Monday, February 21, 2005

Do Budgies Eat Anything Other than Seeds?

One of many views, click on Fresh Pak 20

In the wild, Budgerigars feed on grass seeds, eucalyptus leaves, buds and bark and a large variety of greens. It's important to note that parakeets are vegetarian by nature, and should never be fed meat, milk products or animal proteins, as their digestive system will not be able to process those foods.

GREENS Greens are naturally appealing to the parakeet and can be easily implemented into their regular diet.… You may also feed your Budgie (pesticide and chemical free) grass, sprouting seeds, branches from trees and Eucalyptus. Keep in mind that not all tree branches are edible… Home and Garden

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Problems of a Seed Only Diet

Budgies are susceptible to goiter and need a source of iodine if they are fed only on seeds. Vitamins need to be added in the water, but the bowl or water bottle must be washed daily to prevent bacterial over-growth. If the bird eats a pelleted diet, no vitamin supplements are necessary.

The rate of cancer is very high in budgies, which may be a reflection of a chronically poor diet. Budgies shell their seeds, so vitamins added to the outside will be discarded. For those using a seed diet, it is a common practice to give a budgie a large bowl of seed (relative to its size) and leave it for a few days. The bird will then leave the shells in the feed cup as he eats, and the cup full of shells may appear to be a cup full of seed. This may lead to starvation.

Contrary to popular belief, budgies do not need grit, but they will eat it. If they are in good health, grit will not harm them. If, however, they don’t feel well they may overeat, which can result in an impaction.

Feeding Your Budgie

While budgies were once fed mainly on seeds, that diet has now been discredited, and seeds are usually used only as special treats.

Pelleted food made in a small size is available for budgies and provides balanced nutrition in every bite. Budgies should also be offered small amounts of fresh dark green leafy vegetables; tiny slices of apple, grapes, melons, sprouts and other fresh foods are relished by budgies who are introduced to them at a young age. Remember, too, not to leave moist food in the cage too long – it is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria.

Holistic Treatment

Many pet birds diseases can be healed by improving the bird's diet.
Many budgie owners have not noticed that yet, and they still believe
that budgie's life span is very short and there is nothing they can do
more than taking their ill budgies to avian vets.
An avian vet is an essential part for pet birds and owners, but health
problems of our birds can not be improved only by medical treatments.

Yoko's budgies fighting over chickweed & barley grass

Nutririous diet, safe and good environment, herbal remedies, love.....many
more. Each of these aspects affects health and is taken into consideration
when evaluating our bird holistically.
If your vet tells you to give up your budgie, it does not mean it is time for
you to give up. There are a lot of things you have to do for your budgie
and you are the only one who can expand your budgie's life span.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Budgies Make Good Pets

Budgies or parakeets, whichever you wish to call them, are proof positive that good things do indeed come in small packages!

Intelligent, active, inquisitive, and friendly are the words most often used to describe these jewels of the aviary and these characteristics have made them one of the most popular companion birds in the world. In the United States alone there are over 8 million budgies happily sharing their lives with their human flock and statistics show that there's not a single community that doesn't have at least one budgie breeder in it.

Why are these little birds so popular? Most probably because the budgie manages to combine clever intellect with a bubbly personality that makes it very difficult to ignore their special charm. If you are just getting your first budgie or if you've lived with them for a very long time please let us know which qualities you find most attractive!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Mozzie Return Home

HOME AT LAST: Nola Penna is very happy to have Mozzie back.

MOZZIE the cockatiel is safe and sound after his unexpected holiday.

The bird, who turns two in May, escaped from the back yard of his Kangaroo Flat home in January, but was recently returned.

Mozzie's owner, Nola Penna, said he flew away after taking a ride into the back yard on the head of her four-year old grandson, Dahrius.

"He has a habit of sitting on your head - I know about it, but Dahrius didn't.

"He's never been outside, so once he was out there, he got scared or disorientated and just disappeared."

