Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Chritmas to (WHAT'S YOUR NAME!!!)

hi,i'm a 10 year old kid and i have 2 budgies,
my sister(9) has 3 budgies
i'm the oldest kid in our whole family,we have no cousins and none of my 2 aunts are married.
i'm the oldest=brittany
we're leaving tomorrow morning at 5:00am to catch our ferry to victoria(mt.washington)
may you write back before then,and...Merry Chritmas!WHA

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Avian Food Problem

We have a problem with avian foods in Japan.
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
"good for your bird's health"
foods and give them
to their beloved birds.

The biggest problem is that those foods are then doing a lot of harm to birds
and many owners are spending so much money for medical treatments
which are not always effective.
I often hear the owners say
"Why didn't my bird live very long?"

I hope that all of manufacturers, suppliers and owners will become more
responsibleand get more educated.

I think this is one of keys to a brighter future
of caged birds.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Whipper defies 'expiry' date

He has defied predictions of an early death, has his own website and is possibly Winton's most internationally famous resident.

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

Two pecking parrots have balding issues

Q: I have had several pairs of parrotlets in the past, but I recently got a new pair, male and female. They are in a nice size cage, but they have picked all the feathers from each other's heads.

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

Budgies and Loneliness

Prevention is better than cure. I give my budgies organic seed and pellet, fresh and safe green that I grow and
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

We are at Your Service

Just wanted to write and let you know that our order arrived safe and sound in Switzerland. It took the budgies a couple of days to work out that eucalyptus leaves are food, but now they absolutely love them! They are also working hard on destroying the toy, but I have to say that it is standing up pretty well to their constant attention. So all in all we are thrilled with everything we bought. Thank you so much for being prepared to ship abroad - it seems our foreign budgies appreciate a taste of their heritage

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Different Bird Species or Interbreeding?

Two related South American species of birds, difficult to distinguish with the human eye, use ultraviolet light to differentiate between themselves, according to a zoologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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

Winter Parrots in Germany

It's autumn in Germany and barges ply the romantic Rhine and Main rivers on a chilly December day as meanwhile a flock of graceful birds fly overhead - screeching, bright-green tropical parrots.

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

Budgie cages

I received this request:-

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

Budgies Needs

A budgie needs

• 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