Minggu, 30 Juni 2013

Information on the Button Quail

The Chinese painted quail, also known as the button quail, is a species often found in aviaries and homes. These small birds tend to live for five to seven years in captivity, but may live as long as 13 years. Button quails are typically eager to breed in captivity, possibly producing clutches of eggs year-round with correct conditions and lighting.

Habitat

    In the wild, button quail live in the warm grasslands of India, southern China, northern Australia and other areas in Oceania. There are 10 identified subspecies in the wild, however, most of the captive birds in the United States are thought to be of the subspecies C. c. Chinensis, or Chinese painted quail, according to Gbwf.org.

Features

    Button quails are small birds, weighing in at one to two ounces. Females reach an average length of 5 inches and males reach 4 inches. They come in several colors, including blue, white, gray and silver, as well as in color combinations. Many of these color mutations were developed in captivity. Males are generally more colorful than their female counterparts, and in most colors they possess a white and black bib. Button quails have feet designed for walking, not perching, and they prefer not to fly. Although not song birds, button quail may produce a variety of quiet clicks, crows and chirps.

Benefits

    Because it is a ground-dwelling bird, the button quail is often used in the aviary to clean up after finches and other birds that are messy eaters. They eat the seed dropped by their aerial counterparts. These birds tend to be rather docile, as well, making them well-suited as pets for children.

Housing

    The bottom of the enclosure should not be wire because their toes are not designed for perching. Instead, it should be a solid surface -- and one that can be cleaned.
    Button quail do not need housing decorated as the wild, however they should have several hiding places they can escape into if wanted. A shoebox with two entrance cut outs or non-toxic foliage (orchids and spider plants, among others) is recommended by AvianWeb.com.

    Button quail can be kept with other species of birds, such as finches and parrots, as long as the other species are non-aggressive. Housing should be as large as space permits, giving the quail room to fly if the bird chooses to. They also tend to "popcorn," or pop into the air, straight up, when startled. Nesting will often be done within one of their hiding places or a new "shelter" added during this time.

Feeding

    Button quails require animal (protein) and vegetation in their feed. Live food, such as maggots, crickets or mealworms, should be fed to button quail regularly. They can also eat other types of protein, such as hard-boiled eggs and cooked beans, according to AvianWeb.com. Button quails also feed off finch seed, millet sprays and vegetation. The majority of their diet should be in the form of game bird mash or crumbles, which supplies 20 percent protein.

List of Owl Breeds

List of Owl Breeds

The owl is a bird that has often been synonymous with mystery, being interpreted as a harbinger of good luck or of doom, depending upon the culture prevailing in the region where the bird lived. Scientists from all over the world have endeavored to identify and classify these elusive animals. The number of owl breeds has kept changing over the years as new species are discovered and some have disappeared.

Is There an Accurate Number of Owl Species?

    According to "Owls -- A Guide to the Owls of the World," by Konig, Weick and Becking, in which these birds were identified, counted and reclassified in a meticulous and exhaustive manner, the number closed at 212 species worldwide. After the book was published, between 1992 and the present, the latest news has it that five more species have been identified. This brings the total number of owl species to 217.

The Families of Owls

    Owls belong to the zoological class of Aves, Strigiformes. This order is subdivided into two families: the Strigidae, or typical owls, and the Tytonidae, or barn owls.

    The chief physical characteristics of the Strigidae family are large, rounded heads, strong hooked beaks, round facial discs of feathers, front-facing eyes, dense feather coverage, stocky bodies, camouflaging color feathers and strong feet with razor-sharp talons. Their size varies from 4.7 inches to 29.5 inches (12-75 cms tall), and they weigh from 1.4 ounces to 148 ounces (40 gms-4.2 kgs).

    Chief physical characteristics of the owls that belong to the Tytonidae family are long, compressed bills and long legs in comparison to their tails. In addition, the facial disk of feathers is heart-shaped, and there are no "ear" tufts. Their eyes are small and oval-shaped, and their hearing powers are superb. Research shows that owls belonging to this family can locate and catch prey based on sound alone. The middle claw looks and behaves like a "comb claw": It is serrated, and the owls use it for preening. The color of these owls is often brown-gray on the back, with a light, contrasting belly. Their size varies from 9 inches to 22.4 inches (23 cms--57 cms), and their weight, from 6.6 ounces to 2.8 pounds (187 gms--1.3 kgs).

Owls in the Strigidae Family

    There are 23 genera in this family, which is composed of 194 species. They live all over the world, with the exception of Antarctica. One genus, Bubo, contains species such as the American horned owls. Some other common species names in the Strigidae family of owls include the cape-eagle owl, crested owl, brown fish owl, spectacled owl, Malay fish owl, hawk owl, barking owl, bare-legged owl, spotted little owl, fearful owl and Jamaican owl, among others.

    More than one-third of the world's total number of owls belongs to the Otus genus of this family. Some examples of the Otus genus owls are white-fronted scops owl, Indian scops owl, bare-legged scops owl, elegant scops owl, spotted scops owl and, striated scops owl.

Owls in the Tytonidae Family

    There are two genera in the Tytonidae family: the Phodilus and the Tyto. Eighteen species of owls are in this family, 17 belonging to the Tyto genus and only one to the Phodilus genus. The 17 species in the Tyto genus are the greater sooty owl, lesser sooty owl, Minahassa barn owl, Taliabu masked owl, lesser masked owl, Manus masked owl, New Britain barn owl, Australian masked owl, Tasmanian masked owl, Celebes barn owl, Soumagnes grass owl, common barn owl, Andaman barn owl, ashy-faced owl, African grass owl, Eastern grass owl and Congo bay owl. The Phodilus genus has only one species -- the Oriental bay owl.

    The five new species have not been included in this count yet.

What Are Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Like?

What Are Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Like?

The ruby-throated hummingbird is a small bird in the family Trochilidae, which contains 328 species of hummingbird. Hummingbirds also belong to the order Apodiformes, which means unfooted birds. Although small, the birds do actually have feet but they are held close to the body and are not visible in flight.

Description

    The ruby-throated hummingbird is a small bird, growing to just 4 inches in length, and weighing between 2 and 6 grams. Male birds have an emerald green back and head with a paler stomach and a red throat. Females are similar in color but with a whiter front and throat. Females are slightly larger than the males and have longer bills. The birds' tiny wings beat at 40 to 80 strokes per second, making them capable of flight speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Range and Habitat

    The bird lives mainly in woodland areas, but can be found in gardens that have plenty of flowers in bloom. They range all along the eastern U.S., in southern Canada, down through Mexico and into parts of Central America. The species also lives on some of the Caribbean islands during the winter months, embarking on oceanic flights that take up to 20 hours from the mainland.

Diet

    The ruby-throated hummingbird is an omnivore. It will eat small insects and spiders but feeds mainly on the sweet, high energy nectar of flowers and tree saps. It is an agile flier, using its rapid wing beats to fly forwards, backwards, side to side and even upside down. Long beaks reach deep into flowers to lap at the nectar. The bird must eat up to twice its body weight daily because of its super fast metabolism and high energy flying style.

Life Cycle

    The birds live a solitary existence, coming together only briefly to mate. Males use their attractive plumage to get the attention of females in their territory and, after a brief, uncomplicated courtship, the birds mate. Once the female is pregnant, the male has no more to do with the process, leaving the female to build her walnut-sized nest. Between one and two pea-sized eggs are laid, which the female incubates for 12 to 16 days before they hatch. The mother feeds the chicks who are ready to leave the nest after 18 to 23 days. In the wild the bird lives for 5 to 9 years.

How to Purchase the Best Parakeet (Budgie) for Training

Purchasing a parakeet is easy. Go to the pet store and pick one out. But if you want a bird that is easy to train and very social, consider the following suggestions before you shop.

Instructions

    1

    Parakeets are charming companions. They chirp and sing throughout the day. They will dance in their cage when they hear music. If you train them, they will sit on your finger and ride on your shoulder. They will eat from your hand and sit on the top of their cage. Parakeets that are the easiest to train are very young parakeets. The reason is that they have had little exposed to the pet store environment and will adjust easily to their new home with you.

    2

    To purchase a young parakeet you may have to look around a bit. Go to the pet stores in your area and look at their selection. A pet store that gets a lot of business is more likely to have young birds that one tucked away in a shopping center. If the store has young parakeets you will be able to see the difference in size and physical appearance. Talk to the sales clerk and see if they know about how old the birds are and when a new supply of birds will be available again. You may want to leave your name and number so they can contact you when the next group of parakeets arrive.

    3

    If you do end up with an older bird, do not worry. Your bird will still be trainable. What you do not want to do is purchase a second parakeet right away. Parakeets train easily because they are interest in what you are doing. If there is a second bird in the cage, they will be interested in the other bird and not you.

How to Raise Tennessee Red Quail

How to Raise Tennessee Red Quail

Tennessee red quail belong to the bobwhite quail family. Bobwhites are famed for their distinctive mating call, which sounds similar to the word "bobwhite." Tennessee red quail have brownish-red bodies with black markings. Male Tennessee reds sometimes have a black face and neck. These quail are often raised for profit, either for their eggs or their meat. Many enthusiasts raise Tennessee red quail simply for pleasure.

