Thursday, March 31, 2005

Manipulating Parrots

Parrots become annoyed, according to Irene Pepperberg, a visiting professor at MIT's Media Lab who studies African grey parrots.

Pepperberg described an experiment where the parrots refused to retrieve a nut that was hanging from a string. One of the birds, Alex, who knows over 1,000 words and can form simple sentences, repeatedly asked the trainer to get the nut for him.

He and the other birds became agitated when their requests were ignored. Pepperberg said that this ability to manipulate others using language previously was only thought to be a human trait.

Could be much more in selecting 'correct' food for our birds. They know what they want!

Saturday, March 26, 2005


Showing the benefit of Eucalyptus perches in a commercial aviary Posted by Hello

This bird is showing outstanding colours

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bridgeen & Bruce Posted by Hello

Bridgeen & Bruce

I have two budgies (Bridgeen and Bruce) which I got from friends, they were keeping them outside in the cold , one of them had mites and we took them to a vet and eventually we fixed it.

My problem: I would love to have some kind of bond with them.
Practically they are scared of everything, me, my children, my dogs.
I keep them on the top shelf in the sunroom - 'room with the view' - once a month we let them, (by force), out of the cage for a little "stretching of the wings" time but it takes me ages to catch them under the thin towel so the don't get hurt.

It would be great if they come when I call them.

I am talking to them constantly and try to offer them food on my hand but they would rather hurt themselves then sit on my finger.

I don't know how old they are.

Please if you have some tips to help I would greatly appreciate it.

My Reply.....
Budgies are like people, treat them lovingly and kindly and they will show affection. Mistreat them, leave them in the cold, feed them irregularly, neglect their health and they will become sick, frightened and very nervous.

If mistreated from a very young age they don't know what correct treatment is and they are very wary of anything.

Your children can be affectionate towards them but your budgies are nervous of noise. Likewise with dogs.

Letting them out of the cage is a good idea however I wouldn't forcebly take them out. If you could leave the door of the cage open, they could fly out only if they want to. It could take a long time for them to become comfortable with human contact again.

Feeding them enthusiasticaly will gain respect. When you feed them try saying something like "Hello Bruce & Bridgeen we have some lovely food for you". They will know that you are looking after them and they will fly across to their feed bowl knowing that it is something they like.

Any Other Comments Please

Bruce & Bridgeen Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Beni in flight Posted by Hello

Flying Budgies

Yoko's flying budgie Posted by Hello

I love to see budgies enjoying free flight. Maybe that is the most happiest

moment for birds in captivity.

Some of my parrot friends including me are competing to take the most

beautiful and fantastic photo of flying budgies. I usually make only one success

of 7-8 shots since it needs skill. The key to success is to focus on budgies

when they seem to feel like flying, and trip the shutter at the very moment

they are about to take off. However, the most difficult thing is to know

when they feel like flying...


Monday, March 14, 2005

Magpie residence

This is my tucker Posted by Hello

We have been fortunate to have a Magpie family accept our home as part of theirs.

In early spring we had a corralling from a young member of the family wanting attention, more importantly, wanting food. Mum & Dad looked on.

After persistant corralling he got his way and we fed him some bread. After that he came in the morning to start with, then up to 3 times a day corralling for his food.

I can see him laughing to his parents, this is easy, why go and look for it these people will feed me.

After a short time Dad joined in and really started to enjoy the attention. Mum is very timid and holds back to make sure everthing is 'safe'.

After about 8 or 9 weeks 'junior' was sent on his way, to make a family for himself and develop a home too.

We now have Mum & Dad calling on us still 2 to 3 times a day. Occassionaly they get fed some meat, Magpies are carnivouris, and they really make a strong song. When it doesn't appear on the next menu they get very objectionable.

We like our Maggies they give such a welcome song.
Magpies feeding on bread Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Choosing a Budgie

When choosing a bird you should look for an active, bubbly bird with clear eyes and nares (nostrils).

Its feathers should be clean and held close to the body. The signs of a sick bird are sitting quietly, alone in a corner or on the bottom of the cage, fluffed feathers, labored breathing, holding the wings out or down away from the body and any liquid leaking from the eyes or nares.

If you see a bird looking ill and it is caged with others, let the pet store or breeder know immediately so all the birds can be looked at by a vet and treated for any illness.
If one bird is sick chances are others will be soon.

Remember to take any bird you buy to an avian (bird) vet as soon as you can to get a check up. Yes, even birds need regular vet care!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Science Study Explains The Sexy Glow Of Parrot Plumage

Fluorescent colors in human fashion fall in and out of style. But, the glowing look is always alluring if you're a parrot, according to scientists in the United Kingdom and Australia.

New findings on parrot plumage are reported in the 4 January 2002 issue of the international journal, Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

An ingenious experiment with budgerigar birds--completed by Kathryn E. Arnold of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and colleagues-- suggests that the birds derive some of their sex appeal from the fluorescence of their feathers. Fluorescent pigments appear to "glow" when they absorb and re-emit ultra-violet (UV) light at longer wavelengths.

The researchers tested for evidence of fluorescent sexual signaling in the birds by applying sunscreen to the bright yellow crown feathers of males and females, to reduce the UV absorption of the plumage, consequently "dulling" their fluorescence.

The result: Both male and female budgies showed a significant sexual preference for brightly glowing (fluorescent) companions, compared to their sunscreen-slicked rivals. This suggests that natural fluorescence may be an adaptive signal in the birds, rather than a simple byproduct of their feather coloring.

With Kathryn Arnold, co-authors on this Science study were Ian P.F. Owens at the Imperial College at Silwood Park, U.K.; and N. Justin Marshall, University of Queensland, Australia