Our latest video on the perch came out yesterday! It is a compilation of outtakes and funny moments, and I didn’t realize how much fun it would be going back into the video archives to see what went wrong LOL. Typically I shy away from showing anything that looks less than polished for the channel, but I’m definitely learning to be a little less rigid about it these days. Not only did I find cute clips that made me laugh, but I realized that Curacao, my macaw, really likes to eat paper and Mango,the sun conure, is a naughty, naughty bird LOL.
Here is the link to the video. Hopefully will make you smile as much as it made me smile!
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:
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!
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!
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…
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!
We spent a wonderful weekend at the Nashville Exotic Pet Expo talking about our YouTube channels and educating people about bird ownership and care. Of course it is very difficult to go to an expo and not fall in love with many of the animals represented there. Hence, our flock got a little bit bigger yesterday. Meet our new sun conure, Mango!
Mango is already proving to be such a sweet and smart bird, so we can’t wait to share more pictures of him with you and hopefully train him to do some fun behaviors as well, which we will share on our YouTube channel. Here are a few more pictures of some of the fun things we saw at the Exotic Pet …