Category: Everyday

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.

caique portrait

Could a Pet Parrot Be Happy in Captivity?

Is it possible for a pet parrot to be as happy in captivity as they would be in the wild? Is parrot ownership more like prison … or could it be like a happy, perpetual childhood experience? As a bird mom to three cockatoos and a parrotlet, it is a question with which I wrestle […]

male normal gray cockatiel

New Bird? 5 Ways To Get Off To A Great Start

Have a new bird, or know someone about to welcome a bird into his or her life? Setting a bird up for success as a companion pet has a lot to do with the right interactions. Learn what you should do — and not do — those first few weeks after bringing a pet bird home. Get on the right track with your pet bird, and maintain a mutually respectful relationship for the years ahead with these helpful tips to welcome a new bird into the home.

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.

cockatoo

Teach Your Bird to Communicate “Yes” and “No”

We like to make our own choices when it comes to what we eat, what we do for entertainment and everything in between. What if we could extend this power to our parrots — give them the ability to communicate what they want and what they don’t want? Here’s a step-by-step approach to teaching your bird to communicate “Yes” or “No.”

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.

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?

African grey

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: When Parrots Speak Their Mind…Or Not

If you are the director of a world-famous animal cognitive behavior research lab, what do you do when your feathered diva doesn’t follow directions? Dr. Irene Pepperberg and her assistants start by having African grey Athena watch her flockmate Griffin perform a requested task with the hope that she’ll be inspired to model his behavior. When that fails, see how Athena has her own way of proving just how smart parrots are.

African greys on beach set

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Fun Fundraising Featuring The Parrots

Devising new ways to test parrots’ cognitive skills is the exciting part of Dr. Irene Pepperberg and her staff’s work. The challenging part is finding the exact words to sum up a study — and the even more challenging part is finding creative ways to inspire people to donate to help fund the lab’s research. Fortunately, the parrots can usually be relied upon to “lend a wing” to the cause. African grey Griffin and his fellow greys have been going on epic “outings” to inspire donors to flock to the lab’s Facebook and Tumbler pages.

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.

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

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.

dr. irene pepperberg

Parrots In Need & War Veterans Bond At Serenity Park

  My topic this month is quite a bit different than usual. Rather than a report of the activities of the parrots in the Pepperberg Lab, it revolves around a visit I took to a very interesting place just about two years ago. The place is called Serenity Park, and it is the subject of […]

Zebra Finch

Birds’ Amazing Physical Powers

If you’re a bird lover, you’ll especially find these bird-focused articles worth a read, as they showcase more bird superpowers!

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.

African grey parrot on a perch

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Do Parrots Understand Probability?

To test a parrot’s ability to understand probability, Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s cognitive behavior research lab recently presented African grey parrot Griffin with a task similar to what a 6-8 year-old child might be tasked to do — using three of one item and one of another, if one item was removed, what was the removed item likely to be? Griffin’s answers might surprise you.

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.

African grey, African grey parrot, grey parrot

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: African Grey Griffin Speaks His Mind

As companion animals, parrots are unique in that they can use human language to verbally communicate with us. Dr. Irene Pepperberg knows first-hand the advantages of working with such communicative subjects. African grey Griffin, for example, can verbalize requests to Dr. Pepperberg and her research assistants, such as when he wants to go back to the cage (“Wanna go back”) or sit with them (“Wanna go chair”). But this command of words also creates some interesting dilemmas on how to talk in front of a parrot that understands what you are saying.

Green-winged macaw and cockatoo, red macaw, cockatoo

Healthy Habits We Can Learn From Our Birds

Looking for some healthy habits to try in the year ahead? Good news! Chances are you have your very own health coach living with you right now — look no further than your feathered friend!

african grey parrot

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Prepping For A Film Crew Visit

Inviting a film crew into a research lab devoted to the study of cognitive behavior in parrots involves not only prepping the lab, but the parrots and the filmmakers. Dr. Irene Pepperberg shares her account of having a film crew join her in the lab.

Galapagos finch

Darwin’s Finches Continue to Evolve

Darwin’s Finches of the Galapagos Islands are giving scientists the unique and amazing chance to watch evolution in progress, all in a single lifetime!

