Category: New

Dr Pepperberg nose to beak with African grey named Griffin

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

In her latest blog, Dr. Irene Pepperberg talks about how African grey Alex didn’t learn his numbers in the traditional sense, especially when compared to young children. Alex’s number studies were unique in many ways, which also allowed him to outperform some of the other nonhumans on certain tasks. Learn why Dr. Pepperberg started training Alex on the numbers “three” and “four,” first as well as which number posed the biggest phonetic challenge, and more in this Part 1 of a two-part series.

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.

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.

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.

Lafeber’s Global Parrot Conservation Spotlight: Echo — The Parrots & People Of Bonaire

Lafeber’s latest Conservation Spotlight takes us to a small island in the Caribbean — Bonaire, home to the yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot. The conservation group Echo is dedicated to ensuring a stable and growing population of this endangered parrot by reducing habitat degradation, restoring the parrots’ habitat, and reducing the poaching of chicks.

African grey parrot Alex

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Yes, Our Birds Mean What They Say

The most common question Dr. Irene Pepperberg encounters is if parrots truly understand what they are saying. In her newest blog, Dr. Pepperberg offers some notable experiences with African greys Alex, Griffin, and Athena that might not hold up to scientific scrutiny but are nonetheless valuable in demonstrating parrots’ impressive cognitive abilities.

scarlet macaw art

Dazzling Scarlet Macaw Cross-Stitch Wins First Place

After 1,000 hours spread over 18 months, the self-taught Philip Brill used his cross-stitching skills to create a vibrant rendition of a scarlet macaw. His hard work paid off, with a first-place award at the St. Mary’s County Art Council’s annual Art Walk contest. Learn about the inspiration behind Brill’s magnificent art piece, as well as the process involved in bringing his subject to life on congress cloth.

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.

African grey parrots

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Parrots On The Move—Again!

In her latest blog, Dr. Irene Pepperberg talks about African greys Griffin and Athena’s recent move into a spacious two-bedroom apartment. Surprisingly, the grey who typically doesn’t like change seems to be adjusting quicker than their flockmate. Dr. Pepperberg gives us the backstory.

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.

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