Minggu, 31 Maret 2013

Problems With Umbrella Cockatoos

Problems With Umbrella Cockatoos

When Umbrella Cockatoos are young, they are usually gentle and affectionate. This is the age when most people bring them home, thinking the bird will have this temperament for a lifetime. When the Cockatoo grows up, usually around the ages of 3 to 5 years, their personalities can change drastically. Umbrella Cockatoos are exceedingly intelligent and can be wonderful pets. But proper care must be given throughout their lives to avoid behavior problems.

Biting

    Biting is a serious issue with Umbrella Cockatoos, and is often not stemmed when they are little because the playful little nips when they are young are not so bothersome to owners. But this behavior problem, like all others with these birds, must be addressed while the bird is young. It is much harder to train as the bird grows older, and the playful nipping can turn into aggressive biting. A bite from an Umbrella Cockatoo will break skin and even bone, and could result in the loss of a finger. Make sure the bird has plenty of toys to chew on. Train the bird's other behavior issues and the biting will often cease.

Screaming

    Umbrella Cockatoos scream very loudly - loud enough to cause hearing damage. They scream because they want attention. They need a lot of playtime and stimulation. They like to be out of their cages for hours at a time. When the bird is young, he needs to be taught to entertain himself. When the bird screams, never give him attention. The bird does not understand that he's being told to be quiet. He only knows that every time he screams, you talk to him. In fact, experts at Cockatoo Answers suggest leaving the room when he screams. Animals are results-oriented in their behavior. The bird will learn that you leave when he screams and will stop.

Ignoring humans

    Although Umbrella Cockatoos are extremely cuddly and lovable pets when they are happy, they tend to avoid their owners when distressed. Again, this needs to be addressed when they are young. While it is novel, in the beginning, to walk around with your bird on your shoulder for hours, you will pay for it later when he expects it all the time. Some people think the bird is being sullen and avoiding interaction is the lesser of two evils, compared to screaming. This behavior is a precursor, though, to even worse behavior, such as biting. An even schedule of attention and imposed independence when the bird is young will teach the cockatoo that he's not the center of the household.

Pulling Out Feathers

    For many owners of Umbrella Cockatoos, the fact that the bird will pull his own feathers out is the worst behavior problem of all. One reason for this is simpler than behavior issues. He may be plucking them due to a problem with his diet. If he is not receiving the proper nutrients, your vet can help you establish a balanced diet. Umbrellas also pluck their feathers due to a lack of stimulation. Make sure the bird has plenty of toys and change them regularly so the cockatoo does not grow bored.

Peacock Facts

The peacock is part of the pheasant family. The term "peacock" actually refers only to the male--females are called peahens. Together, they are referred to as peafowl. These beautiful birds are wild birds by nature, but they have been domesticated in many countries. They enjoy peace and quiet and can become stressed fairly easily if they do not have enough room to roam.

Physical Features of a Peacock

    The beautiful feathers of a peacock are blue, green, and gold, and they each give the appearance of an eye at the end of the feather. Peacocks also have a crest on their head, making them appear regal.

Habitat

    Peafowl are found in the wild in India and Sri Lanka.

Diet

    Peafowl are omnivorous. They will eat just about anything, but their normal diet consists primarily of grains, insects, berries, figs, small mammals and small reptiles.

Size

    The peacock can reach heights of more than 3 feet, and its tail feathers can reach 60 inches in length. A male can have a wing span of up to 6 feet.

Weight

    The adult bird can weigh up to 13 pounds.

Fun Facts

    The male is one of the largest flying birds in the world.

Sabtu, 30 Maret 2013

How to Distinguish if a Silky Bantam Chick is Male or Female

How to Distinguish if a Silky Bantam Chick is Male or Female

Silkies are a breed of chicken with no barbs on their feathers. In place of barbs, they typically have very soft, fluffy feathers. The breed matures fairly late and determining the difference between male and female silkie bantam chicks is difficult. There are some clues that can tell you if your chicken is male or female.

Instructions

    1

    Look at the feathers on the chick's head. Males tend to have feathers that stand upright and curve towards the back, while the female head feathers tend to form in a rounded feather puff.

    2

    Look at the comb when it develops within two to three weeks of the chick's birth. The comb is the flap of tissue at the top of the silkie's head, and a male will have a larger comb than a female.

    3

    Compare chicks from the same clutch. Males are significantly larger than females, and this can be obvious a few days after hatching. This isn't considered a certain method of sexing though because you may just have a large female or a small male. It's also a poor method if you are trying to compare chicks from two different genetic lines.

    4

    Listen for crowing. The chicks will start losing the fluffly baby feathers around four of five months. At that time a male silkie will start attempting to crow.

    5

    Look at the saddle feathers just before the tail and the hackle feathers on the neck. These feathers will be long and sharp on a male and gently rounded on a female.

Bonding With a Peach-Front Conure

Peach-fronted conures (Aratinga aurea) are smallish and jovial parakeets from South America -- specifically nations such as Suriname, Brazil and Argentina. Conures are common choices as pets due to their pleasant, humorous and often chatty dispositions. Bonding with pet birds doesn't come overnight, but it usually is highly rewarding.

About Peach-Fronted Conures

    Peach-fronted conures can reach lengths of 10 inches. Their plumage is a blend of pale green, greenish-gray, orange, black and bluish-green. With the right care, diet and attention, peach-fronted conures can live for as long as three decades. Conures can speak, and some are skilled at retaining tricks -- somersaults, for example. Temperamentwise, peach-fronted conures extremely friendly; they are considered loving pets.

Solo Peach-Fronted Conures

    Because they're companionable creatures, peach-fronted conures do well in the company of fellow birdies. However, if you are interested in developing a one-on-one connection with a conure, you'll have greater success if you keep one all by himself -- otherwise, he may focus the bulk of his attention on the other bird, rather than on you. If you have ample time to provide your conure with plenty of interaction, allowing him to live solo may be OK.

Interaction, Interaction, Interaction

    In bonding with your peach-fronted conure, it is important to remember just how sociable these species are. The bird flourishes on attention; because of that, you may want to place this particular bird in the area of your household that gets the most daytime traffic and action -- a living room, for instance. Create rapport between yourself and your peach-fronted conure by frequently giving him direct contact, whether by stroking him or by holding a conversation with him; always and always speaking to him in pleasant and upbeat tones. Peach-fronted conures often become especially connected to a specific single person in households, but it is vital for them to have positive dealings with everyone around them.

Teaching

    Teaching peach-fronted conures tricks and vocabulary words can help to establish strong foundations for strong bonds. Whether you clearly repeat the name of Cupcake, your family bichon frise, or train your conure to move around on a birdie scooter, the attention and focus you provide him with can make a positive difference in how he views you. It may even make him look forward to your presence -- definitely a good thing.

Bathing

    Giving your peach-fronted conure a bath can promote your connection with him. Not only can bathing your peach-fronted conure with clean water -- and nothing else -- help to extract dirt and debris from his plumage, it can also soothe and comfort him. Tighten your bond with your peach-fronted conure by encouraging him to associate the relaxation of bathing with your company. Do not use shampoos and soaps formulated for human use on birds. If you bathe your conure when it is cold out, be sure to thoroughly dry him off afterward by softly massaging him using a towel. Never allow your bird to feel cold post-bath.

How to train parrots to make less noise

Parrots are fun, beautiful creatures. They love to communicate with each other and their owners. However, sometimes parrots can make too much noise. How can you train your parrot to make less of a ruckus? Read on to learn how to train parrots to make less noise.

Instructions

    1

    Remember that parrots react to the emotions of their owners. The more emotional your reaction, the bigger a response you'll get from your parrot. It is important to stay calm and remember that parrots do make noise. The key is to teach your parrot to make an acceptable level of noise.

    2

    When your parrot is making noise, try to determine the reason for the noise. Is your parrot injured? Is it hungry? Does it need food or water? It is important to tend to any physical needs that your parrot may have, without rewarding it with other attention for making noise. Once you have determined that your parrot is safe, leave it alone. The more your parrot is rewarded and given attention for making noise, the more noise it will make.

    3

    Use positive reinforcement with your parrot. Reward it with praise, love and plenty of attention when it's being calm and quiet.Parrots are social creatures. Parrots commonly chatter to each other throughout the day. Think of it as your saying "Hello," to your children or neighbors. When your pet chirps during the day, in acceptable noise levels, respond to it's chirp by talking with your parrot. This is also a great time to get it out of it's cage and hold it, pet it, and give it plenty of love and affection.

    4

    When your parrot is making too much noise, tell it "No," calmly and firmly. As long as your parrot is safe and not injured, leave it alone and do not respond to its noise. If the noise level continues, cover your parrot's cage and tell it "No." Uncover the cage after your parrot has calmed down and is no longer too noisy. If you reward your noisy parrot with attention, you are actually teaching it to make noise when it wants attention. Leaving it alone is critical.

    5

    Anticipate and address events that may make your parrot too noisy. For example, if your parrot screams when people enter the house, move your parrot into a different room when you're expecting company. Once your visitors have integrated into the home, you can return your parrot to the room where it can join the festivities.

