Avian Expert Articles

Matt Rowe

Matt Rowe is a writer who frequently covers various areas of interests. And while he is a lover of the arts, he is equally enamored of animals, especially birds in all of their various species. His love of pets and wildlife, and the many ways they interact with humans reveals his deep fascination for them.

Matt writes for various publications that include MusicTAP, The Morton Report, and The Pontiac Daily Leader.

Articles by Matt:

crane

The Impact of Light Pollution on Birds

The effects of light pollution—being exposed to artificial light at night—is shown to disrupt our circadian rhythms and potentially wreak havoc on our sleep-wake cycles. Artificial light also affects wildlife in ways many of us might never have imagined. See how city lights can interfere with the lives of wild birds’ and even affect their migratory patterns.

kakapo parrot

Sirocco The Kakapo Parrot Is Back In The Spotlight

Sirocco, the personable and friendly kakapo parrot, is back in the spotlight. New Zealand’s national treasure and face of conservation is social media star, with 235,000 followers and counting.

Indian ringnecks outside window

Mumbai Musician’s Unexpected Biggest Fans — Wild Parrots

Mumbai-based musician Jatin Talukdar had two unexpected admirers when he began to play guitar and whistle out his window — two wild parrots.

kea parrot on ground

Kea Parrots Excel At Statistics

A new study on kea parrots, New Zealand’s native alpine parrot species, shows just how smart these famously intelligent birds are. With favored treats at stake, keas demonstrated a keen ability to act on their sense of probability to get treats. They even outperformed primates on some tasks. See how the parrots’ grasp of statistics fared when researchers put them to the test.

grey-breasted parakeet; Pyrrhura parrot

Grey-Breasted Parakeets Winning Fight For Survival

An ambitious conservation project to help save the grey-breasted parakeet saw its first success with the hatching of three nestlings in 2010, which has now led to 130 hatchings per year! See what the secret to their success has been and where this colorful parakeet might be headed in terms of its population status in the wild.

Carolina wren

Become A Backyard Birder

An increasing number of people have taken up birding as a way to feel connected with the world around us and expand their knowledge of nature. Now is the perfect time to become a birder. Many top bird-centric organizations are making it easier than ever for families to learn birding basics.

green-rumped parrotlet pair

Study Suggests Parrots Name Their Chicks

We give our babies names, but do parrots also “name” their young by using distinct chirps specific to an individual chick? One scientist decided to listen more closely to what might really be going on when birds chatter. He constructed nests in Venezuela and recorded the peeps of green-rumped parrotlets. The results suggest that parrot parents give their chicks individual names.

conure

Parrot Yells “Fire!” To Save Family

Louie the parrot did a miraculous thing when a fire began to rage in his home; he screeched “Fire!” for the first time and alerted his household to a raging fire. Read more about Louie, his life-saving act, and his bittersweet ending.

head of cockatoo

Coughing Parrot?

Do parrots cough? Cough-like noises can indicate an underlying medical issue in our feathered companions. See how parrots’ coughs are different from ours, and when to call the vet.

black wild bird

Online Birding Game Lets You Compete With Other Birders

Similar to Fantasy Sports, the virtual North American Big Year is a game for birding enthusiasts. And you can compete without leaving your home!

brush fire

Can Australia’s Wildlife Bounce Back After Devastating Wildfires?

The Australian wildfires of 2019-2020 have been particularly brutal in their devastation. How have Australia’s birds fared, and what are the challenges to wildlife and habitat?

African grey

A Test To See If Parrots Are Willing To Help Each Other

Are parrots willing to help a fellow parrot even though there appears to be nothing in it for them? A team of behavioral scientists put blue-headed macaws and African grey parrots to the test. See which of the two species passes the parrot kindness test.

Eclectus and Indian-ringnecked

Family With Loss Turns Sadness Into A Thriving Sanctuary

The untimely death of a parrot was the inspiration behind the Prego Dalliance Sanctuary. Monika Sangar was a first-time parrot owner when her Eclectus died suddenly from a neurological disorder. Devasted, she vowed to help parrots in need, and the result is her small, non-profit parrot sanctuary in Los Angeles.

