For the public

Eclectus Parrots

Eclectus parrots are often admired for their beauty and calm nature. They are unique in the parrot world because the male and female sex can be easily distinguished. Females are red while males are green. There are several different subspecies that are found in the Solomon islands, northeastern Australia, Maluku islands, New Guinea and Sumba. 

Pigeons and Doves

Pigeons and doves belong to the order of birds known as Columbiformes and are comprised of about 300 different species. These gentle birds can be found all over the world except the Arctic and Antarctic. Humans have utilized the rock pigeon for racing, message delivery and as a food source. The most common species that are found in the pet trade include the ring-necked dove and the diamond dove.

Amazon Parrots

Amazons consist of a wide group of medium sized parrots native to Central and South America. They have short tails and are often mostly green in color. Naturalized flocks of Amazon parrots of various species can be found living in certain parts of southern California. Although no one knows for certain exactly how they got there, they certainly are thriving! Amazons are very vocal and can be quite entertaining. Some have extensive vocabularies and they seem to enjoy singing.

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, seed alone diets 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.

Heating and Temperature Control for Reptiles

Reptiles are often referred to being “cold-blooded”, which can be misleading.  More appropriately they should be considered poikilothermic or ectothermic. This means that, unlike mammals and birds, reptiles are unable to regulate their body temperatures internally and change their body temperature in adaptation to their environmental temperature. Because reptiles do not need to expend as much energy heating their bodies, they have a much lower metabolic rate than that of mammals. Each reptile species has what is referred to as its preferred optimal temperature zone which is a narrow temperature range at which they are active and undergo typical functions such as feeding, digestion, fighting off infections, and reproduction. Outside of this range these functions may be hindered or cease altogether. Some species will hibernate during colder months and during this time their metabolic rate will decrease.  

Ultraviolet Lighting for Reptiles

Ultraviolent or UV lighting is a type of light radiation outside of the visible light spectrum found at higher energies than violet light and it is found in 3 forms: A, B, and C.  UVA is used by reptiles to regulate their daily biological cycles and rhythms. UVC is damaging radiation that leads to skin damage and cancers. UVB is the most important light for reptiles as it is necessary for many reptiles to properly absorb calcium from their diet in order to utilize it for hardening their bones and other metabolic processes throughout their bodies. 

Hamster Husbandry and Diet

All hamsters need secure cages that are made from sturdy materials.  A hamster can chew a hole through a plastic shoebox within about 30 minutes so make sure that the container you use to hold the hamster during cage cleaning is equally secure. There are many commercially available hamster cages that have plastic tunnels and attachments that allow you to build very extensive habitats. Always be sure to properly latch any doors or lids as hamsters are notorious for finding these openings and escaping into houses.  It can be very difficult to locate escaped hamsters.