Instructions

    1

    Check your local and state laws regarding raising game birds. Raising quail is restricted in some areas of the U.S., while other areas require quail owners to obtain special permits. Obtain any necessary permits before attempting to raise Tennessee red quail.

    2

    Purchase or build quail cages. Tennessee reds are social creatures that are happiest in flocks. If you plan to house multiple quail in one cage, however, choose a cage large enough for them to comfortably live and move around in; generally about 2 square feet of cage space per quail is sufficient. Provide both outdoor space and shelter within the cage. Consider obtaining an egg incubator as well, particularly if you plan on starting with quail eggs rather than baby or adult quail.

    3

    Choose your first few quail. Find a reputable breeder in your area. If you want to start with baby or adult quail, choose healthy-looking, lively birds. Pick at least one male and several females, as Tennessee reds often breed in trios or colonies. Starting with quail eggs is a viable option, but you run the risk of ending up with a batch of single-gender quail.

    4

    Set up your quail comfortably in their new habitat. Quail eggs should be placed in an incubator until they hatch. Clean the cages of quail chicks and adults regularly to avoid messy buildup. Feed your quails a nutritional diet; commercially prepared quail food is typically sufficient for Tennessee reds, but these quail also enjoy eating various seeds, insects and plants such as corn.

    5

    Prepare for the breeding season. Tennessee reds begin laying eggs after their first year of life. Eggs are laid beginning in May and continue for about two months. Most quail breeders place newly laid eggs in an incubator. Chicks will hatch after about 21 days.

Sabtu, 29 Juni 2013

How to Train a Quaker Parakeet

How to Train a Quaker Parakeet

The Quaker parakeets, also known as Quaker parrots or the monk parakeets, are small-to-medium parrots with green bodies and grey bellies and faces. Some have blue feathers instead of green. Adults grow to be about 12 inches long including the tail. Native to South America, Quaker parrots are among the few parrots that have spread, at least partially through escaped pets, to North America. They are the only parrot or parakeet to be able to survive in such cold climates as the Chicago area and New York City. Considered a threat to crops, although this is disputed, they are illegal in several states. Quakers are intelligent birds and can be loud, but can be trained and can learn to be excellent vocal mimics.

Instructions

Training Your Quaker parakeet

    1

    Use positive reinforcement to train your Quaker. When your parrot behaves in the way your want, reward it with a treat. A small bit of favorite food works well. It is also useful to use a training clicker as well as verbal praise to reward the Quaker, so that it will want to repeat the action. Do not use negative reinforcement, i.e. punishing the bird for doing the wrong thing. The bird will not fully understand what is going on, and will simply become fearful and agitated.

    2

    Training your bird to talk is one of the fun things about owning a Quaker parrot. Natural mimics, Quaker parrots are known for talking early, and your bird will probably pick up some words just from spending time around you and your family. These words can form the basis of other words or phrases that you can teach your bird. Begin with words the bird already says, or words that have similar sounds, since it already knows how to make those. Reward the parrot until it makes familiar noises or words on command, and then proceed to get the bird to make other sounds.

    3

    Train your Quaker to do some common tasks that will make handling it much easier. The most basic trick for a parrot is to teach it to step up. At the command "step up" the bird should step onto your outstretched hand or arm. This will make it much easier to take your Quaker in and out of its cage. "Come here" is another useful trick. Teach the bird that when you tell it to come here, it will be rewarded when it does so. Again, this will make it easier to take care of the bird. A Quaker can learn more complicated tricks based on easy tasks like these; teach the parrot a few easy tricks, and then use positive reinforcement to chain them together into a complicated action. This training will be interesting and stimulating for your Quaker parrot, and keep them from getting bored, improving both your lives.

How to Teach a Parakeet to Talk in Phrases

How to Teach a Parakeet to Talk in Phrases

Watching your pet parakeet talk and imitate a variety of sounds is among the most rewarding experiences of owning a parrot. Parakeets are flock birds that live in groups in the wild and communicate with each other using sounds. While some parakeets are natural talkers, others may need coaxing and training to talk. It is easier to teach parakeets to talk from an early age.With proper care and training, however, your parakeet will soon be mimicking sounds, and talking words and phrases that entertain and liven up your home.

Instructions

    1

    Expose your parakeet to stimulating human environments that will encourage it to learn to talk. Place its cage in areas that have a lot of human interaction such as the kitchen. Allow the bird at least two weeks to get used to the sounds and activity. The food aromas emanating from the kitchen will help your parrot relax, acclimatize it to human sounds and prepare it for speech training.

    2

    Begin the speech training session early in the morning or late in the evening as it nears dusk. Parakeets are at their nosiest during these times in the wild, and will be most receptive to speech training.

    3

    Ensure that the area where you are training your parakeet is quiet. Request family members to leave the room where you will train the bird. Switch off the radio, TV and other visual and audible distractions, as you will require your parrot's wholehearted attention.

    4

    Perch the parakeet on your hand or finger. Hold it about twelve inches away from your mouth or perch it on a tee stand. Slowly speak short phrases such as "Good Morning" and repeat it every ten seconds. Reward your parakeet with a treat when you hear it make a sound that resembles "Good Morning." Teach the bird a new phrase only once it has mastered the one that you are teaching it.

    5

    Teach your parakeet to associate words with actions. For instance, greet the bird with a cheerful, "Good Morning" or "Rise and Shine" at the start of every morning when you draw the cloth away from its cage. Say "Good Night" to your parakeet each evening when you put it to bed.

    6

    Keep the training session short. Have two training sessions each day, and let each session last for twenty minutes. You may hear your parakeet practicing the words you teach it on its own, well after the training session is over. Encourage and help the bird by repeating the words or phrases that it is trying to imitate.

Uses of Parrots

Uses of Parrots

Parrots are known for their colorful plumage. In popular culture, they are associated with pirates, as exemplified by Treasure Island's Long John Silver, whose parrot, Captain Flint, was constantly on his shoulder. They are best known, however, for their ability to precisely mimic sounds, including human speech. Many animals are able to communicate with humans, but only parrots (as well as a few other birds, such as mynas) are able to actually use human words. The ability to mimic human speech varies widely among parrot species and individuals. There is much debate about whether or not parrots actually use language, or whether they are merely mimicking human sounds without understanding their meaning. In either case, parrots are enormously intelligent and useful creatures.

Pets

    Parrots are intelligent and sensitive creatures that make excellent pets. People are attracted to the brightly colored plumage of many species, as well as their acrobatics and tricks, which are fascinating to watch. Training birds to do tricks, as well as to talk and to say certain phrases or make certain noises on cue is not overly difficult, and can be very fun. As pets, parrots can be wonderful companions, although they can also be loud and messy. They are not solitary creatures, and require that their owners spend time with them daily.

Helper animals

    In an article published in The "New York Times Magazine," (Creature Comforts, 12/31/2008) Rebecca Skloot profiled people who use unusual helper animals, including a parrot. Jim Eggers, of St. Louis, MO, is afflicted with bipolar disorder, and has psychotic tendencies. He uses his African Grey parrot, Sadie, to help him calm down and avoid the rages and psychotic episodes which have, in the past, resulted in injuries and troubles with the law. Sadie can sense when Mr. Eggers is beginning to get upset, and speaks to him to help him calm down. Since using Sadie he has only had one incident of psychotic behavior. Sadie also helps alert Mr. Eggers to household occurrences, such as a ringing doorbell, which he sometimes misses due to his medication.

'Watchbirds'

    The combination of intelligence and loud voices makes parrots useful as watchbirds. As reported on Canada.com, on October 16, 2007, at 1:30 a.m., a Dallas, Texas man was awoken by his Mexican Red-Headed parrot who alerted him to a burglar in his garage. Dailymotion.com reported that in 2010, police in Colombia seized an Amazon parrot who was serving as a lookout for a drug gang; when anyone would approach, the parrot would yell (in Spanish) "Run! You're going to get caught!"

Animal intelligence research

    Parrots have been valuable research subjects for scientists studying animal intelligence, and the ability of animals to use language. Other animals, notably gorillas and chimpanzees, have been able to learn sign language, but parrots, with their vocal ability, are uniquely helpful in gauging the intelligence of animals. The most famous example of these is Alex, the African Grey parrot, who died in 2007. Dr. Irene Pepperberg, working with Alex, was able to teach him a number of important concepts and showed that he utilized these concepts, such as number and color, in ways that went beyond simple mimicry, to indicate actual thought.

Jumat, 28 Juni 2013

How to Get Baby Parakeets to Stop Biting

How to Get Baby Parakeets to Stop Biting

Baby parakeets make a great choice for a first bird. They are easy to tame and smaller than other members of the parrot family, making them less intimidating. However, their small size does not prevent them from defending themselves -- baby parakeets will bite if they feel threatened. Biting is not a natural behavior for birds, so an owner must determine why the bird is biting. Fortunately there are ways to stop biting and restore your baby parakeet to a sweet and loving friend.

