Tag Archives: parrot

Sprite explores the nestbox

Sprite, our beautiful green budgie, , is currently in and out of the nestbox. She is laying eggs, and although they are infertile, she is doing well to get them in the nestbox and visit them regularly. Hopefully this trial run will result in at least one successful clutch of little ones down the road.

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

Training challenge

I recently trained my macaw to give me a high 5 with his wing, and I explained how I did it during one of my most recent Youtube vids! I also talked a bit about the training process called shaping. When you use shaping, you can take an already existing behavior and put it on cue or modify it and create a new behavior that you can then put on cue. This week I challenge those of you with birds (or other pets) to train a high five or use shaping to get your bird(s) or other pets to do something they are already doing, on command. Let us know what you can come up with, and have fun!!! I will leave you with the video showing off Curacao’s high 5!

S.

about that new bird

Last week we told you about the intro vlog featuring our new parrot, Ceylon. This week, I wanted to share a little more about this amazing new bird.

Ceylon (formerly Zazu) landed at our local animal control under the watchful eye of my friend Dianne, who knew I had several parrots and loved them dearly. She contacted me almost immediately after the bird was dropped off with its two budgie roommates. Sadly, all three birds were housed in budgie cages, even though the ringneck was clearly much larger than his friends.

Although Ceylon was in cramped conditions, he was still active and vocal, suprising the animal control staff with some of this loud calls! When I came to meet this bird, I was in love.

Since bringing Ceylon home, I have found out that he is pretty different from my other parrots. He vocalizes in a much higher pitch, he is actually a bit more reserved than most of my other birds, and he LOVES FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! He also is an active climber and prefers to be at the highest point of his cage (which has been upgraded). Finally, he loves to bathe and receive a spray down (as you can see in the last picture). This is pretty in line with what I have learned about Indian ringnecks as a group. Soon, I hope to train him and see what kind of tricks and behaviors he enjoys doing for rewards. I am hoping he will be the first bird in my flock that can be trained with fruits and veggies (how awesome would that be?)!

For now, I will continue to just bond with this sweet little bird and let him settle into his new routine. Make sure to keep an eye out for more videos and posts featuring this new superstar!

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!

Grapes Are Neat and Turning up the Heat

As Mango is settling in here at the perch, we are trying to make sure that he gets used to (and fond of) having fresh foods in his diet. Parrots, just like us, need fruits and vegetables in their diet in order to enjoy a good nutritional balance.

Here Mango is enjoying 1/2 of a grape. He ended up licking this more than eating it, so I cut it in quarters and he was able to chew it much more easily. In many instances, if your bird does not enjoy a larger piece of fresh food, you can make it smaller and they will readily eat it!

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Many bird owners also do not know that parrots can eat peppers (even the hot ones!). They have very few taste buds and are seemingly unaffected by the capsaicin in peppers, which is the chemical that produces the hot taste. Just to put this in perspective…

Birds may be able to eat peppers because they have so few taste buds: Chickens have just 24 taste buds, and pigeons have 37, Pidgeon says. Humans have close to 10,000 taste buds, and rodents and other mammals likely have a similar number…

-https://news.wisc.edu/curiosities-why-can-birds-eat-hot-peppers/

We haven’t given Mango the ultimate taste challenge yet (hello, Ghost Pepper and the like). Hower if you would like to see a fun pepper challenge, you can watch this one:

Hope everyone has a great week with their birds!!!

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Our Birds Get Sushi

In running a YouTube channel about birds, one always thinks about content. Content. Content. Content. What do I post about? What do my viewers want to see? What will make my stats get better? I realized, in my most recent contemplation, that I had sorely neglected sharing recipes with my audience. Bird recipes are so fun and often easy to do. Alongside a little research into what’s appropriate to feed birds, there exists an endless number of possibilities for birdie treat diy projects.

So this week, I decided to try bird sushi! I personally have a huge love affair with sushi, finding it both beautiful and very pleasing to the palate. Although I couldn’t fix my birds a lobster roll or a spicy tuna, I did find that there are several ingredients that birds enjoy which would make a really mean looking sushi roll. So I “rolled” up my sleeves and played around in the kitchen with some turnip greens, peppers, cucumbers, carrots and brown rice. Here’s what I came up with! The birds really enjoyed it, and you can check out our YouTube video featuring the birds eating their new treat and also ending with bonus footage of our conure inspecting some of the ingredients. Keep being creative out there!