March 2012

How to Pick the Perfect Type of Toy for Your Parrot

Bored pet parrots equal destructive pet parrots, which is never a good thing. Purchasing or making the right type of bird toy for your beloved bird saves you from having to deal with the result of your favorite book, clothing item or piece of furniture from getting chewed up. Picking the perfect bird toy comes down to knowing what type of pet you have and what they tend to do while left alone.

Tips for Hatching Baby Ducklings

People who have streams or lakes on wooded sections of their property may want to start a population of wood ducks. There are many retailers that sell wood duck eggs or pairs of male and female ducks. Buying eggs can allow homeowners to hatch baby ducks and then place them in a safe location so they can populate nearby wetlands. When buying pairs of ducks, this may take a bit longer since the couple will need to find a suitable location and then lay and hatch their young.

Willow Ptarmigan-An Alaskan Wonder

The Willow Ptarmigan is the official state bird of Alaska. Many people have never heard of this bird, primarily because it is not found in the lower 48. In fact, there are only three species of ptarmigan in the world, and all of them are native to the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Willow Ptarmigan somewhat resembles a quail or grouse, and in fact is somewhat related to the grouse. It is a mostly brown bird that has speckles of gray and dark brown on its wings and back. During the winter, the bird loses its brown feathers and replaces them with white ones all over its body. This allows it to blend in with its surroundings, thereby keeping it safe from predators.

 Alaska’s state bird is also a rather large one. It stands around two feet tall and weighs about the same as an average chicken does. It may have a wingspan that is around two feet wide as well.

Virginia is Pulling for the Wood Duck

The Virginia Cooperative Extension office is encouraging private land owners to help increase the population of wood ducks in this state. The agency asks people to refrain from cutting timber which is close to the shoreline or overharvesting woodlands. They also recommend homeowners put up nesting boxes for these ducks to breed in. According to the extension office, these boxes should be either placed in the water or covered with a predator guard so that snakes and raccoons cannot eat the eggs.

Yellowhammer-Alabama's Official State Bird

The yellowhammer is the official state bird of Alabama. Related to the woodpecker, this bird also hammers or drills into trees with its very long beak.  The reason why this bird was chosen as the state bird is because many believe its markings resemble clothing worn by confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Another reason is that these confederate soldiers would sometimes place the feathers of the birds in the brim of their hats while they were marching.

Which Types of Food to Feed Wild Birds

Many avian enthusiasts enjoy placing food outside for wild birds for the purpose of studying the different species while they eat. I have fond memories of my grandmother putting black sunflower seeds outside on her patio to attract cardinals and other avian species to her home. My mom carries on the tradition by placing seed out for her neighborhood blue birds, doves and crows. I am a novice when it comes to feeding outside animals so I decided to find out what types of foods I can give to wild birds. What I've found is that most of them can eat either black sunflower seeds or white millet; however, other food choices are safe such as peanut hearts.

Teach Your Parrot How to "Step Up"

Teaching your pet bird how to step up is an important part of the training process when you bring one home from the pet store or your breeding parrots produced a baby. Some birds are receptive to learning this step of their training and others take a while longer. Picking a time when your bird is more apt to respond to you will give you better results than if your pet is in the middle of a meal or playing in its cage. The successful merging of your goals with the personality of your pet allows for a rewarding training session with your cockatiel or parrot.