Friday, December 24, 2004
Thursday, December 23, 2004
There is no guarantee of organic foods that are safe for birds.
Irresponsible manufacturers who do not know anything about avian nutrition
buy cheap ingredients and produce meaningless supplements and seed mixes
coated with chemical dye, pesticide and synthetic vitamins.
Innocent bird owners who do not know what is the right food for their bird see
"good for your bird's health"
foods and give them to their beloved birds.
I often hear the owners say "Why didn't my bird live very long?"
I think this is one of keys to a brighter future of caged birds.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
And it may all be a result of in-breeding.
Whipper the "feather duster" budgie rose to international attention after he featured in The Southland Times in April.
His story was told in newspapers around the world.
Not bad for a budgie rejected by his parents because of his unusual looks.
Whipper and his unruly feathered looks are the result of a genetic mutation, probably caused by the in-breeding of show budgies in the 1960s.
Owner Julie Hayward rescued and hand-reared Whipper after he was thrown out of his nest as a baby by his parents. Genetic mutants, which couldn't fly, usually died soon after birth or were killed by their parents, she said.
Indeed, an Auckland vet called to warn Ms Hayward that Whipper would not live more than six months. Yet he celebrated his first birthday on December 11 and Ms Hayward said he is enjoying good health.
Whipper promoter Gillian McFarlane has a bundle of clippings from overseas newspapers that picked up on the story of the mutant budgie.
Southland was not making the most of the bird, she said. He was a valuable marketing opportunity with the ability to attract international tourists.
Just two weeks ago an American couple on holiday went into her Winton business, where Whipper had been displayed earlier in the year.
They told her they were planning their trip to New Zealand in April when they saw Whipper on television and decided to include Winton in their itinerary.
The bird was a natural, who handled his public profile with aplomb, she said.
"He was born for it," she said.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Why are they doing this? What can I do to fix the problem? Even if I put them in separate cages, the feathers do not seem to come back.
A: Birds normally engage in social grooming or preening, and it is likely that your pair has become fixated on this activity because they have nothing else to do, what with being caged together 24/7.
They may have damaged the feather follicles so, even after separating them (as you have found), the feathers will not grow back. But before you give up, have a veterinarian check their heads for feather mites and give them more timeout from being confined in the cage. Also, make sure that their diet includes fresh fruits and seeds and a multimineral/multivitamin supplement that your veterinarian can prescribe.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
good supplements on a daily basis.
I learned good points and bad points for budgies from "A Complete Pet Owner's Manual", and one of bad things
was "loneliness". Yes. Loneliness is harmful.
My budgie P-chan didn't have a companion. He ate, played, slept and mumbled alone all day long while I
was out for work. But I knew he hardly moved except going to a seed cup because most of his droppings were
at the same place. That was so hard for me and made a decision on the second budgie.
Now I have two young male budgies and they are getting along with their neighbor. They always chat, play, sleep, preen
and eat together, and have a good time even while I am out for work. They are almost stress-free,
and I do believe that it must be as good as nutritious diet for them.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
The markings on the two sibling species of mountain tanagers, which live and often flock together in the northern Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, are remarkably similar, with vibrant blue trim on the wings and tail plumage, black on the head, and bright yellow on the crown and underparts. The biggest difference is in the coloring of the plumage on their backs: The black-chinned mountain tanager is olive-colored, whereas the blue-winged mountain tanager is black. But in the field this difference is difficult to see.
"They're similar-looking - even to an experienced birder," says Robert Bleiweiss, associate professor of zoology at UW-Madison. "I hate to admit this, especially as I'm a very experienced birder, but even I had trouble with them."
When he examined the birds under UV light, though, he found that the difference between the two species is clear. The back of the black-chinned mountain tanager displays high plumage reflectance under UV light, whereas the back of the blue-winged mountain tanager has low reflectance. The birds can see this distinction because of a special receptor in their eyes that allows them to see UV light outside the usual visual perception of humans.
"But it's one thing to say that they differ," Bleiweiss says. "The second step is, is it important to interbreeding?"
To answer that question, he examined other populations of blue-winged mountain tanagers in which the plumage color on the back of those birds ranges from black to the olive color. And these birds, despite the variation, interbreed.
Under UV light, he discovered that all of the blue-winged mountain tanager populations had a similar low reflectance, no matter what color the plumage on their back was in visible light.