After somehow braving the tumultuous weather of the past month, Mozzie landed on the shoulder of a woman at the Bendigo Farmers' Market at the Bendigo Showgrounds.

"She kept him for about a week, but she's got budgies, so she couldn't keep him," Ms Penna said.

The cockatiel was then handed to a friend, who saw one of the posters Ms Penna had put up advertising Mozzie's disappearance in the Kangaroo Flat IGA supermarket.

Despite his adventures, Ms Penna said Mozzie was in excellent condition.

She received Mozzie as a Mother's Day present from her son, and said he is a one-of-a-kind bird.

"He was raised around animals, so he rides around on the dog's back, and drinks out of the cat's bowl.

"And if you're on the phone too long, he'll go `yap yap yap yap'.

Ms Penna has already taken measures to stop the cockatiel from escaping again.

"We're very aware now - I've hung curtains on all the doorways.

"I'm just very grateful for everyone who looked out for him."

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Power of Love

A very smart, brave female budgie "Nana" had died a couple of days ago.

She had been very seriously ill over a long period of time and fighting

till the end. She had a trouble with her oviduct, crop, and maybe she

had a tumor too. Her crop and organs were terribly damaged because

of overuse of steroids, and she was loosing immunity because of too

many antibiotics. She vomited every day and kept loosing her

weight. Her owner took care of her day and night without rest

just praying "God, please help Nana" And Nana died peacefully.

She was only 18g when she died. What a poor girl...

How could she live though she was just 18g? How could she

hang on?

I think mommy was there. The dearest mommy always stayed there

with her, fought with her. That is the power of love.

May god bless Nana.


Nana's owner is my friend.

I was very shocked by her death.



Monday, February 07, 2005

Nesting Begins For Endangered Parrots

Raucous squawking erupts from cages filled with dozens of parrots - a hopeful sound from a species on the brink of extinction. The last chance of survival for the Puerto Rican parrot may lie in forest aviaries where these captive birds began their nesting in January under close observation.

Researchers estimate only 30 to 35 Puerto Rican parrots remain in the wild, making it one of the world's 10 most endangered birds.

Parrots across the Caribbean are similarly vulnerable after centuries of deforestation and trapping for the pet trade. From the Cayman Islands to the Dominican Republic, many species are rare, threatened or dwindling in numbers.

But in the past 30 years some conservation efforts across the Caribbean have shown modest success. In Puerto Rico, researchers say if they keep increasing the captive population of native parrots, the species could make a comeback.

"The more we breed here, the more we can release in the wild," said Bryann Ybarra-Weckmann, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worker who feeds and monitors parrots at one of the island's two aviaries. "Last year we had our most successful breeding season ever. Ten birds survived."

All of the 159 captive Puerto Rican parrots will stay in the aviaries at least until next year, when a select group will be released after receiving training on how to forage for food and avoid predators in the wild.

Bright green with a red forehead and wings that flash turquoise in flight, the Puerto Rican parrot was called "Iguaca" by the Taino Indians after the sound of its squawk.

The bird was plentiful when Columbus arrived in the Americas and coexisted with a Puerto Rican macaw and parakeet that have since died out. Now the parrot can be seen only in the Caribbean National Forest, a mountain rain forest known to Puerto Ricans as El Yunque.

Posters with photographs of the birds raise tourists' hopes they may see one, but few ever do. The parrot aviary is closed to the public.

Although flocks of parrots can been seen flying over the U.S. territory's capital, San Juan, experts say those are nonnative varieties that have escaped from cages or been released over the years by pet owners.

The captive breeding program set up more than three decades ago has helped lift the Puerto Rican parrot population from a low point in 1975, when only 13 wild birds were recorded.

Forty parrots raised in captivity have been released since 2000, and next year more will be freed to establish a second wild population in the island's western Rio Abajo forest, near the second aviary, which is run by Puerto Rico's Department of Natural Resources.

