusing behaviors is its ability to learn to talk and sing.

Talking Age

    Some species of parrots may take years before they even attempt to talk. The quaker parrot is an enthusiastic talker from an early age, even as young as six months. Most young, hand-fed quakers learn to speak at least one word by the time they are one year old. Younger quakers are eager to learn and more apt to mimic the sounds they hear. With a life expectancy of up to 30 years, a three-year-old quaker parrot is still considered young and, with proper interaction and training, may learn to speak as well as any other young quaker.

Hand-Feeding

    If you want a talking quaker, the best results often come from birds that were hand-fed. This process removes quaker chicks from the care of their avian parents and replaces that care and feeding with a human caregiver. The young parrots then "imprint" or associate humans as being flock members and try to learn the human sounds and words the young birds hear. Even at three years old, a hand-fed quaker parrot stands a better chance of becoming a talker than one that was raised by parrots.

Teaching to Talk

    Immersion and training sessions are the best methods of teaching quaker parrots to speak. Speak to the birds often, as you pass their cage, play with them or change their food and water each day. Train the birds by holding them in front of a mirror and repeating words you want them to learn. Reward the quaker when it attempts to make a sound or properly says a word you want it to learn. Audio and video recordings of other parrots saying words and phrases and singing songs are available. These should be played continuously for the quaker when you are away at work or the grocery store as a means of reinforcing the training sessions.

Other Information

    Regardless of age, some quakers just will not speak. Not every parrot is a talking parrot, even amongst the species noted for their vocalizations. If a quaker has reached an age of three years, has undergone serious attempts at training, has been hand-fed and has lived in a safe and loving home but still refuses to speak there is a chance that it never will. Though the quaker has a huge capacity for a large vocabulary, even using some words in context, the bird's speaking may be difficult to understand. Patience and hard work are key to training a quaker to talk but you must be prepared to live with and love your quaker whether it speaks or not.

The Lifespan of a Citron Cockatoo

The Lifespan of a Citron Cockatoo

Cockatoos are one of the longest living members of the parrot family, some living to over 100 years. The citron cockatoo, so named for the bright orange crest on its head, is one of 21 cockatoo species. Citron cockatoos are sought-after pets, because they are sociable, friendly and fairly quiet. Although they are not as good at imitating humans as some parrots, they can learn a small vocabulary of 15 words or phrases.

Lifespan

    Citron cockatoos are, like most parrots, unique among birds because of their long lifespans. Citron cockatoos can live longer than 65 years, which is only a little less than the average human lifespan. Although they tend to have a shorter life in captivity, these birds do require a lifelong commitment on the part of a pet owner. Cockatoos reach sexual maturity between 2 and 3, and the females will have two to six eggs that take about 30 days to hatch.

Description

    Citron cockatoos are mostly white, with yellow ear coverts, yellowish feathers on the undersides of their tails and wings and have the characteristic orange crest, which they flare when angry. All citron cockatoos are born with black eyes, but at the age of 1 the females' will turn red, while the males' will remain black. They have black beaks, which are larger in males and gray legs. Males tend to have a more intense crest color.

Native Habitat

    Citron cockatoos are native to the the jungle areas of Lesser Sunda Islands and Sumba in Indonesia. They are endangered due to habitat loss and illegal trapping for the pet trade. In 1992, their population, according to a 2006 study by Cahill, Walker and Marsden, was about 3,200. The same study showed that by 2002 their numbers had increased by almost 100 percent in one area of Indonesia, but their numbers are still dangerously low.

As Pets

    Before buying a citron cockatoo, make sure it has a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) certificate to prove that it was bred in captivity. As friendly and social as they may be, they are not easy pets to own, as they can become demanding and destructive, especially with wooden items. Be sure to give them many things to chew on. They are also known to bite humans and scream on occasion and should be trained. Citron cockatoos need lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Spirulina enhances the color on their feathers.

Rabu, 30 Januari 2013

How Birds Help Man

How Birds Help Man

Birds aren't only feathered songsters that busy themselves making nests and laying eggs. They also perform key functions in the world's food chains. These small vertebrates are an economically and ecologically important species that help man in many ways. Birds evolved from flying dinosaurs, and there's currently 10,000 species scattered around the world, from the Artic to the Antarctic.

Food

    Birds help man by being a large and important part of the human food chain. Poultry farmers and hunters both help bring tasty birds like chickens, geese, turkeys, pheasants, quails and ducks to the dinner table. They don't just provide man with meat, but eggs, another vital source of protein. Egg-laying hens in the U.S. do not receive hormones to increase production. Chickens, turkeys and eggs combined are the biggest source of animal protein in human diets, accounting for food sales of almost $38 million dollars in 2010, according to the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.

Entertainment

    Birds entertain humans in a variety of ways. The Humane Society of the United States says 50 million birds are kept as pets in the U.S. Species varying from parakeets to parrots make cheerful pets and companions, as well as being the quarry in sports like hunting, and subject of examination in the pastime of birding. One out of every five citizens is a serious or casual birding enthusiast, amounting to 48 million in the U.S., according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service figures. North American home owners are also entertained by the antics of 100 different bird species visiting feeders, according to the Audubon Society. To enjoy watching birds in your garden and hear their songs, set out a feeder filled with birdseed, fruit, suet or nectar.

Science

    Scientific research involving birds helps man to understand the world he lives in and find cures for diseases. In a University of Chicago study, scientists used the similarities between how birds and humans learn vocal patterns to research into language and the way humans learn to speak. In Nebraska, health officials collect dead birds to search for evidence the West Nile virus is active in the area. This mosquito-bourn virus is hard to detect in humans, causes severe illness in less than one percent of those that contract it, but presents a serious health risk for those with weak immune systems. According to officials, examining infected birds are a reliable indicator of this disease's presence and strength.

Environment

    Birds help man by functioning as an early warning system to current and future ecological problems. According to the Audubon Society, "birds are important indicators of the overall health of our environment." Their numbers indicate where natural resources such as the air and water supplies are threatened. North American birds moving winter locations further north by 35 miles provided new evidence of the effects of global warming. Between 120 and 130 species of birds known to have existed in the 17th century have become extinct. Over 1,000 are currently in danger of extinction. Loss of habitat to housing and commercial developments is the biggest threat to birds as a species.

How to Train High Flying Pigeons

There are records of people keeping pigeons dating to 3,000 B.C. Pigeons are fast fliers and they instinctively return to their place of birth. These qualities have made them useful throughout history in a variety of ways. Despite the great leaps in communications technology over the centuries, pigeons are still trained by the military in nations worldwide, including our own. Hobbyists also keep this tradition alive today by raising and racing pigeons. High-flying pigeons are also known as sporting pigeons.

Instructions

    1

    Build a roomy pigeon loft, about 7 feet square per bird. Most owners actually build multiple lofts to separate young pigeons from older ones and males from females. You can use existing outbuildings, garages or attics provided they have not been used to house poultry. Otherwise, build your own with a strong floor using 2-inch-thick cross boards and 3-inch runners. Use boards that are -inch thick by 4 inches to 6 inches wide on the back, sides and lower parts of the front.

    2

    Construct the top half of the loft with wooden dowels about -inch thick, set about 2 inches apart. Cover the dowels with netting.

    3

    Build shelves about 1-foot square on one side of the loft for nests. Use 1-inch by 12-inch boards to construct a 12-inch-high by 12-inch-deep by 18-inch-wide compartment for each bird. Place a 1-inch by 4-inch by 18-inch board in the bottom of the front opening of the box to secure nesting materials and eggs.

    4

    Place nesting materials such as hay, straw, wood chips and twigs into each box.

