Teach Your Parrot to Talk

First of all, make sure this is really something you want to do. I suggest you find clips of parrots talking and play them on an endless loop at maximum volume for a whole day before you make up your mind. Unlike the video, the parrot cannot be turned off and does not have a volume control.

Once you have established that you really want a talking bird, then get a young one. Unless you want an African gray, because grays learn new words and sounds through their whole lives. Make sure you get a male, because you will also have better luck. The Bird Channel has a lot of good information and tips on teaching a bird to talk. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-behavior-and-training/bird-training/10-tips-to-teach-your-pet-bird-to-talk.aspx

Birds are pretty smart, so if you teach your parrot language the way you do for a child, which is mostly without thinking about it, you will get good results. Here’s more on that subject. http://www.parrotparrot.com/parrot-behavior/teaching-parrots-to-talk/

Avian vet Rob Marshall is highly regarded in aviculture, and shares his knowledge often. Here’s his input via Avian Web. http://beautyofbirds.com/talking.html

Back over to Bird Channel, for advice on what to do if your bird learns a bad word. Redirection is the behavior you need to learn. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-behavior-and-training/bird-tricks-training/teaching-your-bird-to-talk.aspx I wonder if I can get Maynard to yell Kelp! Instead of Help!

A warning to anyone who purchases a bird ONLY because they want a talking parrot. Not all male African grays will talk, and not all parrots of any type or sex will talk. It’s a shot in the dark, so to speak. Following all the tips and hints in the various sites linked here will get you a better chance at it, but you must be committed to loving and caring for your pet no matter what. If you aren’t prepared for that eventuality, get a goldfish. http://www.petyak.com/Birds/Training/Articles/Teaching-your-Parrot-to-Talk/

Another issue to get over is that the very best talking parrot is the small, not so colorful budgerigar, called a parakeet in the USA. Some people of the male persuasion may not consider a budgie to be an impressive enough bird. They picture a huge scarlet macaw on their shoulder, talking away. Well, that’s just crazy talk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB-FQDqyr4o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phxCIuPq9MA This macaw has a pretty good voice, but not much of a vocabulary. And remember, a budgie only weighs about 30 grams. A scarlet macaw will tip the scales at 1000 grams.

Maynard is pretty good at making a sound or saying something that matches what is going on around him, like laughing at the jokes, but that’s just sheer luck for him. This CAG however seems to have a clue as to jokes, to the point where she laughs at her own witticisms. http://onlineathens.com/features/2012-03-01/craige-jokes-between-birds-dogs-and-humans

Hang in there to the weekend, and I’ll be back on Sunday.

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Life with Parrots Q&A

Q. What is that bird saying?
A. The Gettysburg Address, as far as we can tell. We have a cockatiel named Elmer who says “Whatcha doing, Elmer?” We have a cockatiel who whistles “Pop Goes the Weasel.” We have an Indian Ringneck Parakeet that meows like a cat, says “Hi Wraith” and imitates every other bird in the house. I think Wraith is also the one who makes the answering machine beep when a message is waiting. My sun conure likes to say “Buh-bye” when I am on the phone. Beeby, a half-moon conure, talks in bursts, but he sounds like a cartoon character on speed. Congo African Grey Blind Io only says “Whoop-Oh!” but does the greatest selection of sound effects ever. Running water to overweight pugs to car alarms. African Grey Bo Dangles has the second best vocabulary in the flock. She says “apple?” And “water?” After biting you, she will say “I’m sorry!” If she falls off her shelf, she says, “Whoa! What happened?” When lovebird Jake is flying around, she’ll call to him, “Come ‘er! Come on!” She also has a sound she makes that consists of two tones that humans can’t easily reproduce. We call it her “dunk-dunk” sound. When she gets an apple or other treat, or likes the game of tug-a-war we played, she makes that sound.

The best thing about Bo is that she is always learning new sounds and words. She says “Honey” and sounds like me if she wishes or like Mike. Maynard the Double Yellow-headed Amazon, doesn’t learn new things, but is very entertaining with an extensive vocabulary. With him, it’s not so much what he says, as the timing. He likes to join in the laughter when people are having a good time, even the people on TV. He’ll join in any song, but only knows his own words and tunes, and if someone is upset and arguing, or there are fight scenes or explosions, he gets agitated and concerned. If I leave the room, He starts to call, “Mama! Mama!” Eventually it slides into an exasperated “Hello?” And if still not getting the attention he wants, he’ll yell, “HELP!”

