Category: Everyday

crow, American crow, black bird

Crows Are Even Smarter Than We Thought!

In the latest study to gauge Covid intelligence, crows outsmarted monkeys. Researchers discovered that crows are quite adept at the cognitive ability referred to as recursion—that is, they can distinguish paired elements within larger sequences, which was once thought to be a purely human trait.

migratory flock, migration, flying, flock, migratory birds

Advances in Bird Tracking Takes Flight & Offers New Insights

Tracking migratory birds has advanced far beyond the days of visual sightings recorded by ornithologists and dedicated bird watchers with eyes to the skies. See how a collaborative network using a central radio telemetry system is helping scientists and researchers dial-in on migratory bird behaviors never recorded before. Plus, find out how birders of all ages can follow the heroic annual journeys made by 450-plus birds, and learn more about the challenges they face along the way.

cockatoo

Gang Gang Cockatoos Benefit From the Australian “Twitchathon” Race

The Twitchathon, an annual birding competition in Australia, recently brought together birders from birdwatching groups near and far for a friendly competition broken down into different divisions to see which teams could identify the most birds in the given time. This meant that dedicated birders were pushed to the brink in either 30-hour, 24-hour, or six-hour segments to identify as many birds as possible. The event also determines which endangered bird species will benenfit from funds raised. See why this year’s bird is the gang-gang cockatoo.

African grey parrot, grey

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Comparing Contrafreeloading in Kea & Grey Parrots

In her latest blog, Dr. Irene Pepperberg tells us about a study in which African greys Griffin and Athena, along with a few companion greys, were tested to see if they would work for food just for the fun of it. The study centered on the concept of “contrafreeloading” and involves working for food that could simultaneously be obtained for free. Interestingly, the same experiment was done with wild Kea parrots. See the different outcomes, as well as what parrot species is next in line to be put to the contrafreeloading test.

Two green Amazon parrots cling to pet carrier and a white, green and yellow Caique parrot clings to a pet carrier

Saving Parrots From Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian leveled a bird sanctuary in Florida, but its dedicated owners, Will Paratino and his partner Lauren Stepp, find help—and the boats needed—to evacuate hundreds of parrots off their island home. See how Project Dynamo was hatched to get these parrots to safety, as well as news about the sanctuary’s rebuild.

budgie, parakeet head

For Parakeets, Smart Males Get the Females

What do birds look for in a mate? For female budgies, problem-solving ability appears to make males more attractive. From a revolutionary standpoint, it might serve birds well to opt for partners that show good foraging prowess. See the tricky way researchers got female budgies to ditch their preferred mates to those trained to solve puzzles.

Webinar: The Grey Way—Food Can Be Fun!

In this free webinar episode of The Grey Way—Food Can Be Fun, Lisa Bono, CPBC, will give her tips and tricks to get your bird to eat healthy foods! Sign up and tune in Friday, October 14, 2022!

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: Timneh Grey Parrots in Sierra Leone, Africa

This month’s Lafeber Conservation spotlight takes us to Sierra Leone, Africa, where the World Parrot Trust (WPT) is hard at work developing conservation strategies to help save endangered Timneh African grey parrots. This includes protecting their habit and protecting them from poaching, as well as bringing local leaders, community members, conservationists, and government officials together to discuss the actions needed to conserve and protect Timneh parrots.

White budgie, white parakeet

The Man Who Sustained the Life of a Parakeet in an Egg

“I found a tiny budgie egg at a pet shop. If I could incubate it, would I be able to raise it? With these big human hands?” That’s the intriguing question posed at the beginning of the popular YouTube video titled “A Chick Called Albert.”

wild birds at feeder

Study Of Salmonella in Urbanized Birds Offers Insight & Hope

Fresno State biology professor Dr. Tricia Van Laar found direction for her next research project in her own backyard when she came across a sick finch that later died. She not only set out to find the cause but it led her and colleague Dr. Joel Slade to discover a trend that is endangering wildlife that also has ramifications for people as well.

Popular Wingspan Board Game To Offer Asia Expansion Set

In the card-driven board game Wingspan, players are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to their network of wildlife preserves. The newest offering from the creators of Wingspan is Asia Expansion, which includes the birds of Asia to increase the number of bird offerings available.

chattering lory; lorikeet

Summer Heat & Our Birds

Summer—that sizzling time of the year when we try to stay hydrated and perhaps indulge in water-dense foods like watermelon and other juicy fruits. When exposed to the summer heat, we might break out in a sweat and seek shade to cool our bodies down. What about our feathered friends…how do they stay cool? Here are some interesting facts about birds and heat, and tips for helping our feathered companions stay comfortable all summer long.

