The Osprey Pandion haliaetus, is a large bird of prey found by bodies of fresh water all over the world. They are raptors and their diet consists mostly of fish. They can reach 24 inches inches in length and have a wingspan that can reach up to 71 inches! Other names they go by are the Sea Hawk, Fish Hawk, or Fish Eagle. The Osprey almost became non-existent in many areas of the United States due to use of the DDT pesticide after World War II. This pesticide interfered with calcium production during reproduction, resulting in thin-shelled eggs which were easily broken or infertile eggs. DDT was banned in 1972 and since then populations of Osprey have come back to many bodies of water.
Below is a live camera showing a nest of Osprey in Missoula, Montana. The camera was set here to aid in the Project Osprey which is studying these birds.
Project Osprey is a study going on at the University of Montana. It is investigating inorganic contaminants such as mercury in these birds and using the results to help determine environmental health in surrounding areas. These large raptors are useful in determining environmental conditions in local lakes and rivers because they are at the top of the food chain and eat primarily fish obtained from these bodies of water. Therefore what is contained in these birds is also contained in the fish they eat and in the environment the fish live in. The project has been ongoing for for six breeding seasons now and a study detailing the mercury and other contaminants found in Osprey in the Clark Fork River Basin has been published.
If you would like to see pictures of other wild birds, check out Animal-Image.
Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Parakeet!
Most likely, you or someone you know has owned a parakeet! They are one of the more popular of the smaller birds, for many reasons. They can learn to talk and whistle, have a shorter lifespan than many of the larger parrots, and are relatively easy to care for. While working at the pet store, I saw many of these birds come and go to new homes. I enjoyed cleaning their cages every day and whistling along with them!
Parakeets are also called Budgerigars, or Budgies. Their scientific name is Melopsittacus undulatus and they are part of the Psittacidae family. They come in many various color combinations, over 100 actually! This makes for a very interesting and unique looking bird! Their primary colors are green, blue, gray, white, yellow, opaline, and pied. Parakeets in general are usually very affectionate towards their owners (especially if trained while young). They are inexpensive and can be trained to do a multitude of tricks. They do require a lot of interaction because they are very social birds by nature. If you do not think you will have a whole lot of one-on-one time available to be with your bird, you should consider bringing home at least one companion bird as well. They have an average lifespan of 12-14 years with proper care.
The history of the Parakeet begins in Australia. They were first noted by European John Gould in 1865 in his book, “Birds of Australia.” These birds are actually part of the parrot family and belonged to a tribe called the Platycercini in Australia. They originate in the desert-like part of central Australia where there is little precipitation. This little to no rain environment has truly helped this bird become hardy! They are also monogamous birds in the wild as well as captivity and so will generally pick a mate for life. Unless of course, their primary mate dies.
Now onto the care and feeding of the Parakeet/Budgerigar. As I stated above, they are relatively inexpensive with fairly easy care requirements. The housing requirements of the parakeet include a roomy cage with plenty of places to climb. A play area that can be put on top of the cage is also a good idea. This will give your parakeet(s) a place to hang out when not in the cage and that helps give more interaction time with you and different scenery to your bird. Include perches and toys/swings/mirrors in the cage. Parakeets also love taking baths, so a bath house or bowl is another good idea. Free-flying time is very important for these birds for both exercise and their mental well-being, so make sure that there is a block of time most days that you can allow them to be out and flying about!
As far as food goes – they need a variety of seeds and fresh foods. A good parakeet seed mix can be bought at local pet stores. Give them fresh fruits and vegetables occasionally as well. However, some food items are not good for them, including cabbage, avocado, green beans, and several others. Good fresh foods for them include Lettuce, carrots, spinach, apples and bananas. Also provide spray millet, cuttle bones (for their beaks) and mineral blocks. Fresh water should be given daily.
Parakeets or budgerigars are pretty hardy birds. They of course can get respiratory illnesses if kept in drafty areas and that is something to watch out for. If you notice them plucking their feathers that is also a sign of a problem. If they are lonely due to not having a companion bird or enough interaction time with you, they can become bored and begin plucking their feathers.
