January 2012

5 Amazing Parrot Facts

"What You Never Knew About Your Feathered Friends."

I have been around parrots and other bird species for over 20 years and the one fact that never fails to amaze me is how much new information I always read or hear. I don't think I'll know everything about my feathered friends; even when I'm old and gray. Learning these nuggets of information has led me to come up with the idea to create a post about fun and amazing parrot facts.

Gear up for Spring Planting

Choosing the right plants can help you attract birds

Adding the right plants to your backyard garden is an ideal way to attract birds and butterflies. Winter is the perfect time to plan spring landscaping projects, so why not start designing a bird habitat now? You can get a head start by ordering many specimens so they arrive at precisely the right time for planting.

Safe Haven for Wood Ducks

Alabama refuge aids with breeding and migration

The destruction of forested areas along many lakes and streams makes it challenging for wood ducks to breed.  In recognition of this problem, the state of Alabama established the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge near the town of Coffeeville. According to its official website, the main reason for this refuge is to “provide wood duck brood habitat and serve as a protected wintering area for waterfowl.”

Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge encompasses more than 4200 acres, 1800 of which are water. There are several large lakes here along with Okatuppa and Turkey creeks. Much of the area along these two creeks is inaccessible to motorists or to foot traffic, which allows wood ducks to live in seclusion.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Feathered Friends

I have been around various types of parrots since I was little, around 7-years-old. I  know a thing or two about what I should and should not feed my feathered friends. I will say, however, that I do not know everything and I would hazard a guess that anyone who owns parrots, besides an expert, more than likely does not possess all the information available about what is hazardous to pet birds. Sometimes, experts even disagree about what the best meal plan for your parrot actually is. The goal of my post here is to bring to light what foods a parrot should avoid in its diet.

 

Chocolate, while fine for humans in moderate amounts, ingests toxins into parrots and other animals of the avian community when eaten. The food poisons a bird's digestive system which can lead to diarrhea and throwing up, according to an article posted to about.com, written by Alyson Kalhagen, titled “Top 10 Foods that can Poison Your Bird.” The chocolate effects your avian friend's central nervous system after passing through its digestive system, which can eventually lead to a parrot's death.

Great Lakes Region-Great for Wood Ducks

Wood ducks along with mallards and Canadian geese are plentiful along the Great Lakes area of the United States. States in this region include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Many wood ducks live not only on the Great Lakes but near marshes and woodlands close to them. They are especially populous in smaller rice lakes in the state of Minnesota.

These birds are also plentiful along the shores of Lake Michigan in northern Indiana. Although much of this area is sandy, there are a number of dunes that are covered with vegetation. Some of these sand dunes are actually wooded areas and it is here that many wood ducks choose to nest and raise their young.

For the Love of Cardinals

Although they are often thought of as a winter bird, cardinals in fact do not migrate but remain in the same habitat year-round. They primarily feed on seeds from trees and shrubs once they have fallen on the ground. This is often not possible during colder weather, so redbirds must rely on food from bird feeders to sustain them until spring.

Cardinals are a rather round and plump bird with a long spiked tail and short pointed beak. Males are exceptionally brilliant and bright scarlet colored over their entire bodies. Females are somewhat less showy, having brown feathers over most of their bodies with only a splash of red on the end of their wings and the top of their heads.

Redbirds usually live in dense shrubbery or in the lower limbs of evergreen trees. This provides them with shade during the summer months and protection from the wind in the winter. They are not normally fearful of humans, making them residents of rural and urban areas alike. In the spring, the female will build a nest around three or four feet off the ground. Males and females work together to hatch their young, with the female sitting on the nest and the male attending to her while she is roosting.

Both male and female cardinals have a very sweet yet distinct warble. These birds sing not only to signal their partner, but as part of the mating ritual as well. They normally begin chirping very early in the morning, and the female of this species tends to sing longer than her male counterpart does.

Although they are often thought of as a winter bird, cardinals in fact do not migrate but remain in the same habitat year-round. They primarily feed on seeds from trees and shrubs once they have fallen on the ground. This is often not possible during colder weather, so redbirds must rely on food from bird feeders to sustain them until spring.

