Bird Brain

I am sure we have all heard that derogatory comment that someone is a “bird brain.” Well it turns out that if someone calls you a bird brain, you should take it as a compliment. After scientific research was done on African Grey parrots and Crows, birds have been proven to be highly intelligent problem solvers.

Dr. Irene Pepperberg has done life-long research on Alex the African Grey parrot and sadly, Alex has passed on, but she continues to work with other African Greys and has come to the scientific conclusion that these birds posses the IQ of a small human child and are capable of excelling at problem solving tasks.

ALEX THE AFRICAN GREY

As previously stated, not only are parrots very interactive and playful, but it has been scientifically proven through years of study that these animals are highly intelligent. Dr. Irene Pepperberg conducted a series of studies based on problem solving tasks and experiments that Alex, the African Grey was proven to excel at.

She went on to write a book entitled “Alex and Me” and from what I understand it is a tearjerker as unfortunately Alex passed away and I believe she wrote the book shortly after his death.

After working on a daily basis for many years and doing her research, I am quite sure that she and Alex developed a very strong and special bond. He was featured on shows like Nova and other scientific research and animal focused programs that proved just how intelligent he was.

For more information you can check out the book “Alex and Me” at www.amazon.com just be prepared for a sad ending. YouTube also presents a few videos on Dr Irene Pepperberg and Alex working together.

It is well-known in the parrot community that African Greys are the most intelligent parrot that you can own and some posses a vocabulary of well over a thousand words and phrases that they use to form sentences. This is not just mimicking their owner’s speech as many people would believe that a parrot can do.

 

CROWS AND RAVENS

According to scientific research done on Crows, they have proven to be the most intelligent species of bird and may place in the top 10 intelligent animal species compared with apes and dolphins. After being tested on all types of problem solving puzzles and scientific experiments, these animals have also proven to possess the IQ of a small human child between 3-5 yrs old.

Who would have thunk it?

LOVEBIRDS

Being that this site is dedicated to lovebirds, just remember that lovebirds are in the category of Parrots. They are small but still scientifically classified in the Psittaciformes order of Parrot in the Genus Agapornis.

Do not underestimate a lovebird’s intelligence and this is why I stress that you do not want to neglect or abuse these birds. They are highly sensitive and have an excellent capacity for memory.

Known throughout the pet trade as “pocket parrots” don’t let the small size or lack of talking ability fool you. These are still highly intelligent animals and should be treated with the care and respect they deserve.

 

CONCLUSION

Keep in mind that even though a bird is small and not as interactive as some dogs and cats, they are very sensitive and smart. This has been proven through years of scientific research and studies, not just an opinion.

Please respect these animals and treat them with as much love and care as any other pet that you would own. They mate for life and are extremely sensitive to abuse and neglect. They love to play and perform tricks to showoff for their owners and feed off the attention that we give them.

They will also keep you laughing!

 

 

 

 

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Air Quality

I want to touch on a subject that is of utmost importance to your bird’s health. All parrots and in particular lovebirds, have an extremely sensitive respiratory system and certain fumes can actually be deadly.

I don’t mean to scare you here but it’s very important that you know the facts. Basically, you want to keep the air quality near and around your birdcage fresh, natural and as healthy as possible.

SMOKING

If you are a smoker, I would highly advise that you leave the bird room or any proximity to a bird’s cage and keep the door closed so that you can keep the smoke outside of  the bird room.

Second hand smoke will not kill your bird, but over time it is harmful to their lungs just as a human being would have the same problem. With a small parrot like a lovebird, this is intensified because of the extra sensitive lungs of a bird

This would include cigarettes, cigars and marijuana. Anything that produces an odor and a smoke is just not good, folks. Please be aware and respectful of your birds and don’t smoke around them. Better off, smoke outside the home or on a whole different level of your living situation.

This is pretty simple for me because Lovey lives upstairs and there are no smokers in the house. I also try to keep the windows open with a screen of course on nice days when the temperature allows it.

I do have an air conditioner because it gets hot upstairs, but I make sure that the cold air is not directed anywhere near her, and she has the ability to fly around my room anyways. Believe it or not, too chilly is not as dangerous as too hot for a lovebird.

