How To Tame Your Pet Bird

December 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Featured, Pets

Image by Arlette via Flickr
Having your own pet bird can be a very rewarding and fun experience, especially when your bird is from the parrot family, as it can live for several years. This variety of birds can also be easily tamed and taught to do tricks, as well as to talk and sing with surprising clarity. When tamed, a pet parrot can provide a life long friend and be a cherished companion. Many people who own a pet parrot enjoy teaching their bird to speak, and unlike regular pets such as cats or dogs, you will find it really brightens up your day to hear your parrot wish you a “Good Morning!”
Before you start trying to teach your bird how to talk, you must first win its confidence. The best way to do this is to help your pet get used to being around you, as well as anyone else living in your home. The easiest time to start taming your bird will be when it is aged between two and six months old, so keep this in mind, because anything older than that takes a lot more time and patience. Fully grown parrots can also be inclined to bite quite hard if you don’t take adequate care – so try not to make any sudden movements that could scare your pet, or it will defend itself by the only means it knows how, which is unfortunately by lashing out.

Stroke your pet’s head or give it a very soft scratch to help it warm up to you, while giving it food from your other hand, such as celery, corn, nuts or grapes. You should also give your bird fruit juice or milk from a small drinking cup – but never, ever let it touch your leftovers from a meal when junk food such as meat or anything with a high calorie count is involved.

If you are able to use its appetite to your advantage, taming your bird will be even easier. The method is regularly used in bird parks al over the world. When your pet hasn’t eaten in a few hours, simply set the food on a plate near you and encourage your bird to come to you for food. It will undoubtedly be nervous at first, however when it becomes used to this it will be confident when approaching you for food.

If your pet is quite untamed when you first acquired it, you should consider putting the cage next to you as you go about your day, doing regular things such as reading, surfing the internet or watching TV. This was it is only a matter of time until your pet gets used to being around you and becomes comfortable. If it is large you can also consider a little gentle rough housing, like with a kitten or puppy, giving it pats and soft scratches around its head and back. It is best to use a towel or gloves at first until it sees you as its master, just to be on the side, until it comes to expect this kind of attention from people in your household.

At least once a month you will need to check your pet bird over for abnormalities, including and ingrown nails, feathers or a beak that could need trimming. You will also need to watch out for any possible signs of liver problems, which comes in for form of a dark or swollen abdomen. Gently wash your bird’s legs with warm, never hot, water – this will get rid of any dried on gunk or droppings, then apply vaseline to make your pet’s scales soft and help kill any lice. If you are patient and kind to your pet bird you will have a beloved and loyal companion for many years to come.

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Bird Watching For Beginners: How To Identify Birds

August 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Featured

If you like to watch birds, then it most likely that you will want to know how to identify different species. Although it can be very exciting to identify birds, it can also be a very difficult task, especially at first – this can get a lot of new birders very frustrated. If you own a field guide this process will be significantly less painful, however you will also need to have some knowledge already to be able to use your field guide – so, if you are new to birding then these tips should help you get started and avoid that frustration.

First Tip – Pay attention to the size of the bird you are hoping to identify, as it naturally plays a very important part in the process. Does it look to be the same size as a flamingo, a rooster, the size of a pigeon, or maybe an eagle? You will also need to consider whether or not its body appears to be long, short, thin, or round. It’s whole body should be observed, and this includes the size of the bird’s tail, beak and wings. All of these are vital in being able to easily identify the species, which you will find very rewarding once achieved.

Second Tip – Pay attention to coloring. Making sure that you take accurate notes on a bird’s colors is an important of the identification process. Gradually you will get a natural idea of what colors certain birds typically are, and will be able to tell them apart simply by that – although you should keep in mind that colors can trip you up sometimes. Lighting can play a part in how the bird looks, so make sure that you check the colors of specific body parts; especially the wings, the legs and whether or not the bird has any distinctive markings anywhere on its body.

Third Tip – Where are you situated? Your location can be a great help in identifying birds. Have a look at your surroundings and consider where you are. Would you say that it was a forest? A desert? Perhaps in your own garden? There will be birds that are native to whichever type of habitat you are located in. Take notes on whether or not the bird is in water, and if it is, is it paddling or swimming? What about trees? Does it seem to climb it, or just fly up? Does its tail move in any noticeable way? All of these notes will be vital when it comes time to look up what species you have been seen, so pay very careful attention to avoid missing any important details.

