Housing Requirements

Dated: 8 Apr 2009

Cage Living:

Birds should be housed in a cage that is as roomy as possible, especially birds that will spend most or all of their time in the cage. Basically birds need to be able to stretch their wings and flap them without hitting anything. They should also be able to make short flights.

Horizontal bars on the sides of the cage are very important for birds that like to climb, such as parakeets, cockatiels and lots of playful parrots. Bar spacing needs to be small enough that the bird cannot get it?s head through them. Metal bars are good for birds that like to chew.

It is really nice if the cage is easy to clean. Many cages have a slide out tray and an easily removable grate.

The cage should be placed in a draft free area that is well lit, but not in direct sunlight. To make your birds feel secure and comfortable keep their cage against a wall or in a corner, and at eye level if you hang it from the ceiling.

Aviary Living:

Aviaries are beneficial in providing large areas for birds, often with the intent of breeding. Aviaries can be either indoors or outdoors. Some birds are very noisy and can be a nuisance to close neighbors. So if your birds are loud, you may want to keep them in an indoor aviary or in a remote area.

Indoor aviaries give you the ability to control temperature, lighting, noise and humidity. An indoor aviary is often a room in a home devoted to birds. The windows are covered with wire and the door often has a wired porch with two doors to pass through . These are to keep your birds from flying out. Some indoor aviaries are simply a bird room with extra large cages. Doing it this way, the doors and windows don?t need to be screened in.

Outdoor aviaries can provide your birds with a natural environment and are designed in a wide variety of styles. Because the birds are exposed to the weather, they must have indoor sheltering, possibly heated or cooled, if conditions get extreme. Outdoor aviaries always need a shaded area and wind breaks. Trees or large branches can fit in nicely to create a comfortable home, but must be of non-toxic woods.

Accessories: Bowls, Perches and toys.

Bowls are needed for foods and treats, water, grit and crushed shell. Small birds can use plastic bowls. Ceramic or stainless steel bowls generally are needed for medium and large parrots. These bigger birds will often chew up plastic bowls, or even pick up their bowls and dump them or toss them to the floor. Built in bowl holders are often a part of the cage and may be designed to keep the bird from removing the bowl. Other bowls are attached with hooks, bolts or clips, and may mount inside or outside the cage depending on the design.

Perches not only provide standing places for birds, but also give them an opportunity to exercise their beaks and keep their beaks trim. Perch size and shape can vary depending on the bird, but should fit their feet. A 1 inch perch is comfortable for most parrots and a 1/2 inch perch suits smaller birds. Round and oval wooden perches are often used, and sometimes plastic perches are used for small birds. Variety in both size and shape is important to exercise your birds feet. Natural branches are great for providing this variety. Concrete perches make nice additional perches for parrots to help them keep both nails and beak trim.

Toys for birds are designed in lots of combinations of woods, leathers, ropes, chains, bells and even acrylics. Toys such as swings and ladders are designed for chewing and climbing, while stainless steel mirrors are for viewing and comfort. The wide range of non-toxic colors, fun textures, shapes and sizes, sounds (and even smells) that you?ll find in bird toys will keep both you and your bird interested in checking out new ones. A great way to combat boredom and provide exercise!

Maroon Bellied Conure

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

The Maroon-bellied Conure is often mistaken for the Green-cheeked Conure, although the difference is obvious if the bird is turned over! These gorgeous and affectionate pets are a favorite among many Conure enthusiasts.

Like all Conures, Maroon-bellied Conures can be taught to talk! They are quite intelligent and will pick up short words and phrases, though mostly Maroon-bellied Conures mumble to themselves in low Conure-talk! Although they have the ability to screech at incredible volumes, they rarely use it. Maroon-bellied Conures love bathing and should have freshwater at all times. In captivity, they can subsist quite well on a basic seed mixture supplemented with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and legumes! Offer a variety of foods so your Maroon-bellied Conure does not get bored! Maroon-bellied Conures have an incredible amount of self-esteem and will challenge animals much larger than they are! They are very curious and love toys. Be sure to provide them with lots of chewing materials, as they have powerful beaks. Maroon-bellied Conures bond very closely with their owners and love affection and playtime! They will go everywhere with their human friends, and even like to shower with them! Maroon-bellied Conures will need a nesting box in their cages for sleeping or hiding if they feel stressed. Most well cared for Maroon Belly Conures can live about 25 to 30 years or more.