Instructions

    1

    Check your baby parakeet's health first. Illness may be the cause of your parakeet's crankiness. Check its eyes and cere (the area above their beak) for signs of drainage. Look at your bird closely to see if it has any bare patches not covered by feathers. Healthy molting does not involve bare patches, so take your bird to an avian vet if you find any. Birds that stay puffed up for long periods of time may also be ill. Excessive sleeping is another sign of illness. Birds protect themselves by looking as healthy as possible to make themselves less attractive to predators, so it may be difficult to determine if your baby parakeet is ill. Check with your vet if you have any doubts.

    2
    Move slowly when taming your baby parakeet to avoid biting.
    Move slowly when taming your baby parakeet to avoid biting.

    Tame your baby parakeet properly. Always move slowly when handling your parakeet. Speak in a soft voice and avoid moving suddenly. Never yell at your bird for any reason. Give taming plenty of time -- rushing taming is a major cause of biting. Don't worry; with enough time and patience, your baby parakeet will perch on your finger.

    3

    Determine the reason that your baby parakeet bites. Parakeets can bite out of jealousy, territoriality, fear or just plain fatigue. If your parakeet bites out of jealousy, try separating it from the other birds. Fear can arise from new surroundings or new objects. Territorial biting can occur during breeding -- respect your parakeet's boundaries during that time.

    4

    Change the bird's environment. Eliminate loud sounds. Put the parakeet in a quiet place in your home where the bird can still observe and interact with you but with less traffic and disruption. Introduce new toys and other objects slowly. Place them outside the cage for a few days before attempting to put them inside. Consider getting more than one parakeet -- parakeets raised alone can be moody.

Hydrogen Peroxide for a Sinus Infection

Hydrogen Peroxide for a Sinus Infection

Sinus infections can be both recurring and painful and can interfere with work and daily life. There are many natural or home remedies and treatments for sinus infections, including the use of herbs, garlic, salt water and hydrogen peroxide.

About Sinus Infections

    Sinus infections, or sinusitis, occur when the sinuses or nasal passages become inflamed. Once this happens, bacteria can enter the sinus cavities and cause infections. Symptoms include headache, sore throat, congestion, facial pain and fever. Certain types of fungi can also cause sinus infections, particularly in people with weakened immune systems.

Hydrogen Peroxide And Bacteria

    Hydrogen peroxide is available in several different strengths and has many uses and applications. The hydrogen peroxide solution for home use found in stores is a diluted form of the hydrogen peroxide. As a disinfectant, it is an effective bacteria eliminator because it reacts to and destroys an enzyme found in bacteria called catalese.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide To Treat Sinus Infections

    While there are many effective medications for treating sinusitis, many people prefer to use home remedies, at least during the interim between the development of the infection and visiting the doctor. Because of its highly effective bacteria-killing properties, some have had success in treating ear infections and sinusitis with hydrogen peroxide, either by pouring or applying it to their ears or directly into their noses.

Ear Treatments

    The ears, nose and throat are all connected to each other, so problems in one usually lead to problems in the rest. To kill bacteria and alleviate ear pain due to a sinus infection, pour one cap full of hydrogen peroxide into each ear and keep it in for several minutes or until the fizzing stops.

Nasal Irrigation

    The nasal irrigation or "flushing" method involves large amounts of water, saline and hydrogen peroxide. This process has helped some people find relief and involves a three day (or longer) course of instilling solution made up of water, hydrogen peroxide, saline and, in some cases, baking soda, through the nasal cavity and into the sinuses, usually via a modified Water Pik.

Facts About Toucans

Facts About Toucans

Toucans are colorful, big-billed South American birds. Over 40 species of toucan exist. They range in size and plumage, but all have the distinctive, chunky beak. Toucans possess the largest beaks relative to size of any type of living bird. In some species, the beak accounts for one twentieth of the animal's entire body weight.

Description

    Toucans are medium-sized birds that range in size from the smallest, the aracar toucanet, at 14 inches long, to the largest, the toco toucan, at 25 inches in length. The various toucan species tend to be black in color with brightly colored beaks, faces and chests. The birds' beaks are large, chunky and curved but lighter in weight than they might appear to be. Beaks are made out of keratin, the same substance as hair and finger nails. Toucan wings tend to be small compared to other birds, as they do not have to fly long distances. Males and females look almost identical, except that the males tend to be larger.

Habitat and Range

    Toucans range through much of South and Central America as well as parts of the Caribbean. The birds are common in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Suriname. Toucans tend to prefer the tropical forest regions, living high in the canopy, and will often hop between branches rather than fly.

Diet and Predators

    Toucans mainly eat canopy fruits, moving around seasonally to take advantage of the varieties of fruiting trees. The birds are opportunist eaters as well, and they will eat insects, small mammals and reptiles, and occasionally the eggs of other birds. The birds' large beaks are useless as defensive weapons although they might deter some smaller predators. Predators of toucans include wildcats such as jaguars and pumas, and birds of prey such as eagles. Snakes and climbing rodents are more dangerous to toucan chicks and eggs that are still in the nest.

Life Cycle

    Toucans are generally social birds, living in small flocks and pairing off for mating. The females lay two to four eggs, often in a small tree hollow nest, and both parents share the incubation duties. Incubation takes around two weeks for most species and both parents again take the duty of feeding the chicks. Depending on species, the young can leave the nest after 43 days to eight weeks. Toucans are playful birds and, when not eating, will play games together.

How to Stop Chickens From Pecking Other Chicks

How to Stop Chickens From Pecking Other Chicks

Chickens peck at each other to show dominance. This behavior often results in chickens wounding each other, causing serious injuries and damaging your bird population. Take steps to stop chicken pecking as soon as it becomes evident.

Instructions

    1

    Avoid overcrowding your chickens. Overcrowding increases the chances of chickens pecking each other. Provide a large enough space for the chickens in their cages, and in the feeding and watering area.

    2

    Provide food and water in such a way that each chicken receives a sufficient amount. A shortage of feed can be reason enough for chickens to peck at each other.

    3

    Maintain low light conditions in chicken houses. Bright lights are irritating to chickens, and aggravate their behavior. Birds are far less active in dim light.

    4

    Provide high-fiber foods -- alfalfa hay and rolled or whole oats -- to the chickens. Stop feeding pellets if the practice aggravates chicken pecking. Feed a mash instead.

    5

    Keep your chickens on litter, instead of on wire floors. Avoid using sand as litter; it aggravates pecking. Use wood shavings or straw as litter.

    6

    Check chickens for lice, fleas and mites. The presence of parasites irritates chickens, and increases the risk of pecking.

    7

    Remove chicks that are sick, weak or discolored. Unhealthy chicks present an ideal pecking target for healthier chickens.

    8

    Use the "salt cure" method of Wisconsin Experiment Station. Add 1 tbsp of salt to 1 gallon of water. Feed this mixture to the chickens in the same quantity as their usual water feed. Replace with fresh water in the afternoon. Repeat the process after three days.

    9

    Trim the chicken's beaks if they fail to respond to other techniques. De-beaking is best accomplished with young chicks, because their beaks are softer.

How to Breed Red Factor Canaries

How to Breed Red Factor Canaries

The red factor canary is classed as a "color canary" due to its bright red plumage. First bred in the 1930s, the red factor canary was bred specifically for that red color rather than physical characteristic or song. This bird is a good-natured, social creature that can be timid. The red factor canary is recommended for the advanced breeder due to its special nutritional needs.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a location that is best suited for your red factor canary breeding. Whether you use an aviary setting or breeding cages, choose an area in bright sunlight for the health and well-being of your birds. Be sure the area is free of drafts and moisture.

    2

    Provide a large enough cage, at least 24-by-16-by-16 inches to accommodate several birds and room to move about. The cage should also have perches, food and water dishes as well as sandpaper on the bottom. Canaries do love to bathe and also require a bird bath.

    3

    Place a nest cup in the breeding cage along with a male and female red factor canary for the purpose of breeding along with a crib that contains burlap or hemp. The hen will use these materials to build her nest in the nest cup at time of mating, which is usually from December to April.

    4

    Feed your red factor canaries a special food that is enriched with beta-carotene or supplement of half pure beta-carotene and half pure canthaxanthin to maintain their best color. You can use grated carrots, chopped broccoli, or other fruits and vegetables enriched with beta-carotene. Carotenoid enriched foods such as beets, berries, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes and cherries also enhance color.

    5

    Provide high protein foods to your molting birds. Include foods that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, flax seeds and hemp seeds. Proteins can include well-cooked eggs, meats and seafood.

    6

    Separate your red factor canaries from other birds if one gets ill. These birds are, however, very hardy and healthy if provided with a good environment and proper diet.

How to Care for a Baby Vulture

How to Care for a Baby Vulture

Vultures are large scavenger birds with a reputation for being unattractive, unclean and always on the lookout for death. Vultures are, in fact, remarkably clean birds that help prevent disease by consuming dead or dying animals. Vultures are excellent parents to their young, though sometimes a baby vulture becomes an orphan due to accidents, or becomes separated from the nest. The unfortunate baby would die without human intervention. Only wildlife experts should take on the long-term care of a baby vulture.

Instructions

    1

    Determine whether the baby vulture needs human intervention. Vultures do not nest in trees; they nest on the ground in cave-like structures such as hollow logs. Fledgling vultures can wander away from the nest but are not necessarily injured, lost or orphaned.