Carolina Parakeet

DNA Study Points to the Likely Cause of the Carolina Parakeet’s Demise

The Carolina parakeet was native to North America but, sadly, became extinct a century ago. Scientists recently sequenced the parrot’s genome obtained from a specimen that was originally collected by Catalan naturalist Marià Masferrer (1856-1923) to ascertain what likely led to the species’ abrupt disappearance.

pygmy parrot

Smallest of the Small: The Buff-Faced Pygmy Parrot

Did you know that there is a parrot smaller than a budgie and smaller than a parrotlet? In fact, it is almost as small as a hummingbird. Check out this profile of the buff-faced pygmy parrot, which measures in at a mere 3 inches long.

blue-and-gold macaw

What’s Stressing Out Your Bird?

Are changes in your household stressing out your bird? See what might cause a companion bird to be overstimulated and why you should be a super sleuth to get to the bottom of the issue.

head and shoulder of Kirtland's warbler

Kirtland’s Warbler Gets Some Habitat Help

Kirtland’s warbler population has seen its numbers increase with help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Michigan Audubon Society. These, and other conservation agencies, have worked together to create a massive forest habitat and to keep the warblers’ native nemesis, the brown-headed cowbird, from destroying their nests.

rose-breasted cockatoo; galah cockatoo

Get To Know The Galah: The Pink ‘Too

What’s pink, smart, playful, and a common sight in many neighborhoods across Australia? If you said rose-breasted cockatoo, or galah cockatoo, you are correct! See how they live in the wild as well as their reputation as feathered companions.

sulphur-crested cockatoo and its X-ray

‘Too Tough: Cockatoo Survives 5 Shots From Air Rifle

A sulphur-crested cockatoo rescued in the wild in Australia beats the odds and survives five bullet wounds, including one to the head. Find out more about this tough ‘too, aptly nicknamed Mr. Cocky as a show of his resilience.

California condor

A Push To Save The California Condor

The California Condor, North America’s largest bird, might be small in numbers, but it has strong support in the conservation community. The Peregrine Fund has worked tirelessly since the early ’80s to increase the birds’ wild populations, which includes introducing the birds back into their native habitats.

Birds Of America exhibit at John James Audubon Center

John James Audubon Center Brings “Birds of America” To Life

The John James Audubon Center pays homage to the renowned artist and environmentalist, and, perhaps most famously, author of “The Birds of America.” See what’s inside this new, interactive museum and nature facility that celebrates Audubon’s arrival to the area more than 200 years ago.

face of hyacinth macaw

Bird Species At Risk In The Amazon Fires

The Brazilian Amazon is burning at a record pace, with scientists recording more than 76,000 fires in Brazil so far this year, and many other parts of South America are ablaze. Sadly, the fires are likely taking a massive toll on local wildlife, including many parrots. See what species are likely affected and how you can help.

artist drawing of extinct parrot Heracles inexpectatus

World’s Largest Known Parrot Dwarfs All Others

Here’s one parrot you probably couldn’t host on your shoulder, or your hand for that matter. Meet Heracles inexpectatus, the world’s largest species of parrot, recently discovered by palaeontologists in New Zealand. Standing at more than 3 feet tall, this prehistoric parrot has also earned the nickname Squawkzilla.

albino magpie

Albino Magpie At Home In Tasmania

Meet a unique albino magpie found out of the nest at the base of a tree, and now being cared for by Trowunna Wildlife Park in Tasmania. This little bird is unique not only in color but its fondness for people and its yellow-tailed black cockatoo friend.

cover of book Bringing Back The Birds

Photographer Travels The Globe To Capture “Birdscapes”

In the ’60s, a Chicago-based photographer by the name of Owen Deutsch worked in the fashion industry before retiring 20 years later in 1986 to pursue other successful endeavors. In 2002, Mr. Deutsch discovered birding as a hobby, and soon was deeply entrenched in the business of photographing birds, and other living things. From butterflies […]

macaw parrot on perch by painting it made

Parrots Who Paint!

Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City has its very own Picasso, but this one is of the feathered kind! Picasso is a 12-year-old blue-and-gold macaw with a fondness for creating her own paintings on canvas. See how this creative parrot discovered her passion for painting and how art has helped her, along with her fellow resident artist—a great green macaw known as DaVinci—blossom from a shy, withdrawn parrot to a popular crowd pleaser.

bald eagle in flight with red fox in talons

Winning Bird Photos

Since 2010, The National Audubon Society has held an annual Photography Awards, inviting aspiring and professional photographers to participate. Those who are patient might just capture a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

cockatoo on woman's shoulder

From “Problem Parrot” to TV Star

In 2006, Moluccan cockatoo Rocky was on the verge of being euthanized due to aggressive behavior. Fortunately, Lara Joseph, an animal behavior consultant, adopted this special ’too and worked patiently to teach him positive ways to communicate. Now Rocky stars in a series of Stanley Steemer commercials.