Maroon-bellied Conures are about ten inches long and weigh just over three ounces. They are predominantly green, and their lower back feathers and abdomens are a mahogany red color. The underside of the tail is a brick red color, as are the edges of the green topside tail feathers. Maroon-bellied Conures have a red frontal band that is narrow, and fades to maroon in color. Their ear coverts are brown and the skin around the periopthalmic ring is white. The olive-green feathers of the neck, throat and upper breast are all edged in a dull grayish-yellow shade. The primary coverts of Maroon-bellied Conures are a deep aqua in color, and the primaries are the same shade, turning to green at the edges. Their feet and bills are dark gray and the irises of Maroon-bellied Conures are dark brown.

Native to northeastern Brazil, southeastern Argentina, eastern Paraguay, and most of Uruguay, Maroon-bellied Conures are actually composed of three sub-species. It is believed that early breeders in the United States may have combined the three sub-species unwittingly and that modern Maroon-bellied Conures in America are a composite of the three subspecies. Maroon-bellied Conures remain popular and are known as Braunohrsittich in German. They were first recognized in 1818 by Vieillot.

Green Cheeked Conure

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

The Green-cheeked Conure is a favorite of bird owners everywhere because of their sweet personalities and exquisite coloration!

The Bolivian Green-cheeked Conure is an intelligent, playful bird who can be taught to say simple words and phrases! Although they can screech very loudly, they usually are one of the more quiet varieties of Conure. Green-cheeked Conures should be kept in as large a cage as possible- the minimum is 18 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches. They need lots of sunlight, fresh air, and time out of their cages for playing and cuddling with you! Green-cheeked Conures also love bathing, and will enjoy showering with you provided the water is not too hot! Apart from a bathing pan, Green-cheeked Conures need fresh water in their cages at all times. You should feed them a good pellet diet and/or fortified seed-mix supplemented with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes. It is also very important that your Green-cheeked Conure has a nesting box in his cage, so that if he feels stressed he can lay low for a while! Conures also enjoy sleeping in the dark, quiet security of their nesting boxes. They love to chew and need lots of sturdy toys. Green-cheeked Conures are very affectionate birds who will form very strong, loving bonds with their keepers. They are also quite good with children.

At maturity, Green-cheeked Conures are generally around ten inches in length. Their feathers are predominantly green, although the secondary and primary flight feathers are blue. A frontal band is present and it is narrow and mahogany colored. The nape, throat, and upper breast are all greenish brown, but the nape may include some pretty blue feathers. Each feather on the Green-cheeked Conure?s nape, throat, and upper breast is edged with a dull yellow-gray, giving the feathers definition and having the effect of scales typical to Conures. The ear coverts, forehead and back of the head are all brown, and the abdomen is mahogany in color. The tail underside is also mahogany, and the upperside has feathering of the same color over a green base. This is largely hidden by the Green-cheeked Conure?s tail-coverts. The undertail coverts have a blue hue to them. Green-cheeked Conures have the white skin around their periopthalmic ring that is typical to Conures, and their irises are brown. Their bills are gray, and they have a generally lovely appearance. There are at least two popular color mutations for the Green Checked Conure, these are the Fallow Green Cheeked Conure, and the Yellow Sided Conure.

Green-cheeked Conures are native to eastern Bolivia?s highlands. Because they are wild birds, many places require a license to keep them. Remember that on the whole, captive-bred birds will make better pets than wild-caught birds. Green-cheeked Conures were first recorded by Massena and Sounc? in 1854. They are known as Gruenwangen-Rotschwanzsittich in German.

Umbrella Crested Cockatoo

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

The Umbrella Crested Cockatoo, also known as the White Cockatoo or Umbrella Cockatoo, is one of the most popular of the Cockatoo breeds. His loving personality and friendly antics keep those who meet them entertained for hours.

