Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. We all know that highly social, intelligent birds such as parrots do not fare well when bored. Excessive screaming, feather-plucking, pacing and other harmful behaviors quickly take hold when parrots are kept alone and left without stimulation. Macaws are especially hard to accommodate – their incredible strength and boundless energy present a real challenge to owners seeking to keep them busy. A spate of questions on this topic, posed recently by macaw owners, has prompted me to write this article. Read More »
Monthly Archives: July 2010
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Aviculturists desiring to keep ducks are fortunate in that two of the world’s most brilliantly-colored species, the Mandarin Duck (Aix graiculata) and the Wood Duck (Aix sponsa), are small, hardy and have long been bred in captivity. Despite occupying opposite ends of the globe, their natural histories and captive care are very similar. While the decision to keep aquatic birds should not be made lightly, either of these little beauties makes an excellent “first duck” for those with the means to provide for them. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Also known as the Senegal Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala), this spectacular African import is one of the few entirely red-colored birds available to aviculturists. Northern Cardinals, one of my favorites, are not legal to keep here in the USA…the Red-Billed Firefinch is the only species I’ve found that comes close to matching it’s brilliant plumage. They are not rare in the wild or captivity, but never lose their appeal – even to lifelong bird keepers, Firefinches always seem “special”.
Range and Habitat
Ranging throughout much of Africa south of the Sahara, Firefinches have adapted well to people…in many developed areas their chirping is among the most familiar of the day’s sounds. The typical natural habitat is savanna, overgrown scrub and the edges of lightly-wooded areas.
Several related species, some of which are equally as gorgeous as the Red-Billed Firefinch, also occur in Africa, but none are well-established in captivity. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. In Part 1 of this article I relayed the sad news that the Alaotra Grebe (Tachybaptus rufolavatus), a small, fish-eating waterbird once endemic to Madagascar, has joined the ranks of the 130+ birds that have been declared extinct since the year 1500. Some of the factors that caused its demise, explained in that article, also endanger the other 190 species of birds considered to be threatened with imminent extinction. Today I’d like to review the status of rare and endangered birds in the USA. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Gorgeous, friendly and a talented mimic, this Australian native truly lives up to its name. The Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsoni), although not as commonly kept as many related species, is very hardy and an excellent choice for those wishing to expand their parrot-keeping horizons.
Description and Natural History
The Superb Parrot has a slim, elongated body of 12-14 inches in length. The torso is clad in brilliant green and the flight feathers are blue. The male’s forehead, throat and cheeks are bright yellow, and the throat is decorated with a splash of crimson red. Read More »