Jumat, 31 Mei 2013

Facts About the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo

The bare-eyed cockatoo, also known as the little corella, is an Australian bird commonly kept as a pet. The scientific name for the bird is Cacatua sanguinea which means "blood-stained cockatoo." This relates to the pink markings found between the eyes and beak that resemble blood stains. It is a social bird that lives in large flocks which makes it a suitable pet that bonds with its owners.

Description

    The bare-eyed cockatoo is a medium-sized bird that grows to around 16 inches in length and up to one pound in weight. It has a white plumage all over its body with bare skin patches around the eyes that are fleshy and light blue in color. It has a sharp crushing beak, the top part of which has a pointed tip that overlaps the lower part. The underside of the wings and tail are a slight sulphur yellow color. Males and females are identical in appearance; adolescent birds look like smaller versions of the adults.

Habitat and Range

    The bird has a widespread home range that includes most of eastern Australia as well as the northwest and extreme west of the country. It is also found in areas of southern New Guinea. It favors open area habitats such as grasslands found near a water source such as rivers and lakes. The birds can be found in most habitat types within their range but remain near food sources during the breeding season.

Diet and Predators

    The birds feed in large flocks while on the ground, foraging for seeds and grains as well as plant bulbs and various fruits that fall from the trees. Because grains make up a large part of the birds' diet they are considered pests in areas of agriculture. Large flocks can do considerable damage to farmers' crops. Because of this, farmers in some areas kill the birds in great numbers. Natural threats to the birds include domestic pets, snakes and birds of prey.

Life Cycle

    The birds form lifelong breeding pairs within the flock and will breed dependent on long periods of rainfall. This can be changeable throughout the bird's range, so breeding can take place year-round as long as food is plentiful. Both parents help to build a nest inside a suitable tree hollow in which the female lays two to four eggs. The parents share the incubation and feeding duties. The eggs take up to 26 days to hatch.

About Florida Mockingbirds

About Florida Mockingbirds

Despite the miles of coastline that might make you think Florida's state bird would be the seagull or pelican, the state bird is actually the Florida mockingbird. Its range covers the state, including the Florida Keys. Known for the range of bird songs it can replicate, Florida mockingbirds are ubiquitous throughout the state. They can be found in residential neighborhoods, city parks and open, undeveloped lands.

Bird Basics

    The adult Florida mockingbird is about 10 inches long and mostly gray in color. Its breast is usually lighter than its back and its dark wings are usually criss-crossed by white stripes. It eats insects, berries and seeds. If you want to attract mockingbirds to your yard, having a fruit tree or hawthorn or blackberry bushes may help bring them closer. They are not as likely as other birds to use feeders. Mockingbird eggs are a bluish-green with brown spots.

Unusual Song

    What sets the mockingbird apart from most Florida birds is its relentless singing. And it's not just the same couple of notes trilled over and over. As their name suggests, mockingbirds can and do mimic the calls of other birds or even other sounds in their environment, such as machinery or car alarms. A mockingbird will go through its various songs, at least in part, to attract a mate. A male mockingbird seeking a mate may sing loudly throughout the night. Once a pair is together their songs tend to get quieter. Mating season in Florida lasts from about February through August, though birds are most active in April and May.

Nesting

    When a pair of mockingbirds are ready to nest, the male starts construction in low branches of a tree or deep in a hedge. Once the basic nest of sticks or other materials is started, the male invites the female to inspect it. If she approves, she will add down and other soft materials to make it acceptable for nesting and hatching their young. Typically mockingbirds will lay three to five eggs each year.

Territoriality

    Mockingbirds are especially territorial. It's not unusual to see a mockingbird chase after a much larger bird or even a squirrel, cat or dog that has gotten too close to its nest. Sometimes other mockingbirds in the area are recruited to chase after creatures who have appeared to threaten the nest. Even before their nest is completed, while the male is building it, the female is usually perched nearby, watching for intruders.

Louisiana Bird Identification

Louisiana Bird Identification

With its vast array of habitats, Louisiana is home to several species of birds, including woodpeckers, hawks, hummingbirds and doves. The state's wetlands accommodate a wide variety of waterfowl and marshland birds, such as terns, sandpipers and gulls. Identifying these birds is a matter of looking at them closely for distinguishing characteristics.

Silhouette

    The silhouette of a bird will help you to determine what kind of bird you are looking at. It helps you to narrow down the choices. For instance, a songbird--such as an eastern meadowlark--has a much different silhouette than a roseate spoonbill, which is a waterfowl.

Field Marks

    Recognizing the field marks on a bird--the distinctive stripes, patterns, colors, spots and highlights that variate the species--is a solid step toward identifying a bird. For example, Wilson's plover--a year-round resident of Louisiana--has an uninterrupted broad band of black across its chest. It resembles the semipalmated plover in this regard, but it can be distinguished by its flesh-colored legs and solid black bill.

Posture

    Posture refers to the way a bird holds itself and the impression it makes. It can be a useful tool for distinguishing two birds that are similar in appearance. The pine warbler, for instance, looks very much like the Acadian flycatcher, but while the pine warbler holds its body horizontally and appears to crouch, the Acadian flycatcher sits in a straight and alert posture.

Size

    Determining the size of a bird is a useful tool in identifying it. Compare the size of the bird to a bird you are familiar with, such as a robin, a sparrow or a crow. It also helps to learn to recognize a few familiar birds in each category for comparison purposes. For example, if you recognize and know the size of a laughing gull, you can use it to compare the size of an unknown bird standing nearby.

Habitat

    Habitats can include grassland, pine woods, cypress swamp or deciduous forest. The type of habitat you observe the bird in can help to determine what bird it is. Swamp sparrows, for instance, live in wetlands, while field sparrows dwell in open fields.

How to Teach a Blue Parakeet to Speak

How to Teach a Blue Parakeet to Speak

The parakeet is an inexpensive exotic bird that makes a cheery, friendly and social pet. Like their larger parrot cousins, these birds can be trained to speak human words. Teaching your blue parakeet to speak is fairly easy, requiring little more than some of your time and patience. The first words will be the hardest for the bird to learn; however once it has them memorized, it will be able to increase its vocabulary much quicker and soon speak the names of items and the names of people.

Instructions

    1

    Create an environment conducive to learning for your parakeet. The animal should be comfortable and well-cared for in a clean cage with plenty of food and water. While it may seem obvious, this is an important step that will make the bird more alert and happier, and therefore more able to learn. Also, place a mirror in the cage for the parakeet. This will encourage the bird to "practice" its human words with its mirror image after each training session.

    2

    Place a blanket over the cage when it's time to begin training. This will ensure the bird isn't distracted by other activities or objects in the room, and that it will focus on your voice and the words you're speaking.

    3

    Repeat a word to your parakeet that you want it to learn. Start with a simple word or phrase that starts with a hard sound, such a K, W, T, P or B sound. The simple phrase "pretty bird" is an easy saying to teach your parakeet in the beginning of its training. Repeat the word slowly and clearly in front of the cage for at least 10 minutes a day. A half hour of this repetition in the beginning of each day is the best and fastest way to train your parakeet to speak.

    4

    Repeat a second phrase to the bird only after it is able to say the first. Keep the phrases separate, so the bird doesn't get confused and jumble them together.

    5

    Teach your parakeet more advanced words once it is repeating simple phrases well. Hold up an object and repeat its name until the bird is able to say it. For example, hold the bird's food in front of the cage and say "yum yum." The bird should soon learn the phrase and say it when it sees or wants its food.

Kamis, 30 Mei 2013

How to Remove Barn Sparrows

How to Remove Barn Sparrows

While it can be amusing to watch barn swallows in flight; what is not amusing is the damage their nesting and waste can cause to homes, humans and barns. Barn swallows prefer to nest near human activity and especially close to lights, as barn sparrows think this will keep their natural predators (such as crows) at bay. The Seattle Audubon Society website states "All swallows are protected under the law. You cannot disturb them once they lay their eggs in the nest," so it is best to take measures to remove the nest before the sparrows start laying eggs.

Instructions

    1

    Place a ladder adjacent to the nest so that you can reach it.

    2

    Place the dust mask over your nose and mouth before attempting to remove the nest; barn sparrow droppings can cause illness such as histoplasmosis if inhaled.

    3

    Remove the complete barn sparrow nest from the nesting spot entirely.

    4

    Scrape the area clean of any sparrow waste or nesting material to discourage their return.

    5

    Paint the nesting area with a high gloss latex paint to discourage the sparrows from rebuilding their nest. The high gloss latex paint will make it difficult for the nest to stick to the area.

Which Chickens Lay Colored Eggs?

Which Chickens Lay Colored Eggs?

Not all chicken breeds lay the same colored eggs. Though many chickens lay the standard white, cream or brown eggs, some breeds lay chocolate, green and even speckled eggs. If a hen has a white earlobe, she will always lay white eggs, but if a hen has a red earlobe, she can lay colored eggs as well as white.

Araucana

    Araucana chickens were first bred in South America in the Chilean province of Arauca. These chickens can lay blue or green eggs. They are unique because the color is not just on the outer layer of the shell, but it actually permeates the entire shell with a blue or green color.

Ameraucana

    The Ameraucana may be genetically related to Araucana chickens, but they are commonly known as "Easter Eggers." They produce blue, green and speckled eggs. If you purchase an Ameraucana from a hatchery, know that they most likely are Easter Eggers and might not fully conform to the Ameraucana breed standard.

