09 Mar

How important is enrichment?

How important is enrichment?

We hear a great deal about enrichment these days and how it is important in our lives, whether man or beast? But how important do we really think enrichment is and what can we do about it?

Enrichment, by whatever means, provides us with pleasure, and pleasure makes our lives more fulfilling, so it is important that we are able to enjoy the things that make us happy and more content. Some will say that a happy person, or animal, is a more healthy one, as depression can be extremely detrimental.

On page 30 of the April edition of Parrots magazine we have an article on enrichment, and I hope all who read it will take careful note. Try to imagine what life would be like shut in a room with meals turning up from time to time, and then sometimes food that you can’t stand. Well, some environments in which birds are kept are just that, with nothing but boredom to contemplate. Aviaries with yards and yards of concrete and wire mesh to look at all day, and if indoors, row after row of flights, all in regimented order, cannot be enriching. They might look good to the eye, but not for living in. They can look more like intensive rearing stations rather than ‘environments’, which provide the things to make lives more interesting for the occupants.

I have heard various breeders over the years complain that their birds are not producing, while other peoples’ are. Of course, the reason could be one of many things, but are these birds happy? Could it be because they are sitting on a boringly uniform dowel perch and looking at a lot of wire and brickwork - no stimulation at all! I have seen many birds that appear to be bored out of their minds, looking as though the world is coming to an end! I urge all those who are breeding parrots and parakeets to read this article.

21 Apr

Feather-plucking parrots can come up smelling of roses!

Rose-waterWe were recently asked about an article that appeared in Parrots magazine concerning the exceptional properties of rose-water and glycerine.

The article suggested an inexpensive remedy that may help a feather-plucking parrot to regain its plumage, and kick the habit.

If you would like to read more about rose water, the article appeared on page 16 of the February 2011 edition (issue 157). This magazine can be ordered as a printed copy HERE or as an eMag (with instant download) HERE.


11 Jul

The Coral-billed Pionus

Coral-billed PionusIn the next issue, Pauline James has written up a very interesting article on a lesser known Pionus, but one of the most attractive, says committed enthusiast and aviculturalist, Jeanie Rheinheimer, who breeds them in the United States. I have spoken to Jeanie at her home in north Indiana, when we discussed many topics about breeding parrots and needless to say, the Coral-billed topped the bill.

Jeanie takes a very responsible approach to aviculture and has located another breeder in the USA who also has the Coral-billed, in order to exchange new bloodlines.

23 Jun

Spix's Macaw

In the latest issue of Cyanopsitta, the magazine of the Loro Parque Fundacion in Tenerife, I was delighted to see a photograph of three young Spix's Macaws. There are now two pairs of Spix's that may breed and more to come, hopefully! Director, David Waugh, has been instrumental in acquiring additional birds to strengthen the breeding project, which is good news for this very endangered species, now only surviving within aviculture. Let's hope this project goes from strength to strength!
24 Jun

Photo Gallery

There has been much said that cockatoos should not be kept as pets.  But does Vicky's Photo Gallery picture tell us different?
26 Jun

New parrots DVD

We've received many requests for 'Parrots, Look Who's Talking' on DVD and now have pleasure in including it in our shop. For those of you who haven't seen it, you are missing some great stuff on parrots and parakeets. For more details go to our 'Home', page or you can buy now. Delivery is FREE!
24 Jun

Back from the brink

There is further news about the blue macaws of South America. A report from the American Bird Conservancy, and its partner, Fundação Biodiversitas, states that the population of the endangered Lear's Macaw has risen from 100 in 1989 to around 960 at the present time. Parrots magazine published an article from the World Parrot Trust in 1994 describing how this amazing macaw was under grave threat from habitat loss.

It is, therefore, great news to see that the massive efforts of the field workers and conservation groups are having such success.  It just goes to show that, what looks like the impossible, is very possible. For further information, contact Steve Holmer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to www.abcbirds.org.
30 Jun

Dublin Parrot Symposium

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the The International Parrot Symposium held in Dublin and organised by Jerry Kidd, which was also an opportunity to meet some old friends from around the world. It was great to meet up again with Eb Cravens who travelled all the way from Hawaii to speak on the subject of natural birdkeeping. The speaker list was indeed impressive, which included some of the world's most well respected aviculturists.  You can read all about it in the next issue out in July.

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