The Umbrella Cockatoo is highly intelligent, loving and affectionate. They love nothing more than to be snuggled and scratched. Though, like all parrots they can, and often will bite if they are inclined to do so. But in general, because their dispositions are so pleasant the Umbrella Cockatoo has charmed his way into many homes across the world. Though the Umbrella Cockatoo is not for everything. In addition to needing large amount of time from their owners, it should also be noted that like most of the larger parrots the Umbrella Cockatoo can be very loud. For this reason it is probably not well suited for apartment life as neighbors would likely complain. They enjoy chewing and should be given plenty of toys to curb their chewing. They are known for hard chewing and can destroy wood cages easily. They can become quite aggressive during breeding season and therefore care should be taken if they are placed near other birds at this time. It is not uncommon for them to seriously injure another bird during breeding season. All of this aside, the Umbrella Cockatoo does make a great pet provided prospective owners are aware of their needs.

The Umbrella Cockatoo is a very large parrot measuring 18 inches (45cm) at maturity. One of the most charming things about the Umbrella Cockatoo is his smiling face. While they are not actually smiling their cute bills and sparkling black eyes give them a very happy appearance. They have striking white plumage which covers their entire bodies including their striking, broad crests. The crests are backward angled and rise to glory when they are so inclined. A yellowing base is seen on the feathers of the wings. It should be noted that most females will have lighter iris, usually reddish-brown. Immatures look like adult males. The young females will develop their lighter iris by approximately one year of age. It should be noted that at this time it is a grayish-brown. Most females also exhibit smaller heads and crowns.

Native to Indonesia, the wild Umbrella Cockatoo prefers a variety of areas including mangroves, forests, swamps, and other areas with tress or tall secondary vegetation. While their numbers have been reduced due to decline in habitat and trapping, they are not yet endangered.

Eleonora Cockatoo

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

eleonora cockatooThe Eleonora Cockatoo is a striking bird that is quite popular in the pet trade, though they are one of the more expensive parrots, making them less common than their popularity might suggest.

The Eleonora Cockatoo is one of four subspecies of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. All of these are quite popular in the pet trade, but are often not recommended for beginners. These are highly intelligent birds, which require much attention from their owners. They may also suffer from boredom, because of their intelligence, and should be given plenty of toys and opportunity to interact with their owners. They are hard chewers and should be given plenty of chew toys otherwise they may be destructive. Like most cockatoos, they are not known to be good talkers, but there are always exceptions. If you are looking for a bird with a strong talking ability, this may not be the bird for you. Like most cockatoos the Eleonora Cockatoo is a social bird that is seen traveling in large flocks in the wild. For this reason, in captivity they require environments where they are given plenty of attention. If they are not allowed a lot of interaction with their owners, behavioral problems, such as screaming and feather plucking may result. In general, the Eleonora Cockatoo is a loud bird and may be even louder during daytime hours when they are left alone. For this reason they may not be suitable for apartment living. The Eleonora Cockatoo is very affectionate and will usually form a close bond with their owners. They usually love to be cuddled and snuggled as well. Because of their high intelligence, they can often be taught many tricks and are not uncommon in pet shows where parrots perform for audiences. They are generally not nervous and typically do not become startled easily. They should be allowed out of their cages regularly, though they should be closely supervised, as they are curious and known to roam. The Eleonora Cockatoo is also known as the Greater Sulfur Crested Cockatoo and as the Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. It has been reported that hand-raised Eleonoras are less noisy than those that are not. Additionally they are reported to be more independent than some other species of cockatoo.

Like many other cockatoo species, the Eleonora Cockatoo is a larger parrot, measuring 16 inches (40.6 centimeters) to 18 inches (45.7 centimeters) in length. They have striking white plumage throughout and a beautiful yellow crest, hence their other name, Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. They also have striking yellow feathers under their wings and bellies. They can be distinguished from other subspecies by their smaller beaks. Males, females, and immature individuals can be distinguished by eye color. Both the males and juveniles have darker eyes than females. After two to three years of age, the female?s iris will turn a brownish-red color. Before they have reached this age, if you wish to determine the sex of your parrot, you will need to either use DNA sexing or surgical sexing methods.