    5

    Set perches on the other side. Each pigeon needs a separate perch. Use any of the three types of perches: box, triangular or V-shaped, or pedestal. If using box perches, use 1-inch by 4-inch boards to construct a 12-inch by 10-inch box for each pigeon. You may construct triangular or V-shaped perches using two pieces of plywood 6 inches square that are attached touching each other in an inverted "V" over a 1-inch-square piece of wood about 3 to 4 inches long. Pedestal perches are only used when exhibiting pigeons.

    6

    Spread a small layer of sand on the loft floor.

    7

    Stock the loft with about 20 birds. Pigeons are social animals, and they are more at ease when they have other pigeons to interact with.

    8

    Feed the birds every morning and afternoon. Rattle a tin can each time you feed the birds. This gets them used to associating the sound with food and will allow you to call them with the can after you let them out.

    9

    Clean the loft daily, removing waste and other detritus.

    10

    Give birds a bath every other day, or provide a bird bath for them to bathe themselves. Bathing your bird can be as easy as misting it with water. The pigeon will take over from there by cleaning itself.

    11

    Keep records of how the birds fly in the loft and after you have let them out. Record how often they fly and how far.

    12

    Select and put the birds you plan to use to compete in a separate clean place by themselves. Carefully examine these birds to make sure they are healthy. Pigeons may suffer from many illnesses including Paramixo virus and throat canker. Birds will appear fluffed up, dizzy or unbalanced if infected by the virus. Those with throat canker have a swollen throat, wet or bad-smelling discharge from the beak and unwillingness to fly. Separate the sick birds from the healthy birds and consult a veterinarian for proper treatment.

    13

    Fly the birds first thing in the morning and feed them when they return for the first week of training.

    14

    Feed the birds dried peas with weak linseed tea to drink during the second week. Fly the birds one hour after this breakfast. If their average flying time is less than three hours, fly them every day; otherwise, fly them every other day.

    15

    Feed the birds dried peas, Indian corn, wheat and tares in the third week.

    16

    Give the birds two days rest before a long flight.

    17

    Look for signs that the birds are in good condition to fly, such as standing on tiptoes, beating their wings and flying about the coop.

    18

    Feed the birds only peas, a handful of tares and a small quantity of linseed tea the day before a match. Keep the coop in darkness and feed at night without a light.

    19

    Give the birds half a crawful of peas and fill up with canary and rape seed one-half hour before letting them out. If there is a strong wind, add extra Indian corn.

    20

    Let the birds out for the match around 10 a.m.; if they are traveling a particularly long time, say eight to nine hours, let them out as early as 8 a.m.

About Blue-crowned Parakeets

About Blue-crowned Parakeets

The blue-crowned parakeet, also called blue-crowned conure or sharp-tailed conure, is known for its striking blue-feathered head and vivid green body. These birds were uncommon in American households until after the 1998 release of the movie "Paulie," which featured a talking blue-crowned parakeet as main character. Though blue-crowned parakeets can only mimic human language, unlike Paulie, they make excellent pets.

Appearance

    The blue-crowned parakeet is a medium-sized green bird with blue feathers atop its head. It has a white ring of skin around its eye and a bi-colored beak; the upper mandible is a pale pinkish color while the bottom mandible typically is black. The legs and feet of the blue-crowned parakeet are pink; it has reddish-orange feathers highlighting its long tail. Males and females of the species share similar coloring.

Habitat and Reproduction

    Blue-crowned parakeets are native to South America. Their natural habitat ranges from Colombia to Argentina. In the wild, these birds tend to inhabit grasslands, the edges of forests and semi-arid regions. They do not migrate. These parakeets are monogamous in nature. The breeding season of blue-crowned parakeets occurs approximately from March to July. Females lay two or three white eggs at a time, typically in tree cavities. The female blue-crowned parakeet incubates the eggs while the male forages and brings food to the female.

Diet

    In the wild, blue-crowned parakeets forage for their food. They typically eat sorghum and bambusa seeds, berries, cacti fruit, crops, mangoes and insects. Domesticated blue-crowned parakeets can be fed a varied diet, including cooked beans, boiled corn, fruits like oranges and bananas, vegetables like green beans and carrots, spray millet and bird feed pellets.

Suitability As Pets

    Blue-crowned parakeets are considered an easy bird to raise. They are intelligent birds with a high drive for socialization with their owners. This bird can be very affectionate. Blue-crowned parakeets should be kept in an aviary or bird cage at least 10 ft long. They are active and energetic birds; they should be taken out of their cages and played with daily. Parakeets have a life span of about 30 years when tended properly.

How to Potty Train a Quaker Parrot

How to Potty Train a Quaker Parrot

Quaker parrots are small green parrots that range from 11 to 12 inches in height. According to the website "quakerparrots.com," "Quakers are intelligent, comical and engaging birds." You can potty train these smart birds so that they will go to the bathroom at a designated area outside of their cage, such as a toilet or trashcan, making it easier for you to clean their cage. One of the creators of the magazine, Winged Wisdom, Carol Highfill, compares training a parrot in this manner to training a dog or cat. "Observation, positive reinforcement, persistence, patience, and consistency are the keys to successful potty training," Highfill says.

Instructions

    1

    Watch your bird for two days. Observe how frequently it goes to the bathroom. Watch it first thing in the morning, and especially after every meal. Become familiar with its habits and body language right before it uses the bathroom.

    2

    Pick a command for telling the bird to go to the bathroom. You can say something like, "Go potty," or, "Do it now," or some other phrase that you prefer. Practice saying it, keeping your intonation the same.

    3

    Watch your bird for signs that it needs to use the bathroom. Stand in front of the bird's cage and have the bird step up onto two of your fingers.

    4

    Walk the bird over to a trashcan or toilet and give your bird the "Go potty" command. Praise your bird after it goes to the bathroom.

    5

    Give your bird a special treat every time it relieves itself after you say the command.

The Falcon Diet

The Falcon Diet

Falcons are majestic creatures and cunning hunters. Known for their exceptional speed among the many birds of prey, all falcons share a similar diet and hunting techniques. The scientific name falco is Latin for hook-shaped and may refer to their talons or the beak.

Species of Falcons

    Of the many species of falcons, the peregrine falcon is the most commonly known. The prairie falcon, aplomado falcon, red-footed falcon, collared-forest falcon and gyrfalcon are also part of the large falcon family. There are 13 species of kestrels as well, and along with the Merlin, they make up the smallest members of these raptors.

Typical Diet

    Falcons, particularly peregrines, live on a diet that mainly consists of smaller birds, according to Defenders of Wildlife. They hunt pigeons, blackbirds, jays, starlings and waterfowl. Occasionally they will feed on small mammals like ground squirrels, mice, rats and gophers. They also eat bats, lizards, small snakes and frogs and insects. The USDA Wildlife Habitat Management Institute reports that the smaller species of falcons, such as kestrels, actually prefer to eat a large portion of insects like grasshoppers, crickets, moths and beetles. During the winter months, kestrels must eat small mammals and small birds because of the lack of insects.

Diet Requirements

    Kestrels must eat about 21 percent of their body weight per day. With a general weight range between 3.5 to 5.3 ounces, this doesn't sound like much food, but it is appropriate to the species' small size. Female raptors are usually larger than males. The bigger species like peregrines eat approximately 70 grams of food a day, which equates to about the size of two blackbirds.

Range

    Falcons will migrate throughout the year to where their food source is in the greatest abundance. Some will move vast distances, traveling from as far north as Alaska all the way down to South America, for example. They are usually found in open areas. Peregrine falcons favor habitats that are near sources of water, but can be found in mountainous regions, particularly during their breeding season. They are also considered the second most globally widespread of all the raptors, with habitats on every continent except Antarctica, according to the Peregrine Fund.