This would imply that the birds use the visible cue of UV plumage reflection to distinguish between species to mate, Bleiweiss says.
And this difference between the species, he says, brings them up to the standard of differences between other tanagers that live together, which are known for their distinctive and brightly colored plumage. The visual similarities between the two distinct species had long been a curiosity for birders.
"It's the bird standard that matters," Bleiweiss says. "We can look at it with better technology, but we won't see exactly what birds do. That would be the ultimate goal - to get into the birds' brain and see the way that they do."
The next challenge, he says, will be to find out if this pattern of differences in UV reflectance is true in other sibling species.
"We might learn that sibling species are not so similar," he says. "They just differ in ways we find difficult to detect."
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
They are Indian ring-necked parrots, descendants of household pets that have gone forth and multiplied to such an extent in central Germany over the past 40 years that authorities now consider them an "indigenous" species.
And they are winging their way across western Europe and even into temperate southern England, where they are flourishing, according to European ornithologists.
"They are definitely on the move," says Dieter
Zingel, head of the Hesse State Ornithology Society in Wiesbaden.
"Until a few years ago, the ring-necks were isolated in and around one park in Wiesbaden and their population was no more than about 300," he explains.
"I've been monitoring that population for the past 30 years," he adds, "and I had almost concluded that the feral population was remaining constant. But now they have multiplied and are definitely on the move."
The 60-centimetre-long parrots, noted for their bright colouring and loud screams, have been sighted in Mainz and other cities along the Rhine-Main valley.
"They also appear to be nesting in these new regions, which means their young will be native to new areas," Zingel says.
As their name suggests, the Indian ring-necks are native to the Asian Sub-Continent. Large numbers were imported to Europe from Sri Lanka in the 1960s until the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) severely limited their import.
But by that time enough birds had flown their coops to establish viable populations in the Rhine-Main valley, where warm summers and relatively mild winters are not only ideal for wine-makers - but also for Sri Lankan parrots.
The Indian ring-necked parrot was first recorded in a wild state in Germany in the late 1960s when a few imported birds escaped captivity and settled in a Wiesbaden park.
These feathered immigrants found the Rhine-Main valley much to their liking. In the wild, Indian ringnecks eat a variety of seeds, berries, fruits, nuts, blossoms, and nectar - and all these foods are abundant along this valley.
In the wild, these hardy birds can cope with sultry summer temperatures as well as with chilly winters - just like many of the wine grape varieties that thrive in this same region.
Above all, these birds are highly intelligent and adaptive when it comes to living in close contact with humans.
In captivity, besides learning to talk, these parrots are known to be great at learning tricks. Some have been taught to string beads on a rope, twirl sticks about their head, ring a bell, and pick up selected objects.
"In the wild, they are nobody's fool when it comes to carving out an ecological niche for themselves," Zingel notes.
"A further advantage is the fact that they do not mate for life," says the veteran ornithologist. "That means a male can mate with a number of females and thus enhance the chances for the species' survival in a new habitat."
The incubation time is between 22 and 24 days and the young will leave the nest about six to seven weeks after they hatch, meaning the skies over the Rhineland will be full of bright green birds all summer.
"They have been sighted in Cologne on the Rhine, and as far up the Rhine as Heidelberg and as for inland on the River Main as Worms and a few have even been seen in Stuttgart down in the Black Forest region," Zingel says.
Small pockets of feral populations are also becoming established in several parts of southern England, along with Holland and Spain as well as the parks around London.
"They have no natural enemies here," Zingel says. "And they cause no harm and don't raid other birds' nests. So, all in all, they are a lovely addition to the European bird population."
Monday, December 06, 2004
I am a new budgie owner. Our bird is currently living in the standard cage that we purchased when we bought her. I am looking for a large, decorative and safe cage for my budgie. All of the beautiful cages that I have found have wide bar spacing and are not safe for my little bird. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could find something like this?
Saturday, December 04, 2004
• To be housed with enough space to fly
• An aviary, (or a very large budgie cage with free flight outside of it every day) safe from predators, with sleeping areas and giving protection from cold, draughts and heat
• Perches for sleeping on, which must be different widths to prevent foot cramp
Monday, November 29, 2004
Sandi runs Ollie's Parrot's Perch, a boarding house for parrots, and A Place To Call Home, a parrot rescue service. Both are operated out of her rural home."Birds take to me, and that's how I got involved," she said.Sandi's mother had a bird that seemed to dislike everybody in the family except for Sandi. She became intrigued and wanted to find out more about the bird's behavior.Eventually, Sandi's interest led her to open the boarding service to those who wanted to drop off their birds while they were out of town.