The Eleonora Cockatoo is native to Indonesia and the Aru Islands. It is also seen in the Kai Islands, but it is theorized that they are not native to this region, and were instead introduced. Though they are often seen in areas inhabited by humans, the Eleonora Cockatoo is most commonly seen in open woodlands, forests, and semi-arid forested areas, as well as partially cleared forests. They are not uncommon in the wild, though populations have decreased because of habitat destruction, hunting, and trapping for use in the pet trade.

Ducorps Cockatoo

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

Ducorps Cockatoos, quieter than most Cockatoos, make sweet pets. They remain quite rare in aviculture, however.

Ducorps Cockatoos are sweet, quiet birds. They may attack their peers in small aviaries, and thus should not be kept in communities. In the wild, they are relatively non-social also and are generally found in pairs, although occasionally they are seen in small groups containing eight birds or less. In the wild, Ducorps Cockatoo perch in the tallest trees and when they do come down to the ground to drink or feed, they are very cautious. Lookout birds are stationed in nearby trees and if they feel threatened, the entire group will fly off screeching. Ducorps Cockatoos eat nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetation. On occasion they will descend in large numbers on local agricultural plantations and cause a great deal of damage; however, they are never harmed by farmers. In aviculture, Ducorps Cockatoos need an aviary of at least 12 by six by six feet in dimension. Although they are relatively hardy, they must be protected from winter frosts. In captivity, Ducorps Cockatoos do well when fed fresh fruits and vegetables, oats, safflower and sunflower seeds, rice, wheat and buckwheat. They need regular vitamin and mineral supplements and plenty of fresh water at all times. Ducorps Cockatoos also enjoy fresh branches sprouted with buds and leaves. In the summer, they should be supplemented with pigeon food and sprouted wheat, sunflower and safflower. Ducorps Cockatoos are very good at talking, although they are fairly quiet as a rule. The Ducorps Cockatoo is reported to be quite intelligent and playful in captivity. And they are also said to be quite adaptable around new people. They should be given plenty of toys to keep them from getting bored. They are also reported to be excellant escape artists! So this should be kept in mind when housing them. Some owners have resorted to using mini-locks on their cages to prevent unwanted breakouts.

Ducorps Cockatoos grow to about 13 inches in length. They have predominantly white plumage although sometimes the hidden bases of the head and breast feathers have a carnation pink base. Their crests are round and very broad. Ducorp?s Cockatoos have pale yellow undersides to their wings and tails. Their feet are gray and their bills are grayish-white. Males have dark brown or black irises, while females have more red coloration in their irises.

Ducorps Cockatoos are quite rare in aviculture. They are native to the Solomon Islands, where from time to time they may cause considerable damage to local banana, papaya, and sweet potato plantations. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of the islands never harm these lovely birds. Their range covers forests and forest edges, mostly, and even extends into the lower edges of the cloud forests below 5,700 feet in elevation.

Bare Eyed Cockatoo

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

One of the lighter colored subspecies of Little Corella, the Bare Eyed Cockatoo, also known as the Bare Eyed Corella may not be so striking in facial coloration as other subspecies. The Bare Eyed Corella will make a subtly beautiful and overtly sweet friend.

The Bare Eyed Cockatoo is generally sweet and can be taught to talk and do tricks! They are, in fact, considered to be the best talkers of all Cockatoos, but be careful; they are also good at escaping! Little Corellas love to chew and can often bite their way out of wire cages! In the wild, Little Corellas eat seeds, insects, bulbs and fruit. They like open grassland or open forest and are usually found near water. Little Corellas are very vocal in the wild and do not have a set home range; rather, they are nomadic. In captivity, your Little Corella needs fresh water at all times and should be fed on a good parrot mix supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables. The s.sanguinea subspecies of Little Corella is quite playful and is often described as ?cheeky?! They are extremely intelligent and will perform crazy or amusing antics in order to get your attention! S. sanguinea Little Corellas do very well when kept in pairs. A single bird will do fine in a cage of at least 800 by 600 by 1200 millimeters in dimension. Little Corellas will thrive, however, in large aviaries with steel frames and very heavy wire. These should be about two by two by six meters in dimension. In the wild, Little Corellas build their nests in holes of tall trees or hollow branches and line them with soft wood shavings. The courtship display of Little Corellas is typical of Cockatoos; the male bobs his head and screeches at his intended female while spreading his wings and tail and holding his crest erect. Little Corellas intending to breed will pay a great deal of attention to their nesting site, loitering around the entrance and inside, and chewing on the entrance! All in all the Bare Eyed Cockatoo makes any excellant pet for anyone who is familiar with cockatoos.