Hunting Technique

    Like other predators, Falcons have to hunt for their food. Noted for their remarkable speed, falcons utilize this trait to be highly effective hunters. The Peregrine falcon is the fasted bird in the world, according to the Seattle Audubon Society. They are aerial hunters with very keen eyesight, being able to see their prey up to a mile away. They swoop down at speeds that can reach 200 miles an hour and catch their prey mid-air, usually killing it instantly. Kestrels use a similar technique, hovering in the air and diving down on their prey once it has been spotted.

Alexandrian Parrot Training

Alexandrian Parrot Training

Nearly 2 feet in length, although the Alexandrine parakeet might resemble a parrot, it is technically a parakeet. Called either Alexandrian or Alexandrine, these birds are extremely popular as pets, and with their green coloring, offset by spots of red and blue, they are colorful additions to a home. As with many domesticated birds, they can be trained, but it requires patience and persistence.

Beginning

    The earlier an Alexandrine is worked with, the more likely it is that it will respond positively to training. When it is being fed formula, it should be spoken to in a quiet, relaxed manner. This allows the bird to relax and fosters an environment of bonding and companionship. Even when the bird is not talking or attempting to talk, it is taking everything in and processing it.

Association

    Like most birds, Alexandrines respond best to association. If the phrase "Yum--treat" is to be taught, the bird should be fed a treat, while the phrase is being said. By doing this, the Alexandrine will actually be able to make the connection between the phrase and the result.

Talking

    Alexandrines will never be the prolific talkers that the African gray parrots are, but they are capable of speaking in a clear, intelligible voice. The best way to get speech patterns set in place are to speak to them constantly. The Alexandrine should be taught away from its cage and when there are no other distractions in the room. When it is spoken to, there should be excitement and pleasure in the words being spoken. This allows the bird to form associations within the phrase and the response, thereby making it an enjoyable experience for both bird and owner.

Patience

    The key to training an Alexandrine parakeet is patience. These birds are very shy, as a rule, and it takes time for their trust to be gained. Once gained, however, they want to please their owners. This is where patience comes in. By exercising constant patience, the chances that the Alexandrine will bond with its owner are much greater than if someone were to attempt to force the Alexandrine to be taught to speak.

Wild Call

    Alexandrine parakeets have an instinctive "wild call" that they vocalize throughout the day. This high-pitched squawk can be quite annoying, and it's important that the bird's owner does not respond to the wild call whenever it is sounded. Since the Alexandrine is an intelligent bird, it will begin to sound the wild call whenever it wants companionship.

How to Breed Bourke's Parrots

Bourke's parrots are quiet, gentle birds native to Australia. These small, beautiful parrots can be found in various colors ranging from rose to cream, cinnamon and pink. Their social and peaceful nature makes Bourke's parrots ideal birds for the novice aviculturist, as well as for apartment dwellers. Bourke's parrots are prolific breeders and can breed year-round in favorable breeding conditions.

Instructions

    1

    Breed Bourke's parrots once they have reached one-year of age. Though Bourke's are capable of breeding much earlier, breed them only after 12 months, as they become physically mature and will have a longer breeding lifespan.

    2

    Identify a male and female Bourke's parrot and place them together in the cage to breed. The male Bourke's parrot has a blue strip of feathers above the nostril near the forehead, while the female has a full gray head. Female Bourke's are also smaller in size compared to the male.

    3

    Purchase a 12-inch by 10-inch nesting box for the female Bourke's parrot to lay its eggs. Place the nesting box in the cage along with the male and female Bourke's parrot.

    4

    Provide the mating birds with a nutritious diet during the breeding period. Feed them green seed heads and sprouts, rolled oats, hemp, crushed corn, small mealworms and fruit pieces. Keep a constant supply of fresh water available.

    5

    Observe the parrots for signs of mating. The female will lean forward on its perch and beckon the male with small chirping sounds to indicate it is ready to mate. Once they have mated, the female will lay between four to six eggs, which she incubates for approximately 20 days.

Selasa, 29 Januari 2013

Can You Put an Empty Bird's Nest Back in a Tree?

Can You Put an Empty Bird's Nest Back in a Tree?

While working in the yard, you might find an empty bird's nest that may have fallen from a nearby tree. Taking the time to find out where the nest came from and what condition it's in will help you determine if and how you can place the empty bird's nest back in the tree.

Determining the Nest Type

    Some bird species build nests on the ground, so it's best not to displace those nests.
    Some bird species build nests on the ground, so it's best not to displace those nests.

    Determining whether the nest truly fell out of the tree is important. Many bird species build their nests in places other than trees. Mallard ducks, for example, build mound nests on the ground near lakes, in yards or even near busy streets. Burrowing Owls will dig burrows in which they lay their eggs. If the nest you find belongs to a bird species that does not build its nests in trees, leaving the nest alone is best. You can determine the nest type by researching the kind of nest you found and the bird species that inhabit your area.

Determining the Nest's Occupancy

    Just because a nest is empty does not mean that it's been abandoned. The birds might return later.
    Just because a nest is empty does not mean that it's been abandoned. The birds might return later.

    Before moving an empty nest, check the area to verify that the birds have truly abandoned it. Often, fledglings, or young birds, have left the nest to practice flying and searching for food. In other cases, nestlings, or baby birds, have accidentally fallen out of the nest. If you find that a nestling has fallen out of the nest, replacing the bird in the nest is OK. It is a myth that bird parents will abandon their young if they sense that the young have been touched by humans. If you find an injured bird nearby, call your local Audubon Society, or SPCA. Each could help you determine what you can do for the young bird.

Replacing a Nest

    Setting an empty nest back in a tree is fine, as long as you consider a few factors.
    Setting an empty nest back in a tree is fine, as long as you consider a few factors.

    If you find a truly abandoned bird nest that has been knocked out of a tree, set it back in the tree from which it came, or in a nearby tree. If the nest is intact, put the nest in a fork in the tree's branches. Don't set the nest in direct sunlight. Don't try to reattach the nest using wire, as it can harm birds or tear feathers. Wash your hands after handling nests, as they often carry parasites such as mites or lice.

Cleaning a Found Nest

    Old nests or nests that are not intact could contain parasites, which can harm both adult and baby birds.
    Old nests or nests that are not intact could contain parasites, which can harm both adult and baby birds.

    In some cases, replacing a nest is inadvisable. If a nest is not intact, it's best for birds to rebuild their nest. The primary reason for this is to reduce parasites such as mites or lice, which can cause health issues in birds. In cases where you find an empty, but intact, nest that looks as though it has been inhabited for awhile--evidence of bird droppings, feathers, and old debris--it's best that you discard the nest. These nests are not sanitary for you or the birds.

Macaroni Penguins for Kids

Macaroni Penguins for Kids

You may be disappointed to discover that macaroni penguins have little to do with pasta. The term "macaroni" refers to the yellow plumage on penguins' faces; the feathers resemble macaronis, which were colorful hats from the 18th century. The scientific name for the macaroni penguin is Eudyptes chrysolophus. Their lifestyle, encompassing elements such as nesting and eating habits, is comparable to other species of penguins.

Appearance

    According to the Center for Biological Diversity, on average, macaroni penguins are 20 to 28 inches tall and weigh 11 pounds. Their under parts are white, while their upper parts are black. They resemble royal penguins; however, macaroni penguins have black chins rather than white. Their beaks are orange-brown, and their eyes are red. Like other penguins, their flat, stiff wings permit them to swim but not fly.

Population and Breeding

    Macaroni penguins have a larger population than any other species of penguins. According to Bird Life, there are nine million pairs of these birds. During the breeding season, parents take turns nursing the eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, the males guard the chicks while the females hunt for food.

Habitats

    Macaroni penguins gather in colonies on rocky areas, such as cliffs, near water. They have breeding sites on small islands throughout the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions such as South Georgia, South Sandwich, Prince Edward and Crozet Islands. While searching for food, they may travel to islands near Australia and New Zealand.