    2

    Observe the baby from a distance. If it is featherless or obviously injured, it will require human help to survive.

    3

    Look around to see if a nest is close by. If there is a nest, scan the sky for mature vultures. The parents may have been teaching the baby to fly, and are likely watching what is happening.

    4

    Contact a veterinarian specializing in wild animals or a wildlife rehabilitator. Until an expert is available, the baby should not be confined or moved. It is illegal to possess or care for a vulture for more than 24 hours without a license. Wildliferehabinfo.org is a site dedicated to wildlife protection and rehabilitator location information.

    5

    Place towels inside a cardboard box once determined the baby vulture needs assistance and a professional caregiver located. Even the youngest vultures have self-defense tendencies when they are cornered, which can include biting and clawing.

    6

    Put on gloves to prevent injury to the hands by the baby, as well as exposure to disease-carrying bacteria.

    7

    Use a towel to pick up the baby. Put the towel over the vulture and pin the baby's wings to its body. Lift the baby vulture and put it in the cardboard box.

    8

    Cover the box with the towel before transporting it anywhere. This will calm the baby and prevent potential or additional injury.

    9

    Transport the baby vulture to the veterinarian or wildlife specialist.

Kamis, 27 Juni 2013

How to Teach a Bird to Speak English

How to Teach a Bird to Speak English

Teaching your pet bird to speak English may be as easy as making it jealous. Caged birds bond to one person the same way they would bond to a mate in the wild, according to the Avian Web. Like children, birds seek attention; that's when jealously can become a teaching tool. Make them jealous; that will get them talking. Birds need to trust and to know that they are appreciated. Feathered friends must be healthy and intelligent to learn to speak English words. Most of all, they must have something to say.

Instructions

Preparation

    1

    Search for a bird that is capable of talking. It's important to know the difference between those species that are known talkers, such as African Grey parrots, as compared to those that might not talk at all. Your local pet store is a great place to start.

    2

    Pay close attention to the bird's temperament before you decide to make it your pet. Shy, overly aggressive or easily frightened birds are not likely to master speech. For the purposes of teaching it English, you'll want to choose a relaxed, comfortable bird.

    3

    Make sure the bird you select is less than 18 months old. Some species, such as Amazons and Double Yellowheads, will never learn to speak if they are not taught early on.

Training

    4

    Start with training as soon as you can. Beginning at a young age will help the bird develop confidence and trust in interacting with humans.

    5

    Clear the room of any distractions, including the radio or television. Then hold a small, easily identifiable object in the bird's line of vision and repeat the name of it again and again. Peanuts are an effective item to start with since you can use it as positive reinforcement once the bird responds.

    6

    Practice saying words or phrases that you want the bird to learn consistently at designated times of the day. For example, say "good morning" to the bird each morning and "I love you" every night before you retire. The bird will catch on to the routine and then begin to speak the phrases as well.

    7

    Limit the lessons to 15 or 20 minutes at a time, so as not to overwhelm your pet. It's important to reward the bird for giving you its attention. Even if you only get a low mumble or murmur out of the conversation, these are first steps toward an expanded English vocabulary.

    8

    Avoid giving up if your bird appears to be at a standstill with its English lessons. Sometimes weeks can pass by before the bird picks up another new word or phrase.

The Reason Flamingos Are Pink

It's typical to hear people refer to these birds as "pink" flamingos, which seems redundant; however, depending on their habitat, flamingos' coloration can range from the palest pink (nearly white) to deep crimson. This article explores what makes them pink as well as their eating habits and habitat.

Misconceptions

    Most people believe that flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp, and that's true to some extent. It's not the shrimp that provide these birds with their coloration, but rather, the alpha- and beta-carotene found in what they do eat. Their diets are not limited to shrimp alone. Beta-carotene is the same substance that gives certain foods their orange color. Most notable is carrots, for which the compound is named, and it's also found in cantaloupes as well as sweet potatoes and yams. Most of the flamingo's diet is made up of species high in these substances as reflected in their pigment. If humans consume large quantities of beta-carotene, the skin will also take on an orange-ish hue.

Where Flamingos Are Found

    Flamingos are found in many parts of the world, although they live in either tropical or subtropical locations. Greater flamingos have the widest global distribution and can be found throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean, India and Africa. As its name implies, the Caribbean flamingo is found throughout the Caribbean as far south as northern parts of South America. Chilean flamingos are found over much of South America, and Africa is home to lesser flamingos. As their diets change with their location, so does their coloration. Caribbean flamingos are thought to have the brightest color while Chilean flamingos have the palest coloration.

Flamingo Diets

    The larger flamingos' diets consist of larger invertebrates such as brine flies, shrimp and mollusks while lesser flamingos will primarily get their nutrition from seeds and algae. Flamingos live in areas where there is a lot of mud and water. They might live around lagoons, lakes (which may be far inland or near the shore), mangrove swamps, tidal flats and shallow areas in intertidal zones. Their long legs and long necks allow them to feed in deeper water than other wading birds.

Feeding Habits

    Besides feeding in areas that other wading birds don't, the flamingos' method of feeding is also very different. Flamingos are filter-feeders. They will use their webbed feet to agitate mud and loosen food particles into the water. With their heads and beaks upside down, they collect the muddy water and filter it through finger-like projections inside their beaks called lamellae. The food particles, whether they are tiny algae or larger shrimp, are trapped in the lamellae and then ingested by the flamingo. Different species of flamingos have different shaped beaks that enable them to obtain their proper diet.

Flamingo Nests

    In addition to using mud to feed, flamingos also use it to build nests. Both male and female birds work to build the nest, which is usually about 12 inches high and is really nothing more than a mound of mud. The birds will use their beaks to draw mud toward their feet, and then using their feet, create a mound. It serves to protect the single large egg from flooding.

Feeding Their Young

    Flamingos do not regurgitate food to their young as other birds do. Instead, they secrete a substance called "crop milk" from their upper digestive tract. Its development is stimulated by the hormone prolactin, which is the same hormone that generates milk in lactating mammals. The crop milk is dark red and is high in fat and protein. Both male and female flamingos can feed the chick in this manner and do so while the chick is on the nest, usually for five to 12 days. The chick then begins feed itself in the same manner as its parents, and like its parents, will take on its coloration based on the levels of alpha- and beta-carotene in its diet.

Care for a Pet Crow

Care for a Pet Crow

Caring for pet crows requires attention and time. These birds are wild and only make good pets when they are found young enough to imprint on you. Even then, you'll need to devote a lot of time socializing with the bird, challenging it mentally and giving it plenty of room to fly. However, it's best to simply care for any baby or fledgling crow and wounded crow until the bird is capable of flying on its own and then let the crow go. It will stick around for a few months until the bird finds a flock of crows to join.

Instructions

    1

    Feed young crows, under 5 to 6 weeks of age, a high protein diet. Mushed up dog food, ground turkey and beef heart are appropriate substitutes for the crow's traditional diet of lots of insects. Mix oatmeal, egg yolk and an avian supplement into the protein source. Place a pinch of meat onto your finger and insert it into the open mouth of the young bird. Push into the mouth deeply enough to hit the throat and initiate the swallow reflex.

    2

    Offer adult crows a mix of boiled egg, unsalted peanuts, corn, sunflower seeds, fresh fruit, and mealworms or crickets. Don't feed the bird a lot of mealworms as they are high in chitin, which can block the crow's digestive tract.

    3

    Provide a warm bed of grass and small sticks for a baby crow. You can line the faux nest with bits of fabric scraps and newspaper. Set the nest into a shoebox with a lid to give the baby crow some privacy. For an adult crow, you'll need at least a standard bird cage to hold it.

    4

    Set up a small tray of water for the crow to drink. Change the water out regularly. Use an eye dropper to give water to a baby bird or injured bird, but only give as much as the bird will tolerate.

    5

    Release the crow when it is old enough to fly or healed from its wound. Crows left alone in cages don't do well as they are very intelligent and social animals. They adapt quickly to living in nature and will often stay in the area and visit you.

How to Teach Your Duck Not to Bite

How to Teach Your Duck Not to Bite

Ducks make great pets because they are adorable and relatively simple to take care of. While some pet birds, such as macaw parrots, can cost hundred or thousands of dollars, ducks are inexpensive to purchase and to care for. Because ducks have been domesticated for hundreds of years, they adjust well to human company and are not likely to act aggressively. Like other pet birds, if your duck is biting, you should try to pinpoint the cause for such behavior before you attempt to correct it.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure that your duck isn't injured. If a duck who doesn't normally bite has begun to bite and display abnormal behavior, it might be injured and in pain. If you suspect this might be the case, take the duck to a veterinarian for an examination.

    2

    Check to be sure all of your duck's needs are being met. Does it have plenty of food and water? Birds sometimes bite to get your attention and let you know that they need something. If a duck isn't receiving a proper diet, it may start to act aggressively.

    3

    Consider the situations during which the duck bites. Is the duck acting out of fear to a stimulus, such as a sound or other animal that might have scared it? If so, try to either prevent this stimulus from scaring the duck by removing it or by conditioning the duck not to fear it.