Barnevelder

    The Barnevelder chickens were first bred in Holland in the late 19th and early 20th century, though their breed can be traced back to the 12th century. They lay dark brown and red eggs that have a matte finish. They were developed specifically for their dark brown and red color. Barnevelder are docile chickens and can be kept in a variety of conditions. However, because the chicks mature slowly, they have a tendency to get bullied.

Welsumer or Welsummer

    The Wellsumer (Welsummer) breed was first developed in Holland in the 20th century. The chickens produce large terracotta red and speckled brown eggs. They are known as backyard birds and do well in free-range conditions. These chickens are cold hardy, they mature early and are known for being docile.

How Can I Encourage My Keets to Mate?

How Can I Encourage My Keets to Mate?

Parakeets, or budgies, are small, gregarious birds and are popular pets. Breeding parakeets takes time and attention. Mother parakeets can become egg-bound and need monitoring throughout the breeding process, and tiny baby parakeets can need special care. You should have experience with the birds before attempting to breed them and be available to monitor the situation throughout the process. With proper housing and environment, parakeets are relatively easy to breed. There are steps you can take to encourage a pair of keets to mate.

Instructions

    1

    Be sure your birds are old enough to mate. Birds should be at least 1 year old before breeding.

    2

    Provide a large cage. A breeding pair will need a cage large enough for them to be active and fly around --- at least 24-by-18-by-18-inches. The cage needs to be large enough to accommodate up to five chicks at the end of the breeding process. The larger the cage, the better when breeding birds.

    3

    Attach a nest box, available in many styles at most pet stores, to the cage. Adding a nest box to the cage in breeding season encourages budgies to mate. Successful breeding without one is virtually impossible.

    4

    Provide full-spectrum light to induce breeding. Gradually increase the length of time per day the birds are exposed to light over a period of weeks. Parakeets require at least 13 hours of light a day to trigger them to breed.

    5

    Watch for signs that the birds are in breeding condition. The birds will become extremely active; they will begin tearing up newspaper at the bottom of the cage, feeding each other or tapping their beaks on the perches. Both the male and female parakeet must be in breeding condition for mating to take place.

    6

    Get another pair of birds. If you are having difficulty getting a pair to breed, get another pair. Parakeets are flock birds and often a single pair won't mate. Hearing other birds nearby will encourage them to mate.

    7

    Set up a separate cage for the new pair. Parakeets prefer separate breeding cages.

How to Hand Train a Indian Ringneck Parrot

How to Hand Train a Indian Ringneck Parrot

Most birds are tame when purchased from a breeder. However, some birds that have been re-homed or rescued suffer behavioral problems induced by poor handling and inadequate cage conditions. Indian ringnecks are potentially prone to reverting to their wild instincts if not properly handled daily. To win back the trust of a freighted, aggressive ringneck you must also provide optimal living conditions along with a few hours of out-of-cage time a day to maintain their tameness.

Instructions

    1

    Arrange the inside of the cage so that it comfortably accommodates the bird, toys and food dishes. The bird should be able to stretch its wings and turn around without bumping anything to reduce anxiety and nervousness.

    2

    Feed a variety of quality pellet foods and fresh water daily. Feed fresh fruit and vegetables daily, and provide a mineral block to ensure that all of the bird's nutritional needs are met, and to reduce aggression.

    3

    Use a dowel or perch instead of your hand when asking the bird to step up to reduce anxiety and prevent bites.

    4

    Rotate toys often to offer a variety of textures, colors and puzzles to reduce aggression and encourage good chewing behaviors.

    5

    Provide time each day for the bird to get out of the cage to stretch its wings and play undisturbed on the top of the cage. This teaches the bird that the house is a safe place to play and sleep.

    6

    Interact with the bird daily playing games or going for walks. This maintains the birds level of sociability making it less apt to revert to flighty behavior.

    7

    Interact with the bird daily by practicing learned commands and learning new tricks. This is necessary to maintain the bird in a tame state that allows the handler and veterinarian to interact with it.

How to Build an Outdoor Aviary for Parrots

How to Build an Outdoor Aviary for Parrots

Making an aviary for a parrot is somewhere between a home and a cage. The aviary is a larger version -- wider and taller -- of a standard cage. The trick to creating a successful aviary for a parrot is to use appropriate wire mesh and a hard plastic floor panel to keep the bird from digging in the ground. Wire mesh is important because parrots are used to maintaining human contact and floor panels also prevent rodents from digging under the cage and crawling inside.

Instructions

    1

    Construct the frame. Ask an assistant to hold one wire mesh frame -- 2-mm thick with 25-mm mesh squares -- upright on a concrete floor. Make sure it measures 4-feet high. Position a square pole flush against one of the 4-foot ends. Ask your assistant to hold both pieces of material.

    2

    Solder the pole to the mesh. Heat a soldering gun. Rub solder wire on the solder tip. Wipe the tip clean with a wet sponge. Hold the soldering gun up to the top of the wire mesh. Place the tip of solder wire to the mesh frame to solder the frame to the pole. Continue down the entire length of the pole.

    3

    Build the rest of the frame in the same manner. You will end up with a three-dimensional 3-by-4-foot aviary.

    4

    Create a wire mesh door. Use wire cutters to clip -- at center -- a 2-foot-wide, 3-foot-high opening in one of the sides. Remove the 2-by-3 piece of mesh frame and use a metal grinder to dull each edge. Dull any existing shards on the frame itself as well. Re-attach the 2-by-3 piece with two brass hinges on the left side. Attach two small chains with small key locks on the opposite side. Attach keys to a piece of twine and hang on the door so they do not get lost.

    5

    Measure and cut a 1/8-inch-thick hard plastic floor and roof to the 3-by-4-foot dimensions. Attach the roof and floor with brackets and 3/8-inch screws. Connect a 1-inch-thick branch via brass wire to the roof to hang inside the aviary, if you desire.

Rabu, 29 Mei 2013

Do It Yourself: Large Bird Aviaries

An aviary can vary from a basic structure to a place with water features and shelter. It is a good idea to think about the purpose of the aviary before you build one. A breeding structure will differ from one that is purely for enjoyment. With a large aviary, it is also important to think about how you will keep the enclosure clean and safe.

Size and Diversity

    If you are planning to have a multispecies aviary, choose the birds carefully; some species do not mix. Think about what each species might need. Figure out how many birds you can comfortably fit inside your aviary. One way to get an idea of your space needs is to look at the dimensions of each species.

Location

    If you are in a cold climate, you might need some insulated areas, and if you are in a warmer environment, your birds will have to have a way to beat the heat. Noise and light from a busy road might trouble your birds. Be aware of zoning laws in your area. Identify which animals might pose a threat to your birds.

The Structure

    Consider digging and adding a wire perimeter around the base of your cage to keep animals out. Build a concrete base at least 1 foot thick. You can use dirt, grass, gravel or shavings to cover the floor. This depends on how large your aviary is, how much time you want to spend cleaning and what species of birds you have. Some species are susceptible to parasitic diseases from dirt. Shavings may be prone to developing mold.

    When putting up the walls, be careful not to use wood that might be toxic. Pay attention to wire gauge coatings to avoid ingredients that are poisonous to your birds. The gauge has to be small enough for little birds. If you have large birds you will need a larger gauge to prevent the birds getting their digits trapped. Double up on the wire, to add to the strength of your fence. Installing two doors might be required by law to prevent invasive species from escaping. Its also a good way to keep predators out. Add trees, vegetation and other features, like water fountains.

How to Teach an Eclectus Parrot

The Eclectus parrot is often considered one of the dullest breeds of parrot. Most people get this idea because of the natural reaction they see produced by an Eclectus when it encounters a strange or unknown situation. In this environment, the bird will freeze up, refusing to speak and interact. However, when the Eclectus is in a location where it feels comfortable, with people and animals that it recognizes, it becomes a very affectionate and playful bird. Like many other parrots, an Eclectus can be trained and taught to do a variety of things.

Instructions

    1

    Be consistent and steady when training an Eclectus. If you don't keep what's right and what's wrong the same each time, the parrot will never learn the difference.

    2

    Use both positive and negative reinforcement to get the message across as to what is right or wrong. Once the Eclectus sees the good or bad after doing something so many times, it will learn the difference. Provide a tasty treat when the bird does something good, and put it away and cease giving it attention when it is bad.

    3

    Cage the bird immediately if biting becomes a problem. Soon the parrot will realize that if it wants to stay out and be social it will have to refrain from biting.

    4

    Provide a variety of items specifically designed to be chewed on. The Eclectus enjoys chewing on things to keep its beak sharp. This is a very basic need, although some bird owners neglect it unintentionally. Providing adequate toys and entertainment will result in a happier bird that is easier to train.

    5

    Repeat commands on a consistent basis to teach the parrot a specific trick. An Eclectus is capable of performing any number of tricks. Use the same signal or call each time you want the parrot to perform the trick and to reward it when it does.

    6

    Talk to your Eclectus parrot on a regular basis and repeat certain words or phrases over and over again to teach it to talk. It will take some time for the bird to pick up on the words, but simple repetition will help to provide reinforcement.

How to Tame an African Grey

African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds that are easily trained in most situations. They have a lifespan of up to 50 years and grow to a length of 13 inches. African greys reach maturity within three to six years. An African grey is dark ash gray in color with white markings. The head is mainly white. Taming African greys is important for their peace of mind because they are high-strung and easily stressed.

