Genetic Engineering: New Hope For Rare Species?

With so many animals and birds recorded on a globally registered watch list of endangered species, there are those that could be gone from us within the blink of an eye. Discover how emerging biological and preservation technologies currently being developed might be a way of saving endangered species.

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Birds for St. Patrick’s Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 17 each year, here’s a look at one popular bird in Ireland – the Northern lapwing ‑ as well as some parrots whose plumage will make us all green with envy. While Ireland doesn’t have an official national bird (yet!), the northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) — also referred […]

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Congo African Grey, African grey, Grey, African Gray

How Dr. Pepperberg Taught Parrots To Use Speech Appropriately

Early on in her behavioral research with Alex the African grey, Dr. Irene Pepperberg began incorporating what she refers to as the model/rival (M/R) system to teach a parrot how to speak and how to use speech appropriately, which also allows the bird to verbally communicate requests.

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More Birds With Dr. Seuss-Like Looks

For the most part, Dr. Seuss’s birds look familiar, but their feathers and shapes are best described as otherworldly. We’ve previously shared some real-life birds that look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book, here are some more fantastical Dr. Seuss-like birds to check out.

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Parrots Find Creative Ways To Delay Bedtime

With cognitive abilities matching that of a 5-6 year old, African grey parrots can likewise come up with some creative distractions to delay bedtime. This month, Dr. Pepperberg gives us a look back at the bedtime antics of Alex the African grey, as well as how current greys Griffin and Athena attempt to throw a wrench in attempts at a good night routine.

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Orange-bellied Parrot

Hatching Success for Orange-Bellied Parrots

With its wild population numbers critically low, the orange-bellied parrot, one of Australia’s rarest birds, stands on the brink of extinction. Fortunately, the Healsville Sanctuary, which spans over 74 acres of native Australian landscape, had one of its most successful breeding seasons. See what the sanctuary is doing to save this little parrot.

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Parrots Can Play Mind Games

The Best Laid Plans….  Nonscientists think that research always goes according to plan, that nothing unexpected ever happens. Of course, anyone who lives with a parrot might know otherwise, and that person would be correct. It’s not a common occurrence, but every once in awhile, our birds surprise us, and although many times the surprise […]

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Macaw Project

“The Macaw Project” Documentary Takes Flight

The internet has become an embedded force for many things since its worldwide adoption. It has become a powerful economic base, as well as an unmatched forum for knowledge. There is little doubt as to the bad that has occurred since its acceptance. But there can be no denial of the extraordinary good that has […]

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Physics of Bird Flight Inspire Scientists

Science has made life a different experience for many in the world. That includes the many creatures within its helpful sphere that has benefited from advancements that have significantly improved their lives. From the physical aspects of those science-led advancements like 3D printing of beaks, feet, and shells, to the dedicated study of specialized areas […]

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Parrot Conservation Surprise Challenge: Bees

When Dr. Caroline Efstathion learned that a major problem for parrots in South America and Africa is Africanized honey bees taking over their nesting cavities, she seized the opportunity to combine her passion for parrots and knowledge of entomology to help find a solution.

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The Night Parrot: Nocturnal Rarity

In an age where miracles seem to be rare, it’s always great to witness one unfold and the steps taken to create a happy story about them. Until recently, it was thought that the Night Parrot, indigenous to Australia, was a long gone bird lost to the tragedy of extinction. Since that assumption (made because […]

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Feather Duster Budgies

Mutations, despite their rare appearances in nature, are, nevertheless, strange things that happen with DNA being assaulted by many things. Oddly, the mutations when they occur (with few exceptions) are recurrent. One such super rare mutation is what is known as the Feather Duster budgie. A budgie is an accepted term for what is known […]

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Flight & Exercises To Keep Your Bird Moving

To truly be healthy and fit, our birds need regular exercise in addition to a wholesome and balanced diet. Of course, for birds, flying is the optimal form of exercise. But is free flight a safe option for every companion bird? Are there alternatives?

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scarlet macaw; rainbow macaw; red macaw; red parrot; scarlet parrot

Free Flight: Lessons from ExoticsCon

One trending topic among avian veterinarians is the correlation between flight and bird health. Specifically, having a companion bird fly can help maintain cardiac, vascular, muscular, and mental health.