    4

    Don't react with yelling or pulling away when your duck bites you, if you can. Your first instinct might be to yell or scream and pull away, but you should refrain from doing so. Birds sometimes bite to establish dominance over people, and you don't want to reward the duck by exhibiting submissive behavior.

    5

    Train your duck to do a simple trick, such as coming when called. Training it a trick will teach the duck that you are the dominant one in the relationship. Use treats, such as little pieces of bread, to reward your duck every time it performs the trick. Rewarding the duck will show it that good behavior gets treats, while bad behavior gets nothing.

    6

    Say "no" firmly if the duck bites you, especially during a training session. Remember not to yell, just say "no" in a confident tone.

    7

    Don't give the duck a treat to warm it up to you after it bites you. The duck will understand this as a reward, and will continue the biting behavior. Similarly, don't walk away immediately after it bites you. This will cause the duck to know if it bites you, you will leave.

How Do Little Blue Penguins Mate?

    New Zealand's Little Blue Penguins (also known as Fairy Penguins in Australia) are only found in the Southern Hemisphere. They are the smallest of all the penguin species. With a life span of just seven years, and so many predators such as sharks, seals and killer whales, it is imperative for the Little Blue Penguins to mate successfully.

    Males will build a nest. Mating season for Little Blue Penguins runs from July through January. The male will come to the nesting grounds before the females to either rebuild an old nest, or to build a new nest. These nests are typically in burrows. Females will mate with those with the best nests.

    Once the females arrive, males begin their courtship. Males will begin displays of flapping their flippers and extensive vocalization comparable to that of a low rumbling or even the sound of a trumpet. Little Blue Penguins are monogamous and will keep the same mate throughout the season. It is also not unusual for males and females to seek out their mates from the previous season, as this ensures that they will have a mate for the season, and the female knows that she can rely on the male to take care of their young.

    Once a mate is chosen, the Little Blue Penguins copulate, in much the same way that most birds do, with the male mounting the female and the sperm passing from cloaca to cloaca. The egg is then fertilized at ovulation.

    The female Little Blue Penguin lays between one and three eggs, two or three days apart, and the incubation period begins. The incubation period takes about 36 days, with both the male and female taking turns incubating the egg. Typically, a pair of mating Little Blue Penguins will have at least two clutches of eggs during one mating season, depending on the availability of food.

    The pair shares responsibilities of taking care of their young. As with sharing the incubating of the eggs, once the young are born, they continue to share responsibilities of chick brooding and feeding. Typically each penguin will take shifts with the young, switching out every day while the other forages for food. The hatchlings will stay in the nest for five weeks, and by about week seven are ready to go out to sea. If the breeding season was successful, typically the Little Blue Penguin pair will mate again next season.

How to Stop Quaker Parrots From Squawking

How to Stop Quaker Parrots From Squawking

Parrots are, by nature, noisy animals but some parrot owners simply cannot stand it when their bird squawks. A small amount of squawking and screaming is normal in a Quaker parrot but when squawking episodes become frequent and extended it can be a sign of a serious problem. Before disciplining your parrot for squawking and before trying to change its behavior, try to determine the reason for the squawking. Doing so will improve your chances of successfully reducing the squawking episodes.

Instructions

    1

    Position your Quaker parrot cage in a well-traveled room in your house where it will be able to see and interact with people frequently. Keeping your parrot closed away in an upstairs room will result in your parrot becoming bored or frustrated and it will voice its frustration by squawking and screaming.

    2

    Talk to your parrot frequently. This step will be much easier if you keep your parrot cage in a common room, such as the living room, where it will be nearby. Speaking to your parrot will help it to feel more included and less bored or neglected. A calm, contented parrot is less likely to have frequent squawking episodes.

    3

    Make sure that all of your parrot's basic needs are met. Squawking or screaming can sometimes be an indication of stress in Quaker parrots. Be sure that your parrot has enough food and water and that the cage has plenty of toys in it.

    4

    Ignore your parrot when it is squawking or exhibiting other negative behavior. If you allow your parrot to learn that it will receive your attention when it squawks, your parrot will only begin to squawk more often.

    5

    Reward your Quaker parrot for good behavior. When your parrot speaks calmly or remains quiet, reward it with a treat or with a few minutes of play time.

    6

    Avoid yelling at your parrot and never hit it or throw things at the cage to make your parrot stop squawking. These actions will only serve to alarm your parrot further, which could increase the intensity of the squawking. Being patient and loving toward your parrot is the best way to encourage it to change its behavior.

    7

    Consider getting a second parrot. Having two parrots will ensure that your Quaker parrot always has someone to play with so it will not be bored and inclined to squawk.

The Difference Between Male & Female Lovebirds

The Difference Between Male & Female Lovebirds

Identifying male and female lovebirds is challenging. For those with lovebirds as pets, this is not so much of a problem. However, for those wishing to breed, it can be tricky. Some species of the bird look almost identical, with only a few subtle differences that appear only to those with a trained eye. Certain species can be identified through body language. More accurate ways to determine the sex of your lovebird include a DNA test or taking your lovebird to a professional trained to identify exotic pets.

Types of Species

    Identifying the sex of your lovebird will depend greatly upon the species of lovebird. Most pet lovebirds fall in to three categories: dimorphic, intermediate and monomorphic. Dimorphic types (Abyssinia, Madagascar and Red-Faced lovebirds) will have outward differences. Intermediate types (Peach-Faced and Black-collared lovebirds) are difficult to tell apart by their outward appearance. Monomorphic types (Masked, Fischer's and Black-Cheeked lovebirds) are nearly impossible to sex just by looking at the bird.

Identification of Sex

    Most of the time, female lovebirds have larger bodies and are heavier than male lovebirds. A female lovebird will have a wider pelvis, making her look wider and broader than a male. Most often, this will cause her feet to rest farther apart on a perch. Sometimes, female lovebirds will show nesting signs, such as shredding paper, after she is one year old.

    Male lovebirds are often more upright than females. A male lovebird's tail feathers will appear to be more rounded than females, who have more square tails.

Significance

    Knowing the sex of your lovebird is essential if you plan on breeding. They are easy to breed, according to Avian Web, but you will need to keep breeding pairs in their own cages. The sooner you know which birds are male and female, you can separate them and begin breeding.

Testing

    You can submit a sample of your bird's blood from a testing kit you can buy from many laboratories. The best way to get a sample of your bird's blood is by clipping one toenail slightly higher than normal, according to Parrot Parrot. Treat the toenail with styptic powder to avoid excess bleeding when you're finished.

Warning

    Always handle your bird with care. If you are unsure about the sex of your lovebird and about how to go about feeling the pelvic bone, go to a veterinarian that specializes in exotic pets.

Rabu, 26 Juni 2013

List of Pet Bird Types

List of Pet Bird Types

Birds are inexpensive affectionate companions who can live as long as most canines, and require little maintenance. Really, all they need is fresh clean food and water and weekly cleaning of their cages. Pet birds can be trained to talk and cuddle. If you raise birds by hand as babies they will recognize you as their parent and the bond will be more substantial. Some birds will display a lively personality while others may remain more shy and subdued, but there is no doubt that they each have their own set of special personal characteristics.

Parakeet/Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)

    Parakeets are also referred to as budgies. The English variety have more pronounced foreheads and larger builds than American parakeets. Parakeets measure approximately 7 to 10 inches in length, and they come in a variety of appealing colors including green, blue, yellow and white. Younger birds are marked with black bands coming up from the beak. Many people are surprised to learn that they can be taught to talk; chances of this improve significantly when the bird is hand raised. Their basic diet consists of seed; they especially favor spray millet. The average lifespan of a parakeet is six years, and the males tend to live longer than the females.

Canary (Serinus canaria)

    Canaries were named after the Canary Islands where they were originally discovered. They are renowned for their beautiful singing and their distinctive coloring. Canaries are bred specifically for singing and for their color variations and appearance. Canaries are not as social as other birds but will benefit from occasional periods of free flight time around the house. Canaries enjoy eating fresh greens as well as seeds, and giving them different options with their food can improve both their singing and their health. Their life span is between five and ten years.

Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)

    These birds are mostly grey, yellow, and white with a few different color variations such as Albino, Pied, Lutino, and Pearl. They respond extremely well to hand training and they are very social creatures who can become attached to humans and other birds easily. Out of all the other species of pet birds they are generally considered to be the most affectionate. The average lifespan of a pet cockatiel is between 15 and 20 years.

African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus)

    African Grey Parrots have been kept as pets for over 4,000 years. They are extremely intelligent birds who can effectively communicate emotions and desires to their owners. They measure approximately 13 inches in length and their coloring ranges between a soft grey and silver tone. Males are slightly larger than the females, and the females have longer necks and smaller heads. These birds are considered by most parrot enthusiasts to be the best at mimicry and language use. They have an impressive lifespan ranging on average between 50 and 65 years if properly cared for.

Cockatoo (Cacatua)

    These birds are very lovable and amusing birds who love attention and interaction. They may even become demanding if not suitably occupied. There are 40 species of cockatoo. They measure between 12 and 20 inches in length depending on the subspecies. They are primarily white and sometimes have a bright yellow crest. These birds can learn to talk and really excel at performing various tricks. They enjoy entertaining as they crave nearly constant attention and require a great deal of free flight time. They love to be cuddled and carried and have an average lifespan of 60 years.

