Raising Healthy Chicks

You no doubt have heard that Cleanliness is Next to Godliness. I don’t agree that God never gets dirty, but that’s just my opinion. Can you imagine building this world without getting some mud on your celestial robes?

The key to raising healthy chicks starts with keeping the breeding birds healthy, and that is directly linked to how clean their cages are kept. I’m grateful for being retired now so I can clean more often. In the outside aviaries, the flight cages aren’t really cleanable. But the dishes

Featured imageand waterers must be kept as clean as it is possible to do.

Nest boxes tend to get gooey if you have three or more chicks hatch out. Ants want to investigate the interesting smells, too. Lifting the chicks carefully out of the way, putting down Sevin Dust, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sevin-1-lb-Ready-To-Use-5-Dust-Garden-Insect-Killer-Shaker-Bottle-7007/100662149 sand, and more hay or whatever nesting material you do use, helps keep the kids clean and safe from insects. I use AIL also to keep the ants out of the food and water. http://www.allbirdproducts.com/newproductpages/avian_insect_liquidator.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiAneujBRDcvL6f5uybhdABEiQA_ojMguetIfAjVlYPa10Su9KKA5i59yrJDk4oaLNUgT-rPkoaAmhg8P8HAQ

Health is also dependent on what the birds are eating and how much exercise they get. You will lose hens left and right to egg binding if they are in small cages and can’t get a good amount of flying done in a day. Calcium supplements are required for inside birds, and don’t often hurt outside birds. http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/veterinary-advice/hypocalcaemia

Seeds, and nothing else, is the junk food diet for parrots. Some of the finches and canaries are fine on that diet, because in the wild that’s what they are designed to eat. A few greens are great to supplement that diet. But parrots in general will forage over a wide area in the wild and eat greens, fruits, nuts, insects, seeds, and whatever is available.Featured image

In captivity, you become Mother Nature and must provide a variety of healthy foods. Check out how to sprout your own seeds, those will be some of the most nutritious foods you can provide. http://beautyofbirds.com/sprouting.html Cook up some high protein pasta, or better yer, Quinoa.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142 Serve it warm or cool with fresh grated carrots, apples, good greens, and a sprinkle of algae or probiotics. Don’t leave the food out for more than a few hours, depending on your weather and climate. If any mold or fungus grows on it, and the birds eat it, you might have some issues to deal with that you didn’t expect.

If you pull the chicks to hand feed, use a good food created just for that purpose. I use Kaytee hand feeding formula. http://www.kaytee.com/products/exact-hand-feeding-baby-bird.php Follow directions, learn from a human being, and expect the unexpected. I add a little Beech-Nut baby food to two of the six or so feedings each day. http://beechnut.com/ I add a few drops of Bragg’s Unfiltered, Uncooked Apple Cider Vinegar to the first feeding every morning. http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html

I started weighing the chicks a little late into the process, but happily the babies all gained weight as they should. I knew enough to not panic when they hit a plateau or even lost weight. Chicks will drop a few grams right before they take their first flight. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-species/baby-birds/all-about-weaning.aspx

A chick has to be able to fly before it can be weaned. It makes perfect sense, you want to be Featured imagesure you can get around to find your own meals before you stop taking the free meals from Mom and Dad. Both my lovebirds flew and weaned about the same time. The cockatiels are a week or more apart, the oldest took his first flight today. He’s been nibbling millet and pellets, now it’s time to give him broccoli and carrots. The sooner he gets exposed to a wide variety of fresh foods, the healthier he will be.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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Birds That are Thankful for Conservation Efforts

Some years ago, in November of 2008, I wrote this list of birds that have been helped through conservation efforts. I thought I would revisit them today, Thanksgiving, and see how things have progressed.