Maynard knows the difference between one of us going into the kitchen to put dishes away, and getting food prepared. If we’re making food, he wants his share. Mike always gives him toast and cheese. I give him egg, oatmeal, hamburger, tuna, and veggies. Not usually a picky eater, he does like his egg and tuna best.

Q. How long does it take to clean all the cages in the house?
A. Define “clean.” To scrape the cage trays and grills, move all the cages so that the rug can get vacuumed all around it, and make sure each cage has everything needed, for example, cuttle bones, fresh water, clean food dishes, can take two days. To roll all the cages outside for a hosing takes weeks.

Q. How long does it take to give food and water to the whole flock?
A. We do the waters every day. It can take about an hour. We feed only a few times per week because currently we give a seed and pellet mixed diet with greens thrown in as possible. This is the first thing that will change when I have more time available. I will serve a mix of quinoa or some other high-protein grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, and fresh greens. How long will that take? I don’t know yet. Some of the prep will be done ahead, so it’s mainly a matter of filling little paper trays and putting those in dishes. The card trays (http://www2.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11940725&whse=BD_115&Ne=4000000&eCat=BD_115|6224|7179&N=4033720&Mo=83&pos=2&No=25&Nr=P_CatalogName:BD_115&cat=7179&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BD_115-EC38072-Cat6224&topnav= ) keep the dishes a little cleaner and provide some foraging and chewing fun for the birds. The plate under the tray prevents the silly birds from dumping the food through the grate too soon.
Q. Does Maynard know what he’s saying?
A. Sometimes, he seems to. He can’t possibly be randomly calling “Mama” in a weak voice, sounding totally helpless, alone, and afraid, making me feel guilty, without having some idea that this will work. If this is random, then I am more of a pushover than I thought.

Q. When you have had a busy weekend and need to have a post up for this blog, but didn’t have time to think about it or write it up, what do you do?
A. Make up a bunch of random questions and prattle on with the answers. Hey, it works.

Thanks for reading. See you on Wednesday.

The Ten Plagues of Aviculture

You know if you have dogs or cats, you’re going to fight off fleas now and then. Guinea pigs get mites, as do reptiles. If you have birds, you’re going to deal with plagues of things. Here’s my list:

1. The Plague of Seed Moths
Some people call them Millers or pantry moths. They get into seed and lay eggs and spin silk through all the good food. They hatch out in warm weather and perch on the ceiling and the walls. The best way to deal with them is to put out bowls of water, or pretty moth traps with soapy water in the bottom. The traps need to be refreshed with water and new pheromone baits now and again. http://www.amazon.com/Springstar-Glass-Pantry-Moth-Trap/product-reviews/B001OE6OE2 We have four of these things, and when we remember to keep up the maintenance, they work well. About the best thing you can do to prevent the moths in the first place is to freeze all seed that you buy. Put it in the freezer for a couple days to be sure. Oh, this works okay and is fun, but tiring. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Zap-Master-Handheld-Electric-Bug-Zapper/19530536

2. The Plague of Ants
I don’t know for sure what attracts the ants in the first place. Usually the weather is warm, and they look for water. Their top priority is food, and they attack anything that can help their colony survive. So to prevent the invasion, make sure everything is clean, cupboards, pantry, counters, floors, and put dishes into the dish washer or wash as soon as you finish eating off of them. Right. That’s exactly how I want to spend my free time. Another way is to provide a poison food that will decimate the whole colony. Most of the recipes I am finding on line call for borax and sugar for a bait, but that will only attract the ants that like sweets. I want to get rid of the grease ants, too. Using pancake syrup with borax covers all the bases. Here’s more information: http://www.pestcontrolcorner.com/ants.html

3. The Plague of Rodents
Yeah, spilled seed is going to attract mice and maybe rats. I’ve had both in the yard, but luckily only the mice inside. We use regular spring traps in the house, which are a pain because I won’t touch the dead mouse, and a wounded mouse will drag the trap a good distance before dying. Outside, we use a cat.
True story, our neighbors had a very tall palm tree, and screech owls nested in it every year. There were very few mice in the area. Then the neighbors removed the tree, and who knows where the owls went. We have been overrun with mice ever since then.
I’ve tried many things to help with this plague, like putting rosemary and bay leaves around. Rodents use scent marking to guide the whole family to food. But we had too many mice for the leaves to do much good. Then I read about sealing holes with steel wool, and I set to work. That and the traps work excellently. We find maybe a mouse per month now. http://wildsagehomestead.com/how-to-keep-mice-out-of-your-home-and-garage