Selasa, 25 Juni 2013

Adaptations of Budgerigars

Adaptations of Budgerigars

The budgerigar (Melopsippacus undulatus) is a small parrot that is native to the continent of Australia. The bird is known globally because of the number of budgerigars, also called budgies or parakeets, that are kept as pets. The budgerigar has adapted to its habitat in the wild and those in captivity have adapted to grow larger than their wild counterparts.

Habitat

    In the wild the budgerigar has adapted to survive in the desert regions of Australia and in coastal regions of the continent. The budgerigar has adapted to the desert environment by maintaining its yellow and green coloring that acts as camouflage against predators and remaining small in size to make it difficult for predators to catch them. Wild budgerigars nest in the hollows of old gum trees in desert regions, remaining in smaller holes while larger holes are used as nesting grounds by cockatiels.

Feeding

    The budgerigar is a nomadic bird that follows heavy rains around the Australian desert. Rains bring with them growth of grasses whose seeds the budgerigar feeds on. In the wild the budgerigar feeds almost exclusively on grass seeds. Following rains budgerigars breed and produce a brood of between four and eight young. The large explosion of the budgerigar population requires the birds to move on to new feeding grounds as soon as the young are able to leave the nest. In periods of food shortages the budgerigar can migrate to coastal regions of Australia where food is more abundant.

Predators

    Within Australia the natural predators of the budgerigar include the Australian hobby. The budgerigar has adapted to fly in large social groups that dart around to avoid predators. The movements of the vast numbers of budgerigars is completed in unison while the birds are chirping loudly to confuse potential predators, according to Alice Springs Desert Park. The nesting habits of the budgerigar are colonial, meaning there are more than one mating pair nests in the same tree hollow to avoid predators. Around three mating pairs nest together and ensure the safety of a large number of young budgerigars.

Captivity

    Wild budgerigars grow to around 7 inches in length and are generally limited to yellow to green colorings. They have adapted to survive in captivity by growing to larger sizes of over 8 inches in length and weighing more than wild budgies. The colorings of captive budgerigars have altered to include a larger number of bright colors through mutations that are not found in wild budgerigars.

How to Get a Parakeet to Make a Noise

How to Get a Parakeet to Make a Noise

Parakeets are natural mimics that pick up sounds they hear frequently. According to Mattie Sue Athan, author of "Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior," male budgies and grass parakeets are better "talkers" than females. For other parakeets, males and females have about the same ability. Repetition is necessary for a bird to learn any sound, but it shouldn't be blind repetition. According to Dr. Irene Pepperberg, the cognitive ethologist who raised the famous African gray Alex, birds learn better with social interaction than simple repetition, as is often encouraged.

Instructions

    1

    Satisfy your parakeet's basic needs. A happy parakeet naturally makes vocalizations. Clean its cage, and provide it with fresh food and water and plenty of toys.

    2

    Keep a television set on during the day when you're not home. Parakeets often pick up sounds they hear, so be sure to leave it on a "family-friendly" channel.

    3

    Whistle to your parakeet. Whistling is easier than words for parakeets to mimic, so they pick it up faster.

    4

    Play music for your bird. Parakeets often sing along with songs they like.

    5
    A parakeet's pupil will narrow or
    A parakeet's pupil will narrow or "pinpoint" when it is excited.

    Watch your bird for signs of "pinpointing" or "flashing." This is when the pupil narrows. Birds do it when they are excited, and it is often a good sign that your bird might be able to learn to talk.

    6
    Parakeets learn better through interaction.
    Parakeets learn better through interaction.

    Interact and socialize with your bird. Birds make sounds to communicate with others. The more you interact with your parakeet, the more likely it will be to communicate back.

    7

    Throw away any recordings or videos with repetitive sounds designed to teach birds to talk. They do not work, according to Pepperberg.

    8

    Keep two or more parakeets together. It used to be believed that birds kept with other birds wouldn't learn to talk or mimic. According to Pepperberg, birds that have competition for attention will learn faster than other birds. The competition can also be another human or a stuffed bird.

    9

    Place your parakeet in a location where people frequently hang out, such as a family room. This will allow him to hear interactions and sounds. Parakeets often pick up sounds they hear in their environment, such as a phone ringing or a dog barking.

    10
    Parakeets often make noises to their refections.
    Parakeets often make noises to their refections.

    Place a mirror in the cage. Parakeets often "chat" with their reflections.

    11

    Reward your parakeet whenever it makes a noise you want. Rewards can be praise from you, or small pieces of fruit or unsalted nuts.

How Do Sparrows Serve in the Ecosystem?

How Do Sparrows Serve in the Ecosystem?

House sparrows are small, stocky songbirds that are ubiquitous all over the United States. They have thick bills and brown feathers with streaks of black on their backs. These birds prefer crevices and holes in man-made structures rather than naturally occurring nesting sites and are found to live in close proximity with human beings rather than in extensive forests or woodlands.

Ecosystem and Food Web

    Ecosystem consists of the biotic components that consist of all the organisms along with the abiotic components that include the physical and chemical factors in a particular locale. The biotic and abiotic components interact with each other, during which exchange of energy and cycling of elements take place. The organisms that provide the path for energy flow form a food chain. It starts with the producers (plants) that convert sun's energy to food that the primary consumers (herbivores) feed on. The secondary consumers (carnivores) acquire this energy when they eat the primary consumers.

Seed Dispersion

    Sparrows mostly prefer seeds of millet, grass, thistle, weed and sunflower seed. However, they also eat fruits and berries. During this process, sparrows spread seeds to places away from the fruit tree. This is important for germination of the seeds, because if the seeds fall close to the parent plant, they would have to compete for nutrition with the mature plant. This would reduce the chance of germination of the seed as well as growth of the plant once the seed germinated. By spreading seeds, sparrows help the survival of many plants that are the producers in an ecosystem.

Insects

    Although primarily seed-eaters, sparrows also feed on small insects and worms such as caterpillars, beetles and aphids. Some of these creatures destroy certain plants. Sparrows keep their population in check; otherwise, the insects would have eaten certain plant species to extinction. Here also sparrows play an important role in preserving the ecosystem.

Food

    Most birds of prey, such as eagles and falcons, eat other smaller birds. Snakes, which are also secondary consumers, are known to eat sparrows. For example, sharp-shinned hawks prefer sparrows for food.. Hence by providing food for the secondary consumers, sparrows play an important role in their survival and in preserving the ecosystem.

Competitor Species

    House sparrows were first brought to the United States from Europe in the 1850s, when about 100 birds were released in New York. Since then, these birds have become well established all over the United States. According to Tina Phillips, Project Leader of the Birdhouse Network started by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, house sparrows compete fiercely with native bird species for nesting sites. The lab confirms that the house sparrows destroy eggs and kill the nestlings and also the incubating females to take over the nests of the native bird species. Hence house sparrows may harm the ecosystem by threatening the survival of these native birds.

List of Species of Gulls

List of Species of Gulls

The term "gull" is used often to describe large and medium-sized white birds which fly around the ocean and other coastal areas; but, in fact, there are many species that make up the family Laridae, of which gulls are a part. There are 11 different genera of gulls, some with only one species of bird in the genus. Gulls are distinct because of size, coloring and region in which they live.

Genus Larus

    The Genus Larus contains the most number of gull species. These gulls are usually larger with white and gray coloring, and are spread throughout the world. The species within the Genus Larus are the Belcher's Gull, Black-tailed Gull, Pacific Gull, Olrog's Gull, Heermann's Gull, Ring-bill Gull, California Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Southern Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Yellow-footed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Western Gull, Cape Gull, Iceland Gull, Kumlien's Gull, European Herring Gull, American Herring Gull, East Siberian Herring Gull, Thayer's Gull, Heuglin's Gull, Caspian Gull, Armenian Gull and the Slaty-backed Gull.

Genus Ichthyaetus and Genus Leucophaeus

    The Genus Ichthyaetus are smaller gulls with darker coloring than the Genus Larus. Species in the Genus Ichthyaetus are the White-eyed Gull, Great Black-headed Gull, Relict Gull, Sooty Gull, Audouin's Gull, Mediterranean Gull and the Relict Gull. The Genus Leucophaeus gulls are also dark in color and are found in the Western Hemisphere. They include the Dolphin Gull, Franklin's Gull, Gray Gull, Laughing Gull and Lava Gull.

Genus Chroicocephalus and Genus Saundersilarus

    Genus Chroicocephalus are smaller-sized gulls, distinguished because of the color variations on their heads. Included in the Genus Chroicocephalus are the Brown-hooded Gull, Gray-hooded Gull, Red-Billed Gull, Silver Gull, Hartlaub's Gull, Andean Gull, Black-billed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Brown-headed Gull, Black-headed Gull and Bonaparte's Gull. The Saunders's Gull is often placed in its own Genus (Saundersilarus or Larus saundersi), but sometimes classified with the Genus Chroicocephalus. The Saunders's Gull is a threatened species with habitat in Asia.