Rainforest Hummingbird Facts

Rainforest Hummingbird Facts

How to Make Crow Calls

How to Make Crow Calls

Crow hunting is a popular outdoor hunting activity that is very similar to hunting other types of birds. One of the most important aspects of crow hunting is calling the crows so that they come out into the open. Although electronic recordings of crow calls can be purchased, most experienced crow hunters prefer to manually call the crows themselves. Calling crows is performed by manipulating a crow call device to emulate the bird's natural sounds.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a crow caller from a store that sells hunting or outdoor supplies. There are many styles and varieties to choose from, but they all perform the same basic function. When purchasing a crow caller, make sure that the size fits comfortably in your hand.

    2

    Hold the crow caller between the tips of the thumb and the index finger of your dominant hand.

    3

    Close the fingers of your hand over the end of the caller and then cup the other hand over the one holding the crow caller. Pretend that you are blowing into your hands to warm them up to achieve the correct hand position.

    4

    Place the crow caller up to your mouth and blow air through it to get a feel for the types of sounds it makes.

    5

    Listen to and practice the friendly calls of the crow. which include the "attention call" and the "look here call." The friendly calls are the first calls used when hunting because they cause crows to come nearer to the hunter's hiding location. See the Resources section below for an audio selection of friendly crow calls.

    6

    Listen to and practice the fighting calls of the crow, which include the "fight call," "rally call" and "distress call." These calls are all intended to bring the crows even nearer after establish trust. In addition, these calls keep birds from flying away in fright at the sound of gunfire. A link in Resources provides an audio selection of fighting calls.

    7

    Practice the calls on crows in the wild. It takes a while to master the correct combination of calls that work. The best way to do this is to go to an outdoor location where crows congregate and try making some of the calls you learned through the audio recordings.

Phyla of a Bird of Paradise

Phyla of a Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise most commonly known is a family of banana plants whose blooms resemble that of the bird with the same name. The bird of paradise is a beautiful and dramatic bird, with few predators as an adult, although snakes and large birds do prey on the chicks. The classification for the bird of paradise includes the phyla, family, class, order, and species. The bird of paradise first appeared in European literature in 1522, according to the San Diego Zoo.

Features

    The phyla of the bird of paradise is chordata, deriving from the Latin word chorda meaning cord. The vertebrates that belong to the phylum chordata are fish, mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. The non-vertebrate chordates are tunicates and lancelets, each are a different form of amphibian. The phyla chordata have bilateral bodies with distinguishable heads, tails and trunks (the center of the body). According to The Tree of Life Project, the most distinctive feature of the chordates is the nerve cord, a notochord which runs parallel to the nerve cord. Visceral clefts and arches. also known as gills and pharyngeals, are also distinctive features. The pharyngeal or visceral clefts will form differently according to the species. In humans this becomes the ears and eustachian tubes.

Types

    Bright colored male with long tail feathers
    Bright colored male with long tail feathers

    The three subphylums for chordata are cephalochordata, urochordata and vertebrata. The subphylum for the bird of paradise is the vertabrata with the family Paradisaeidae. The distinguishing features include the endoskeleton, brain enclosed in the skull, kidney excretion, a ventral heart as part of a closed circulatory system, and genders of female and male. The bird of paradise is one member of this subphylum with 42 species, each of which are distinguishable by the bright colors, elongated plumage and fluffy ruffs. The most common birds of paradise include the king bird of paradise, the red bird of paradise, Wallace's standardwing, the raggiana bird of paradise, the black sicklebill, the greater bird of paradise, and the blue bird of paradise.

Identification

    Brightly colored male bird
    Brightly colored male bird

    It is the male bird of paradise that sports the bright plumage. This is his tool for attracting female birds of paradise. The females are a dull brown in color and are smaller than the male, looking like the nightingale bird. The king and ribbon bird of paradise males are known by the long ribbon like tail feathers. The king bird of paradise is distinguished by his bright red colors, while the ribbon male is also has a bright blue beak and is darkly colored. The bird of paradise is one of the more dramatically colored and elaborate birds of the bird kingdom.

The Facts

    The bird of paradise is found in the regions of New Guinea, the neighboring islands and northeastern Australia. The feathers are a prized possession used to make headdresses and clothing. The male enters into a dramatic courting ritual splaying his feathers in a fan like appearance, showing of his brilliant colors, dancing and seeking to attract a female. Upon mating with a female the male departs to court yet another female, leaving the female to build the nest and rear the young on her own. The chicks are independent by 1 month old, in some cases hanging out with mom for a couple more weeks before leaving the nest. The female matures by the age of 1 year and the male by 2, but will not obtain the bright colored plumage until 4 to 7 years old.

Fun Facts

    The largest bird of paradise is the black sicklebill measuring at 3.6 feet. The smallest is the king bird of paradise measuring at 5.9 inches. The heaviest bird of paradise is the curl crested manucode weighing in at 15.8 oz., with the king bird of paradise as the lightest weighing in at 1.8 oz. The San Diego Zoo records the longest life span at 30 years in the zoos, with no information about life span in the wild. The female lays one to two eggs, with three a rarity, incubation period is 14 to 20 days. The blue bird of paradise, Wahnes's parotia and MacGregor's bird of paradise are listed as vulnerable on the conservation listings.

A Baby Hummingbird's Diet

A Baby Hummingbird's Diet

Adult hummingbirds, as is common knowledge amongst bird lovers, feed on flower nectar. However, when they are first hatched, baby hummingbirds must be fed a special substance provided by their mothers, according to WorldofHummingbirds.com.

Baby Hummingbird Food

    Mother hummingbirds feed upon nectar and bugs, and then they regurgitate it into a slurry substance which the babies can digest. Feedings average every 20 minutes.

How They Are Fed

    When a mother lands in the nest, the babies will feel the wind from her wings and open their mouths. The mother then inserts her long beak into the babies mouths and drop bits of bugs and nectar inside with an up-and-down pumping motion.

Effect of Normal Nectar

    If a baby hummingbird is fed only regular nectar it will grow severely crippled or even die. There is not enough protein in the regular nectar.

When They Can Eat Normal Food

    When hummingbirds are about three weeks old they are big enough to start flying. At this point, the mother will accompany them for another couple days out of the nest and show them where to find the best nectar and bugs to eat. Then she will shoo them away to live permanently on their own.

Finding an Injured or Abandoned Baby Hummingbird

    Watch the nest for one hour to be sure the mother does not return. However, if the chick cheeps constantly for more than 10 minutes, the baby may be starving and need help right away. Injured babies also need immediate care. Turn the bird over to a local professional, such as a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian.

Temporary First-Aid Feeding

    WorldofHummingbirds.com states you can offer the baby a 4:1 solution of water and sugar for four hours, but no longer without possible crippling or death. Every 30 minutes carefully drop the sugar-water into its mouth--three drops for babies with no feathers and five drops for older chicks with feathers.

Guide to Meyer's Parrots

The Meyer's parrot is a common pet parrot. It is also known as the brown and Sudan brown parrot. It can live up to 25 years in captivity as well as in the wild in Africa. The parrot is considered a suitable pet because of its charming, playful and inquisitive nature.

Distribution and Habitat

    The Meyer's parrot is native to central and eastern Africa. In the wild, it prefers a moist woodland habitat. The edges of savannas are also where the parrot chooses to live. As a pet, you should provide an indoor or outdoor cage, ideally 40 inches long and 32 inches high. The parrot needs a play area and three different sized perches. Also, provide toys to keep the parrot entertained.

Subspecies

    Six subspecies of Meyer's parrot exist. They can be recognized by the coloring on their head and belly. The Poicephalus meyeri meyeri has yellow on its head and a turquoise/blue belly. The Poicephalus meyeri saturates has a yellow head and green belly. The Poicephalus meyeri trasvaalensis also has a yellow head as well as a greenish belly. The Poicephalus meyeri damarensis and Poicephalus meyeri reichenowi subspecies have a turquoise belly and no yellow on their head.

Length and Weight

    The parrot is a relatively small bird. An adult Meyer's parrot grows up to 8.2 inches. It can weight between 3.52 and 4.76 ounces.

Diet

    A wild Meyer's parrot eats nuts, berries, fruit, cultivated grain and seeds. As a pet, the parrot eats seed mixes that include canary seed, oats, groats, linseed and white millet. Other seed mixes to give the bird include sesame, safflower, anise and thistle. The parrot needs fresh foods to add variety to its diet. This can include sweet corn, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, bananas, apricots, eggplant and spinach leaves.

Call

    The parrot's call is a series of screech with brief pauses. In the wild, the bird in flight will duet with one another. A flock of parrots are heard by a chorus of excitement calls. A pet parrot will call by mimicking.