With grayish white feathers and curved, short white beaks, s.sanguinea Little Corellas are attractive birds. Their periopthalmic rings are blue-gray, and they have less pale red coloration about their beaks than other Little Corellas. Generally, there is a pale yellow coloring in the nostril region, which is more noticeable than the pink. Their feathers occasionally have a pinkish orange tinge to their bases, which is especially evident about the bird?s lores. The heads of Little Corellas are topped with a lovely curving crest. The only difference between the Little Corella sexes is in the size of the body or head, though often it is still very difficult to tell and DNA sexing is required.

The sanguinea sanguinea subspecies of Little Corella is found in Northern Australia. They have long been valued as pets. They are also called Bare-eyed Corellas.

Black Head Caique

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

If you have plenty of time and energy to devote to a pet, the Black-headed Caique may be right for you! These playful little birds are among the most beautiful of the parrot family and if you can devote enough of your time to a Caique, you will be well rewarded.

In the wild, Black-headed Caiques spend most of their time up in the tree tops and love to play with twigs! They eat fruits, berries, and seeds, even fighting with each other over the seeds. They live in flocks, which upon perceived danger, become extremely still before rising into the air in a confusing show of cacophonous noise and flying feathers! Black-headed Caiques seem to have an endless energy supply and personalities, which are best described as ?manic?! They love to play and bathe, and need lots of leafy green branches for chewing. Black-headed Caiques are extremely sociable even though their talking ability is quite limited. If they are kept in a cage they will need lots of exercise and playtime- getting a playpen is suggested! Caiques can be surprisingly aggressive and fearless among other birds, and they will often approach much larger birds. They are really not ?6' 5? and bullet-proof? as their demeanor might suggest, and they must be constantly supervised when in the company of larger birds. Their exceptional playfulness begs for a partner, and for those not interested in breeding, two females can do quite well together. A particularly amusing behavior is their habit of hopping rather rapidly across almost any surface, which gives them the look of a wind-up toy. Be sure your bird has many toys and perches in its cage to keep it amused. The minimum size cage for one Caique is 24 X 24 X 24, the average size of Amazon-sized cages. A better choice would be the Cockatoo-sized cages, usually 36? long X 24? deep X 36? high. The bar spacing should be no larger than 3/4?. The cage must be long and tall enough to fit several perches, a variety of toys, swings and vines. A Caique will use every square inch of the largest cage. Black-headed Caiques do very well on a basic pellet food supplemented with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables along with grain and sprouted seeds. Although Black-headed Caiques have lots of positive energy, sometimes they can be grumpy and nippy. Caiques need a strong hand to establish dominance because they can become aggressive if handled timidly. When raised correctly and handled firmly, Black-headed Caiques are fun friends! They are very intelligent and can learn a variety of tricks! They especially love to show off, and posture by strutting about importantly to establish their dominance. Caiques are also very affectionate and cuddly birds. Most love being petted and snuggled. The average adult will live between 25 and 40 years.

Growing to about nine inches in length, Black-headed Caiques have predominantly green plumage. They are extremely colorful little birds with black crowns, napes, and foreheads. Their bill is also blackish, and the periopthalmic ring is dark gray like the feet. The iris is red. Black-headed Caiques have orange cheeks, throats, thighs and flanks. Their undersides are a creamy white color, and the undersides of their tails are yellow-orange and olive yellow. Black-headed Caiques? primaries and primary coverts are a deep violet or purple-blue color, and the upper sides of their tails have feathers tipped in yellow.