Other Genera

    There are several smaller Genus categories of gulls, some containing only one of a few unique species. Among those are Ross's Gull (Rhodostethia rosea), Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus), Swallow-tailed Gull (Creagrus furcatus), Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Red-legged Kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris), Sabine's Gull (Xema sabini) and the Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea).

Aggressive Behavior in a Cockatiel

Aggressive Behavior in a Cockatiel

According to writer Chris Davis from the Bird Channel website, cockatiels are interesting birds because they constantly exhibit new and different behaviors as they grow and learn. Unfortunately, sometimes these birds change in a negative way and become aggressive.

Types

    Cockatiels are generally docile and sweet birds with a great deal of personality. However, males of the species sometimes become aggressive when they are hormonal and ready to breed. Parrot Feather also indicates that some cockatiels are aggressive if they have been inappropriately handled.

Effects

    Some male cockatiels develop obsessions focused around a particular person or object. The bird becomes incensed when the object does not respond to it as a mate would and may turn on it in an aggressive way, according to Davis. A bird's training also plays a part in aggression. Birds that have been hit on the beak are fearful of humans and will bite even more.

Prevention/Solution

    Davis recommends changing the bird's environment to distract it from hormonal behavior. Provide it with new toys and snacks that draw its attention toward other interests. Finally, move your hand away from a biting cockatiel but do not reinforce the behavior by following the move with a reaction.

Bird Species That Are Comfortable With Humans

Bird Species That Are Comfortable With Humans

The relationship between humans and birds has often been an uneasy one, with humans killing birds for food and sport. Many bird species, such as the passenger pigeon and the dodo, met extinction at the hands of humans. Not every species of bird is comfortable around human beings. Fortunately, some bird species are content to coexist with humans, enriching the lives of human beings by their presence.

Hunting Birds

    Hunting birds can be trained by human beings to bring back prey. The falcon is one of the fiercest and most intelligent hunting birds, widely used by trainers and hunters in the Middle East. Traditionally falcons were trapped in the wild, but now it is more common for falconers in countries such as Saudi Arabia to purchase a falcon from good breeding stock on the open market. Hawks and even eagles have also been successfully trained to hunt.

Pets

    Many bird species make wonderful pets, bonding with both adults and children. The budgerigar, or budgie, is popular because of its playful and social nature. Parrots are also commonly kept as pets. They are so comfortable with humans that they will mimic human speech if trained to do so. The canary is another pet bird that gets along well with its human owners. Miners in an earlier era used canaries to detect toxic gas in mines, leading to the phrase "canary in the coal mine."

Farm Birds

    Human beings have kept birds as farm animals for centuries. The chicken is comfortable living with humans, as long as it is adequately fed and kept away from predators, such as foxes. Though chickens on farms are generally fed a steady diet of grain, the chicken is not a natural vegetarian and will eat mice and insects if given the opportunity. Turkeys are also farmed in large quantities. Domesticated turkeys cannot fly, unlike their wild relatives.

Scavengers

    Scavenger birds are all too comfortable with humans, though humans may not always be comfortable with them. Seagulls are a common sight along waterfronts where human beings gather. They will eat anything from fish caught in nets to a piece of bread left unattended. In cities, pigeons are notorious pests, nesting in high places and leaving their droppings on cars and buildings alike. The pigeon's compatibility with humans can be useful, however, in the case of trained pigeons that can deliver messages from one location to another.

Facts About Peacock Feathers

Facts About Peacock Feathers

One of the most beautiful birds for its colorful, patterned tail feathers, the Indian peafowl or Pavo cristatus is revered throughout the world for its symbolic, valuable and glimmering feathers. First mentioned in literature by Geoffrey Chaucer, the peacock feather is often associated with pride, but it can also be a symbol of good or bad luck.

The Peacock

    Peafowl are native to India, Pakistan, western China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, where they were first domesticated nearly 3,000 years ago. Peafowl are related to pheasants, guinea fowl, chickens, grouse and quails and appear around the world in farms, zoos or parks and in the wild.

Feather Features

    Only the male of the species, the peacock, has beautiful, multicolored tail feathers. The peacock sheds the 150-plus feathers annually before the breeding season begins. The feathers, which can grow several feet long and sport an eye-like pattern at the tip, are actually extensions of shorter tail feathers that support their weight.

Colors and Light

    The many colors of the peacock's feather, which usually include shimmering greens and blues, are the result of a phenomena called interference. Similar to the colors seen on butterflies, pheasants, hummingbirds and birds of paradise, interference is the reflection of light on each feather's tiny, bowl-shaped indentation, which reflects the light and causes the color to shimmer.

Uses

    According to the Lamplight Feather website, a peacock's molted feathers are a valuable resource, with many of the feathers seen as a "crop" that comes once a year during the male peacock's molting period. Feathers are sold for decorative reasons or for use in jewelry, fans, costumes, masks or head dresses. The peacock's feather is also used in fly fishing lure and was a symbol on many royal families' coats of arms. Worn by Marie Antoinette and Lord Krishna, the peacock feather was a sign of royalty, and to swear on the feather was equal to taking a solemn oath.

Mystical Meanings

    In Asia and in most countries in the world, peacock feathers are seen as a token of good luck and well-being. For some in a few areas in Eastern Europe, peacock feathers are a symbol of a bad luck, as they represent the feathers worn by invading Mongol warriors. The eye-patterns of the peacock's tail feathers gave rise to the peacock's nickname "the bird of 100 eyes," which lead to its mythical symbolism as an all-seeing witness to hidden acts. For this reason, the peacock feather is seen as bad luck in some parts of the world, where it never may cross the home's threshold.

How to Get Your Cockatiel Familiar With You When You First Get It Home

How to Get Your Cockatiel Familiar With You When You First Get It Home

Cockatiels are a small species of parrot from Australia. Bird lovers who enjoy intelligent, interactive birds keep cockatiels as pets. Cockatiels can learn to mimic human speech, and you can train them to perform tricks such as fetching and bobbing their heads to mimic dancing. Cockatiels are social birds that are happiest when housed with at least one other bird. These parrots may be small, but they have strong personalities and may try to boss around a weak-willed owner.

Instructions

    1

    Trim your cockatiel's wings or have them clipped by a pet groomer. Cockatiels must have their wings clipped to keep them from flying away and getting hurt; having the wings clipped requires them to rely on you and creates a bond.

    2

    Sit next to your bird's cage and talk to your bird in a soft voice. Spend time at near your bird's cage while reading or watching television so your cockatiel becomes used to your presence.

    3

    Feed your cockatiel treats through the cage to tempt it to interact with you. Use small nuts or fruit as treats.

    4

    Open the cage door while sitting next to it and talk to your cockatiel. Wait for it to step out onto the cage door.

    5

    Hold out your index finger in front of your cockatiel and make a clicking noise or say a word such as up. When your cockatiel steps onto your finger, feed it a treat. Repeat this from now on every time your cockatiel steps onto your hand.

    6

    Carry your cockatiel around with you inside your home as much as possible to bond with your pet.

How to Attract American Goldfinches

How to Attract American Goldfinches

People in areas from southern Canada and throughout the continental United States live in the range where American goldfinches live, according to Brandeis University. The cheerful yellow color of the male in summer and the lively behaviors make the bird a favorite at feeders. The goldfinch holds the status of state bird in three states Iowa, New Jersey and Washington. You may improve your chances of making this finch a regular feeder by providing it with a tempting environment.

Instructions

    1

    Providing places for the finches to build nests helps establish them in your area. Favorite nesting places include thick shrubs and pine trees, according to Fairfax County Public Schools. Thinned shrubs might appear neater, but allowing them to become dense gives birds a safer place for raising babies.

    2

    Grow plants in your yard that they prefer, such as thistles and milkweed, to increase the appeal of your yard, suggests Cornell University. Plant other food that goldfinches enjoy, including sunflowers, dandelions, evening primrose and American elm. The American goldfinch prefers thistle, according to Brandeis University.

    3
    Feeders provide food during times with limited natural food sources.
    Feeders provide food during times with limited natural food sources.

    Place feeders with thistle to attract the goldfinches. Use special thistle feeders with small openings to help decrease loss of feed. Set up general feeders with sunflowers and other seeds to provide variety. Keep the feeders full year round, as American goldfinches use feeders more often in winter months.

    4

    Keep your feeders clean to help avoid spreading disease or making the food unappealing due to mold or clumping. Keeping the ground clean under the feeders helps prevent the spread of bird diseases, advised Cornell University.

Senin, 24 Juni 2013

Care of English Trumpeter Pigeons

Care of English Trumpeter Pigeons

A physically striking bird, the English trumpeter pigeon sports a tufted topnotch and fully feathered feet. The feathers that protrude from the hock and toes of the bird can measure up to 8 to 10 inches long. Unlike other pigeon species, the English trumpeter does not fly well, especially during windy days, because the feather covered feet appear to upset the bird's balance. This bird makes an unusual trumpeting call that differs from other pigeons.

Instructions

    1

    Provide a loft for the trumpeter pigeon. The cage should afford enough width for the bird to spread its wings easily. Most pigeons prefer a cage with ample room that has at least two sides completely enclosed to afford the bird a sense of security. Make sure the loft has a roof to protect the pigeons from inclement weather. House approximately 25 birds in a loft that measures 6 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet. Each pair should have its own private nest box.

