Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cocaktiel Sings a Happy Tune

This Cockatiel whistles such a happy tune……What a happy little guy!!!

Ann Zych – FunTime Birdy

Parrot Population Growing in Long Beach California

mrv7qh-b781161499z.120130820220536000g0c1f9ofv.2As reported in the Orange County Register of California. 

You could say Long Beach is going to the birds.

The feral parrots of Belmont Shore have been a staple since the 1980s, and while some residents see them as a lovable mascot, others think they’re a noisy feathered nuisance. Like them or not, the birds are here to stay, experts say.
Article Tab: Parrots cruise the skies above Livingston Dr. and Ocean Blvd. in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach.

Researchers say their numbers are growing, not only in Long Beach, but throughout Southern California. The flocks are thriving in a paradise of warm weather, no natural predators and an abundance of tropical plants, said Kimball Garrett, an ornithology collections manager at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.  “There’s no tree-climbing snakes, no monkeys that would be their natural predators,” he said. “They get all the fruit and seeds they need from non-native plants, and they have plenty of places where can build their nests. It’s as if the people who developed the urban landscape said, ‘Gee, what can we do to make parrots really happy?’”

Garrett, who’s studied the region’s population since the early 1980s and runs californiaparrotproject.org, thinks the numbers have grown to more than 3,500 birds and 13 different species. They are thought to be descendants of escaped pets.Where they were once found mainly in the San Gabriel Valley, flocks now are popping up in the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica.

In Long Beach, Charlie Collins, a retired Cal State Long Beach ornithology professor, used to count the local birds each year. Collins counted just five parrots in 1987, but by 1996, the flock had ballooned to nearly 50. On his last official count before he retired around 2000, Collins saw 100 birds. Today, he estimates there are at least 200.

The red-crowned parrot from Mexico is the most common species found in Southern California. But in Long Beach, the South American mitred parakeet reigns supreme.  “They eat a little bit of everything. I’ve seen them going after apples in my backyard, and sometimes they’re over by Cal State Long Beach eating the nectar in eucalyptus flowers for a sugar fix,” he said.

Parrots prefer to nest in hollow trees but will improvise with holes in attics or open vents. Highly social animals, their familiar squawks echo through the streets as they banter with their partners and chase other birds in their territory.

They typically gather in large flocks early in the morning and then again at dusk before returning to their roosting sites.

Allen Hay knows this scene all too well. As owner of the ABC Fine Wines & Spirits liquor store at Ocean Boulevard and Livingston Street, his shop sits near a patch of tall palms that serves as the area’s best-known parrot meeting spot.

“Sometimes it’s so loud it sounds like you’re in the middle of a chicken coup,” said Hay, who’s owned the store since 1992. “But I don’t mind it. They’ve been here so long, they’re part of Belmont Shore.”

Meaghan O’Neill, a naturalist and supervisor at El Dorado Nature Center, said many people have a love/hate relationship with the birds.

“People think it’s cool and exciting to see parrots flying in the sky, but when it’s 6 a.m. and they’re eating persimmons outside your window, it’s not so cool because they’re very noisy,” she said with a chuckle.

While the flocks are growing, they don’t appear to be having a negative impact on native wildlife, Garrett said. The parrots could become a problem if they expand into rural areas, he said.

For now, they have found a mostly welcoming home in Long Beach.

Mike Nielsen, president of the El Dorado Audubon Society, said many birders now include the parrots on their list of birds to watch.

“There is a certain thrill when you see a flock of these guys overhead,” he said. “They’re attention grabbing, and that’s probably a good thing in the sense that it draws people towards nature, and it draws people towards birds.”

Ann Zych – FunTime Birdy

Cockatiel and Friend Mini Me

I wonder what this adorable Cockatiel is thinking…….”he looks like me, kind of cute but smaller.”  (LOL)

Ann – FunTime Birdy

Cockatiel with stuffed cockatiel

Parrot Rules for the Home

I saw this banner the other day and I just love it!!!!  If you’re a parrot owner this is so true.

Ann Zych – FunTime Birdy

Parrot Rules

Houston Zoo Welcomes Birth of Rare Parrot

Rare Parrot

On May 28, a tiny St. Vincent Amazon parrot pushed its way out of an egg at the Houston Zoo.

The egg was the size of a large chestnut. The bird was 3 inches tall, with bulging eyes that would take another nine days to open and skin covered with a whitish down.

Christopher Holmes, a zoo supervisor in the bird department, was the first person to lay eyes on the rare parrot. Since then, the two have been inseparable.

Holmes, 26, says that he is the chick’s “primary hand rearer.” But let’s call it what it is.

He’s Mom.

“The chick goes with me everywhere,” says Holmes, who started volunteering at the zoo when he was 14 and is working on a bachelor’s degree in anthropology at the University of Houston. “In the beginning, I was feeding it every two hours from 5 a.m. till midnight. I did that for 16 days.”

Read more…………

Ann Zych – FunTime Birdy

Perfect Parrot Couple

These two Eclectus’ (Male – Green, Female – Red) are so adorable and beautiful.

Did you know the Eclectus Parrot is the only parrot that can be sexed by the color of their feathers?

Ann – FunTime Birdy

Male and female Eclectus for FB

Adopting a Rescue Bird

For Flapping FeathersParrots can make wonderful companions and pets. However, not everyone is cut out to be a bird owner. There is a lot of responsibility, dedication and cost involved. Being a good parrot owner entails more than simply feeding your bird every day and placing a couple of parrot toys  in their cage. Some people are not fully prepared for the demands of caring for a parrot before they rush out and buy one. As a result, many birds end up in shelters or rescues, looking for a new family. This is a sad situation for any bird, since rescue parrots can be hard to place.

There are many reasons people give up their parrots. These include:

•    Lack of Time: Most birds need more than a bird cage . They need human interaction. They need you to take them out of their cage and play with them on their parrot playgym or bird stand. They need your time and attention. With today’s hectic lifestyle, many people discover that they do not have time to care for a parrot.

•    Lack of Money: Parrots can be expensive to care for. If you have a large parrot, you will need to invest in a sizeable birdcage, which can be costly. Food, treats and parrot toys can also add up quickly. Not to mention trips to the veterinarian and any medications, vitamins or supplements your bird will need.

•    Life Changes: A move, new job or new baby can add up to a lot of demands, leaving little or no energy for a parrot.  If you are considering purchasing your first feathered friend, or if you simply want to add to your feathered flock, you may want to consider giving a dislocated parrot a good home. That being said—you should be prepared for the challenges of raising and caring for an adopted feathered friend. Not everyone is up for the task. Here are a few things to ask yourself:
•    Do you have a lot of patience? Oftentimes, rescue birds have been neglected and abused. As a result, they may have behavioral difficulties and trust issues. These parrots need a lot of time, attention and love to regain their trust in people. Initially, you may have to spend double the amount of time with a rescue parrot, as you would with one you already own. You may also need to help your feathered friend overcome behavioral issues such as feather-plucking, biting or constant screaming. This process will take time and patience.

•    Do you have experience with birds? The more experience and knowledge you have, the better. It will give you a tremendous edge when working with rescue birds. However, even if you are a new parrot owner, as long as you are dedicated, aware of the challenges and have experienced people to help you out, you will do fine.

Not all rescue birds are aggressive, sullen or mistrustful. Some come from good homes that simply cannot care for them anymore. However, you never know what you will get. Go in with both eyes open—be committed and willing to help the feathered friend you choose.