Instructions

    1

    Leave the parrot in a cage for at least the first 24 hours when you first bring it home. If, after 24 hours, the bird still appears nervous, allow it to stay in the cage longer.

    2

    Cover all windows and mirrors. Close all doors and turn off any ceiling fans. Open the door of the parrot cage.

    3

    Wait for the parrot to emerge from the cage. If he does not come out on his own, you can lure him out with food. If the bird will not take food from your hand right away, clip the food to the side of the cage. Be sure to praise him when he eats the clipped food.

    4

    Use your hand or two sticks to carry him around the house with you. Allow him to walk between the sticks or your hands. Avoid sudden movements.

    5

    Talk softly while handling your bird. Praise him when he takes food from you. Avoid speaking loudly as you may startle the bird.

    6

    Work with the bird daily until his trust in you is well established. After earning your bird's trust, you can begin exposing him to other people and pets. Introduce him slowly and withdraw him if he is scared.

Which Makes a Better Pet: Parakeet or Cockatiel?

Which Makes a Better Pet: Parakeet or Cockatiel?

Parakeets and cockatiels alike are playful, vocal and inquisitive birds, which explains why they are the No. 1 and No. 2 most popular pet birds in the United States, respectively. They share characteristics, and they have unique qualities, too, that may make you prefer one over the other.

Care Required

    The daily care required for parakeets and cockatiels is similar. Veterinarians recommend alternating a diet of seeds and pellets; cockatiel mix is different from parakeet mix. Seeds are fattening and don't provide a well-rounded diet, while pellets are fortified with the vitamins and minerals the birds need. Add variety by giving fruits and veggies daily, but avoid avocado and fruit seeds and leaves, which can be toxic. Both birds tend to be messy, so their water dishes can catch seeds and feather pieces. Changing their water several times a day is a good idea. Offer a bird bath for both birds -- whether they like to bathe in it depends on the individual bird -- or spritz them with water.

Noise and Talking

    Cockatiels and parakeets are not as loud as their larger parrot relatives. They chirp and squawk equally, and will imitate sounds of other animals and humans. Some say cockatiels are better at learning human words, while others say 'tiels are better whistlers than talkers. Many 'keet owners have taught their birds lots of words, though males of both types are usually better talkers. Neither bird is a guaranteed talker, however; teaching either bird to talk takes lots of patience, time and repetition. Both birds will let you know when they're scared, upset or lonely by emitting their own form of yelling.

Play and Affection

    It's hard to find more entertaining birds than 'tiels and 'keets. Since they're small, they can flip and twirl and hang upside down, even while eating and drinking. Both are curious and love hanging toys, especially noisy ones. Both birds will become attached to their owners, especially if they don't have a bird companion. Most like to come out of their cages to play and explore, but they require close supervision. While both birds may perch on your finger or shoulder, 'tiels are more affectionate.

Interaction Needed

    Both parakeets and cockatiels require interaction with their owners, especially if they don't have a bird companion. Plan on at least two interaction times with your bird daily, lasting about one hour each. Cockatiels, being slightly more independent birds, can amuse themselves a bit more than parakeets, but 'tiels still need a minimum of two play periods per day. If you don't have the time or desire to do that, you'll need two birds so they can interact. It's not advisable to have one of each, as parakeets are more aggressive and may pick at the more laid-back 'tiels. Choose your two 'keets or two 'tiels at the same time -- watch to see which ones are already sitting together and preening each other -- to ensure your two will get along. Parakeets, especially females, can be aggressive, even with other parakeets.

Cost

    The initial cost to purchase a parakeet is around $20, compared with an average of $100 for a cockatiel. This may explain why more people have parakeets than cockatiels as pets. Their recommended cages, food, and toys are the same, however, so upkeep is the same. Both birds should see an avian vet annually. Cockatiels live longer, on average -- 15 to 35 years vs. 8 to 15 years for 'keets.

Potential Problems

    People with animal allergies are often surprised to learn that birds produce dander, too. Their preening and high activity levels cause allergens to fly and infiltrate the air. Cockatiels are "powder down" birds and produce a powdery dander that puts even more allergens into the air. Misting them daily and cleaning the cage regularly keeps dander down. Females of both birds are prone to excessive egg-laying, which can also cause egg binding, and cockatiels are more at risk for this.

How to Keep Birds From Landing on a Ledge

How to Keep Birds From Landing on a Ledge

Birds are not always welcome in certain areas, especially if they form large groups. Not only can the chirping become irritating, but their droppings can cause concern for health reasons if they are near places that people live. The bacteria can get into the vents and can also ruin surfaces. There are plenty of deterrents on the market that are safe and will keep your ledge bird-free, leaving them to find a new place to perch.

Instructions

    1

    Install bird spikes. These are V-shaped rods that deter pigeons, crows and other large birds from any area. The rods don't have a sharp tip so they won't harm the birds and still allow access to the area for people. The rods prevent the birds from landing on ledges, pipes, gutters, chimneys and any other area where birds are unwanted.

    2

    Use a bird coil. Bird coil is another good deterrent for unwanted birds. It's made of stainless steel, is very effective for exposed ledges and is also adaptable for most architectural details. Bird coil has rounded curves that will not harm the birds or humans needing access to the ledge. It is especially effective for large birds like pigeons and gulls.

    3

    Install an electrical bird deterrent. These devices are effective on all birds, including large crows and pigeons as well as small birds like sparrows. These are also easily installed on ledges, pipes, chimneys, roofs and any other area the birds are bothersome. These products emit a harmless shock, similar to a static electric jolt, that conditions the birds not to return to the area. These products are a good option if you don't want the bird deterrent to be too visible.

How to Tame a Crazy Live Chicken

How to Tame a Crazy Live Chicken

Chickens are farm animals but some people keep them as pets. No matter the reason for keeping chickens, one still needs to learn the basics of handling them. Chickens can sometimes act wild, whether they were captive-raised or not. Before you attempt to get close to the bird, you must first know the basics of taming a chicken that is out of control or "crazy."

Instructions

    1

    Walk slowly toward the chicken. Make as little noise as possible and slowly raise your hands, holding the bag up. Drop the bag over the top of the chicken and quickly pull up, trapping the chicken inside.

    2

    Place the chicken on a flat surface, with its back touching the surface. Remove the bag and gently rub the sternum of the chicken, using two fingers. Massage the area carefully, which hypnotizes the bird and helps keep it calm. The chicken should stay hypnotized for several minutes or longer.

    3

    Build a nesting place for the chicken, giving the bird a place where it feels comfortable. Give the chicken several days to get used to the new environment and learn its surroundings. Remember that a wild bird or one taken from a farm needs to adjust to its new home.

    4

    Move as close to the chicken as possible during regular feeding time or when you see it eating. Step as close as you can without the chicken running away or becoming angry. Keep one eye on the chicken and begin backing away if you notice it growing agitated.

    5

    Watch the chicken as it eats and slowly work on getting closer to the bird during feeding time. Each day, move a few steps closer to the chicken. This gives the bird time to realize that you aren't a threat, and that you won't hurt it or take away its food.

    6

    Touch the chicken as it eats, gently rubbing your hand against its head or back. Only do this step after the chicken is comfortable with you standing next to it as it eats. Offer the chicken a few treats, placing the treats near its food dish. Gradually begin moving your hand closer to the treats, until the chicken realizes that the treats come from you and starts taking it from your hand. The chicken should now be tamer than when you started.

How to Take Care of Mallard Duck Eggs

How to Take Care of Mallard Duck Eggs

While mallard duck eggs are best taken care of by other ducks, there may be a situation where you find mallard eggs that are truly abandoned and in need of care. Before trying to take care of any type of wildlife egg, contact a veterinarian or wildlife society in your area to help you decide what to do. Taking care of wild duck eggs can be difficult, and the eggs may not hatch despite your efforts depending on what happened to them before you began to care for them.

Instructions

    1

    Set an egg incubator to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 55 percent. This translates to a temperature of 84.5 degrees on a wet bulb thermometer.

    2

    Place the eggs in the incubator with the small side down. Discard eggs if they are cracked, dirty, oversized or undersized. These types of eggs typically do not hatch well.

    3

    Rotate the eggs at least four times per day. Some incubators come with automatic turning devices that you can set to rotate the eggs at an interval of your choosing. Check the temperature of the incubator when you rotate the eggs to make sure the incubator is working properly and the temperature is staying consistent.

    4

    Check the eggs about a week after you place them in the incubator. Look at the embryo inside by making a wide circle with your fingers and thumb and resting the egg on top. Shine a high-powered flashlight under your fingers so the light shines through the egg. Discard any eggs that are clear or cloudy.

    5

    Increase the humidity in the incubator as the eggs get ready to hatch. Mallard duck eggs typically hatch between 23 and 30 days after they are laid, though you may just have to look for signs of hatching, such as vibration or movement in the eggs if you do not know when they were laid. Increase the humidity to 65 percent a few days before hatching and up to 80 percent as the hatching process begins. Lower the humidity back to about 70 percent once the eggs are nearly done hatching.

What Are Quail Facts?

What Are Quail Facts?

Quails are small birds that can be found around the world in forests and in woodlands. They are considered part of the pheasant family and can range in size from as small as 4 inches to as large as 8 inches tall. Quail are commonly referred to by their scientific name, Corturnix.

