Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Autumn is a time of great anticipation for those who feed and watch birds, and surprising sightings are not limited to remote locales – a Snowy Owl once spent a few hours on the roof of my childhood home in the Bronx, and I’ve counted over 200 species on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo. Resident birds begin to feed ravenously in preparation for the lean times ahead, and different northern migrants appear each week. Today I’d like to highlight some foods and feeders that will help ensure that you see all there is to be seen in the coming months. Read More »
Monthly Archives: October 2010
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. My experience with reintroduction programs for creatures ranging from spiders to Guam Kingfishers has convinced me that the good intentions of conservationists, standing alone, are never sufficient to ensure any creature’s long-term survival. Conservation must make economic sense to people living in the habitat where the work is being done, and they must also genuinely favor the animal’s return. Today I’d like to highlight a program that is doing an excellent job at laying the groundwork for the return of the Spix Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) to Brazil.
Gone but not Forgotten
Extinct in the wild since 2000 and represented by less than 100 captive individuals, the beautiful blue Spix Macaw is among the rarest of all birds.
Recently, representatives of the group Parrots International visited Curaca, Brazil (Bahia State), the former habitat of this bird, in order to access reintroduction possibilities. A Loro Paraque Foundation project that had been in place in Curaca had been cancelled 4 years prior, but the area’s tiny schoolhouse retained the name given it by local children at that time – The Spix Macaw School.
Children’s Concern Sparks Groups to Donate
Children in the area remained concerned about birds – fearing the researcher’s truck held bird-poachers, 3 youngsters stalked it for several miles in the broiling sun, and spied on its occupants! Moved by the concern evidence by this action, Parrots International supplied the school with the funds it needed to remain in operation (located in one of Brazil’s poorest sectors, it was about to be closed).
Other groups joined the effort, and soon the school was provided with nighttime electricity (to allow for much-needed adult classes), an upgraded toilet and supplies. In order to assist adults in attending evening reading and writing classes, meals are also supplied.
In addition, 4,000 acres of prime Spix Macaw habitat, known as the Gangorra Farm, has been purchased by Parrots International and the Lymington Foundation.
This program presents a fine example of an effective strategy – public support for the macaws was obviously strong, but the practicalities of life in a poor, rural area would likely have prevented effective action. By attending to some basic needs of both adults and children, and placing important habitat under private ownership, Parrots International and its partners have set the stage for what may someday be a successful reintroduction program for the magnificent Spix Macaw.
Learn how to help this and other species via donations, purchases or volunteer action here.
Video of Spix Macaw breeding program.
Please write in with your questions and comments.
Thanks, until next time,
Spixara image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Robert01
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Amazons are among the most popularly-kept and parrots, yet among their ranks we find some very rare and little-studied species. Interestingly, the largest and most spectacularly colored of the Amazons is hardly known at all to parrot enthusiasts. I think it’s important to highlight the rare members of well-known bird groups, as anything we learn concerning the habits and needs of common species may be of use in helping their less-fortunate relatives. Today I’d like to introduce the Sisserou, also known as the Imperial or Dominican Amazon (Amazona imperialis).
Clad in bright blue, green, purple and red, the Sisserou is considered by many to be the most spectacularly-colored of the Amazon Parrots. The effect of its gorgeous plumage is heightened by the bird’s size – at 18 inches in length and with a wingspan approaching 3 feet, it is the largest Amazon. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. I first kept Red-Vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer) as “filler birds” to take up space in a huge, planted aviary I maintained at the Bronx Zoo. However, their confident, inquisitive natures soon led to their being among the exhibit’s most popular inhabitants with visitors. I find them to be among the most easily-kept of the softbills (a term applied to a loose collection of “non-typical” cage birds such as Bulbuls, Pekin Robins and others), and a great species with which to start when seeking to add variety to one’s collection.
Description and Range
Red-Vented Bulbuls inhabit a huge range that extends from India east to Vietnam and south to Java; they have also been introduced to Hawaii and many other places. They inhabit open woodlands, scrub, farms, villages and cities, pairing off while breeding but otherwise going about in small groups. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. The quite unexpected antics of a number of parrots have made news this past week…from assisting drug cartel members in Columbia (unwittingly, of course!) to exposing the unfaithfulness of an owner’s partner (perhaps on purpose?), pet parrots continue to show that they are well equipped to trick, help and frustrate us…
Love Triangle Exposed
Parents learn very quickly to watch what they say around toddlers – parrot owners, it seems, should as well. Upon sitting down on a couch near her bird cage, a woman who owned an African Gray Parrot was surprised to hear her pet say “Oh Claire ,oh Claire, I love you!” – surprised because her name was not Claire!
Suspecting that her boyfriend was using the couch for purposes other than watching TV, the woman called him at work…only to find that he was at lunch with, as fate would have it, Claire. Within a day or so the woman caught the pair leaving her home at a time when they thought she was at work. Unfortunately, Harvey the parrot seemed to enjoy screaming out Claire’s name (perhaps he had heard it very often!) – so much so that his owner found him a new home! Read More »