Nicobar Pigeon

The Resplendent Nicobar Pigeon

Its unique appearance, gentle demeanor, and typical fearlessness of humans makes the Nicobar Pigeon a unique and beautiful bird. Discover where this colorful bird is native, why its wild population is on the decline, and how zoos around the world are collaborating to keep the species alive.

Wingspan board game

A Game Perfect For Bird Enthusiasts

If you like board games and birds, then Wingspan is for you. The goal of this card-driven game is to discover and attract the best birds to your aviary.

macaw portrait

A Look at How Parrots Talk

How can some birds mimic human speech so effortlessly? Parrots’ gift of gab is especially impressive given the fact that birds do not have lips! See how birds produce pitch and sound to replicate our sounds, as well as sounds beyond our vocal reach.

man by birdhouse on tree

Building A Legacy One Bluebird Nest Box At A Time

Check out this inspiring story of Al Larson, who has spent four decades building hundreds of nest boxes for Western and Mountain Bluebirds. His efforts have led a documentary that aims to inspire the next generation of bluebird conservationists.

blue-and-gold macaw on perch with one wing outstretched

Devices Like Amazon Echo Give Parrots Music On Demand

Just as music moves us, it oftentimes moves our parrots, too. With technology like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and other AI devices, you practically have an in-home DJ at the ready. See how to use these devices to help keep your bird entertained.

face of kakapo chick

Rare Kakapo Chick’s Life-Saving Surgery

A kakapo chick, one of the rarest birds and the world’s heaviest parrot, receives lifesaving surgery at a veterinary hospital in a risky first-of-its-kind procedure.

albino penguin with two regular penguins

Behold a Rare Albino Penguin!

A one-of-a-kind albino penguin recently made its media debut at Poland’s Gdańsk Zoo. Meet the extremely rare snow-white African penguin chick and see how it is fairing with its penguin family.

chicks in nest

Create a Hospitable Backyard Bird Habitat

Spring brings a bustle of action from the wildlife right outside our front doors—including birds busily building nests. Now is the perfect time to give your yard a spring makeover to create a sanctuary for wild birds to raise their young.

blue and gold macaws

Emotional Like Us: Parrots & Jealousy

As humans, we display a wide array of emotions that reveal our states of mind. It’s quite a sight to witness happiness in full bloom, and equally dismaying to see sadness in action. Of course, those are only two in the wide spectrum of emotions. Some emotions can be destructive, and some simply annoying. Take […]

blue-and-gold macaw face

Why Parrots Dance & The Music Genre Most Birds Hate

Humans aren’t the only animals who like to get their groove on. Many pet bird enthusiasts can attest to the fact that music brings out the moves in their feathered friend. And just like us, studies point to the notion that parrots can be choosy in their musical choices.

taxidermied passenger pigeon in museum display

Can “De-Extinction” Bring the Passenger Pigeon Back?

Martha, the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. Now, some 105 years later, scientists involved in a project titled “The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback” hope to use CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat) technology to help bring the passenger pigeon back from extinction.

red-crowned Amazon parrot

Red-Crowned Amazon Parrots Thrive in Los Angeles

Burgeoning populations of feral red-crowned Amazons in Los Angeles inspired Conservation ecologists at UCLA to launch “Urban Ark to help city-dwelling birds adapt and thrive.

kea parrot on ground

Meet the Kea: The “Mountain Parrot”

The Kea parrot of New Zealand fascinates many scientists with its high intelligence and choice of habitat. But the Kea is threatened and perhaps faces extinction.

blue macaw bathing

Birds & Bathing

For birds and humans alike, bathing is one of the essential elements of day-to-day living. And like us, some birds like it, and some tolerate it—some even hate it. If you peruse YouTube, you’ll find more than a few videos of owners and their exotic birds bathing in a variety of ways. Some take showers; […]

starlings in flight creating murmuration

In Sync: Starlings’ Mesmerizing Murmuration

Chances are, you’ve witnessed a murmuration of starlings. A murmuration is when a mass of starlings fly in a coordinated manner in what appears to be a moving black cloud. Discover how these birds are able to be so in sync.