In the meantime, eggs are appearing in nests inside the aviaries, and for the next five or six months researchers will be watching closely for hatchlings. Biologists have installed gaping plastic tubes on parrots' cages and have laid wood chips inside to resemble nesting spots in the cavities of the palo colorado, the main parrot nesting tree.

Helping the birds reach maturity is painstaking work. Ybarra-Weckmann said he has hand-fed many chicks. A veterinarian who specializes in parrots has saved some sick birds, but others have died from infections.

When released, parrots are fitted with radio transmitters to track their movements.

Some are killed by predators such as red-tailed hawks. Hurricanes also pose a major threat. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo cut the wild population from 47 to about 23, said Jafet Velez, a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Thieves also have snatched parrots for the pet trade, stealing the top breeding pair in 2001 from the Luquillo Aviary in El Yunque. The birds have never been found.

Across the Caribbean, strict anti-smuggling laws and public awareness campaigns have helped curtail the illegal trade in parrots since the 1970s.

The number of St. Lucian parrots in the wild has increased from some 150 in the late 1970s to about 800 today. Scientists are optimistic a conservation campaign in Dominica is helping boost the Imperial parrot population, last estimated at 150.

But researchers remain worried about the fate of many species, largely due to the cutting of forests for construction and agriculture.

Experts say the Hispaniolan parrot - once common in the Dominican Republic - appears to be swiftly declining. In the Cayman Islands, the 300 to 430 remaining Cayman Brac parrots are confined to a tiny area.

"The trend in the region is that birds are just holding on, basically because of conservation efforts," said Stephen Durand, a parrot researcher in Dominica. "But how long can we continue to do this?"

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Purchasing Genuine Budgie World Product

I have set up a blog, Swinging Budgie World, for customers to be able to purchase products that we recomend occasionly on Swinging Budgies and new lines that we add to our selection.

The prices specified in US$ include postage to any where internationaly, for this reason I urge all Austrailian residents to email before purchase.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bird's Brains not so Flighty

Another article that supports Yoko's reasoning behind budgies intelligence

Don't call them birdbrains.

Scientists are calling for major changes in our view of the avian brain to reflect a revolution in thinking. Evidence is mounting that birds are much smarter than people once thought. Consider:

Chickadees remember thousands of places where they've stashed seeds for the winter.

An African gray parrot named Alex not only pronounces human words, but can answer simple questions -- for instance, identifying an object on a tray as a cork.

New Caledonian crows fish food out of crevices with tools they have fashioned from all sorts of materials, from twigs to cardboard and leaves.

Male budgies imitate the songs of females they're trying to court. Although these birds mate for life, the male will cheat -- but only if the female is on her nest where she can't see, because if she catches him she'll rough him up.

And ravens squawk in dialects, with a complex social organization that allows them to gang up, like packs of wolves, to drive away predators or swipe food.

The old view of birds as airheads stemmed from the assumption that evolution was a steady progression toward ever more advanced and intelligent creatures -- from fish to amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and, finally, humans.

The brain, scientists believed, followed right along, adding features that permitted more complex behavior. For mammals, the crowning achievement was the neocortex -- six layers of gray, wrinkled matter in the front of the brain that govern such things as speech and abstract thought.

Since birds were thought to have no cortex, it was assumed that they operated mostly on instinct.

On closer inspection, the bird brain turned out to be far more sophisticated. Parts that seemed primitive had the same circuitry as the mammals' many-layered cortex, and served the same function.

``We're saying that the organization of the bird brain is very similar to that in humans,'' said Erich Jarvis, a neurobiologist at Duke University.

He said the new approach will help people understand that evolution created more than one way to generate complex behavior -- the mammal way and the bird way -- and that they are comparable.

``Birds don't have everything that humans do,'' he said, ``but they have a lot of things most mammals don't, like the ability to imitate human speech sounds.''