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Vampire Finches & Ghost Birds

October is the spooky time of the year, so it is befitting to learn about two peculiar topics related to the world of birds: vampire finches and ghost birds. Yes, there is a finch that drinks blood, but humans need not run. And what is a ghost bird … curious?

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Dr. Pepperberg Dishes On Parrots & Preening

Parrots often solicit humans by putting their heads down and rubbing against their humans’ fingers; some will even learn to request “Tickle,” “Scritch,” or “Scratch.” Despite being subjects of scientific study, the birds in my lab are no exception, and they have influenced their trainers’ behavior in some striking ways.

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Presley the Spix’s Macaw Legacy

Revisit the remarkable story of Presley, the rare Spix’s macaw found living as a pet parrot in Colorado and then repatriated to Brazil to help save his species from the brink of extinction. Presley passed away in 2014 but scientists hope to use new technology to keep his legacy alive.

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Bird Vets Flock To Portland For ExoticsCon 2016

Exotic medicine was in the spotlight recently when the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) met in Portland for ExoticsCon 2016. One trend seen among avian veterinarians is an increase in pet birds presenting with metabolic bone disease, one form of which includes osteoporosis.

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The World’s Oldest Cockatoo Passes Away: Celebrating Cookie

The Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo – and countless fans near and far ‑ are mourning the loss the zoo’s most beloved and well-known resident, Cookie, the 83-year-old Major Mitchell’s cockatoo, who passed away on August 27, 2016. Cookie was certified by Guinness World Records as the oldest living parrot and was the zoo’s last original member when it first opened in 1934.

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New Pepperberg Parrot Research: Recognizing 2d Objects

Dr. Irene Pepperberg, who famously worked with Alex the African grey parrot on documenting parrot intelligence, recently released new research focused on results of her work with African grey parrot Griffin.

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Finches Talk To Their Eggs & Other Fascinating Bird News

Check out these intriguing bird-centric stories, which range from parrots playing video games to zebra finches telling their eggs when to hatch to how the males of a bird species called the southern pied babble favor their own biological male chicks over their “stepchicks.”

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Beyond the Olympics: Birding in Brazil

Brazil boasts over 1,825 species with others being discovered or named continually. Brazil is considered one of the planet’s richest centers of biodiversity and represents 60% of the species found on the South American continent! As you root for our young athletes at the Olympics, you can think about — and maybe participate in — Brazil’s vast ecotourism to help parrots continue to live in its wilds.

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From Pub To Parrot Aviary & Zoo

Compassion for creatures abandoned or lost is a beautiful thing when it is in full display. Many feel the pinch of sadness to learn of an animal with no home. But with limited resources, the ability to assist in extraordinary ways is usually not an available option. However, there are some that find it impossible […]

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Wild Spix Macaw Sighting

One of the rarest and most endangered parrots, the Spix macaw, was recently spotted in in its native Brazil. With a population estimated to be less than 100, all of which are in captivity, this exciting discovery of a Spix in the wild gives hope to the Spix’s survival.

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A Safe & Sane Fourth of July For Your Bird

If your bird startles at the sound of a slammed door, car alarm or other loud, unexpected noise, the Fourth of July might not be the easiest holiday for your feathered friend to handle. Here are some preemptive steps to take to help your bird remain stress-free around Independence Day.

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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Pet Parrots & Ground Foraging

Parrots in the wild spend good part of the day on foot looking for items to munch. And so it stands to reason that the parrots in our homes might also enjoy walking on their own two feet to see what they can find. Here are some tips for creating a bottom play and foraging area for your pet bird.

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Rosemary Low Teaches Us Parrot Enrichment

It was a moment in time! That time was to spend time with Rosemary Low, an amazing British aviculturist, ornithologist and conservationist. She is one of the most knowledgeable in the world on parrots and I got to spend several days with her! Her enthusiasm for all things parrots and birds in general is infectious. […]

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3D Technology Offers New Lease On Life

Not too long ago, a bird with a broken-off beak or a tortoise with a destroyed shell would have a poor prognosis. Fortunately, advances in science and technology are giving us creative options for helping sick and injured animals.