How to Take Care of Your Pet Umbrella Cockatoo

Umbrella cockatoos are known for their beautiful crest feathers, which take the shape of an umbrella as their name suggests, but there is so much more to this beautiful bird than most people think. These birds are playful, loving, affectionate, intelligent, friendly, active, and inquisitive, and can be trained to talk and perform a variety of tricks given enough patience. Because they are such social animals, potential owners are discouraged from buying an umbrella cockatoo unless they are willing to put in a lot of patience, time and attention into caring for these birds. Umbrella cockatoos live long --- up to 70 years --- which means that whoever wants to owns one must be ready for a lifelong commitment.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure the bird of your choice is not dependent on human attention before you bring it home. Although attachment could be enjoyable at first, an emotionally dependent cockatoo can become destructive even when it is left alone with toys and other distractions. Pick a bird that is happy playing in its cage without your presence.

    2

    Bring your cockatoo to an avian veterinarian for a checkup. It is important to know how healthy your bird is and what it might need before you take it home.

    3

    Purchase a small cage if your bird is young, which will keep it from learning to fly. As it gets older, make sure to pick a bird cage that is about 48 inches wide and 36 inches deep, or at least three wingspans in width. Buy the largest cage you can afford.

    4

    Place the bird cage at eye level in a room you frequently visit, preferably in a sunny spot.

    5

    Provide an assortment of toys and a variety of activities for your cockatoo, such as horizontal bars, parrot swings, fresh branches, link chains, ropes and wooden chewable toys. Because cockatoos like chewing and destroying their toys, buy as many toys as you can and rotate them to keep your cockatoo interested. Chewing on toys will make their beaks stay trim, and having concrete perches for your cockatoo will also help keep their nails short.

    6

    Make sure the steel dishes for food and water are locked at the side of the cage to prevent the bird from toppling them over and to keep droppings from contaminating its food and water. When your bird gets bored with its perches and toys, it might take to toppling over its dishes for something else to do.

    7

    Keep your bird's diet balanced and varied. Load up on fruits and vegetables (especially the dark green and orange ones), seeds, pellets and even table foods. Note that birds must not be fed caffeine, avocado, raw onion, chocolate, rhubarb and fatty processed meats. Avoid junk food and spinach (which hinders the absorption of calcium).

    8

    Clean and replenish water and food dishes, and wipe perches daily. Clean out bottom trays twice a week and wash the entire cage, perches and toys monthly. Disinfect twice a year or more as necessary.

    9

    Give your umbrella cockatoo a weekly bath using plain lukewarm water to wash out accumulated dust, which cockatoos naturally produce to help keep their skin and wings in top shape. Birds are generally very clean animals, so they don't really need baths. However, you may opt to do so.

    10

    Scratch gently, in the direction of its feathers, the top and back of its head, neck and other areas. When preening, your cockatoo will not be able to reach these areas, so a little help will be appreciated.

    11

    Allow your bird to fly freely whenever possible but supervise it, as cockatoos can chew and destroy anything that takes its interest.

Jumat, 29 Maret 2013

What if You Have to Move a Bird's Nest With Babies in It?

What if You Have to Move a Bird's Nest With Babies in It?

Some people are lucky enough to have wild birds nesting nearby their homes. It means that the birds feel safe enough to raise their babies in that particular location. If you happen to be painting your home or planning heavy construction and need to move a bird's nest with babies in it, think again before touching it.

Nests

    Different species of birds create different kinds of nests. According to the St. Louis Wild Bird Center, woodpeckers and owls use tree cavities or poke holes into structures for nests. Robins use twigs and other debris in trees and other birds burrow nest tunnels in mud. Building nests is instinctive to birds, and it has been found that birds kept in captivity still build nests. The nest houses the bird's eggs which hatch into babies.

Babies

    Most birds do not begin sitting on their eggs for incubation until all the eggs have been laid. Different species have varying incubation times. Incubation is the time when birds sit on their eggs to maintain their temperature for hatching. According to Cornell University, Canadian geese incubate their eggs for 25 to 28 days, while blue jays sit on their eggs for 17 to 18 days. Once they are hatched, the babies need to be fed and taken care of by their parents. The babies are then fledged at varying times. This is when the babies learn to become independent and fly or swim on their own.

Moving

    If you find a nest near your home in a tree or inside the eaves of your house, it is best not to have any contact with the nest. According to Cornell University, moving a nest risks the babies' lives. The parents may reject the nest if it is moved and the babies will become orphaned. In addition, birds are particularly sensitive during breeding season and parents may become aggressive to anything they think are predators towards their young.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act

    Depending on the species, it may be illegal to touch or move a wild bird's nest. According to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 by the U.S. government, carrying or moving any wild migratory bird's nest is a federal offense. By moving a nest, you are interrupting migratory patterns of the bird. Possession of a wild bird or its nest and eggs is against the law. The fines are up to $200,000 with possible jail time. If you must work on your home, it is best to wait a few weeks for the babies to become fully fledged. The parents and their young will no longer need the nest. You will be protecting a wild bird family and preventing yourself from going to jail.

How to Introduce Quaker Parrots

Quaker parrots are small hardy parrots that do well alone, but which may be kept in company. While they should not be kept with smaller birds, which they are inclined to bully, they maybe kept with other Quaker parrots and birds of a similar size so long as there are no personality conflicts. Some Quaker parrots will never take to other birds no matter how they are introduced, while other birds are much more social. Use the same process whether you are introducing Quaker parrots to members of their own species or to other birds.

Instructions

    1

    House the two birds in separate cages.

    2

    Place the cages close to each other, but with at least 4 or 5 inches separating them. The key is to get the birds used to each other without allowing the Quaker parrot to reach over and bite the other bird's feet, which is common bullying behavior.

    3

    Watch for parallel behavior, where the birds start eating, sleeping, and playing at the same time. This shows that they are beginning to bond and become used to each other.

    4

    Bring the birds together outside of the cage when you have observed two to three days of the parallel behavior.

    5

    Observe how the birds behave. If they show agitation, put them back in their cages for a few days before trying again. The bonding process can take anywhere from three or four weeks up to six months, depending on the birds. When the birds preen each other and seem comfortable together, house them together in the same cage.

Fruit Eating Birds in the Rain Forest

Fruit Eating Birds in the Rain Forest

Covering more than 1 billion acres, the Amazon rain forest is home to exotic bird species. Some rain forest birds eat seeds and nuts while others dine on wild fruits growing in the rain forest canopy. The rain forest is also home to more than 5 million species of plants, insects and animals. About 200,000 indigenous Indians live in the rain forest. Rain forest protection efforts help preserve endangered bird species.

Blue and Gold Macaw

    The blue and gold macaw has a gold underbelly and turquoise or blue wings and back. Gold hues range from bright orange to deep yellow. In the wild, the blue and gold macaw eats fresh fruits, seeds and nuts. These large rain forest birds reach 34 inches in length and weigh up to 3 lbs.

Moluccan Cockatoo

    The moluccan cockatoo or salmon-crested cockatoo is white with splashes of salmon coloring. The head is commonly streaked with salmon, but some birds have salmon feathers on the body and underbelly. These birds eat seeds, nuts, fruits and coconut. Moluccan cockatoos reach 20 inches in length and up to 2.25 lbs.

Congo African Grey Parrot

    The Congo African grey parrot is gray with a mask of white around the eyes. Tail feathers may be tinted with red or dark pink. If fed and cared for properly, Congo African grey parrots live more than 70 years and reach up to 13 inches in length. Their diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruits and snails.

Purple Honeycreeper

    The honeycreeper is a rain forest bird with two color varieties. Males are deep blue or dark purple with black streaks on their wings. Females are green with patches of red, yellow and blue. Adult birds grow to a maximum size of 4.5 inches tall and less than 1/2 oz. in weight. Honeycreepers dine on nectar, insects and berries.

Toucan

    Toucans have large, colorful beaks. Bird size differs between toucan species. Some grow to about 12 inches in height and less than 5 oz. in weight. Others grow to be nearly 30 inches tall and weigh 1.5 lbs. Serrated ridges on the bill help toucans break through tough fruit skins. While toucans eat mostly fruits, they may occasionally eat lizards.

Rainbow Lorikeet

    The rainbow lorikeet's feathers are green, yellow, red, blue and orange. Specific coloring patterns differ, but typical varieties have a red breast, blue head and green back feathers. Birds reach 12 inches in length and weight up to 5.5 oz. Rainbow lorikeets prefer a sweet diet of nectar and fruits.

How to Tell the Differences Between a Girl & Boy Bird

How to Tell the Differences Between a Girl & Boy Bird

Unlike many other animals, birds do not often have characteristics to distinguish between the genders, such as genitalia with cats and dogs. With birds, you will have to pay close attention to other characteristics or have a laboratory run tests to determine which gender they are. This information is pertinent when you want to mate two birds or are just curious about birds you have as pets or that frequently visit your yard.

Instructions

    1

    Look at the coloring and style of the plumage. Certain birds such as cardinals and parrots are dimorphic: meaning they have physical characteristics that help you determine their gender. Male dimorphic birds tend to have brighter and bolder plumage, which stands out from his female counterpart.