Migration and Mating Habits

    Quails are primarily solitary animals and not generally considered migratory birds. After the chicks reach about 2 months in age and during mating season, flocks of quails (known as "coveys") can consist of up to 100 birds or more. Quails are usually monogamous, but about 5 percent of quails mate will with more than one partner. Occasionally, a female quail will build two nests for incubation. This is especially true if a male quail assists during incubation. A female quail can give birth to one to as many as 13 chicks.

Habitat

    A single quail generally requires a habitat of about one acre, although coveys can survive on between 10 and 15 acres. Most quail habitats consist of tall bunch grass and thermal cover (such as palmetto). Weed fields are a good habitat for these birds since they allow for foraging and reduce vulnerability to exposure and predators.

Diet

    Quails are generally omnivores (primarily vegetarian). The quail diet consists of about 95 percent plant food such as seeds, flowers, wheat, barley and fruit. The other 5 percent of their diet usually consists of insects, worms and grasshoppers.

The Bobwhite Quail

    The Bobwhite quail is the most widely distributed game bird in North America. The Masked Northern Bobwhite variety is considered an endangered species. This variety of quail can be found primarily in the Caribbean region, northwest Mexico and the southwest region of the United States. Bobwhite quails can travel at speeds of up to 38 miles per hour.

Mortality Rate

    Only about 15 to 30 percent of quails survive 30 days after they are hatched. However, nature has attempted to compensate for this by providing quails with a very high reproduction rate. Quail chicks are sometimes abandoned after 30 days. Natural predators of quails are numerous and can include snakes, bobcats, raccoons and owls just to name a few. Fire ants frequently attack quail chicks, especially those that are newly hatched. Quails are vulnerable to many diseases and parasites, especially when pen-raised. Quails have a life expectancy of between 3 and 5 years.

Quail as a Food Source

    As a food source, since most quails only weigh between 2.5 and 5 oz., they provide little meat. In many countries and cultures, quail eggs are considered a delicacy.

How to train a bird to step on your finger

Birds are social creatures. They live in and travel in flocks. These incredibly intelligent creatures seem to have a mind of their own, so it's important to teach your bird to step up onto your finger.

Instructions

    1

    The words, "step up," are universally accepted in the parrot word as the words to use when teaching your bird to step onto your finger. As you teach your bird to step to your finger, remember to repeat the words, "step up," during training. After your bird has been trained, these are the same words that you will use when you want to tell your bird to step onto your finger.

    2

    Birds can bite when they're learning the "step up" command. Therefore, it's best to begin using a small stick when you're training your bird. Insert the stick into your birds cage, saying "step up" as you move the stick towards your birds feet. Don't fight your bird; if they're skittish to climb onto the stick immediately, you should stop or they may become scared and frightened.

    3

    Repeat this process with your bird for several weeks. When your bird comes to the front of its cage, indicating that it wants to get out, repeat the words "step up" and place the stick near its feet. Gently nudging the stick towards your parrot's feet.

    4

    With time, your parrot will learn that the words "step up" and the stick are associated. It will begin to "step up" onto the stick. When your bird does this, reward it with lots of praise and attention.

    5

    Once your bird is on the stick, bring them out of the cage and place your finger near its feet. Repeat the "step up" command again while gently placing your finger at its feet. Be sure to keep your finger straight and your hand steady. Birds are fearful of stepping on something that will give way beneath them, so don't flinch as your bird is learning this command.

    6

    Continue repeating this process until your bird is comfortable stepping up onto your fingers.

    7

    At this stage, many people take away the stick and simply tell their bird to "step up," as they insert their outstretched finger into the bird cage. You may do this, or you may want to continue using the stick until your bird has been removed from its cage.

Selasa, 28 Mei 2013

How to Ship a Bird Via Airplane

How to Ship a Bird Via Airplane

Whether you are a breeder or a bird owner, there may be times when you have to ship a bird to a distant location. It is against the law to ship birds through the United States Postal Service, so airline transport is a good option. The bird will arrive at its destination faster than with a ground transportation service. To make the bird's trip as smooth and comfortable as possible, you must make some advanced preparations and acquire a few traveling items.

Instructions

    1

    Contact the airline and inquire about health certificate requirements and weather restrictions. Some airlines insist that you provide proof of a health checkup, within 10 days of flying. The airline may also have policy restrictions regarding bird transport, during certain times of the year. Inquire about insurance coverage for the bird in the event that it is lost. Based on the information you are given, book a flight; preferably, a straight flight with no layovers or airplane changes.

    2

    Obtain a plastic kennel cab. The kennel should be wide enough for the bird to extend its wings, and tall enough to allow three inches of head-space above the top of its head.

    3

    Have the bird's wings clipped one day prior to travel. This will help to prevent its escape from the cage, if the kennel door unexpectedly opens.

    4

    Prepare the kennel on the day of the trip. Fill the water and food trays with pellets and water. Secure them to the inside of the kennel door with plastic cable ties.

    Put an empty cup in the kennel. This for an attendant to use to refill the water tray, should the flight be delayed.

    Line the kennel floor with shredded newspaper.

    Place fresh, juicy fruits in the kennel, such as oranges, melons and grapes. The fruits will keep the bird hydrated during the trip.

    Write a list of care instructions and tape it to the outside of the kennel.

    5

    Put an additional five days worth of pellets in a bag and place them in the kennel. This is a precaution in the event the flight is delayed, or the kennel is temporarily lost.

    6

    Cover the entrance of the kennel with a dark-colored cloth, as this can reduce any stress the bird may feel.

    7

    Secure the kennel entrance door with plastic cable ties, to prevent the door from opening during travel.

    8

    Arrive at the airport two hours before the plane departs. Prepare shipping labels with your name, address and telephone number, as well as the recipient's contact information. Affix the labels to the kennel in plain view.

    9

    Communicate the departure and arrival times. Contact the recipient as soon as the flight departs, and confirm the anticipated time of arrival, so that he can arrive at the airport before the plane lands.

How to Scare Pigeons & Seagulls From Buildings

How to Scare Pigeons & Seagulls From Buildings

Birds such as pigeons and seagulls are beautiful, fun for your kids to feed and have necessary functions in the environment. But, for many homeowners, business owners and building superintendents they also cause damage to roofs, are health hazards, destroy plants around buildings and ruin the aesthetics of buildings because of their nests and excrement. Killing the birds is not a viable option and is illegal in many places, so the best way to remove them from buildings is to install a number of protective and deterrent systems.

Instructions

    1

    Watch where the birds roost, nest and spend their time on the building. Find out the main times of the day they arrive and spend time on the building. Look for nesting areas, arrival and exit zones and where the largest quantities of feces exist.

    2

    Decide on what forms of protection and deterrents you need. If you have large open awnings, then measure them all before purchasing wire mesh. Locate all openings in the building that are over 1/2 inch in size where the birds roost and spend the most of their time. Measure roof ridges and roof edges if you want to install porcupine wire.

    3

    Make notes on all the sizes and shapes of the openings so you know how much material you need.

    4

    Go to your local hardware store and buy all the necessary wire mesh, stakes, reflective surfaces and other items.

    5

    Staple wire mesh over all open awnings and all other openings the birds use.

    6

    Tie fishing line to reflective items (old CDs or reflective tape) and nail them to wooden stakes - they can be pointed or flat, they are meant just as holders for the reflective devices.

    7

    Install the four wooden stakes to corners of building. Some larger buildings will need more than four stakes. Do not attach them directly to the roof as they could cause leaks. Nail or hook them with metal strips and screws to the fascia of the building. Also hang reflective items from chimneys, air vents or other tall structures on the roof such as antennas to help deter the birds. You can also use whirligigs or bird spiders hooked to the stakes to add extra moving items. Some bird spikes are made from metal, but wooden stakes are cheaper and easier to hang the other items from.

    8

    If the problem is severe, install porcupine wire across the roof ridges and along the roof edges. Porcupine wire usually comes in 2 to 5 foot lengths. The actual wire looks like the spikes on a porcupine and stands 3 to 8 inches tall depending on the kind of wire. It comes with an installation kit and should be installed to your building's fascia or gutters.

How to Tell a Male Goose From a Female in White Geese

Because of their striking beauty and generally friendly personalities, it's easy to see why many people wish to breed their white geese. White geese are not only good for meat, but they can also lay eggs, weed and trim your yard and provide feathers for pillows and comforters, according to Hobbyfarms.com. To successfully breed your white geese, you must know how to determine the birds' genders. With a bit of practice and cooperative birds, it's possible to do that.

Instructions

    1

    Grab your goose by its neck with one hand and its body with your other hand. Place the goose on its back on a table, with its head between your legs.

    2

    Extend the goose's tail over the edge of the table. Identify the vent or cloaca by looking underneath the tail. It should be pointing at you.

    3

    Hold the tail and apply pressure to both sides of the genitalia area. Wearing a rubber glove, insert your lubricated finger about one-half to three-fourths of an inch inside the opening. Rotate your finger in a circular motion to relax the muscles around the vent.

    4

    Look at the appearance of the genitals. If you detect an object that extends 2 to 3 inches and looks like a corkscrew, you have a male goose. If you see a smaller object protrude that doesn't resemble a corkscrew, you have a female goose, according to the Michigan State University Extension.