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Parrots As Service Animals

Everyone has heard about the use of highly trained dogs as “service animals” meant to assist people with disabilities. These dogs have a long history of intense training in order to provide a wealth of specialty services. Such services allow for a disabled individual to navigate the world in ways that their disability might not […]

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Blue herring

Bird Conservation Yesterday & Today

It is time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty, which essentially put bird conservation in motion in the United States and changed how we treat our native birds.

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U.K. Boy Raises Money For Parrots

The world is a big place. In the course of its passing through time (and us with it), it’s filled – unfortunately – with shares of problems that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Among those issues are physical and mental disabilities that cross all spectrums of affliction. But we’re not the […]

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Lost Conure Lands On TV Reporter

Everybody knows the awful feeling of the loss of anything. But the loss of another living thing is horrifying. There is a sense of detachment and uncertainty blended with a heavy dose of dread. The fear of never seeing something that lives in your life again is…well, disabling. That’s what happened to Michelle Mills, an […]

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Rockstar Cockatoo

It’s not everyday that a parrot’s Instagram account garners 14,000 fans in just a month’s time. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Iggy Pop, frontman for the influential proto-punk band The Stooges, recently created an Instagram account for his Moluccan Cockatoo, Biggy Pop, who has taken over social media as only a cockatoo can do.

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Transform Your Bird’s Cage From Drab to Fab

Minimizing Messes Dog and cat owners have to deal with shed fur. For pet-bird owners, it’s the challenge of cage fallout — namely food, toys and shed feathers,. Fortunately, many cage accessories are designed with mess management in mind The Sand Perch, from the JW Pet, for example encourages birds to perch more toward the middle […]

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An Egg’s Incredible Journey

The Incredible Egg, Symbol of Spring From ancient times to the present, humans have seen the egg as a symbol of birth, fertility, and life. For example, our modern day Easter Rabbit brings chocolate eggs and painted eggs to children, a custom rooted in eggs’ symbolism for life and resurrection, both in pagan and Christian […]

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Real Birds That Look Like A Dr. Seuss Character

Dr. Seuss’s books are filled with an assortment of animal characters — including birds — drawn in a distinct Seuss style. Here are some spectacular real-life bird species that look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book!

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quaker parrot; quaker parakeet

Be Your Bird’s “Wingman”

Are you good at providing support when your bird is around other people, be it visitors to the home or even among household members who might not have as strong a bond with your bird? Here are five signs of a good wingman as it pertains to the feathered kind.

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yellow and blue macaw; blue-and-gold macaw

“Healthy” Foods Your Bird Should Stop Eating Today

Many of the foods we think are healthy aren’t 100% so. In fact, some start to creep into to the unhealthy category if we overindulge. When we offer some of these seemingly healthy foods to our birds we might be serving our feathered companions a potential overload of sugar, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients.

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Bald eagle, eagle

How America’s Bird Came To Be

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson all wanted a say in in creating a seal that would represent the newly founded United States of America. That honor, of course, ultimately went to the bald eagle … but why did Benjamin Franklin want a different bird?

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Sun Conure

A Healthy Year Ahead For Your Pet Bird

This is the time of year to make New Year’s resolutions and many involve fitness and health. So what about your bird friend? What type of resolution for them? We want them to be fit and healthy as well, so what are the bullet points to achieve that goal?

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Tech Gadgets for Pet Bird Owners

Did you get one of the top-selling tech holiday gifts this season? Big box retailer Best Buy did a consumer survey of the most sought-after tech gadgets heading into Black Friday and Cyber Monday this past holiday season, which range from iPads to GoPros . Following is a sampling of top gadgets that might prove especially helpful to pet bird enthusiasts and why.

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The Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Time: Remember Your Outdoor Birds This holiday time of year is a busy time – gift gathering and giving and lots of things to choose from for us humans and our birds. While our “inside” birds are tucked into their warm cages, we might gaze out the window and wonder about our “outside“ birds! […]

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Turkeys, Turkey, Wild Turkey

Fill Up On Turkey Trivia

Turkeys rule the month of November, but there’s more to this magnificent bird than being the main course! Learn what foods attract wild turkeys and get your fill on other turkey trivia.