Fourth And Final Tip – Keep your ears open. One of the most important things that a beginner birder can do to help them learn how to identify different species of birds is simply to listen. Each bird has its own unique sound, and in time you will come to learn how to identify many species just by their songs. If you listen hard enough it is sometimes possible to find birds that you would have missed had you only been using your eyes – and while you wont be able to identify a bird you cant see, it may help you to locate them.

If you keep all of these things in mind when you take your first bird hunting trip you will have much more fun as you can avoid the normal frustration beginners tend to experience.

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Birding Tips On Better Wild Bird Watching for Birders

September 16, 2007 by  
Filed under Featured, Nature

LONDON - JULY 23:  Parakeets feed from a bird ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Birds can be real fun, and bird watching is definitely a great way to experience nature and the outdoors, either alone or with friends. Plus, you will get to see all of the birds that are local to each area you choose to go bird watching in.
When you notice birds in the sky, pecking at the dirt, or doing what birds generally do, even if it doesn’t seem particularly interesting, you will actually find that it can be very fun and calming to observe – this fun can be improved upon by going bird watching! Bird watching is often referred to as “birding”, and is becoming an increasingly popular hobby with more people becoming interested all the time. A lot of these new bird enthusiasts have found that being out in nature is a refreshing and relaxing experience in a fast paced world, and also gives us a greater appreciation of our feathered friends. Many people have also started to pay more attention to the preservation of the environment because of this new found appreciation for nature.

Before you go on your first bird watching trip you should make sure to research some of the basic tips that can help you have a good day and not be disappointed. Setting up your own bird feeder, house or bath in your garden is a good idea, but there are several species of birds you will have to travel to see as they will not leave their natural habitats. You should also be prepared to get up early, as dawn is by far the best time to engage in birding; this is because birds are most active at this time, regardless of where you are located.

After an early night and a good solid sleep you will have to be willing to get up bright and early to be in position by dawn. This way you can be in a good spot before the birds start to become active, and they will not notice you arriving and be unnerved. In the three or four hours leading up to dawn you will notice the most bird watching action, and you will be shocked at just how many you can see compared to other times of day – just don’t arrive late as you will see far less action. Another good idea is to avoid any brightly colored clothing. Take cover in the bushes and wear clothes in earthy tones that will hep you to blend in with your surroundings. This just means wearing natural colors, you don’t need to go full camo – just try to make the birds comfortable by not letting them know that you are there. (Although if this is a hobby you plan to spend many hours on for years to come camouflage gear could be considered, it just isn’t necessary for beginners.)

Another vital element of bird watching is keeping your noise to a minimum. This doesn’t just include talking to anyone who might have joined you birding, but also moving around very slowly, carefully and quietly as well. If you are with another person talking wont only scare the birds in the area away but it can also block out any noise that they might be making, and you could easily miss them. If you need to talk to your companion or companions, do so in a very low whisper, or alternatively consider developing a simple system of hand gestures to convey your message – just don’t flail about wildly, as this will naturally scare the birds away even faster than talking would do. Trying to hide behind large objects like trees, boulders and bushes can be a very good idea, as well as a shadowy spot – if birds notice your silhouette moving they will panic and fly away.

If you stay on the path you will make less noise and be less noticeable than if you try to get too close and start disturbing the foliage. Another thing to remember is to never try to scare a bird out of hiding, or let any young children with you chase them – this will panic them and not only will it scare them away, but it is also cruel. The best way to bird watch is by allowing them to come to you, and finding a good spot where you are comfortable and can remain still. Having a bird feeder near by will also make birds less nervous as they eat, and they will be far more likely to come over to you.

Make sure that you do not venture too close to birds, particularly during the summer and spring time as this is their mating season – also stay well away from any nests you might spot. It is best to stay a safe distance back and use a good pair of binoculars or alternatively, if you plan on this being a long term hobby, you might consider investing in a spotting scope in order to see the birds as clearly as possible.

If you are a big fan of nature then birding could be the best hobby for you. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and by watching birds you can find new challenges, as well as a relaxing way to spend time outside. It is very easy to start, you can just set up some bird feeders in your own garden, and perhaps some houses to encourage nesting. Of course you will have to go on trips to find new and different varieties of birds, but seeing them come and go from your own home can be a most thrilling experience for any bird enthusiast, or even those who just enjoy their beauty.

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