Tag Archives: cockatiels

Why care about parrot conservation?

Oftentimes, when I interact with my pet parrots, I wonder about their wild counterparts. I have five species of birds, specifically budgies, a sun conure, a cockatiel, an Indian ring-necked parakeet and a blue and gold macaw. So there are a lot of different areas of the world to think about, many different habitats to ponder, and an array of plights that are faced by my birds’ wild cousins.

When it comes to the budgies, cockatiels, and Indian ring-necked parakeets (rose-ringed parakeets), there is currently not much concern about their status in the wild. Their populations are healthy and thriving. However, this is not to say that they might not someday face some of the challenges that many other parrot groups face. Loss of habitat, demands from the pet trade and climate changes seem to be more and more far reaching, and so even a thriving population deserves to be considered by a watchful eye.

Now the situation gets more concerning. Although macaws are currently listed as a species of “least concern,” their populations are declining. Habitat loss and poaching are weighing heavily on wild macaws, and help is needed to turn this situation around. The following video is a good snapshot of what wild macaws face in areas like Honduras. Luckily, partnerships with the local population of people have helped turn some of this around, but more assistance is greatly needed, as you will see:

Unfortunately, the story gets even sadder when it comes to the sun conure. This species is listed as endangered, with populations decreasing. Shockingly, there are now more sun conures living in people’s homes than there are in the wild! The pet trade is one of the greatest pressures on wild populations, and more controls are needed to prevent the wild trapping/acquisitions of this bird.

Many other species of parrots are facing a grim future in their native habitats. There are only three small populations of Hyacinth macaws left, the largest being in Brazil (fws.org). Also per the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “there are estimated to be less than 6,000 yellow-crested cockatoos left in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.” And who can forget the Spix’s Macaw famously featured in the film Rio? This bird was actually considered extinct in the wild due to, yep, you guessed it, the pet trade and habitat loss. However, a recent introduction project, has placed this bird in its’ native habitat once again:

https://www.prnewswire.com/in/news-releases/world-sensation-the-spix-s-macaw-is-back-872013636.html

It is imperative that wild parrot populations receive our help and attention. As much as we enjoy having these birds in our homes, their wild counterparts deserve to roam their native habitats and thrive. Here are some resources to find out more. If we all do even a little, collectively we can achieve a lot!

http://www.fws.org

http://www.parrots.org

http://www.macawrecoverynetwork.org

************************************************************************(cover photo of perched sun conure credit: James Lee via unsplash.com)

To see more of our birds, please visit The Parrot Perch on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGFRMTyn6AP2uj744xVWmNg

Fresh food fun

One of the things I really enjoy doing for my birds is preparing fresh food diets for them each morning. Especially right now, because cherries are in season…yum!!! I am lucky in that almost every parrot in my flock will eat at least one or two types of fresh food to supplement their diet components of seeds and pellets (not offered en masse). For this blog post, I thought I would share what fresh diets my birds got today. I am hoping this will give others an idea of what might be popular with their birds and how to offer items in a way that will make them enticing.

On the menu today, we had:

  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Peppers
  • Corn

Yes! Corn is a nutritious food to feed to your parrots (oftentimes it is said to be a poor diet component, but it is a recommended vegetable for birds). As with everything, moderation and variety is key to making sure your bird gets all of the nutrition it needs from its daily diet.

The largest bowl is for my macaw, the medium sized bowl is for the conure, and the smaller bowls are for my budgies/cockatiel!

I will end by saying that variety and persistence are the key to getting a parrot to be enthusiastic about fruits and veggies. Sometimes it is great to chop items really small, at other times, large chunks are more interesting to hold and eat or nibble on by companion birds. Skewers are also a popular thing to use so that fresh food can be hung in the cage and enjoyed from a perch. The key is…don’t give up! Fruits and vegetables are an important component in parrot diets, and it is well worth it to find a way to make them exciting to your bird!

Targeting with Curacao

Have you tried target and clicker training with your bird? If you haven’t done it, you should definitely check it out. You won’t believe what you can teach with these methods. See our latest video on the perch about target training with our blue and gold macaw Curacao!

Berry Christmas

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This week we are bringing you another great budgie holiday enrichment idea. How about edible presents!!! Just go to your local hobby store or craft/wedding section of most discount retailers and get some plain boxes. No dyes, no embellishments…just plain. Don’t worry, you get to fun them up in just a minute.

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Next, get some jute string or other means to tie presents which is safe (undyed/untreated) for budgies (raffia and sisal also work nicely).

Once you construct the boxes, place a fun treat inside (millet works well, as can Nutri-Berries) and wrap the presents in plain paper, black and white  newspaper, or even kale! You can then tie them up and present them to your bird(s) for some edible Christmas fun!

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20151223_162356.jpgEXTRA TIP: If you budgie doesn’t want to get inside the boxes, you can punch holes in the side before wrapping them to help your bird smell and see the treat inside!¬† You can also present these boxes plain, without wrapping them, to make it easier for your bird to get inside!

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