  1. The Maui Parrotbill Honeycreeper http://www.sandiegozoo.org/wordpress/default/maui-parrotbill-hatches/#more-2310 According to Wikipedia, the bird is still critically endangered, with maybe 500 individuals left in the world. The pairs are monogamous and raise one chick per season. If the pair would lay a second egg once the first one is removed, it could be the perfect set up to use an incubator to double the chicks produced per year. I am sure the intelligent conservationists out there in Hawaii have thought of that, so probably the birds won’t lay another egg.

  2. Margarita Island Yellow-shouldered Macaw http://www.worldlandtrust.org/projects/venezuela/save-margarita-islands-parrot The link I used before wouldn’t load this time, but at the site linked here, it says the birds are endangered and vulnerable world wide. There are 10,000 of these parrots left in the wild, so they have a better chance than the Parrotbill Honeycreeper. There is a captive breeding program in place that is doing an excellent job.

  3. Mauritius Parakeet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritius_parakeet Again, the old link is totally different and not what I wanted to know. Wiki tells us that the island relative of the Rose-ringed Parakeet had dropped to 10 individuals when someone stepped in and brought them back, one chick at a time. There are now about 300 individuals in the wild, and they have been downgraded from near extinct to endangered.

  4. Lady Gouldian Finch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouldian_finch Another nonworking old link, but Wiki says it’s Near Threatened, without giving numbers. In Southern California, Goulds are bred widely, and go for many tens of dollars. So when I heard they were endangered in Australia, I was surprised. Their decline is due to habitat destruction, not the pet trade, so that’s a relief. Conservation is focused on protection habitat from cattle and studying the effects of wild fires.

  5. Thick-billed Parrot http://www.defenders.org/thick-billed-parrot/basic-facts New link, and so much sadness in this endeavor. The estimated wild population is between 500 to 2,000 pairs. Way to narrow it down. And it’s cheating to say pairs. Not every bird in the wild will have a mate. These birds are so specialized in what they eat, the threat to their habitat is of great impact to their survival.

  6. Scarlet Macaw <http://ecointeractive.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/costa-ricas-endangered-scarlet-macaws-born-osa-corcovado-birdwatching-in-captivity-are-reproducing-in-the-wild/> This link hasn’t been updated, so here’s more recent information. http://thearaproject.org/meet-the-birds/ Looking at the figures, Costa Rica stands to lose the Great Green Macaw sooner than the scarlet. Scarlets are listed as Least Concern due to their wide spread population throughout Central and South America. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_macaw

  7. Black Robin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_robin A very attractive small bird native to the Chatham Islands off the east coast of New Zealand, Wiki lists it as endangered. Not a strong flier, due to the absence of natural predators, the robin stands vulnerable to introduced cats and rats, and is actually extinct on the main Chatham Island. This is another species brought back from a near extinct population of 10 birds to about 200 today. Human intervention almost created a self-terminating gene throughout the population, but luckily realized the issue and stopped helping the hens that laid eggs on the rim of the nests. We do walk a fine line in helping out the creatures we nearly destroyed.

  8. California Condor <http://wild-birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/endangered_california_condor> That link still works, thank you! Condors were the first species of creatures near extinction to catch my attention. Probably due to the efforts and participation in captive breeding done by the San Diego Zoo and former Wild Animal Park (Now the San Diego Safari Park). This is my home town, my favorite place to go, and the best place to see birds and animals and reptiles up close. So to know this program has been amazingly successful gives me a lot of pride.

  9. American Bald Eagle http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/baldeagle.htm The old link is gone, but this is a great site to get good and current information. The pesticide DDT nearly destroyed these birds, as well as contributing to the decline of the condors. The government and the American people worked to save the symbol of our country.

  10. Palm Cockatoo http://animals.pawnation.com/black-palm-cockatoos-endangered-species-5735.html This beautiful and unique cockatoo has always been a favorite of mine, since I got see some in person. They are playful and intelligent, and amazing. They are listed as not endangered, but at risk of becoming endangered due to habitat loss and other factors. Their numbers are declining, and steps need to be taken now to save them in the wild. Luckily they do seem to reproduce well in captivity.