SCENTED CANDLES

Scented candles and any kind of air diffuser that propels a fragrance through the air is harmful as well. I don’t know about you, but I love scented candles. However, sometimes if they burn for a while I notice a headache so you can imagine how that would affect the extra sensitive respiratory system of a small parrot, or large for that matter.

Potpourri is not as bad, but I would use it in another room aside from your bird room or proximity to the cage. Basically, anything that emits a strong flowery or fruity odor is going to bother your bird’s respiratory tract. Keep the air natural and pure.

BOUQUET

I love a nice bouquet of flowers but I don’t keep them near a bird. Not so much that the respiratory system will be affected, but if your bird free flies around the room like mine does, she could start nibbling.

Many flowers, although not all, are toxic to birds. Please check the list of toxic vs non-toxic flowers as some birds can eat certain flowers and they are very nutritious. Some are just plain poison.

AIR PURIFIERS

I would recommend that you purchase a small air purifier for your bird room. I use a Himalayan Salt Lamp from www.amazon.com and it works wonders. It also happens to be really pretty and I use it as a night light as well. You can adjust the intensity of the light bulb so that it’s very bright during the day, and dimmer at night.

I keep it right near the living quarters of Lovey and I. It’s also natural, in case she decides to peck at it. Although I will state that salt is not good for birds, it won’t kill them either. I have never seen her touch it and chances are your bird won’t either.

CONCLUSION

Keep your windows open on nice days (screened obviously) and the air quality in your bird room as pure as possible. You want to keep them away from any smoke that they could inhale and don’t forget fireplace smoke too.

Anything with a strong scent would include candles, a diffuser, potpourri, perfume, harsh chemicals, that sort of thing. Please refer to the TOXIC! post that I have written because it covers other fumes that are dangerous if not deadly.

Use your common sense but remember if it has a strong odor, whether it’s paint, glue, perfume or some other beauty supply with an aerosol spray, don’t use it near the bird. Just go into the other room and come back later. Fresh, pure and natural is the air quality that you want to attain.

VIP: DO NOT IRON CLOTHES NEAR YOUR BIRD! MANY IRONS HAVE A TEFLON FLAT SURFACE WHICH WILL KILL YOUR BIRD.

Non-stick cookware and any Teflon products are deadly. This goes for all parrots. I would hate to see someone spend 10 thousand dollars on a Blue Macaw only to see it die of Teflon fumes from an iron or sauté pan.

I would also like to add that if you are having any form of construction done to your home, particularly if it’s interior work, I recommend that you remove your bird from the house and let them stay with a friend or boarding facility.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in the comment section below. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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Adoption vs. Buying

Hello lil Peeps I am back to talk about yet another subject on lovebird ownership and that is adoption vs. buying your bird. Adoption is a very noble idea and one that should not be overlooked but you need to really think about it as well. Many people buy birds and for whatever reason cannot keep them.

Maybe they had to suddenly move or perhaps the bird was too noisy for the apartment complex that they live in. Whatever the case, they had to give the bird up and guess where it ends up? In a bird rescue facility.

Adopting a bird can be challenging but very rewarding as well. You are rescuing a bird and giving it a second chance. Who doesn’t love that idea? It’s chicken soup for the soul, really.

Just keep in mind a lot of rescue birds have behavioral problems. This mostly relates to larger parrots like Cockatoos and Macaws, but lovebirds ARE parrots and they are just as intelligent and sensitive.

 

ISSUES

I cannot disagree that adopting a bird is a wonderful way to acquire a new baby, however, you must be prepared for some behavioral issues. Many times a bird is given away because it is too aggressive or noisy.

Keep in mind lovebirds can be aggressive, but unless you have small children at home, it should not pose a huge threat to your living situation. They are still quite small and even though a bite can hurt, rarely would it be dangerous.

Perhaps your abandoned lovie was separated from her bonded mate. Let’s hope this is not the case, but you never know. This bird will be depressed, angry and could become a plucker.

Now remember some pluckers just pluck but MOST pluck over an emotional issue. Maybe the bird was very attached to its former owner, but whatever the case may be, you could be adopting a sad little bird.

If you are anything like me, you would want to nurture and help this little bird get over their problems and be happy again. I am always routing for the underdog and in most cases, love a challenge as well. An adopted bird is going to be a challenge.