Cardinals are a rather round and plump bird with a long spiked tail and short pointed beak. Males are exceptionally brilliant and bright scarlet colored over their entire bodies. Females are somewhat less showy, having brown feathers over most of their bodies with only a splash of red on the end of their wings and the top of their heads.

Redbirds usually live in dense shrubbery or in the lower limbs of evergreen trees. This provides them with shade during the summer months and protection from the wind in the winter. They are not normally fearful of humans, making them residents of rural and urban areas alike. In the spring, the female will build a nest around three or four feet off the ground. Males and females work together to hatch their young, with the female sitting on the nest and the male attending to her while she is roosting.

Both male and female cardinals have a very sweet yet distinct warble. These birds sing not only to signal their partner, but as part of the mating ritual as well. They normally begin chirping very early in the morning, and the female of this species tends to sing longer than her male counterpart does.

Although they are often thought of as a winter bird, cardinals in fact do not migrate but remain in the same habitat year-round. They primarily feed on seeds from trees and shrubs once they have fallen on the ground. This is often not possible during colder weather, so redbirds must rely on food from bird feeders to sustain them until spring.

Cardinals are a rather round and plump bird with a long spiked tail and short pointed beak. Males are exceptionally brilliant and bright scarlet colored over their entire bodies. Females are somewhat less showy, having brown feathers over most of their bodies with only a splash of red on the end of their wings and the top of their heads.

Redbirds usually live in dense shrubbery or in the lower limbs of evergreen trees. This provides them with shade during the summer months and protection from the wind in the winter. They are not normally fearful of humans, making them residents of rural and urban areas alike. In the spring, the female will build a nest around three or four feet off the ground. Males and females work together to hatch their young, with the female sitting on the nest and the male attending to her while she is roosting.

Winter Migration of Wood Ducks

In many areas of the western United States, wood ducks remain as permanent, year-round residents. Birds in southern Canada and the northern United States may nonetheless need to move to warmer climates when cold weather begins to set in. The pattern of migration largely depends on where the bird originates during the summer months. Tracking the migration of this water fowl can be an enjoyable experience for scientists and nature lovers alike.

How to Pick the Right Parrot for Your Home

Bringing home a new bird is an exciting event, especially if you have planned on purchasing one for a while but you were waiting until just the right moment. Birds make wonderful pets for owners who know what they're getting into. Parrots talk, do tricks and have fun and eclectic personalities. Cockatoos are as smart as a two-year old child and canaries offer delightful singing voices. Quaker parrots chatter up a storm and parakeets zip around their cage looking for new adventures to sing about. The problem with owning a pet parrot comes in when you wind up buying more bird than you can handle. You can successfully own a pet bird with the right mindset going in.

 

Think long and deep about how much time you can devote to a pet bird. Larger parrots require tons of attention and people purchase them without realizing the amount of one-on-one time these birds require. They make good pets for those who spend the bulk of their time at home. Parakeets, on the other hand, are perfectly happy to amuse themselves in their cage. You can train them for social reasons but, if you are busy, I recommend getting a second one to keep the bird company.

Winter bathing

A clean birdbath can be one of the most effective ways to attract birds to your backyard. Unfortunately, the freezing temperatures of winter can make this difficult to do unless the birdbath is a heated one. There are many options when it comes to heated birdbaths, so you are sure to find one that fits your bird watching style as well as your budget.

Nesting habits of the female wood duck

Understanding this bird's environment to help it survive

The wood duck ranges from southern Canada to areas throughout the United States. Found primarily in inland lakes and streams, this bird prefers waters that are near heavily wooded areas. Unfortunately, the destruction of this animal’s habitat means it can be difficult for females to nest. Providing a nesting box can be an excellent alternative in many cases.

Molting? Get Crafty

All those feathers fluttering to the ground during molting can be a nightmare to deal with.  Whether your birds are inside in a cage or out in a chicken pen, molting birds produce a lot of feathers.  Some of them are so beautiful, it seems a shame to waste them.  There are many crafty things you can do with molted feathers, allowing you to create something unique and avoid waste at the same time.