4. The Plague of Guano
I love to have my parrots sit on me. Therefore I am resigned to wearing bird poop. Shit happens, and as long as it stays off the keyboard and out of my food, I’m okay with it. However, the birds cannot be left to deal with piles of the stuff in their cages. That would be cruel and unhealthy. I find that canaries and finches drop more poop than my bigger birds, or so it seems. I clean their cages much more often. I did a set of blogs on spring cleaning a while ago, possibly in the spring, and I love being able to take a cage outside and turn the hose on it. But in cooler weather that isn’t the best solution. And while I love the commercial product, Poop-Off, http://www.petco.com/product/12828/Poop-Off-Bird-Poop-Remover.aspx it’s not economical to use for a large flock. This site has a recipe for a home-made cleaner that works just as well. http://birds.about.com/od/birdcages/a/homemadecleaner.htm

5. The Plaque of Food
This plague comes as seeds, shells, and fresh foods, and can be found on floors, walls, ceiling, cages, furniture, and visitors who get too close. In the wild, parrots and most birds are agents for plants, spreading the seeds all over the forest or jungle or prairie. They also provide food for the animals on the ground. If you have a parrot, and you have watched it eat fruit, you know the bird will eat about half and drop the rest. Share and share alike.
The best suggestion for keeping this plague under control is to only feed the correct amount of food every day for each bird. Remove fresh food within a couple hours to prevent spoiling. And keep track to which foods your bird likes and doesn’t like. http://www.bird-cage.com/how-to-save-time-cleaning-bird-cages-art

6. The Plague of Shredded Toys
Usually the debris of toys stays in the cage and isn’t too difficult to stay on top of. However, if you are unwise enough to, oh let’s say, let your Amazon chew on a perch while sitting on the back of a chair, you may be picking splinters out of sensitive parts for weeks to come. Most importantly, you must keep an eye on all bird toys and swings and even perches. The safety of your pet demands constant vigilance. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-housing/bird-toy-safety.aspx

7. The Plague of Noise
When you walk into our living room, you will be announced and welcomed by conures and cockatiels. The birds in other rooms will call out, wanting to know who has arrived and what’s going on. It’s loud. So we keep a small glass full of ear plugs. And yes, we have had guests make use of them. People always want to know how we can stand the noise. Right now, on a calm summer evening, I can hear the budgies outside chattering gently to themselves, the parrots near me chewing on things, and an occasional pithy remark from Maynard. He’s on a t-stand need to me. Under normal circumstances, the birds are quiet. At night, they make very little noise. It’s only when we have visitors or a cat crosses the street outside the front window, or there’s an earthquake that an alarm call will go up. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/animal_eqs.php

8. The Plague of Predators
Speaking of cats, outside birds have been harassed by cats, raptors, rodents, possums, and ants. There’s not much that doesn’t find birds tasty. We’ve never found snakes in the aviary but I know others who have. Wonderful. But even the inside birds get shook up when a raptor flies past the window. They have no way of knowing the hawk can’t get into the house easily. We just have to bear with it and wait until the calm down.

9. The Plague of Night terrors
Cockatiels must sleep with a night light. Trust me on this one. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-behavior-and-training/bird-small-bird-behavior/cockatiel-night-frights.aspx We don’t cover any of our birds’ cages because they get enough dark time for sleep and are perfectly healthy without that cover. To my way of thinking, covering them provides one more thing they might get a toe caught in and flap themselves to death. Not the best thing to wake up to. It’s much better to leave them uncovered, leave a low wattage night light on, and give them all the time they need to wake up in the morning, happy birds.