African grey parrot

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Alex’s Numerical Abilities — Part II

In her latest blog, Dr. Irene Pepperberg takes us back to when Alex, her African grey protégé, and his numerical abilities: The challenge this time required that Alex comprehend the auditorially presented symbolic numeral label (e.g. “6”) and use its meaning to direct a search for the exact amount specified by that label (e.g. six things); that is, know exactly what a set of “X” individual items is, even when intermixed with other items representing different numerical sets, and he couldn’t just make approximations like label a set of five objects as “six” or “four.” Read on to see why, compared to young children on a similar task, Alex was more successful, and how this study led to an unexpected additional finding.

parrot chick

Study Shows That Baby Parrots Babble As Much As Human Babies

Parrots are already known for being among the best mimickers and vocal learners. Now a recent study sheds light on how parrot chicks incorporate a “practice makes perfect” routine early on in their development. Researchers in Venezuela tracked the vocalizations of wild, green-rumped parrotlet chicks (Forpus passerines) and found that the chicks would routinely babble while in the nest, similar to how babies babble before they begin to talk.

Spix's Macaw sitting on a tree branch

Rare Spix’s Macaws Reintroduced Back Into The Wild!

The last Spix’s macaw sighting in the wild was over 20 years ago. But, thanks to an exciting reintroduction program, this critically endangered parrot is once again flying free in its native habitat. Eight adult Spix’s macaws have recently been released back into the wild of Brazil.

yellow wild bird perched on stick chirping

The Studied Art Of Earbirding

When you think of the popular pastime of birding, images of folks with binoculars aimed up at a tree as they zero-in on a bird typically come to mind. However, there’s more to birding than what meets the eye. Earbirding is just how it sounds — identifying birds by the vocalizations they make. Those who bird by ear are listening for telltale contact calls, songs, and other vocalizations to identify a bird’s species. See how this form of birding takes an extraordinary learning process to able to identify a bird specifically – and only – by sound.

two lovebirds on branch

New Study Proves Parrots Employ The Use Of A Third Limb

As most parrot people know, our feathered companions use their beaks for more than just eating and shredding toys and destroying whatever else they might find. They also use it to get around. A recent study officially bestows parrots the title of the only animal with three functional limbs — two legs and their amazing beak. Learn how a group of peach-faced lovebirds proved that a parrot’s beak functions as a third limb.

wild great green macaw flying

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: The Great Green Macaws of Costa Rica

This month’s Lafeber Conservation spotlight takes us to Costa Rica, where the Macaw Recovery Network (MRN)is leading the charge to help increase the population numbers of the great green macaw. For a critically endangered species like the great greens, every egg matters. See the great lengths MRN goes through to give every egg a chance of hatching and fledging.

African grey parrot naps on t-stand

Lost African Grey Parrot’s Return Home Brings Joy To Her Special Human Friend

An unexpected event caused Precious the African grey parrot to take flight and vanish into the great outdoors. Two anxious days passed before Precious was reunited with her family. Precious is more than a family companion — she has become an emotional support companion for 10-year-old Erin, who is autistic. See how this precious parrot has in many ways become Erin’s confidant and best friend.

African grey parrot standing on table in front of paint canvas

Echo The African Grey Parrot Is Zoo’s “Artist In Residence”

The Maryland Zoo has its very own artist in residence — Echo the African grey parrot. Parrots thrive when offered enrichment opportunities, which can include an assortment of toys, one-on-one interactions, foraging activities, trick training, and more. Echo’s go-to activity is painting!

side view of perched Kea parrot

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: New Zealand Keas

This month’s Lafeber Conservation spotlight takes us to New Zealand, where the NZ Parrot Trust is leading the charge to help increase the population numbers of the curious and sometimes mischievous Kea parrot — the only mountain parrot species in the world! Learn why these parrots’ ferocious chewing tendencies can pose a hazard to themselves, and what is being done to protect them.

Exotic Birds Get Help In Ukraine Crisis

Poland-based veterinarian Aleksandra Kornelia Maj has gone to great lengths to help evacuees of the Ukraine region who are entering Poland with their pet parrots. Dr. Maj offers free veterinary care to refugee birds, as well as remote help.

African grey parrot Alex

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Alex’s Communication Skills

In her latest Lafeber blog, Dr. Irene Pepperberg shares Alex the African grey’s impressive grasp of words and his eagerness to expand his vocabulary. Learn more about Alex’s passion for learning, how his time in the lab differed from that of greys Griffin and Athena, and how he was very particular about his grapes!