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Protect Your Pet Bird From Mold

Is There a Fungus Among Us? Many people have heard of black mold. There are important health concerns for us with this mold that grows in our homes. The organism is Stachybotrys chartarum. This mold is extremely dangerous to humans due to its release of a mycotoxin. This organism appears as a greenish-black mold that […]

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Military macaw; Ara militaris

Macaws Get U.S. Fish & Wildlife Protection

  For many species, the threat of extinction is a real one. And for many of us, we are usually unaware of the absolute disappearance of any creature when the last animal has taken its last breath. It is when such animals and other organisms are no longer able to adapt to a continually changing […]

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Do Parrots Get Depressed?

We’ve all heard the stories of dogs that go into a depressive state due to the passing of an owner, and accounts of anxiety often seen in some animals when owners are gone for an extended time. In fact, there are extensive studies on such behavioral issues where an animal is concerned. A simple Internet […]

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Budgies, Cockatiels & Lovebirds Are Parrots Too!

Here’s a look at some common small bird myths and facts.

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budgie, parakeet

Why Parrots Can Talk

From budgerigars to African Greys to macaws, nine parrot species in a university study reveal why certain bird species are better at imitating sounds than other birds. Hint: It’s got a lot to do with the structure of the brain.

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Toucan

A Printed Prosthetic For A Damaged Beak

A brave toucan named Tieta can eat again thanks a special collaboration between the South American wildlife management group Instituto Vida Livre and three Brazilian universities determined to give her a new start in life. See what her 3D printable beak looks like and how she’s learning to use it!

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A Longer Life For Your Pet Bird

3 Ways To Extend Your Bird’s Life Expectancy Recent research out of the U.K. suggests that even small changes to our diets can have significant impact on our health. For example, little tweaks like eating less red meat and savory snacks like chips and eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can reduce our odds of developing […]

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See What Sets Bird Hospitals Apart

Susan Horton, DVM, takes us on a tour of her labor of love — the recently opened Chicago Exotics Hospital.

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Black headed Caique

5 Ways You Freak Your Pet Bird Out

If you don’t understand the instincts, needs, and anatomy of your parrot friend, problems can quickly arise. Interrupting your bird’s snooze time or switching food abruptly are just two ways you can ruin your bird’s day. Learn what not to do so both you and your bird live harmoniously.

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Vaccines & Pet Birds

Do pet birds need vaccines? See what the latest avian research reveals.

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10 Things Bird Owners Do That Others Find Baffling

Life with a feathered companion calls for doing things a bit differently, which non-bird people might find baffling. Here are 10 Things Bird Owners Do That Others Will Never Understand.

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Macaws, blue-and-gold macaw, blue & gold, scarlet macaw

Adventure Awaits: Bird-Watching Tours

From South America and Central America to Africa and Indonesia — and just about everywhere in between — there are hundreds of bird-watching tours to choose from and each offers a unique adventure in birding. Here’s a glimpse of a few travel options where you can see parrots and other birds in their natural habitats.

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Blast From The Past Pet Bird Products

From colorful assortments of toys and playgyms to healthy diets and treats, there are plenty of bird-centric offerings to choose from to meet your bird’s many needs. Here’s a fun look at “off the beaten path” bird products from years bygone.

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Capturing The Beauty of Birds

One of the many ways that we appreciate our birds of nature is by photography of them in the wild. Since 2010, The National Audubon Society has held an annual Photography Awards, inviting aspiring photographers to participate, namely those who are willing to wait for that once in a lifetime shot.

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Psittacus erithacus erithacus, African grey parrot, African gray, grey parrot, gray parrot

Spring Cleaning Tips For Bird Owners

Check out these easy “Spring Clean” tips and tricks every pet bird enthusiast should try.

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Budgie, budgerigar, parakeet, 'keet

A Unique Feather Color Mutation

Perhaps you’ve seen a “mash-up” video, where two or more recordings/elements are blended to create a new version. Nature has its own type of “mash-up” that can happen during the early embryonic stages of chick development. The result of this rare but natural phenomenon is referred to as a “half-sider” bird.

