Category: New

scarlet macaw in flight in blue sky

The Macaw Society’s “Foster Program” is Just One Way it Helps Macaws in the Wild

Since 1999, The Macaw Society (formally called the Tambopata Research Project) at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has been dedicated to the study of macaws in the wild, with 40 scientific papers and counting. The Macaw Society’s “foster chick” program is one way it helps increase wild macaw numbers by assigning otherwise neglected chicks to foster macaw parents.

African grey parrot

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Birds Do Not Like to be Tricked!

Dr. Irene Pepperberg explains the “treat substitution” trick, where a treat is moved from where the test subject assumes it should be or it is switched out with a less favored treat. Learn the reasons why birds and other prey animals form expectations of where food is located, and why they demonstrate a signs of distress when their expectations are challenged.

two African grey parrots eating leaf of chard

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Dealing with Picky Eaters

Parrots, like people, have their individualized tastes in food. This includes their own interpretations of what constitutes fresh produce, as well as the order in which food should be eaten. In her latest blog, Dr. Irene Pepperberg dishes on African greys Athena and Griffin’s specific food preferences.

Virginia Rose, Founder of Birdability

Birdability Strives To Make Birding Accessible To All

Learn how retired teacher Virginia Rose discovered her passion for birding and her life-changing event that fueled her mission to make birding accessible to all, no matter what mobility challenges they may face.

kea parrot, alpine parrot

Keas: Why These Alpine Parrots Took the Mountains

Once upon a time, kea parrots lived among humans in lower altitudes. However, they ultimately settled in New Zealand’s mountainous habitat, namely because it was an area least disturbed by human activity. Discover how researchers recently came to this conclusion.

cockatoo on branch outside

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: Indonesia

Lafeber’s latest Conservation Spotlight takes us to Indonesia, where The Indonesian Parrot Project (IPP) has spent the past 20 years supporting conservation efforts for many parrot species, including Moluccan cockatoos, Eclectus, various other cockatoos, great-billed parrots, and lorikeets.

damaged beak on a parrot that's lying down

Prosthetic Beak Saves Injured Wild Parrot

An injured beak can severely impact a parrot’s health—a missing beak can put a parrot in peril. Fortunately, this wild parrot got a second chance at life with the help of Paulo Roberto Martins Nunziata and veterinarian Maria Ângela Panelli Marchió of the Renascer ACN animal rehabilitation center in Brazil.

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.

snowy owl on perch

Rare Snowy Owl Lands in Central Park NYC

Central Park in New York City recently saw the return a fluffy white visitor after a 130-year hiatus—a majestical snowy owl! On January 27, a popular birder tweeted the arrival of a snowy owl hunkering down behind a fenced area near the park’s baseball fields. Soon after, local birders flocked to the park for the sighting of a lifetime. Read on to learn more about the snowy owl and how this owl’s brief New York City appearance made headlines.

African grey

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Some Parrots Dislike Uncertainty & Novelty

Some birds are inclined to be cautious and wary of new things, while others seem to exhibit an immediate curiosity, and still more land somewhere in between. In her latest blog, Dr. Pepperberg discusses the concept of neophobia (dislike of novelty) and neophilia (attraction to novelty), and the degree of which it can vary among bird species. She also dishes on why our companion parrots tend to like consistent schedules.

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.

African greys Athena and Griffin

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Giving Thanks to the Caretakers

In her latest blog, Dr. Irene Pepperberg shares her thoughts on the past year as 2020 comes to a close. Despite the often daunting challenges many faced due to COVID, she writes about giving thanks to those in the animal community who stay devoted to their work to give to our beloved pets as well as pets in need care and attention in this time of crisis.

Andrea Garcia holds up book as Amazons on perches watch

Parrots Help Bring Stories to Life

Andrea Garcia, a library aide in the Los Angeles area, has found parrots to be the perfect assistants when it comes to story time. Garcia hosts up to 32 Zoom virtual reading sessions a week for elementary school children.

Thick-billed parrot in tree

Arizona Aims to Bring Back its Native Thick-Billed Parrot

The thick-billed parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) is the only surviving parrot species native to North America. This special parrot once thrived in its Arizona mountain habitat and was last seen in the wild there in 1938. It has since settled in Mexico, but a team of wildlife researchers in Arizona are working with counterparts in northern Mexico to reintroduce the bird to the state’s wild.

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.

Dr. Joerg Mayer

Webinar: Boswell’s Journey — An Avian Cancer Survivor Story

Jörg Mayer, MS, DVM, DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal Practice), DECZM, DACZM, will share a heartwarming story about Boswell, the longest bird cancer survivor in avian history. Dr. Mayer will discuss his tailored treatment for Boswell, who was diagnosed with bone cancer. Dr. Mayer will also discuss avian cancers & treatments in general and answer viewer questions.

African grey parrot

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Do Parrots Show Remorse?

When a prestigious behavior journal welcomed scientists to submit anecdotal observations of nonhuman actions that suggested possible comparisons with those of humans, a recent episode with African grey Griffin sprung to mind. Did Griffin show signs of remorse after delivering an unexpected bite?

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.

macaw on floor

Webinar: Flight Mechanics & Ethical Concerns

Flight in companion parrots: freedom vs. safety. Dr. Todd Driggers will share this live, interactive webinar on flight in companion birds. Dr. Driggers has spent 25 years in practice evolving his understanding of flight and how and why we are influenced to remove the flight abilities of birds.

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.

African grey

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Can Parrots Win At The Shell Game?

How good are you at the “shell game”… can you follow an object that is shuffled around under shells or cups? Imagine being tested on your ability to track not just one colored object but four! Dr. Irene Pepperberg shares the results of how African grey Griffin’s visual working memory stacks up when compared to adults and children.

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.

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!

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!

macaw head, side view

COVID-19 And Pet Birds

The COVID-19 pandemic is an emerging disease with many facts still unknown. If you have questions about how it might affect pets, here’s what we know so far, with tips on keeping your pet birds safe.

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.

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.

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