Diet and Feeding

    Macaroni penguins mostly feed on krill, fish and small squid. According to Antarctica Connection, the penguins may dive to depths of 50 to 200 feet in pursuit of prey. Nightly dives are shallower. According to Penguins-World, macaroni penguins won't feed during molting period; without feathers, the birds would freeze while diving into the cold waters.

Predators and Other Threats

    Leopard seals, sea lions and orcas feed on macaroni penguins. Shore birds, such as kelp, gull and giant petrels, hunt younger penguins and eggs. Aside from natural predators, fisheries and oil pollution pose a threat to macaroni penguin colonies. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, their population is in decline.

Senin, 28 Januari 2013

The Signs of Aggression in a Budgie

The Signs of Aggression in a Budgie

Owning a budgie, which is short for "budgerigar" (Melopsittacus undulatus) can be a fulfilling and fun experience -- at least when the birdie is behaving. Although budgies often possess amiable and pleasant general temperaments, some of them can display aggressive behavioral patterns too, just as all other types of pet birds.

Attempt to Appear Bigger

    Similarly to many other varieties of animals, budgies in aggression mode usually attempt to take on bigger and more intimidating looks. They often do this by exhibiting extremely straight posture and conspicuously puffing out their feathers. They frequently lift their wings at the same time. If the feathers on the back of your budgie's neck are stiff and raised, it also could signify aggression, so don't dismiss it.

Hissing

    Hissing is a common sign of a budgie that is feeling upset and perhaps even is prepared to attack. If you ever hear your budgie hissing at a fellow bird in his living environment, immediately place the pair in different cages to be safe. Shrieking and growling sounds are also typical angry bird vocalizations, so take note. At the first hint of any aggression, hissing or anything else, birds should be promptly removed from each others' presence.

Beak

    If your budgie opens up his beak, he might be feeling aggressive, especially if he simultaneously produces squalling and whizzing sounds. If he thrusts his body forward, it also signifies aggression, and perhaps even the desire to partake in physical battle.

Biting

    Biting is a surefire indication of aggression in budgies and other pet birds. Birds frequently bite when they're feeling nervous, scared and defensive, too. It is especially common for birds to direct their biting towards other birds' feet, so always pay attention to that area.

Wings

    An aggressive budgie might flutter his wings in repeated downward and upward motions, as well. Apart from anger, this fluttering can also point to stress in budgies.

Pupils

    If you notice your budgie rapidly widening and narrowing her pupils, he's probably feeling fierce, so play it safe and leave him alone for the time. Never approach your pet bird when he displays any signs of aggression at all. Always be cautious and smart.

Feather Plucking

    When budgies pluck at the plumage of other birds, it usually is an indication of rising aggression. If you suspect that your budgie is pulling out your other pet's feathers, get them away from each other.

Pursuit

    If your budgie tirelessly runs after another bird in his cage, he may be targeting his aggression at the poor thing. If he bullies the other bird away from access to meals, that also is an overtly aggressive act.

Swaying

    Angry and frightened budgies sometimes display increasing feelings of aggression by swaying their bodies back and forth. If you notice this movement in your budgie, let him be for a while.

Gender

    You might notice that male budgies seem more laid-back than their female counterparts. The females of the species typically display fiercer behavioral patterns, indicates Animal Diversity Web of the University of Michigan.

How to Teach a Cockatiel to Talk

How to Teach a Cockatiel to Talk

Like parrots, cockatiels have the ability to speak and repeat what they hear. The clarity of their language may not be as pronounced as that of the parrot, but they can hold their own and make their owners understand what they are saying. Because of its smaller size, the cockatiel is an ideal bird for people who live in a smaller space but are looking for a companion with verbal ability.While it has been said that male cockatiels are more apt to talk than females, there is always an exception to the rule. The use of repetition will increase the odds of your cockatiel speaking, no matter its gender.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase and play compact discs that use repetitive speech to catch a cockatiel's interest and promote verbalization. Placing the CD player in the same room as your bird will stimulate his mind and encourage him to use his voice to repeat what he has heard.

    2

    Speak to your cockatiel in a high-pitched voice. Many animals, including birds, enjoy hearing human speech and respond well to sounds that are higher-pitched. While deeper tones are also suitable, higher pitches will manage to pique a bird's interest.

    3

    Use repetitive speech yourself. Bird, by nature, like to repeat what they hear. If he is exposed to the same words over and over, your cockatiel is more likely to verbalize what he hears and remember the key words that are the focus of the "conversation."

    4

    Say Hello when you enter the room, and speak your cockatiel's name. Many cockatiels will learn their names right away and associate the sound of the word "hello" with someone entering the room. In fact, "hello" is usually one of the first words a cockatiel will utter, due to its frequency of use. But if you would like your cockatiel to say "hello" to you specifically when you enter the room, say hello and use your name when talking to him.

    5

    Avoid distractions that may interfere with teaching your cockatiel to talk. Barking dogs, other people's speech, TV programs and the sound of children playing can all divert your bird's attention from the main goal. If you are specific about the words you would like your cockatiel to repeat, set aside some time to spend one-on-one with him. Enter the room, close the door and talk. He will enjoy the sound of your voice and express interest in what he is hearing, without distraction.

About Rosella Parrots

About Rosella Parrots

Rosella parrots are a group of colorful birds native to Australia. They are large birds that are commonly kept as pets and are sometimes illegally trapped in the wild for sale. In some areas these birds are considered to be an agricultural pest, and they used to be shot. In the early 21st century, however, they are a legally protected species.

Description

    Rosellas tend to be large birds of just over one foot in length, but size varies by species. Their coloration covers a wide range, but is generally bright and vibrant. The pale-headed rosella, for example, has shades of blue with patches of green and a red patch at the rump. Shades of bright yellow, red, blue and green are included in the plumage of most species. Their beaks are short and chunky and their bodies are generally robust.

Habitat and Range

    These colorful birds make their homes around the coastal regions of Australia rather than the arid interior of the country. Their ranges differ by species with some found in limited locales such as Tasmania, while others are widespread across large sections of the country. Rosellas live in a variety of forest habitats including rain forests and savanna woodlands. As a rule, the birds are never far from some form of open woodland area near a stream or river.

Diet

    Rosellas find their food either on the ground or directly from trees. A wide variety of seeds, fruits, buds and flowers make up the Rosella diet, including agricultural crops. To a lesser degree, some species also feed on small insects and larvae. Unlike some birds, most rosella parrot species tend to stay in one place and not follow food seasonally.

Nesting Habits

    Rosella parrots sometimes make nests in large hollows within trees that have wood dust at the bottom. Some species widen the hollow's opening by chewing the wood. Females generally choose the nesting site and are the sole incubator for the eggs. The male brings the female food as she nests and will also help to feed the chicks, once hatched. Clutch sizes tend to be more than 4 and sometimes up to 8 eggs depending on species.

What Kind of Bird Eats a Snake?

What Kind of Bird Eats a Snake?

Many birds are carnivorous and some eat snakes. These tend to be birds of prey, such as hawks, eagles, falcons and owls whose beaks, sharp talons, sharp eyesight and stealthy ways of hunting help them capture snakes that might be hard to subdue and venomous.

Hawks and Falcons

    Harris' Hawk, a bird about 17 1/2 inches long, will eat lizards, rabbits, rats and other birds, as well as snakes. It lives in the dry regions of the United States down to Central America, Chile and Argentina. Sometimes a group of Harris' hawks will hunt cooperatively.

    Snakes are the main food of the Laughing Falcon, an 18-inch-long bird with a heavy bill that ranges from Central to South America. The bird will wait in a tree for a snake to pass below and then swoop down upon it. Then it will bite the snake behind the head and kill it, or bite the head off altogether. The Laughing Falcon, who gets its name from the noise it makes when it's disturbed, also eats lizards and small mammals.

