Taxonomy Of The Cockatoo  
BirdBrain’s Rockie Bits
Basic Bird Care
 


Birds are more than a bunch of pretty feathers. Some smaller birds, like canaries, finches, and parakeets will be happy to sit in a cage with toys to keep them busy. The larger birds need larger amounts of attention, and more of your time. They can live from 20 to 80+ years, so they should be considered a companion rather than a pet.When you adopt a parrot, consider it a new family member since it will live as long as you do.

PARROT, common name generally applied to members of the large bird family Psittacidae; groups of parrots that have their own common names include the cockatoos, lories, lovebirds, macaws, and parakeets. In length, parrots range from the buff-faced pygmy parrot of New Guinea at 3 inches to the hyacinth macaw of South America at 39.4 inches (almost 4 foot long). A large part of the macaw's length is attributable to its long tail.


Rockie is a 3 yr. old male Moluccan Cockatoo. We have been together since Nov. 1998. He weighs 861 grams and is 21" long. Birds like Rockie are found in the rainforests of the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia, but Rockie was born near Chico, CA. The Moluccan Cockatoo is endangered, and there are thought to be less than 2000 still in the wild. This is due to excessive importation and destruction of the rainforests they live in.

Basic Bird Care
Basic Bird Care

The heavy demands of the cage-bird trade, together with loss of habitat, have resulted in many species of parrots becoming endangered. ThoUKnds of parrots are brought into Europe and North America annually, both legally and illegally, and many do not survive the journey. In most countries the capture, export, and import of parrots are strictly regulated, but the laws are difficult to enforce. Ideally, only those parrots that have been bred in captivity should be kept as pets.

Most parrots are tropical, with only a few species reaching northern and southern temperate areas. They are found in South America, Australia, New Guinea and the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia. Few species inhabit Africa and mainland Asia. The most colorful parrots are the lories, in which reds and greens predominate, but blue, purple, brown, yellow, and black also appear. The cockatoos are mostly white, black, or peach with touches of yellow, red, or pink.

It is believed that Umbrella Cockatoos and Moluccan Cockatoos are the most lovable and cuddly of all the Cockatoos. It also takes an enormous amount of work and time to keep them that way. Just like cats and dogs, birds depend on their people. It is your responsibility to provide your companion a safe happy life.

When you decide you want a bird, learn about them first. You will want to start with a completely weaned baby or an adult bird.

CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE
Basic Care
SIGNS OF ILLNESS IN YOUR PARROT
LINKS TO OTHER SITES FOR HEALTH INFORMATION, TOYS, ETC.
LIST OF INTERACTIVE GAMES TO PLAY WITH YOUR PARROT
INEXPENSIVE TOYS FROM STUFF AT YOUR HOME
RECIPES FOR YOUR FEATHERED FRIEND

Basic Bird Care

Birds are more than a bunch of pretty feathers. Some smaller birds, like canaries, finches, and parakeets will be happy to sit in a cage with toys to keep them busy. The larger birds need larger amounts of attention, and more of your time. They can live from 20 to 80+ years, so they should be considered a companion rather than a pet.When you adopt a parrot, consider it a new family member since it will live as long as you do.

From "The Complete Idiots Guide to Bird Care and Training"...

"A study by the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 56 million cats, 53 million birds, and 52 million dogs in American homes."

ROCKIE BITS
Rockie is a 3 yr. old male Moluccan Cockatoo. We have been together since Nov. 1998. He weighs 861 grams and is 21" long. Birds like Rockie are found in the rainforests of the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia, but Rockie was born near Chico, CA. The Moluccan Cockatoo is endangered, and there are thought to be less than 2000 still in the wild. This is due to excessive importation and destruction of the rainforests they live in.
INFORMATIONAL TIDBITS
PARROT, common name generally applied to members of the large bird family Psittacidae; groups of parrots that have their own common names include the cockatoos, lories, lovebirds, macaws, and parakeets. In length, parrots range from the buff-faced pygmy parrot of New Guinea at 3 inches to the hyacinth macaw of South America at 39.4 inches (almost 4 foot long). A large part of the macaw's length is attributable to its long tail.


Hyacinth Macaw
INFORMATIONAL TIDBITS
The heavy demands of the cage-bird trade, together with loss of habitat, have resulted in many species of parrots becoming endangered. ThoUKnds of parrots are brought into Europe and North America annually, both legally and illegally, and many do not survive the journey. In most countries the capture, export, and import of parrots are strictly regulated, but the laws are difficult to enforce. Ideally, only those parrots that have been bred in captivity should be kept as pets.