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quaker parakeet, quaker parrot, monk parakeet, monk parrot

Types of Parrot Play

Every bird has a play personality — from explorer to destroyer, and many more. Knowing your bird’s style of play can help you zero in on the types of toys and interactions your bird enjoys most.

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parrot flapping wings

Pet Bird Home Hazards

Looking for a reason to update some of your home furnishings? Here are a few suggestions for swapping out potentially dangerous household furnishings with more bird-friendly designs.

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Photo of the Pionus Parrot

5 Ways Parrots Rule Our Roosts

With a parrot you have a pet companion with the intelligence — and the mischievousness — of a young child, which can make for an interesting family dynamic. Here’s lighthearted look at the ways our feathered friends can rule our own roosts.

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Princess-of-Wales Parakeet

Meet The Princess of Wales Parakeet

Not too many parrots have royal titles, which is just one way the Princess of Wales Parakeet (Polyteles alexandrae) stands out. This medium-sized, pastel-colored parrot with a long tail is native to Australia and is named after a real princess. Find out what this positively pretty bird is all about.

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Congo African Grey, African grey, Grey, African Gray

Bird Brains are Not that Simple!

Check out this scientific look at the mind of parrots, and learn a whole new meaning for “birdbrain.”

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Fun Days To Celebrate With Your Pet Bird

Just about every week of every month has a special day of recognition for a specific group, cause or theme —the topics of which range from serious to silly; here are some interesting lesser-known National Designation Days that seem especially apropos for pet bird enthusiasts.

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toucan, toco toucan

New Technology Allows For A “Printable” Beak

The future of 3D printing is quite exciting — and it can even help our feathered friends. In fact, 3D printing might just be a lifesaver for this friendly toucan!

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blue-and-gold macaw; blue & gold, military macaw, green macaw

How Feathers Color Our World

Colors give off psychological properties that can affect the way we feel. Read more about how birds’ colors grab our attention.

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Celebrating 25 Years of Nutri-Berries!

It’s official — Nutri-Berries have been making pet birds happier and healthier one Nutri-Berry at a time for 25 years now! It’s hard to imagine the pre-Nutri-Berries world … all those bland diets made offering balanced nutrition an exercise in frustration. Fortunately, Nutri-Berries changed all that.

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Follow This Stay-Healthy Plan For Your Pet Bird

If you’re a to-do list person or one who needs a little reminding every now and then, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a month-by-month list of suggestions —and gentle nudges — to help you help your pet bird in the year ahead.

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cockatiel

Is Your Pet Bird A Healthy Weight?

Ever stop to think what type of shape your bird is in? Is he or she underweight, overweight or within normal weight … not sure? Find out what you can do to check your bird’s muscle mass.

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5 Reasons To Adopt A Pet Bird

Here are five reasons why you should consider the adoption option if you are thinking about welcoming a feathered friend into your heart and home.

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Christmas Traditions For The Birds

Did you know that Scandinavians countries celebrate Christmas with an offering of food for the wild birds? Or the reason why the cardinal is incorporated into so many holiday motifs? Check out this special look at birds’ unique connections to the holidays.

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cockatiel, 'tiel

Winter Prep For Your Bird

We get warm and fuzzy feelings when we think of being home for the holidays. Those of us with pet birds want to provide them the same feelings of comfort and coziness. This can be the time to work on making their cage “home” a more comfortable place for the winter, as well as a […]

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cockatiel, singing cockatiel, cockatiel sounds

Cockatiel Behavior: Brilliantly Baffling

Cockatiels can be every bit a parrot as their larger counterparts — friendly and outgoing to snugly and gentle — no wonder these little feathered companions are America’s Top Bird. But ever stop to think if your cockatiel is normal?

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budgerigar, parakeet, budgie

Bird-Inspired Prose

There are many avenues where inspiration travels. When fiction, music, film, and expressed thought have need of new ideas, the many wonders of the world are there to provide them. And while there are many negative approaches inside much of what we see and read today, there are fair shares of beauty to help even […]

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A Special Place For Green-Winged Macaws in Brazil

Dr. Susan Orosz takes us on a journey to Brazil’s Pantanal region, home to macaws, Amazons, conures, toco toucans and other birds. This time around, we learn about a special oasis for green-winged macaws called Buraco das Araras. Find out what sets this unique preserve apart — and why it’s nicknamed the “Macaws’ Hole.”