    2

    Pay attention to the bird's behavioral patterns. Some birds will behave in a certain way to hint at its gender. Male birds will sing and dance in front of his mate. Male birds also tend to be more aggressive than female birds. A female bird is more likely to take over the nesting.

    3

    Research the bird in question to find out its breed and go from there. Certain birds provide characteristics similar to male or female birds. This will include finding out if the bird is dimorphic or monomorphic, where they do not show traits that prove its gender. For instance, the male cockatoo is often larger than the female cockatoo.

    4

    Have testing done on the birds to determine the gender. Laboratory testing includes having a chromosomal analysis done, hormonal testing or DNA testing.

Kamis, 28 Maret 2013

How to Raise Ducks for Release and Migration

How to Raise Ducks for Release and Migration

The rearing and releasing of wild ducks is not only exciting, but also a positive conservation exercise. Select species of wild ducks migrate, and this must be taken into consideration during the rearing period. Hand-reared ducks that are released must be disease-free and must not be imprinted on humans. Ducks learn how to behave by associating with other ducks, and those that are reared for release should be kept in small groups.

Instructions

    1

    Place very young ducklings in a large cardboard box lined with newspaper and suspend a lamp above the box for warmth. Ensure that the ducklings can move away from the heat, if they choose to.

    2

    Place water in a low pie tin in a corner of the box and a game bird or chick feed into a separate low dish.

    3

    Transfer the ducklings to a secure small enclosure after a week. Ensure that they have a sheltered box for warmth and ensure that domestic and wild animals cannot gain entry to the covered enclosure. Offer a game bird pellet feed at this stage.

    4

    Interact with the young ducks as little as possible. Once released, these ducks need to be wary of people and should not approach them.

    5

    Attempt to raise a number of young ducks together, so they can interact with each other and learn appropriate duck behavior.

    6

    Wait until the young ducks have grown their first adult plumage before preparing them for release.

    7

    Transfer the ducks to a large pond in a high, covered outdoor enclosure for at least two weeks prior to release. The large area will afford the ducks more exercise and acclimatize them to the surrounding environmental conditions. This is particularly important for migratory species.

    8

    Ensure that the ducks have sufficient body weight to sustain migration and that they are capable of sustained flight. The advantage of a large and high covered enclosure is evident at this point of the rearing.

    9

    Ask your veterinarian to carry out a thorough health check on all the ducks that are to be released. This is to ensure that they are not carrying pathogens or disease-producing organisms that they acquired from domestic or wild waterfowl while they were been reared. Pathogens must not be introduced into wild waterfowl populations or into the environment.

    10

    Check both state and federal regulations prior to releasing the ducks. Contact your local game and fish department to obtain permits to release the ducks. Ask if the ducks should have identification rings placed on their legs and obtain the contact details of an appropriate bird ringer, should this be required. Arrange for the person to ring the ducks.

    11

    Spray the ducks with water just prior to release to encourage a final preening session. This will ensure that their plumage is in the best possible condition for release and the start of migration, if necessary.

    12

    Wait for fine weather before releasing the ducks, at a site that is free of disturbances, particularly those caused by human activity.

    13

    Release the ducks early in the morning, so that they have the entire day in which to acclimatize to the surroundings and find a suitable roosting site. Observe the ducks for as long as possible if they do not fly away immediately.

    14

    Perform a "soft release" by placing food in the vicinity of the release site. Supplementary feeding is important for hand-reared ducks that are to be released.

What to Do If Your Bird Flies Away Outside

What to Do If Your Bird Flies Away Outside

One mistake, that's all it takes, and your beloved bird flies outside. If only you had remembered to shut the other window. Parrots, budgerigars, cockatoos and other domestic birds investigate open windows, even if they would prefer to stay at home. You need to retrieve your bird as quickly as possible, before it becomes prey for the pet cats or flies so far away that it's lost.

Escape

    Search immediately. The quicker you search the less distance the bird will have covered. It may have flown no farther than a tree in your garden. Look up at the trees, it might be perching high up in the top. Think about the color of your bird and look for it. The bird might be making no sound, for fear of the strange environment it's in. Put the bird cage outside with some of his favorite treats in it. Your bird might spot the cage and return home without the need for capturing it. Throw birdseed on your roof and around your house to attract the bird. Listen for your bird calling. Call out to it; it may respond to your voice and call back. Keep up the search around dawn and dusk, because this is when most birds, particularly cockatoos, are out looking for food.

Capture

    Get a ladder if you see your bird in a tree. Move slowly and talk calmly, so that it knows who you are and that you are not a predator. If you do not have a ladder or wish to climb one, ask a neighbor to help. Otherwise most fire departments are able to assist you. Use a pillow case to throw over the bird. Have the bird cage or a box handy to put the bird into.

Creating Awareness

    Head out with copies of your bird's picture and an audio recording of its call. If you still cannot find your bird, create awareness of it in the local area and if possible, beyond. Ask friends and neighbors to help you. Put your contact information and a photo of your bird on posters, and post them around the neighborhood.

Prevention

    Lock all the windows and doors in the house to prevent escape if you are letting your bird out of its cage. Locking the doors will stop someone from walking in and accidentally letting the bird out. Having the bird's wings clipped is supposed to prevent it from flying; however, this is not always successful and the bird may surprise you by taking off. Microchip the bird. This is done by your veterinarian and will identify your pet and be traced to you if it's found and taken to a vet.

Preparation

    Take a picture of your bird and keep it handy. Should your bird fly away, you have a picture ready to show residents nearby, who may have seen the bird. Keep a map of your local area in your house. If your bird escapes you need to navigate the area to search for him. Make a recording of your bird's chirping and singing. You can play it to nearby residents and ask them to contact you should they hear a similar bird call. Keep binoculars in the house to spot your bird.

How to Raise Diamond Dove Chicks

Diamond doves are small, bluish-gray, long-tailed birds distinguished by the deep crimson skin around their eyes. The diamond dove is one of the smallest of the Australian doves, about 8 inches in length and weighing only an ounce. Although they are delicate in appearance, diamond doves are actually hardy birds, and easy to breed and raise. The diamond dove chicks will be largely taken care of by the parents, all you need to do is provide a nest box, adequate nesting materials, food, grit and water. You should have baby bird formula handy in case of an emergency where you might need to hand-feed a baby.

Instructions

    1

    House a breeding pair of diamond doves in a cage or aviary that provides them at least 4 feet of space to fly from perch to perch.

    2

    Hang a nest box or plastic berry container from an L-shaped bracket in the cage or aviary. Diamond doves will nest in almost anything, even their feed dishes if a nest box isn't provided. The bracket should hold the nest box at least 4 inches from the cage wall to protect the birds' tails. Hang the nest as high up as possible and place it behind a branch or in a secluded spot in the cage or aviary. Placing the nesting site out of sight will encourage birds to use it.

    3

    Line the nest box with dried grass hay. Nesting material should almost completely fill the box. Leave nesting material on the floor of the cage as well. After the chicks hatch, the parents will cover fouled nesting material with fresh.

    4

    Feed breeding diamond doves dove or finch seed mix. Diamond doves also need to have grit at all times and appreciate fresh romaine lettuce to supplement the seed diet. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times.

    5

    Watch for an egg to appear in the nest box. The female diamond dove will lay one egg and the adult birds will cover the egg from the start, but not sit on it tightly until a second egg is laid two days later so that both eggs will hatch at the same time. Both the male and female birds will probably share time sitting on the eggs, which should hatch after about 12 days.

    6

    Leave the nesting birds alone as much as possible. Diamond doves are dedicated to the care of their chicks and because of their fidelity to babies are often used by dove breeders as foster parents to other species of dove chicks that are abandoned by their parents. Never lift a dove to look into the nest; the bird could be startled and accidently hurt the baby chicks under it. Chicks will be ready to leave the nest in about two weeks.

How to Clean Out a Duck's Nasal Passage

How to Clean Out a Duck's Nasal Passage

A duck's nasal passages or sinuses can become blocked due to respiratory problems or chronic sinusitis. Under these conditions, mucus, dust and detritus may block the nostrils. Duck owners can flush blocked nostrils with warm saline, but must make sure that the fluid is not administered with force or it could find its way into the bird's lungs and cause pneumonia. It is also possible to place a duck into a special container and treat it with a nebulizer, which requires less restraint of the creature and less skill on the part of the owner.

Instructions

    1

    Restrain the duck by placing a towel over its body. Allow the duck's head and neck to protrude from the towel and request that an assistant hold the duck for you. Ask the assistant to restrain the bird's neck as well.

    2

    Remove any hard, encrusting material with a needle. Ensure that you restrain the duck correctly so the needle does not injure the bird. Wipe its bill with a clean, damp cloth.

    3

    Draw 6 cc saline solution per 10 oz. body weight into a syringe. Place the syringe in a cup of hot water. Remove the syringe after a minute and place a drop on your upturned wrist to gauge the temperature. The saline solution is at body temperature if you cannot feel it on your wrist.

    4

    Press the syringe against the nostril on the duck's right side and gently depress the plunger. Do not squirt in the saline solution with force.