Animal-World’s page on Parakeets/Budgerigars is a great place to start reading if you want to familiarize yourself more with these birds!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.
“Technically I’m not a hawk – I just look like one! Another name I go by is the Red Fan Parrot.”
The Hawk-Headed Parrot looks like a hawk because of it’s ability to make a ruff around
The Hawk-Headed Parrot has a unique ability. They can raise their neck feathers quite extensively when they become excited or agitated which gives them a a hawk-like appearance! Most parrots can raise their feathers to some degree, but the Hawk-headed Parrot can do it to a much larger extent! The colorful neck feathers look almost like an open fan when they are displayed fully, which is where they get their other common name – the Red Fan Parrot.
The Hawk-headed Parrot is known for its intelligence and personality that can range from being endearing, adventurous, and mischievous, and fearless. They love to entertain their human friends and always have new antics to show you! It has some behaviors that just seem absolutely bizarre. They also are extremely friendly birds and will follow you around all day if you let them… Read More
Conures – Bird Guides
“Here is everything you know about conures, as well as a few things that you may not know about them!”
Conures are large parrots who come in small packages – they are comical,
affectionate and beautiful!
Conures are members of the parrot family, but are actually one of the smaller to medium sized parrots. They can make wonderful pets! Conures have cone shaped tails, which is what the word “conure” actually means! They can be found in the wild throughout the new world, including southern and central regions of America.
Conure parrots have tapered tails and generally slender bodies which distinguishes them from some of the larger parrots. They can be quite hyper, with energetic personalities, and attractive colors – both of which make them desirable pets. They are also quite intelligent birds, they can learn to talk, they love to play, and they even have a sense of humor!
Many people say that conures are like miniature macaws because they have all their great colors, personalities, and other qualities of macaws, yet they come in smaller sizes! They do have large heads with very powerful beaks and come in several color varieties… Read More
“What could be a more excellent pet than a splendid little fellow like me. Friendly, brains and color all in one… I dance, perform, and talk up a storm!”
The Senegal Parrot is a small parrot, but has a big bird personality!
The Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus, are also called the Yellow-vented Parrot, is a delightful small parrot and can be easily trained. They are known for their mischievousness and acrobatics! They adapt quickly and easily to new environments and will become your companion quickly, wanting to cuddle as soon as they get used to you! People who own a Senegal Parrot often say they are great companions and are a source of amusement.
Senegal Parrots love to have routines in their lives and definitely get to know their owners habits. They need interaction with their owners so make sure you spend at least an hour a day with your parrot because they need social interaction, even if that just means holding him/her while you are watching TV. Senegal Parrots are known for becoming very attached to their human companion and can become jealous of other people when they come around. If there are several people who live in a new Senegal Parrots home, make sure to socialize the bird with all members of the household to avoid too much possessiveness on the part of the Senegal… Read More
Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Zebra Finch!
If you would like to try out a bird as a pet, the Zebra Finch may be a great way to go! They are small, easy to care for, relatively hardy, and inexpensive! I know many people who have had them for pets, and they are especially good for an older child who would like a bird but who may not be ready for the responsibility and care that comes with a larger bird such as a conure or parrot. They are a good bird that is best enjoyed by sitting back and watching and listening to them – rather than handling and training them. They are very active birds and love to tweet and fly around often.
The Zebra Finch Poephila guttata castanotis originated in Australia and has been one of the most popular pet birds for over 100 years! In Australia, they are naturally wild in over 90% of its landmass, they live and breed in groups, and feed on grass seeds from the ground. They actually live a fairly long life in domestic conditions – up to 12 years with decent care – and are quite easy to breed in captivity if you have a desire to do so.
