Category: Everyday

rainbow lorikeet (pied mutation) on ground

Spotting a Rare Beauty: Pied Mutation Rainbow Lorikeet

If you live in Australia, it’s not unusual to spot native parrot species foraging in your yard. New South Wales resident Jayde Parrey, for one, is used to seeing rainbow lorikeets, but one member of a recent flock of 20 parrots certainly stood out for it was an unusually colored rainbow lorikeet. Learn more about this special lorikeet.

blue-and-gold macaws on tree

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: Bolivia

Wild parrot conservation groups are working hard to protect a wide diversity of parrot species. Lafeber is committed to helping as well with our Global Parrot conservation grant. This month’s spotlight takes us to Bolivia, South America, where the Conservación del Loro Boliviano Foundation is fighting to save macaws and other parrot species.

wild bird perched on branch during snow

“Twitching” is Bird Watching at Its Extreme

There’s birding, and then there’s an extreme form of birding referred to as “twitching,” where enthusiasts are willing to brave the elements, the costs and other obstacles to catch a glimpse of a rare bird in the wild. Learn the story behind the “twitchers” name and the lengths they are willing to go to see a feathered beauty in nature.

Starling Murmuration

Starling Murmurations: A Sight to Behold

A starling murmuration is a sight to behold. Those lucky to stumble upon a murmuration are witness to an aerial ballet of thousands of birds moving in unison, individual birds blending into a moving mass that appears to morph into different shapes.

robin wild bird

New Study Shows Birds Bring Happiness

A new study affirms what many of us bird enthusiasts already sense—wild birds give us an emotional boost. Seeing and hearing the variety of birds in our neighborhoods can make us happier, especially when we choose to engage with them by offering food and creating a safe and inviting habitat to visit.

sun conure

New Year, New Resolutions for You & Your Bird

A new year is upon us, and with that comes new motivations for the 12 months ahead. We can use this time to think of ways we can make our lives and the lives of our feathered friends more enriched, less stressful, and healthier.

conure

Celebrate National Pet Bird Day!

Dogs get their day, cats do too. Now it’s our feathered companions turn—September 17 is National Pet Bird Day. It’s time to celebrate our birdie family members—here are some fun ideas to get you started!

African grey parrot on man's shoulder

Artist & His African Grey Parrot Pair Up To Sculpt One-Of-Kind Pieces

A parrot’s penchant for chewing things up is nothing new. Think of all the cardboard and/or wood items your bird has destroyed throughout your time together! What is new is a famed artist turning a parrot’s “masterpiece of destruction” into museum-quality sculptures. Joseph Havel, whose works have been exhibited in prestigious galleries around the world, looked no further than his African grey companion, Hannah, to create a collection of pieces that are now on display at a gallery in Houston. Learn how this collaborative effort between an artist and parrot came to be.

Iggy Pop's cockatoo posed in room that has couch, window, and guitar in behind the parrot

Iconic Musician & Cockatoo Put Their Fame To Good Use

Biggy Pop is not your average cockatoo. This ‘too’s companion is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Iggy Pop, frontman for the influential punk band The Stooges. A fan of both Iggy Pop the rocker and Biggy Pop the bird recently reached out to the duo to see if they’d help bring awareness to Australia’s plight in the aftermath of devastating fires that wiped out an estimated three billion animals, including 180 million birds.

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.

African grey parrot on harness

Summer Safety

Many companion parrots enjoy spending time outdoors when the weather is nice as much as we do. What’s more, exposure to natural sunlight can be great for your pet bird’s mental and physical health. However, before bringing your feathered friend outside, some important safety precautions are in order. Follow these recommendations to ensure your bird is safe while enjoying the Great Outdoors.

African grey parrot face

Vet Visit Prep: Reducing Stress For Everyone

Your bird depends on you for their care, which includes feeding nutritious foods, providing optimum housing and offering plenty of enrichment. Another important part of being a good bird steward is being prepared for vet visits.

cockatoo face

Why You Should Rethink Allowing Your Parrot On The Floor

Companion parrots have both innate behaviors, which are instinctual (think flight!) and learned behaviors, such as figuring out how to reach a treat in a foraging toy. As our birds’ stewards, understanding both behaviors and how to work with them can serve us well in avoiding behavior issues. A “cute” behavior that may have encouraged by the caregiver in the beginning, can become a learned behavior that is adapted by the parrot that leads to negative consequences. Case in point – allowing a bird free roam on the floor, which results in chasing and biting feet. Learn why allowing a parrot to hang out on the floor can cause havoc and what to do instead.

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.

African greys eating treat on table

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Parrots Adapt During Coronavirus Lockdown

Dr. Irene Pepperberg fills us in on how African greys Griffin and Athena, as well as she and her staff, are handling their “new normal,” albeit hopefully a temporary one. She also dishes on how they found some creative ways to celebrate two big milestones — the birds’ birthdays!

greenwing macaw on perch

Bird People Share: “What do you wish you knew before getting a parrot?”

Life with a pet bird companion can certainly be a life of adventure. You have a feathered friend with the intelligence, and often the mischievousness, of a young child. A pet that might be inclined to talk back, or perform aerobatic feats around your furniture and furnishings. Your bird might be a snuggle buddy who shows affection by gently preening your hair or brow. Intermixed with all that love and shenanigans comes everything in between — especially the unexpected. Here’s a snapshot of what some bird stewards wish they knew before getting a pet bird.

graphic of the COVID-19 virus

Webinar: “COVID-19 And Pet Birds”

Join us for a live, interactive webinar hosted by Laura Doering, former editor of Bird Talk magazine and Birds USA magazine. Our special guest Stephanie Lamb, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice) will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, how it pertains to pet birds, and how we can keep our pets safe and healthy.