How to Train Roller Pigeons

Roller pigeons can be a delight to watch as they turn and tumble in the air. A favorite breed to many pigeon trainers, the birds are a fascination to many. Though you can't actually train a roller to roll, as it is part of its intuitive nature, with proper training, you can get the most out of your birds' talent. On the opposite end, without proper training and handling, you can ruin even the best birds--they will become lazy and less entertaining.

Instructions

    1

    Choose the right birds. Gain roller pigeons either through your own breeding or through a knowledgable fancier. Start with squeekers (babies), since they are more easily trained than older birds. Training with older birds can and does work, but it takes considerable more time. Part of this is the fact that breaking bad habits can be difficult. Purchase breeding stock from a pigeon loft known for bearing good birds; then, raise and train the youngsters that you have bred.

    2

    Begin training while birds are still in the nest. Place a little feed in the box for the youngs' parents. As you place the food, whistle at your birds; they will learn to associate this with food. Before long, the babies will peck at the feed, and soon realize that you are the food source. Soon, they will squeak and beg for food whenever you come near in the loft.

    3

    Take the babies out of their nestbox and place them on the lower perches of the breeding loft once they are eating well on their own. Here, they will familiarize with the other youngsters, yet their parents can still feed them. At this point, they will be going to the flying loft soon, and that transition can be less stress-inducing if they already know other birds.

    4

    Feed them twice a day, always whistling as you place the feed. Make sure that all are eating and drinking enough; if this is not the case, put them back with the parents for a few days. Watch for scalping from the cock birds. Keeping a box near the floor for them to hide in seems to help.

    5

    Place the young pigeons in a kit box, which is simply a small loft for flying rollers. The small size prevents birds from flying much inside. Most kit boxes can be enclosed to keep out most of the daylight; this will help the birds to kit and perform better.

    6

    Start trap training a few days after the kit box process. A trap allows the birds into the loft, but not out. The simplest traps are small windows that the bird can squeeze through. There is a landing board on the outside but not on the inside of the loft. Show each bird how the trap works, and push them through it several times. Leave a little food in the loft as you train them to go through, and continue to associate the whistle with the food. Repeat this process twice a day for a couple days.

    7

    Place the birds on top of the loft at a time when they are hungry. Close the trap so that the birds have to spend some time outside. Open the trap and call them, and from training, they should trap right in. Only put the birds out on fairly calm days for the first few weeks.

    8

    Release the birds. After your birds are settled, open the door and clap your hands. Some of the older birds will fly out on their own. After a couple of days, lightly toss the brids that stay in the loft rather than trying to fly. Be gentle so they aren't scared too much. Soon, they will understand that clapping means it's time to fly.

    9

    Introduce a few older birds to the kit once the majority of the young are staying in the air from a few minutes up to a half hour. The young will learn from their advanced flying friends.

How to Train a Bourke's Parakeet

How to Train a Bourke's Parakeet

Bourke's parakeet (neophema bourkii) is a small grass parakeet originally from Australia. Not to be confused with the popular budgerigar, commonly called a parakeet or budgie in the United States, a Bourke's parakeet is a smaller bird with a more reserved nature. Typically kept in groups as aviary birds, training experiences can vary according to the age and temperament of your bird.

The Bourke's is about 6 inches long including its tail. Its colors (as shown in the photo) are a combination of muted brown, gray, pink, white with accents of violet blue. The bird's large dark eyes give it a gentle appearance, and it's quiet twittering sounds won't disturb the most sensitive of ears. Bred in captivity for many years, the Bourke's parakeet is also available in a pink mutation known as the Rosey Bourke's.

Typically sold and kept as aviary birds, the Bourke's is not usually kept caged as a pet, but young Bourke's parakeets can be hand-fed and will readily attach to their human "parent." If you're lucky enough to find a hand-fed baby Bourke's, you won't need to do much training as the bird will want to be near you (or perched on you) given the opportunity.

If you want to tame a Bourke's parakeet, here are some tips for training your pet to step up on your finger.

Instructions

    1

    After allowing your Bourke's parakeet a day or two to get settled in its new home, you can begin taming the bird by speaking gently to it several times a day. Move slowly and quietly around your bird, so it won't startle. You want to gain your bird's confidence. Watch your bird's body language; if it comes close to you, that's a great start, but it may retreat to a corner of the cage. Another sign of fright is a horizontal posture that indicates that your Bourke's is ready to launch into flight. If your bird flutters around in the cage, step back as the bird can injure itself as it thrashes around. This may occur if the bird was raised in a large aviary and is not used to living in a smaller cage..

    2

    Discover your bird's favorite treat. Bourke's are from a family of birds that enjoy grass seed, and spray millet seed sold in pet stores (birdseed on the stem) is often a great favorite. Hold some millet in your open palm as you open the cage and gently insert your hand. Hold your hand open with the treat, and don't attempt to touch the bird or move your hand toward it. It may take a few days of this before your bird gets used to your hand. It's unlikely that your bird will alight on your hand and take the treat; your goal is for your bird to get used to your hand and understand that you won't harm it. When you can consistently place your hand in the cage with the bird staying calm, it's time to move to the next step.

    3

    Now that your Bourke's parakeet has gained your trust (and recognizes you as the bearer of treats), it's time to gently approach the bird while it's in its cage. Hold your index finger out horizontally and slowly approach your bird. It will probably look at your finger, move its head in either direction looking for an escape. If the bird flees from your hand, don't try to approach it. Just keep your hand steady within the cage, and talk gently to your bird. Once it settles down, try again. You may offer a treat to remind the bird that your hand is a good thing. Your goal is to gently press your index finger against your bird's chest just above its feet. As you do this, say (in a cheerful, high-pitched tone) "Step up." The bird will either back away or step up. If it steps up, praise it and keep still for a moment. If the bird jumps off of your finger, give it a moment and repeat the process. Eventually, the bird will step up when you present your index finger as a perch.

    4

    Once your bird readily steps up on your finger within its cage, it's time to take it out of the cage on your finger. (Read the safety tips before attempting to remove your bird from its cage.) It's best to start out in a small room with few or no windows. bathrooms are ideal, but make sure that the lid on the commode is closed Ask your bird to "step up," and when it does, gently remove your bird from the cage. If it takes off, go to where it lands and ask it to step up. If it does, you can congratulate yourself on having hand-tamed a Bourke's parakeet. If the bird flees in fright or confusion, you may need to lower the lights and gently retrieve the bird, holding it so that it can't bolt in the dark. Speak gently to your bird as you retrieve it. This process can take time, but eventually, your bird should learn to "step up" and stay on your finger.

How to Attract Red-Bellied Woodpeckers

How to Attract Red-Bellied Woodpeckers

Red-bellied woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) are found year-round in the eastern part of the United States and southern Canada, although they may migrate into the northern tier during the winter. Red-bellied woodpeckers have black and white zebra-like patterns covering their backs, wings and tail feathers, and red patches on their bellies. Males have bright red markings which extend from their beaks to the back of their necks. Females have grey crowns and red patches above their bills and at the nape of their necks. Attract red-bellied woodpeckers using food, a bird house or nesting box, dense and varied garden landscaping, water and dead trees.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase woodpecker seed formulas, black oil sunflower seeds, beef suet logs or cakes, berries, grapes, cherries, peanuts, acorns, almonds, cashews and dehydrated insects, which are found at a pet supply store.

    2

    Pick the type of bird feeder thats appropriate for the food you will be offering, such as a suet feeder, peanut feeder, tube feeder, tray feeder or platform feeder. Red-bellied woodpeckers are particularly attracted to feeders in the winter.

    3

    Arrange a suet feeder for beef suet logs and cakes, found at a meat market or birdseed store. Suet is a hard beef fat, typically from beef kidneys and is an essential source of fat for birds during the winter.

    4

    Prepare beef suet logs by cutting them into small chunks, melting them in a heavy pan over low heat, pouring the rendered suet into a container and placing it in your refrigerator to harden into a mold overnight.

    5

    Set up a peanut feeder for peanuts, a tray or platform feeder for insects and fruits, and a tube feeder for seeds. Black oil sunflower seeds have soft shells and provide red-bellied woodpeckers with essential nutrients, such as oils, protein, vitamins and minerals.

    6

    Position cut-up pieces of orange slices or dabs of peanut butter around the feeder to attract them.

    7

    Mount a medium to large-sized bird house or build a nesting box in the middle of at least two to three trees and an ample amount of shade. Choosing an area with varying amounts of height and densities, including surrounding shrubs, increases the likelihood of attracting red-bellied woodpeckers.

    8

    Design a garden landscape that includes canopy trees, flowering or ornamental trees, evergreens, bushes, shrubs, hedges, grasses, and annual and perennial flowers. Creating areas with a diverse selection of nesting material and places for red-bellied woodpeckers to build their homes provides shelter and protection from predators.

    9

    Deposit an ample supply of clean water in a commercial bird bath, large saucer, pie tin, bucket suspended from a sturdy tree branch or garbage can lid turned upside down on top of the garbage can. Aluminum items or surfaces that resonates loud sounds attract red-bellied woodpeckers.

    10

    Arrange dead or fallen trees in safe areas to attract red-bellied woodpeckers. Removing them reduces places they use to build their homes.

    11

    Clean feeders between feedings by disposing of moldy food and rinsing with soap and water to prevent avian disease.