  11. Yes, my original list only had ten entries. But I want to add this 11th symbol of conservation, the Kakapo. Critically endangered, these very unique ground-dwelling, flightless, nocturnal parrots are bound to be missed if we can’t save them.http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/kakapo/ Only 126 surviving parrots, but that is up from 49 when conservation efforts began. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320700001919 so much can be done in some cases, and I am thankful that it is being done in this situation.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your flock and family. I’ll be back on Sunday.

Jake and Maynard: A Hate Story

Birds can be very territorial. One of the reasons Quaker parrots are so unusual is that they nest in huge communities and get along well with others. Lovebirds and Amazons, not so much.

I have been amazingly lucky when throwing birds in together for whatever reasons. My husband and I got home late after an exhausting day of running a bird mart, years ago. The best thing about the day had been finding Sunny, my sun conure, who loved me from day one. Okay, before I make you think I am a special conure whisperer, Sunny loves everyone. So in she went with our other sun conure, Zazu, who only liked Mike. Sunny let Zazu dominate her and push her around, and these days they have a wonderful relationship.

I also had three lovebirds in one cage because I don’t like to have a single bird if I can avoid it. They are flock animals, and a companion is needed if they aren’t going to get out time with a person.

When Beeby came to live with us, he was such an aggressive bird, I thought we’d never find a companion for him. He’s a half-moon conure who started out liking me, hating Mike, but soon decided I wasn’t all that great either. I took in a green cheek conure that we named Esme, and on a whim, put her in with Beeby. Did you know that green cheeks can be pretty darn aggressive? She’s so funny with him, always trying to prevent him from biting us. They are a great pair together.

But other times, it’s not destined to be. Jake came into my life after a sad incident with his first family. They lost their home and had to rehome their lovebird. He fit right into my life for the most part, but didn’t get along with Sunny. He wanted my attention to himself, and attacked her whenever he could. So then I had to have separate out times for them. Whenever I fed the birds, Jake would come along to quality sample the water, the sunflower seeds, and the other delicacies provided. Soon everyone in the flock hated him.

Jake loves his out time so he can go to the bird room or the living room and taunt the birds that are not having out time. He’s such a brat. He has a good relationship with his downstairs neighbor, Bo Dangles. She’s always inviting him to “Come ‘ere!” and a time or two has actually allowed him to groom her head. He’s stopped trying to bite her, so there’s a ray of sunshine there.

Enter Maynard. I don’t want to say Maynard hates everyone. There’s not that psycho aggression in his eyes that we see in Beeby’s. But he has chosen me, and feels driven to protect me from everyone. Every person. Every bird. Every living thing.

I attempted to give both Jake and Maynard out time together, hoping they could learn to ignore each other. No way. Jake will not go away and leave Maynard alone. And as soon as Jake is within reach, Maynard lunges for him.

A year has gone by since Maynard first arrived, and I tried again. Maybe Jake has gotten over his aggression towards the bigger parrot. And maybe I can win the lotto without buying a ticket. Jake headed straight for Maynard’s “cave” under my desk, chirping and carrying on like David going after Goliath. Oh, well. At this time, there is no peace in sight. Just a sort of demilitarized zone at my desk, where only one bird can be out at a time.

Keep smiling, and I’ll be back on Thursday.

Whose Idea Was It to Handfeed Chicks?

Yeah, it was my idea. I probably won’t do this again. As with most things in my life, I have come to it too late. The syringes are killing my hands, my thumbs are so weak, and the arthritis flares up now and then. Of course I could do the exercised the physical therapist recommended.

You can’t find two more different chicks to feed than cockatiels and love birds. Well, not in my house, anyway. I understand from my friend Thea that macaw chicks are fast growing and so different from any she has fed before. But my two sets of two chicks (I pulled the other cockatiel chick on Sunday) are different, from each other and from each species.