African Birds

    The secretary bird is a 59-inch-long bird with very long legs for stalking pray in the savannahs and grassland of sub-Saharan Africa. It gets its name from the feathers at the back of its head that reminded people of quill pens secretaries used to tuck behind their ears. The secretary bird has a sophisticated technique for hunting snakes. When it comes upon one, it will open its wings, confusing the snake. The snake doesn't know where to strike, which gives the bird time to subdue and kill it. Secretary birds seem to have no problem taking snakes that are venomous, such as adders and cobras.

    The shoebill is a 47-inch-long bird with a massive bill and long, stork-like legs. It lives in the swamps of East and Central Africa; and eats fish, frogs, lizards and watersnakes. When it flies, it tucks its head in and lets its legs trail behind, much like a heron. When it senses prey in the water, it seems to throw its whole body into the pursuit and will sometimes emerge from the water with a beak full of muck, as well as prey.

Eagles

    Eagles don't necessarily eat snakes, but the harpy eagle will. At 30 to 40 inches long, it lives in much of the same area as the Harris' hawk, though in the rain forests. It will also eat monkeys, possums and sloths it finds in the forest as well as snakes.

Owls

    The burrowing owl swoops down from a perch to catch its prey.
    The burrowing owl swoops down from a perch to catch its prey.

    Found in North and South America, the burrowing owl, at 9 1/2 inches long with great yellow eyes that help it to hunt at dusk, also eats snakes, though it will eat insects, lizards, rats, mice and other birds. It uses the burrow of a small mammal as a nest. To hunt, it sits on a perch and waits for a snake or other prey to pass below, and then pounces on it. It can also swoop down and capture prey from the air.

Minggu, 27 Januari 2013

Homemade Cute Chicken Coops

Homemade Cute Chicken Coops

If you own chickens, you probably keep them in a chicken coop. Most chicken coops can be constructed from small sheds, animal hutches or dog houses. You can adapt one one of these structures fairly quickly to suit your needs. By investing in nontoxic paint and some small windows that will enable you to look inside, you can design a chicken coop that is not only efficient but cute, as well.

Instructions

    1

    Place a wooden dog house where you would like the coop.

    2

    Place the open-ended box just inside the dog house, and fill it with pine shavings.

    3

    Line up wire dog exercise pen panels at least 4 feet tall to sides of dog house so that they make a rectangular run from the dog house out. Use a panel with a door on the side for easy access.

    4

    Hammer nails into the dog house along the attachment points and bend the nails around the wire so the panels stay snug.

    5

    Cut the fencing to fit the top of the exercise pen panels.

    6

    Use tie wire to attach the fencing to the top of the exercise pen panels.

    7

    Paint the house in a bright color. If you're artistic, try painting bright flowers, designs or even chickens across the wooden house. Let the paint dry overnight.

    8

    Add a feeder and waterers. The feeders and waterers may sit outside on the ground. Add a tarpaulin over the exercise pen panels for hot, sunny days and for rainy weather.

About the Horned Owl

About the Horned Owl

The great horned owl is a large bird of prey that is native to North and South America. Great horned owls are the most common owls in their range and one of the largest types of owls. The great horned owl is also a member of the genus bubo, which includes the largest of all owl species, the eagle owl.

Description

    Great horned owls are 18 to 25 inches tall, have wingspans of 3 to 5 feet and weigh 2 to 5 1/2 lbs. These imposing birds, which have brown to gray-brown coloring, get their name from the tufted feathers on the top of their heads that look a bit like horns. The great horned owl's eyes are shaped like a cat's; hence, they are sometimes referred to as cat owls.

Habitat and Range

    The great horned owl can be found from northern Canada, throughout all of the United Stares and Central America, down to the tip of South America. However, the bird is not present in areas of north-central South America. Great horned owls are adaptable; they can live in urban or rural areas, but prefer wooded habitats. Horned owls tend to make their homes in hollowed-out trees, stumps and caves.

Diet

    Most of what great horned owls eat is swallowed whole. The bones and fur are later regurgitated in a condensed pellet. The majority of a horned owl's diet consists of small mammals such as woodchucks, rabbits, rats and squirrels. The birds also feed on ducks, geese, quail and turkeys. They are nocturnal hunters who use their powerful eyesight to spot prey on the ground. The owls then drop down to grab their prey with their large, clawed feet.

Life Cycle

    Great horned owls are solitary birds, but they come together in late winter to mate. The courting males and females sing songs to each other as part of the mating ritual. Once the birds have mated, they find an abandoned nest in which to lay their eggs. The average clutch is two or three eggs. The parents take turns incubating the eggs, which hatch after about 27 days. Both parents then look after their chicks, protecting them fiercely until they are ready to leave the nest, which usually takes 1 to 2 months. In the wild, horned owls live 5 to 15 years.

Sabtu, 26 Januari 2013

How Did the Gray Catbird Get Its Name?

How Did the Gray Catbird Get Its Name?

If you've heard a gray catbird, you know how it got its name. You could mistake the call for a cat up in a tree. You can also meow back at it, possibly receiving a reply. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website says you can attract gray catbirds by making a "pish" sound when they are in the area.

Dumetella carolinensis

    Related to the mockingbird, another avian mimic, the gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) boasts a gray body with a black cap. Under the dark tail hides a rust-brown patch. This medium-size bird matures to about 8 inches long, with long legs and broad wings. During its summer breeding season, the gray catbird can be found east of the Rockies and into Canada. They winter in Florida, in Central America and along the Gulf of Mexico.

The Song

    Although the catbird's song resembles a feline's meow, it's that of a cat with a squeaky sort of voice. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources points out that the gray catbird "does not repeat a full series of notes or phrases" like the mockingbird mimics but sings in a disjointed, improvisational fashion. It's sort of like bird jazz, making the gray catbird a very cool catbird, indeed. Along with its cat sounds, it takes on the tunes of other birds. You're most likely to hear it sing at dawn or after dusk.

Habitat

    Find gray catbirds in dense thickets, hedgerows, the forest edge and any overgrown areas. Gray catbirds don't like to fly out in the open. They also like wet, boggy sites with lots of vegetation. If you live in a suburban area with those features, you might find the gray catbird at your bird feeder or birdbath. Put fruit out for them or plant fruit trees to encourage visiting. They forage all over to find insects and so can fend for themselves better than certain songbirds in densely developed areas.

Nesting

    To protect their young from predators, gray catbirds hide their nests in their densely vegetated habitats. Mother and father care for the three to five annual hatchlings after an approximately two-week incubation period. About 10 days post-hatching from their blue-green eggs, the fledglings leave the nest. The birds' peak breeding season ranges from early spring to late summer.

How to Find a Peacock

How to Find a Peacock

Peafowl are large birds that originated from the Indian subcontinent. The male peafowl, the peacock, has a stunning trail of feathers that can be fanned into a scintillating display of color. However, the tail is not the only beautiful part of these birds. Their chests and neck are a deep dark blue violet, and their backs are a deep, metallic greenish bronze. The jewel-like colors are so stunning that these birds have been transported throughout the world to brighten outdoor areas. Some have become feral; others are domesticated.

Instructions

Buying a Peacock

    1
    Peacocks eat seeds, nuts and many types of grain.
    Peacocks eat seeds, nuts and many types of grain.

    Consult Birds Now (http://www.birdsnow.com/peacock.htm), an online aviary classified system that offers many peacocks for sale. The birds can be shipped.

    2
    Female peafowl are much plainer than males.
    Female peafowl are much plainer than males.

    Visit your local aviary or pet shop. Locate them through a consultation of the phone book, the Internet or through your local network of friends and family. If the nearest aviary does not have peacocks, they can likely do a special order or point you in the right direction.