Black-headed Caiques are native to Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Guyanas, Brazil, and parts of Peru, where it resides in tropical savannahs and forests. First recorded by Linn? in 1758, Black-headed Caiques are popular as pets but should only be kept by those who can be patient but firm with them.

Yellow Crowned Amazon

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

The Yellow Crowned Amazon, also known as the Yellow Fronted Amazon, or Yellow Headed Amazon, is a very popular parrot in todays households. It is no surprise they enjoy much popularity due to their love of people and the ease with which they respond to taming. In addition, many are excellent talkers. Talking ability will vary between birds and there are not guarantees any bird will talk. This parrot has a love of flying and does very well if kept in an outdoor aviary, though they will also adapt to indoor cages as well. The Yellow Crowned Amazon is known for his loud voice. All Amazons are loud and the Yellow Crowned is perhaps the loudest. Do not get a Yellow Crowned Amazon if you are not prepared for a loud pet. The Yellow Crowned Amazon is one of the most affectionate Amazons, they quickly give as much love and attention to their owners as their owners bestow upon them. The Yellow Crown also has a great love of chewing. His love of chewing can lead to destructive behavior if he is not given plenty of toys suitable for chewing.

The Yellow Crowned Amazon is a handsome parrot. Like most Amazons, his plumage is largely green. His eyes are marked by orange irises. Rainbow markings touch this beautiful bird in many areas. Yellow markings can be seen at the crown, lores, and thighs, and can occasionally be seen in the areas around the eyes. Many have described these yellow markings as a cap. Red markings appear at the bend of the wing, while a yellowish green color marks the edges. The wings are indeed spectacular, as the primaries exhibit a lovely violet-blue, with secondaries also possessing this striking violet-blue at the tips and outer webs. The tail has a yellowish green base with red tail feathers. His gray bill is marked by reddish sides and an upper mandible. He also has gray feet. The immature Yellow Crowns exhibit the same colors as the mature adults, but it is typically more muted and the yellow is not as developed, except at the lores and crown. They also have dark irises. They are medium sized Amazons, averaging 14 inches (36cm) in length with a wingspan of eight to eight and a half inches (198 - 220 mm). Males and Females exhibit no noticeable differences. To determine the sex of your bird you will need to take him/her to a veterinarian for testing.

The Yellow Crowned Amazon originates in South America. Commonly seen in Trinidad, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Surinam, Northern Brazil and Venezuela.

Blue Fronted Amazon

Dated: 7 Apr 2009

The Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot is a popular pet parrot because they are very affectionate and easy to train.

Amazon Parrots are considered the second best vocalizes in the parrot world, second only to the African Gray. The three Amazons, which are known to be the best talkers, are the Yellow Nape, Yellow Head and the Blue Front. In addition to learning a large vocabulary, many will also whistle, sing and mimic household sounds. Blue Fronted Amazons are highly intelligent parrots that may sometimes be moody. The males may become particularly moody when they reach maturity and many will bite at this time. Both males and females may display increased aggression as they reach sexual maturity and during molts. Patience during this period is required. Blue-Fronted Amazons love to climb and chew on things. They should be supervised at all times if they are let out of their cages, or accidents may happen. In the wild, Blue-Fronted Amazons often flock with other species of Amazon Parrots. They are found in forests and open savannahs. In the natural environment, Blue-Fronted Amazons feed primarily on fruits, seeds, vegetables and fruits. In captivity, however, nuts and seeds should be kept to a minimum because they tend to cause obesity in captive Amazons.

Averaging about fifteen inches in length, the Blue-Fronted Amazon is a beautiful and graceful animal. The bird is primarily green in color, with green feathers that have darker green edges. The Blue-Fronted Amazon has a bright blue forehead and blue and white feathers that often appear on the crown. They have vibrant yellow markings on their ears, cheeks and crown. Their wings are often either red or red and yellow.

Blue-Fronted Amazons can be found in the wild in Eastern Brazil, Paraguay, Northern Argentina and Northern and Eastern Bolivia. They are easy to train and, if treated well, are excellent pets. An improperly cared for Blue-Fronted Amazon can become rather aggressive. Blue-Fronted Amazons usually bond with one owner and should not be passed among people if possible.