Senin, 27 Mei 2013

How to Tell the Sex of Baby Budgie Parakeets

How to Tell the Sex of Baby Budgie Parakeets

A budgie is a small type of parakeet from Australia. These birds reach sexual maturity at about four months, but some indicators of the bird's sex can be seen before then. Knowing your bird's sex can be especially handy if you choose to give it a masculine or feminine name, or have a set of birds for breeding.

Instructions

    1

    Since your budgie is a baby, the key indicator of its sex will be on its beak. The cere is a small mound or bump located just above the bird's beak near the forehead, and serves as the bird's nose. The color of the cere will help determine the sex. A female budgie's cere can be a variety of colors, ranging from light yellow or white to more dark, tannish colors. A male budgie will have a blue cere. Feather colors develop later in the bird's life cycle.

    2

    Check the cere for any white if you can't determine what color it is. Female budgies will have white ceres before they turn another color. If there is no white on the bird's cere, there is a good chance it is male.

    3

    Look inside the bird's nostrils if you still can't determine which color is present on the cere. If you notice that they are white, it is most likely a female. Again, white is a strong sexual indicator for budgies. If the nostrils are pink and round, there is a strong chance it is a male.

    4

    Analyze the budgie's shape. Males are usually slim and trim, while females are more round. Since the bird has not fully developed, these are the best and most accurate ways to determine its sex. If, after performing these tests, you still are not able to determine the sex of your budgie, an expert at a pet store or member of a bird enthusiast organization may be able to provide some assistance.

Information on Yellow Ducks

Swedish yellow ducks, or "Svensk gul anka," live exclusively in Sweden. This domesticated waterfowl species thrived prior to 1950, then underwent a population decline significant enough for the country to believe they had gone extinct by the 1970s.

Hybridization

    Duck breeder Mans Eriksson of Svalov, a town in southwestern Sweden, created the first Swedish yellow ducks sometime prior to 1920 by crossing Swedish blue ducks with mottled, yellowish ducks he purchased in the nearby town of Molle.

Khaki Campbell Ducks

    Although Eriksson claimed in a 1940 magazine article that he crossed Swedish blue ducks with a "white race," the Svenksa Lanthonsklubben ("Swedish Native Poultry Society") believes he may have used other ducks, Khaki Campbells, in the breeding process.

Characteristics

    Swedish yellow ducks range from pale yellow to brown in color, with females showing consistent uniformity. The male sports a dark gray to brown head and a greenish-blue bill. The female's bill tends to be brownish-blue.

Suspected Extinction and Rediscovery

    Swedish yellow ducks disappeared from known breeding farms by the 1970s, but a single farmer in the town of Billinge kept the breed alive.

Recent Population Increase

    As few as 110 Swedish yellow ducks existed in 2001. That number rose to 145 by 2004, thanks to a renewed breeding program targeting population increase.

How to Buy an Emu

How to Buy an Emu

Emus are the second-largest bird, after the ostrich. They originated in Australia where the indigenous people used every part of them, just as the native Americans used the buffalo. Emu farming became popular in the United States in the 1980s, and people eventually started keeping them as pets. Buying emus isn't hard, but remember that they can grow as tall as 6 1/2 feet. Dont buy an emu unless you have room for it to grow, the patience to bond with it, and the strength to find a better home for it, if necessary.

Instructions

    1

    Check the zoning regulations in your area to ensure that you are allowed to have an emu.

    2

    Decide whether you want an egg, a chick, a yearling or an adult. Each has different pros and cons, but if you intend to keep your emu as a pet, you have a better chance with a chick that you can hand raise.

    3

    Find a reputable emu farm. The American Emu Association, and "Emu Today" and "Tomorrow Magazine" are both good sources, but you should visit several farms before deciding. Choose breeding pairs from two different farms to ensure that they are from different parents, as inbreeding causes many problems in emus.

    4

    When buying an older emu, you need to look for straight legs with rough-looking backs, a straight neck and back, eyes that are clear and bright and a calm and alert demeanor.

About the Massachusetts State Bird

The state bird of Massachusetts is the black-capped chickadee (Penthestes Atricapillus). The black-capped chickadee became Massachusett's state bird by a vote of the state legislature on March 21, 1941.

History

    Though the black-capped chickadee eventually became the legislature's choice to hold the title of state bird, earlier efforts favored other options. Ten years before the black-capped chickadee was selected as the state bird, the executive board of the State Federation of Women's Clubs introduced a bill to make the veery the official state bird. The effort failed and on March 21, 1941, the black-capped chickadee took its place as the state bird.

Identification

    The black-capped chickadee is a very small bird measuring just 4 to 5 inches from head to tail. The bird is easily recognized by the black cap and chin, white cheeks, grayish brown wings and tail, and white body.

Geography

    The black-capped chickadee can be found almost anywhere in the northern half of the United States and throughout Canada. Their populations expand from the center of major cities to the forests of the Midwest to the rugged territory of the Rocky Mountains. These birds generally build their nests close to the ground in rotted tree trunks, old wood posts or former woodpecker cavities. The black-capped chickadee feeds on an omnivorous diet that includes berries and seeds as well as small insects and larvae.

Time Frame

    Unlike many birds that migrate during the colder months of the year, the black-capped chickadee remains in its habitat for the entirety of the year. Bird watchers can enjoy the presence of the bird throughout the year. The black-capped chickadee can be recognized by its unique song that resembles a high-pitched chic-a-dee rhythm.

Expert Insight

    The black-capped chickadee is unusual with regard to its mating habits. Unlike many members of the animal kingdom, it is monogamous. Pairs of male and female black-capped chickadees remain partners for life. The male bird feeds the female during the nest building and brooding period. The male bird also shares the job of feeding the chicks when they are hatched. Females generally hatch six to eight eggs twice a year.

How to Make Your Canary Perch on Your Finger

Canaries are not as overtly friendly as members of the parrot family, but they bond closely and occasionally become perfectly happy to use your finger as a perch. Getting canaries to feel comfortable enough with you to do this requires your time and diligence. Birds, especially small ones, become scared very easily. Canaries are going to be wary by default. Bond first, and build on that foundation.

Choosing a Canary

    Hand-reared canaries are by far the most likely to be comfortable sitting on your finger, although they cost more money. Hand-rearing canaries takes a considerable amount of time and effort, so the breeder will pass on the cost to you. Whether you adopt hand-reared canaries or those brought up by their own parents, always go to a reputable breeder or an animal sanctuary -- dont buy from pet stores or from people in parking lots and at flea markets.

First Steps

    The first stage consists of two steps, which you'll do in tandem. A canary needs to become accustomed to your presence, so spend time standing quietly near the cage every day. He also needs to explore the room his cage is in, so canary-proof it -- which mainly means covering windows and mirrors and closing the door -- and let him out regularly. Do not chase him back to the cage; let him return of his own accord.

Finger Training

    With budgies, finger training usually begins inside the cage. With canaries, it is better to start outside. Canaries have a well-developed fear of predators, getting alarmed when they feel cornered, such as when you place your hand in the cage. Instead, begin by resting your hand and arm near where hes perching outside the cage and just wait. Repeat over a period of several days until he shows no sign of alarm when you place your hand near him. To get him to perch on your finger, carefully tickle his chest. Sooner or later, hell hop on, but dont rush him. If he wont perch on you one day, try again the next.

Considerations

    Many canaries will never become hand-tame, although they might gradually become more and more relaxed around humans. If this is the case, dont push it. You dont need to become best friends with a canary as that role is performed by another canary -- you should always keep canaries, and other finches, in pairs or small groups. In general, canaries are more aviary birds than hands-on pets. If you want a bird who relates well to people, you might be better off with a member of the parrot family.

How to Entertain Your Bird While You're Gone

Pet birds, especially parrots, are very intelligent and require a lot of stimulation to prevent problem behaviors such as screaming and feather plucking. Since most bird owners work outside the home, their pets spend much of the day without human companionship. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep your bird occupied and out of trouble while you're away.

Instructions

    1

    Offer your bird a wide variety of toys, including some that are destructible. Birds love to chew and dismantle their toys, and a well-constructed toy can keep a bird occupied for hours. For best results, keep three or four sets of toys and rotate them weekly.

    2

    Encourage your bird to forage by placing his favorite treats in hidden locations around his cage. You can hide a nut or sunflower seed inside wadded newspaper or a small cardboard box. Toys designed to create foraging opportunities are available at most specialty bird stores and on the internet.

    3

    Give your bird something to watch or listen to. Some birds enjoy watching television while their owners are away, and others prefer the radio. To avoid an overexcited bird screaming and disturbing the neighbors, you should try low key programming such as classical music or TV shows intended for very young children.

    4

    Consider giving your bird her own "pet." Many birds enjoy watching fish swimming in a nearby fish tank. Parrots are often amused by the antics of a smaller bird, such as a zebra finch, playing in a nearby cage.

    5

    Consider investing in a flight cage if your bird will be spending a lot of time alone. Flight cages not only allow your bird to fly, but have much more room to hang additional toys and create foraging opportunities.