    5

    Tilt the duck's head slightly downward and wait until the saline flows from its nostril. Repeat the procedure on the duck's left side.

    6

    Ask your veterinarian to flush out the nasal passages if you do not feel comfortable performing the procedure. The veterinarian may need to anesthetize the duck if it struggles too violently.

    7

    Nebulize the duck as an alternative to the nasal flush, or in addition to the nasal flush. Place the duck in a purpose-constructed nebulizer container and fill the nebulizer with saline solution. Plug the nebulizer unit into a power source and turn it on.

How to Get Rid of Birds in Building

Bird, especially pigeons, have adapted well to human urban lifestyles. As a consequence, birds have made their nests in public buildings and apartments, producing potential health hazards such as bacteria from bird droppings or bird carcasses. These birds can also create a fire hazard if they hole themselves up in the chimney with their flammable nests.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the areas the birds have been living in. If there is a nest, make sure there is nothing in it--it is against the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to move a nest with eggs in it--and that the mother bird is not sitting there with her young; you may get pecked in the face if you try to move the nest where the mother is.

    Place the nest somewhere outside instead of destroying it. Wear gloves for your own protection, and wash your hands after taking them off. Dispose of them immediately. Birds nests carry things like mites and dangerous bacteria. If you don't feel comfortable handling the bird nest, call your local pest control.

    2

    Make an appointment with local pest control to clean out the area where birds have made their nests. It is a serious health hazard to handle bird excrement and carcasses, so it is best left to professionals. Try scheduling the cleanup at a time during non-work hours, such as after 5 p.m. or on the weekend.

    3

    Seal off any points of entry the birds could come in through. This includes windows and vents. Birds can fit through holes the size of a golf ball, so you need to seal thoroughly.

    4

    Place small bird traps in areas the birds frequent. These are available for purchase at most hardware supply stores. You can also call your local wildlife refuge for further assistance on purchasing one specific to your needs. Take the bird outside and let it fly once you've caught it.

    5

    Set up bird spikes on windows if you'd like to sometimes keep your windows open but want to avoid their entry. These can be purchased at most hardware supply stores. Follow the instructions for your specific window sill.

How to Make a Pigeon Magnet

How to Make a Pigeon Magnet

A pigeon magnet is a revolving motorized device with plastic pigeon decoys, used to make hunting easier. The real animals see the fake pigeons and gravitate towards the area where the hunter is hiding out. Buying a pigeon magnet can be quite expensive. Therefore, don't be intimidated to try to build your own. Follow these steps and tap into the online community of hunters at the links below, who could lend you support in the process.

Instructions

How to Make Your Pigeon Magnet

    1

    Put on your welding mask and gloves and get your welding torch. Take the two metal bars that are to be used as arms of the pigeon magnet and affix to the motor. Use a fillet joint, which attaches two items together by beading around the area where they meet. For more information on weld beading see the resource below.

    2

    Tie the plastic pigeon decoys to each of the two metal arms and test in a place that they could revolve to its full extension without hitting anything.

    3

    Cover the motor and battery with a piece of tarp for weather proofing.

Common Sparrows to Texas

Common Sparrows to Texas

There are many species of sparrow throughout the world, and several common to Texas. These birds have powerful beaks, and their diet consists of seeds, small invertebrates and crumbs. Sparrows feed and fly in small flocks and nest closely to one another. They commonly build their nests under roofs and bridges or in tree hollows. When predators chase a sparrow, they can swim to escape the danger.

Chipping Sparrow

    The chipping sparrow has a bright cap on its head that makes it easy to identify as an adult. The bird sings loudly, and likes to dwell in trees and grassy openings. The chipping sparrow has a smaller bill than most sparrow species, and is slender with a long tail. These sparrows also have a pale face, black line through each eye and a frosty colored underside. You will often see these sparrows feeding on the ground, or singing while on the top of evergreen trees.

Olive Sparrow

    The olive sparrow is in the Emberizidae family, and is also referred to as the green finch or Texas sparrow. The sparrow is 5 1/2 to 6 inches long and has an olive colored back, a brown streak in its eyes, white belly feathers, a striped crown and a buff breast. The olive sparrow does not migrate, and lives in thickets, chaparral and undergrowth near forests. When the male bird sings, it does not sound very musical.

Savannah Sparrow

    The Savannah sparrow is in the Passerculus family, and has a larger bill than most sparrows. The sparrow has dark streaks on its back, a white underside, a black breast and a white crown with stripes on it. The Savannah sparrow has several subspecies, identified by different darkness levels of the plumage. The birds dwell on low ground or in bushes, and have a diet of seeds and insects. When breeding, the sparrows stay together in family groups or in pairs. In winter, they flock together and migrate.

House Sparrow

    The house sparrow is very widespread and abundant throughout the world, and is common in Texas. On average, the bird's wingspan is 6 inches, its length 9 inches and it weighs 1 oz. This species of sparrow usually stays in a small area throughout its life, and only flies to find a place to feed. The house sparrow is territorial in defending its surroundings, and lays eggs during spring and summer months.

Rabu, 27 Maret 2013

How to Take Care of a Mourning Dove

How to Take Care of a Mourning Dove

Mourning doves can fly as fast as 40 miles per hour. They are game birds and allowed to be hunted in some states such as Georgia. They multiply quickly as mourning doves mate throughout the year. They adapted easily to the changes in agriculture, making them one of the most commonly seen birds in residential areas. As pets, mourning doves are independent and don't require much contact. In caring for these birds, they need a large, clean area, warm temperatures, and a good diet for a healthy life.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase an aviary for the mourning doves. Aviaries are large cages that are also known as flight cages, allowing the bird space to fly. Place the aviary where there is no extreme temperature fluctuations. Keep plants near the cage to help the doves feel they are in a natural environment.

    2

    Place three to four perches at different levels inside the cage for the birds to sit upon along with two water and food bowls each. Since mourning doves are ground feeders, place the food and water bowls on the bottom of cage. The food and water bowls need to be checked three to four times a day to make sure that they are not spilled or have feces in them.

    3

    Feed the birds daily. Mourning doves eat mostly seeds and grain. Feed finch food daily and add thinly sliced fruits and vegetables, including carrots and apples, in their food bowl two to three times a week.

    4

    Provide the mourning doves with a nesting box. If you have a male and female dove together, a nesting box is necessary as they can mate up to six times a year. The box will need to be at least 7 by 8 inches with some leaves and twigs inside. Mourning doves have clutches of up to two eggs, and both male and female take turns incubating the eggs.

    5

    Have a professional clip the mourning doves' wings if you are not certain on how to do it. It is important to have the wings clipped if you plan to keep them as pets to prevent the mourning doves from flying high and fast in case they do get out of their cage.

How to Train Pigeons for a New Owner

How to Train Pigeons for a New Owner

People have kept and trained pigeons since ancient Egyptian times. Whether you want to keep pigeons to compete in races and deliver messages, or you simply want to raise beautiful birds, pigeon keeping proves a rewarding hobby. However, a new owner may find it challenging to re-train pigeons, as pigeons might instinctively want to return to their original home. But if you are prepared to invest time and commitment, you can help the pigeons to feel safe and at home with their new owner.

Instructions

Training

    1
    Picking up pigeons helps form a relationship.
    Picking up pigeons helps form a relationship.

    Pick up and interact with your new pigeons. Do not make any sudden movements, but move slowly and deliberately, and feed them by hand. They should be tame enough so that they know and trust you, and you can pick them up at any time. A pigeon from a previous owner may be wary of a stranger at first, but with time the new owner can develop a relationship with them.

    2

    Keep the pigeons in their new loft and do not let them out for at least two months, or they will fly back to their original owners. Provide them with food and water, and visit them at least once a day.

    3
    A piegon must be familiar with the new owner's buildings.
    A piegon must be familiar with the new owner's buildings.

    Place the pigeons on top of their loft roof every few days. They will fly around a little, but will return if you leave some food or shake some grain.

    4

    Wait three to four months before placing the bird in a pigeon basket (available from pet stores) with food and water. Familiarize them with the basket by keeping them in it for a few hours, and then overnight a few times before you are ready for their first flight. It is not a good idea to use their original basket, as it might confuse them, leading them to fly to their previous owner once released.

    5
    Pigeons can easily fly 500 miles home.
    Pigeons can easily fly 500 miles home.

    Drive with your pigeon basket about one mile away from their home, and let them go. The pigeon will fly back to your loft. Gradually build up the flying distances every few days until they can cover 70 or 80 miles and can find their way back to the new owner's home. If you continue building their stamina, a typical pigeon will be comfortable flying distances of around 500 miles.

Why Do Parakeets Screech at Each Other?

Why Do Parakeets Screech at Each Other?

Parakeets are one of the quieter types of parrot, and most of their vocalizations are specifically to communicate something. Parakeets are fearful of being alone because in the wild it means they have lost their flock. If your parakeet is alone and begins to screech, it may just need some attention. If you have two or more parakeets screeching at each other, they may have something else they wish to communicate.