    2

    Position the loft so the birds receive some sunlight during the day, but can seek shelter in the shade if the heat becomes too intense. Install flat perches in the loft for the birds. Provide straw in the cage for the birds to nestle within or walk on.

    3

    Clean the cage twice per day. Remove all soiled straw. Scrape away any fecal accumulations on the perches or in nesting areas.

    4

    Provide fresh water daily. Add 1 to 2.5 tbsp of apple cider to each gallon of drinking water once per week. The apple cider will help prevent internal parasites in the bird. Free feed a commercial pigeon food with a bowl of grit to aid in the bird's digestion.

    5

    Place a deep, cup-shaped nest bowl into the nesting box for the English trumpeter pair to use. The bowl should measure 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Line the nest bowl with sawdust or pine needles. The birds often have a difficult incubating the eggs due to the feathers on their feet. The cup shaped nest bowl helps keep the eggs warm and close to the bird's body.

    6

    Add approximately 2 inches of lukewarm water into a large roasting pan. Place the pan in the bottom of the pigeon loft once per week for the birds to bath in.

Predators of the Flamingo

Predators of the Flamingo

The flamingo is a type of wading bird, found in parts of South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and Southern Europe. Flamingos tend to inhabit somewhat remote and inhospitable environments, making predation difficult and uncommon. In addition, flamingos live in large groups, making the threat of attack even more unlikely. However, there are a few species of more industrious carnivores that manage to prey upon flamingos and their eggs.

Large Birds

    Flamingos spend most of their time out on lakes, swamps, lagoons, etc., making predation by land animals quite difficult. However, since other large birds can easily fly to the flamingos' territory, they are the most common predators of these pink birds. Various vulture species, including the lappet-faced vulture, Egyptian vulture and white-headed vulture have been known to feed on flamingo eggs, as well as young flamingos that have strayed from the protection of their parents. Two other bird species that prey upon flamingo chicks and eggs are the tawny eagle and the Marabou stork.

Humans

    Historically, humans, with our ingenuity and ability to use tools, have been the most dangerous threat to flamingo populations. While the popularity of flamingo eggs as a food source has decreased substantially over the years, even being outlawed by some countries, humans still eat these large eggs as both a delicacy and primary food source in different parts of the world. In the Andes Mountains, flamingos are sometimes killed for their fat, believed by some to be a remedy/cure for tuberculosis. The ancient Romans also hunted and killed flamingos for their tongues, which were prepared as a culinary delicacy. In addition to using flamingos and their eggs as a food source, humans, while not technically preying upon flamingos, have killed masses of this pink bird through habitat destruction.

Big Cats

    Some big cats, primarily in Africa, have been known to occasionally prey upon flamingos. However, big cats do not easily stalk and surprise their prey from the water. Therefore, nearly all big cat flamingo kills occur only during low water periods, periods of drought, or when water has been diverted by human activity. Cheetahs, leopards and lions are the most common big cat predators of flamingos.

Other Predators

    When water levels are low, or when flamingos have been displaced by habitat destruction, some smaller land animals have been known to occasionally prey upon flamingos and their eggs. These predators include feral pigs, foxes, small wildcats, hyenas, coyotes, minks, jackals, raccoons and wild dogs. Pythons have also been known to sometimes attack flamingos.

How to Breed Pharaoh Quails

Pharaoh quail are a small, docile species of bird. Also known as the Coturnix or Japanese quail, pharaoh quail grow from hatchlings into mature, egg-laying birds in less than 8 weeks. Pharaoh quail are prolific egg layers, often producing more than 300 eggs a year. Pharaohs are also some of the simplest birds to breed and have a strong maternal instinct that makes them good starter birds for novice game bird breeders.

Instructions

    1

    Place one male quail and three female quail together in an enclosed coop. Add a feed pan and water dish to the coop and fill with fresh wild bird scratch and water. Pharaoh quail are highly territorial and limiting the number of males in one flock reduces fighting.

    2

    Set up one nesting box for each hen, bedding the boxes with fresh straw. Pharaoh quail are broody birds and will stir up and move the straw to make the boxes comfortable for nesting, so bed the boxes to a depth of 4 inches for adequate egg protection.

    3

    Watch for signs of mating. The male quail will puff out his chest feathers, drag his wings along the ground and issue a loud crowing sound to attract females. Receptive hens will lie on their bellies, holding their tails forward as an indicator they are ready to mate. One mating can fertilize multiple eggs.

    4

    Inspect nests daily for eggs. Pharaoh quail eggs hatch in approximately 17 days, with females sitting on their nests almost constantly to keep the eggs warm. Move feed and water dishes closer to the nesting boxes so brooding hens don't have to travel far to eat.

    5

    Move newly hatched chicks to a brooder. Brooders are small, enclosed boxes that protect fragile quail chicks from larger birds until they're large enough to defend themselves. Clip a heat lamp to the side of the box and plug it in to keep the small chicks warm. Keep a feed pan full of chick starter and a shallow water dish in the center of the box.

    6

    Introduce the chicks to the coop once they're 8 weeks of age. The chicks will have molted into their adult feathers and will be large enough to interact with adult birds.

How to Identify Bird Songs in New Hampshire

How to Identify Bird Songs in New Hampshire

Birds communicate with each other through songs. These intricate combinations of vocalizations are typically used by male birds during the time they both establish and later defend their territory, as well as to attract a mate. Birds normally sing from a perched position, although they will also occasionally sing while in flight. These flight songs are often combined with particular flight patterns. Young birds which have not yet developed their flight feathers sing songs which are incoherent but which develop as the birds mature. Birds found in New Hampshire are identifiable by their songs, which are unique to each bird species.

Instructions

    1

    Identify the American robin by its musical song, which is a familiar sound in New Hampshire during spring. The song of the American robin is made up of a string of 10 or so clear whistles. These sounds are typically described as a "cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up" sound. The sounds are delivered at a steady rhythm, even though the syllables may rise and fall in pitch. The robin normally pauses between songs. The American robin's song is normally more rapid at dawn. A repeated "chirr" sound that rises in volume is often heard as well. This species can be seen in open gardens, woodlands and fields across New Hampshire.

    2

    Identify the blue jay by its musical "toolool, toolool" and "wheedleee, wheedelee" songs. The blue jay uses soft nasal notes when in close proximity to its partner, particularly during mate feeding and nest building. This species is found not only in deciduous forests in New Hampshire, but in residential areas as well. The blue jay is found throughout the summer months in New Hampshire.

    3

    Identify the northern cardinal by its "purdy purdy purdy ... whoit, whoit, whoit" song. Another song resembles a "what-cheer, what-cheer ... wheet, wheet, wheet, wheet" sound. Cardinals are found throughout New Hampshire and live mainly at the edge of woodlands or in vegetation in the gardens around houses. The male cardinal aggressively defends its territory.

    4

    Identify the American goldfinch by its high-pitched canarylike songs, which you can hear during early spring and late summer, when the birds are nesting. The first songs are somewhat rambling and continuous, but songs during nesting are short and precise. The American goldfinch's song is a series of light random sounds that sound like "per-chek-oree." During flight, the song is punctuated by a "tee-dee-de-dee" sound. You can find this species throughout New Hampshire in gardens, fields, floodplains and orchards.

About Eclectus Parrots

Pet owners all over the world love parrots because they are social and intelligent birds, and because they can learn how to talk, depending on the breed of parrot. One of the more exotic parrot breeds is the Eclectus parrot. The Eclectus is a popular choice for a pet bird for several reasons, including its keen intelligence and other very unique idiosyncrasies.

Name

    The name Eclectus comes from the word eclectic. This is because Eclectus parrots possess what is called a sexually dimorphic color scheme, which is unique to the breed. Dimorphic means that the male and the female possess different color schemes, in the same breed.

Origins

    The Eclectus parrot breed, including all of its estimated dozen subspecies, hail from Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea. They can also be found naturally on the Solomon Islands.

Vocabulary

    The Eclectus parrot is one of the top three talking parrot breeds in the world, rivaling the Amazon and African Grey parrot breeds. Not only are Eclectus parrots known to mimic voices of the humans around them, but they are amazing ventriloquists and have been known to mimic doorbells and other random sounds.

Colors

    The Eclectus parrot has several different subspecies of its genus and therefore can display an array of different colors. Commonly, however, males will vary from light yellow-green to deep emerald green, while the females vary from bright blue to lavender.

Behavior

    In the wild, Eclectus parrots are high-flying birds that spend a lot of the time stretching out their wings and exercising. In captivity, they can develop bad habits, like chewing on furniture, due to the boredom that comes from not being able to stretch out and fly.

Diet

    Eclectus parrots enjoy a diet of fruits, nuts, seeds and blossoms in the wild, most of which they find in treetops during flight. In captivity they enjoy the same diet of fresh fruits and seed feed, but domestic parrots can also develop a liking for human foods.

Reproduction

    Female Eclectus parrots ordinarily lay two eggs at a time and rarely leave their nest for the 28 days needed to incubate the young. The male Eclectus takes on the responsibility of feeding the female while she broods.