The cockatiel chicks are big already. They have long necks, long bodies, big butts, and big feet. They stretch their heads up when they are hungry. Notice ME! Is their motto. My violet lovebirds keep their heads down, and try to burrow into the table top or towel or whatever comes to hand.

My hopes for a white face or a silver cockatiel have withered as Nunu’s orange cheeks have feathered in a bit. He might still be a pearl, but he’s so adorable anyway. He likes to cuddle a bit after feeding. Nunu could get a job as a sprinkler, the way he sprays food out of his mouth during the process. That head bobbing works, I am sure, if mom or dad are feeding and match the action. I just change my shirt more often.

The new baby is called, without imagination, Tiny. She’s an albino. Her eyes are red and her down is all yellow-white. All my albino chicks from this pair have been females, so I am relatively sure of her sex. She is a tiny dancer. She hisses loudest when she’s hungry, she wanders away if I don’t pay attention, and she turns in a circle between servings. How could you not love her?

I have no idea if the lovebirds are actually the sex I assigned to them, but they certainly act as I expect a boy and a girl to act. Sassy is just that. Once she sees I have food, she pushes forward and takes the serving. She draped herself over her sibling on the hot rock in the new cage, in a dramatic fashion. And she looks around while I feed her brother, and would wander off if she could. She loves to have me attach her to my shirt and walk around with her. We sat in the comfy chair for reading time today, and she went from my chest to my neck in little squirms. Parting with her is going to be difficult.

Oberon, or Obee for short, is already sold to a good friend who believed I could hand feed some day. He’s young enough that he gets very still when people walk by, and still clings desperately to whatever he can. Cockatiels don’t tend to clutch things with their feet, but lovebirds do so tenaciously. Sassy is getting confident enough to let go most of the time, but Obee required patient peeling of the feet off of the object. Especially if that object is his sister. He and Sassy feed eagerly for the first two servings, but around the third, they slow down. Soon after that, they turn their heads and refuse any more.

One thing I really love about feeding the babies is that they KNOW when they have had enough and stop taking the formula. I wish I had that skill. I’m trying to do what they do. I think I can learn.

The oldest of the lovebird chicks that wasn’t pulled for hand feeding has fledged and left the nest out in the breeding cage. He or she is beautiful, but as soon as I am sure he isn’t being fed by the parents any longer, I have to pull him before his beak loses all the black coloring. Otherwise I might not be able to tell him from the parents.

Okay, I might do this again in the Spring if I get more chicks. But not until I get around to downsizing the inside birds, cleaning out the garage and the office, finding the spare room floor, and a dozen more things that I thought I could do by now. I’ll be back on Sunday.

Save the Invasive Species!

That’s not really the subject of this post, I just wanted to get your attention, because on Facebook, I see a side bar ad to donate money to save the wild Quaker parrots of Manhattan. And I started wondering if it’s a good idea to save these immigrants. In the past, I have stated that I am in favor of helping wild parrots in the United States because they are so fragile in their own country.

But Quakers, also known as monk parakeets, are of least concern in Argentina. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_parakeet They are a very hardy and adaptive species, as shown by their survival in Europe, Asia, and New York. They are the only parrot that builds community nests. These structures are awesome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gNk0yTZZHI

In the wild, these opportunistic birds will move in to the “basement” of a Jabiru stork nest and renovate to suit their needs. And the storks don’t even charge rent! Well, maybe a little guard duty, to alert them if a predator comes around. http://zoologica.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/the-nest-building-behavior-of-the-adaptable-quaker-parakeet/

This nest building is the main reason utility companies want to eradicate the bird in New York and New Jersey. http://wildparrotsny.com/index/breedfacts.html http://wildparrotsny.com/index/awareness.html
Apparently these birds are getting a better reception in Chicago. http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicago-home-fit-wild-parrots-108565