How to Keep Birds in the Classroom

How to Keep Birds in the Classroom

Keeping birds as class pets isn't as common as keeping fish, rodents or reptiles. However, if the proper precautions are taken, it is possible. Birds, unlike other animals, have very fragile immune systems. They need a clean environment at all times without the use of common cleaners. Such chemicals can damage their lungs, cause upper respiratory infections or even death. They also demand more attention, including being held, talked to and taken out of the cage.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure the cage is large enough for your bird. Get the biggest cage possible. When it comes to birds in the classroom, the best choices are canaries and finches. They aren't as social as budgies or other larger parrots. The cage bars should be at most 1/4 inch apart. Bars should be horizontal and vertical to make climbing as easy as possible. The size of the cage should allow the bird to open its wings as well as short flights if it remains inside the cage.

    2

    Due to birds' weak immune systems, the cage should be cleaned two to three times a week. This includes the bedding or paper that is used in the bottom tray. Toys, bells, mirrors and perches should be disinfected once a month and left to air dry before you place them back inside the cage.

    3

    The bird needs clean food and water every day. Even if it has some seed left in its bowl, throw it out and give it fresh feed.

    4

    The class pet should be taken home every weekend with the teacher. Due to how quickly a bird can become ill, leaving it at school over the weekend could result in a dead bird on Monday.

    5

    Use bird-safe cleaners. Most schools have custodians who comes in during the evenings. The chemicals they use cannot be used in the same room as a bird. There are bird-safe cleaners available at most pet stores. Use those instead.

    6

    Cover birds in the evenings. Windows in the classroom can cause drafts. These drafts can make your bird sick. By keeping a bird covered, you lessen the likelihood of illness or death.

    7

    Wash your hands before handling the bird. If the bird is social and the children are old enough to gently handle it, hands must be washed and dried first. This is to keep the bird as well as your students safe.

    8

    Check with parents to see if any of your students have allergies to birds or feathers. While the focus is to keep the bird comfortable, the same goes for your students.

    9

    Keep the cage at an elevation where it can be monitored, but not bothered by the students. This level should be below the teacher's eye level while standing and out of reach of small hands.

    10

    Get the bird checked by an exotic vet on a regular basis. Three to four months between visits is normal. However, if the bird is acting listless, walking on the floor of the cage, not singing or eating, it may need emergency care. Birds don't show signs of illness until its well into their systems. If left untreated, the bird could die overnight.

Minggu, 26 Mei 2013

How to Get My Parakeet Active

How to Get My Parakeet Active

Parakeets are naturally social birds, and they require a lot of mental stimulation to be happy, healthy and active. They also need to have access to plenty of food, water and sunlight. If you take proper care of your parakeet and spend time every day socializing with it, you shouldn't have to coax your parakeet to be active. Remember that parakeets may be active at different times of the day than you are.

Instructions

    1

    Let the parakeet adjust to its new environment when you first bring it home. Even an older parakeet may need some time to adjust if you move it to a different room or get another bird or animal. Parakeets can take up to two weeks to adjust, according to Pet Budgie.

    2

    Feed your parakeet a healthy, well-balanced diet. Most parakeets need a combination of seed, leafy green vegetables and grit to remain healthy. Make sure the vegetables are as fresh as possible. Hang them in the cage rather than putting them on the floor or in a food bowl.

    3

    Spend social time with your parakeet every day. Inadequate activity can make parakeets lethargic and moody. Take your parakeet out of its cage, or sit near it and talk to it.

    4

    Provide toys for your parakeet to play with. There are toys available at pet stores, but you can also use a variety of household items as toys for your parakeet.

    5

    Allow your parakeet time out of its cage every day. Shut all the doors and windows, and put other animals outside until you are sure that the free-ranging parakeet won't agitate or excite them. Let your parakeet fly around and explore the room. This will give your bird important mental stimulation.

    6

    Get another parakeet as a companion. Parakeets are naturally social, and they crave the company of other birds. Another parakeet may help to make your bird more active.

How to Prevent Small Worms in Birdbaths

Birdbaths are great ways to attract birds to a yard or garden. Birds not only eat insects around your home, but they are interesting to observe. If you are using a birdbath to bring birds to your home, take preventative measures so the birdbath doesn't become infested with small worms or mosquito eggs.

Instructions

Keeping Worms Out of a Birdbath

    1

    Empty the water in your bird bath every two to three days.

    2

    Scrub the birdbath with a scrub brush and water to remove algae.

    3

    Fill the birdbath with fresh clean water.

    4

    Place a water wiggler in the birdbath.

Installing a Dripper or Mister

    5

    Screw the Y-valve directly to an outside faucet.

    6

    Wrap the two hooks near the top of the dripper or mister around the outside edge of your birdbath.

    7

    Adjust the needle valve by turning it to the left to regulate water flow.

Eclectus Breeding Tips

The Eclectus parrot is a gorgeous bird with many vivacious colors. When one is in flight, viewers get a chance to see the vibrant greens, reds, oranges and yellows grace the sky. Native to Australia, an Eclectus parrot's beauty is the reason many people breed them. If done correctly, Eclectus parrots are fairly easy to breed.

Breeding Age for Eclectus

    Some people attempt to pair Eclectus parrots that are too old and receive chicks with health issues. This also holds true for immature breeding. The perfect age for breeding is from 6 to 12 months. This way, the Eclectus chicks will be beautiful and healthy.

Housing for Breeding

    When breeding Eclectus parrots, standard housing cages do not seem to get the job done. Suspended cages are more appropriate for these spectacular creatures. A common measurement for these cages is about 13 feet long, 6 feet high.

Privacy

    Eclectus birds mate in confidentiality. If anything is present during their mating process, they will be distracted enough to stop mating. For best results, keep the parrots in a suspended cage with no other birds, no noise distractions and no people. The result of privacy deprivation means unfertilized eggs.

When Do Baby Lovebirds Leave the Nesting Box?

When Do Baby Lovebirds Leave the Nesting Box?

Lovebirds lay clutches of four and six eggs. As the baby birds grow, their nesting box will become crowded; it will be difficult for so many birds to coexist comfortably in the box. It is normal for baby lovebirds to leave the crowded nesting box when they are mature enough to begin caring for themselves.

Lovebird Reproduction

    Lovebird eggs hatch 22 to 25 days after they were first laid. The female and male birds both incubate and care for the eggs and hatchlings. Caring for the baby birds is a time-consuming activity that requires both parents to feed each individual nestling. If the baby lovebirds are removed from the parents before they can feed themselves, they will have to be hand-fed by a person until they are ready to feed on their own.

Weaning

    Baby lovebirds wean themselves naturally from their parents when they are approximately 8 weeks old and have developed all of their feathers so that they are able to fly. Baby lovebirds who are fully weaned can find and eat their own food and do not require hand-feeding or continued feedings from their parents. In a natural environment, baby lovebirds who have been weaned will move out of the nest.

Taming Baby Birds

    The younger your baby lovebirds are when you start handling them, the easier it will be for you to successfully tame them. Tame baby birds tend to make better pets than those who are not used to being handled by humans until a later age. It is common for lovebird breeders to remove baby lovebirds from the nesting box before they are old enough to be weaned so the breeder can begin taming them.

Hand-Taming

    You can remove baby lovebirds whom you're hand-taming from the nesting box when they are less than a month old. Young baby birds who have been removed from the nesting box are hand-fed and handled regularly to tame them. If your adult birds are social and do not mind allowing you to handle the babies, you may be able to remove young chicks for handling every day and then return them to the nesting box so the parents will continue feeding and caring for the chicks. Not all adult birds will allow you to remove chicks from the nest and then care for those same chicks once they have been returned, Consider your birds' unique personalities before you try this method.

How to Hatch Baby Quail Eggs

How to Hatch Baby Quail Eggs

To hatch baby quail eggs successfully, there are certain specific requirements. Quail eggs are small and have a speckled appearance. These eggs can be bought from a local farmer or specialized hatcheries that sell quail eggs for hatching. It can be a rewarding experience to hatch your own quail eggs. Before the hatching process, the correct type of equipment is needed.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase an incubator that doesn't require external ventilation. Choose an incubator that is equipped with ventilation holes. Place the incubator in an area away from direct sunlight. Set the temperature to at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit when hatching the eggs.

    2

    Choose fertile baby quail eggs. To ensure that the eggs are fertile, it is best to buy them from hatcheries or local, reputable farmers. Check the eggs for cracks or dents, as cracked or dented eggs are not suitable for hatching.

    3

    Put the baby quail eggs inside the incubator with the small pointed side downwards. Turn the eggs at least three times daily. Once in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. This will prevent the embryos from sticking to the side of the egg shell.

    4

    Check for signs of fertility by using a candling light. The light is held in front of the eggs. As the light passes through the eggs, it shows the shadow of the embryo. The time it take quail eggs to hatch depends on the type of quail that is being hatched.

    5

    Stop turning the eggs after the 15th day. Keep the incubator door closed while the eggs are hatching. After the eggs are hatched, remove the baby quails carefully and place them in a brooder. Clean the incubator with a damp cloth and let it dry thoroughly.

What Is a Candled Egg?

What Is a Candled Egg?

A candled egg is one which has been held up to a bright, concentrated light source in order to view the interior contents without breaking the shell. When placing an egg against a light with an aperture of about an inch in an otherwise darkened room, an experienced candler can quickly determine an egg's quality and fertility, among other things.

Checking Quality

    Poultry breeders who incubate their own eggs use candling to check the quality of eggs before attempting to hatch them. Because eggs with hairline shell cracks or internal irregularities of the yolk, white or air cell have a poor chance of hatching, they are best identified early so that they can be replaced by better candidates. Internal conditions that may be detected include bloody whites, blood or meat spots, bacterial contamination and excessive age.