 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Adoption is a great way to get to know a bird before taking the next step to ownership. Many rescues and in particular a bird rescue facility, will let you meet the bird, interact with the bird and give you some form of a background on the history; sad or otherwise.

This is a positive because many times there is a chemistry between you and your bird. They may take to you right away or you feel a certain tug at your heart to protect and love this little LB. Just remember you will be adopting the emotional baggage as well. They may hate you at first, due to abandonment issues or you may get lucky.

As stated before, this problem is much more intense with a Cockatoo or larger breed of parrot, but nonetheless LBs are smart, sensitive creatures and we cannot count them out.

Depending on the rescue facility and their policies, you may not even get the bird that you want. Some facilities, knowing that you are taking on a challenge, will want to know your prior experience with aviculture (bird keeping). Some can be quite strict and you will have to prove that you are willing to take on the time and energy required for ownership.

They may interview you on your knowledge, the type of home you can provide, where you live, people in your household and so forth. I am not kidding, it can be tough.

Mainly these facilities do not want to see a bird bouncing from rescue to rescue as each time becomes more stressful for the bird.  They want to make sure that it’s a good fit for you and the LB, and more importantly a PERMANENT fit.

BUYING

If you go with just buying the bird, there is never an interview and most of the time the bird has been hand-tamed and very young. This is a huge plus for bird ownership. You will really be raising your baby and they will see you as the only parent and the bond is stronger than a LB that has been bounced around from rescues and other homes.

As a first time bird owner, I really recommend this route but please do your research and don’t be one of those people that changes their minds and gives the bird up for adoption. It’s a vicious cycle and I realize some situations are very tough and it’s your only choice, but many just don’t think about owning a bird thoroughly and the responsibility that entails.

BLEEDING HEARTS

Many aviculturists will swear up and down that the only way to acquire a new bird is to adopt. Being a bleeding heart softie myself, I cannot dispute this.

If you are a first time bird owner, however please adopt a small parrot. Although you will run into challenges, they will not be as overwhelming as adopting a Cockatoo in which case you are really taking on a problem that may be too much to handle.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Cockatoos and my dream is to own a Galah aka Rose Breasted Cockatoo sometime down the road, but until I can provide the best home and care for the bird, not to mention writing up a will for it (yes that’s right) I wouldn’t even think about it

CONCLUSION

This is a very personal choice and if your heart is dead set on saving a bird, then by all means go for it. Remember to start out small with a budgie, LB or parrotlet and build from there. Unfortunately with many rescue facilities being rather strict, you may not even get the bird that you want.

Google the adoption facilities in your area, call them and talk to someone that works there. See if you can meet the bird, and go from there. We have a HUGE bird rescue facility here in New England that fosters all kinds of exotic birds and large parrots. They offer tours and meet and greet but I know they are also very strict in who can adopt a bird.

Don’t forget these places are not a tourist attraction but a tragedy as many of these birds are nothing short of heartbroken. Whatever choice you decide on, I wish you the best of luck in your search.

http://fosterparrots.com

 

 

 

 

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Aviculture

Aviculture is the fancy term for the hobby of keeping pet birds (Class Aves) in captivity. In some cases an aviculturist could merely be keeping one companion bird, or perhaps an aviculturist is breeding birds for profit. The name still applies to all levels of domestic bird care and ownership using a controlled environment.

Aviculture should not be confused with the hobby of bird-watching, however. That is a hobby that consists of observing and studying birds in the wild from afar. If you own a companion bird, you are automatically an Aviculturist.

TYPES OF AVICULTURE

Among the hobby of keeping birds are several sub-cultures within the hobby itself. For instance, Psittaculture is the specific hobby of keeping parrots. Canariculturists only keep and/ or breed canaries.

Not only do Aviculturists keep domestic birds as pets, but some focus on the preservation of certain endagered species in the wild in hopes that they will not become extinct.

Many aviculturists provide ongoing education for certain species of birds along with research on the behavioral patterns of some of these species. Of course, many are breeders for profit in the pet trade.

 

SOCIETIES

There are several Avicultural societies around the globe including the Avicultural Society of America that was founded in 1927. These societies tend to be more prevelent in the USA,  Europe and Australia.