"When I started, I thought there were no parrots out here," she said. "Boy, was I wrong."While several people used her service, others came asking if Sandi would permanently keep the birds. Some owners grew tired of the parrots, which Sandi described as being like two-year-olds."You need to find the right person for the bird," she said. "It takes patience. "Sandi characterizes the birds as being very needy and requiring a lot of attention."People don't realize parrots have attitudes," she said. "They get jealous."
Some parrots have come to A Place To Call Home after being abused or abandoned."Unless you understand why they do what they do, it's difficult to have them as a pet," According to Sandi, some owners don't realize that their parrot must become familiar with them. She said they cannot force the bird to do things."When you go to grab them, they have to know you," Sandi suggests owners read books aloud while sitting next to their birds' cages so that the birds become familiar with their owners' voices. Sandi currently has about six birds in her house. Some of them were rescued, others are part of the boarding service. Only two of them are hers. Sandi said she tries not to become too emotionally attached to the birds. She doesn't want to keep them all for herself."I love them to death, but if I find the perfect home I know they are better off." DeKALB
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I recieved this note this morning.
My name is Misty Jones and I ordered a jar of Budgie Butter 2 weeks ago. I fed it to my sluggish feathered buddy by putting it in his food and now he is so full of energy! He sings all day. I am going to make Budgie Butter a part of his regular diet and his 'little brother' will be raised on it. Thanks for this wonderful product.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Six orange-bellied parrots, one of Australia's most threatened bird species, were released from Victoria in August.
Two have since been sighted in Tasmania, their traditional breeding grounds.
Richard Loyn from the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research says as well as mapping the birds movements, researchers have been working to improve their natural habitats.
"I've been delighted how successful the breeding project has been," he said.
"In the early stages we were quite surprised at that. But we've come to accept it now and we know we can produce quite a lot of orange-bellied parrots in captivity.
"The main challenge now is making sure there's habitat for them to live in once we release them."
Among them will be David Hallawell, 11, of Kiewa, whose young grey yellowface has won the junior champion titles at both the Myrtleford and Albury shows in recent weeks.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Recently I was in a discussion group where I was told I was probably poisoning my budgies by offering them Eucalyptus Leaves. I was told that there was no evidence that budgies ate Eucalyptus and that they seem to only chew on the bark and leaves.
Budgies are sometimes slow to try Eucalyptus leaves or Budgie Butter, the reason being that they have been bred in captivity for many years and don't know what Eucalyptus is.
By following our suggestions of giving 3-4 leaves daily and 1/4 teaspoon butter daily, budgies will get used to them and enjoy the benefit.
I have a cockatiel who was also born in captivity, but when I give him 3-4 leaves and leave him alone, he goes mad really enjoys them.
I sometimes don't give him any for a couple of weeks and he really enjoys them when I give him them after a rest.
The only possible way budgies or any parrot species can be poisoned by Eucalyptus is when the Eucalyptus trees are grown in a polluted environment.
By this I mean grown in a smoggy atmosphere or having herbicides or pesticides applied near them.
We are selective in our material and are sure it doesn't contain any poisonous substance.
I also recommend not just trying leaves or butter once but continuously throughout the year, this amounts to 3 to 4 orders from us over a yearly period.
Monday, November 01, 2004
We had a very rewarding afternoon when a Rainbow lorikeet came to enjoy the nectar in the yellow flowering bottlebrush on our verge.
He took a long time to enjoy the flowers that were tightly packed on the branches, swinging and diving from 1 flower to the next, then getting in behind the foliage to discover stronger nectar that was hidden from the sun.
After about 30 minutes he was disturbed by noisy miners and flew off, I fortunately took a couple of photos.
Then about 15 minutes later he returned with his mate and they proceeded to divulge themselves in more rich nectar.
A most rewarding sight.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Budgies in the wild would have a temperature range of -5 to -15C rising to 30 to 40C
Many aviaries are outside with temperature of -5C to 15C in winter.
Some owners do bring birds inside.
If you think your birds are suffering from cold try bringing the inside and cover their cage with a towel when it gets dark, taking it off when you get up in the morning.