Keeping Track of Each Other

    In the wild, parakeets and other parrot species keep track of their companions by screeching. Sometimes they screech to make contact in the morning, as a signal that it is safe to go to sleep at night and periodically throughout the day to check on others in the group. They continue this behavior in captivity, even if there is only one other bird in the cage with them.

Getting Attention

    Parakeets are social animals, and in the wild, they live in flocks of hundreds or thousands. Often, parakeets screech or make other vocalizations to get your attention or the attention of their companions. It can be difficult to tell if the parakeet is screeching for more attention or to be left alone. If the behavior is accompanied by pecking, they may want to be left alone.

Mating Behavior

    Parakeets use their courtship rituals for more than finding a mate. They also court friends and even their owners. Vocalizations such as screeching are part of this courtship ritual. Other courtship behavior includes regurgitating food to the loved one, kissing behavior, preening each other and singing to each other.

Alerting Each Other of a Potential Threat

    In flocks, the parakeets watch out for each other and screech to alert others of a possible danger. They continue this behavior in captivity, and sometimes screech if they sense a threat. Keeping the environment calm is one way to prevent this. Introduce new things slowly. Parakeets love music, but use calm, soothing music rather than a heavy beat that may stress the birds. Keep other pets, such as cats, away from the birds and teach children to be calm and gentle around the parakeets.

Stress

    Loneliness, boredom and change can stress parakeets. The signs of a parakeet under stress include screaming, diarrhea, faster than normal breathing and shaking. Sometimes parakeets under stress pull their feathers out, stop eating and sleeping normally and become aggressive. To reduce your parakeet's stress, spend more time with it, keep the environment interesting but not too busy or noisy and introduce new things slowly to allow the bird time to adjust to change.

Immitation

    Not all parakeets can learn to talk, but some do. They also learn to mimic other noises they hear regularly, such as phones or doorbells ringing. Some of their screeching sounds are mimicking other birds with them in the cage or outdoors.

Desiring Alone Time

    Just as humans, parakeets sometimes just want to be left alone. If another parakeet wants to snuggle or play, the bird wanting to be alone might screech, peck or show other signs of annoyance. There is no need for humans to intervene, the birds are able to work these situations out naturally on their own.

Establishing a Pecking Order

    When a new parakeet is introduced to the environment, the birds establish a pecking order. They vocalize and literally peck each other until their hierarchy is determined. Soon, the birds establish their social status within the flock and a normal pattern of behavior resumes. The birds need to work this out for themselves, and do not need help from humans. It is a completely natural process.

How to Create a Duck Habitat

How to Create a Duck Habitat

An ideal duck habitat will provide the quackers with a safe stopover location while migrating or provide nesting opportunities for pairs that wish to reside in the area during the spring and summer. Consider constructing a habitat using a pond of at least one acre. The pond should have plenty of vegetation and, preferably, two or three small islands to serve as nesting locations for ducks. Some species, such as wood ducks, will use man-made boxes for their nests. The pond should have areas of shallow water no deeper than 2-and-1/2 feet.

Instructions

    1

    Slope one or more sides of the pond, to a grade of no steeper than 20 percent, so the ducks can easily traverse them.

    2

    Plant Japanese millet in the mud flats around the pond to provide food. Buckwheat, white proso millet, and sorghum also provide a valuable food source. Plant in the early spring or fall. When plants are mature, consider allowing the pond to flood in order to disperse the seeds.

    3

    Encourage or plant aquatic vegetation, such as duckweed, wild rice, pond weed and water lilies to provide food for the ducks.

    4

    Place floating logs in the pond for the ducks to clamber on. The ducks also appreciate rock piles, where they can climb to sun themselves.

    5

    Plant sweetgum, oak, and maples around the perimeter of the pond. Foraging wood ducks often leave the water to feed on acorns, nuts, and seeds.

    6

    Place one or two wood duck nest boxes around the perimeter of the pond. Locate the boxes approximately 25 feet above the ground and 30 feet from the shoreline, or three to four feet above the water's surface near the pond's perimeter. Make sure each box has a predator guard installed. If they do not, wrap sheet metal around the pole of the nest box to discourage raccoons and other predators from climbing the pole to raid the nest.

    7

    Line the nest box with clean sawdust or straw. Provide at least a three-inch layer.

    8

    Maintain the natural foliage and aquatic plants around the pond's perimeter at a height of at least one foot to provide nesting shelter and protection.

Selasa, 26 Maret 2013

Different Kinds of Love Birds

Different Kinds of Love Birds

Lovebirds are small parrots originating in Africa and Madagascar. Scientifically their genus is known as Agapornis, and there are nine different species. They make suitable house pets and can live with children and other pets easily. They are generally healthy, but prefer to have the company of another lovebird of the opposite sex for companionship if they don't receive a lot of human interaction. Lovebirds were given their name for their tendency to groom and cuddle with their partners. They can sometimes be vocal, but they don't produce excessive volume when chirping, so they function well in apartment environments.

Peachfaced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)

    These lovebirds are the most common species. They have been renowned for their vibrant color variations, and they are the heaviest on average among the other species. They are also the most widely kept in captivity. Breeders have created several mutations of the species including Pastel blue, yellow, Lutino and Pied. Males and females display the same colors, although the females are paler in comparison. These lovebirds have a lively, engaging personality and they can become very bonded to humans through hand-raising practices.

Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata)

    These lovebirds are the second most popular in captivity. The main color of their plumage is green and they have dark brown heads with bright yellow collars. The breast and throat are marked with yellow and orange coloring. The tail feathers are a striking blue and the beak is red. They are intelligent and playful creatures who require a great deal of attention. Females are larger than the males, and the species is characterized by the white rims they all have around the eyes. The most common mutations of the breed are the Blue Masked Lovebird and the Green Masked Lovebird.

Abyssinian Lovebird (Agapornis taranta)

    These lovebirds are considered one of the rarer species. They come from mountainous regions in Ethiopia and therefore are more tolerant of cooler temperatures than other species. They are also known for being a quieter variety of lovebird. Females are completely green while males have brown and black outer feathers and bright red feathers on their foreheads. They require more room when kept in a cage than other species, and are not as social with humans.

Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis personata fischeri)

    This species is extremely affectionate and generally responds successfully to hand raising. With vivid coloring that has every shade of the rainbow, these birds are extremely enjoyable to watch and interact with on a daily basis. Various mutations include the Dilute Yellow or Dilute Blue, Black or Dark eyed White, Pied, Lutino, Albino, and Cinnamon. These lovebirds are one of the four "eye-ringed" species that have the white rings around their eyes, and they are excellent breeders.

Madagascar Lovebird (Agapornis cana)

    These lovebirds are native to Madagascar and are generally not seen in captivity due to harsh export regulations of wildlife. They are the smallest species of lovebirds and have pale grey and green coloration. Most of the birds that are in captivity reside in zoos and are therefore more suited to living in an aviary setting as opposed to being kept as a pet. Only the most qualified breeders are recommended to handle this bird as they are very rare, therefore breeding is a delicate process that is vital to the continued survival of the species.

Nyasa Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae)

    This species can only be found in Liwonde National Park which is located in Malawi, Africa. There has been little research on this species available, as the population is so isolated. However their coloration is known and it ranges from a bright red beak down into orange and yellow plumage ending in a light green color on the tail feathers. They are also members of the "eye-ringed" category. Obviously these birds are not available as pets, and breeders struggle to acquire them as well. Unfortunately the population of the species is dwindling, as breeding attempts are unsuccessful in most cases and their natural habitat is being destroyed by humans. Poachers have also been spreading poison throughout their natural environment in an effort focused at larger game, but the lovebirds are equally susceptible to the toxins in their surroundings.

Swindern's Lovebird (Agapornis swinderniana)

    This bird was named after Professor Theodore van Swinderen of Groningen University after being discovered in 1820 by Heinrich Kuhl. The sexes and different age groups of this species generally look the same, they have green plumage with a half-collar at the neckline, giving them the nickname black-collared lovebirds.They also have reddish orange fading on the breast and throat. This species is the most fragile, and has not been successfully kept in captivity. Strict diets must be upheld for the species survival; and without the native plants to provide adequate nutrition to the flock the birds only survive for a few days.

Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)

    This lovebird is considered to be the rarest and most endangered species of lovebird. Another member of the "eye-ringed" group, this bird has predominant red and orange coloration in comparison with the other species highlighted in an apricot shade on the breast. They have darker coloration around the cheeks and their beaks are usually bright red. They reside mainly in Zaire, and breeding efforts are in place to help restore the population.

Red-faced Lovebird (Agapornis pullaria)

    This bird has a bright green plumage with a characteristic orange-red face. Females display less vibrant shades than the males. The species is spread over a wide region of Africa and has been known to possess some of the most peculiar habits of any species witnessed in captivity. They prefer to nest underground and occasionally enjoy sleeping upside down. Although their population maintains acceptable numbers, they are generally not available for purchase. Export laws prevent many of this species from leaving the African continent and therefore there aren't many Red-faced lovebirds in captivity.