In California, Quakers are illegal. I’ve heard rumors that people still have them as pets. Just like I know people who have kept illegal ferrets as pets. But I have never heard of either wild herds of ferrets or wild flocks of Quakers in this state. We have cherry headed conures. And a variety of others. The California Parrot Project makes an interesting point that many species have been introduced and are now considered part of the natural world here. Eucalyptus trees, mustard plant, palm trees, all got here with people.
http://www.californiaparrotproject.org/
http://www.havasiwf.org/the-concrete-jungle-uncovering-the-mystery-of-wild-parrots-in-southern-california/

Here is a helpful video for identifying wild parrots in California. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnyHT6Sqq2E And the most famous are the parrots of Telegraph Hill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAtld3KOpuY Cherry headed conures are Near Threatened in their home range, so keeping the colony flock in California safe and healthy makes perfect sense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-masked_parakeet

California has been involved in bird conservation for many decades, so this new version shouldn’t be difficult to fit into our culture. Condors are the symbol of successful conservation in our minds. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/t_e_spp/bird.html Maybe they have been a little too successful? http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/13/intruder-endangered-bird-species-damages-california-community-homes/

Just don’t bring up the thick billed parrot project. We didn’t really run that one, anyway. http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/thick-billed-parrot (click the Conservation tab) Here’s more on the effort to release captive raised birds into the wild: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/30/science/effort-to-reintroduce-thick-billed-parrots-in-arizona-is-dropped.html And I have heard that the main reason so many birds were killed by predators within 48 hours of release was due to their having their wings clipped while in captivity. The project people thought it would work to use a method of wing repair called imping. http://www.sanctuaryfederation.org/gfas/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Imping-Repairing-a-Birds-Damaged-or-Clipped-Wings-Greg-Glendell.pdf They found out the hard way that repaired wings were not good when a parrot is fighting for its life.

My conclusion, I think, is that we should do all we can to save threatened and endangered species, but not really worry about those that are thriving in many places. I’ll be back on Thursday.

I DID IT! Or Handfeeding 101

I’ve wanted to handfeed baby parrots for years and years. Don’t ask me why. Just seems so neat to have a little bundle of feathers become attached to you. And I had planned to start on October 31st, when my birds were exactly the right age, three weeks. However, things snafu-ed and I thought I just would let it go.

My coach, Thea Evans, owner of Thea’s Parrot Place https://www.facebook.com/theasparrotplace talked to me a week later at the bird club meeting. She convinced me to meet with her the following Sunday and she would take me in hand. When she got here, we pulled the two youngest lovebird chicks, and the oldest cockatiel chick. She helped me set up a heat source, a bin, and we mixed up the food. She did the first feeding while I watched, and it seemed so easy.

The important things are the temperature of the food, the cleanliness of the utensils used, and keeping the babies warm in between feedings. Thea told me to feed every three hours, the last time right before bed, and the chicks would be fine overnight. I knew that parent birds don’t feed at night, so it seemed obvious that I wouldn’t need to wake up and do that. Last night, at 3 AM, the cockatiel had a different opinion. But it seems they just get a little concerned if the house is too quiet. I came out and talked to them, and they were quiet until real morning.

The food has to be no hotter than 109 degrees F. and no cooler than 104 degrees F. I microwave the water, pour it into the dry feeding mix, and check the temp. It’s a bit too hot. I add a few drops of cool water. Uh-oh, it’s cooling fast! Some day I’ll get a little pot that keeps the formula at the right temperature.

I use Kaytee handfeeding formula because it’s readily available and lots of people have good results from it. Here’s a weight chart they devised. I would prefer one page for the three chicks, but I will manage. http://www.kaytee.com/assets/013/25893.pdf There is a ton of information on the web about handfeeding. This one states different temps for the food, but not off by much. And the list of ages when the birds can be moved to a cage, or decreased in feeding times, is very helpful.

http://www.wingsaviary.com/Handfeeding_instructions.html

Here are some photos of my trio. I am just thrilled that I took the plunge. There’s one more cockatiel chick in the nest. I’ll pull him when his eyes are just opening. And the violet love birds are laying another clutch, so I will be having a good time for the rest of the year. Just can’t leave the house for more than three hours. I’ll be back on Sunday.