Most of these societies are non- profit organizations with a mission to nuture the hobby and provide educational information through periodicals like magazines and newsletters.

So to all the Aviculturists out there, cheers and have a great day!

 

 

 

 

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DIY

Feeling crafty? If you are anything like me you may feel the urge to craft some fun projects here and there. It can save you money, bring a little joy to your life and give you a great sense of accomplishment.

My favorite part is the fun that it brings to the table. Here are some great ways to save money on your bird supplies by putting your creativity to the test and having a few laughs while you do it.

DIY Bird Toys

There are some Bird Toy kits that you can buy at specialty bird stores or on Amazon that can really get your creative juices flowing. I recently bought the Living World set and made a few cool toys that hang from Lovey’s perch. (For those of you just tuning in, my lovebird’s name is Lovey Howell named after Mrs. Howell from Gilligans Island)

DIY BIRD TOY KITS SOLD HERE:

www.amazon.com

Unfortunately, these bird toy kits don’t come cheap so if you are looking for money-saving projects, I cannot say this is the one, but loads of fun just the same.

For cheap ideas YouTube has some great vids and I would suggest going to the Dollar Tree to pick up your supplies. Just make sure all items are bird-safe including your wood and plastic items.

As we all know, birds love to chew and you wouldn’t want your baby chewing on anything toxic. Food coloring is safe to use on bird-safe wood and colorless twine should be fine for stringing beads. If in doubt, buy human baby toys to string, considering if the plastic is safe for babies, it should be safe for a lovebird

DIY Perches

This idea can really save you a lot of money. Have you seen the price of Java wood bird perches? The large floor perches can run all the way up to 500 dollars. Don’t get me wrong they are gorgeous but that’s a lot of money for a bird perch. Anyway, fear not because you can use branches that you find right in your back yard that will do the same job, if not better.

CAUTION: Make sure the wood is bird safe! Some types of wood are toxic to birds so please check the list carefully.

http://www.mdvaden.com/bird_page.shtml

Having stated that, white birch is safe and because it’s easy to recognize here in New England, I chose this wood to make my perch. All I did was use an old flowering pot filled with soil, stuck the branch into the soil after thoroughly cleaning the wood (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP) and covered the soil with decorative rocks and sea shells. Voila, I have a wooden perch that my bird uses and loves. If you are worried about messes, just put some newspaper under and around the pot.

Many table perches that are sold in bird pet stores with the attached tray at the bottom are expensive. The way I got around this was by purchasing a Grape wood vine separately on Amazon made for a reptile cage and propped it into a glass terrarium vase that I had around the house. I then filled the vase with seashells for support and for visual appeal, and there I had a gorgeous Grape wood vine perch for my table.

 

GRAPE VINE WOOD PERCHES SOLD HERE:

www.amazon.com

 

 

It happens to be Lovey’s favorite perch where she sleeps every night. It’s also in front of a mirror and I often wonder if that’s why she likes it so much.

As I have mentioned before, Grape wood vine is excellent for a lovebird grip and healthy for their little feet as well. You can also use Cholla or Manzanita wood (or a bird safe wood from your back yard) Personally I think Java wood is too slippery unless you are willing to wrap twine around your sloping branches for a better grip, but that would be your call.

DIY Bird Bath

Lovebirds like to bathe and you really need some form of a bird bath that is not the water bowl that they drink from. I used the glass lid from a terrarium bowl and flipped it upside down, stuck it in a tumbler glass that I got for free from the last job I had at a liquor store (They were giving them way) and Voila, a beautiful decorative bird bath! MY Lovey uses it 3-4 times per week. For extra decorative qualities I used a turquoise bracelet to line the bottom of the tumbler and I think it looks quite pretty.

MAKE SURE THAT THE WATER IS NOT TOO DEEP AS YOUR BIRD COULD DROWN. Water should be just a few inches deep

DIY FOOD AND WATER BOWLS

Most cages come with plastic food and water bowls that clip onto the side of the cage or perch. I use small decorative glass bowls for my bird since she is never in her cage. Besides, I am an artist/decorator at heart and love pretty fun, creative items around my house. Make sure that your bowls are not toxic or have any sharp edges and please clean them daily. Old ashtrays work well for food and water bowls around your bird room

Plastic is okay, but I prefer glass because your bird can’t chew it up. Just remember no sharp or jagged edges and keep them in a spot that they will not fall from.