How to Use the Widowhood System to Train Homing Pigeons

Homing pigeons are fun to care for and racing them is a very popular hobby. One of the things you have to do if you're going to race your homing pigeons is train them to come back home fast. One very successful technique is the widowhood system.

Instructions

    1

    Have your male homing pigeons (called cocks) raise one to two youngsters. Have your cock raise them until they're about 12 days old. Remove one youngster. Wait until the other is about 24 days old and then remove that one as well into an area for young pigeons.

    2

    Let your cocks sit on the next set of eggs for about 10 to 12 days. Some experts suggest 7 to 8; it all depends on what works for you and the health of your birds.

    3

    Send your cocks on their way with a training toss. Literaly toss your cocks into the sky for training; don't do this if you don't know what you're doing. Leave the hens in the nest.

    4

    Wait for the cocks to come back to their nest.

    5

    Let the cocks back out again and remove the hens, nest and eggs. Clean the area thoroughly and let the cocks back into the loft. Some experts suggest turning the nest bowl over.

How to Identify Baby Wild Birds

How to Identify Baby Wild Birds

A bird's egg will hatch about 14 days after it is laid. Depending on the type of bird it is will determine when the baby bird goes through nestling and fledgling stages before becoming an adult. For example, a baby robin is a nestling up to 14 days after hatching and becomes a fledgling for another 16 days. Nestling birds are very small, rely on their parents to give them warmth and have little to no feathers. Fledgling birds still rely on their parents for food, but do not need them for warmth. They have most of their feathers and are learning to fly. Nestling and fledgling wild baby birds may be seen on the ground. Following the nestling and fledgling stages, a bird becomes an adult and is able to care for themselves. The robin, for example, becomes an adult at 30 days.

Instructions

    1

    Look for location of a nest. Wild baby birds live in nests. Depending on the kind of bird will determine where the nest is placed. Not all wild birds make their nests in trees or in openings to houses and buildings. For example, some birds are ground-nesters such as ducks and quail, making their nests on the ground. From the time the bird eggs hatch until they become fledglings, the bird will remain in the nest. Robins leave the nest at 14 days, while blue jays depart the nest by 21 days old.

    2

    Analyze the appearance of the wild baby bird. The baby bird's bill is larger than its head since it is not fully developed. Nestlings lack feathers whereas fledglings have most of their feathers. The eyes are large and bulgy. Depending on the type of bird will determine the age at which the bird will mature. For example, by 30 days old, a pigeon will have most of its hair while it's still a fledgling, learning to forage and fly. It takes cardinals up to 12 days to mature, gain feathers, forage and learn to fly. Ground-nesters are born with most of their feathers and have a fully developed head.

    3

    Listen for a squawking wild baby bird. You may hear an alarming short chirp (particularly heard in nestlings) or a loud sharp chirp as they call for their parents. Fledglings may be seen walking and hopping around the bottom of the tree where their nests are located. One of the parent birds will feed the baby bird even though it is not in the nest. The fledgling may be learning how to fly and is taking a rest. A nestling could be seen at the bottom of the tree as well if they were kicked out of their nest or blown out. The nestling will need to be placed back into its nest for it to survive. Ground-nesters could be seen walking near their nests which is usually placed near shrubbery and water.

Native Habitat of the Flamingo Bird

Native Habitat of the Flamingo Bird

There are six different species of flamingos, all of which are immediately identifiable by their body shape and pink feathers, which range from pale to deep pink. All species of flamingos have long necks and long legs. Flamingos thrive in tropical and subtropical climates all over the world. They inhabit shallow salt lakes or lagoons where they feed on a variety of aquatic species such as shrimp, brine flies, diatoms, copepods and algae. Flamingos are social animals that live in colonies and form bond pairs. They are monogamous and mate for life.

Chilean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus chilensis

    The Chilean flamingo is a large species of flamingo that is closely related to the Caribbean and greater flamingo. It is commonly found in central Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia and southern Brazil. They have even been reported as far away as the Falkland Islands and Ecuador. Distribution relies on climate, as they will migrate to warmer climates when winter sets in.

Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber roseus

    The greater flamingo is the most widespread of the flamingo species, with some members reaching 5 feet in height. the largest species of flamingo, with an average height of between 43 and It is found in all parts of Africa, southern Asia along coastal regions of Pakistan and India and in southern Europe. In Europe it is found in Spain, Sardinia, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and the Camargue region of France.

Caribbean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber ruber

    The Caribbean flamingo is sometimes also known as the American flamingo. It is slightly smaller than the greater flamingo. It is also the only flamingo that inhabits North America. It breeds in the Galapagos Islands, along the coast of Columbia, in Venezuela and its nearby islands. The Caribbean flamingo can also be found in the Guyanas and Cape Orange in Brazil. Other breeding grounds include the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the northern Caribbean islands of the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba and the Turks and Caicos. Some Caribbean flamingos have been spotted as far north as the Florida everglades.

Lesser Flamingo, Phoenicopterus minor

    The lesser flamingo is the smallest of the flamingo species, rarely reaching over 3 feet in height. It is also the most numerous. The lesser flamingo is found in Africa, mainly in the Great Rift Valley, and also in southern Asia. Lesser flamingos commonly breed in Lake Natronin northern Tanzania, as well as at Etosha Pan in Namibia, Sua Pan in Botswana, and Kamfers Dam in South Africa. Breeding grounds in India are usually in the northwestern region in the Zinzuwadia and Purabcheria salt pans.

Andean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus andinus

    The Andean flamingo inhabits salt and alkaline lakes at an altitude between 2,300 and 4,500 meters in the high Andes in Southern Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina. Its habitat is threatened due to mining activities and drought. It is the only species of flamingo that has yellow legs and feet.

James' Flamingo, Phoenicopterus jamesi

    The Jame's flamingo is also known as the Puna flamingo. Along with the Andean flamingo, to which it is closely related, it inhabits the high altitudes of the Andean plateaus. It can be found in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. The Chilean, Andean and James' Flamingo are all sympatric, meaning they will live as a colony and even share nesting areas. Like the Andean Flamingo, the James' flamingo is under threat due to loss of habitat.

What Are White Pigeons Used For?

What Are White Pigeons Used For?

White pigeons are symbols of peace, love and tranquility throughout the world, regardless of the culture. Even in ancient times white pigeons were used to celebrate important events. In ancient Egypt, white pigeons were released to announce the arrival of important visitors to the country. In present times the birds, a special breed of homing pigeons, are used as ceremonial release birds for special events such as sports meets and peace rallies. They are also gentle, inexpensive and devoted as pets. They are easy to breed and quite hardy.

Release Pigeons

    White pigeons are often released during several special events, such as sporting events and weddings as ceremonial symbols of love and to celebrate the spirit of brotherhood and peace. The pigeons look very similar to doves, but are preferred over doves, as releasing doves would mean leaving hundreds of birds stranded in the wild unable to fend for themselves. Due to their homing instincts and training, white pigeons can easily find their way home.

Racing Pigeons

    Many white pigeons are especially bred for racing. Due to their homing instincts and speed, the birds can find their way home using the shortest distance possible. Most white pigeons used for racing can find their way home within after being released 50 miles away. If the white pigeons have exceptional instincts, they can return to their loft from a distance of 200 miles.

Pet Pigeons

    These birds make great pets. They are sturdy and require minimal care, as long as they get clean, fresh drinking water, grit for digestion and sufficient seeds for one day. Train the birds to become homing pigeons using appropriate training methods.

Training White Homing Pigeons

    The birds require special training to hone their homing instincts. The training begins when they are about 6 to 8 weeks old. The initial training involves teaching the birds to enter the loft using the trap door. Once the birds master this and are familiar with their surroundings, take them two to three miles from the loft and release them. Increase the distance of release by five miles each time. Release the birds from different directions, so they are accustomed to finding their way from anywhere. Make sure that you train them when the weather is sunny, as white homing pigeons navigate using sunlight.

Taking Care of White Pigeons

    Feed the birds high quality bird seeds just once a day. Do not replenish until the birds finish all the seeds. A good pigeon feed should contain a mix of millet, safflower, wheat and popcorn, according to the American White Dove Release Association. Provide fresh and clean drinking water. Change the water twice a day. Place the water outside the loft to stop moisture from building up inside. This prevents mold and bacterial growth in the loft. Make sure the birds get grit to facilitate digestion. Grit is available at pet stores and feed stores.

How to Breed Cockatiel Pet Birds

How to Breed Cockatiel Pet Birds

Breeding cockatiels is an easy thing to do but it does take time and dedication, according to Avian Web. With the right materials and knowledge plus a healthy pair of cockatiels, you can look forward to having babies in a few weeks. Most pairs of cockatiels have four to six eggs and they usually take about 19 to 21 days to hatch.

Instructions

    1

    Select a pair of healthy cockatiels to breed. You can find healthy birds through breeders and local pet shops. Look for birds that have clear eyes and noses. They should have all their feathers and they shouldn't stay fluffed up when you approach them. They should also be lively and attentive.

