Saturday, July 31, 2004

Food for parrots

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

Budgie canabuls

I heard this incredible news that leaves the impression that budgies are canabuls.

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

Keeping Budgies Swinging

Information that has been passed on to me

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

Swinging Budgies

A bird on his arm.

Pete's attraction to birds in the bush.!mA*rujxVu9hoCQ0BkmJDve5kz**RY47en4dAqpFnGKiYWTpDvXEpy78EGAQLTxQ!bRJoG3SI17Yb6jM1jomC/PalmCockatooCountry.jpg?dc=4675447083980850448

The Magic of The 'Australian Bush'!mA*rujxVu9hoCQ0BkmJDve5kz**RY47en4dAqpFnGKiYWTpDvXEpy78EGAQLTxQ!bRJoG3SI17Yb6jM1jomC/PalmCockatooCountry.jpg?dc=4675447083980850448

I'm tracking Pete's travels


Friday, July 23, 2004

Training Parrots

CARIBBEAN NATIONAL FOREST, Puerto Rico | -- Jafet Velez Valentin cups his hands around the bright green bird.

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 TaĆ­no 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

Swinging Budgies

A story I was told to have a laugh

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

Swinging Budgies

Pete's travelling on the search for indeginous budgies. Has sent very impressive posts of his journey studying wildlife in the Atherton Tablelands.

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.