Conclusion

Use your creativity because DIY projects can be lots of fun. More importantly, make sure every detail of your project is bird safe all the way down to the type of wood, plastic or twine you are using.

Birds love to chew on stuff so everything needs to be bird-safe and toxic free. No paint, glue or chemicals! Thanks for reading and any questions please feel free to comment below. Lastly, YouTube has some great step by step videos on DIY bird projects to save money and Happy Crafting!

 

 

 

 

 

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Breeder vs. Pet Store

There is always that question in your mind when you decide you want to own a lovebird. Should I go to a pet store and look around or contact a breeder? Quite honestly, I prefer the breeder route even though I bought my lovebird at a pet store. I know, shame on me.

WHICH IS BETTER?

Well that really depends on a lot of factors. If you just have to have your lovie right away (and that is after doing A LOT of research) I would go with checking out some pet stores.

Ideally, if there is a breeder driving distance from your house, then that would be your best choice. However, this is rare for most people. I live in a metropolitan area and there are really no breeders near me.

It’s a great idea to check out some local shops. Some specialty bird shops are very reputable and you can always just walk in and look at the health of the birds and perhaps talk to the owner.

I would not recommend the large chain stores like Petco and PetSmart since they do not specialize in birds. Find out the reputation of the shop and maybe check out the reviews on Yelp or Facebook. Are the birds healthy looking? Does the owner know a lot about the species or are they just interested in your money?

You will be able to figure it out by browsing and asking questions. Many of these specialty shops have a nursery to hand feed the baby birds before putting them up for sale.

It is critical if you want a tame bird to make sure it has been hand-fed as a baby. Especially with lovebirds, as they are difficult to tame if they are older and not trusting of human hands.

Many of these birds have been grabbed at and thrown into cages in the pet trade. Another good reason why you don’t want to go with a large chain pet store,  as many are frightened of human hands and it can take a long time to get them over this.

BREEDERS

I recommend a good breeder with an excellent reputation. You can usually find this information right on the internet. Unfortunately, they are usually far away and you will have to have your bird shipped to you. This idea makes me nervous, but they do it all the time so I guess it’s safe. I just think birds are so fragile and skittish.

You will usually get a quality bird through a breeder, however. Many if not most will be hand tamed and very well cared for from the beginning. As much as I hate the shipping idea, at least you know that is the ONLY time the bird has been transported. You can always chat with the breeder online or hopefully over the phone to get a better idea of the bird’s history.

PET STORES

As stated before, a pet store should be your second choice. There ARE some specialty bird stores in my area that have excellent reputations and a few that don’t. Be sure to find out! You do not want to bring home a sick bird, and especially if you have other birds.

Always put a new bird in quarantine before introducing it to your present flock. Find out if the store has a vet on location or if they offer a guarantee  on the bird’s health.

You should avoid large chain stores that sell lots of pets. They simply don’t know enough about birds and most just want your money. More than likely the bird has been mishandled and could quite possibly be ill.

Lovies are known for being hardy and healthy but the risk is not worth it. Besides, I think most of these places only carry Budgies and Canaries.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Before deciding to own a lovebird you should do a lot of research on ownership, the types of lovebirds available (there are 3 in the US) how they will fit into your family and whether you can afford to own one. I have a post related to this subject entitled Is Lovebird ownership right for me?

Check it out and do some further reading with e-books or the library. You don’t want to have to surrender your lovie to a bird rescue. We have a large one here in New England where thousands of parrot species live. It is a tragedy as most of these birds are suffering from depression and self-destruction.

Of course there is always the option of adoption, but not if you are a first time bird owner. Many of these birds come with emotional baggage and are problematic unless you are an expert. You will be in over your head, but it’s certainly a noble idea. It’s a great way to get to know a bird by visiting a rescue; but heartbreaking as well.

IN CONCLUSION

Give yourself some time to shop around. Check out local bird stores, ask the staff as many questions as you deem necessary. Go to the library and get books on lovebird ownership or check out Amazon for some e-books.

