SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

April 4, 2014

Vet Connection: Thinking about a pet bird?

Have you ever entertained the idea of acquiring a bird? Have you watched their antics at a zoo or pet store and wondered what it would be like to have an exotic creature with a big beak and iridescent plumage amazing guests with its vocalizations and imitations?

If you are considering having a bird join your family, it is important to know the nature of birds. They are flock animals. They are very social and prefer to be with other birds. It is much better to have two birds than one because they can keep each other company and are generally more comfortable when in sight of another bird of its species.

Birds will relate to their humans as members of their flock. They like to preen beside other members of the flock and eat together. If your bird sees you eat a new food it is much more likely to sample it. If you leave the room, they may call to you and expect a response just as they would expect a response from another bird. It is best to call back softly. That way your bird knows you are still in the vicinity.

Birds are prey species and have very good eyesight. Nothing makes a bird more nervous than the steady direct “eagle eye” stare of another human or bird. Birds are quite observant and will watch every move you make. Yes, they see in color!

Birds have a huge number of sensory cells in their beak and mouth. They explore their world through their sense of taste and touch everything with their beaks. Birds respond to all types of materials — wood, leafy greens and foods of all textures and flavors. They need a huge variety of food. A 100-percent pellet diet or all-seed diet is terribly unhealthy for a bird. Add cooked egg, cooked brown rice, tofu, beans, fruits and vegetables to the diet. Limit seeds to between one and eight teaspoons daily, depending on the size of the bird. If your bird is on a large number of seeds, gradually decrease the seeds over a period of weeks. Birds like to solve puzzles with their agile minds and dexterous beaks. Sitting alone in the cage with no toys, no TV and no interaction is bird jail. Provide two or three bird toys and rotate a new one in every three weeks or so. Spend time with your bird out of the cage and on a separate play gym area every day.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, July 31

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • homecoming1 Festivals in Salem and Beverly celebrate cities' heritage

    Salem Heritage Days and Beverly Homecoming, both of which start this weekend, are roughly the same age. "This is the 49th year," said Bruce Doig, director of parks and recreation in Beverly. "The most recent form of homecoming started in 1966 as a wa

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

  • 140723_SN_DLE_MINER5 For artist Nathan Miner, it’s not what you see, but how Visitors can see five paintings by Nathan Miner, and watch one being created, at Montserrat College of Art this summer. That's because the gallery where the artist's works are hanging includes a studio where he will be working until Aug. 14, in a co

    July 31, 2014 5 Photos

  • mintjulep North Shore Entertainment Calendar Good cause PAINTING FOR TEAM MICKEY. Thursday, July 31, 7 to 9 p.m., Tavern in the Square, 189 Washington St., Salem. Derek Jones in partnership with Painting Under the Influence hosts Painting for Team Mickey, a fundraiser to support the Pan Mass Ch

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728_SN_OUT_READERSEYE The reader's eye: Sarah Rydgren Name: Sarah Rydgren Hometown: Salem Description: "The pier at Old Orchard Beach in Maine at sunrise. "I spend my time photographing my surroundings, hiking and sharing my passion for New England. I am self-taught." Camera info: Nikon D90, manual mode

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • icescream Good cause: Ice Scream Bowl Ice Scream Bowl Lick, slurp and savor several scoops of ice cream on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Salem Common, where some of the area's premier ice cream shops will partner for Salem's Ice Scream Bowl. The family-friendly event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and f

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heritage1 Music, ice cream and family fun abound at Salem Heritage Days SALEM -- Salem Heritage Days kicks off its 54th season Friday night at 7 with a concert by Civil Disturbance Jazz Band at Salem Common. From then until Sunday, Aug. 10, 40 different events will be held around Salem with fun for the entire family. Foo

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production NEW YORK (AP) -- Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed because of a contract dispute with its top actors. The Warner Brothers Television studio, which makes television's most popular comedy, said that Wednesday's schedu

    July 31, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Obsession over six-pack abs puts swimmer in unsafe water Dear Abby: I'm a 21-year-old man who has been a successful swimmer in high school and now in college. Over the past few months, I have become obsessed with developing six-pack abs. I have never had much success with women, and I thought that looking

    July 31, 2014

  • granprix1 Gran Prix a Beverly tradition for cyclists and spectators alike Those fast-moving blurs in downtown Beverly tonight will be racing bikes, taking to the pavement in the sixth Beverly Gran Prix. The event was founded by Paul Boudreau, a native of Salem who lives in Beverly, who has been racing for 20 years and was

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

NDN Video
Comments Tracker