Animated YouTube Series Features Two Bickering Parakeets

Those of us who share our homes with multiple birds know that bickering among the flock can be par for the course. Artist Greg Capin gives his own spin on the chatter among birds with his humorous animated YouTube series, The Parakeets.

blue-and-gold macaws

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: The Urban Birds Project–Macaws In The City Of Campo Grande, Brazil

Lafeber’s latest Conservation Spotlight takes us to the metropolitan city of Campo Grande, Brazil, where the Instituto Arara Azul is helping wild blue & golds and other macaws thrive in the city. As human encroachment consumes many parrot species’ native lands, helping them thrive in the city environments that encircle them is an innovative idea, and perhaps a critical one for the survival of some parrot species.

Goffin's cockato

Cockatoos Learn To Golf In New Study

A new study by the Goffin Lab at the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna’s University of Veterinary Medicine gives new meaning to the golf term “Birdie” — Goffin’s cockatoos who know how to putt-putt to score a prized cashew reward.

cockatiel

Ollie The Cockatiel Takes On Epic Fundraising Trek Across New Zealand

Ollie the rescue cockatiel, with his colorful hand-knitted outfits, is off on an epic adventure. He and his human steward, Robyn Chappell, are trekking across New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail to raise awareness and money for the trail’s maintenance. See how this special-needs ‘tiel is warming hearts along the way.

blue footed boobie bird

Texas Woman Sets Bird-Watching Record & Aims To Make Birding Safer For Women

In the birding community, a “big year” is a personal challenge to identify as many species of birds as possible by sight or sound, within a single calendar year and within a specific geographic area. Texas native Tiffany Kersten not only set the record for the youngest woman to spot 700 bird species in the Lower 48 states, but she also made it her mission to make birding a safer activity for women by gifting personal safety alarms, fittingly called Birdie alarms, to women she encounters on her birding adventures.

Amazon parrot

Male Or Female? Your Bird’s Gender Goes Beyond Naming

Do you know your bird’s sex? Unlike cats and dogs, many popular parrot companions can be surprisingly hard to tell the difference between males and females by looking at them. Find out why knowing your bird’s sex can positively affect its health and well-being, and help you better understand your bird’s behaviors.

aviary

Utah High School Is All About The Birds With Its Groundbreaking Aviary

The sky’s the limit for learning about birds in this Utah high school, where students have the opportunity to learn about birds and participate in their daily care. Take a look inside the school’s fledgling, one-of-its-kind aviary, and meet the teacher who hatched the plan to bring birds into students’ lives in this Lafeber exclusive.

bird robot

Meet SNAG, The Flying Avian Robot

Many of us know parrotlets as one of the smallest parrot species, often referred to as “pocket parrots” in the world of companion parrots. Recently, these tiny dynamos were used as inspiration behind an innovative drone — essentially a flying robot that can land and perch on a variety of surfaces just like a bird.

Winter Prep For Backyard Birding

You can help the wild birds outside your home navigate the challenges of winter months by offering the basics: food, water, and a place to take shelter. Follow these tips to make the colder months easier for your feathered backyard guests.

African grey; parrot and toy

Companion Parrots Need Busy Work To Thrive

A new study that included an online survey of nearly 1,400 pet parrots representing 50 species shed light on abnormal parrot behaviors like biting cage bars, pacing in the cage, and pulling out feathers. Researchers from the University of Guelph, University of Bristol, and Utrecht University drew on results from a 1990 study that looked at negative parrot behavior, and their results further support what other studies have pointed to — that foraging and other enrichment opportunities are essential to companion parrots’ well-being.

cockatoo

Helping Australia’s Gang-Gang Cockatoos Bounce Back

The colorful and petite gang-gang cockatoo might soon be listed as a threatened species after Australia’s recent bushfire disasters further reduced the cockatoo’s population. To help counteract the gang-gang’s declining numbers, Australia’s Eurobodalla Shire Council is joining the effort to save them by building artificial breeding hollows to replace the natural sites lost in the region. Learn more about this parrot that is adored by locals and the push to save them.

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: Guatemala & the Scarlet Macaw

Lafeber’s latest Conservation Spotlight takes us to Guatemala, where the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has strived to help macaws by building nesting sites, monitoring fledging rates to determine macaw population, and growing support from the surrounding community through education and outreach programs.

cockatoo

Crafty Cockatoos Make Their Own Utensils

Researchers at the Tanimbar Goffin Lab, located in Indonesia, noticed that some wild cockatoos were able to extract seeds from fruit found on the ground. When they brought the fruit back to their lab for their captive cockatoos, they observed the birds making their own tools to access and eat the fruits’ best parts. Learn how these smart ‘toos created their own three-part utensil set.

Kea parrot

Kea Parrot With a Broken Beak Finds Ingenious Way to Preen

A partially beak-less Kea parrot in New Zealand, affectionately referred to as Bruce, appears to know the importance of self-care. Ground-breaking scientific observation has shown that this special alpine parrot has taught himself to use tools, namely pebbles, for grooming.

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