Amazon parrot eating leaves from perch in cage

Fresh Foraging Ideas To Try

Offering our bird’s foraging opportunities with pellets, Nutri-Berries, and healthy snacks is a great way to satisfy their work-for-food instincts. Other great foraging opportunities await with fresh, edible, non-toxic plants. In the wild, part of a bird’s search for food means tearing through a plant to get to the more desirable parts. It’s no surprise that parrots like to chew! Discover tips for creating an edible “foraging jungle” for your pet bird.

African grey parrot

Webinar “Tune In To Your Birds Daily Habits”

Webinar: “Tune In To Your Birds Daily Habits” Date: Friday, April 3, 2020 Time: 12:00 – 12:30pm PST (double-check your local time with this time zone converter) Join us for a live, interactive webinar hosted by Laura Doering, former editor of Bird Talk magazine and Birds USA magazine. Our special guest Stephanie Lamb, DVM, DABVP […]

African grey parrot

Tune In To Your Bird’s Daily Habits

Many of us are having to stay home from work, school and other social activities to reduce the chances of coming into contact with and spreading the COVID-19 disease. Although this time of self-isolation may be challenging, it can also be thought of as an occasion to spend a little more time with our feathered friends and other pets. As pet owners are at home and observing their birds at times where they may not normally, they may discover that their birds tend to follow routines daily, just like we do!

Dr Pepperberg nose to beak with African grey named Griffin

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Life In The Time Of Coronavirus

What’s an academic science lab to do when e-mails from the administration start popping up stating in-person instruction was to cease immediately, followed by directives to vacate the campus in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis? What if said science lab was home to a flock of parrots known around the world for their contributions to the study of cognitive behavior? Dr. Irene Pepperberg and her research assistants found themselves in a scramble to ensure everyone— birds and humans — found safe places to stay. See where everyone is now.

Amazon Parrot

Fun Things To Do With Your Bird At Home

To keep safe during the coronavirus pandemic, many of us face spending most of our time at home. But being stuck indoors can seem less burdensome if we look for a silver lining each day—one being the opportunity to have fun with the flock!

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.

African grey portrait

Comparative Cognition — The Joys & Difficulties

A lot of planning goes into creating ways to test the parrots’ intelligence to see how they perform on tasks compared to the results of those undertaken by children and primates. But what happens when two hands are required to solve a problem? Dr. Pepperberg describes the challenges and possible solutions to an intelligence test to circumvent the fact that parrots are hands-free.

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.

lory, lorikeet

Lories & Lorikeets: Bold & Beautiful

Lories and lorikeets are beauties from the family Loriinae that boast some of the brightest plumage among parrots. Their personalities are also colorful, and their unique diet gives them plenty of energy to fuel their always on-the-go tendencies. Learn what else sets these vibrantly colored parrots apart.

Kakapo parrot

Meet The Kakapo, The Lovable, Rotund Parrot With Peculiar Ways

How far would you travel for love? If you were a male kakapo parrot, you’d walk the equivalent of a 5K, as in over three miles (and that’s not counting the walk back)! A lovesick male kakapo parrot embarks on his long stroll each night during breeding season as he tries to beat out the competition for a female’s attention. Learn more about this adorable, rotund parrot with peculiar ways.

members of sun parakeet project

The Parakeet Rangers of Guyana

One Earth Conservation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization co-founded by Dr. LoraKim Joyner, who has worked in parrot conservation for over three decades. The organization encourages communities in Latin America to support and/or get involved in parrot conservation. Here Dr. Joyner gives us a peek at a recent sun parakeet outreach project in Guyana.

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.

African grey parrots on play gym

Why A Routine Helps The Flock & The Caregiver

A daily routine can give companion parrots a sense of security — knowing what’s in the plan for the day means they can look forward to timely meals/snacks, out-of-cage time, social interaction, and clean cages. Get inspired by the way Lisa Bono, CPBC, maintains a schedule that helps ensure she doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to caring for the flock.

African grey parrot

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Can African Greys Spot Which Container Holds More Liquid?

African grey parrots Athena and Griffin are tasked with the challenge of tracking the larger amount of liquid that is poured into various containers to test their grasp of the concept of “overconservation,” where the experimenter starts with different amounts and tests whether the subjects can track the larger amount after various transformations. See where the parrots succeeded as well as what tended to slip them up on this highly challenging task.

African grey parrots

Friends or Frenemies—How Well Do Parrots Interact with Each Other?

For parrots in the wild, flock dynamics include bonded pairs, siblings, and flockmates who forage for food together, play together, or simply co-exist with one another (and, of course, help keep a lookout for predators). What about companion parrots? Will two parrots get along? Dr. Pepperberg dishes on the interactions among her African grey parrots, as well as explains why it can be challenging so to predict how flock dynamics will play out inside the home.

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.

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.

parrots in cages

Moving With Your Bird? How To Reduce Stress For Everyone

Your house is all packed up, and you’ve hired movers to transport your belongings to your new abode. All that is left now is ensuring that you and your loved ones— including your feathered family members—arrive safely at your destination. Lisa Bono, CPBC, offers some important insight based on her own experiences on making the move stress-free for the flock, as well as tips to follow anytime you transport your bird.

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.

African grey parrot

Do Parrots Understand What You Are Saying?

Can birds understand what their people are saying and/or understand what he or she is saying? Dr. Irene Pepperberg says the answer depends on the type of interactions parrots have with their owners. Discover how the way you interact with your feathered companion, as well as flock dynamics, can influence parrot communication.

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.

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