Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. We’ve known for some time now that the eyes of Budgerigars and African Gray Parrots are UV-sensitive and can detect UV light. Humans cannot, but like parrots we are active by day and exposed to UV light throughout our lives. In many cases, parrot and human life-spans are similar in length, yet, in contrast ourselves, our avian friends’ eyes do not suffer UV damage. A study at the University of West Australia is seeking to find out why. Read More »
Monthly Archives: August 2010
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. One glance at a male Golden Sparrow (Passer/Auripasser luteus) will quickly dispel the common notion that all sparrows are drab, uninteresting creatures. Also known as the Yellow Sparrow, Sudan Golden Sparrow and Golden Song Sparrow, the bright yellow-gold plumage of some males, offset by chestnut-colored wings, outshines that of the better-known Canary. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. The Banded Pitta (Pitta guajana) is highly-prized by both zoos and private aviculturists. Please see Part I of this article for information on the natural history and care of this colorful ground-dweller. Today we’ll cover its unique dietary needs.
In the wild, Banded Pittas subsist entirely upon snails, earthworms, beetles, spiders and other invertebrates, with perhaps some carrion taken when available. In Part I of this article, I compared their housing requirements to those of delicate reptiles and amphibians. In matters of diet, we see again that their captive needs vary greatly from those of “typical” pet birds. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Gapeworms are parasitic nematodes (Syngamus trachea) that colonize the tracheal walls (please see photo) of a wide variety of wild, domestic and pet birds. These pests present somewhat of a dilemma, as they are associated with birds kept outdoors and/or those feeding on wild-caught invertebrates – two otherwise healthful aspects of bird-keeping! Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Passionate birders are a breed apart – I know folks who think nothing of flying from NYC to Argentina at a moment’s notice in the hope of spotting a non-descript sandpiper that happened to show up unexpectedly. Some such people, however, sometimes (rarely!) manage to talk non-birders into becoming their significant others, in which case such excesses might be frowned upon. Then there are those who enjoy bird-watching, but would like to also swim, ski or visit museums on their vacations. Fortunately, there are options that can accommodate all levels of bird-watching enthusiasm.
The Sierra Club, the USA’s oldest grassroots conservation organization, sponsors a number of Volunteer Vacations – trips that include birding and conservation-oriented activities while leaving time for other pursuits as well. Read More »