Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Wild finches of almost every species consume beetles, spiders, caterpillars and other invertebrates throughout the year, and in large quantities both before and during the breeding season. While those we keep as pets may thrive on seed-based diets, providing them with a variety of insects will improve their health and encourage breeding. A reader’s note concerning his success with Bronze-Winged Mannikins and the onset of the spring breeding season here in the Northern Hemisphere have sparked me to take another look at this important topic. Read More »
Monthly Archives: May 2011
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Hot on the heels of an Egyptian Cobra that recently escaped its Bronx Zoo enclosure, a Peahen has now (May 10, 2011) gone one better and is hiding out somewhere in the neighborhood near the zoo. The zoo’s Peafowl range freely on its grounds, and can fly, but in all my years working at there none “decided” to leave. This, and some newly discovered information on Peafowl mating behavior, sparked today’s article. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. The animated movie Rio tells the story of the last 2 “Blue Macaws” on earth, and their adventurous efforts to save their species from extinction. The touching yet realistic conservation story has captivated adults and children alike, and the movie posted ticket sales of $40,000,000 on its first weekend…a record for this year. Many fans may not realize that a real endangered species – the Spix’s Macaw, Cyanopsitta spixii, and a real individual bird – Presely, inspired director Carlos Saldanba to create the movie. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. One of the USA’s most hotly-debated conservation questions seems finally to have been answered. For years, ornithologists have considered the huge Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, to be extinct, but many well-respected biologists continued to report sightings. Down to an estimated 30 birds by the 1930’s, none had been observed for decades despite intensive searches and rewards, including one of $50,000 posted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Recent video and acoustic recordings (Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, please see below), however, seem to establish that this magnificent bird is still with us. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Have you ever been met by blank stares when trying to convince “non-bird” people that your pet has a unique personality? You might be believed if you’re referring to a parrot, but a canary or other finch…not likely. However, a recent (April, 2011) study has confirmed that Greenfinches, Carduelis chloris, do indeed exhibit widely-varying personalities. My experience, and that of countless other bird-keepers, convinces me that this is true for other species as well.
By measuring stress levels in the blood of Greenfinches, researchers at the University of York (UK) established that differences in behavior were directly correlated to distinct personality types. Read More »