    3
    Peacocks are considered sacred in some places.
    Peacocks are considered sacred in some places.

    Locate breeders near you. Consult Craigslist, the yellow pages and your social network. You may be in for a bit of a drive.

Finding Feral Peacocks

    4

    Visit India. Peacocks are considered sacred here, and have multiplied as a result. Visit other countries, such as Palestine and Greece, to see feral peacocks that are the distant descendents of those brought from India long ago.

    5
    Scientists are not sure why peacocks developed these feathers.
    Scientists are not sure why peacocks developed these feathers.

    Visit California and Florida. Although many other states have feral peafowl populations, these states have the most.

    6

    Visit Hawaii. Learn about Frances Sinclair, who first introduced the birds on Kauai in 1860. Observe the stable, feral populations that are now established on all the major Hawaiian islands.

Green Cheek Conure Habits

Green cheek conures are small members of the parrot family, measuring roughly 10 inches in length. In the wild they're usually found in large flocks of 10 to 20 birds. They also make great pets, as long as you have plenty of time to commit to them daily and in the long term, as they can live for many years.

Feeding

    Green cheek conures have some very specific eating habits. In the wild they eat mostly fresh fruits, nuts and seeds. Around 30 percent of pet green cheek conures' diets should be made up of a parrot pellet food, but the rest should be fruits and vegetables, as well as some seeds. It's a pleasure to watch them eat, as they take their food in one of their claws and proceed to devour it using their beaks.

Communicating

    If you're expecting your green cheek conure to speak, you may be disappointed, as they're not the strongest of talkers and many never do so at all. However, that doesn't mean they won't communicate with you. Although quiet compared to some other conure species, green cheek conures can be noisy. They make loud, harsh calls, but this shouldn't be discouraged as it's a natural habit and their very own form of communication, even if you don't understand what they're trying to tell you.

Playing

    As blithe and lively birds, green cheek conures make a habit of playing. They like to be kept occupied, either by playing games with youthey can even be taught some tricksor by being provided with some toys to play with. Those who aren't kept occupied can develop a tendency to nip or bite. They should also be given wood to chew on, or they might decide to give your furniture a bit of a nibble.

Interaction

    Since green cheek conures live in flocks in the wild, they're extremely social and thrive on human interaction. They'll often instigate the interaction themselves, when out of their cages, by sitting on your shoulder and coming with you wherever you happen to be going, or even by joining in family meals. Due to this propensity toward human interaction, you shouldn't keep one of these birds as a pet if you don't have plenty of time to spend with him.

What Does It Mean When Parrots Squawk?

What Does It Mean When Parrots Squawk?

Parrots aren't known for their peace and quiet, so expect to live with some level of squawking if you have one of these birds. Close listening and observance of your bird's behavior can help you determine why she is squawking and what you can do to help quiet her. In the meantime, purchase some earplugs to drown out the volume.

Morning and Night Noise

    If your bird tends to wind up in the morning and evening, she's being instinctual. Wild parrots perform a sort of roll call in the morning, with each squawking to tell flock mates that she is present. An evening squawk serves to call all members of the flock back to home base. These sessions tend to last 15 to 30 minutes, but some parrots may squawk for longer. While you may not have luck quieting your bird during these times, you might be able to train her to whistle or sing instead. Or you can go along with it, knowing it's her thing. Call back to let her know you're present, too.

What's Up?

    Noise helps parrots communicate how they are feeling. Squawks can signify that parrots are happy, worried or frightened. If your bird squawks when someone new enters the home, she may be nervous. Squawks may be your bird's way of warning you about something, such as a perceived threat to the environment or even the fact that she needs water. Parrots sometimes squawk at one particular person, such as a guest or a child, if something about that person -- like fast movement or the presence of a baseball cap -- frightens them.

Where Are You?

    If your bird winds up when you leave the room, she is worried about where you are going and whether you will be back. Try calling to her while you're out of sight to reassure her. Consider establishing a phase such as, "Be right back." As you say this each time you leave the room, she'll learn that you will return shortly and she will decrease the noise. Develop another phrase, like "See you later" to use when you're leaving the house and will not be right back.

Give Me That!

    You've just sat down with a nice snack and now your bird is squawking. If you're eating something she enjoys, she's trying to ask for a piece. Calm this behavior by offering her some food before you sit down or by eating your snack in another room if you don't want to feed her.

Other Causes

    Some parrots squawk once you put them to bed. Sometimes, these birds prefer a completely dark environment for their rest, so completely covering their cage can help. Birds may squawk if they feel ignored; developing a habit of saying "Hello" when you arrive after a long day at work can soothe temperaments. Finally, birds may squawk when injured so it's important to rule out physical conditions. As you pay attention to different types of squawks, you may learn what she is trying to tell you.

Jumat, 25 Januari 2013

Why Are Birds So Noisy Before Dark?

Why Are Birds So Noisy Before Dark?

Pet birds have a tendency to be particularly noisy right before darkness falls -- usually during the late afternoon. This behavior corresponds directly with how birds behave in their natural and wild environments. For much of the bird world, pre-darkness noise is just a way of life. Birds are also often especially loud in the morning.

Wrapping Things Up

    If your pet bird has a habit of bursting into vocalization around the end of the afternoon, he is aware that nighttime is coming soon and is essentially wrapping his day up by announcing that resting time is drawing closer and closer. Free-roaming birds in nature do this to communicate with other members of their flocks. Your bird may do this in an attempt to communicate with you or other people in your home. These periods of vocalization are usually brief, and are a totally normal and healthy bird behavior.

Assembling the Flock

    Birds are often noisy before dark as a way of accounting for any flock members that are not nearby. If you hear your bird screeching the afternoon away, he may actually be trying to get your attention so that you come over to him. The vocalization is also frequently giddy. If a bird happily spots another individual in his flock, his noise may mean something like, "I'm so delighted that you're here and all set to turn in for the night."

Types of Vocalizations

    When it comes to afternoon noises, birds seem to do it all, from chattering and shrieking to screaming and squalling. In noisier varieties of birds, the vocalization may extend for as long as an hour. However, many birds end the cacophony after much briefer durations -- think between 20 and 25 minutes.

Morning Noise

    Loudness in pet birds is in no way limited to the time period right before dark. They are also especially noisy in the beginning of the morning, as a way of saying hello to the brand new day and reveling in the finale of the long night. Birds also are vocal in the morning to announce to other flock members that it is that time of day yet again -- the time to begin yet another quest for sustenance.

How to Hold a Parakeet

How to Hold a Parakeet

Learn how to handle your pet parakeet correctly to avoid frightening it. Your parakeet may bite you if it feels scared, so you must build a relationship of trust before you attempt to pick it up. Training the parakeet to respond to a command of "step up" can make handling your bird easier. When getting your parakeet out of its cage, ensure that the immediate area is safe and secure by closing windows and turning off ceiling fans. The room must be quiet to keep your pet from becoming nervous or distracted.

Instructions

    1

    Open the door of your parakeet's cage. Place your hand inside but not too close to the bird. Talk to your parakeet in a soft tone to keep it calm and to gain its trust.

    2

    Reward your parakeet through positive reinforcement. Give it a treat, such as a small piece of fruit, when it approaches your hand. The reward should be a specific treat that your pet only receives during training.

    3

    Hold your finger in front of and slightly higher than the perch where your parakeet is sitting. Reward your bird if it steps onto your finger by giving it another treat and introducing the command "step up." Do not pull your hand away if your bird looks like it might bite your finger because a parakeet often uses its beak to help it climb. Moving away can cause your pet to think of itself as dominant, which can cause behavior problems. If your parakeet is a biter, use a stick instead of your finger.

    4

    Repeat the "step up" training on a daily basis to help your parakeet learn the command quickly.