2 reasons why this is done 1 is to keep the birds warm and the other is to keep them quiet at night
Thursday, October 14, 2004
(PRWEB) October 13, 2004 -- Event: Christmas Fair for the Birds
Date: Saturday November 6th & Sunday November 7th
Time: Saturday: 10am - 4pm & Sunday: Noon – 4pm
Place: 48 Bridge Street, 3rd Floor, Nashua, NH
Fauna Rescue, Inc., a nonprofit rescue and rehabilitation organization for abused and neglected parrots is holding a Christmas Fair for the Birds to raise funds for food, medicine, cages, and toys for the parrots in our care. The fair will be held on Saturday November 6th (10am – 4pm) and Sunday November 7th (noon-4pm) at our office at 48 Bridge Street, Nashua, NH. We invite the public to come over for Christmas shopping and light refreshments. We will have books, dolls, teddy bears, Christmas decorations, gift baskets, animal toys, a raffle and many other items for the holiday season.
Fauna Rescue is supported solely by donations from the public. We are staffed entirely by volunteers and depend on the generosity of the public to continue with our programs and services. We hope to see you at the fair!
Check this site www.faunarescue.org
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
What does it mean when the budgie eats his seed then it looks like he brings it back up again?
My budgie has this wheel thing that has bells in little balls. He fills them up with seed that he seems to bring back up (wet seed). And underneath this bell thing but on the floor of the cage there is a heap of wet seed that seems to be building up each day. The seed look like he puts it in his beak and moves it from one side of the cage to the other. It does not look like it has been regurgitated.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
This popular end of term event attracted a host of entries as the pupils paraded their favourite pet pals before judge Bombala mayor Bob Stewart.
The pets were judged in seven categories Smallest, Largest, Hairiest, Funniest Most Unusual, Best Tricks, Longest Tail and Most Like Owner.
Despite their difficult task the judges decisions appeared to have the support of the large crowd of parents, siblings and friends that gathered at the school ground for the occasion.
The winner in each category was presented with a certificate acknowledging their success.
The afternoon went off without a hitch, due in no small way to the efforts of senior pupils who took on the responsibility of announcing the events and the winners.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Bred at Healesville Sanctuary, the birds were released near Port Wilson, on Port Phillip Bay, early last month.
Among the world's rarest species, the migratory parrot spends winter in Victoria before heading to Tasmania's remote southwest to reproduce.
Experts want to find out if the parrots can re-establish at a site where they have rarely been seen in decades.
There are just an estimated 150 birds in the wild, and about 100 in captivity.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Monday, September 20, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
By this I mean for you to spend time with them so that they get to know you.
Initially give them a limited flight span and limited flight time, this ensures they will stay with you.
It can be very entertaining, I remember a friend of mine who owned a pet store, helet most of his loose and they would fly all around the shop. Now and again they would fly outside but with his carefull training they always came back. He even allowed some experienced birds fly around the shop at night.
I have since been in to his shop with 'new' owners. No flying birds, dull and dreary.
Monday, September 13, 2004
I have received this note about talking parrots. Research is indicating they talk the same as us.
Parrots and humans use their tongues to craft and shape sound in a similar manner.
The study indicates that both parrots and humans rely on extremely specialized vibrating organs in their throats.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Monday, August 30, 2004
Allan Sweet says,
Hours of every wild cockatiel’s day are spent chewing the leaves and branches of the loafing trees probably to maintain their bills and to take in lysine and methionine (amino acid goodies that develop healthy beaks & feathers).
Cockatiels still eat insects too and are very adept at digging insects out of dead trees or ripping strips of eucalyptus bark off the branches to get at any grubs living there. There are other reasons why they strip bark from eucalyptus trees; they need the cambium sap and certain elements in the oils of both the soft bark & leaves for their oil glands.
Parrot Pesto has these elements
Thursday, August 26, 2004
As previously reported, Poppet the lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo fled the nest leaving his partner to look after their eggs. As Poppet shirked his parental responsibilities and winged his way to freedom, a massive search was launched.
He was eventually tracked down and caught at Humberston Fitties.
One week after the two lovebirds were reunited, the eggs hatched and the owners of the Jungle, Al and Bet Verlaine, hoped it would be a case of happy families.
But the parents rejected their offspring.
Mr Verlaine said: "Parrots can reject their babies if something traumatic has happened.
"I think the trauma of Poppet flying away probably led the couple to reject the babies.
"Bet has been the mum to them really. I have been helping out.
