01 Aug

Parrots and crows

In the August issue we feature a news story about the respective brainpower of crows and keas. These parrots from New Zealand, are supposed to be one of the cleverest parrot species in the world, but are they cleverer than crows or some of the other parrot species?
The comparison between the brainpower of parrots with crows reminds me of the wonderful feature we covered in the July 2010 issue, where a free-flying macaw built-up an amazing rapport with the local wild crows, and they actually ended up saving his life. Parrots are incredibly intelligent creatures, and they never cease to amaze me!

 

28 Jul

Watch that barbie!

We are having our summer this weekend, and many of us may just be thinking about throwing a few sausages on the barbie. If you are going to have a BBQ or your neighbours suddenly look like they are going to light one up, don't forget to keep yours, and ask them very politely to keep there's, well away from outside avairies. Have a good, but safe, weekend!
26 Jul

Parrots and apples

Good news! There is going to be a glut of apples this year in the UK, and they are going to be available a good month early due to the unusually warm and dry conditions we experienced in spring, which happened to favour our local orchards.
So, let’s make good use of the knock-down prices, and all buy English apples this summer! Almost all parrots love fresh, crunchy, sweet apple, but how can we make best use of the glut, so that our parrots can benefit right through the winter months?
On the forum of this website, I have posted the same question. Please let us have your ideas for parrot-friendly recipes that we can make, bake and freeze, so we can buy in bulk, and save money on food bills for our parrots in the months to come.
24 Jul

Keeping lovebirds

LovebirdKeeping and breeding lovebirds has always been popular, but their requirements can vary considerably.  In the September issue, Pauline James, who has kept and bred many species of lovebirds, provides wide ranging information on the differing requirements of the eight species that are kept in captivity.  Whether you are a novice considering keeping these birds, or an experienced aviculturalist, this article provides many tips and advice to achieve the most satisfying results.  Out in the shops soon.

21 Jul

Micro-chips

We've had many calls this year when birds have escaped due, mainly, to the warm weather when windows and doors get left open.  I've had grown men in tears over their lost birds.  It is bad enough when a bird is lost, but equally so, when the owner of a found bird can't be traced.  Well, there is a very simple answer, and that is micro-chips.  In the next issue (September) there will be an article on micro-chipping, and how this product can positively identify a bird following recovery from theft or escape.  You can read the story I was involved in, when an expensive and traumatic court case could have been avoided.  The September issue will be in the shops on 18th August and to subscribers sooner. Don't miss it!
15 Jul

Fatty liver in parrots

Fatty liver disease is a common problem in many companion parrots and is often the case for a visit to the vet, the consequences not always being obvious.  Diet plays an important role in keeping your birds healthy, and in the August 2011 issue, now out to subscribers and in the shops next Thursday (21st July), Leslie Moran provides information on how to avoid this common condition.  Worth a read!
18 Jul

Natural is best

Although, I strongly believe that 'natural is best' when it comes to looking after our parrots, and wooden nest-boxes which parrots can chew to their heart's content and which have good insulative properties, are often better than manmade materials, which can tend to get too hot or cold inside, there are exceptions to every rule.
In my Coral-billed pionus article in the August issue of Parrots, innovative metal nest-boxes are used with great success, but the breeder gets round the chewing problem by covering the entrance hole with pieces of pine, so they have to chew their way in, and in addition they have pieces of pine to chew inside the nest-box too.
Even the much talked about metal surrounds to wooden nest-box extrances can be made chewable by placing pieces of pine over them, so the parrots have to chew away at the wood to gain entry. The needs of every species is different, and the time of year that they breed should also be taken into consideration, as metal certainly wouldn't work too well for a winter breeder, and plastic not so well for a mid-summer breeder.
Take a look at the article, there are loads of tips in there, which are applicable to not only other pionus species, but to all breeders of parrots.
08 Jul

Weighing parrots

Do you weigh your parrots?  I had a call from one our readers who said she had found a couple of forums that were discussing owners weighing their birds.  In all the years I have been involved with parrots, I honestly can't recall ever coming across anyone who actually weighs their birds regularly, except some breeders who may well do so when rearing chicks.

When I have suspected any problems with my birds, I usually check their breastbone, as I feel the amount of breast muscle gives a good indication of how the bird is doing.  Hardly any breastbone protruding will indicate possible 'overweight' and a protruding breastbone will possibly indicate that something is wrong.  That together with the bird's general condition will, I believe, be fairly accurate as to its health.  Does anyone weigh their birds?

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