Alala crow

Meet Hawaii’s Crow

Conservationists are working hard to save Hawaii’s endangered crow, the Alala, which disappeared from the wild years ago. Captive breeding offers hope that one day Alalas will fly free again, and a major step to that happened recently.

hummingbirds eating from feeder

Hummingbirds Inspire

Learn how an assistant researcher became a hummingbird whisperer. She shares her tips to keep hummingbirds healthy and happy.

Parrot

Newsworthy Bird Stories

Do a Google news search with the key words “parrot” or “bird.” You might be treated to some fascinating and downright entertaining bird stories — perfect topics to read aloud to your pet bird!

Bird on a hammock

San Francisco Bird Hotel Caters to Feathered Clientele

It’s no surprise that dogs and cats have fancy spas and boarding facilities to cater to their every need, but birds? The San Francisco Bird Hotel offers just that — a spa and resort built just for the birds. See how this hotel for the birds came to be and how it caters to its feathered clientele.

Hurricane Harvey Water Damage

Lafeber Helps Birds Displaced by Recent Hurricanes

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey still affects many Texans, including some pet bird owners. Read a first-hand account of flooding in a Houston home, and how Lafeber Company and a circle of donors are helping by sending bird food.

budgerigar, parakeet, budgie

Back-to-School Shopping For Your Pet Bird

End of summer means school is back in session; a time when stores are full of school essentials. See how some basic school supplies can help up your game when it comes to caring for your pet bird.

Gentoo Penguins

Audubon Celebrates Birds

Winners of the eighth annual Audubon Photography Awards are here! Check out snuggly penguins, a crashing owl, and many more incredible photos of birds!

African grey parrot

Why Parrots Are So Smart

In recent decades, studies are revealing how birds’ brains work. Learn how their brains are similar and different from mammal brains, and how different bird types have different brains.

cockatoo figurines

Bird Art On The Auction Block

If you’re an art-loving bird enthusiast, an auction house is one avenue for scoring an endearing work of bird art. Parrot-inspired sculptures range from inexpensive to extravagant.

Macaw showing hearts in Minecraft game

Fictitious Birds Should Eat Healthy Too

The Minecraft video game had a parrot problem — the parrot characters were fed chocolate chip cookies! See which movie parrots were also fed no-no foods.

Cornell Mural

Bird Mural Depicts Avian History

Be amazed by the huge bird mural at Cornell University. It depicts birds across the world in their true sizes, and a website lets you interact with it.

Reed warbler cuckoo feeding a much larger chick

Birds That Deceive To Get Ahead

The first day of April is notable mostly because that is the day of the year where pranks and deception rule the day. With that theme in mind, there are plenty of instances in nature where animals have evolved to be deceptive as a survival tactic. Here’s a look at bird species that use trickery to get ahead.

Northern Lapwing walking on the shore

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.

Congo African Grey Parrot on a cage

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.

Tauraco erythrolophus By Gary J. Wood

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.

Dr Pepperberg Griffin

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.

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.

African grey parrot on a perch

Parrots Can Play Mind Games

Research with parrots leads to some unexpected results. Some pleasant, like learning words that weren’t trained, and some unpleasant, like acting out.

Caroline Efstathion Parrot Conservation

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.

Night Parrot in a bush

The Night Parrot: Nocturnal Rarity

Recently, a few people with a passion for finding the rare Night Parrot of Australia have documented proof of its existence, ending rumors of its extinction.

Standing Feather Duster Budgie

Feather Duster Budgies

The Feather Duster Budgie is a mutation that might make you doubt a bird is inside all the curly, overgrown feathers.

Cockatoos flying free in blue sky

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?

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.

Vampire finch perched on a bird

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?

African Grey Parrot being pet

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.

Spixs Macaw sitting on a tree

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.

Dr. Scott Echols with Drs. Nico Schoemaker and Yvonne Van Zeeland at the Lafeber booth at ExoticsCon in Portland, Oregon.

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.

The world's oldest Cockatoo

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.

Four Zebra Finches sitting on a branch

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.”

Hyancinth sitting in a tree

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.

macaw in aviary

From Pub To Parrot Aviary & Zoo

Andy Cowell and his wife found a way to help more homeless animals than ever before by taking over a closed down, historic pub to make it a zoo and aviary.

Spixs Macaw sitting on a tree

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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