Map of Indonesia showing the Moluccas Islands circled in red.

INFORMATIONAL TIDBITS
Most parrots are tropical, with only a few species reaching northern and southern temperate areas. They are found in South America, Australia, New Guinea and the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia. Few species inhabit Africa and mainland Asia. The most colorful parrots are the lories, in which reds and greens predominate, but blue, purple, brown, yellow, and black also appear. The cockatoos are mostly white, black, or peach with touches of yellow, red, or pink.

It is believed that Umbrella Cockatoos and Moluccan Cockatoos are the most lovable and cuddly of all the Cockatoos. It also takes an enormous amount of work and time to keep them that way. Just like cats and dogs, birds depend on their people. It is your responsibility to provide your companion a safe happy life.

ROCKIE BITS
Rockie needs at least 2-4 hours out of his cage and 1-2 hours of my time for holding, hugging, preening and game playing everyday,
even when I want to go out with friends,
or when I am sick.
When you decide you want a bird, learn about them first. You will want to start with a completely weaned baby or an adult bird.

You need to be sure that you start from day one and establish a routine for when the bird will be in his cage, and when he will be out. Don’t spend hours with it for the first few days unless you plan on keeping that routine. Most birds also require 10-12 hours of sleep every night. If you keep their cage where there is a lot of night lights or noise, you should consider covering their cage on 3 sides to give them a quiet spot.

Parrots have curved, hooked bills and short legs. Their toes are zygodactyl, that is, the first and fourth are turned backward. They walk awkwardly (pigeon toed) but are excellent climbers, often using their bills to pull themselves up to a higher branch. In most parrots the tongue is thick and muscular, used for manipulating seeds. Fruits, nuts, and seeds are their principal food in the wild.

You will need to teach your bird 2 basic commands. Step Up and Step Down. If you are not comfortable offering your hand or wrist, start with a stick. This is a must to teach your bird. When you say step up, the bird should lift its leg. In order to teach this, you need to put the bird on a training "T"-stand, in a quiet area. Say "step up" firmly, and place your closed hand or wrist, or stick, in from of the bird. He may reach out with his beak to test the surface and make sure you can hold his weight. Once on your hand, say "step down" and have him get back on the "T" stand. Repeat for 10 minutes and always praise him for correct actions, say nothing for wrong actions. End on a positive note, and do this several times per day.

ABOUT BITES: The first rule is to not jerk away. If the bird bites you and holds on, gently push toward the bird. Once the bird lets go, calmly say "NO" and put the bird in its cage for a short time out. Do not punish the bird as they do not understand punishment. Don’t shout or yell, or wave your hands because birds think that is fun. Birds are very smart, they will try to bite you again to make you do that funny stuff. Remain calm.

THE CAGE should be at least twice as tall as the bird and twice as wide as the bird with its wings fully open. Always get the biggest cage you can. At the very least, the inside of the cage needs to be twice as tall as the bird, and wide enough for the bird to completely stretch out its wings, and flap without touching the cage. It should be powder coat painted and not bare metal. Galvanized metal is not safe for birds. Line the cage with layers of newspaper so that you can remove a few sheets each day and thoroughly clean the cage once a week. Do no use corn cob bedding or anything that will hold the moisture and harbor bacteria, or that the bird could ingest.

TOYS: Birds need a variety of toys, wood toys to destroy, acrylic toys to play with (physical exertion), intellectual toys-ones requiring the bird to use mechanical and/or problem solving techniques, and
preening toys--Those that hang done with little ropes or that have little strips of cloth for the bird to rub his back and head on them and to preen himself. You need to keep several types in the cage and rotate them every couple weeks. Birds are very intelligent and they get bored easily. You need to always provide them with things to entertain themselves to prevent them from plucking out their feathers. This habit is almost impossible to stop once it starts, and can lead to self-mutilation, where the bird actually removes chunks of his own flesh.

BATHS: Just like you, birds need baths every day. Mist your bird with clean cool water from a clean unused spray bottle. Some birds may enjoy getting in the shower with you. Never let your bird get chilled, wrap it gently in a towel with its head out, while it is wet.

Have the breeder or pet store clip the wings and check the toe nails before you bring your bird home. You will need to have this done occasionally. If you decide to do this yourself, be careful as you could accidentally clip a blood feather and your bird could die. Have your veterinarian show you how to do it safely.

Adoption Rescue Fostering | Handfeeding Dont's | Addict Enthusiast | How Not To Clip A Bird | Egg Food | Foot Problems In Parrots
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