Featured imageNunu needs a bath!

Featured imageHe would rather sleep.

Featured imageViolet Lovebird chicks.

Featured imageYou kids clean up your room!

Featured imageMaynard the supervisor.

Handfeeding: It’s all in the Wrists

I expected, now that I am retired, that I would be pulling the violet lovebird chicks in the nest box and attempting my first handfeeding experience. Well, then I talked to an experienced handfeeder, who offered to help. I wavered. After all, these are tiny little lives we’re talking about here. But the pro then realized she wouldn’t be available for several days, and then I didn’t call because there has been so much to do, and now I think the babies are too old to pull. Love birds are particularly difficult to tame, and they will imprint on one person like as not. So when they are rehomed, the tameness could become a thing of the past.

I have three baby cockatiels that just hatched, so they are my next window of opportunity. Also my diluted peach face male and cherry head female lovebirds are nesting on 5 eggs or so. Not sure the girly ever figured out what she has to let the boy do to make fertile eggs, but he’s fathered many the clutch of beautiful babies. So fingers crossed.

There’s lots of help for hand feeding on the net! The Parrot University has step by step instructions, which are very helpful so you can make preparation then check on the next step. https://theparrotuniversity.com/arthandfeeding2

J birds shows how to set up the brooder as well, and notes that you should have some hands-on experience first. This is just to supplement that information. http://www.j-birds.com/handfeed.html Polly doesn’t want a cracker! Love it.

Just so you know why I am hesitant to jump in, even though I have observed several people hand feeding and have taken nearly weaned lovebird babies and weaned them, Here’s what could go wrong. http://www.parrottalk.com/hand-feeding-dangers.htm

The Bird Channel gives you a bunch of tips, so you can see which process makes the most sense for you. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-breeders/bird-breeding-diet/hand-feed-tips.aspx

Now, if you aren’t lucky enough to belong to a bird club like I do, and haven’t seen people feeding babies right and left, then watch a few videos. Like this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfWF7TQx1Ek See how eager the chicks are to feed? And the older ones like to feed younger babies. So cute! Wonder if the long pink fingernails are required? Could be a deal breaker.

These African gray parrots are so adorable, and easy to feed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_LO7kVQ8hs Some feeders would recommend a fresh tip on the syringe for each chick, to prevent the spread of diseases. But hey, they will be chewing on each other soon enough, so do what feels right to you.

Cockatiels have the oddest body when they are chicks, with a huge belly that keeps them rocked back on their butts. Still adorable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SPjfGPeZ9Q

Lovebirds are usually a little younger than this clutch when first pulled, but you can see how demanding they can be. Note the mat in the bottom of the container, to help prevent splayed legs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ9Ya8STc-k

Hope this is helpful if you have babies to raise. I am not a professional, and I urge you to always talk to someone who has done this for many years before you set yourself up. We can have wonderful experiences with baby birds, but there’s that slight possibility that something could go wrong. Best of luck, thanks for reading, and I’ll be back on Thursday.

Yoga for Parrots

Being a woman of leisure these days, I need some form of exercise to participate in daily, if I want to stay active and alert. Also losing weight is on my to-do list. So I bought a few yoga and tai chi videos. The Yoga for Beginners DVD is wonderful! I may even be able to do some of the moves, and not just watch it from my comfy chair.

My lovebird Jake was having out time while I laid on the floor and stretched and tried to participate without causing bodily harm. Jake thought this activity great fun, and perched on my chin or my nose, whatever part seemed the highest perch. He could not understand why I didn’t want him to help me in that way.

