Are you interested in Indian ring-necked parakeets (or rose-ringed parakeets)? These birds are fast becoming some of my favorite types of parrots! In our upcoming YouTube video, we are going to explore some of the ins and outs of owning these confident, gregarious birds (spoiler alert….if you want a talker, then this bird might just be a great fit for you)!
Here is a photo of our beautiful Ceylon, who is quickly becoming acclimated to the perch! Stay tuned for more…
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!
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!
This past week, we made a batch of birdie bread for the birds!!! I really had a blast shopping for ingredients (mostly the organic stuff that I don’t use for myself….but ya know, the birds deserve it) and baking the bread.
Here is what the final bread looked like, after it came out of the oven and had time to cool!
Before we got to this, of course we had to make the bread. The mix used was Harrison’s Bird Bread (original), and it worked really well! Here’s a link to it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CeOPAG .
Sydney, our cockatiel, admires the bag of Harrison’s Bird Bread
There are other varieties of this bread that you can try as well:
As you can see, Sydney was in the kitchen, “helping” along the way, as the bread came together. It really was simple to make and baked quickly. Here’s what we had to do:
The hardest thing, really, was finding organic vegetable oil to use. The brand below worked very well, and although it was a solid shortening, I was able to quickly melt it in the microwave so I could incorporate it into the recipe!
It’s so nice to have fun making new things for the birds to eat and feeling good about giving it to them (ingredients are certified organic)! Check out the video about making bird bread on our YouTube channel for a more detailed walkthrough of our fun time!
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!
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:
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!