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5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Bird’s Day

While we all want the best for our feathered friends, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day routines that we overlook the things that can make our birds’ day. Think about all the seemingly small gestures and things that go into making your day a little brighter, like getting a funny YouTube video forwarded from […]

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bird on pumpkin

What Scares Your Pet Bird

A few of their scariest things …

Halloween is just around the corner. We are scared of zombies and ghosts, and perhaps even the thought of a whole community of children eating sugar. But what’s scary to your small companion bird?

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A Microchip Can Bring Your Lost Bird Home

The story of Nigel, the African grey parrot that returned home speaking Spanish, is a good example of how a microchip can facilitate a happy reunion for lost pet.

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Top 5 Pet Peeves From Your Avian Retailer

On a given day, your avian retailer has a variety of people perusing the aisles, from those new to birds to those who’ve had birds for years. Ever wonder what challenges those who run a bird store sometimes face? Check out these Five Top Pet Peeves from an avian retailer.

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Macaws & Other Parrots of the Pantanal, Brazil

Avian veterinarian Dr. Susan Orosz takes us on her journey to Brazil’s Pantanal region, the world’s largest tropical wetland and home to myriad species of parrots living in the wild, including the hyacinth macaw.

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Pacific parrotlets, pocket parrot, tiny parrot

Five Types of Bird Friends

We all need friends. And life is even better if a few of your friends have some of the same interests as you. Better yet is knowing others who share in your love and appreciation of birds. Check out these five types of friends you might buddy up with as you navigate life with a feathered companion.

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African grey parrot; African gray

Is Your Bird Ready To Fly?

Birds are the ultimate flying machines, with truly remarkable aerial feats. Part of what draws us to birds is the fact that they can fly; it is part of a bird’s unique makeup. While parrots can fly, there are certainly differences in the way they fly, and not all parrots are equally adept at flying.

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10 Ways To Celebrate Your Bird

Being a bird person affects your life in so many ways. You prepare your meals with your bird in mind, and you pay attention to the type of cookware you use to keep your bird safe from toxins. You put extra effort into efficiently tackling your to-do lists so you have more time to spend relaxing with the flock. Here are 10 more ways to throw some love your bird’s way.

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Tips To Manage Your Pet Bird’s Mess

In addition to tried-and-true cage maintenance products, there are additional ways to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your feather companion. With some simple pre-planning and regular maintenance, you’ll be able to put your feet up and enjoy more one-on-one time with your bird.

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Pet Birds Vs. Dogs

Here’s a fun look at some of the advantages bird companions have to canine companions and vice versa.

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Nanday Conure

How To Find A Pet Bird Sitter

As much as you love your companion bird, it can’t go everywhere with you. If the trip will be too hectic or stressful or to a location where a pet bird is not welcome, you’ll need to leave your bird in the care of someone else. But how do you find a person willing and, more importantly, capable of caring for your feathered friend?

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Food for Cockatiels

3 Tricks Your Cockatiel Can Do

Small birds like the friendly and outgoing cockatiel can be taught to do behaviors on cue — and It’s easier than you think. Our small companion birds have many natural behaviors that lend themselves nicely to trick training. Better yet, the very act of teaching your pet cockatiel to do a specific task/trick upon request means that the two of you will spend some fun, one-on-one time together.

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Feather Trims & Other Summer Safety Info.

Summer is a fun time to share with your bird and so I wanted to pass along some summer tips to make the time more enjoyable.

While we all want to get out of the house this time of year, how should we do that successfully with our companion birds?

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Liz with black Palm Cockatoo

A Retreat All About The Bird Brain

The Phoenix Landing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit all-volunteer organization. dedicated to promoting and protecting the welfare of parrots, recently hosted a Wellness Retreat for pet bird enthusiasts. The event was extra special as it also honored the late Liz Wilson, who was a pioneer in parrot behavior and spent a large part of her life teaching what she knew to bird owners, her fellow vet techs and avian veterinarians.

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