Parakeets

Parakeets

This category includes both parakeets and lorikeets.

Lorikeets

Lorikeets and Lories are a species of parrot that you won’t forget once you meet one! They are colorful, interactive and almost always ready to play. Native to Australia, southeast Asia, Polynesia and Papua New Guinea, these birds are commonly found at interactive zoo exhibits. Their tongues are different from other parrots and a have brush tips that allows for these birds to eat nectar. Zoos will give out cups of nectar to visitors to feed the birds and learn about these unique species. Many people have these birds as pets but they are slightly different than other psittacine birds.

Budgerigars (Parakeets)

Budgerigars, also known as budgies or parakeets, are one of the most common parrots in captivity. Despite their small sizes, these birds pack powerful personalities. Hand-raised budgies can be great companions and many even are very good talkers and mimics. Budgerigars need a lot more care to stay healthy than most people expect.  A balanced diets (not just seeds), spacious cages with different heights of perches and different diameter perches, access to ultraviolet-B radiation, and regular baths are needed to stay in peak condition.

Converting Your Bird to A Better Diet

Converting a bird to a better diet can be one of the best things an owner can do to provide a healthy life for their pet bird. The act of converting a bird though can sometimes be challenging. Birds that have been eating one type of diet for years may be reluctant to switch over to a healthier one. Especially if they have been eating a high fat diet like seeds. There are many tips and tricks for diet conversion. What worked well for one bird may not work well for another. Some birds will transition rapidly within a few days, while others can take months. Some owners become frustrated with diet conversion if they aren’t seeing results quickly and end up allowing the bird to just eat whatever it wants. This would be like allowing a child to eat pizza for dinner all the time instead of a more balanced meal. Birds may be stubborn, but being persistent and patient will eventually get you the results you are looking for. One of the most important things an owner needs to know about diet conversion is to not give up! 

Bird Diet Recommendations

Everyone knows that eating a good diet is one of the best things we can do to stay healthy and the same is true for our pet birds. The question that we must then ask is “What is the best diet for our birds?” Of course this will vary for the species in question but there is an unfortunate misconception out there that seeds are all a pet bird needs to stay healthy. This has led to many pet birds developing nutritional disorders and therefore, seeds have been implicated as a problem. It is true that in the wild, seeds are consumed by many species of birds but that is not all they eat. Parrots in the wild will eat various types of seeds, nuts, fruits, beans, flowers, and even foliage from plants. The varieties of seeds that are foraged for in the wild are numerous and different studies have shown birds to consume greater than 20 different seed types. In captivity many of our seeds mixes only have 5-7 different types of seeds.

Toys & Behavior Enrichment

Parrots and other birds are intelligent, curious and naturally active in the wild. The typical wild bird spends most of its day searching for food and being alert for predators. When it is not looking for food, it may be searching for a mate or helping take care of a nest, protecting its home from rivals, socializing with other birds, or preening its feathers, among other activities. As pets, birds no longer have to search for food, worry about predators, defend their home from rivals, or do many of the other things necessary to survive in the wild. Without these things to do, some parrots and other birds begin to engage in abnormal behaviors such as feather-plucking and chewing at their skin, pacing around their cages, back-flipping, eating their own stool, prolonged abnormal screaming, etc.

Screaming

Screaming is the second most common problem noted by parrot owners.  Normal parrot vocalizations include alarm calls and contact calls.  Alarm calls occur when the parrot is feeling as if it is in danger or distress.  Contact calls are vocalizations used to identify where other members of the bird’s flock are at any given time.  Both of these types of calls are normal.  It is also normal for some parrot species to call and scream for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day, especially in the morning, and may be a way that wild parrots tell other parrots from another flock to stay away.  When a parrot begins to repeatedly vocalize for prolonged periods of time this is considered to be abnormal and may indicate stress or boredom.  Studies on parrot behavior have shown that one cause of problematic screaming may be a lack of physical interaction between social partners (i.e., other birds or its human companions).

PDD & Bornavirus

PDD, which is short for Proventricular Dilatation Disease, causes regurgitation, weight loss, and death in macaws and other parrots.  This condition has recently been linked with a poorly understood virus known as bornavirus. Bornavirus has been linked with feather-plucking, toe-tapping, and other conditions in parrots. 

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