"At first, they needed feeding every two hours, but now they can manage with a feed about every four hours.
"They are both advancing really well. We are delighted with their progress.
"It is always nice when there are babies around. It is lovely to have new life, but it does mean we miss out on some sleep.
"The lesser sulphur-crested cockatoos are very friendly birds. They are not as noisy as some other parrots."
The month-old babies have been eating a special baby parrot mix. They live in a cage, in a back room in the zoo, with a blanket over the top to reassure them they are being protected from predators.
Mrs Verlaine said people could see them at various times of the day if it fitted in with the baby cockatoos' routine but they were not on view all the time.
The birds, which are native to Australia, are now starting to develop the distinctive sulphur crest.
Mrs Verlaine said: "It is like having your own children. At first, all they were interested in was food, but they are now beginning to take more interest in what is going on around them.
"In a few weeks' time, they will be flying around.
"We are not sure of their gender yet, it is not really possible to tell until they are adults.
"The parents, Poppet and Baby, are both doing very well."
What would you call the babies.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Make no mistake about it: Birds use language knowingly.
Like the parrot that calls, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty" to get the cat to come. Or the bird that says, "I'm starving!" when it's time for dinner. Or the bird that tells another squawking bird, "Be quiet, please!"
Did you know that male parakeets, properly known as budgies, are prodigious talkers, but females don't learn to speak?
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
We haven't the knowledge of experienced Australian Bushmen, who have studied budgies in the wild, to give any reasonable lifespan of budgies in the wild.
In captivity lifespan can be expected of 10 to 12 years, provided we give essential growth enhancers. http://www.budgieworld.net/budgie_advice.htm
Sunday, August 22, 2004
If you are unable to give time and attention consider having a cage as large as possible ie:12"x12"x18". It is also very important to give budgies 'natural' perches. By this I mean not uniform dowel that creates a lack of toe movement and encourages long claws.
Look at what Pete discovered
Tough eucalyptus wood makes the best perch your bird could ever have!
Eucalyptus branches also provide trace elements and minerals that are beneficial to your bird’s health. In the wild, budgies are very active in the morning and evening, but spend most of their day resting in the eucalyptus trees and chewing the branches. Natural (unrefined) eucalyptus oil from the bark is also a germicide that stops diseases of the feet in all Australian birds
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Parrot toys are essential to keep your bird happy, alert and occupied. In the wild, Parrots spend their time foraging for food, finding nesting sites and shelter, avoiding predators (man mainly) and other challenging activities.
It is our duty to provide enough variety of Parrot toys to keep them entertained and interested every day. Wouldn't you get bored of just the same old toy for months on end?
As well as natural branches (clean them thoroughly first though) provide a selection of toys for chewing.
Monday, August 09, 2004
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Here's what satisfied owners say about the budgie leaves
I gave my birds 2 leaves yesterday. Bobby, the more adventurous eater of the lot, munched right into them immediately and never gave the others a chance for a look in,
Natural Eucalyptus tree products for your budgerigars from Down Under.
Made from the trees wild budgies eat, nest & roost in.
The Makers of Budgie Butter
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
I have two budgies and they sit next to each other and rub their faces together. What does this mean?
When they rub their faces together, that's a very affectionate kind of play, it's like little kids holding hands. Bird friends can do this and so can bird lovers.
Monday, August 02, 2004
In the wild budgies nest in a hollow limb, 3 to 5 white eggs being laid. Incubation : 18 to 20 days with both parents attending to eggs and young. Season : spring to summer, depending on rain.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
The nuts from this tree are large and very hard. Australian cockatoos and parrots love to crack them open to get at the seeds inside. We collect and sun-dry them in the harsh South Australian deserts where many different species of cockatoos, parrots, rosellas & lorikeets live. The sun-drying process hardens them so your bird won’t go through them too quickly. By the time they’re dry the seeds have dropped out but the aroma is still there and the birds are attracted by it. They’ll keep your birds amused for a long time. Many Australian parrots spend a good deal of their lives visiting Illyarie trees.
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Galahs will go for anything. All the imported fruits, nuts, vegetables and grains are snapped up as soon as they can be eaten and it does them no good at all. This freely available junk food causes them manifold health problems. They’re a bird prone to obesity to begin with and they soon develop fatty tumours or lymphomas that cause infertility.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Has anyone else heard this, appaling news? Please comment.