How to Deal With a Pigeon Problem

Pigeons are cute and can be fun to feed, but they can cause damage to your house and car with their droppings and nests. If you want to get rid of a pigeon problem, you have to make your area as uncomfortable for the pigeons as you can, so they will move their nests to calmer waters.

Instructions

    1

    Don't let the pigeons land. If your roof or deck or balcony is uncomfortable for the pigeons' feet, they won't land there. There are spike strips available at your local hardware store or home improvement center. Any place that pigeons land or perch can be covered with spike strips or wrapped with wire, which will make them look for more comfortable surroundings.

    2

    Block off their nesting areas. You may have eaves or nooks in your home that are attractive to nesting pigeons. You can block these areas off with screen or chicken wire so they will not be able to nest. If pigeons like to nest in your drains be sure to cover those with wire also or you may end up with a water problem.

    3

    Call an exterminator. Often exterminators will have ways of getting rid of your pigeon problems, either with legal chemicals or deterrents. Exterminators are experts on getting rid of pests, if you are uncomfortable doing it yourself or your methods aren't working, give the exterminator a call.

    4

    Put up a scarecrow. A scarecrow that moves or looks like natural predator may keep pigeons at bay. Cats and dogs also make great scarecrows; let them out where the pigeons perch once in a while if possible.

    5

    Remove food sources. Keep your garbage inside the home or tightly lidded. If pigeons are finding feasts on your property they are not likely to want to leave for very long. Do not let children feed the pigeons.

Kamis, 24 Januari 2013

Visual Differences in Male & Female Quaker Parrots

Visual Differences in Male & Female Quaker Parrots

Quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) also called monk parakeets, originate from Argentina and the surrounding South American countries of Paraguay and Bolivia. The species has been successful globally with feral populations inhabiting North America and Europe. There are three subspecies: Mendoza (M.m calita), Paraguay (M.m cotorra) and Bolivian (M.m luchsi), each differing in size.

Misconceptions about Quaker Sexing

    Parrot keepers often note that male Quakers tend to be better behaved or more adept at talking and females more unruly. However, this is not based in fact; many accounts from owners tell of finding their lovable, talkative "males" laying eggs!

    Pelvic sexing is not an accurate method of sexing either. This involves feeling how far apart the ends of the pelvic bones are. The theory says that females' pelvic bones are spaced further apart than those of males to allow for the passage of eggs. However, some males have widely spaced pelvic bones and some females' are narrow but become wider in later life.

Lack Of Dimorphic Traits

    The Quaker parrot, or monk parakeet, is a monomorphic parrot species, which means it possesses no external characteristics that distinguish male from female birds. Quakers can grow to a maximum of 12 inches and may live as long as 30 years. The typical coloration is green with a grey chest and blue trim. Rarer colorations include blue and yellow.

Other Visual Identifiers

    Aside from the expensive and sometimes dangerous methods of DNA and surgical sexing, there are ways to distinguish sex visually. Different behavioral traits can be observed when breeding season arrives. This is springtime for wild Quakers, but it varies for captive birds, as they have no exposure to the seasons and, therefore, don't know when spring arrives.

Specific Behavioral Traits

    During the breeding season, males will start their mating dance -- a rapid head-bobbing movement -- and attempt to mate with a female or failing that, their owner. Females can exhibit more aggressive behavior such as nipping, as they become more territorial.

    When kept in pairs, Quaker females will exhibit more aggressive behavioral traits than males. This is common in many parrot species, yet the dominant traits will only appear when females are kept in pairs with another male. Alone there are no distinguishable differences in behavior between the sexes.

DIY: Myna Bird Trap

DIY: Myna Bird Trap

The Indian myna was introduced into Australia from Asia in order to control insects. These belligerent little birds have subsequently become a real threat to local bird species, not only in rural areas, but in suburbs and cities as well. This pest species, which evicts birds and small animals from their nests, is an opportunistic feeder, taking stock food in rural areas and scavenging around schools and shopping centers in residential and business areas. The Indian myna congregates in huge groups and cleanup operations to remove their droppings are costly and time consuming. Although commercial traps are readily available, many folk prefer to make their own.

Instructions

    1

    Cut a 1-foot-square piece of aviary wire from the roll.

    2

    Bend the mesh into a gentle U-shape. Use the wire cutters to trim away along the length of the shape, until you are left with a shape that resembles a funnel that has been cut in half, lengthwise. When placed on a flat surface, one end will have a large mouth and the opposite end will have a much smaller mouth.

    3

    Repeat with a second 1-foot-square piece of wire.

    4

    Cut a 4-inch square piece of wire out of one side of the 1.5-foot square wire cage.

    5

    Place the 1.5-foot-square cage next to and touching the 2.5-foot-square cage. Cut out a piece of wire on the 2.5-foot-square cage, identical in size and position, to the hole in the 1.5-foot-square cage. The mynas will move through this opening, from the smaller, into the larger cage.

    6

    Attach the first U-shaped tunnel in a vertical position over the hole, on the inside of and against the 2.5-foot-square cage. Position the tunnel with the wide mouth pointing toward the ground. Secure with metal aviary clips. Secure a small piece of wire mesh over the wide mouth to seal it. Once the mynas climb through the hole between the two cages, they find themselves in the tunnel and have to climb upward, until they escape into the large cage.

    7

    Place the 2.5-foot-square cage onto a level grassy area and secure to the ground, using the tent pegs.

    8

    Place the 1.5-foot-square cage next to the 2.5-foot-square cage, so that the holes in each cage form a doorway, through which the mynas can move from the smaller into the larger cage. Secure this smaller cage to the larger cage with aviary clips. Secure the smaller cage to the ground with tent pegs.

    9

    Place the second tunnel against the 1.5-foot-square cage, with the narrow end touching the cage.

    10

    Use the wire cutters to cut another hole in the cage, where the tunnel touches it. Cut the hole to match the mouth of the tunnel in size and shape. Secure the tunnel to the cage, using aviary clips.

    11

    Bait the smaller cage and secure the preinstalled flap doors in both cages with a piece of wire.

    12

    After the birds enter the first cage to feed, they find it difficult to leave, but discover the wide-mouthed tunnel leading into the second cage. Once in this second cage, they remain trapped, until removed.

Brown Bird Identification

Brown Bird Identification

Brown birds are common across most of the United States. The color allows them to blend into tree bark and other foliage. They come in many sizes, and have varied migration patterns.

Size

    The first step to identifying a brown bird is estimating its size. You can use the size of the surrounding foliage as a scale to estimate its size. Most brown birds are between four and nine inches in height.

Markings

    Look for markings on the bird that may help you identify it. For example, the House Thrush has gray markings on its belly, and the Vesper Sparrow has white-tipped tail feathers.

Song

    Listen for the bird to sing and note the distinguishing characteristics of the song. Are the notes high or low? Does the bird make long, clear sounds or does it make short chirps? The combined information about the bird's size, markings, and song should be enough to identify it.

How to Bond with an African Gray

How to Bond with an African Gray

African Grays are life-long companions and its important to take the time to develop a healthy relationship with them. Bonding with your parrot takes time and patience but it is essential because African Grays need to trust their owners. African Grays are intelligent, enjoy learning new things and will always be eager for your attention. Connecting with your parrot is easy once you know what to do and it is rewarding for both of you.

Instructions

    1

    Introduce yourself to your African Grey slowly. Speak to him as you walk toward the cage and when you place your hand in the cage, do so slowly. Dont grab at your bird or expect him to get on your finger at this time. Repeat this process for several days until your parrot seems accustomed to your hand.

    2

    Offer your parrot treats with your hand. This will build trust with your bird. When he begins to come to your hand, you can start training him.