10. The Plague of Feathers
I collect many of the feathers my birds drop. I have friends who use them to make earrings. I’ve trade some to others for jewelry. And that still leaves a couple tons that have to be swept up so they don’t clog the vacuum cleaner. Birds and feathers go together like mud and puppies. Wait, I mean puppies and shedding. Anyway, molting is the high time for feather loss, and daily sweeping and dusting might not be enough. It’s crazy. But stay on top of it and you will have conquered the most insidious of the plagues. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-housing/bird-cleaning/cleaning-bird.aspx

Have a good week, and I’ll be back on Sunday.

70, Down From 100

People often ask me how many birds we have. At one time, we had about 100 birds, give or take. Between breeding, losing, taking in new birds, and selling, the number is never static. We have been making an effort to downsize, so the number is at 70 or so.

It is easier to count my flock than a bunch of wild birds. But there is valuable information to be gathered from counting wild birds. Here’s a really good explanation on Bird Counting 101: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/counting-101/

Bird counting is referred to as citizen science. Lots of people are needed to spot trends, either up or down. One of the oldest running bird counts happens every year during the winter holidays. I love that, because it brings meaning to a season that for some is full of unhappy memories and loneliness. Get out and meet your fellow birders, and do something positive! And, this is a count that evolved from a senseless slaughtering yearly hunt. Good work, Frank Chapman! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Bird_Count

Audubon participates, of course, and has more information on how to get started. http://www.alleghenyfront.org/story/audubon-christmas-bird-count-tradition-continues I know Christmas is still six months or so away, but why not mark your calendar now?

So here are links to summaries of past counts, and fun stuff from Audubon. http://birds.audubon.org/summaries-christmas-bird-count-years-98-101-and-years-1-23-30-34-38

And some videos to enjoy about bird counts. It’s hot and muggy where I am, so this is rather enjoyable.

Are you hooked? The next step is to get all the equipment you need, and here’s why each item is important:

And some web pages that will give you the same information.
http://my.nature.org/birds/engage/become-a-birder.html
http://birding.about.com/od/birdingbasics/a/How-To-Go-Birding.htm

I found a FAQ on birding! http://www.birdwatching.com/birdingfaq.html

While you can go birding in your back yard, even your parking lot if you live in an apartment, you will probably enjoy it more in a place that is beautiful. So here is a list of the best places to go birding.
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/favoriteplaces I am a little insulted that nothing in the San Diego area made the list for these folks! I’ll fix that. http://www.sandiegoaudubon.org/birding/local-birding-sites

While I will always love having birds who share my living space with me, I love birds in the wild as well. Conservation benefits all who live on this planet, sometimes by providing a relaxing way to spend a day and connect with others. I’ll be back on Wednesday with something fun.

What is the Sound of a Sun Conure Laying an Egg?

My sweet female sun conure, Sunny, is about 17 years old. She’s laid a couple eggs over the years that she has been with me. One time she seemed badly injured following the production of one egg, and I worried over her for several days.

I put her in a hospital cage with soft towels to lay on, a heat lamp, and administered antibiotics. And kept my fingers crossed. She went from laying listlessly on the bottomof the cage to her normal self in a week or so.

Putting her back in with her cage mate Zazu was a touching moment. He had missed her, and started to groom her right away.

That was some years ago, and I hoped it was the last time she would feel like producing eggs. Confidence stayed high until a few weeks ago. Sunny began making an odd noise. The closest I can get to describing it is the sound of playing cards set to hit the spokes on a bike wheel.

The current cage that Sunny and Zazu share is tall with shelves up near the top. Their water is at the top, the food at the bottom, so they have to move around the cage. Sunny began furiously throwing food out of the dishes, making horrible messes and wasting seed and pellets at a time when we could least afford it. Mike devised a plastic bin with a lid, cutting the middle of the lid off, so that the seed can’t easily be kicked or thrown out of the container.

Turns out, she was trying to make a nest. The food bowls had been too small, no matter how much she dug into it. The bin suited her much better, and the noise she was making heralded an egg. However, she went up to the top shelf to lay it. The egg rolled down to the bottom of the cage and cracked.

So now, about every two days, she is laying an egg. A strategy that sometimes works with hens is to give them a nest box, let them lay the eggs, sit on them, and when hatch day rolls around and the eggs don’t hatch, they will abandon the nest. So I gave Sunny and Zazu a nest box.

Sunny obligingly laid an egg inside of it, then crawled up to the shelf looking like a rung-out dish rag. But she perks up in time to lay the next egg. Zazu has spent more time in the nest box with the clutch, so far. I’m waiting to see how long this goes on, and if they actually will incubate the eggs.