I thought about yoga for parrots, and wondered if any such thing had been created. Google brought up nothing under Yoga for Parrots, but Yoga for Pets delivered more. This page has some great explanations of why and how yoga might benefit your pet, and you as well. In this day of time crunches, getting some quality time with your companion while exercising makes perfect sense. http://www.corepoweryoga.com/blogs/yoga-pets

Doga is a thing. Dog Yoga. Doga. Yup. Not making it up. Wiki says it’s more about the human using the submissive pet as a prop, and lots of criticism has been heaped upon the practice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doga_%28Dog_Yoga%29

This slide show of pets and people doing yoga is not about pets doing yoga. I don’t care for the fact there’s a sea turtle in one of the photos. And another photo shows nothing but the back end of the little dog. But most of the others are cute. http://www.refinery29.com/pets-yoga-instagram#slide-21

If we are going to create a parrot yoga, first we have to know all about what our bird’s body language tells us. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-behavior-and-training/bird-behavior-issues/body-language.aspx

Then we need to figure out which stretches are good for parrots. This means watching lots of videos. http://ibc.lynxeds.com/video/purple-bellied-lory-lorius-hypoinochrous/bird-perched-stretching-wings-leg-moving-away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD3emsejfEk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7DUrz91glE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcZsXXsd_10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylEbMek7G_c

And we need some foot action in there! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ7ZEqXG40k

Maybe we need to tailor a yoga plan to each parrot species. More foot work for rose breasted, more wings for macaws? Dang, that sounds like a lot of work.

Luckily, Windy City Parrots, one of my favorite pages on Facebook, has lots of information on ways to exercise your parrots! http://www.windycityparrot.com/Exercise-Your-Bird–Why-How–Videos_b_53.html

Pick your favorite, and get to work. I’ll be back on Sunday.

Facebook is Unending

So there are lots more birds that you might share your world with, and lots of groups on Facebook that have wonderful opportunities to share. I just want to say that my heart is aching for a woman whose husband is hours away from the end of his life due to cancer, and the Congo African Grey who is the man’s companion is aware of something changing. Her human is not awake very much, and she sits on her cage close to his bed, watching and watching. This touching part of life would never have come to my attention without the wonderful folks at African Grey Parrot Lovers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AfricanGreyParrotLovers/?fref=nf

I have lots of plans for my lovebirds, and two of my pairs are in nest boxes right now. The violets have three chicks, which is really exciting. Lovebird Connection is for breeders and focuses on Fishers, but there are great photos and good information there. https://www.facebook.com/LovebirdConnection

The group known as Agapornis Passion is also about breeding, but a little more open instead of one breeder’s page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/agapornis.passion/ I am thinking of starting a page for lovebird companions, in my spare time.

The Macaw forum is a fairly new site, with a focus on rescue, breeding endangered types of macaws, and helping people find lost or stolen birds. Not a bad reason to be out there. https://www.facebook.com/pages/MacawForumcom/149259131753385 Macaw Breeders Association is another good source for information, but you would think not so much for sharing pet stories and photos. But breeders also love their birds, and share lots of great photos and fun stories. https://www.facebook.com/groups/macaw.breeders/

My husband and I love canaries, and there’s a pretty nice group on Facebook called Canary Breeders Wcbc. This is a friend rather than join page, and so far the few photos I have seen are really nice. https://www.facebook.com/canarybreeders.wcbc

If you love zebra finches, then you will love Zebra Finch Lovers. Breeders, of course, because I am one of the few people who have zeebs just because I like them. And there are photos of all the beautiful mutations available. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZebraFinchLovers/

Again, if you have many parrot types, like I do, you want a group where you can share any photos of your beloved companions. For Love of Parrots https://www.facebook.com/groups/593106950808104/ is just such a group, for all parrots and lots of sharing of photos and adventures.

Don’t forget the birds all around you, and all over the world. For a great site to view amazing photos of all sorts of avian species, green bee eaters, red tailed hawks, ducks, gannets, even simple sparrows. Bird Watchers is a great group to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/globalbirdwatchers/

Happy joining and viewing, sharing and commenting. I’ll be back on Thursday.