Going with a pet store is not a bad idea as long as the business has a good reputation and the birds are healthy. Make sure that the bird is hand fed and not afraid of humans. It will take you a long time to gain the trust of an older lovebird that has been mishandled or neglected. I recommend a good breeder before any other option but if that doesn’t fit into your plan, no problem

 

 

 

 

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Nine Species of Lovebirds

Many people have never heard of or seen lovebirds in the pet trade (or in the wild for that matter) so I wanted to acquaint all of you with the 9 different species within the lovebird category.

Only 3 species, the Peach-faced, Fischer’s and Masked lovebirds are readily available in the U.S. pet trade.

www.amazon.com has some great books on this subject.

 

PEACH-FACED LOVEBIRDS

Peach-faced or Rosy-faced as they can be referred to, are the most common pet lovebird. Within this genre are many color mutations and the variety of colors are endless (which is one reason they have become so popular)

The common non-mutation coloring is green with a bright peach or rose colored face as pictured below:

The tailfeathers are usually a bright aqua blue…what a little cutie!

Fairly common are the Lutino mutation which is yellow with an orange/rose face. Keep in mind, no matter what color mutation, all Peach-faced lovebirds posses a flesh-colored or yellowish beak. Again this little lutino  (pictured below)  is a color mutation within the Peach-faced  genre:

There are some visible white feathers on the  rump and tail as well.

Just to give you an idea of the various mutations within the Peach-faced genre here is a mutation called the Dutch Blue:

American Cinnamon Pied:

Pied:

A Dutch Blue and Violet Pied together:

Don’t let the Peached-faced name fool you …as  many of the color mutations have lighter or white faces.

The best thing to do is visit a breeders’ website that specializes in Peach-faced mutations to find your perfect little lovie color mutation (If you are planning to get one that is)

 

 

FISCHER’S LOVEBIRDS

The second most common species seen in the pet trade are the Fischer’s Lovebird. These birds are slightly larger than the Peach-faced but just as pretty IMO. They have a bright red beak and resemble small parrots (probably because they ARE small parrots) and sport a white eye ring.

Here below are a few  pictures of a pair of Fischer’s lovebirds and like the Peach-faced there are several other color mutations:

 

 

MASKED LOVEBIRDS

Thirdly, the Masked lovebird which can also be found in the pet trade. These are slightly more difficult to find in pet stores, but you will still see some people that own and/or breed them

Below is a picture, and just as the name implies, the non-color mutation have a black masked face with a white eye ring. There ARE other color mutations within this genre but all masked lovebirds have a black face like the bird pictured below:

For instance, there are violet masked lovebirds and other color mutations available. Check breeders online that specialize in this particular lovebird, if you can find them.

 

WILD BIRDS

Below are the remainder of the species found in the wild (Africa and Madagascar) Keep in mind this chart still features the 3 genres of lovebird that I mention earlier in the post and that are readily available in the pet trade. The only bird on this chart that hails from Madagascar is the Grey-headed lovebird shown below. (Madagascar is an island right off the coast of Africa)

www.amazon.com has some great books on lovebirds and ownership so be sure to check them out.

I hope you have learned a little bit about this unique genus of parrot and feel free to comment below with any questions or thoughts… I would love to hear from you.

 

 

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Songbirds

Everyone knows birds chirp and sing as a rule. Many parrot species whistle and talk, but did you know that they also LOVE to listen to music and many like to dance? Yes, it’s true and lovebirds are no exception!

A great way to bond with your bird is to sing and play music for them while you pay attention to their “moves” My lovebird particularly likes 70’s disco… but really anything with a groovy dance tempo will fit the bill.

It is really quite comical and endearing to watch them “get down” –I can only speak for my LB but she mainly bops her head around and will often do acrobatics on anything she happens to be standing on.

Of course if you can sing along with the tempo and pay close attention to how your bird is enjoying the music, it’s all the better. While SOME music is better than NO music,  just playing the radio in the backround is really not sufficient—you must focus all your attention on the bird because they love it! They are  showy birds at heart and really need an audience to inspire them. Who can blame them really?

I have several shiny disco balls around the perches that have hanging bells on the end. Most often a lovie will either chirp loudly to remind you to play DJ or they will ring the bell to get your attention! It is hilarious….