    2

    Buy an appropriate cage that is large enough to hold a nesting box without cramping the birds. Keep in mind it will also need to be big enough to hold the parents and the chicks after the eggs hatch. A good size box measures approximately 9 x 11 x 12 inches with an opening of around 2 inches wide. You can also buy nesting boxes that attach to the outside the cage door.

    3

    Place a few chewing toys in the cage so the birds won't become bored.

    4

    Place the cockatiels in the cage and allow them become acquainted with it and each other.

    5

    Feed the pair a healthy diet that includes a quality seed mix, fresh greens, fruits and sprouts. Give the birds cuttlebones or provide a mineral block so the mother will have enough calcium for healthy chicks. Always make sure your birds have fresh water daily.

    6

    Place bedding material, such as wood shavings or shredded paper, in the bottom of the box to keep the eggs from rolling and breaking. Allow the birds the freedom to make their nest comfortable.

    7

    Check the box for eggs a few times a day after the cockatiels begin nesting. You should start seeing eggs in about one to three weeks, according to the National Cockatiel Society. Alert the birds to your presence so you won't frighten them, causing a broken egg.

    8

    Give the parents extra food when eggs hatch, so they can feed the babies.

Senin, 25 Maret 2013

How Do Birds Learn to Sing?

How Do Birds Learn to Sing?

Birds sing for a variety of reasons. Some sing in hopes of attracting a mate, to identify and defend their territories or as a means of communication. Both male and female birds sing, though the males usually produce the most melodic songs. Two of the most gifted songsters are the brown thrashers and northern mockingbirds, with their ability to mimic hundreds to thousands of different bird songs.

Inherited Vocal Ability

    Some species of birds, including flycatchers, are born with the species-specific song patterns genetically encoded in each individual bird's make-up. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, attempts to confuse young Alder flycatchers into learning the songs of another flycatcher species failed. Researchers played recordings of Willow flycatchers to 10-day-old Alder flycatchers that had been removed from the nest. The youngsters still sang the song of their own species. Experiments involving this bird group--the suboscines--demonstrates the inherent ability to produce the correct song even when raised away from their own species.

Vocal Learners

    True songbirds of the Oscine suborder of Passeriformes, such as canaries, finches, sparrows and thrushes, are vocal learners that learn to sing by listening to adult birds of the same species. If young birds of these species are removed from members of their own species, they will still vocalize and produce songs, but the songs do not follow the normal species-specific patterns.

Stages of Learning

    Some songbirds, such as canaries and starlings, are called open learners. They have the ability to learn new songs even after reaching adulthood. However, most juvenile songbirds learn to sing in two phases, with the sensitive--or critical--period being the time when they memorize new songs by listening to the adult males of their species. Once this period has passed and the birds enter the second learning phase, they begin to practice what they previously memorized. The two phases vary in length depending upon species.

Dialects

    Birds of the same species but living in different geographical regions sing similar songs, but often produce distinct dialectic variations. Young birds learn to sing in these dialects, much like human babies learn dialects by listening to the accents of the adults around them.

Vocal Organs

    Birds possess a unique vocal organ called the syrinx, which allows them to produce a myriad of musical notes. However, unlike human beings who have only one voice box, songbirds have two voice boxes. This set-up gives them the ability to produce two different notes at once, with each syrinx sounding at the same time. By practising what they hear, baby birds learn to produce the proper sounds from these organs.

How to Call Canadian Geese

How to Call Canadian Geese

The Canadian goose, a large bird with a distinct black head and neck and a white-collared throat, is hunted in several parts of the world. Hunters use a variety of means to attract the bird, including mimicking its calls. Mastering the Canadian goose call is not easy, but with practice and good calling techniques you can learn to make the appropriate sounds and attract them.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a top-of-the-line calling reed model to quicken your learning process of attracting a flock of Canadian geese. Learn how to blow into the calling reed before using it on the hunting field.

    2

    Master the two basic calling sounds, the cluck and the honk. Blow a short burst of air from your diaphragm into the reed while saying the word "whit" to produce the clucking call.

    3

    Create the honk sound by blowing a short burst of air into the reed and saying the word "whoooo-wit" in a high to low note.

Difference Between a Male & Female Barn Owl

Difference Between a Male & Female Barn Owl

Determining with 100 percent accuracy whether a barn owl is male or female can be a daunting task even for experts. It is difficult to know what sex a barn owl is without comparing it to a barn owl of the opposite sex, and even then, it is not an exacting science. Sometimes the sex can not be determined without veterinarian assistance.

Barn Owl Fast Facts

    The barn owl is the most popular and widespread species of owl. The barn owl is found almost anywhere in the world save for deserts, the North and South Poles, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands. Barn owls have long wings and legs with a short tail and a large, white, heart-shaped face. The wingspan on a barn owl is 30 inches to 43 inches and the owl averages 9 inches to 18 inches in height. Barn owls are carnivores, silently hunting mice and other small animals usually three times a day; once at dusk, again at midnight and once more before dawn. They fly silently and gracefully. Although they can not actually see in the dark, they can hunt in light too dim for a human's eyes. They have a shrill screech that is heard for long distances. The screech, combined with their dark eyes and white face, have given the barn owl some random other names, for example, white owl, ghost owl, night owl, hissing owl, hobgoblin and delicate owl.

Barn Owl Habitat

    Barn owls do live in old barns and buildings. However, they are not relegated to only old buildings as housing. Barn owls also live in trees, usually closely bunched evergreen trees, but in other trees as well, including palm trees. Owls are pretty sloppy when it comes to making nests. They use leaves and branches from the trees they live in, padding the nest with an unusual item: their own excrement. When an owl eats a mouse, the bones and the fur are passed whole in the owl's feces. Barn owls do not get large enough to swoop down and grab hapless dogs or cats from their yards. However, they have spot-on accuracy when it comes to swooping down on a small bird, mouse or other rodent. Many people have barn owls living in their trees without even knowing it until they hear the chilling screech.

Male and Female Size Body Differences

    The first item separating male from a female is size. Like many other raptors, the female is slightly larger than the male. She also has darker legs while the male has singularly pale legs. The female's beak is buff color; however, the male's beak is more of an ivory color. The female can weigh up to 1 lb. more than the male with a slightly wider wingspan. Obviously these differences would mean nothing to the casual observer who does not have a male and female sitting side by side.

Male and Female Coloring Differences

    In some barn owls, it is possible to determine the sex without an owl of the opposite sex to compare. This determination is made by the coloring of the feathers. A male has a white throat, while a female has a brown one. The throat coloring on both owls extends along the sides of their heads just behind the face disk in their respective colors. The under wings of the male and the female owls are white. However, a female will have miniscule black spots near the joint of the wing. The spots can be as small as the head of a pin or as large as the end of a matchstick. The back feathers of the male are very pale brown or yellowish with areas of light gray and white. Females have brown and darker gray back feathers. The tail feathers of the males are pale buff or white with light gray. Females are brown with darker gray or black barring. The trailing end of each wing feather is white in both male and female. The main portion of each wing feather is golden brown with light gray barring for male and brown with black or dark gray barring for the female. One thing that should be kept in mind when trying to sex barn owls, the older a female gets, the less characteristically female she becomes. A female barn owl's coloring can change as she ages making it harder to tell her from a male.

How to Stop a Screaming Cockatiel

Cockatiels are wonderful birds, but occasionally they have behavioral problems. One of these problems is screaming. The bird's only objection is to gain attention. You can control the screaming and, in some cases, end it all together.

Instructions

How to Stop a Screaming Cockatiel

    1

    Are you really ignoring him or her? If you are not socializing with the bird, it will get lonely. If your bird is usually content, check their food and water. Even the best bird parent spaces on the basics on occasion. Also check to see if the bird is showing any signs of illness or distress. In many cases, this behavior issue is from neglect suffered at the hands of the previous or current owner.

    2

    Ignore them, like when your 2-year old throws a temper tantrum. If you come running and coddle them every time they act up, you are just enforcing that behavior. They learn that if they scream, you will pay attention to them. Ignore the bird. Go on about your business. If you have multiple birds, talk to them but do not acknowledge the screaming bird. Walk away if you have to, but do not yell at, talk to or give any other type of attention until the bird stops screaming. Once the bird as stopped, then you may praise him or her for being good.

    3

    Cover the cage. Keep a blanket or cover near the cage. Once you have ignored the bird and it keeps screaming, it is time for a birdie timeout. Pick up the cover and gently put it over the cage. Do not make eye contact with the bird, or talk it as you do this. Keep the bird covered until he or she stops screaming. Remove the cover at this point. It is not usually a good idea to leave the cage covered for more than 15 minutes at a time. You want the bird to learn that being covered is a punishment. They arent getting attention, and now they are losing daylight.

    4

    Start correcting the behavior. Many rescued and adopted birds come with huge amounts of baggage. Giving them one-on-one attention, plenty of out-of-cage time and praising them for vocalizations that are not screams can help. Give positive re-enforcement on the sweet and happy behaviors and ignore the temper tantrums and hopefully the screaming should stop or at least subside.