Their care is not hard to accommodate into most people’s lives, although it does take daily maintenance. They should be provided with fresh water every day as well as fresh food. The best food for them is a finch seed mix – which can be found at virtually any pet store. Treats can be offered occasionally, which could include moistened bread, green vegetables (lettuce, celery tops and spinach), and packaged bird seed treats from pet stores. It is essential that you provide them with grit which contains charcoal because they need it to aid in their digestion and provide them with certain minerals. You can purchase this grit at a pet store as well and either spread it on the bottom of their cage or provide it in a separate dish from their food. They should also be given a cuttlebone to provide them with calcium. Calcium helps keep their beaks strong as well as aids in reproduction.
Zebra finches also need and love baths, so providing them with a bowl of bathwater every day is great for their health and well-being. Their nails will continue to grow as well, so it is best to keep an eye on them and if you notice their nails getting a little long you will want to trim them back a tiny bit.
If you want to provide optimal conditions for your zebra finch(es), make sure to provide a cage that is big enough for them to fly in and that is larger horizontally than vertically because they love to fly in a horizontal direction. This will help keep them in good physical shape and they will be happier overall. Also provide at least one or two perches (depending on how big the cage is) so that they have places to stand other than the cage bottom. These birds also do much better when kept in pairs and not singly – so plan on buying at least 2 finches and ensure the cage is large enough to accommodate that!
As I stated earlier, zebra finches are hardy little birds and rarely get sick. As long as you keep them in a healthy environment, provide the proper diet, and keep them out of drafts (all birds should be kept out of drafty areas), you will most likely have a very healthy bird (or pair of birds!) for many years.
Zebra Finches are available almost everywhere and should be easy to find if you would like to purchase one. For more detailed information on their care, read up on Animal-World’s Zebra Finch care guide!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.
“Keeping a pet bird means good bird care! This bird care basics guide includes everything you need to know from bird cages, food and supplies to health care, exercise and safety!”
To have a great pet bird, it must begin with the best bird care!
Many different types of pet birds are available and they can all make amazing pets if given the best of care. Most birds are social creatures and need and love close contact with their owners. Some other birds just love talking and singing which can give you feelings of having a friend there. The largest birds, parrots often become very close friends, loving to nap, sometimes shower, and eat with you! Most just love interaction of any kind.
Taking on a bird as a pet does take some work and dedication as well as some common sense. All birds have the same needs as far as bird care basics are concerned. For instance, every bird needs a cage that is tailored to their size and includes perches, bird feeders with the appropriate food, and fresh water… Read More
“Vibrantly brilliant color! Eclectus parrots are first about color, and then adorable and lovable, it just doesn’t get any better than this!”
Eclectus parrots have amazing coloring, with the males and females having striking
The Eclectus parrots Eclectus roratus are beautiful and smart birds. Out of all parrot species, the Eclectus parrots one of the most sexually dimorphic and brilliantly colored. They do best as pets when they are socialized with humans at a young age. They usually grow to love human company and become very affectionate. They are good at copying sounds, including the telephone and the microwave! They can become very good talkers as well.
Eclectus Parrots are pretty laid back in general and most people like this about them. They will often play quietly by themselves for hours at a time on their perches when provided with a variety of toys. They do become distressed with a lot of noise and too much going on around them. Generally calm birds, they do become apprehensive when introduced into new situations… Read More
Choosing A Pet Bird
“What kind of pets are birds? Find out right here… facts about living with birds and finding the right pet bird for you!”
Ever wonder what type of bird would be perfect for you? Here is a guide to finding out!
Birds are often great pets for people looking for a companion with a wonderful personality. They also come in many beautiful colors and many can live a very long life! By choosing a pet bird, you bring into your life a social creature who loves you, talks to you, and can even sing you a song! They can make the perfect pet for many people! Read more
“All about birds! Learn about different types of birds and how they behave. The list of bird types has everything from pet birds to exotic birds, and game birds to birds of prey!”
Having a bird for a pet can make a wonderful pet and they come in several colors,
types, and sizes!
If you have an interest in birds, then learning about all the different types of birds can be quite intriguing. . In general, most types of birds make great pets – they are social, enjoy human companionship, are available in many different sizes, shapes, and colors, and have interesting personalities. You will find interesting information on the types of birds here, including information on birds as pets, birds in general, and specific species of birds… Read More