    3

    Begin training your parrot in a way that eases him into positive behaviors. Working with your bird is the first step to creating a trusting relationship. One of the easiest things to teach him is to step up on your finger. Gently slide your index finger against the chest area right above his legs. He should step up on it, like a perch. Repeat up or step up so he will learn this behavior.

    4

    Provide your parrot with praise when he does something positive. Verbal praise or giving your parrot his favorite treat is a positive process that establishes communication.

    5

    Prepare to spend time with your parrot. They need about 30 to 45 minutes per day of direct attention.

    6

    Give your parrot time out of his cage. Healthy, happy African Grays need about three hours a day out of their cages, according to Avian Web.

How to Train Sun Conure Parrots

How to Train Sun Conure Parrots

Sun conures are medium-sized, extremely colorful parrots. They may reach 19 inches in length and feature a mix of colors that range from dark orange to yellow and green, with black beaks and feet. Conures are very intelligent and learn to love and communicate with their families. Like any animal, though, these parrots need to learn how to be gentle and behave themselves indoors. If you purchase a conure, follow some tips during your training to teach the bird its manners.

Instructions

    1

    Keep the conure in a large cage, usually at least 20 inches by 20 inches by 24 inches, in an active part of the house, with several perches and toys. This will keep the conure both busy and stimulated, which will make both handling and training easier. Get your conure out for several hours every day for play and training sessions.

    2

    Take your conure to the vet to have its wings professionally clipped. The vet will clip the main flight feathers to keep the bird from flying. This doesn't hurt or harm the bird, but will make it easier to control, especially during training.

    3

    Cover all mirrors and windows with sheets, and close the doors when you take your conure out for training. Choose a small bedroom or bathroom for training, since enclosed spaces make the experience more successful. Be extremely patient and confident with your bird during training. Most conures bite because they're frustrated or confused, not because of bad attitudes.

    4

    Train your conure to sit on a perch first. Place it on the perch and allow it to sit for several minutes. If it jumps down, pick it up and put it back on the perch. Continue with this training until it has learned to sit on the perch on its own, and always reward the conure with treats and praise when it does something right. These are intelligent birds who will perform for treats and praise, and to please their owners.

    Get a second perch and hold it horizontally in front of the bird to teach it to step up. Gently press the second perch against the bird's legs or chest to encourage it to step up. Once the conure has perfected this technique, use your finger for a step up. Move on to training the bird to be carried, sit on your shoulder, stay and play dead. If the conure misbehaves, simply put it back where you want it and repeat the process. Blow on the bird if it bites you. Always reward the conure for good behavior and for performing the behavior correctly.

Rabu, 23 Januari 2013

How to Train Your Bird to Sing a Song

How to Train Your Bird to Sing a Song

Owning a bird can bring many unusual pleasures not associated with more common pets such as dogs and cats. Although birds are not generally considered as smart as dogs, they do have special properties that make them unique, such as their ability to speak and sing. Many species of birds mimic sounds they hear such as speech and music lyrics. Although there is no specific way to directly train your bird to sing, there are several activities you can try that will help bring out your bird's vocal ability.

Instructions

    1

    Talk to your bird regularly and repeat common everyday phrases often. This will develop the bird's speech capabilities and allow for a greater vocabulary down the road.

    2

    Reward your bird with treats whenever it learns a new word or phrase.

    3

    Play a few minutes of music several times a day. Choose a piece that emphasizes words with very clear speech. This will make it easier for the bird to pick up the words.

    4

    Sing along with the music to speed up the learning process. Birds tend to lose focus quickly, so provide distractions such as rest breaks or toys to alleviate boredom.

    5

    Make up and sing your own song instead of playing a piece of music. This will eliminate distracting music and get your bird to focus on singing the words. Try this method if your bird has not made significant progress.

Flightless Birds of Columbia

Flightless Birds of Columbia

First stop in the link between Central and South America, Columbia is home to the largest number of bird species in the world. On that list are a number of flightless birds. Flightless birds are characterized by those possessing a turtle-shaped breastbone lacking a high ridge called a keel, thus preventing the attachment of flight muscles. These water-waders and ground-dwellers come in all shapes and sizes and are an interesting addition to the ornithological landscape of Colombian wildlife.

Penguins

    You may be surprised to learn that penguins don't always live on ice-capped terrain.
    You may be surprised to learn that penguins don't always live on ice-capped terrain.

    Penguins are the most recognizable species of flightless bird found in Colombia. Their black-and-white stout bodies and webbed feet make for an excellent group of swimmers. They regularly feast on fish, krill and squid. The three species that call Colombia home are the Humboldt, Magellanic and Galapagos penguin.

New World Quails

    Quails nest on the ground.
    Quails nest on the ground.

    These tubby terrestrial birds are characterized by their ornamental head plume and short curved beak. They use their short, sturdy legs to run away from danger and dine mostly on seeds, tubers and insects. They are capable of short bursts of flight, but only when severely provoked. These daytime dwellers also nest on the ground making them easy prey and a popular type of game bird. There are 10 different species in Colombia including the black-fronted wood quail and the tawny-faced quail.

Rails

    Rails are identified by their laterally compressed body shape with long legs and toes relative to their height. They thrive in dense, moist vegetation near bodies of water. They are also omnivores that prefer to nest in soft, even terrain. Colombia houses 10 species of rail birds including the Bogota, black and clapper rail.

Tapaculos

    Tapaculos are small birds, similar in size to a sparrow. They are known for their cocked tails and small, strong legs. These short-winged creatures thrive in the dense, moist undergrowth of the forest. There are 18 different species native to Colombia including the rusty tapaculo, the Paramillio tapaculo and the aptly named Colombian tapaculo.

How to Train Cockatiel Birds to Get out of the Cage

How to Train Cockatiel Birds to Get out of the Cage

Cockatiels are by nature inquisitive and playful, but new birds or birds who have had little positive exposure to humans may be very skittish and afraid at first. Patience is the key with any attempt to train your cockatiel, and all new experiences should be introduced slowly and carefully to avoid frightening the bird. With a little effort, your feathered companion will soon be happily leaving the cage for quality time with you.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure your cockatiel's wings are clipped before you begin any training attempts. Wing trimming is painless and prevents the bird from becoming frightened and potentially injuring itself if it should fly out of the cage. It may be a good idea to have an avian vet or bird groomer do this for you so that the cockatiel does not associate you with the experience.

    2

    Spend a few days sitting near the bird's cage for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. This will help new birds adjust to your presence and realize that no harm comes by your being there; if you have already owned the cockatiel for a while, this step is still a valuable way of getting the bird used to having you in close proximity. Talking softly to the bird will help adjust him to your voice, and offering small treats is a good way to help speed up the process.

    3

    Slowly approach the cage and open the door on the third or fourth day, and gradually reach your hand up to rest just inside the door of the cage. Ignore the bird if he attempts to fly away or even bite you. Wait for the bird to calm down, and then quietly withdraw your hand from the cage. Repeat this procedure a few times each day, in short sessions, until the cockatiel is no longer obviously fearful of your hand.

    4

    Take the cage (with the bird in it) into a small, quiet room without a lot of clutter for the bird to get stuck on or hide behind. Place the cage on the floor and sit down next to it.

    5

    Allow the bird a few minutes to adjust to the new surroundings while you sit near the cage.

    6

    Reach slowly into the cage, gently scoop the bird out of the cage and place her on the ground. It is important to do this in a single fluid maneuver, so the bird won't have time to panic. She may bite, but try not to react to this. Gently set her down.

    7

    Holding one finger out towards the cockatiel, say "step up" and gently press your finger against his stomach just below the breastbone. This will put his weight off center, and he will have to step onto your finger to keep balance. If he runs or flies from you, do not chase him, but wait for him to calm down before approaching again.

    8

    Continue the "step up" lessons in short sessions several times per day until your cockatiel realizes that you are not to be feared, and steps happily onto your hand.