Checking Fertility

    By the third, fourth or fifth day after being placed in the incubator, a breeder can use candling to see which eggs are fertile and which are not. Infertile eggs should be removed, since they will often become contaminated and rotten in the warm, moist conditions of the incubator, possibly exploding and contaminating fertile eggs next to them. Fertile eggs, when candled, show a spidery network of veins with the small mass of the embryo visible in the center.

Chick Development

    Developing chick embryos with genetic or developmental abnormalities tend to die off in two waves; the first, after about a week of incubation, and the second, a few days before hatching. By candling after these two critical development periods, the breeder can remove unviable eggs from the incubator and get a better idea of expected hatch rates. Dead embryos in the early stage exhibit a blood ring or halo; in the later stage, they simply stop moving inside the shell.

Grading Table Eggs

    The United States Department of Agriculture has detailed guidelines for grading table eggs based on quality. Several of these guidelines deal with the interior contents of the egg, and can only be checked by candling or breaking the egg to visually inspect the yolk and white. While most eggs are checked by personnel using mass scanning devices, eggs are still spot-checked by individuals using hand candling devices to check the accuracy of the automated system.

How to Take Care of Orphaned Baby Tree Swallows

How to Take Care of Orphaned Baby Tree Swallows

Spotting a baby tree swallow on the ground, unable to fly, may bring out your inner animal rescuer. Uninjured baby birds with feathers, called fledglings, should be left alone because one or both parent birds are most likely nearby. Baby birds without feathers can be returned to the nest, if you're able to find it. Observe the area from a distance; if the parent birds do not return within an hour, the baby tree swallow needs your help.

Instructions

    1

    Contact the closest wildlife rehabilitation center. Orphaned birds have the greatest chance of survival if cared for at one of these facilities. If there is no wildlife rehabilitation center nearby, you may hand raise the baby tree swallow.

    2

    Wash your hands before and after caring for the baby tree swallow.

    3

    Provide adequate housing for the baby bird. If it is a hatchling (no feathers and closed eyes), use a small box with a light cover. Maintain temperatures of 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit by lining the bottom of the box with a heating pad set on low. If it is a fledgling (has feathers and open eyes), use a small bird cage with a nest area. Use a small laundry basket if no cage is available. Line the bottom with plastic, newspaper or paper towels. Provide twigs for perching.

    4

    Change the cage lining layers several times a day.

    5

    Provide a small, shallow dish of fresh, clean water. Add rocks to the dish to prevent drowning.

    6

    Feed hatchlings commercial baby bird fool prepared according to the manufacturer's directions. Use an eyedropper to place the food in the back of the baby bird's mouth, past the windpipe. Feed hatchlings every 20 minutes from morning until night. Feed fledglings a mix of baby bird food, insects, wheat bread, mealworms, nuts, chopped apples, alfalfa sprouts and sunflower seeds. Feed fledglings every 30 minutes, gradually increasing the time between feedings to two hours.

    7

    Encourage the baby tree swallow to self-feed after 10 days of feeding every two hours. Use tweezers to feed solid foods, showing the bird the dish the foods come from. Leave the dish of food in the cage and watch to see if the bird eats from the dish. The bird should be self-feeding by 4 weeks of age.

    8

    Mist the baby tree swallow with a spray bottle twice a day. Provide a shallow dish of water for bathing.

    9

    Release the baby tree swallow once it is able to fly and consistently self-feed. Provide an outdoor bird feeder.

How to Stop an Aggressive Female Budgie From Flying Away & Biting

How to Stop an Aggressive Female Budgie From Flying Away & Biting

Budgerigars, or Melopsittacus undulatus, are small pet birds originally from Australia. Also called parakeets, wild budgies are nomadic birds found in different types of climates and landscapes searching for food, according to World Parrot Trust. Wild parakeets live in flocks and fly for long distances searching for suitable food. If you have a budgie as a pet, you need to be aware of the budgie's active nature and provide toys for it to be entertained. Budgies are social birds but sometimes you may come across an aggressive female budgie and need to stop if from flying away and biting.

Instructions

    1

    Catch the aggressive female budgie with an old towel. This will prevent any biting or scratching. Be gentle with the bird since she is small and you can damage her wings. Females are sometimes more aggressive than males especially during breeding season.

    2

    Open up a wing carefully and trim the last eight feathers or the primaries. This will clip her wings so she cannot fly away. You may need an assistant to help you do this. Cut roughly one-third off from the bottom of the wing below the blood feathers. Blood feathers are feathers which contain blood vessels and are found in the top half of the wings. You can see the red blood vessels of the blood feathers and avoid cutting this area. Repeat with the other wing and be sure the wings are evenly trimmed.

    3

    Place your female budgie back into her cage and leave her alone for 24 hours to calm her down. If she has cage-mates, you can place her back in with them unless she is showing aggression to them as well. By clipping her wings, she will not be able to fly away but you will still need to work on the biting.

    4

    Open her cage door at least once a day for one hour. You want the bird to at least come out and walk around the cage. If she will not come out, place a dowel as a perch into the cage. Come up from the bottom of the cage rather than the top. Coming in from the top may scare her. You want her to step up onto the dowel. Say "step up" to her so she knows you want her to step onto the dowel. By teaching her to use a dowel first helps gain her trust. Then you will teach her to step up onto your finger.

    5

    Catch your budgie with the towel again if she will not step up on to the dowel. Take her into a small quiet room like a bathroom or large closet. Close the door. Place her on the floor and soothe her with your calm voice. Work with her to step up onto the dowel by placing it near her while she is on the ground. Practice until she will do this.

    6

    Place her back into her cage. Let her rest. After about an hour, place the dowel back in the cage for her to step onto. If she won't step up, take her back to the small room to practice. If she will step up slowly take the dowel out of the cage with her on it. Hold it at your waist level, and offer her your index finger. Say "step up." Continue practicing stepping up onto your finger.

    7

    Offer a treat once she has stepped up onto your finger. Once she is fine with your finger, place a treat further into the palm of your hand so she must walk over to reach it. Stroke the breast area of your budgie if she takes the treat and offer another one. Some budgies do not like to be petted. If this is the case, practice having her on your finger only.

    8

    Shake gently your finger if she bites you aggressively. Some budgies may test the finger before stepping up to be sure it is a solid perch. Do not confuse this with biting. If your budgie does bit, you can twist or shake your finger while saying "no." This will let her know it is incorrect behavior.

    9

    Blow a puff of air into your budgie's face, if she bites you. This will let her know biting is incorrect behavior. Aim the air at her nostrils.

King Bird of Paradise Facts

The king bird of paradise is part of the Paradisaeidae family and has the scientific name of Cicinnurus regius. It is the smallest bird in this family, growing to only 5.9 inches, according to the San Diego Zoo website.

Population

    The BBC states that as of 2009 the king bird of paradise was given a "Least Concern" conservation status. This rating from the IUCN Red List, which categorizes animal species based on threat level and conservation need, signifies that there is an abundance of this species and no threat of extinction.

Habitat

    The BBC's Wildlife Finder website states that a king bird of paradise can be found in rain forests and tropical, coastal forests called mangroves. These birds can also be found in Indonesia.

Identification

    Like many other bird species, the male and female king bird of paradise look drastically different. According to the BBC, female are dull brown, while males are red with blue and white feet and green-tipped fan-like plumes on their shoulders.

Mating

    Males hang upside down from branches during courtship. Some males go through their lives without mating, because they fail to attract a female. If a male successfully courts a female, he mates with her and immediately leaves to mate with another female.

Communication

    King birds of paradise communicate visually with signals such as body language and color to deliver messages to fellow birds and to warn of potential danger.

How to Breed Grass Parrots

How to Breed Grass Parrots

Peaceful and non-destructive, the grass parrot demands remarkably little to keep it happy and maintain its overall health. The birds reach sexual maturity at approximately five months old. House a pair in a flight cage separate from other grass parrots, so quarrels do not erupt. Despite their diminutive size, they require a flight cage to thrive when breeding. A quiet bird, they prefer to keep to themselves -- and do best when located in a peaceful area. The hen usually lays about six eggs per clutch. Both male and female work together to make excellent parents.

Instructions

    1

    Place the breeding pair into a flight cage that measures 7 feet long by 2 1/2 feet wide by 7 feet high. Place eucalyptus branches of varying diameter throughout the cage to work as perches. Consider placing potted plants on the floor of the cage. Choose non-toxic varieties.

    2

    Affix a nest box high in the cage. Use a commercial parakeet nest box. Line the bottom of the nest box with 2 or 3 inches of sawdust. The male bird will spend a day or two inspecting the nest box and messing with the sawdust, until he feels it is perfect. Once it passes his inspection the female will retreat to its dark confines. She will lay approximately one egg every other day. The eggs take about 18 days to incubate. The female will be the only one that sits on the eggs, but the male will remain close and feed the female.

    3

    Mix a commercial parakeet diet with a finch diet. Free feed the birds as much as they will eat. Provide fresh millet for the birds to pick at. Chop up fresh fruit and vegetables such as apples, oranges, dandelions, mustard greens, collard greens, kale and corn for the breeding pair to enjoy.

    4

    Give the breeding pair bowls of mixed vegetables and fruits each day. Toast a piece of whole wheat bread and crumble it into a bowl for the birds to enjoy. Provide fresh water daily.