I have taught my bird to ring the bell on cue when I play “Ring My Bell” featuring Anita Ward…. talk about classic 70’s disco!  Not to mention the fact that I have created a dancing machine. HAHA

You can also WOO your bird with soft love songs most effectively if sung by you and/or along with the music. Serenade if you must.

 IN CONCLUSION

Lovebirds desire music and interaction with their owners– it’s a great way to bond and play with your bird (especially a solo bird because they NEED that time and attention) and it’s fun for everyone!

Don’t like to sing? It’s okay just lip synch and pay attention to your bird’s reaction– it’s really all about the bonding and good energy between you and your bird.

HAVE FUN and until next time..Happy Parroting!

 

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Birdie Language

Besides being aware of the best ways to care for your lovebird(s), knowing the body language– or birdie language— as I like to refer to it, is very important.   It could prevent a bite, for instance, and believe you me those can HURT!

BEAK CLICKING

One sign that your bird is happy and content is while they are resting on a perch, usually with one leg tucked under the body and the beak is opening and closing at a steady and regular pace. Many times you will notice the tongue darting in and out as well. Don’t be alarmed, it is most likely a sign of contentment.

REGURGITATION

Regurgitation is actually a sign of affection  (I almost took mine to the vet thinking she had eaten something toxic) If your bird looks like it’s having small convulsions and opening it’s beak at the same time, he/she is often saying I LOVE YOU.

  I know, weird right?

….but in nature bonded pairs feed each other this way and mothers feed the young through chewing up food and regurgitating the remains into the babies open mouths.

RUFFLED FEATHERS

No, you didn’t say the wrong thing, chances are your bird is a bit chilly. Lovebirds will often fluff their feathers in an attempt to stay warm (safe temps for your bird should range from 60-80 degrees) More on that later–but they DO adapt quite well to changes in temperature as long as it’s gradual and not in a shocking, short time frame. Beware of cold drafts in addition to cold temperatures, as they can be insidious to your bird’s health.

I must add that ruffled feathers can ALSO be a sign that your bird is ill and if you notice him/her doing this for a long period of time coupled with lethargy, I recommend a vet’s visit ASAP. It is better to be safe than sorry!

LETHARGY

Keep a close eye on your bird if you notice he/she is sleeping more than usual i.e. eyes closed a lot during the day, not moving around for long periods of time, tilted head or neck or just being extra lazy. Lethargy is usually a sign that something is wrong and I would also be alarmed if your bird is spending a lot of time sleeping on or around the food bowl.

TAILFEATHERS

If your bird is wagging it’s tailfeathers especially at a rapid pace, it’s usually a sign of excitement and/or happiness.

Flared tailfeathers that stay in one place, however, could be a sign of aggression and you may get bitten. Now keep in mind that a lovebird’s bite can REALLY hurt, but rarely is it dangerous or skin-breaking.

BEAK WIPING

You might notice your bird wiping it’s beak on that favorite perch and it’s kind of cute. They may be just wiping to stay tidy, but often in nature, it is to mark the bird’s territory.

HEAD BOBBING

Often a technique used to get your attention or your little lovie is getting ready to take off for flight.

WING EXPANSION

Another attention getting ploy, although sometimes it is to cool the bird off. If your bird extends it’s wings right in front of you, it may mean that he/she is happy to see you. (aww)

PREENING

Birds love to stay clean and tidy, so for the better part of the day, they will pull at their feathers to clean and preen. This is completely natural and they will most likely do this several times per day. Often you will see them reaching way back into the tailfeathers and cleaning their feet as well. If your bird does NOT do this several times a day, it could be a sign of illness.

If you have a bonded pair, they will most likely preen each other.

Also, check to make sure the vent area is clean and not stained. Obviously there may be a time that they get part of the feces stuck to the vent, but it should fall off within minutes. If the bird has a constant stain or discharge in the vent area , it is most likely a bad sign and you will need to see a vet.

 

IN CONCLUSION

Take the time to observe your bird in all circumstances and you will learn how to read your lovie. As with anything, if you feel there is something critically wrong with your pet PLEASE do not hesitate to take them to a good Avian vet.

 

 

 

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