Are the eggs fertile? Do I expect chicks in this nest? I’ve never seen them mating, but maybe they like the privacy for their activities. Unlike cockatiels who will go for it whenever and wherever they find themselves in the mood. Audiences are welcome. I’m not getting my hopes up, but in a few more days I will candle the eggs and see if there is a spark of life there. Stranger things have happened.

On Sunday, we’ll visit the world of humans and birds once more. Have a good week.

Summer Time, and the Parrots are Breeding

Believe it or not, in Southern California, there is a short window from July through September when birds can be introduced to outside cages or aviaries, and have time to acclimate before cold weather sets in. The best time is when overnight temperatures stay above 60 degrees F. and the outside temperature is about the same as the inside temperature. You don’t want to shock the bird on the first day with a drastic change.

Make sure your aviary has no holes, no gaps, no doors that will catch and stay open. Make sure the wire is the correct size for your bird. Look for places where a beak, foot, or head might get caught or stuck. Imagine the worse, because they will try it. Check toys and perches regularly for wear and snags. Safety first, always.

At least some part of the aviary should have a roof and two sides covered. Even if you give the birds a nest box, you need to provide a sheltered place larger than that. In my area, which is actually an inland desert valley, birds are fine if left outside year around. But they need to be able to get out of any wind and have shade in the summer. Being able to stay out of the rain is a plus, but some birds like to get out in the rain. Don’t worry, as long as they can get out of the wind when they get cold, they will dry and stay healthy.

How much room does an aviary need? I am a firm believer in more space than you think you need. So look at a really big cage for your type of bird, and double it. Then double it again.

Here is a nice-looking aviary constructed out of wood and small mesh hardware cloth. It’s a good size for finches, but if you put anything parrot-like in there, you will be checking for chewed wood parts all the time. http://www.instructables.com/id/Walk-in-Bird-Aviary/?ALLSTEPS

And a bigger one, again with wooden poles. http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Pets-Pet-Care-and-Native-Animals/Building-an-Aviary/1867

BirdTricks people are a lot of fun, and here’s their take on building an aviary, with links to the best priced materials they could find. http://www.birdtricks.com/blog/building-your-own-outdoor-aviary/

My aviary is made from walls, floor, and roof plus door that were all purchased and then we assembled it. KW Cages sells the same or similar stuff. http://clover.forest.net/kwcages/index.html After we built the aviary with the parts we had, we decided to add an airlock, and found a smaller aviary which suited the purpose perfectly. We bought it used at Magnolia Bird Farm. They often have used cages and aviaries. http://www.magnoliabirdfarms.com/

Just what will your aviary look like? Your yard size will probably determine where you will set it and what will it end up looking like. Will you have a water fountain or pond inside? A few plants? Put it around a tree? Here are some photos of possibilities. http://www.weld-mesh.com/animal-cages/aviary
http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-housing/bird-aviaries/build-outdoor-aviary.aspx
http://www.windycityparrot.com/Garys_small_bird_aviary_for_Finches_Canaries.html
https://larajoseph.wordpress.com/category/enrichment/aviary/
http://www.macawdreams.com/outdooraviaries.html

I hope that gives you some fun ideas and dreams. I’ll see you on Wednesday for more fun with things with wings!

Out of Context Theater

Scene: A coffee shop. A woman, let’s call her Ava, sits at a table, talking on her cell phone. A mom with two young girls sits down nearby.

Ava: He won’t eat if by itself, but he loves to lick it off my fingers.

Mom looks over, give Ava a dirty look, and moves her girls farther away.

Ava: No, ne hasn’t learned to poop on command yet. He might be too old to learn.

A young man was about to sist down, but when he hears this, he leaves the shop.

Ava: I can’t afford to get them all microchipped, I may just do the little boys.

Barista cleaning table nods in agreement before going back behind the counter.

Ava: I am looking for a good breeder. Not too wild but not too tame.

Elderly couple about to sit down next to Ava. Husband smiles, wife pulls him away.

Ava: I know the store had to close and all the birds went for half price. I just don’t have room for more unless I can sell all the babies.

College student wearing a NoKidHungry tee changes his mind about sitting by her and puts his laptop back in a case.