"When a budgie dies, his flock mates will tear open its body to eat its intestines. They do this to a) eliminate any trace of the dead bird as it could attract scavengers and b) to get their vital dose of proteine."
Monday, July 26, 2004
Eucalypts have a special place in the life of the budgerigar
The wild budgerigar has evolved alongside the Eucalypt tree and over a million years has developed an intimate bond with the tree and its leaves. Wet eucalypt leaves excite and invigorate both the wild and aviary budgerigar into a frenzy of joy. They love to bath in the wet leaves and breeding hens destructively chew the bark searching for trace elements and lysine, the breeding protein. The eucalyptus oil from the leaves has medicinal properties that stimulate the immune system and promote a strong natural resistance to disease.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
A bird on his arm.
Pete's attraction to birds in the bush.
The Magic of The 'Australian Bush'
I'm tracking Pete's travels
Friday, July 23, 2004
La Mohicana, as workers have named the 11-year-old female, has endured a lifetime of respiratory difficulty. This morning, her handlers found her sitting on the floor of her cage, refusing to eat. They rushed her into the clinic, laid her down on the table and put an oxygen mask over her head.
Now she has stopped breathing altogether. Velez, a wildlife biologist, calls for a syringe of the stimulant Dopram to revive her and directs an assistant to contact the veterinarian.
"Esta volviendo," Velez says. "She's coming back."
Every bird is precious here at the Luquillo Aviary, where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to save the most endangered parrot in the world.
The Puerto Rican parrot once thrived in the lush green rain forest of this Caribbean island, where an estimated 1 million greeted Columbus 500 years ago.
But a combination of deforestation by man, predation by natural enemies and devastation by periodic hurricanes has nearly wiped out the population. By 1975, the last native species of parrot found in U.S. territory was down to an estimated 13 birds.
Now the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program is trying to bring it back.
Working out of a converted Army facility high in the mountainous Caribbean National Forest -- the 43-square-mile reserve in northeastern Puerto Rico known popularly as El Yunque -- wildlife specialists are breeding, raising and training captive parrots for eventual release into the wild.
They have released 39 birds in the last four years and have a stock of 48 more at the Luquillo Aviary. Another team, under the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, has raised 103 birds so far for release in western Puerto Rico.
The project, decades in the planning, has achieved a 46 percent survival rate -- the highest ever among captivity-bred-bird-release programs -- to bolster a wild population now estimated at up to 36 birds.
"Captive propagation is a last resort, because it's really expensive," says Fernando Nunez Garcia, supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Service field office in Rio Grande. "It's a desperate measure to try to save a species."
The indigenous Taíno people called it Iguaca, for its distinctive squawk. Bright green with a red forehead, blue primary feathers and white rings around the eyes, the Puerto Rican parrot can grow to a foot in height, and can live more than 30 years.
In 1967, the species was listed as endangered. The recovery program began the following year.
The Luquillo Aviary lies in a humid clearing high in El Yunque. Here a staff of 12, working on an annual budget of $925,000, breeds, nurtures and readies the birds for release.
The workers try to prepare the birds, mentally and physically, for life beyond the aviary. They challenge them by introducing unfamiliar toys in their cages or placing food where it is difficult to reach.
"We don't really know how to train them to be wild," Velez says. "But we can teach them to be intelligent, to be inquisitive, to explore."
Parrots to be released spend time practicing flight in a giant cage. They are taken into the forest and exposed to a red-tailed hawk.
Finally, they are fitted with a radio tracking transmitter and freed.
Thursday, July 22, 2004
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. It had a bad attitude and its language was profane and vulgar.
John tried in vain to clean it up.
He yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back.
In desperation he shoved the bird into the refrigerator. The parrot squawked and screamed. Then, suddenly, silence.
John quickly opened the door and the parrot stepped out onto John's outstretched arm and said: "I have offended you with my rude language and I apologise unconditionally. I will never swear again."
John was stunned and was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change when the bird continued: "May I ask what the chicken in there did?"
Monday, July 19, 2004
I spent a rewarding day preparing some tiny improvements to the domesticated life of budgies.
Budgie Butter can allow birds to overcome many of the diseases prevelant in our manipulated world.
Today I walked and talked to people in charge of 'health & safety' in their working environment. Amazingly most people would rather risk death than allow a simple test to be made on electrical devices to ensure human safety.
Home to the pleasure of birds singing and enjoying chewing on their leaves.