cockatoo on ground

Cockatoo Survives Storm & Wins the Hearts of Many

This tough cockatoo’s miraculous survival from a tumultuous rainstorm storm surprises the Australian farmer who thought the bird for dead and garners a swell of well-wishers from around the globe.

sulphur-crested cockatoo

Cockatoo “Retires” From The Limelight At Age 82

Frosty, an 82-year-old sulphur-crested cockatoo, recently retired from entertaining audiences at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Learn more about this special ‘too who was part of the original “jail birds” trained at Folsom State Prison, and for 40-plus years wowed audiences with his high-wire unicycle tricks and more.

bird on a fence

Make Your Love Of Birds Count

Make your love of birds count this November. Project FeederWatch invites bird fans to partake by watching birds at their feeders for two designated days per week. See what to be on lookout for and how your participation can help birds near and far.

new jersey Audubon event poster

Bird-Watching & Conservation Go Hand-In-Hand

Annual bird-watching events contribute greatly to our understanding and observation of birds in their natural habitats. Long-established birding events, as well as new events popping up throughout the year, are valuable in that they help foster interest in our native birds and the ongoing efforts to help them survive in an ever-developing world.

Audobon Photo award

Young Photographer’s Impressive Win at Audubon’s Bird Photo Contest

Be inspired by a young photographer whose flair for capturing birds’ natural beauty has garnered him recognition in the prestigious Audubon photography awards.

Spix's Macaw sitting on a tree branch

Spix’s Macaw Among The Many Bird Species Now Extinct In The Wild

Unfortunately, the prolonged efforts of conservationists simply aren’t enough to prevent the disappearance of many of our bird species. Recently, eight species of bird were recently added to the “extinct in the wild” list — including the Spix’s macaw.

blue and gold macaw

Parrots Blush To Communicate

Feathers are for flying, but did you know that birds might also use their feathers and blush to visually communicate with other birds as well as their human caretakers?

red macaw

A Buried Mystery: Researchers Discover An Ancient Macaw Breeding Facility

Archaeologists are uncovering an exciting find on northern Mexico — an ancient scarlet macaw breeding facility, which may suggest the existence of an ancient bird trade in the southwest area of the United States.

Canada Goose above a lake

Secret to Birds’ Amazing “GPS” Abilities

Science has long wondered how birds navigate; essentially what drives their internal compass? Recent research sheds light on birds’ amazing navigational abilities — namely the discovery that they can see magnetic fields.

scarlet macaw in flight in blue sky

Scarlet Macaws Soar Once Again In Mexico

Of Mexico’s more than 40 protected biosphere reserves, the Tuxlas region of Veracruz, Mexico, is one devoted to the re-introductions of scarlet macaws back into the wild, with the hope that these majestic parrots will once again thrive in their native habitat.

fairy wren chirping on a branch

Wild Birds Become Each Others “Wingmen” To Survive

Wild birds of differing species cooperate with each other to enhance the safety of their families over long periods of time.

cape parrot in a tree

Saving The Cape Parrot

With less than 2,000 left in the wild, the survival of the Cape parrot might depend on the Cape Parrot Project and people who fight for this species.

logo for Cornell Global Big Day

Everyone Counts On This Birding Day

Global Big Day provides amazing data on birds in the wild, thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers collecting data. Find out which country topped the list with the most species in 2018!

Indian ring-neck parakeets

The Birdman of Chennai

Be amazed by the incredible response one man created when he began feeding two Indian ring-necked parakeets after a tsunami devastated the area.

house sparrow singing on fence

Backyard Birds Help Boost Mood

How often are you soothed and comforted by watching birds arrive in your backyard? Anxiety and stress levels can be significantly reduced with access to more natural day to day occurrences of bird watching capability.

satellite view of Cyclone Marcus

Cyclone’s Affect On Migratory Birds

A storm like a cyclone can heavily disrupt the migration of birds by leading them off course and potentially creating a situation that could be catastrophic to a flock.

silkie chickens, chickens

Meet The Silkie Chicken

The Silkie chicken is known for its fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk and satin. Add together its other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot— not to mention a friendly temperament — and it’s easy to see why the Silkie chicken wins the hearts of many.

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