Ava: I’ve been trying to keep him from thinking I’m his mate. Do you know how hard it is to tell him no?”

Single man with hair slicked back sits down at next table, and makes eyes at Ava.

Ava: Listen, I have to go. Some creeper is giving me funny looks. In fact, everyone in this coffee shop has been acting strange. I don’t think I’ll come back here.

Cheers go up from the other customers. All except the creeper, who opens the door for Ava and follows her with his eyes.

Sound track: https://archive.org/details/parrots_sanDiego_2006

See you on Sunday.

Justifying the Old Ball and Chain

On Wednesday we looked at birds that mate for life. Now I want to explore the rationale behind that. One really good reason is that the time and energy spent in attracting a new mate every year can instead be channeled into establishing a territory, laying the eggs, incubating, and raising the young. Much more logical for migratory birds.

Beyond that, I can’t find much else to support the bonding for life. Parrots do it, for the most part, for exactly these reasons. http://pets.thenest.com/parrots-pair-life-12861.html

So what benefits the birds who don’t pair bond for more than a season? Mortality rates are high for first season breeders. If the young bird’s genes are going to get a chance to survive, optimal reproduction calls for more than one nest and more than one mate. http://blog.duncraft.com/2012/01/23/do-birds-mate-for-life/

Often with companion parrots, they pick us as their mate for life, and want to then get on with the business of copulation, laying eggs, raising the young, and so on. They just don’t understand why we want something different. Here’s an excellent article on the signs your bird is sending to you that you need to pay attention to. Unless, of course, you are ready to lay those eggs. http://bird-paradise.biz/lets-talk-about-the-birds-the-bees-with-birds/

Back in the wild, say it’s mating season again, which it almost is in the southern hemisphere. Rain is falling, grass and trees are growing and seeding or fruiting. The days are lengthening. A young cock’s fancy turns will attract the females. Getting in touch with his creative side, male birds put on a great display. http://www.buzzfeed.com/rebeccae/5-hilarious-bird-mating-dances For certain values of “great.”

The various birds of paradise are the champions at the display part of the show, as seen in these videos:

http://www.wired.com/2013/09/birds-of-paradise-videos/

What’s the point behind all this display and dancing just to mate? Especially if the mating is going to be quickly done and quickly over? Apparently birds might be confused as to the species of their potential sex partner. And mating outside your species is a waste of time, effort, and genetic materials. So better to do what dad and granddad and so on back to the beginning of the species have done to tell the girls, I’m hip, I’m in good health, and I know the routine. Come and get me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtship_display

I haven’t spent too much time on song or sounds, but these too are important parts of all the courtship rituals. In a dense jungle or forest, sound is the best way to attract the girls. Even in an urban setting, where sounds might not get so far due to tall buildings blocking the waves or other sounds competing, song still serves a purpose. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/studying/birdsongs/whysing/document_view

The end result, whether with a life-long mate or a for now mate, is a new generation of babies that will keep the species alive and learn to dance just like mommy or daddy teaches them. This is the goal, passing on the genetic material and the ritual ensures, usually, that the most fit and most worthy pairs are successful. http://beautyofbirds.com/swanbreeding.html

Have a good day, happy July, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Pair Bonding

Birds have a pretty high rate of species who pair bond, or mate, for life. For feathered pairs, it is a pretty easy choice. Shiny feathers, good hunter-gatherer skills, and a nice bower or nest. http://www.wild-bird-watching.com/Birds-Mate-Life.html

Scarlet macaws mate for life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHTJ7q6vxRA

Mute swans mate for life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE_fE9XdglM

Barn owls also mate for life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHx5Zv1qVpI

Of course, love birds also pair bond for life, although I heard of one brazen hussy who liked to sneak out on her mate and visit the other males in adjacent cages. Tsk, tsk. Perhaps she was around humans for too long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX-Kl3N17NU

Ostriches don’t mate for life, from what I can find, but goodness, what a great display! Certainly deserves a season of fidelity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMOC6_wBwpE

I’m not surprised to find that sun conures mate for life as well. My pairs are very attached to each other, and are trying to mate and lay eggs. Not sure if they have a clue, haven’t seen them in the act, so it’s anybody’s guess. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYZuLr9pQdk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6csxroZmic

The benefits of staying together are many. And we will look at those on Sunday! Have a great week, and Happy Independence Day, America!